One of the most famous musicians of all time, John Lennon was a singer, songwriter, and co-founder of The Beatles—one of the most successful bands in history. Around 10:50 P.M. on December 8th, 1980, he was returning home to The Dakota—the luxury apartment building where he lived with his wife Yoko Ono. Mark David Chapman approached the singer and shot him multiple times near the entrance of the building. He died on his way to the hospital at just 40 years old.

His friends and family say that he was a loving and caring person, who believed in people and the power of the human race. His death was unexpected and senseless, but some say that, while his body is no longer with us, his spirit is. While many celebrity ghost stories exist, the story of John Lennon’s ghost is a comforting and loving one.

This first sighting of John Lennon’s ghost was in 1983. Musician Joey Harrow and writer Amanda Moores spotted him near the entrance of The Dakota apartments, surrounded by a mysterious light, as they were walking through New York City. Moores reported that she had the urge to go up and talk to him, but he had a troubled expression on his face and she decided not to.

John Lennon’s son, Julian Lennon, also reports that his father had given him a sign that he was still around. While he was alive, he told Julian that if he died he would send him a sign in the form of a white feather. Years after his death, Julian was participating in an ancient Australian aboriginal ceremony. During the ritual, the tribe leader presented him with a white feather. He was moved and took this as a sign that his father was still watching over him and walking along with him in spirit.

Yoko Ono has said that she feels that her late husband is helping her in spirit, and thanks him for much of what she’s able to do today. His ghost has also appeared to her. She lived in The Dakota for twenty years after the death of her husband and reported seeing the ghost of John Lennon sitting at his white piano. He turned to her and said “Don’t be afraid. I am still with you.”

The Beatles recounted several strange occurrences while they were recording John Lennon’s song, “Free As A Bird”, in 1995. During the recording, Paul McCartney reported that he felt as if John Lennon was in the room recording with them. They also frequently heard strange noises in the studio or had wacky experiences with the recording equipment that couldn’t be explained.

When they released “Free As A Bird” as a single, Paul McCartney added a backwards recording at the end of the track for fun. While he was listening to the final product with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they swore they heard John Lennon’s name in the part with the backwards recording—taking it as a sign that he approved of the track.

Similarly, a rare white peacock wandered over from a nearby farm during the photoshoot for the single. As they were taking pictures, it walked into the frame and made its presence known. McCartney was convinced that it had to be the spirit of John Lennon.

While John Lennon’s life ended far too soon, his family and friends find comfort in his spiritual presence. Whether the ghost of John Lennon exists or not, he will always live on through the spirit of the music he created and the lives he touched with it.

While there are no ghost tours that take visitors directly inside The Dakota apartments, this free Central Park Walking Tour delves into the history of The Dakota and allows guests to visit ( the spot where John Lennon was murdered.

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