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Ghost Tour Explores Astoria’s Haunted History

June 3, 2016 By Michael Florio

Ghosts will soon rise in Astoria.

Boroughs of the Dead, which hosts haunted tours around the city, will present its next “Haunted Histories and Legends of Astoria” tour on June 11.

The tour will make 10 stops throughout the neighborhood, starting at the Museum of the Moving Image at 8 p.m., and finishing up at Astoria Park, according to Marie Carter, tour guide and creator of the monthly Astoria event. Each stop will have its own haunted tale incorporating the history of the neighborhood.

The Astor Room, a bar/restaurant located at 35-11 35th Ave., will be visited by the ghost of Rudolph Valentino, an Italian-born American silent film actor. Valentino filmed many movies at Kaufman Astoria Studios, which is not far from the bar, before passing away at 31 from peritonitis.

The tour will also incorporate an employee of the Steinway Piano Factory, who was responsible for several grisly murders in the early 1900s, according to Carter.

The tour will incorporate the General Slocum disaster, which was a steamboat fire on the East River off of Astoria in 1904. More than 1,000 people were killed, either drowning or burning to death.

“This was one of the deadliest events in New York City history,” Carter said.

“Many people witnessed the disaster from Astoria Park,” she added. “That is where we will commemorate the event.”

“Haunted Histories and Legends of Astoria” is a monthly tour with a 20-person capacity. This month’s tour has already sold out; the following tour will be on July 16.

Boroughs of the Dead began hosting monthly tours in the neighborhood last June. They host multiple tours a week in the neighborhood throughout October.

Astoria was the first neighborhood in Queens to host a Boroughs of the Dead tour.

Carter brought the tour to the neighborhood after attending one in Brooklyn two years ago. She had just moved to Astoria at the time and was interested in organizing one locally.

“I started to research the neighborhood and learn its history,” she said.

She then reached out to Andrea Janes, the founder of Boroughs of the Dead, about incorporating an Astoria tour.

“She was very excited,” Carter said. “She wanted to branch out into Queens and this was the perfect neighborhood.”

Carter then created the Astoria tour. She now serves as a guide for that tour, as well as the “The Ultimate Greenwich Village Ghost Tour,” “Weird Tales of the West Village,” “Haunted Brooklyn Heights” and “Forgotten Dark Histories of Lower Manhattan.”

QNS previously reported on this month’s tour.

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Been on this tour. It’s a nice walk, if not slightly overpriced. Mostly the problem is there’s not much material to work with. Valentino was about as paranormal as it got and some of the stops were laughable. “Hey, this place is called My Precious Blood Church…so…Vampires, right?”.

Still, if you get a nice night for it, it’s a nice event. Would recommend for getting to know the neighborhood slightly better. Would not recommend if you’re looking to hear spooky stories.


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