Friday, October 11, 2013

Haunted Manhattan: Washington Square Park

This time in the Haunted Manhattan series, we'll talk about a very non-creepy place and I'll do my best to ruin it forever for you. So, I'll considered a job well done if the next time you wander into a tranquil park considering where to have your picnic, you settle for a bench.

Washington Square Park came into existence in the 1820s; but before that, the land was used to entomb the yellow fever victims of the 1700s outbreak. Yep, more than 20,000 corpses still lie under the lush lawn where visitors gather to catch the sun. Digest that.

And now that you have decided to sit on the benches from now on, let me proceed with the story.

The area where the famed parked is now located has always been well liked, and 19th century New Yorkers came to watch people die. Oh yes, you read that right. Back in the 1820s, today's hot spot in popular Greenwich Village was a public gallows and execution site. And you can never be sure which trees they used...

And just because there is no better place to build a gathering site for the well-to-do than a Potter's field-turned-public-gallows, in 1826 the city leveled the ground and laid the square, turning it into the Washington Military Parade Ground. Only four years later, the streets surrounding the square became some of the most desirable areas to live (How could they not!), and the rest is history...

So, yeah, I'd think twice before telling my friends I just want to "hang" in the park.


Sweet dreams, my friends!


9 comments:

Shelly said...

Loved the pun.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Lexa Cain said...

20,000 corpses under Washington Square Park??!! Holy crap!! And the executioner thing is really creepy, too. Great post!!

Chris Fries said...

I've never been to Manhattan, but I've heard that's a very popular park -- people are dying to get in...

(Sorry. But puns can be very contagious!)

Georgina Morales said...

Hahaha! I just couldn't resist :)

Georgina Morales said...

Gotta say it truly freaked me out to walk there after I read the story. Thanks for stoping by!

Georgina Morales said...

Who can resist a well timed pun, right? Thanks for commenting!

Nicole said...

Okay, I'm definitely selecting benches from now on!

Michael Pierce said...

So I guess while you're out there, you'll never know if what you feel is just the breeze. That's some pretty creepy history!

Paul Stansfield said...

Thanks for the morbid history lesson--I had no idea. Here I thought the biggest terrible event that happened there was David Lee Roth getting busted for buying a dime bag. How wrong I was!