In 2020, Blood Manor, NYC’S Premier Haunted Attraction, will continue in its 17th season their annual Halloween tradition at their historic location at 359 Broadway in Tribeca! Implementing strict pandemic prevention measures, Blood Manor promises to be one of the most terrifying horror experiences of the season!
The Legend of Blood Manor
It may not come as a surprise to some of you that Tribeca is an abbreviation of “Triangle Below Canal Street;” however, some of you may be surprised to learn that the three particular points of this triangle are also the locations of what many will call the most disturbing, gruesome, and mysterious events to ever happen within its 9, 283,507 square foot radius.
Originally applied to the area bounded by Broadway and Canal, Lispenard, and Church Street, the first part of our story begins right here, within the walls of 359 Broadway – the building now designated to house the most disturbing, horrifying Halloween ghost attraction in New York City – BLOOD MANOR.
Built in 1852, pioneering photographer, Mathew Brady, used these walls to photograph some of America’s most famous – and infamous – people. Our very own President Abraham Lincoln was photographed here – the photograph is his most notable, as it graces the front of every five-dollar bill coined at our nation’s mint. The notoriety gained by Brady during those tragic days of the Civil War stirred much trepidation among the wives and children of those men, bravely fighting the war to which they lost their lives. Beyond portraits, Brady yearned to be in the thick of the fight; thus, despite the dangers, Brady adopted a mobile studio to capture some of the world’s most graphic images of battle. He was scorned by the public – ridiculed for “making a buck” off the daily tragedy and loss that ravaged our nation.
What Brady didn’t realize, however, is that the photographs of the men in his studio as well as those fighting for their nation, fighting for their brothers, fighting for themselves – the men captured in those photographs – those men live on. Brady captured the souls of those men in every photograph he took.
It was only when Brady returned to his studio here at 359 Broadway, that he noticed something curious in every photo developed from within the rooms that occupy the third floor. Men’s faces appeared to be melting, strange smokey apparitions floated above each soldier in the fields, and those who were closer to the focus of the lens – those men had eyes as black as the night itself. Brady has never detailed more than a few lines about his experience with these images, but it is said that the terms of his departure from his studio at 359 Broadway are due to the “incessant screams of the photographed men.” In 1859, the doors to Brady’s studio closed behind him, but it said that throughout all hours of the long night, that if you travel the halls of the third floor, you will hear the faint sounds of the snapping of a photograph, followed by the horrific screams of men in the final tragic and torturous moments of their young lives.
The next part of our story comes many years post hence, as the many tenants of our building – with some very few exceptions – occupied residence for such a short time, never were their names properly listed upon any deed since Brady; that is, until 1943 when the young brothers Ernesto Baum and Paige Tanning, along with their brother in law John Bellview and his brother Michael, purchased and operated a textile wholesale business through the early 1970’s.
The business flourished, and the brothers made a fortune. Upon deciding to knock down some of the older foundation and renovate the building for better use of space, their fortune took a swift turn. In the early hours of the morning on March 19, 1958, a mighty fire erupted at 623 Broadway, raging from Houston St. and Bleeker; over 24 fatalities were documented at that time, and it goes without saying that hundreds of lives were ruined, forever. The fire was said to have been so bad that it took firemen from over twelve jurisdictions to put out the flames. One particular young firefighter by the name of Wilson Palmer, is said to have saved over a dozen women and children during the hours of that gruesome night, but it was his own life he couldn’t save in the end. It is said that in the days following the fire, after enjoying a wholesome meal with his wife, Esther, and his two young children -Tela and Harry – Palmer would go for walks around the neighborhood – the neighborhood that occupies the second part of our Tribeca Triangle, from the intersection of the W. 3rd firehouse, on the corner of Watts.
After a few weeks of these “late evening strolls,” as she called them, Esther told the local newspapers that “her husband had been acting out of sorts and fearful of the screams he could hear coming from the textile factory on Broadway.” She said, “he swore there were young men dying in there, yet everything was dark; there wasn’t a soul in sight.” Approximately 24 days following the mighty fire Palmer so heroically fought, he hung himself from the rafters in his W. 3rd Street firehouse. Clenched within his hands was a crushed five-dollar bill – Lincoln’s eyes blacked out with jet black ink, and in calligraphy – the likes of which can be found in letters common only to those written with a feather dip pen in the early 19th century – the words “NO PHOTOS” were written upon the back – the “ink”, it is said, replaced with blood.
The third and final part of our story ends with Brooklyn mob boss “Crazy” Joe Gallo and his dramatic death at Umberto’s Clam Bar in 1972. Now, this story isn’t new to everyone, so I’ll spare you the details, and I’ll get to the point. It’s known that the Clam House was owned by another wiseguy named Matty the Horse. A “hood” connected to the Colombo family saw Gallo there, told his bosses, and was ordered to take Gallo out. Exactly who killed Gallo is still unknown; however, a guy by name of Luparelli was said to have been driving the car that night, and later went to the FBI agent Forbin, clearly fearful for his life. He claimed that he was being followed by loud screams – screams that woke him in the night. Upon doing a little research, it was discovered that Luparelli and his family were former tenants of the building located at 359 BROADWAY- one of the very few documented tenants before 1943. What’s more, Luparelli’s current residence at the time was at none other than at the third point of the Tribeca triangle – right on the corner of Duane and Centre Streets.
As the consequences of the pandemic currently ravaging our world become more and more clear, the sadness and loneliness induced by isolation and loss has seemingly incited more activity throughout the halls of Blood Manor. Excited to be able to open the doors to the public this Halloween, more and more residents have confronted members of the Blood Manor crew with strange stories of eerie phenomena witnessed throughout the past number of months. One witness said he sees flashing lights from the third floor of the building – a flashing light like that of an old-time camera; another man claimed to hear gunshots coming from within the building on more than one occasion, and another said shadows of men with tall top hats pass through the windows – shadows illuminated by the street lamps outside. Just days ago, a now former employee had what she referred to as a very disturbing interaction with an actor dressed in Civil War attire. Upon realizing that there are no roles that require Civil War garb, she hastily left the premises and never returned.
It appears, ladies and gentleman, that our humble quarters are, in fact, a magnet for horror and tragedy – some even believe that a portal exists here and continues to be an open pathway through which evil and misfortune can travel. No strangers to fear, we invite you to join us and our ghosts for what will most definitely be the scariest season we have ever had. Please rest assured, we will do whatever we can to keep you safe – whatever that may be.