136 Clinton avenue

Clinton Hill, Cool Listings, Historic Homes

136 Clinton Avenue, Clinton Hill, Wallabout

Listing images by Elizabeth Dooley

Here’s a rare chance to own one of the city’s most historic homes, the Lefferts-Laidlaw House at 136 Clinton Avenue in Clinton Hill (and part of the Wallabout Historic District). Built around 1836, the home “typified the villas that were erected in Brooklyn’s early suburbs in the early-to-mid nineteenth century” and might be the “only remaining temple-fronted Greek Revival style residence in Kings County,” according to the 2001 designation report. It’s become known as one of the most haunted houses in the city, thanks to stories of “doorbells rung, doors rattled” on a nightly basis in the late 19th century—but the tongue-in-cheek tone of the original New York Times reports is hard to miss. Perhaps the scariest thing left about it is the asking price. The home has been on and off the market for years, last seeking $4.5 million in 2016. Now, the property is back for a significantly reduced $3.6 million.

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Clinton Hill, Cool Listings, Historic Homes, navy yard, Quirky Homes

136 Clinton Avenue, historic homes, cool listings, townhouse, clinton hill, quirky homes, haunted house

Though we can see how the otherwise potential-filled historic–and allegedly haunted–Lefferts-Laidlaw mansion at 136 Clinton Avenue in the Clinton Hill/Navy Yard/Wallabout neighborhood may terrify prospective buyers with an ask of $4.499 million, an 1878 New York Times account describes the persistent and mysterious ring-and-run situation that apparently plagued the home’s then-resident, Edward F. Smith. Neither crafty attempts to discover who was responsible for “doorbells rung, doors rattled” on a nightly basis and a brick hurled through a window, nor police intervention could produce a culprit. The house became a fixture on the map of spiritualists who held seances on the sidewalk. Locals suggested the pesky poltergeist might be either a lawyer who had committed suicide on the premises, or, as Mr. Smith suggested (possibly with some sarcasm attached as it was, after all, Brooklyn), Satan.

Does this house look spooky to you?

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