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Mark Twain House / House of Death

The Mark Twain house is one of the most famous haunted houses in New York. Learn all about its eerie history with our popular New York Ghost Tour.

Mark Twain House

With a name like “The House of Death,” it’s safe to say that this home has some twisted roots. From the surface, the Mark Twain house looks like any other stunning New York brownstone. It’s located right in the beautiful neighborhood of Greenwich Village. 

Over the years, the home has been occupied by several of the city’s greatest minds. Some occupants include James Boorman Johnston, founder of the Reading Room, and numerous other studios and galleries throughout the city. 

The strange occurrences started shortly after the Boorman family moved out, and they are nothing short of bone-chilling.

The First Incident

The first recorded incident of bad luck surrounding the Mark Twain house occurred in 1897. Professional cyclist Fred H. Andrew ran into a young boy and broke his leg. Local authorities arrested Andrew for the accident, which in itself raises suspicion on the nature of the incident. 

Three years later, author Mark Twain (real name Samuel Clemens) moved into the House of Death. While living there, Twain reports having a series of unfortunate events happen to him. He claimed to have had encounters with spirits while living and working at the property. 

It’s important to note that Mark Twain was an avid ghost skeptic, so these incidents were unexplainable and not something he would immediately think of as ghostly activity. 

Twain states that he once saw a large piece of wood floating inside the home. When the wood eventually dropped to the floor, he claims to have seen drops of blood scattered around. Was it the spirit that broke the boy’s leg? Find out on a ghost tour of the Mark Twain house.

The Jan Bryant Bartell Story

The second incident concerns Jan Bartell, who moved into a large apartment on the home’s top floor in 1957. She started to notice strange incidents almost immediately after moving into the residence. On several occasions, she reports that a large shadow figure would follow her around the property.

What’s more, the Bartell family would notice some strange smells coming from some regions of the home. Most of the time, it would be the scent of rotten foods that the family didn’t purchase. 

The Lisa Nussbaum Murder

Perhaps the most twisted tale surrounding the Mark Twain House is the story of the Lisa Nussbaum case. In 1987, emergency response teams received a distress call to the home from Lisa’s mother. She claimed that her 6-year old daughter wasn’t breathing and that she needed immediate medical attention. 

However, the things first responders saw upon entering the home are nothing short of horror-movie material. It turns out that Lisa, her brother, and her mother were all physically abused by her father, Joel Steinberg. 

After her death, neighbors claim to have witnessed strange incidents such as flickering lights, and shadowy figures lurking around the home. 

Haunted New York, NY

No doubt, there are endless ways to have fun in the Big Apple. One way to add more thrills to your time in New York is by participating in our popular New York Ghost Tour. Our guides know all the spooky details about each stop along the way. Book your spot 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.

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