‘Legally’ haunted New York manor is for sale again

Keep your spirits high in this haunted house in Nyack.

Frank Kirwin

John Gallino

John Gallino

John Gallino

John Gallino

John Gallino

Frank Kirwin


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A “legally” haunted New York house is on the market again.

Former owner Helen Ackley — who lived in the Queen Anne Victorian at 1 LaVeta Place in Nyack, from the 1960s to the late 1980s — publicly asserted the presence of various poltergeists who hailed from the Revolutionary War era and regularly shook beds, slammed doors and traipsed the halls with their phantom footsteps.

Her home, which dates back to the 1890s and fronts the Hudson River just 25 miles northwest of Manhattan, is about to list for $1.9 million with Nancy Blaker Weber of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty.

It has a spooky history, sure, but also a litigious and star-studded one.

It started when Ackley put the allegedly possessed property on the market in 1989. When she began the process of selling the 15-room, single-family dwelling to Wall Street bond trader Jeffrey Stambovsky, she failed to disclose the spectral situation within.

In a lawsuit that would make headlines around the globe and set a precedent for future real estate transactions, Stambovsky sued Ackley over the deliberate omission and fought to obtain his deposit while backpedaling out of the purchase.

Then, in 1991, New York’s Supreme Court ruled that the home was officially haunted and, in favor of Stambovsky, decreed that Ackley had the responsibility to disclose the property’s apparent apparitions to future buyers.

Ghosts be damned, the stylish manor was subsequently scooped up by film director, screenwriter and actor Adam Brooks, who lived there for 20 years. Brooks reportedly never detected the presence of ghosts.

The home’s current owner, Jewish singer and rapper Matisyahu, also hasn’t reported any supernatural sightings.

“It’s a fun backstory to this gorgeous home,” says Weber, “but none of the previous three owners over the last few years have seen any ghosts.”

The fully restored house, replete with three floors and more than 4,600 square feet of living space, is located on one of Nyack’s most enviable tree-lined dead-end streets and is within walking distance to downtown. With views of the Hudson from nearly every window, the home features seven bedrooms plus guest quarters, 4½ baths and an updated kitchen with farmhouse sink, Viking appliances and concrete countertops.

History buffs will love the original inlaid hardwood floors, arched doorways and stained glass accents throughout. Outside is newly built three-car garage, a spacious wraparound porch and an in-ground saltwater hot tub overlooking the river.

Singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson, who lived on the property from 2012 to 2015, says the home is enchanting — but not creepy.

“I absolutely adored living at One LaVeta,” Michaelson says. “It’s a magical home. It’s a memorable home. It’s a home where people gather, it draws you in and comforts you. And the view is unbeatable.”

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