Today, this brick well lies in the basement of SoHo haunt Manhattan Bistro, but, back in December of 1799, this whole section of NYC was but a grassy meadow, and the well was the site of a grisly murder scene. After a late-night romantic liaison, Gulielma Elmore Sands disappeared. She was found 11 days later, at the bottom of the well, presumably strangled. Her lover was charged in the crime, acquitted with legal assistance from Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and later run out of town thanks to a conviction in the court of public opinion. To this day, the Manhattan Well Murder remains unsolved and, according to people who believe in such things, a ghostly presence still inhabits the building later constructed on the site. But, like a good New Yorker, the bistro's owner hasn't shied away from the attention, in fact she's working with an architect to make it visible from the dining room. Nothing boosts the appetite like a peek at a spooky murder scene.
· At SoHo Eatery, a Historic Haunt [WSJ]