The Apartment From Rosemary's Baby Is Actually Haunted

In "Rosemary's Baby," one of the very first images we see is that of an apartment building. The camera pans across the New York skyline to The Dakota, a real-life landmark that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Built from 1880 to 1884, it became a city landmark in 1969, the year after "Rosemary's Baby" hit theaters.

That was the year of the Tate-LaBianca murders, when members of the Manson Family killed writer-director Roman Polanksi's wife, actress Sharon Tate, and four other people on the opposite coast in Los Angeles. Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" dramatized the events leading up to this. After completing his "Apartment Trilogy" with "The Tenant," Polanksi would flee the U.S. in 1978 on statutory rape charges, and that has left a cloud hanging over "Rosemary's Baby" to this day, over and above its horror plot.

In the movie, Mia Farrow plays the titular Rosemary, who comes to believe that her husband and other tenants in her building, The Bramford, are Satanists with nefarious plans for her baby — which may or may not be the spawn of the devil. The Dakota doubled for The Bramford in exterior shots, such as the one we see at the beginning, when the tiny figures of Rosemary and her husband, Guy (John Cassavetes), come strolling in off the street.

Like "Rosemary's Baby," The Dakota has a lot of history behind it. For one thing, it's where former Beatle John Lennon was living when Mark David Chapman assassinated him in 1980. Lennon actually died on the steps of the building. ABC News short-listed The Dakota as one of the five most haunted apartment buildings in New York, and Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and others have reported seeing his ghost there.

Other Ghost Sightings at The Dakota

Lennon may be the most famous ghost to allegedly appear at The Dakota, but he is by no means the only one. Henry Janeway Hardenburgh, the same architect who designed the Plaza Hotel (as seen in "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" and other movies), designed The Dakota for sewing-machine magnate, Edward Cabot Clark, the founder and head of the Singer Manufacturing Company. People have reported seeing Clark's ghost at The Dakota, too.

NYC Ghosts notes that a construction worker at The Dakota in the 1960s claimed to have seen a specter with the face of a boy and the body of a man, while other workers at the time felt they were being watched. Stories have also circulated of objects moving of their own volition and a girl "dressed in period clothing" waving from windows.

Despite all of these supposed hauntings, The Dakota continues to be a piece of prime Manhattan real estate that attracts would-be residents. Over the years, its board of directors has even turned away celebrity applicants such as Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith.

If you're ever passing by the corner of Central Park West and W. 72nd Street, and you happened to see a ghost girl waving to you from The Dakota, you can always hail a cab and rush downtown to the "Ghostbusters" firehouse at 14 North Moore Street. However, there are no Ghostbusters there, just firefighters, and honestly, your only surefire bet of seeing a ghost in Manhattan might be the statue of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man at the Alamo Drafthouse.