For those who love a good scare, what’s spookier than checking out a real haunted house? Turns out, America has plenty of them. From New York to California, from New Orleans to Washington, D.C., there are various locations where spirits are said to roam the halls.
1. The Amityville House -- Long Island, New York
With several books, television specials and movies, the Amityville Horror House is arguably one of the best-known haunted houses in the nation. The home reportedly became haunted in the 1970s after a family member murdered his entire family.
Ronald DeFeo loaded a shotgun and pulled the trigger on six of his family members. A year later, the Lutz family moved into the Ocean Avenue house, but they didn’t stay there long. Upon their arrival at the picturesque waterfront home, they claimed they detected paranormal activity. They said they smelled strange odors, felt cold drafts and saw an apparition of a demonic piglike creature. Their experience has been immortalized on film.
2. LaLaurie Mansion-- New Orleans
Don’t be fooled by the beautiful exterior of the LaLaurie Mansion located on Royal Street in New Orleans. It has a sinister past. The LaLaurie Mansion was already well known for its creepy history, but Kathy Bates’ “American Horror Story” character Madame Delphine LaLaurie, who was based on Marie Delphine LaLaurie, helped revive the legend of this renowned haunted house.
Madame LaLaurie tortured and mutilated a number of slaves she owned, which resulted in their deaths. She was only discovered in 1834 when a fire broke out. She fled to Paris and reportedly lived there until her death in 1842. The mansion has been restored and people claim to have heard strange noises, groans and apparitions.
3. Whaley House-- San Diego, California
It might not be as popular as the Amityville Horror House, but the Whaley House in San Diego's Old Town was named the most haunted house in America by Life magazine in 2005, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Tours are available, but get ready for some ghostly encounters. Thomas Whaley built the house in 1857, but now its various ghosts call it home. The spirits of an executed man known as Yankee Jim, Whaley himself, Whaley’s wife, a little girl, and one of Whaley’s children who died from scarlet fever walk the halls, HauntedHouses.com wrote.
4. The White House--Washington, D.C.
Yep, it is that White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which has been home to every U.S. president except George Washington. It seems, though, that some of them didn’t want to leave.
Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, the second U.S. president, has been spotted in the halls. Andrew Jackson sometimes reappears in his old bedroom. And William Henry Harrison occasionally rummages through the attic. But the past president who is most prevalent is Abraham Lincoln. Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly sensed him when she worked in the Lincoln bedroom, Grace Coolidge said she saw him at her window and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands said he knocked on her door but vanished when she asked him to come inside.
5. Lizzie Borden House -- Fall River, Massachusetts
It’s hard to talk about Lizzie Borden without saying the nursery rhyme that was inspired by her gruesome crime: “Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.”
People were shocked when they heard of Borden’s crime. She killed her father, Andrew, and stepmother, Abby, in 1892. She pled not guilty and was ultimately acquitted of murder. Her story still sends chills down the spine and was the subject of a 2014 Lifetime movie, "Lizzie Borden Took An Ax," which stars Christina Ricci.
6. Franklin Castle -- Cleveland, Ohio
Hannes Tiedemann, a German immigrant, built the Franklin Castle in 1865. The structure has four floors, more than 20 rooms and a number of secret passageways. He lived there with his wife peacefully until tragedy struck in 1881 when their daughter, Emma, died at the age of 15. In a seven-year span, three more Tiedemann children would die.
Years later, the house was sold to a German socialist organization which allegedly had ties to the Nazis. Twenty of the group’s members were reportedly murdered in the secret passageways. New families who have lived in the house can reportedly hear footsteps and voices, and children in the home have supposedly talked to an imaginary friend.
7. Myrtles Plantation -- St. Francisville, Louisiana
Myrtles Plantation is reportedly the site of 10 killings, though this has never been confirmed. The plantation was built by Gen. David Bradford, who built it in 1796 and supposedly lies atop an ancient Tunica Indian burial ground. The place is a bed and breakfast now, and thrill seekers have reported seeing the ghosts of former slaves and a grand piano playing all by itself and hearing the sound of footsteps.
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