Greenwood Cemetery

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When searching for a gothic space in NYC, Green-Wood Cemetery located at 500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232, which doubles as a National Historic Landmark, is a must see. Stepping past the metal fence and walking up to the main entrance of the cemetery you can’t help but notice the grand gates of Green-Wood.

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As you can see here the entrance was built in a Gothic Revival Style. The high pointed arches are reminiscent of medieval structures such as castles and churches. The intricate styling of the structure depicts the picturesque complex design work often seen in roofs and windows of Gothic structures. Also, the sculpture here on the gate displays religious scenes from the bible which are also common in Medieval Architecture. The scene on the gate illustrates the death and resurrection from the New Testament. And structures similar to this can be found throughout the cemetery; and despite the consistent upkeep, many often have signs of decay.

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Continuing into the landmark, with its many twist and turns, you discover that it’s not only grand in nature but also eerie and gloomy. The many graves which happen to be worn with decay are often missing body parts as well. Also, the life-like sculptures that signify a grave-marker gives off a very uncanny feeling of helplessness, especially the ones of young children or entire families.

Link to Map:

The park itself has many rolling hills, twisting paths, massive trees and underground catacombs to explore. If one is not careful it is easy to feel lost and trapped within its gates. Overall the park can inspire sublime and uncanny feelings during the day, but you may not want to be caught in it at night.

St Ann & The Holy Trinity Gothic Church



Church ~ 1787

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church ~ 1787

This grand church is located at 157 Montague St. Brooklyn, NY 11201. The history of the church says that it is the oldest Episcopal congregation in Brooklyn. Originally it was located on Washington street but was moved several times until in 1969 it was moved to Holy Trinity building. The founders were an Anglican-minded Ann and Joshua Sands who established a prayer place in their living room starting 1778. During this time the American Revolution was on the mist and this group decided to sought services of their own practices rather than attend the Dutch Reform Church. As the congregation grew it found home in a church located at the High Victorian Gothic building still standing at Clinton and Livingston streets, built in 1877. Following that it moved to the building of the church in which it now stands at opened in 1847, although following years on controversy it closed in 1957.

Church ~ 2016

St. Ann & Holy Trinity Church ~ 2016


The building says to have been mostly empty for the next 12 years that followed; till in 1969 it became occupied.This building is now called St. Ann & the Holy Trinity to honor the history of the building. The church was declared a Historic Landmark in 1987.



                                      Church Website:                                   


DSC09361DSC09397The Gothic architecture of the church is clearly seen to be the type of style that flourished in the high and medieval period. Through a series of Gothic revivals this DSC09349DSC09379type of architecture evolved through the 19th century. The designer of the Holy Trinity building was known to be a prominent American architect, named Minard Lafer. He was known to be an influential American architect of churches and houses during the early 19th century. Passing by and entering the church the first thing that will strike you its grand scaling height. Its appearance contains flying buttress allowing it to spread to even greater heights. The buttresses around the church are elaborately designed and the decor gives you the sense of movement. Its Gothic arches also add to make forDSC09403 an aesthetic value and beauty. Both of these Gothic attributes were written in myths, stating that churches were made in grand elevation in attempt to reach the heavens. The great scaling of the church is topped on the ceiling also known as vaulted ceilings. This type of delicate detail is a common attribute of Gothic architecture. Being that the vaulted ceilings of the church is so detailed it can be perceived to be a skeleton, running from the front to the back. You will find yourself in an airy space in the center with balconies on the left, right, and center.Stained glass windows line the church with magnificent artwork that is depicted on each window. It is noted that these windows were created DSC09378by William Jay Bolton, with the help of his brother John Bolton, between 1845 and 1848. The windows allow light to enter the church during the day and at night chandeliers ornate the church. This giving off a dark, dim lighting that will cause for chilling but thrilling ambience. Walking through the church the Gothic elements through the architecture are evident. All this in combination will leave you with a wanting to continue exploring the church in its entirety.

