New York is a state with a rich and storied past. It’s the first place immigrants landed to start their new lives in a new land. Many towns and cities sprung up, fueled by various industries. Mining and manufacturing plants thrived for a time, then went defunct. As jobs dried up, residents left the towns. Some buildings still stand as they appeared when the towns were thriving communities. In others, the buildings crumbled. Some of these ghost towns have creepy histories with tragic tales of catastrophe. Others stand as a reminder of a life that has faded into the nation’s history. Whether you’re a historian or interested in the paranormal, New York is the home of some of the most interesting ghost towns in the world. Here are five you should visit when you’re in the area.
5. Tahawus, New York
Only in Your State describes the ghost town Tahawus as one of the creepiest deserted hamlets in the state. It is a town with a rich history. It sits in the Adirondacks near Newcomb. The village grew as families moved into the area to work at the iron ore mine. It was a mining town that was eventually abandoned in 1857 after the difficulty of refining the impurity-laden ore became too much for profitability. Tahawus moved to a new location to open a new pit when a large ilmenite deposit became profitable. When the mine petered out, the town was abandoned again in 1963. All that remains of Tewahus today is the McIntyre Blast Furnace, towering fifty feet in the air. Tourists can walk inside to get a personal look at the structure. Those interested in the paranormal will find this ghost town fascinating. , Tahawus is where a man died in an accidental shooting, but some rumors suggest that murder is the cause of death. The legend of David Henderson’s ghost claims that people have seen him riding his horse in the area in a spectral form. Other buildings in the village include a private fish and game club’s remnants from the 1940s, the MacNaughton Cottage, from 1854, known to be a home visited by Theodore Roosevelt when he was Vice President. The Tahawus ghost town is a popular tourist attraction that has been the target of conservation efforts. The site stands to educate visitors about the history of Tahawus
4. Jayville, New York
Jayville has a history that goes back to its founding in 1850. It began as a small mining community that grew when the Carthage and Adirondack Railroad emerged. It thrived until the mine shut down but continued with its sawmills and other small businesses remaining. In 1914, the owners tried to reopen the mines. A problem with flooding prevented the project from getting off the ground. It is worth noting that the owner of the mines was none other than Howard Hughes. He spent three years trying to resurrect the mines but fought water seepage into the shafts to no avail. By the year 2000, all residents had moved out of the community and it’s been a ghost town ever since. The railroad station still stands to the southeast of Harrisville on Jayville Road. in St. Lawrence County, according to US Ghost Towns.
3. North Brother Island, New York
Business Insider reports that North Brother Island is a site with significant historical value. It was first established in 1614 by the Dutch West India Company. It’s located in the East River between Rikers Island and the Bronx. In the 1850s, the Riverside Hospital was founded as a quarantine unit for Smallpox victims. It was the holding facility for Typhoid Mary for years. This is an area that is stained with tragedy and suffering. It’s the location where the steamship General Slocum burned in June of 1904 killing more than 1,000 people on board. The hospital closed and North Brother Island remains the site of the General Slocum tragedy, where the vessel remains beached. The island has been designated as a bird sanctuary. You must get permission from the city to visit North Brother Island, due to its hazards, and status as a bird sanctuary.
2. Trapps Mountain Hamlet
Mohawk Preserve offers an audio tour of The Trapps Mountain Hamlet Historic District. It’s a ghost town in New York on the Shawangunk Ridge in Gardiner. the hamlet started in the 18th century as one of the oldest in the area, home to farmers and tradespeople who lived off the various forest products industries. The town thrived from the latter 1700s through the middle of the 20th century until the last of its residents passed away in 1954. Six buildings remain standing with foundations of the others the only evidence of a once flourishing community. You can visit the site and see the Van Leuven Cabin with barns, a school, chapel, tavern, and four family cemeteries. This site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with restorations of some of the stonecutter’s homes.
1. Little Ireland, New York
WYRK recommends visiting an Irish ghost town that was once a thriving community in the 1880s through the early part of the 1900s. The village was called Little Ireland by some and New Ireland by others. It was established by Irish immigrants settling in America during the historic Irish Potato Famine that forced many to leave in search of a livelihood. The settlement is located in Allegheny Park and retains the remnants of limestone blocks covered in moss, with the foundations of old buildings from the twelve families that lived there, and an old schoolhouse. It was abandoned not long after the turn of the century and left to dilapidate into ruins. You can still visit the old site when you’re visiting Allegheny Park.