On October 1, from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., The Lineup editors joined together with Paranormal Investigation of NYC and medium Jesse Bravo for a ghost hunt at the Merchant’s House in Manhattan. This paranormal investigation was held as part of National Ghost Hunting Day, during which 73 teams from around the world attempted to establish contact with the other side at the same time. By conducting these hunts simultaneously, participants and organizers alike hoped to produce a “bridge” between the living and the dead.
Making up the Paranormal NYC team was Dom, a paranormal investigator, as well as the founder of the company; Victor, an interfaith minister, spiritual counselor and healer; and Gilberto, a paranormal investigator. We were also joined by psychic medium Jesse Bravo, who was there to control the bridge and open and close the portal. Rounding out our group was a representative from the Merchant’s House, a seasoned investigator of the house, as well as a “skeptic.”
The history of the Merchant’s House goes back nearly 200 years. A man named Seabury Tredwell purchased the home at 29 West Fourth Street in 1835. His family remained in the home for almost 100 years; it was turned into a museum after the death of the youngest Tredwell daughter in 1933.
The New York Times has called the Merchant’s House “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House,” so we were anxious to see what spirits, if any, we might be greeting that night. Prior to beginning our ghost hunt, however, the Paranormal NYC team had a few pointers and stories to share about their particular brand of paranormal investigation.
At the core of Paranormal NYC’s philosophy is a simple tenet: to help people. Their investigations are conducted free of charge, by passionate volunteers. While all team members have experienced some sort of paranormal activity in their lives, they don’t approach a situation with the expectation of finding something paranormal. They’re not looking to dupe anyone. If a “possession” or “haunting” can be explained by something as human as family trauma or faulty wiring, the team will gladly say so. If the “growling” noise coming from the attic is merely the sound of lose siding flapping against the house, they’re the first to point it out—and to help fix it.
At the same time, the team does believe in a force from the other side, which occasionally can be contacted and also disrupt the day-to-day activity of the living.
With that in mind, we began our investigation. The team was armed with a thermometer, an EMF meter, a natural EMF, a K2 meter, a frequency meter, an ion meter, and a compass. Dom noted that this would not be a “typical” investigation, as there were too many of us present, but we pressed forward, to see who, or what, might be waiting for us.
The first notable moment came when we entered the master bedroom, where Seabury Tredwell died. It’s recognized as being one of the more “active” rooms in the home, and all present, experts and editors alike, felt something. For us, it might be best described as a feeling of “heaviness,” a sense that something significant had happened here.
Jesse sensed a presence in the room, and Victor started feeling cold spots. Dom put the EMF meter on Tredwell’s bed, and it indicated activity, the meter flashing from green to amber. Our experience in the master bedroom was, perhaps, the most profound one we had in the Merchant’s House.
The next high-activity area was on a stairway landing, by a set of windows. Jesse vocalized that he was being drawn to the area and that something bad had happened in this particular spot. He felt a strong sense of sadness, like he wanted to cry. After hushed discussion, the Merchant’s House representative admitted that another paranormal investigation team had also felt negative energy in this same spot during previous tours of the house.
Finally, after a full tour of the house, we returned to the master bedroom. Dom placed the natural EMF on a dresser—where it began to shriek with activity. We were all taken aback, especially the experts, as this particular device registers only natural energies and not electrical waves that could be traced back to a nearby outlet or cellphone. We turned off all of the lights and backed out of the room: the natural EMF continued to emit a high-pitched screaming sound. While some took this as a sure sign of paranormal activity, others were more skeptical.
Overall, our experience at the Merchant’s House was highly intriguing. Though we didn’t have any direct communication with the ghosts said to haunt it–as far as we know–there is no denying that, in certain rooms, there is a very distinct and notable energy. Furthermore, Paranormal NYC took an EVP recording of the entire investigation, so we’re still waiting to see if we caught any audio evidence of spirits in the house.
We’d like to give a special thanks to Paranormal Investigation of NYC, Jesse Bravo, and the Merchant’s House Museum for making this experience possible. Check out the Merchant’s House Museum’s calendar for more information about candlelight ghost tours and other events.
And watch the live stream of our ghost hunt on The Lineup’s YouTube channel.