Decaying Grandeur

As you continue exploring you’ll learn that it is not simply exquisite Gothic architecture, but it is a decaying one. Decay is one of the most prominent Gothic atmospheres. It encloses you as soon as you walk in. You see and smell the decay everywhere. Peeling paint from the walls, broken stairs, water dripping from the ceiling and the stale air – it is all the physical representation of degeneration of the past, the 18th century America. There is only one visitor and not even one priest in the church. Why is it so empty, cold and decomposing? The reason is that our values and standards have changed.20160308_142310


This physical falling apart structure is a representation of shifts of our values and social norms. Reading the changes of this church as a story through New Historicism and Cultural Studies opens a new dimension in looking at our times versus the past. New Historicism looks at a cultural context of a literary work, but let’s apply it to the actual physical structure. This decay can be used as a symbolism of how American started to change and leave the old beliefs behind. Historically immigrants used to come to America for freedom of religion.That is how this church came to exist. Now we want other freedoms and don’t need old rules. That is what was once a holy place now is empty and decaying. This church was built when women couldn’t vote, when racism was acceptable, and homosexuals were perceived as mentally ill. And mentally ill were treated as animals. Now it is not the same America. We like the way it is now, and those old ways will never be resurrected. Even faith is not as strong and powerful as it was in 18th century. The decaying church is also a symbol of this degeneration of faith. Today one third of young Americans don’t belong to any religion.They prefer to spend money on technology rather than going to church and donating for its reconstruction. Every year less children are brought to church by their parents. As these children grow up they are further away from faith and now don’t bring to church the next generation. William Faulkner, in his short story A Rose for Emily, also uses an example of children that never wanted to return to Emily’s house to learn to draw and how they are distanced themselves from her. Faulk20160308_142843ner uses Emily as a representation of the old south, and the children are representing the new generation that does not want to go back to pre-war times and values. “Then the newer generation became the backbone and the spirit of the town, and the painting pupils grew up and fell away and did not send their children to her with boxes of color and tedious brushes and pictures cut from the ladies’ magazines. The front door closed upon the last one and remained closed for good” (Faulkner IV).

They shut the past to never come back and were relieved by it; just like people deny their heritage when they have nothing to be proud of. Emily all her life tried to cling to the long gone pre-war south. There is always some one like Emily in each town. The only lonely visitor in a modern suit in thisDSC09388 decaying church only emphasizes the difference between the past and the presence. This church is not only an architectural marvel. It is also a monument to the past. Once strong and powerful symbol now slowly is deteriorating with every piece of paint.


The plate says ” I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE”. Will the faith ever be resurrected?



But don’t let the decay scare you yet, there is more to explore here…



The Uncanny

The church has many doors and subterranean passageways inside as well as outside the church. There is a opening which leads down to the subway with just stairs. As night falls the only guidance you have is an ominous green light that flickers in the distance. This subterranean passage is a boundary between old and new technology (the church and the subway tunnel) have been crossed. And as well, as out of the church there are passageways in the church. As you walk into the church that is where the real feel fun begins…

As I walked into the church, the doors shut behind and there was a staircase which lead nowhere.

Which pictures show, there was a bigger tower that was once a part of the church which, now no longer existence. Yet, why keep the a staircase if it leads no where? As you walk further in the church there are two staircases on either side of the church, which lead to two separate balconies.

As I walked down the aisle, some of the pews were covered with tarps. The alter was the only thing to still be perfectly preserved. DSC09391All the crosses in the church are covered; everything around the church seems to be falling apart. As I looked around, there are lots of doors and few of them are locked. For a place of worship that is open to those in need and guidance.Its normally neat, proper, warm and open. Instead this church was dark, dusty with spiderwebs all over as if it wasn’t in used in some time.

