The sordid history of Bushwick has never really gone away. If anything, it’s just rematerialized in the current residents inhabiting the space. But this seedy energy has merely been built upon by the ghosts of sinister revelry past, compounding it all in to one hotbed of eeriness and potential hauntings, as evidenced by the centuries-old mansion at the corner of Bushwick and Willoughby Avenues.
Built at the end of the nineteenth century, the Lipsius mansion, as it is known by over-60 Bushwickians, was a part of the elite block of mansions established by then successful German immigrants who all seemed to own breweries by virtue of their heritage. One of the frontrunners of this wealthy group was Catherina Lipsius, owner of the prosperous Claus Lipsius Brewery. And, speaking of Claus, incidentally, another resident of the mansion after Lipsius, Frederick Cook, an explorer/doctor who was ultimately disgraced after falsely claiming to have reached the North Pole, also lived there after Lipsius. So clearly the joint has some intense energy from the neuroses of narcissists and pathological liars of yore.
Thus walking past the mansion, particularly at nighttime, can send unexpected chills down your spine–even worse than the shudders you get when ambling near McKibbin Street. The Burning Bush recommends that you don’t make any direct eye contact with the building when passing it, in spite of its mesmeric spired rooftop and the fact that there’s a mysterious green light shining from within it–almost like the same glow of absinthe, luring you in even though you know it’s going to fuck you up later.
Written by Genna Rivieccio, frequent traverser of the Bushwick-Willoughby crossroads