New York City History: The Bowery Boys
About This Show
New York City history is America's history. It's the hometown of the world, and most people know the city's familiar landmarks, buildings and streets. Why not look a little closer and have fun while doing it?
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#172 Ghost Stories of Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the setting for this quartet of classic ghost stories, all set before the independent city was an official borough of New York City. This is a Brooklyn of old stately mansions and farms, with railroad tracks laid through forests and large tracks of land carved up, awaiting development. These stories also have another curious resemblance -- they all come from local newspapers of the day, reporting on ghost stories with amusement and more than a little skepticism.
-- The Coney Island and Sea Beach Railroad took passengers to and from Brooklyn's amusement district. But nobody was particularly amused one evening to be stopped by a horrific gangly ghost upon the tracks near the neighborhood of Mapleton.
-- In Clinton Hill, a plantation-style house built in the early years of the Brooklyn Navy Yard has survived hundreds of unusual tenants over the years, but certainly the scariest days in this historic home occurred in 1878 with a relentless, invisible hand that would not stop knocking.
-- The Oceanic Hotel was one of Coney Island's first great hotels, an accommodation for almost 500 near the increasingly popular beaches of Brighton Beach. But in 1894, the hotel was virtually emptied out and reportedly haunted. Did it have something to do with the murder upstairs in Room 30?
-- And finally, the area of Bushwick nearest the Queens border are populated with various burial grounds like the Evergreens Cemetery, borne of the rural cemetery movement which transplanted thousands of previously buried bodies from Manhattan to Brooklyn. In 1894, with Bushwick prepared for a spate of new