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Episode 64: Behind Closed Doors


The bigger the city, the easier it is to miss the little details. Stories of loss, tragedy, and horrifying events have a way of vanishing beneath the bustle of everyday life. And no place is better at hiding away its dark secrets than the Big Apple.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
When Joseph Ash opened his new ash building in nineteen o one. It was hailed, as a modern marvel? It was a massive hence story, block of stone and iron, and it was said to be every bit as solid. As looked but it was inside the building that the true breakthroughs could be found, it had freight elevators, wide, open floors and fire exits effect. Joseph Ash was so proud of his modern building that he called it fireproof and for city in desperate need of more factory space for its massive garment making industry. It was perfect, so business partners, MAX Block and Isaac Harris signed a lease for the eighth floor and business was good soon. The expanded upward taking over the top
three stories of building their shop. The triangle shirt waist company became Premier manufacturer of the most popular type of shirt in the country, but they also became sloppy on March. Twenty fifth of nineteen eleven Fire broke out in a pile of scrap cloth, the building might have build as fireproof with it. missions inside were dry, flammable and overcrowded, perfect or a horrible tragedy, less than an hour later. It was over some had burned to death. Others had fallen hence stories to escape the flames. All told one hundred forty six people lost their lives. Today. The building is part of the end. Why you campus, but its tragic past, hasn't completely evaporated for you
Yours witnesses have reported the tell tale scent of smoke throughout the halls. Others have heard voices, sometimes it's just a faint whisper while other times it's a frightening cry for help. Most people, though just sense and overwhelming air of darkness, whether it's the tragic past of countless historic buildings or the personal darkness of the people who lived inside them New York, James is a city over populated by ghosts, and if you know where to look the stories, they tell believe you feeling haunted. I'm Erin Monkey and this is lore-
your city. Is a monster, there's no better way to say it. It's so large and unwieldy that operates more like a country than a metropolis. Yes, it's beautiful, it's full of life and culture at a depth of social awareness that few other cities in the world can match. But it's also a beast. In a lot of ways. New York City is like an olympic athlete mortal like us, yes is very little about it that we'd consider average and its old too Europeans have been in the area for over four hundred years. century and a half longer than America has been a country. Its played hosts to everything from rebellion and war to epidemics and terrorism. Then all of that death and violet leaves a veneer of darkness on New York like soot from a wildfire. The trouble with a city so large, though, is that it's easy to live inside it and be completely unaware
The stories you're standing right on top of Take Washington Square part in Greenwich village. It was established. in eighteen, twenty seven as a public space kicking off construction of all those beautiful things that we see there today, the arch, The fountain all those amazing flowers and trees and twenty thousand dead bodies nets, because, prior to being a public space, Washington Square was potter's field. A graveyard for them or an unidentified, then in the early nineteenth century, as yellow fever rolled across the city like a tidal wave, thousands of victims were added to the burial ground there The greens are shallow, sometimes just a foot or to below the surface, and because of this, number of them all. I ve never been removed three blocks north of the Washington arch there an innocent looking brownstone with the story of its own. You see something
is, we bury the dead and they stay there in the ground below our feet. Other times they refused to go away. Becoming dark roommates in an already over crowded city. Now is the experience of actress, Jan Brian Bartell, removed into fourteen West Tenth Street way back in nineteen. Fifty seven were sixteen Here's Bartell lived in the building while suffering through what she claimed was intense paranormal activity, shadows that move. Sounds that echoed from empty rooms even objects, that levitating She claimed it was all a result of the dozens of deaths it had occurred in the building since the 1850s fifties, and she wasn't alone in theory decades earlier Nineteen thirty is a woman and her mother, both reported seen a white haired man in a white suit. He turned to the women in reportedly spoke to them. My name is Clemens. And I have a problem here and I got to settle in any vanished.