This is uncanny, something that is familiar suddenly becomes unfamiliar. The uncanniness of the St. Ann’s and Holy Trinity church is unshakable. Every church as a pastor, a father, a person of the cloth, yet, there was no one to be found but  a strange man who was sitting alone in one of the pews. “Pushing open the door gently, he saw a person kneeling before the altar. As he approached nearer, it seemed not a woman, but a one in long woolen weed, who back was toward him. The person seemed absorbed in prayer“(Chapter 5, The Castle of Otranto).Frederic the long lost father of Isabella was looking for Hippolita, the Queen of Otranto. When he stumbled in the church he taught he had found Hippolita and to his dismay he was mistaken as he walked closer to the figure that was praying. “Then the figure slowly turned around to Frederic the fleshless jaws and empty sockets of a skeleton, wrapt in a  hermit’s crowl” it was a specture (demon) who was praying in the church. I’m not saying the strange man was a demon but not once did he turn around to notice what was around him, and from every angle his face could not be seen. And left without a trace or sound. Afterwards, I walked up the stair case to one of the balconies, they were poorly lit,which made it’s really dark aside from the few pieces of light which came from the windows. The moral windows almost look as if their eyes are blacked out and were watching you as you moved. With this observation, the windows meant to show you Jesus’ life and death to create this feeling of prestige and appreciation, just became creepy instead. On the other hand, there was quite as many shadows and more dust and cobwebs. Which created an eerie feeling, and a chill down my spine yet the doors and windows were not open. Then, as I started to leave I heard the floor slightly creak with every step that I took. As if at any moment the floor could give or maybe it did to hear where you were going…. ” I can tell you one thing, said the doctor, “if it was the younger sister sneaking around this house at night, she had nerves of iron. It watches,” he added suddenly (Haunting of Hill House, Chapter 2). Hill house and St. Ann’s both are similar as they both seem to be watching your every move while something or somebody is lurking within the shadows, waiting, watching.

Yet there’s no one around

….That you know of…


PS 125 at night from the outside.

 PS 125 on Rockaway Avenue,PS 125 on Rockaway ave ATT_1427948823661_20150314_230207 ATT_1427948823722_20150314_230200 ATT_1427948823773_20150314_230024 ATT_1427948823843_20150314_230011


On my way home from school one day, I was thinking a place that is creepy enough to actually be considered gothic. Coincidentally I ran into this place. It’s an abandoned school near by my house. Its located on Rockaway ave im brooklyn. The now abandoned ps 125 is just a rotting entity now.I thought to my self how I didn’t think of this place initially. Any how just with the way it looks it can be considered Gothic. It’s an abandoned place that once was full of life. ( literally) . There are boarded windows, crooked trees, holes in the wall, missing bricks. This building is decaying. What gives a more uneasy feeling than an abandoned school. A place that is supposed to be positive and filled with children, but is cold abandoned and possible haunted. This school can be considered as abject because it went from being something positive to a creepy place to look at; a disturbance in indentity. The definition of abject is. In “Powers of Horror” by Julia Kristeva she vividly describes the abject.

“It is thus not lack of cleanliness or health that causes abjection but what disturbs identity, system, order. What does not respect borders, positions, rules. The in-between, the ambiguous, the composite. The traitor, the liar, the criminal with a good con-science, the shameless rapist, the killer who claims he is a savior.” (Kristeva)

PS 125 was first opened in 1901 and was mainly built for the immigrating Russian , Polish and Jewish children. The school was overly crowded and in hygenic. By the 1940’s the school had became a “white/ black” school and was populated 30% over its capacity. The school was so filled that students weren’t able to get a fill day of education. The reason that this school shut down to this day remains a mystery.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1950

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1950

The picture above was taken 7 years after the school opened.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1950

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1950

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1950

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1950

But there are many ghost stories surrounding it.


When  A few stories were told to me about this place. One of the rumors was that the school was closed down because there was a creepy janitor who abducted children and killed them in the locker rooms. Given the schools history of over population this isn’t hard to believe. People say that at night while passing they can see what seems to be small children standing in front of the windows. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to enter the building to see for my self. I’m not sure how much of it is true, but it sure is creepy to think about. When I picture what the inside if this place looks like I think of the scene in silent hill when alessa’s mom was in the school and got trapped in the bathroom when the alarm went off and the dead body almost got her. Putting my thoughts along with this abandoned school is creepy to think that it can be similar.

If I had to compare this school with a text that I read it would be a rose for Emily. The reason I works compare it to this text is because the evil can relate to the house that Emily lived in. While the decaying house was still standing time was changing around it along with the buildings.

“It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street. But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps-an eyesore among eyesores.” ( Faulkner 4)

This school is surrounded by a housing development and stores. There is even apark right on the outside of the school so for the school to sell be there stick in time it’s very similar. Also the people in the rose for Emily never knew what was going inside if the house. The people of the neighbor hood don’t know what could be lurking inside if the school either.

