St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery
Dating back to 1660 St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery holds the title of being the second oldest church in Manhattan. However, it also holds the title of being the most haunted.
This chapel was built by a man named Petrus Stuyvesant upon the land he originally purchased for farming. Petrus was a Dutch Colonial, world traveler and sailor who lived out his last years in the area of Manhattan. Following his death in 1672 he was buried in a vault beneath the floors of the St. Mark’s Church. It was right around this time that reports of paranormal occurrences begun to emerge. Interestingly, these paranormal events have even continued to occur within the new church that replaced Stuyvesant’s original building in 1799.
Ghosts of St. Mark’s Church
The ghost of Petrus Stuyvesant is certainly the most active within St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery. He has been sighted countless times over the last few hundred years since his death. He is commonly seen making his way through the church in very distinct attire. His ghost is described as wearing Dutch clothing fitting to the period and sporting a wooden leg. These descriptions give credence to the sightings as Stuyvesant lost a leg during his life due to a sailing accident. This wooden leg also makes for some pretty distinct disembodied footsteps, which many have also reported to hear within the church.
In addition to showing his apparition, Stuyvesant is also known for ringing the church bells when no one is inside the church. Even more curious is the interruptions during sermons, by speaking over the top of them, that Stuyvesant is thought responsible for.
Although most reports of spirit activity seem to be caused by Stuyvesant, there is another spirit claimed to exist within the St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery. The spirit of a mystery woman has also been sighted by many within the building. While no one knows her identity she is often described as wearing period clothing and typically sits on one end of the pews.
Visiting New York’s Haunted St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery
St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery is a historic site that is definitely worth a visit. Their calendar can be accessed online. The cemetery surrounding the church is also of interest and contains many important figures from New York’s past.
If you enjoyed this article, there are plenty of other haunted locations in New York City to visit.
Thanks for reading!