There’s Something Queer About Twelve Gay Street


The historic brick townhouse at 12 Gay Street in the West Village, near Waverly Place, has a lot going for it. Check out its Corcoran listing:

Originally built in 1827 and formerly a speakeasy called Pirate's Den, the property was converted into a three-story residence for former New York City mayor, Jimmy Walker. Later, it was also home to puppeteer Frank Paris, designer of the original Howdy Doody.

Cool! The property's been gutted, but the sale listing includes some neat renderings of what it could look like, if reconstruction is done according to already-approved Landmark guidelines. What the sale listing does not include, though, is that the property is haunted.

According to the Daily News, the townhouse "is rumored to be inhabited by a restless spirit who walks the creaking floorboards at night." (Floorboards in 180-year-old homes do not creak on their own, you know.) According to local folklore, a man in a top hat is sometimes spotted through the windows. The neighbors think it may be Walker, who bought the place for his mistress, and later wife, the Ziegfeld girl Betty Compton. "I wouldn't go in there right now — it's legendary that ghosts live there," said neighbor Randy Credico, who's lived across the street for twenty years. "That place would be like moving into The Shining."

It can be yours for a mere $4.2 million, folks.

12 GAY [Corcoran]
Gutted West Village building said to be haunted by restless ghost of Gay St. man is now up for sale [NYDN]