It is no surprise that the city known for pretty much everything, is also known for it’s history of demonic possessions. Hauntings, possession, and occult cases have turned New York City into a hot spot for bizarre activity. This summer’s new movie, Deliver Us From Evil, provides a glimpse into the very real and scary supernatural threats that plague the city. The movie is inspired by the experiences of former NYPD Sergeant Ralph Sarchie who spent his career battling extraordinary phenomenon in the 46th precinct in the South Bronx. Sarchie describes New York City as being "under diabolic siege."
With the city’s massive population and high crime stats, the big apple is the perfect playground for the devil, and Sarchie isn’t the only cop combating spiritual warfare. Now retired, Captain Jim Dooley served the NYPD for 23 years and worked with Sarchie on several cases. Of his experiences Dooley told VICE back in 2009, that he limited his abilities to preforming exorcisms on places and not people. And as Deliver Us From Evil demonstrates, when the devil is a foot, he isn’t limited to people. Homes and environments become just as susceptible to the influences of malicious forces as people are.
Some of the most haunted places in NYC are thought to be victims of demonic activity. Online listings of haunted places, and personal testimonies, have even served as starting points for investigators such as Sarchie and Dooley, who admits to using “websites like Real Ghost Stories to offer help to others.” And though there is a very distinct difference between ghosts and demons, many hauntings exhibit paranormal activity that blur the lines between who or what is causing them. Demonologists will tell you that demons often disguise themselves as the deceased.
Take the Manhattan’s Algonquin Hotel for instance; the hotel has stood as a lasting pillar to the great days when members of the Algonquin Round Table would fill the hotel’s main dinning room with the rousing roars that marked the 20s. However, long after the members of the round table passed, ghostly reminisces of characters were reported by the hotel’s staff. After completion of renovations on 13th floor attic space, hotel guests reported strange noises coming from the space. The noises ended around 3am (a time associated with demonic activity) after a portrait of, ex-inhabitant and round table member, Dorothy Parker, violently fell to the floor.
St. Augustine Monastery on Staten Island remains a place of great mystery for paranormal investigators. The monastery, which has been abandoned since the 80s, is said to have once housed a monk who went insane from isolation, and supposedly tortured and murdered people in the monastery’s basement. Today, the monastery’s random dropping temperatures and unexplained moaning sounds remain a great mystery for paranormal investigators and urban explorers.
The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal has also been the home to an aggressive entity. In a 2010 interview the current cocktail lounge’s owner, Mark Grossich spoke about the presence of several apparitions in the building, including accounts from his staff of being pushed from behind and feeling strong gusts of cold air. Although Grossich suspects that the ghosts are friendly, you have to wonder how friendly a hands-on spirit is.
With centuries of construction and expansion, New York City is full of suspected hauntings and accounts of supernatural phenomenon. Recognized as one of the most haunted city in the world, it’s easy to see why Sarchie considers NYC to be under diabolic siege. For further information on Sarchie’s experiences watch Deliver Us From Evil opening in theaters on July 2nd.