Although this school has a tough history and is know what seems to be straight out of the movie Silent Hill I still recomend that you come out and check this place out. Its pretty awesome to look at and wish that you could go inside.

This is what I imagine the inside looks like.


Erin. “The Mystery of PS 125.” The Mystery of PS 125. N.p., 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 02 Apr. 2015. <>.

Kristeva, Julia, and Leon S. Roudiez. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia UP, 1982. Print.

Faulkner, William, and M. Thomas Inge. A Rose for Emily. Columbus, OH: Merrill, 1970. Print.

Silent Hill. Dir. Christophe Gans. Prod. Samuel Hadida. By Roger Avary. Perf. Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, and Deborah Kara Unger. TriStar Pictures, 2006.

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum



Madame Tussaud’s, one of the most famous wax museums in the world, with numerous locations spread across the map. The location I visited is located at 234 West  42nd Street, Times Square New York, NY 10036. It holds statues representing well known worldly figures, all in their own space. The look of realness graces their face, while their immobile bodies and eyes seem to fixate you into a trance to the point that they almost seem to shift.

Nicole Kidman, standing tall with grace and elegance

Nicole Kidman, standing tall with grace and elegance

The genuine excitement of seeing figures of whom we’ve come to love through media is infectious throughout the museum. But then there’s always the ounce of fear that they would come to life, so you wouldn’t want to be alone with them.

Albert Einstein standing in his prime section of Science

Albert Einstein standing in his prime section of Science

In the NY location, they had literal Gothic figures, meaning that it was widely known that they were Gothic, such as Frankenstein’s creature and Dracula.


The museums co-creator, Madame Tussaud, was the prodigy of a doctor and figure creator. The original museum is in France, where she was born. She aided in the Revolutionary War, making art pieces for them. Her passion grew and grew into a worldwide phenomenon.

Madame Tussaud

Madame Tussaud

There was one section that had superheroes, The Marvel Exhibit, that seemed to be life like, even though they are just fictional comic characters. Growing up as a child, those superheroes were something that people depend as a source of comfort and to see them in an actualized version of them self-struck fear and ultimately nostalgia and the feeling of being protected once again.

Iron Man representing the desires of modern science, but still frightening

Iron Man representing the desires of modern science, but still frightening

All of the figures in the museum represents the Gothic theory of The Uncanny. The Uncanny is a Gothic theory explored by Sigmund Freud that explain why the things we were once familiar with has now become scary or fearful to us now.”It is undoubtedly (the uncanny) related to what is frightening- to what arouses dread and horror…”(Freud 219). This stimulation of those emotions arises when you come in contact with such surreal figures and the setting in which they sit.This museum contains the fears and desires of most people, the same way that Frankenstein’s creature instilled fears and desires into those then as they do now. Frankenstein’s creature was a planned out catastrophe and it had a ripple effect on its owner, Victor Frankenstein. One specific wax figure that immediately made me think of Frankenstein’s creature was the Hulk. The Hulk is a well known superhero who was normal but became an “other”,through a lab explosion with a nuclear bomb, receiving a heavy dose of gamma radiation, transforming him into this terrifying monster when he’s angry.

The Hulk

The Hulk vs a normal sized human (sublime )

His otherness, in turn, saved the world from villainous characters. The Hulk is just one of the many characters who was affected by science mishaps of successful experiments. This is very similar to Frankenstein’s creature because he was something that was feared and that never changed, but unlike The Hulk, he was never liked, most likely due to the time period, they weren’t able to accept that level of “modern science”. Frankenstein made it absolutely clear that he hated and those who came across him hated him. “Abhorred monster! Fiend that thou art! The tortures of hell are too mild a vengeance for thy crimes. Wretched devil! You reproach me with your creation, come on, then, that I may extinguish the spark which I so negligently bestowed” (Shelley c10).The creature took the feelings of abandonment and turned it into force while The Hulk used his anger for the good of others.

Below is a clip from a famous horror movie ” House of Wax” which is based off of an older version. This clip shows the death of a character by “wax”.

The clip shows the fears of what could happen, what everyone fears that would happen, figures coming to life.The museum captures the essence of the Gothic.