it turns out that the man looks a lot like Mark TWAIN who had lived there for a year in nineteen o one TWAIN's, real name. Of course was Samuel Clemens. All of this was too much for cartels. who committed suicide in nineteen. Seventy three, just before publishing a book of her experiences there today. Many new Yorkers refer to the old brownstone as the house of death, but death. It happens all over the city, it always has but more often than not, the reason is more human than supernatural is that one of the first highly public murder trials in New York City happened way back in one thousand, seven hundred and ninety nine, although it still haunts the area. Stay. That was the year a twenty one year old woman named Almah sands was killed and dumped into a well on Spring Street in Manhattan or killer according to the prosecution was her wealthy, fiance Levi Weeks,
while much of the witness testimony and evidence pointed to weeks as the true killer. His wealth brought a team of powerful attorneys to the courtroom, in Burma and Alexander Hamilton, oh Anne Any of that sounds even the least bit familiar to you go ahead, and assume you're the smartest in the room weeks got off the hook, Almost sands has apparently refused to slip away. The well where her body was found, was covered by a building how can the eighteen twenties and for decades played host to a restaurant report? of unusual activity in the building have been non stop ever sense, including p. It's an silverware that have been seen floating through the air. Some have even claimed to see the ghost of Almah herself. Crawling out of the well now located in the basement. is also the small matter of the curse. According to legend,
as burned Hamilton, were exiting the courtroom after their victory. Almah sands, cousin Catherine Ring blocked their path and shouted a prediction too, if you die a natural death, she cried. I will think there is no doubt this in Heaven and then she pointed at Hamilton who would be killed just four years later by birth. but you don't have to take part in a murder trial to attract the attention of the dead. In fact, if you believe the stories life is full of moments with the potential to leave us feeling, wanted in few locations in New York can compare to one historic neighbourhood near Prospect park. the story that lies dormant beneath the ground. There is far worse, and the shallow graveyard or body in the well. It's a tale of secret rooms, violent politics and a love that refuse to die
The area of Brooklyn known today as Flatbush began life as a dutch colony in sixteen fifty one, name comes from the original appearance of the landscape, which was described as a flat wooded plain, it's difficult to imagine, given the urban sprawl of modern New York, but for a while a Bush was a wide open collection of forests in farms. Roughly a century. Later, though, the city was under british rule, and that meant that the old dutch architecture slowly. Giving way to english manners in one of those newer homes was built, Seventeen forty nine by an Englishman by the name of lane, became from wealthy family, that didn't care for his drunken parties in new lower class wife. So New York became his home in exile
Life didn't change much for him in the colonies, though the party continued unchecked and grand manner which he called Mailros Hall became the centrepiece of local gossip, then some years later he stepped on during one of his celebrations and never returned his. as I can tell no one knows what happened to Mr Lane after that, but mellaril Hall remain and from the description, that survived, it was quite the home. It was two and a half stories Tom with a game the roof that created numerous small spaces, something lane had apparently taken advantage of. the right side. Wing of the house held the dining room and library, while the left wing contained a large banquet hall, but it wasn't this collection of traditional rooms. They gave the house it's flavour know. The true personality came
From its hidden parts, according to one writer in eighteen, eighty eight, the fireplace in the banquet Hall, was flanked by two closets and it was inside one of them that a secret door could be found it only unlocked from the outside, but once unlocked It revealed a narrow, staircase and lead to a hidden bedroom above the home, ass. The house in the dining room, another secret passage, was hidden behind a piece of furniture. One writer claims that the who, thing swung outward like a door and walking through it would take you into the slave quarters and as if that were to now the home even had a small vaulted dungeon beneath the main house. At the same time, about fifteen miles to the south. In what is now Wall Street, a man named William Axe tell was growing restless. He was emerge who spend most of his life in Jamaica as part of the business, but had to New York in the seventeen fifties, but the city was exe
banding around him, and it was time to find more space and solitude so when a homeless, textured and unique as Mailros Hall suddenly be available for purchase, acts tell didn't blink, but for he and his family arrived to move in a sense somewhat. ahead of them, his mistress Isabel. Now history is a bit foggy on who Isabel really was some say she was his way sister, while others claim she was a woman. He met in Jamaica. She was described as tall and dark with long black hair and a kind beautiful smile and when she showed up at the house ahead of acts tell in his wife it was Miranda. One of the axe tells most trusted slaves who comes Isabel inside and guided her to the secret room above the banquet hall. Miranda would in fact become isabella lifeless, since she couldn't opened the door in the closet from her side, it was up to Miranda to bring her food and care for her needs
also a responsibility that Miranda kept entirely to herself at the request of Acta once the family had moved, it the lovers fell into a new clandestine routine. Once a week at midnight, William, would creep downstairs to the Banquet Hall and sit by the fire. Then Miranda would appear and open the closet door. Beside the fireplace unlock the secret door and release Isabel from her head in chamber, then the lovers would well whatever lovers. Do you get idea, I'm sure dollar this went on for years by day axe tell ran his merchant business and worked for the english crown as a member of the Governors Council at night, though, he secretly met with his mistress. It was an honest, but you could certainly call him busy, I suppose but life was about the changed dramatically in male hall. Those midnight trysts would continue. Of course,.
