We’re feeling kinda Halloweeny, and, luckily, New York has a whole host of reputedly haunted locales, including the Algonquin (now, creepily, a Marriott), the Dakota, the Empire State Building, and Washington Square Park. But it struck us that each of those spots is perfectly pleasant when visited by day and also, often, by night. The scarier places, in fact, are often not the “haunted” places at all. They’re the unhaunted places.
In terms of pure, unadulterated creep-out factor — like, places where we would really prefer not to be morning, noon, or night, despite the lack of any supposed ghosts, here are our top 10 picks. Go to these spots and feel the tiny shivers of creep crawl up your back. Or avoid entirely. Either way, enjoy!
10. Anywhere bedbuggy. 248 and 255 McKibben in Brooklyn, “hipster lofts” known to be infested with bedbugs for years now. The Albano building at the U.N., which was at one point 90 percent infested with bedbugs. Victoria’s Secret and Hollister, which also had bedbugs but are creepy in any case.
9. An abandoned subway station. New York has a number of “ghost” (a/k/a, abandoned) subway stations, and we would not like to visit them, ever.
8. Perv hangouts. Like the booth of a peep show in Times Square. Or an elementary school playground. Or Union Pool. Creepy.
7. Places festooned with hunks of raw meat. The “real” Meatpacking District…the parking lot of London Meat Co., where the truckers go to load and unload. The “fake” Meatpacking District is equally creepy, though in a different way.
6. Ratty places See: Collect Pond Park in downtown Manhattan. Fondly known as “Rat Park Zoo.”
5. Angry, drunken, coked-up perv hangouts. Charlie Sheen’s onetime bathroom at the Plaza. Really, wherever Charlie Sheen happens to be while visiting New York.
4. Places that may actually be haunted. The creepy, abandoned former smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island. Plus, Roosevelt Island in general.
3. The DMV.
2. Places that make us think of asbestos. In particular, the damp, forsaken tunnel that connects the Port Authority and Times Square subway stations. In general, all of Port Authority.
1. Places where we see dead people. The city morgue, at First Avenue near 32nd Street, “just beneath the pavement of the city’s East Side.” Which is creepy even without the dead bodies.
Of course, creepy is as creepy does. Please feel free to tell us what creeps you out. Besides us.