By Jared the tour-guide Goldstein, exclusively for Uncle Sam’s New York.
Washington Square Park, the Heart of Greenwich Village, was a long-time burial ground. The American Natives, who farmed at the local Minetta Stream, buried their loved ones a bit north-east, here.
Then this land was used for mass burials in the wake of yellow fever and typhus epidemics (due to New York City’s poor water and sewage services, or lack of them).
It became a Potter’s Field where the penniless or forgotten were buried in simple graves. In all, some 20,000 souls might be attempting to rest here.
The northwestern tree in the park is reputed to have been a hanging tree where patriots, slaves, and the wrongly accused were hung.
When the lovely early Greek-revival row houses were constructed by the beginning of Fifth Avenue on Washington Square North in the early 1830s, Washington Square was converted to a military training ground. During parades, the heavy artillery would crack open the shallow pine coffins, breaking the bones inside, making Washington Square Park the most haunted place in America.
Since 1973 this park has been graced by the Annual Village Halloween Parade.
Since the late 1950s this park has been where folk musicians have played and jugglers juggled.
To learn more about Washington Square Park take the Edgar Allen Poe Greenwich Village Tour. Click here now to reserve your tour. Halloween in Greenwich Village is coming sooner than you think!