Monday, December 26, 2005

11 Bank Street

Manhattan > Greenwich Village > Bank Street

Ghost-busting turned the corner on Bank Street during ceiling renovations at number 11.

• • Mystery maven Elizabeth Bullock, who worked at Farrar and Rinehart, and frequently reviewed mysteries for The New York Times, met a quick end on Hudson Street. In January 1931, the 51-year-old Greenwich Village resident collapsed after she was struck by a car. Neighbors carried her to a local drugstore, where she died. Cremated on 21 January 1931, her ashes wound up in the possession of a friend who had been living at a 19-room boarding house [11 Bank Street] during the Depression.
• • Residents had included the model for "Noel" in the Herman Wouk novel Marjorie Morningstar. [Marjorie Morningstar, the daughter of Jewish immigrants and an aspiring actress, pursues Noel Airman, a judge's son, songwriter, and a Broadway-wannabe playwright. They have a passionate but dead-end love affair.]
• • Fast forward to 1948. Engineer Harvey Slatin and artist Yeffe Kimball [1914 - 1978], an Osage Indian born in Oklahoma, get married. In 1951, the couple begins to convert the property back to a single-family household. Lodger-free finally, the house seems mausoleum-quiet and that's when the footsteps and hammering upstairs become apparent. Harvey and Yeffe clock the ghostly pacing; it begins around 11:00 AM, and tapers off around 4:00 PM. Each time they check the second floor, they find no one.
• • They hire a fellow Villager to make repairs. During his dismantling of a ceiling installed in 1880, he discovers a metal canister containing Elizabeth Bullock's remains incinerated in a Middle Village Queens crematorium two decades ago.
• • When they gave Elizabeth-in-a-can a new home on their piano, they noticed the pacing above them stopped.
• • Yes, but does that mean noisy phantoms no longer tap-dance on the parlour ceiling here?
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• • Photo: 11 Bank Street

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