Mr. Chaplin

Mrs. Tussaud

Mrs. Tussaud

John Harvard Elementary

The Gothic space that I chooses is a school located in Queens. It is John Harvard Elementary it is located at 104-12 Springfield Blvd Queens Village N.Y. 11428. One day I was driving down the street and I saw something out the corner of my eye. When I first came across it I could have sworn that it was a hospital there. It was this extremely large gated area. The building takes up more than half of the block, and it is located on a hill alongside of an ordinary street.

The trees that are on the property make it look creepy especially when the trees are bare if there had of been more trees it would be exactly what the narrator described his first impression of the hospital for the insane. “Through this dank and gloomy wood we rode some two miles, when the Maison de Sante came in view”.  There is this long winding path that leads to the doors of the school. This reminds me of when in the story that narrator was approaching the asylum he stated that “ I thanked him, and, turning from the main road, we entered a grass-grown by-path, which, in half an hour, nearly lost itself in a dense forest, closing in the base of a mountain”. All it would need is a backdrop of Ice Mountains and a dense forest out in front and it would be just like what the narrator said.

When you come across it you can feel that you stepped into a different world and a different time. The building itself is very large so it takes up over half the block particularly with the front yard. The front door has a stone arch over it. The roof is shaped with gables and dormers. When you look around all the windows have bars on them. This makes it feel like there is no chance to escape. Although it wasn’t stated in the story that the window had any bars on them it would be assumed that an establishment for the insane would have them.


I am going to say that John Harvard Grade School is uncanny, because it is a property that has modern home’s all around it. There are even businesses of modern time in the same location. It is very strange to me that an elementary school that looks like an asylum is in the middle of it all. Because it is a public elementary school I can’t walk in but by the shape of the school you can see that it must be huge inside. We all know what the inside of schools look like but just imagine if the classrooms where even smaller (like they aren’t already now) and all you see are metal beds. Out of all the schools that I have been in I find it to be like a maze. There are twist and turns, very long hallways that at some point turns out to be dead end. The John Harvard Elementary school reminds me so much of the story of The System of Dr. Tarr and Mr. Fether.


The Castle of Darkness: Conrad B. Duberstein Building

Conrad B. Building

Conrad B. Building’s Front side (271 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, NY 11201)

Today, as part of a special feature on New York, I will be sharing some of my experience from my travels through the city of New York hunting for all things Gothic. New York, notorious for being the city that never sleeps or The Big Apple, where there is a little bit of everything for everyone. As part of this feature, I will be presenting a Gothic location in New York, talk about my experience in my travels to this location and highlight the features of this location that make it Gothic. The location that I visited is the Conrad B. Duberstein Building, which I have a little bit of a fun history with.

Anyone that isn’t acquainted with this building in some way wouldn’t know what to make of it. Is it a court? A post office? Some weird castle in the middle of Downtown Brooklyn? Or the lair of some creepy twisted old man? For the past three years I didn’t know what to make of this place. I saw it for the first time, during freshman year, through a window and I found it so odd that in the middle of all the nice, paneled modern buildings we have all over Downtown Brooklyn there was an old castle. I sincerely thought that the building was a real, bona fide castle, like the ones found all over Europe. I asked many people over the years about the building. I received various responses. Some said it was a court, others said it was a post office location, and there were some who thought that it was an abandoned building or some rich person’s mansion. So I took it upon myself to discover the nature of this building.

The Conrad B. Duberstein building, which is located on 271 Cadman Plaza East, is home to the Kings County U.S. Bankruptcy Court (271-C) and The Downtown Brooklyn U.S. Post Office location (271-B). Erected in 1885, this iconic castle-like building has been a part of the Downtown Brooklyn area for 130 years now. This building, with its intricate carvings and its imposing presence, has been a New York City Landmark since 1966 ( have been several renovations that have been done, and it has gone through the hands of several owners, making it an exquisite blend of the old and the new, the past and the present. The building’s architectural style is not Gothic, but rather Romanesque Revival, which is a twist on Roman Architecture.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court Entrance

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court Entrance (271-C)

The Downtown Brooklyn's U.S. Post Office's Entrance

The Downtown Brooklyn’s U.S. Post Office’s Entrance (271-B)

The Conrad B. Duberstein U.S. Bankruptcy Court flagstone

The Conrad B. Duberstein U.S. Bankruptcy Court flagstone

However, this castle-like building, with its barred windows, intricate arches, lion carvings and subterranean passages takes me right back to Count Dracula’s castle. As I explored the surrounding area of the building and explored the areas that were open to the public within, I experienced a certain discomfort and anxiety that constantly morphed with each and every visit. When Jonathan Harker explores Dracula’s castle he says that there are “Doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit. The castle is a veritable prison, and I am prisoner!” (Stoker 2).

