A haunted house is a house or other building often perceived as being inhabited by disembodied spirits of the deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property. Supernatural activity inside homes is said to be mainly associated with violent or tragic events in the building’s past such as murder, accidental death, or suicide.Some of the phenomena generally associated with haunted houses, including strange visions and sounds, feelings of dread, illness, and the sudden, apparently inexplicable death of all the occupants.
10. Gregory House and Others in Bodie, California
Bodie is home to not one, not two, but a whopping twelve ghosts, according to the locals. The Gregory house is one of the most haunted homes in Bodie. I had the pleasure of visiting Bodie and peering in the windows of these homes, all of which were suddenly, mysteriously abandoned over one hundred years ago. It truly is an erie place to behold, and it’s not called a “ghost town” by accident. People have reported seeing apparitions of an old woman rocking in one of the rocking chairs, a grumpy Chinese maid, and a mysterious white mule that wonders around nearby.
9. The Whaley House in Old Town San Diego, California
The Whaley house is hailed as “probably the most haunted house in America” by Professor Hans Holzer. Hans is a former professor of parapsychology at the New York Institute of Technology. He is widely considered the world’s leading expert on hauntings, ghosts, spirits and psychic phenomena. Located in beautiful and historic Old Town San Diego, the Whaley House has been reported to house a variety of strange and unexplained apparitions that are seen by visitors and locals alike on a fairly regular basis. The Whaley House is actually officially sanctioned by the California Department of Commerce as being haunted, along with the only other such house, the Winchester House, which we’ll discuss below.
8. The Winchester House in San Jose, California
The Winchester House was built by a crazy old woman who had too much money and too much spare time on her hands. She paid construction workers to build the house to her various insane whims, while she held seances every night asking “the spirits” to guide her in its construction. She supposedly built the house to “confuse and ward off the spirits,” but to this day the State of California deems the house officially haunted. The house features such bizzare oddities as stairs leading to nowhere, windows in the floor, doorways that open to walls, and rooms with no way to enter them. Weird.
7. The Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts
On the morning of August 4th, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered with an ax. To this day, no one knows who killed them. Lizzie Borden was the step sister of Abby, and daughter of Andrew. She lived in the house alone after the murders, and was generally considered the number one suspect in the case. The home is now a bed and breakfast, one that’s said to be haunted by apparitions of the murdered victims of Lizzie Borden. Vacation spot, anyone?
6. Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana
The Myrtles Plantation is supposedly home to a ghost named Chloe. As the story goes, plantation owner General David Bradford died, leaving the plantation to his son-in-law, Clark Woodruff. Clark had a family, and lived in the mansion with his wife Sara, and his three children. Legend has it that he had an affair with his slave, Chloe. Chloe became jealous of Clark’s family, and on one of the children’s birthdays, made a cake that was laced with poison from Oleander leaves. The entire family was killed by the poison, all except for Clark himself. Furious, the other slaves retaliated against Chloe, hanging her immediately from a tree on the property, and tossing her corpse in the Mississippi River to rot. To this day, Chloe’s ghost is said to walk the property, tending the plants in the garden. Apparitions of the other murdered family members have been reportedly sighted in the mirrors of the home. Creepy. If you want to see this place for yourself, it’s actually a bed and breakfast where you can spend the night—if you dare.
5. Franklin Castle in Cleveland, Ohio
This is one of the most creepy-looking haunted houses on our list. It features stone construction, a tower, gargoyles, and turrets. Large and imposing wrought iron fences enclose the place, to complete the look. The Franklin Castle was owned by a man no one understood. His name was Hannes Tiedemann, and he was a grocer who became a banker. He is rumored to have been responsible for the deaths of three babies in the home, among other mysterious deaths that occurred there between 1865 and 1895. The home has changed hands many times since then, and had been on track to become a bed and breakfast until 1999, when a fire caused a lot of damage to the property. It’s rumored to be going on the real estate market in the near future, just in case you’re in the market for a haunted castle.
4. Chambers Mansion in San Francisco, California
Nestled in the elite Pacific Heights area in San Francisco, California, the Chambers Mansion has been known for it’s creepy, bizarre, and unexplained events since 1977. It was owned by a prestigious silver tycoon by the name of Richard Chambers, and was built in 1887. Chambers died one day, and left the mansion to his two nieces, one of whom was named Claudia. Claudia was known for her love of pigs, until she was found dead, cut nearly in half, in what was deemed a “farming implementation accident.” Some experts who have studied the case claim that that was not what happened at all. Instead, they claim that a deranged member of the Chambers family chased Claudia down the stairs of the mansion and into the Josephine room, killing her there. Since 1977, the mansion has been a hotel, frequented by celebrities such as Robert DiNiro, Robin Williams, and Barbara Streisand.
3. Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The Stranahan House lies on the New River, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was built by the first non-Native American to live in that part of Fort Lauderdale. It so happens that this is now the center of the city, so his real estate decision could not have been more prime. This wise purchasing decision eventually led to opportunities to run a post office, a ferry business, a bank, and a hotel. However, his life turned sour when it was tainted by depression brought on by his love of money and business. He experienced tremendous loss in a hurricane, which devestated his business ventures. He then lost dearly in the Great Depression, which turned out to be his last straw. The man committed suicide by tying himself to an iron gate and tossing it in the nearby river, where he drowned. To this day the Stranahan house is supposedly haunted by his ghost, that of his wife, Ivy, and a Native American servant girl.
2. Sprague Mansion in Cranston, Rhode Island
The Sprague Mansion was owned by another rich family (anyone noticing a pattern here?) who owned a textile mill in the area. The owner, William Sprague, died in 1836 leaving the mansion to his two sons (look, another pattern). One of the sons served as state Governor, and later a United States Representative and State Senator. The other son was later found dead on the road between the textile mill he owned, and the mansion. A man was hanged for the crime, but later turned out to be innocent, making matters even worse. To this day the true killer has never been found or identified. Apparitions seen to this day at the house include Charlie, the butler, walking down the stairs, and Amasa himself walking through the house.
1. The White House in Washington, D.C.
Last but far from least, what list of haunted houses would be complete without the most famous one of all, the White House? The most commonly described ghost is one of Last but far from least, what list of haunted houses would be complete without the most famous one of all, the White House? The most commonly described ghost is one of Abigail Adams, the wife of U.S. President John Adams. The couple was the first to live in the drafty White House, which wasn’t even finished when they moved in. Some people claim to have seen her apparition hanging laundry in the East Room, where she used to hang it when she was alive and well. Many guests, including famous presidents and heads of state have reported seeing or feeling Abraham Lincoln in the White House. This is particularly notable, because some very reputable and reliable people have testified to this, including the famous Winston Churchill, Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of Great Britain’s Armed Forces. The Queen of the Netherlands also stayed there, and saw an apparition of Abe Lincoln so clear and unmistakeable that she fainted when she saw him!