Daily life for WWW Max tell was about to slip into chaos in danger. You see, war had arrived, not in some far off land or even a few miles away, know when the battle of Brooklyn took place on August 27th of one thousand seven hundred and seventy six. It happened in the worst possible location right in oxtails backyard,. All of this was bad news for William Axe. He was an english loyalist who stood to lose everything his power money land, all of it If the Americans somehow managed to succeed- and in One thousand seventy six, the battle of Brooklyn showed just how close to home
this new war for independence could get. As a member of the Governors Council, he had a duty to perform it was common for rebel leaders to be captured and transferred to his personal dungeon below Mailros Hall, It wasn't enough to hide away from the watchful eye of the rebels: external was being pushed toward action by the king. He was told to gather five hundred men and get ready to march. It wasn't clear if he'd be gone four weeks or months But he would be out of the house and away from his lover, Isabel and that's when a problem occurred to him Miranda slave women who cared for Isabel and kept their secret from the rest of the hustle, was getting along years. In fact, she was old enough that tell feared she might be close to death, which, as we all know, would be a very bad thing for Isabel, because without acts tell around
and it was the only access that Isabel had to food and water that secret door in the closet only open from around aside, and if she were to die, well that hidden bedroom would slowly transform first into a prison, then into a tomb. So the night before his departure acts, tell went to the Banquet Hall at the appointed waited for Miranda to open the door and lead Isabel to his side. When she arrived, he made his case leave. He told her run lay in fine safety someplace else, even handed her a bag of gold and told her to use it to take care of herself while he was gone. But Isabel didn't take the news. Well She felt as though William we're trying to abandon her that he was essentially breaking up with her and you. In his impending military tour as an excuse. She screamed it through The coins back at him in rancid about his motives and then ran
into the secret staircase inside the open closet, closed the door and vanished from sight. They say that he was gone for a full year. Far law than he expected in his absence. The very thing that he feared might happen did Miranda, the only keeper of his secret became sick and died, Legend says that on her death bed she tried to tell the others about Isabel. Then everyone thought it was The madness of a dying woman weeks later, William Action, rode up the path to his beautiful estate and entered his home for the fur time in a year is why welcome home his adopted niece. Eliza shipped, did the same and they led him to the banquet Hall. Were a gathering of friends waited for him? The moment he walked
through that door. The party began, but it wasn't all laughter, enjoy Maxwell kept glancing at the closet door. Beside the fireplace longed to hold Isabel to kiss her and hear her voice something was troubling him. He had seen no sign of Miranda since arriving at the house. The legend tells us that acts Tell got up from seat at one point. In the night in ran across the house to the slaves quarters there, he was greeted with the terrify news that Miranda had passed away weeks before and that's when panic fully grasped his heart. He staggered back into the bank. ha and wandered slowly through the gathering of people. They were laughing and singing and talking joyfully, but he couldn't hear it anymore. All he could think about was Isabel and that secret room that have become prison and that's when the impossible happened. Every
You'll candle in the room went out at first. Everything was dark But then a subtle glow began to illuminate the edges of the room. One newspaper from eighteen. Eighty six described it as a sickly, glower light. Then the sounds begin. They were soft at first low and distant as if they were coming from a great distance and then just as they exploded in volume, the closet burst open and the secret door swung outward that one thousand eight hundred and eighty six Artica also described the woman who stepped out as ashen pale each vain strongly defined on the you may see aided features, long black hair on drooping over her shoulders to the floor, and she seemed clad in airy gossamer. She didn't walk so much as glide and she headed straight toward William axed Hell
