A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 27, 2013
House of Death (14 West 10th Street)

The 19th century brownstone at 14 West 10th Street, in Manhattan, has been dubbed the “House of Death” since at least 2005. It’s reported that 22 people have died in the house, although this might not be particularly unusual for a house over 150 years old. The writer “Mark Twain” (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) lived in the house, but he did not say that it was haunted; Twain later recalled pleasant moments living there.

New York criminal defense attorney Joel Steinberg murdered his illegally adopted daughter, six-year-old Lisa, in the house in 1987. The murder made city and then national headlines and is, perhaps, the main reason for the “House of Death” moniker.


Columbia Daily Spectator (Columbia University)
Haunted New York
By Sadia Latifi
October 28, 2005 12:00am
(...)
The “House of Death,” located on 14 W. 10th St. near Fifth Ave. is a brownstone, which is supposedly haunted by the 22 people who have died there. Mark Twain, who lived in the house for a year, has been seen in the stairwells, too.

Outsiders New York City
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
HOUSE OF DEATH
(...)
This classic brownstone was constructed in the 19th century and is believed to be haunted by the 22 people who have died in the house, as well as Mark Twain. Twain, who lived here from 1900-1901, is rumoured to haunt the stairwell in the house. In addition, criminal attorney Joel Steinberg lived in the house in 1987 when he was accused and later convicted of the brutal murder of his 6-year-old adopted daughter Jessica Steinberg.

Daytonian in Manhattan
Friday, April 15, 2011
Mark Twain, Tragedy and Ghosts—No. 14 West 10th Street
Prior to the Civil War the streets around Washington Square were among the most fashionable in the city. Wealthy New Yorkers moved into wide brownstone residences filled with costly furniture from the shops of Henry Belter or Joseph Meeks.

West 10th Street, between the park and 6th Avenue, was one such street. At No. 14 a stylish Greek Revival home was built towards the end of the 1850s. Constructed of red brick with brownstone trim over an English basement, it was exceptionally wide and spacious.  Here, throughout the turbulent war years, women in voluminous Victorian dresses and men in starched collars were entertained beneath whale oil chandeliers.
(...)
New York lore speaks of 22 unnamed people dying in No. 14 West 10th Street over the years, some of them haunting its halls; while some report that Mark Twain himself is seen on its staircase. Although it is called by some “The House of Death;” in fact, a score of residents dying over the course of 160 years in any residence would be expected, especially considering that wealthy Victorians and Edwardians normally received medical treatment at home, rather than a hospital.

Ephemeral New York
The “House of Death” in Greenwich Village
This entry was posted on October 1, 2012 at 5:15 am
This lovely Greek Revival brownstone at 14 West 10th Street has an awfully creepy nickname.

Built in 1856, it’s been dubbed the “House of Death” because a reported 22 former residents have haunted the place over the years.

“In 1974, a former actress turned psychic, Jan Bryant Bartell, detailed her experiences living in the house in the book Spindrift: Spray From a Psychic Sea,” states a New York Times FYI column from 2002.

“Ms. Bartell claimed that a number of tenants had died mysteriously and that the building was haunted by spirits.”

One supposed ghost is Mark Twain, who lived there in 1900.
(...)
This brownstone has an eerie rep for another reason: It’s where Joel Steinberg beat his six-year-old daughter Lisa to death in a second-floor apartment in 1987—one of the most shocking murders in the city’s history.

New York (NY) Times
Terror on 10th street
For more than a century, two mansions on West 10th Street have been visited by visions of the restless dead. Then the street was rocked by a tragic true crime.

By TIM DONNELLY
Last Updated: 12:55 AM, October 28, 2012
Posted:  11:46 PM, October 27, 2012
Just weeks after Jan Bryant Bartell moved in to the huge old mansion at 14 W. 10th St., off Fifth Avenue, in 1957, she felt a “monstrous moving shadow that loomed up behind” her. She turned and saw nothing there, but couldn’t shake the feeling that she was not alone, and maybe never would be, in the already aging house with fretted balustrades and Civil War-era glass in the windows.

The incident took several minutes, and several cigarettes, cups of tea and nips of brandy to shake off. But it wouldn’t be the last in the seven-year stretch of psychological and sometimes physical torment Bartell suffered from what she claimed were the icy hands of the house’s former inhabitants, reaching out from the afterlife to grab her.

Bartell’s story of torment is just one of the documented legends swirling around the abutting numbers 16 and 14 on 10th Street in Greenwich Village. The block, an otherwise picture-book New York byway that’s home to writers and actors, is so dripping with tales of death and hauntings, No.  14 has earned the nickname “The House of Death.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Thursday, June 27, 2013 • Permalink