19th Century Death & Mourning
at the Merchant’s House
RESERVATIONS are REQUIRED unless otherwise noted.
These events SELL OUT.
Click here to purchase tickets.
Thursday, September 26 – Monday, November 4
Exhibition – Death, Mourning, and the Hereafter in Mid-19th Century New York
Including 19th century mourning attire and accessories from the Tredwell Collection.
In March 1865, family patriarch Seabury Tredwell died in his upstairs bedroom; his wake and funeral were held in the double parlor, shrouded in black crepe. Grief was not unique to the Tredwell family that year. The Civil War had ended, with more than 600,000 dead, and President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination plunged the nation into a period of unprecedented public mourning. The overwhelming sense of grief and loss led to heightened interest in Spiritualism, as survivors attempted to contact their dearly departed through seances and mediums.
Poignant scenes throughout the house explore 19th century customs surrounding death, a time, unlike today, when death and mourning were pervasive and integral parts of life; dying and funerals took place at home; rituals of mourning helped the bereaved cope with the ever-present anguish of death; and Spiritualism offered hope of a Hereafter.
Pay your last respects at Seabury Tredwell’s deathbed upstairs, then join in the mourning in the double parlor set with a coffin for his wake and funeral. And, in “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House,” discover why our fascination with spirits, ghosts, and the Hereafter endures to this day. (If you see something, say something!)
Meet Eliza Tredwell! On Saturday afternoons from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., the newly-widowed Eliza Tredwell (portrayed by Museum Historian Ann Haddad) will greet guests and answer questions about life and death in the 19th century.
Included with regular admission; reservations not required.
All Proceeds benefit the Legal Fund to protect our 1832 landmark building from catastrophic damage from proposed development next door.
- Private Candlelight Ghost Tour of “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” (NY Times) for you and 10 very brave friends
- Private Paranormal Investigation for 6 with Dan Sturges, Founder, Sturges Paranormal and paranormal expert on the Travel Channel’s weekly series, Paranormal Caught on Camera
- 2 Tickets to A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House
September 24 – October 13
October 31 – November 3
Killing an Evening with Edgar Allan Poe:
Murder at the Merchant’s House
Join us in the museum’s Greek Revival double parlor as the masterful John Kevin Jones takes on the 19th century master of horror Edgar Allan Poe performing The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Raven, as Poe himself did at the literary salons of the period.
The Greek Revival double parlor will be appropriately dressed for death with a coffin and mirrors veiled in black crepe. It will be a bone-chilling evening of irrational revenge, obsession and premeditated murder, dismemberment, and the very, very dark.
Presented in association with Summoners Ensemble Theatre.
Limited engagement; click here for performance schedule and more information.
Monday, October 7, 6:30 p.m.
Illustrated Talk –
Doings of Gotham: Edgar Allan Poe in New York City
With Andrea Janes, Founder, Boroughs of the Dead
Edgar Allan Poe was part of a far-reaching web of writers, newspapermen, editors, critics, and other influential New Yorkers who touched on many facets of life in the antebellum metropolis. Boroughs of the Dead founder and author Andrea Janes will explore Poe’s New York framed by his own writings, such as his Doings of Gotham, which chronicled current events in the city in 1844, including the newly opened Croton aqueduct and the changing architecture of Brooklyn (spoiler: he didn’t love it). Also discussed: The Balloon-Hoax, the Mystery of Marie Roget, The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar, and The Raven.
Janes will also delve into some of Poe’s myriad interests: phrenology and mesmerism as well as true crime, murder, and scandal. Along the way, she will address and clarify myths and urban legends. Was it really the cellar of what is now the restaurant Il Buco on Bond Street that inspired Poe to write The Cask of Amontillado? Did Poe become addicted to opium after a visit to The Northern Dispensary on Waverly Place? Join us – and find out.
$20, $15 MHM Members. Click here to purchase tickets.
Andrea Janes is the owner and founder of Boroughs of the Dead walking tours and the author of a collection of short horror stories, BOROUGHS OF THE DEAD: New York City Ghost Stories. She has been a Poe fan since her teen goth days and plans never to outgrow it.