Lots of windows. Mostly Barred

Lots of windows.. Mostly Barred

The arches of the windows that are on the side of the Bankruptcy Court

The arches and spires of the top floor windows of the Bankruptcy Court (which also have the lion motif)

The arches and spires of the top floor windows of the Bankruptcy Court (which also have the lion motif)

The windows of the Post Office are mostly rectangular in shape and very modern in appearance. No intricate details

The windows of the Post Office are mostly rectangular in shape and very modern in appearance. No intricate details

The Lion Motif- A symbol of Protection that originated in Ancient China

The Lion Motif- A symbol of Protection that originated in Ancient China

The Lion, a symbol of Protection….. and The Eagle, a representation of all that is American.

Intricate Roof Railings

As I explored the interior of the building, I felt a bit imprisoned with all the barred windows and locked doors of the various courtrooms. However, as I entered the post office, I didn’t feel get same feeling. But the considerate state of disarray and the lack of cleanliness and organization create an atmosphere of decay and gloominess as you wait to go about your business there. This gloominess is also present in the atmosphere of the court, along with a sense of austerity, since this is a place that deals with a lot of tragedy, misery and hardship as people go through the experience of being bankrupt and lose everything. Even though the court’s halls are populated, and people are rushing through to get their things done, there is a heavy and imposing silence all throughout.

Since the first time I saw this building, it has been an object of curiosity for me, because I didn’t really know what it was. However, by the same token, I had accepted that it was a gorgeous castle like structure and I thought that chances were it was a museum or some kind of tourist attraction. But as I went through this series of visits, slowly, this building went from being perceived as a potential tourist attraction, to being a bankruptcy court, and then a post office. With each visit, I went with a perception about this place, and left with it being replaced by another. Every visit became a process of thinking it to be familiar and realizing that it is not. This feeling, of the known becoming the unknown is described by Sigmund Freud as “The Uncanny”. In Freud’s essay The Uncanny, he defines this feeling as “that class of the terrifying which leads back to something long known to us” (220). For me, this building created an uncanny experience because every time I was secure in the knowledge that I had of what it was, I found out that it wasn’t really what I thought it was, that it is something else entirely. The building is not really any of the above, but rather a hybrid that serves multiple purposes. The building is all of the above. It is a tourist attraction, a landmark, a court, a post office and a castle in the middle of a metropolis.

Potential crime scene?? (dun dun dun dunnnnnn!!!)

Potential crime scene?? (dun dun dun dunnnnnn!!!)


This is a place that has a little bit of everything for everyone, just like its home. It’s got History, Notoriety, Purpose, Aesthetic (for art lovers), and its own brand of Gothic. As it is, There is even death in this place. The death of stability, wealth, tranquility and of some of the people who experience this transition.

This, I dedicate with special care and gratitude, to Professor Judith Cox, who had a love for this place and all it stood for and whose knowledge of Bankruptcy was so extensive that it was a pleasure to be her student. May she be at peace now.

In our everyday busy life we tend to go from point A to point B. Many of us don’t take the time to see whats around us or the history behind certain places. One of many places in New York that I consider to be gothic is Washington Square Park.


The park may seem ordinary with benches and beautiful trees to the eye but once you find out whats actually there your whole mind concept shifts. The park has a rich history of paranormal events. The theoretical term to describe this place is “The Uncanny”. According to Freud’s essay “The Uncanny”, it states that “…we can find out what meaning has come to be attached to the word ‘uncanny’ in the course of its history; or we can collect all those properties of persons, things, sense-impressions, experiences and situations…”. This clearly states that we can find a place to be very much “uncanny” due to its past events.

