Top 12 Real Haunted Houses
Have you ever been to one of those haunted houses setup specifically for Halloween? You pay an arm and a leg at the gate then you are guided into a barrage of darkened hallways, blackened rooms, dry ice smoke and loud chain saw noises running at you from behind. These type places are terrifying, sometimes even funny given the person, but they are all just one big set filled with actors paid by the hour. After Halloween ceases, so too do these makeshift locations. In a real haunted house, however, the terror never ends and the people walking the halls aren't paid, but rather of the undead variety (if you subscribe to that). These haunted houses are available to scare you year round and are even studied extensively by those in the paranormal field. I personally would rather go to a faux haunted house than a real one, having been forever traumatized by The Exorcist and the idea of becoming an actual haunted person. If you feel differently, see below the Top 12 Real Haunted Houses as provided by HGTV's www.frontdoor.com. Good luck! As a side note, according to the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP), there are some things to pay attention to if you suspect your house is haunted. Seeing apparitions, hearing weird sounds, smelling odd odors, feeling "cold spots" within a room, noticing objects that have been moved or observing your pet acting agitated are all symptoms that people report in what the association calls a "typical haunting"
The Chelsea Hotel
The infamous Chelsea Hotel in New York City is one of the area's spookiest landmarks. Built in 1884, the hotel has been home to many notable writers, musicians and artists over the years. Even though many of its most famous occupants have since died, visitors claim to have spotted the apparitions of Dylan thomas, Eugene O'Neill and Thomas Wolfe.
Winchester Mystery House
The Winchester House is a 160-room Victorian mansion brimming with bizarre architectural features and a very eerie origin. With features such as secret passageways, labyrinth-like winding hallways and a seance room, this eccentric house is rumored to have been built for spirits themselves.
The Amityville House
In 1974, six members of the DeFeo family were found slain in this home; eldest son Ronald DeFeo Jr. was later convicted of murdering his parents and siblings. A year later, the Lutz family moved in but quickly moved out after reports of unexplained paranormal activity- strange odors, unexplained cold drafts and an apparition that took the form of a demonic pig-like creature.
The Cassadaga Hotel
The town of Cassadaga is famous worldwide for its spiritualist community and paranormal activity. The Cassadaga Hotel sits at the center of this spooky small town, which is otherwise dotted with old cottages that are home to the many mediums, psychics and other spiritualists who live there. The hotel, which houses a number of spirits, also features a very powerful energy vortex that even skeptics have admitted to sensing.
The White House
For years there have been reports that the White House is a hotbed of haunted activity. Visitors, staff and even White House residents have reported seeing the ghosts of Abraham Lincoln, Abigail Adams and Andrew Jackson, to name a few. FDR, Dwight Eisenhower and Winston Churchill are among those who claimed to have seen the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. More recently, the Obamas claim to have repeatedly heards strange sounds and felt a sensation of someone gnawing at their feet in the middle of the night.
Touted as "one of the most haunted houses in America," the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville is one of the creepiest places in the South. Legend has it that since the house was built in 1797, dozens of deaths have occurred from illness, poisoning and murder. Visitors and former residents claim to have witnessed many strange occurrences: disappearing jewelry; waking to find themselves completely tucked into their beds; furniture that moves on its own; a grand piano that plays by itself; mysterious handprints; and objects and people appearing and disappearing randomly in photographs.
The Joshua Ward House
Once home to wealthy sea captain Joshua Ward, the Joshua Ward House was built in 1784 and originally owned by George Corwin, the High Sheriff during the Salem Witch Trials. For many years, Corwin's remains were housed in the basement, though they eventually were moved to a nearby cemetary. Rumor has it that Corwin's spirit still haunts the house.
The LaLaurie House
One of the spookiest homes in the French Quarter, the LaLaurie Mansion was home to Dr. Louis and Delphine LaLaurie, a socially prominent family in the early 1830s. Rumor has it that Delphone treated her slaves brutally, chaining the cook to the stove, chasing another slave girl with a whip and causing her to jump to her death, and torturing and mutilating many others in a secret attic room. The house, which was owned by actor Nicolas Cage from 2007 to 2009, has been haunted by screams of agony coming from the apparitions of Delphone's slaves ever since.
Built in 1865 for the Tiedmann family, Franklin Castle makes a spooky first impression with its sandstone exterior, round corner tower and gargoyle embellishments. Those who have been inside the mansion, which is known locally as the most haunted house in Ohio, claim to have witnessed an eerie woman in black staring out the tower window, small children crying and strange happenings like doors flying off hinges and spinning lights. The possible causes? Four of the Tiedmann children died in the home, and owner Hannes Tiedmann was rumored to have killed his 13-year-old niece in a hidden passage and his mistress in the tower.
The Whaley House
Now a museum run by the Save Our Heritage Organisation, San Diego's Whaley House was designated an official Haunated House by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the 1960s due to frequently heard heavy footsteps of the ghost of "Yankee Jim" Robinson, who was hung on the property in 1852 before the house was built. Other ghostly sightings include owners Thomas and Anna Whaley (Anna was reportedly seen by Regis Philibin), and even the family dog.
The Lemp Mansion
The opulent Lemp mansion, built in St. Louis in the 1860s, was inhabited by the William Lemp family, who were wealthy brewers with a streak for suicide. Four Lemp family members of various generations committed suicide- three in the Lemp mansion itself. Named one of America's most haunted houses in 1980 by Life magazine, the mansion is currently a restaurant and inn that offers paranormal tours of the home.
Villisca Ax Murder House
On June 12, 1912, all six members of the Moore family and two young houseguests were found bludgeoned to death by an ax in their home, turning this bucolic setting into the scene of a grisly crime. The murderer was never found, but the house in Villisca still boasts wandering spirits, children's crying voices and a door that mysteriously opens and closes. Today, the house is open for daytime tours and overnight sleepovers- if you dare.