St. Mark’s Church In-The-Bowery

Posted by in US Ghost Adventures

New York City is well known for its vibrant and colorful history. The city is full of unique sections made up of communities that have sprung up around buildings, each with its own beauty. However, these buildings often have a dark history.

In a city as big and as old as New York, there is no shortage of haunted buildings and tales of ghostly spirits. One of these buildings is St. Mark’s Church In-The-Bowery.


Why is St. Mark’s Church-In-The-Bowery haunted?


Since St. Mark’s Church is the oldest continuous religious site in New York City, it has a lot of potential for ghostly inhabitants. A long list of historical figures and politicians are also interred there. Let’s take a closer look at New York City’s oldest continuous religious site.

History Of The Church

In 1651, Petrus Stuyvesant, who was then the Director General of New Netherland, purchased land from the Dutch West India Company for a farm. He began to build on the property, and by 1660, he had built a family chapel located at the present-day site of St. Mark’s Church. Stuyvesant died in 1672 and was buried in a vault under the chapel.

Many years later, Stuyvesant’s great-grandson, Petrus, sold the chapel property to the Episcopal Church for $1. The sale stipulated that a new chapel had to be erected to serve Bowery Village. This was the community that had grown around the Stuyvesant family chapel. In 1795, the cornerstone of the present-day St. Mark’s Church was laid, finished, and consecrated on May 9, 1799. Alexander Hamilton gave legal aid when incorporating St. Mark’s Church as the first Episcopal parish independent of Trinity Church in the United States. By 1807, the church had as many as two hundred worshipers who attended the summer services and 70 who attended during the winter.

More changes to the church happened at the beginning of 1835 when John C. Tucker’s stone Parish Hall was constructed. In the following year, the church was renovated, and the original square pillars were replaced with thinner ones, following the Egyptian Revival style. In addition, the current cast- and wrought iron fence was added to the property in 1838. All of these renovations are directly credited to Thompson. During the same time period, the two-story Fieldstone Sunday School was completed.  The church was then able to establish the Parish Infant School for poor children.

Later, in 1861, the church commissioned a brick addition to the Parish Hall. Outside the church, the cast iron portico was added around 1858. The design of the portico is attributed to James Bogardus, an early innovator in cast iron construction. The 19th century saw St. Mark’s Church grow through its many construction projects, while the 20th century was rooted in community service and cultural expansion.

Who Haunts St. Mark’s?

Peg Leg Pete


Peter Stuyvesant was known as a stern leader. His career had taken him around the world. Unfortunately, he lost his leg while in Curacao on military business. When he finally came to rule New Amsterdam, he was famous for his no-nonsense demeanor and his wooden leg, which he kept wrapped in silver studs.

Over the years, church attendees, visitors, and staff have reported seeing a strange presence. Most often, distinctive footsteps can be heard, including the unmistakable sound of a peg-leg echoing throughout the halls and pews of the church. People have reported seeing strange movements and shadows within the church’s windows while walking on the street. In addition, the bells at St. Mark’s have been known to ring at odd times, often accompanying a sighting of the ghost.


The Woman


Many people have also reported seeing a woman in the pews of St. Mark’s Church. She is known to be wearing period-style clothing and sitting at the end of the pews. She has also been spotted on the balcony. When the watchman tries to approach her, she seemingly vanishes into thin air.


A.T. Stewart


Mr. Stewart was an Irish businessman who made his fortune in the department store business. He owned a “Marble Paradise,” which was considered to be the city’s first department store. The store took over a whole block and was four stories high. Sadly, after A.T. Stewart died, so did his business.

Stewart was buried at St. Mark’s Church. However, people still believed he was wealthy. In 1878, his body was stolen and held for ransom. Mrs. Stewart was so upset that she paid the thieves the ransom. She then had his body placed in a crypt in another cathedral.

People continue to claim to see the ghost of A.T. Stewart. It is thought that he likes to come back to his original resting place.

The Cemetery At St. Mark’s Church

The cemetery at St. Mark’s Church is known for being as beautiful as the church. In fact, it is a New York City landmark, and it is listed on both the State and National Registers. You will find that it features a tranquil garden, a playground, and several marble underground vaults. 

Most of the interments that happened at the cemetery took place between 1830 and 1875. One of the burial sites is referred to as the East and West Yards, and it is attached to the church, while the other site lies further east, along 11th Avenue.

Haunted New York

New York City has much to offer visitors to the Big Apple. While in the city, there is obviously much to see and do; you can catch a Broadway show, tour a museum, and do some great shopping. However, visitors to New York City should not forget the historical side. There are so many buildings that have been around since the city was first born, and all of these buildings have a history to go with them. With so many visitors enamored with New York City, it is more than possible that many ghostly spirits are as well.

Keep reading our blog to uncover more terrifying tales of New York. To discover the city’s most haunted locations, take a ghost tour with NY Ghosts!