Tuesday, October 15, 7 p.m.
Chant Macabre: Songs from the Crypt
Ghosts, ghouls, and goblins haunt the lyrics of the 19th century. Come be spooked by these harrowing tales as the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society bewitches your imagination and sings shivers down your spine, echoing sumptuous, rarely performed songs in an authentic period parlor. Singers Anthony Bellov, Amy Gluck, Jane Elizabeth Rady, and Dayle Vander Sande. Music by Schubert, Liszt, Debussy, Duparc, Loewe, Mussorgsky, Humperdinck, and others.
90 minutes. $30, $20 MHM Members. Limited capacity. Click here to purchase tickets.
Candlelight Ghost Tours
of ‘Manhattan’s Most Haunted House’
(The New York Times)
Thursday, October 17 – Saturday, October 19
Wednesday, October 23 – Saturday, October 26
Monday, October 28 – Wednesday, October 30
Updated with the latest eerie happenings!
60-minute tours begin on the half hour, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
ALL tours include 4th Floor Servants’ Quarters!
Eight family members died in the house; their wakes and funerals were held in the double parlor shrouded in black crepe. We invite you to venture into the dark and ghostly shadows of history by flickering candlelight to hear chilling tales of restless phantoms, voices calling into the night, and unsettling occurrences, all from the people who actually experienced them.
$45, $30 MHM Members.
Click here to purchase tickets.
“#1 Most Haunted Place in NYC”
TimeOut New York
At the Stroke of Midnight
Saturday, October 19, & Saturday, October 26
Dead-of-Night Candlelight Ghost Tour
With Paranormal Investigator Dan Sturges
Join Dan Sturges, Founder, Sturges Paranormal, who has been documenting the paranormal activity at the Merchant’s House for more than 10 years, for a rare late-night candlelight ghost tour of “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House.”
He will lead you through the candlelit rooms, discussing his investigative theories and methodologies, and some of the eeriest findings and most mysterious hauntings captured. He’ll also share his most chilling experiences. Can the Tredwells communicate from beyond the grave? Come with your questions for one of the most knowledgeable specialists in the field!
Dan Sturges is the founder of Sturges Paranormal and appears on the Travel Channel’s new weekly series, Paranormal Caught on Camera.
Tour is 75 minutes; capacity strictly limited to 20.
Doors open at 11:50 p.m.; NO LATE ENTRY once the tour begins at midnight.
$100, $75 MHM Members.
Sunday, October 27, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
“Sacred to the Memory:” From Parlor to Grave
1865 Funeral Reenactment and Cemetery Procession
In the 19th century, illness, death, and funerals took place at home. Join us as we explore the customs surrounding death in mid-19th century New York City.
At 3:30 p.m., attend the 1865 funeral service of family patriarch Seabury Tredwell in the double parlor veiled in black crepe, led by Rev. Samuel Cooke, rector of St. Bartholomew’s Church, 1850-1888.
At 4 p.m., following the service, mourners may view the house-wide exhibition, Death, Mourning, and the Hereafter — and offer condolences to Seabury’s widow, Eliza, portrayed by Museum Historian Ann Haddad, and the Tredwell children. Irish servant Bridget Murphy will serve guests funeral biscuits in the kitchen.
At 4:30 p.m., mourners will follow the coffin to nearby New York City Marble Cemetery – rarely open to the public – for the graveside service and Marble Cemetery talk.
19th century mourning attire is encouraged.
3:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.
Seabury Tredwell’s funeral service, exhibition viewing, and cemetery procession
VIP tickets include front-row seating, black armbands (and the opportunity to lead the cemetery procession as a pallbearer). Tickets $45, VIP tickets $55, MHM Members $35. Click here to purchase tickets.
4 p.m-5:30 p.m.
Exhibition viewing and cemetery procession
Tickets $20. Click here to purchase tickets.
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED unless otherwise noted.
These events SELL OUT. Advanced online purchase highly recommended.
Click here to purchase tickets.