The “House of Death” in Greenwich Village

This lovely Greek Revival brownstone at 14 West 10th Street has an awfully creepy nickname.

Built in 1856, it’s been dubbed the “House of Death” because a reported 22 former residents have haunted the place over the years.

“In 1974, a former actress turned psychic, Jan Bryant Bartell, detailed her experiences living in the house in the book Spindrift: Spray From a Psychic Sea,” states a New York Times FYI column from 2002.

“Ms. Bartell claimed that a number of tenants had died mysteriously and that the building was haunted by spirits.”

One supposed ghost is Mark Twain, who lived there in 1900.

“According to Ms. Bartell, a mother and daughter living on the ground floor in the 1930’s found an old man with white hair in the living room one evening. The startled mother asked him who he was, the figure replied, ‘My name is Clemens, and I has a problem here I gotta settle’ and disappeared.”

This brownstone has an eerie rep for another reason: It’s where Joel Steinberg beat his six-year-old daughter Lisa to death in a second-floor apartment in 1987—one of the most shocking murders in the city’s history.

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12 Responses to “The “House of Death” in Greenwich Village”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I was going to the psychiatric therapy center right in the next building at the time and it’s amazing how many cars were double parked as people tried to get their apartment that had become suddenly available, regardless what had just happened to little Lisa. Oh, in that building a plaque marks that it’s also the site of Mark Train living there. Eerie coincidence.

  2. EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition « NYC Real Estate News Says:

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  3. Peter Salwen Says:

    This house happens to be the last stop on the “Mark Twain’s New York” walking tour which I will be leading next Sunday at 1-2:30 PM (see for details). I really doubt Twain would have any reason to haunt the place. He was there for only about a year, and during that time it was a house of celebration and gaiety.

  4. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Wonderful! I no longer live in NY, after living on the Lower East Side for 60 plus years, but my memory is very clear and vibrant. It’s great that your tour still exists, hope you get a big crowd following you around. Best of luck.

  5. P. Gavan Says:

    In the 1840s,14 West 10th was the address of Guardian Engine Company No. 29 of the volunteer fire department. Eli Bates, who was appointed Chief of the paid department in 1873, began his long and illustrious fire company here in 1846. I wonder if any of the horses or firemen from this company are haunting this home today…

  6. Lori Says:

    Jan Bryant Bartell’s book is worth reading. I hope someone writes a biography about her someday.

  7. s Says:

    very cool

  8. s Says:

    stop this is Jan Bryant Bartell and if this doesn’t stop am coming for u

  9. Barbara Barber Says:

    Found the book fascinating so I painted Jan Bryant Bartell in front of 16 West 10th Street

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