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Emma Lazarus House

The Emma Lazarus House is one of New York’s most popular haunted destinations. Click here to learn the twisted story behind this spooky location.

Emma Lazurus House

New York City is full of rich history. Numerous buildings throughout the Big Apple are treasure troves of stories of family, friendship, and tragedy. One home in New York, the Emma Lazarus House, falls under the tragic category. 

Take a peek into the lives of New York City’s elite in the nineteenth century and discover the story of Emma Lazarus. Her influence still lives on in the city and inspires those seeking refuge and liberty. US Ghost Adventures will show you all the vivid details of the historical and the haunted. Sign up today to discover the spooky side of NYC.

A Poet, Socialite, and Lady Liberty’s Immortal Words

Emma Lazarus was the daughter of Esther and Moses Nathan, one of the oldest Jewish families in the city. During her early years, she was well-educated and often attended classes with prominent private tutors. By the time she reached her twenties, she was already becoming a part of the city’s elite. 

The Lazarus family moved into the Italianate-style residence in 1883. Moses Lazarus, the father, had amassed his fortunes as a sugar merchant and partner in the Johnson & Lazarus firm. The neighborhood was a haven for New York’s artists, with prominent figures like the painter John La Farge and artists Winslow Homer and Albert Bierstadt on the same block.

Emma herself was an avid poet, and she fit right into the fashionable neighborhood. Some of her work attracted the attention of famous essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. Also, she had several of her poems published in some of New York’s most-read newspapers. 

Perhaps the most well-known of her poems is “The New Colossus,” which Emma wrote as an homage to Liberty. It is from this poem that the Statue of Liberty gets its current inscription: “Give me your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.



Emma’s Legacy

Emma’s influence also lived on in other ways. She used her status and influence to create public awareness of Jewish issues since numerous Jewish immigrants were populating New York. Emma even spent time creating classes to help Jewish families assimilate into the busy New York City lifestyle. 

Lazarus fell ill after returning home from a trip to Europe. Her cause of death isn’t exactly known, but it’s believed that she died from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She was never married, and many of her poems were published posthumously. Emma passed away at the young age of 38. 

Some believe her ghost still roams around her home. Some people report seeing her figure in the window when walking by at night, looking for a freedom that never came for her.    

People can learn more about the life of Emma Lazarus when visiting the home. If you’re lucky, you may even encounter her spirit. 

Haunted New York, NY

Whether you’re a local or passing through NYC, there is plenty of fun to be had on our New York Ghost Tour. We’ll take you to some of the city’s most haunted locations. You’ll learn a lot about the city’s rich history and a few spooky stories along the way. Book our tour today!

About US Ghost Adventures

Since 2013, US Ghost Adventures has offered entertaining, historic, and authentic ghost tours of America’s most haunted cities. We deliver fun yet honest accounts of hauntings across the nation for curious people of all ages. Our ghost stories are based on historical research, but that doesn’t mean they won’t send a chill down your spine.

This video gives you a small taste of what you might experience on your ghost tour — subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more.

US Ghost Adventures also offers virtual tours, a self-guided mobile app, and an Alexa voice app.