Freud also states, “…that an uncanny effect is often and easily produced when the distinction between imagination and reality is effaced, as when something that we have hitherto regarded as imaginary appears before us in reality, or when a symbol takes over the full functions of the thing it symbolizes…”. From this we can imagine our self’s seeing a spirit or whatever, because our imagination and fears mess with our mind and it over takes it. We start playing tricks and we can start believing that there is something paranormal there. Freud also mentions that, “…Many people experience the feeling in the highest degree in relation to death and dead bodies, to the return of the dead, and to spirits and ghosts…” In other words thinking about tales that have ghosts and spirits in them would certainly give a person shivers and goosebumps.

The haunted Washington Square park is located in Greenwich Village on West 4th street. Centuries ago before the park was even established a stream flowed throughout the ground giving fresh water to the Indian Lenape Tribe. Many report that the park was a burial ground for the Indians. Years later after the Revolutionary War the parks ground was used as a potter’s field. Because, an outburst of yellow fever epidemic occurred the park became a burial ground for over 20,000 bodies.

Burial Ground

Burial Ground


One of the many structures the park has is a beautiful fountain. Now lets for a second just sit down by it, close your eyes and imagine gallows for execution. This is the exact place where many criminals were being executed and buried underneath your feet.

Where Gallows once Stood

Where Gallows once Stood

The scenery of the park is very green filled with trees, bushes and grass land. In relation to some of the British novels we have read such as “Dracula” by Bram Stoker we can say that it’s sort of similar in a sense that its “woods” like. In the book the scenery is explained as: “pine woods that seemed in the darkness to be closing down upon us, great masses of greyness(pg6)”. If you go to the park at night you may surely feel terrified and experience grayness. The scenery can also turn out to be “… dark, rolling clouds overhead, and in the air the heavy, oppressive sense of thunder(p9)”, just like in Bram Stoker’s book “Dracula”.

Upon the parks brutal history, there have been many reporting’s where people have witnessed paranormal occurrences. Upon my research I have come across blogs and posts because some people have said they have felt a cold breeze run through their body on a hot summer day. Some even said they have seen people walking around dressed up in 18th century outfits and then just disappear. The park is also famous for its particular tree which is knows as “Hangman’s Elm” It is located in the Northwest corner of the park. Legend has it that a woman named Rose Butler was hanged from this tree for committing a treacherous act where she burned down a house she worked in. Some people have reported that they have seen a shadow swinging from the tree.

Hangman's Elm Tree

Hangman’s Elm Tree


When I went to visit the park I have not experienced anything unusual or paranormal. However, when I was sting on a bench and just thinking to my self what lies underneath my feet it really creep me out. There are thousandths of corpses underneath the ground. Just the thought gives me jitters. There is no doubt about it that the park is not haunted. Among the victims who were buried because of the yellow fever epidemic many were criminals. There is definitely evil spirits lurking around the park.


Can you see the Ghost?

Can you see the Ghost?

Lets Check this video out!


Kennedy, Sean. “Ghosts of Washington Square Park.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Sept. 2009. Web. 01 Apr. 2015.

Hughes, William, and Nicolas Tredell. Bram Stoker: Dracula. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Print.

Folpe, Emily. “History – Washington Square Park.” Washington Square Park. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2015.

Freud, S. Freud, S. (1919). The ‘Uncanny’. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, XVII (1919): 217-56. Web. 1 Apr. 2015.



Gothic Church


                                                   –99 Clinton Gothic Church–


New York, the city that never sleeps, that is how many people have been able to identify this wonderful city. People from around the world come here to visit the city’s most famous places, especially those depicted in movies and TV shows. They take tour buses around the city, going from point A to point B, paying little to no attention to the tour guide – sometimes leaving with a vague idea of what the city really is, and what it has to offer for those who explore not only the historical places, but also, dare to walk the streets of New York trying to find a little piece of history on their own. Many times I have walked around the city in a zombie-like state of mind, just wanting to get to my destination, and go about my business. I could have never imagined that New York housed so many wonderful architectural sights; the wonderful thing about it is, that it is all hidden in plain sight.

