Hangman’s Elm - Washington Square Park

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Washington Square Park was a site used for corporal punishment in the 19th century. Convicted criminals were hanged, and even buried here. Rumor has it that it was previously an Indian burial ground as well, so its likelihood for hauntings is higher than most places. Witnesses have described apparitions hanging, and even swinging when there is no breeze, from the Hangman’s Elm at the northwest corner of the park. Popular legend tells of one ghost, Rose Butler, who was hanged after being falsely accused of setting fire to the house in which she worked.

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Geographic Information

NW Corner
Washington Square Park
New York, NY
United States

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40.7308228, -73.99733200000003
New York County, New York
Nearest Towns:
New York City, NY (1.2 mi.)
Hoboken, NJ (2.0 mi.)
Long Island City, NY (2.7 mi.)
Weehawken, NJ (2.9 mi.)
Union City, NJ (3.6 mi.)
Manhattan, NY (4.0 mi.)
West New York, NJ (4.0 mi.)
Jersey City, NJ (4.2 mi.)
Guttenberg, NJ (4.2 mi.)
North Bergen, NJ (5.1 mi.)


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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.