New York Urban Legends

Posted on Nov 26, 2021 by Questo Team

As one of the most famous cities in the world, it’s no surprise that there are a few famous New York legends that add to the city’s mystique. With these tell-tale stories, curious tourists are drawn to visit from all over the globe, whether they want to get spooked or entertained. In a city so colossal, there’s something for everyone in this area, so to discover the fascination of American urban legends, read on for more information!

Legends NYC

Super rats of Hurricane Sandy


Following Hurricane Sandy’s wrath, a man and his roommates discovered rats the size of small cats after having lived undisturbed in the fifth-floor loft for many years. Both traps and exterminators appeared inefficient. The roommates read about rats moving from subway tunnels that became flooded after Hurricane Sandy, with the New York myth that these surviving animals would breed a newer, tougher generation of super rats after the weaker rats got wiped out. After weeks of beating the rats one by one, the roommates managed to capture the last one accidentally, cooking it in the oven whilst it was pre-heating. The roommates consistently live with the fear of the New York monsters’ return.

Sewer alligators

Famous urban legends aren’t always so unrealistic. With tons of wealthy homeowners buying exotic pets during the 1920s to 1940s, legend claimed people started flushing baby alligators down their toilets, although they probably just left down manholes and sewer gates to get rid of them. Apparently, there have been various sightings of these reptiles in the city sewers, although there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of a huge colony. It's up to you if you believe or not in this NYC legend, you can read more facts and decide for yourself. This is just one of the many legends NYC folklore expresses, but fear not, they are too big to climb up and eat us all. 

Haunted places in NYC

Following the shooting of John Lennon in front of the Dakota, Central Park West, it is said that his widow visioned her late husband’s ghost sitting at the piano. Furthermore, according to the American urban legends, when alive, Lennon said himself that he had seen a figure strolling the halls of the Dakota apartment, along with other residents, who described the spectre of a young, smiling and laughing girl. It may be no coincidence that Dakota’s first owner, Edward Clark, was particularly interested in hosting meetings to communicate with dead people, embracing every aspect of the paranormal. With Lennon’s life being suddenly cut short, new york folklore stories say that his spirit will have lingered in the situation of a classic haunting. If anywhere will make you believe in ghosts and the paranormal world, this spooky location should do the job! If you're a fan of haunted places in NYC, don't miss this spooky walk around the city

Bigfoot in upstate New York


There have been sightings of Bigfoot across North America, including upstate New York’s old forests that are situated around Lake Champlain. Whilst many have reported spotting Bigfoot as the decades went by, the unfortunate Scott David Harris encountered the monster not once, but twice, in just over a few years. The first encounter happened in 1989 when Harris and two friends were walking at the side of a railroad track that followed the shoreline of the lake. Only narrowly escaping as they ran from the woods, Bigfoot caught up with Harris yet again in 1993 when he, a friend, and his car were located on a trail near Westport. Quickly driving away as the creature came out of the woods, the escapee claimed to see the glowing red eyes of the New York monster in the car’s rear-view mirror.

The cursed apartment of West 57th Street

With this city being said to be scattered with haunted habitations, the penthouse at number 57, West 57th Street, is said to hold the ghosts of two past lovers who argued with each other to death. Edna Crawford and Charles Brazelle lived here together after Brazelle murdered Crawford's late husband. Brazelle became a jealous lover, often keeping Crawford locked in the penthouse. After beating her to death, Brazelle was thrown out of the window by Crawford’s bodyguards, falling to his death. The next person to live in this residence stated to have heard ghostly noises of the late couple bickering, the sounds disturbing him enough into insanity. To this day, this spot is a famous stop for paranormal lovers in NYC, being at the top of the most haunted places in NYC with the sounds of the bickering ghosts continuing to haunt the building.


As you will be able to see, New York is home to some famous urban legends that continue to haunt locals and tourists alike to this day. To emerge yourself even more in the experience of this fascinating city, check out Questo’s game, Superheroes of New York, and start exploring the American urban legends this location has to offer today!