The room was silent. Every eye was on this strange new visitor, but maybe they were frightened Perhaps they were waiting to see if this maxim performance would end in applause were made They were under some sort of spell, whatever the reason not a single sound could be heard as the pale shape came to a stop just inches from their host. The woman lifted her hand a single finger extended and aimed at at acts his face, and then she opened her mouth and uttered a single chilling word betrayer. She said and then the glow vanished, leaving them all in pitch dark. when candles were brought in and let the guests found no sign of the pale woman in the room, but they did see something else. Axed L was sprawled out on the floor eyes closed in body. Motionless
He was moved to his bedroom almost immediately and a doctor was called to the house. The legend tells us it was too little too late. Colonel William acts, gel they say died that very night in places as old and sprawling as New York city history is bound to get. Mary beneath the bustle of everyday life, the tragedy of the triangle. Shirt waist factory evolved into a watershed moment for labour reform and working conditions. The burial
in shallow graves of Washington Park have given way to beauty in art and culture. The practically pulses with life history slips away. It fades into the back of our minds much the same way it sinks beneath our feet. Humans are good at a lot of things, but forgetting is one of our crowning achievements. There are always clues if you know where to look for them. Colonel William Axe tell was a real person. In fact, if you visit the met today, you can see him the painting of him hanging in gallery seven. Forty seven. We commissioned it in the seventeen fifties just before moving into Mailros Hall, and it hung there for years, but as it turns out, William Axtell didn't die that night in the banquet Hall of his home.
tides of war turned against the British. If I one thousand seven hundred and eighty two Axtell had packed up his family and returned to England. He died there in one thousand, seven hundred and ninety five, and there were no reports of ghosts at his deathbed stories can be tricky. It seems sometimes they're rooted in fantasy in events that never happened at all other times. They sprout from truth like a sapling and take on a shape in a life of their own stories, grow. They evolved and shift the passing of time, but the truth is always there even if its buried beneath centuries of hearsay, Mailros Hall, passed from hand to hand over the years that followed in a bit of irony. The first couple to take ownership after the axe tells us was their own adopted, niece, Elizabeth shifting and her new husband and America. In military officer named a quill Giles in eighteen
eighty. The house was purchased by Doktor Homer Bartlett and he felt it was time for some changes, an entire neighbourhood. Grown up around the property in the century, since the axe tells had left so had the main house lifted up and moved four hundred feet farther back from the road, and it was a change that came with some casualties, all of the external bill Things were torn down as where a number of the ancient trees, the biggest loss of all the was the left wing of the house which Bartlett decided was no longer necessary, but right before they moved it now rose Hall gave up one final secret.
Well searching the structure for valuables worth saving someone discovered a secret chamber after grabbing a light and venturing inside they made a grisly discovery. It was a skeleton, many decades old and covered in dust. The skeleton is a of a woman. This episode of war was written and produced by me. Aaron monkey with research help from Marcel Crockett, More is much more than upon cast there's a book series in bookstores country an online and the secondary, in the Amazon Prime Television show was recently released, check them both out we want more lore in your life. I also make
who other upon casts errand making cabinet of curiosities and unobserved, and I think you'd enjoy both each Monica. floors other areas of our dark history, ranging from bite sized episodes to season long dives into a single topic. You can learn about both of those shows everything else going on all over in one central place, though, world of lore dot com. Slash now
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.