Life and Death: Exploring Haunted Houses in the US


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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around auto insurance guides...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing...

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UPDATED: Oct 19, 2019

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We can all use a little fright now and then to make life interesting. Why not learn about some of the many famous haunted houses around the country and give yourself a real scare? You will have a chance to discover history, the paranormal, and the mysterious. You may even meet a few spirits who have yet to leave this earthly realm.

Lizzie Borden House – Fall River, Massachusetts

This eerie house was once owned by Andrew Borden, who along with his wife, was murdered with an ax by their daughter, Lizzie Borden. At least that is how the story goes. Lizzie was acquitted of all charges in court, so the mystery remains.

To learn more visit:

Fall River Historical Society: Lizzie Borden

The Amityville Horror Home – Amityville, New York

Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed six of his family members in this house in 1974, but the horror did not stop there. The Lutz family purchased it a year later and only managed to stay there for 28 days before fleeing from the horrors they found inside. Their story inspired a book as well as a movie.

For more information, go to:

CSI: Amityville: The horror of it all

The White House – Washington, D.C.

Even the White House has not escaped without a few ghosts lurking around the place. It all began when Mary Todd Lincoln was grieving over her son and started to participate in spirit circles in the Red Room.

Read more about it:

The White House Historical Association: White house ghost stories

Moore Home / Ax Murder House – Villisca, Iowa

A family of two parents and their six children were found horrifically and brutally murdered in their beds in the small (and previously safe) town of Villisca, Iowa. The murderer was never found, and the crime remains unsolved.

Villisca Axe Murder House: Official site of the Villisca ax murders

Old Louisville Neighborhood – Louisville, Kentucky

This neighborhood has earned the title of the most haunted neighborhood in America. It is the largest Victorian neighborhood in the country with hundred-year-old mansions and homes scattered throughout it. The area contains plenty of history and possibly a few ghosts.

To discover more, go to:

Old Louisville Magazine: True tales from an Old Louisville haunted house

Montgomery House Bed and Breakfast – Kalama, Washington

There has been plenty of paranormal activity at this location. People say the disembodied voices and apparitions come from the thousands of Native Americans who died there as well as some of the geographical anomalies in the area on which it was built.

To learn more, go to:

Rush PR News: “Montgomery House: The Perfect Haunting” lauded as real-life paranormal activity

The Mordecai House – Raleigh, North Carolina

After five generations of living in a house, a family is sure to leave one or two spirits behind. Mary Willis’ ghost is said to inhabit the halls and occasionally appears as an apparition, especially near the piano. She lived in the home from 1858 to 1937. 

Learn more at:

National Park Service: Mordecai House

Congelier Mansion – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Lyda Congelier lived peacefully in this Pennsylvania home until she discovered that her husband was having an affair with their maid. She used several kitchen knives to slaughter them both. The murders were discovered several days later when a neighbor found Lyda calmly sitting in a chair with the maid’s severed head in her lap.

For more information, go to:

The Occult Museum: The house the devil built: Congelier Mansion, America’s most haunted house

The Sorrel-Weed House – Savannah, Georgia

This state landmark is one of the largest houses in Savannah. It is also one of the most haunted, even earning it a spot on the television show, Ghost Hunters.

To learn about it, go to:

Sorrel-Weed: Main page

Old Slave House – Junction, Illinois

Crenshaw, who lived in this modest house, was a respected businessman in the area. It was not until later that the truth came out. He had been kidnapping free black families and selling them into slavery in the salt mines, in what is sometimes referred to as the reverse underground railroad. 

For more information, visit:

Illinois Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division: Crenshaw house state historic site

The McRaven Home – Vicksburg, Mississippi

There are several ghosts haunting this particular location. Mary Elizabeth Howard died during childbirth in 1836 and still haunts the house to this day. John Bobb is a murder victim who still strolls the balcony of the home. Andre Glass is the builder of the home and also a ghost within it. He was a notorious thief and may have created the building as his hideout.

Learn more at:

McRaven: Ghosts

Lemp Mansion – St. Louis, Missouri

This well-off family had four suicides after the death of one of their family members, Frederick Lemp. It is said that their spirits still remain tormented and trapped in the mansion.

Find out more at:

Truman State University Press: Apparitions around us

The Hannah House – Indianapolis, Indiana

Moans and voices can still be heard from the night that one of a group of hidden slaves, waiting for the next leg of their journey to freedom, accidentally knocked over a lamp. They all perished in the fire, but their spirits continue to the haunt the house today.

To learn more, go to:

Hannah House: Our story begins

Belcourt Castle – Newport, Rhode Island

This mansion has a long history, and apparently a few ghosts. While living there, Harle Tinney experienced enough paranormal activities to fill a book, and so she wrote one to share those experiences with the world.

For more information, visit:

Belcourt of Newport: History

Winchester Mansion – San Jose, California

This 160-room house has plenty of places for spirits to hide. Sarah Winchester built the home as a way of dealing with the loss of her child and husband, but it seems that her grief may have created a building that hosts some spirits of its own.

To learn more, go to:

California State Parks, Office of Historic Preservation: Winchester House

The Riddle House – West Palm Beach, Florida

The riddle house started as a funeral parlor and then later became a home. We almost expect a few ghost stories from that. The strange thing is that when the house was moved across the town, the spirits followed.

For more interesting facts, visit:

Travel Channel: Riddle House’s haunted history

The Ashmore Estates – Ashmore, Illinois

The Coles County Poor Farm has roughly 250 residents between 1870 and 1879. Of those, there had been 32 recorded deaths. Another pauper cemetery nearby contains the graves of somewhere between sixty and one-hundred people.

To learn more, go to:

Ashmore Estates: History of Ashmore Estates

Myrtles Plantation – St. Francisville, Louisiana

There is some mystery surrounding this plantation. It has supposedly seen ten murders and has twelve ghosts occupying the location. However, the official records only show one death at the home, that of William Winter. If the legends are true, why did the authorities never note the other eleven deaths?

For more information on the plantation, go to:

Louisiana Tech University: Myrtles Plantation

The Landon House – Urbana, Maryland

The Landon House has served many purposes in its time. Notably, it was a hospital for soldiers and others needing medical care. There are also rumors that slaves kept on the property were treated badly, with many dying as a result. Visitors describe feeling a cold sensation, a sense of being tapped by an unseen person, and even a sense of being watched.

To learn more spooky facts, explore the official record:

Maryland State Government: Stancioff house

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