One Of The Most Haunted NYC Houses Hits The Market For $4.5M

This beautiful but spooky home comes at a price. But ghosts are included.

By Nathalie Nayman September 19, 2016
All photos courtesy of Ideal Properties

[otw_shortcode_dropcap label=”N” font=”Bowlby One SC” color_class=”otw-black-text” background_color_class=”otw-no-background” size=”large” border_color_class=”otw-no-border-color”][/otw_shortcode_dropcap]ow is the time. Rubber skeletons, spider candies and other spooky stuff hit the drug store shelves, marking the official beginning of Halloween madness—and that means Agorafy can finally write all we want about awesome haunted houses and mansions in New York City.

No, we are not talking about the cheap thrill of the spooky carnival-style attractions. You know, the ones full of unemployed actors playing bored ghosts that charge you $25 per ticket. This is New York City. Bombs in dumpsters don’t even scare us. We have no shortage of the real spooky stuff.

Related: Selling Haunted Houses: Who You Gonna Call? 

Today, our attention has been captured by the 19th century Clinton Hill mansion—AKA Lefferts-Laidlaw House—that hit the real estate market only several days ago. We don’t know what scares us most about this allegedly haunted property—its dark past or the multimillion-dollar price tag.


Let’s deal with the truly important part first—that is, the blood-curdling details.

So, back in 1878, a fellow named Edward F. Smith showed up at a local police station, seeking help in dealing with the “strange and disturbing activity occurring in his home on Clinton avenue.”

The doorbell, reported Smith, would just ring in the middle of the night, but when the irritated man went to open the door, there was nobody outside. Police detectives took Smith’s plight quite seriously and made several earnest attempts to catch whoever was ringing the doorbell—including sprinkling flour and ashes near the doors to capture the prankster’s footprints (some sort of glue would probably be more effective).

All their efforts proved to be fruitless. The doorbell would ring, and sprinkled flour trap would remain untouched—at which point policemen threw their hands in despair and blamed everything on poltergeist. With time, paranormal activity at 136 Clinton Street gradually ceased (we guess, after the umpteenth time, it just stopped being funny) but the “haunted” label stuck. The New York Times even ran two articles about it: those delicious samples are a living proof that, when it comes to subtle sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek writing, we still have a lot to learn from the greatest.

Back to the present: Now this very house is listed for sale for quite immodest $4.5 million. So, what else, except for the ghost story to tell at dinner parties, will you be getting for your money?

Well, for starters, it’s a beautiful Greek Revival building. NY Curbed here points out that “much of the home’s original details—its clapboard siding, decorative moldings, and the like—have remained intact.”

The listing (which insists on calling 136 Clinton Avenue “a temple-fronted villa”) mentions six bedrooms, a backyard, a fireplace and a “majestic porch.”

This house is also an individual city landmark (which means that you’d have to go through the pain of obtaining permits for about any minor repair or renovation.) And be warned: the interiors of the house do require work, money and time.

If encounters with poltergeists and city bureaucrats don’t scare you off, the open house will take place next Sunday. It might be worth visiting if only to check whether the house will be appropriately decorated for Halloween.


Nathalie Nayman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nathalie Nayman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nathalie Nayman

Nathalie is an international media trooper. After working as a journalist in Moscow, Nathalie participated in local politics and social movements in Cairo where she covered the protests and political upheaval of the Arab Spring. Nathalie is Agorafy's content manager. She produces and oversees unique and creative content for the Newsroom.

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