One day, as I was walking around Brooklyn in search of a “Gothic” place, I came across this old church located at the corner of 99 Clinton and Remsen. I never noticed it

Fewer Windows

Fewer Windows than Contemporary Buildings

before, which I now find weird, because every time I walk by, I always find myselflooking at it. As it turned out, this was a former Gothic Church, which it was great because it was exactly what I was looking for. The Church was built in the early 1800s, and it became active in the mid 1800s – it was first known as “the first Presbyterian Church.” Later in 1882, it became the “second Presbyterian and the Spencer Memorial.” In 1994, the Church was disbanded, and “the building was [then] converted to residences” ( For my presentation, I was to look for a Gothic place, which I found, the Church; and take very detailed notes describing that place. This Church depicts some of the classic Gothic Architecture; it is made of stone, and it has fewer windows than contemporary architecture; the windows have pointed arches and are made of Stained-Glass; also, the church has small regular buttresses, and as strange as it may seem, alongside the windows, the regular buttresses give the illusion of being flying buttresses.

PicMonkey Collage

                                                             — Regular Buttresses  —

This former Church served as the house of prayers for many for a really, really long time. As described in, the church “now features pricey, albeit dark, apartments that sell for more than $2 million [dollars]. TWO MILLION DOLLARS! – pricey indeed. For some people the idea of this former Church now being a residence, may come as something a little bit strange, uncanny if you will. Lets imagine that we are walking around the former Church, at night, and overwhelmed by its architecture, we start seeing things that are not even there. For instance, we may see what it seems to be a ghost through one of the Stained-Glass windows. Or, an other-worldly entity lurking in the shadows of the night. When in fact this is nothing but an illusion played by our own minds; the supposedly ‘ghost’ that we saw standing near the Stained-Glass window could be nothing but one of the people now living there. And the ‘other-worldly entity’ lurking in the shadows of the night, was probably the neighbor’s cat, or dog, walking around the place. How uncanny huh? We would feel like fools now knowing that- that which we have seen was nothing but an illusion played by our minds. Freud would describe this experience as something uncanny; as described by his famous essay The Uncanny – the uncanny is “that class of terrifying which leads back to something long known to us” (220). Experiencing this may come as a big shock at the moment, but later, we may share that experience with someone else; engaging in colloquial conversation, talking about the feelings that we ‘experienced’ at that exact moment; feelings that made us believe that a place such as the church at the corner of 99 Clinton and Remsen, is uncanny. How can it be? How can a place or thing be uncanny? Well, a place or thing cannot be uncanny. The reason for this is simple. As Freud points out, the collected “properties of persons, things, experiences and situations, may arouse feelings of uncanniness” (220). These “feelings” can be attributed to places or buildings – buildings such as the 99 Clinton former Gothic Church. The Church itself does not depict uncanniness of any sort, what defines the uncanny then, is how people experienced certain events marked by history or cultural beliefs. Anthony Vidler explains this by saying that, “if there is a single premise to be derived from the study of the uncanny in modern culture, it is that there is no such thing as uncanny architecture, but simply architecture that, from time to time and for different purposes, is invested with uncanny qualities” ( Newland 172). It goes to say that 99 Clinton is not uncanny, but rather because what people may have experienced while walking around the place, qualities of the uncanny have been attributed to it.

We can experience a similar case as depicted in The Castle of Otranto (Horace Walpole, 1764)  when Frederick, Isabella’s father, asked one of the servants where Hippolyta was, he then was told that “at that hour she generally withdrew to her oratory,” a small chapel within the castle. Upon arriving he saw what it appeared to be a person praying at the altar. To his surprise this was a specter, the one that helped him go back to the castle and claim his rightful place. He almost jumped out of his skin in terror; that was something he was not expecting – that was something uncanny. That feeling of uncanniness took place in the oratory, a place for prayers and peace, not a place that will scare the life out of you. Of course the event that took place at the oratory calls forth feelings of uncanniness, but that does not mean that the oratory itself is uncanny; as it was the case for the hypothetical scenario depicted for the 99 Clinton former church, uncanniness is nothing but a quality that was attributed to the Oratory because the events that took place. Uncanny or not – this former Church is now one of those places I will not forget. I will not forget it because wherever I go, I now pay attention to what is around me, thus giving me time to admire that which before I did not bother to contemplate: the Gothic architecture of New York City.