The Penthouse at 57 W. 57th Street


High above 57th Street were the lavish apartments of Edna Champion and Charles Brazelle -- photo by Alice Lum

NYC is full of history, including its fair share of ghost stories. The Penthouse at 57 W. 57th Street boasts just such a haunted past complete with a triple murder and adulterous affair.

Known as the Medical Arts Building, the story begins in 1922, when cyclist and spark plug inventor Albert Champion married young showgirl Edna Crawford. Shortly thereafter she began an affair with Frenchman Charles Brazelle, who is believed to have murdered Champion five years later at a hotel in Paris.

Edna and Brazelle claimed Champion died of natural causes and pocketed his fortune, using it to buy the penthouse at 57 West 57th Street. But the jealous and bad-tempered Brazelle kept Edna a prisoner here, and ended up beating her to death with a telephone. Her bodyguards then tossed Brazelle out the window.

After the penthouse stayed empty for several years, it was rented by one Carlton Alsop, who was plagued by violent images and the ghostly sounds of arguments and of Edna’s high heels. But wait! There’s more… and it sounds a bit like a country song. Because of his declining mental state due to the relentless hauntings, poor Alsop’s wife left him, his dogs had nervous breakdowns, he had himself committed to a mental institution. After his release he sublet the penthouse and never returned.

Today, the former penthouse apartments are home to an art gallery, fordProject, which took residence in 2011. While art and sculpture now fills the rooms were two lovers died; the address still holds special meaning to those who love NYC's ghost stories.

Find more about the City's spooky tales of haunted buildings - if you're brave enough, maybe even check out a few before Halloween this year!

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