What would Halloween be without a guided haunted house tour across America? We’ve found the creepiest and most infamous houses to scare you. These haunted dwellings stretch from the west coast to the east coast, some within seemingly normal neighborhoods. Each home has a haunted history dripping with death, torture, murder, and suicide. Consequently, these are America’s most famous haunted houses.
Shall we start the tour?
Location: San Francisco, CA
Haunted by the ghost of Claudia, the niece of the mansion’s first owner, Richard Chambers. Claudia and her sister were given the home after the death of Chambers. Claudia was reportedly killed by a piece of farm equipment. Though, some say she was murdered by her sister. The home changed owners several times until 1977, when the home was purchased by Bob Pritikin, who turned the mansion into a bed and breakfast hotel, where strange occurrences had been reported by guests. Today, the home is a private residents once again.
Location: San Jose, CA
Ghost: Sarah Winchester
The Winchester “Mystery” House is one of the most famous haunted houses. This strange home was “built by the spirits”, with building plans acquired during seances, so the legend says. Sarah Winchester married into the Winchester fortune. The Winchester rifle is known as the “Gun that Won the West”. After her husband’s death, Sarah became an eccentric woman who believed the spirits that took her husband would come for her too. Sarah believed the spirits were American Indians and soldiers killed by the Winchester rifle. She built the home with twisting hallways, secret passages and tiny staircases leading nowhere. This was suppose to confuse the spirits and stop them from following her in the home.
Location: San Diego, CA
Ghost: “Yankee Jim” Robinson
The hanging of “Yankee Jim” Robinson has tainted this historical San Diego home. Yankee Jim was a thief, who was captured, tried and hung on the site where the Whaley House would be built just 4 years later. Many others met their demise on the site before the home was built. In 1856, Thomas and Ann Whaley moved into their castle, but could sense a presence in the home from the very beginning . In 1858, their infant son died of scarlet fever. Whaley’s daughter committed suicide in 1885. The legend suggests that Thomas and Ann never left this home, they reside here to watch over their brood.
Location: New Orleans, LA
Ghosts: Victims of Madame LaLaurie
The LaLaurie House is considered to be the most haunted home in the French Quarter. Madame LaLaurie had many slaves and neighbors suspected she was cruel to them. She thought slaves were lower than animals and treated them accordingly. In 1934, a fire broke out in the kitchen and firefighters uncovered a secret door with unconscionable horrors just behind it. Dozens of slaves had been tortured and dismembered. Most were dead, just a few were clinging to life. After the townspeople heard of the disgusting acts, a mob formed on the street in front of the home. Just then, a carriage roared out of a gate, down the street and the LaLaurie family was never seen in New Orleans again.
Location: St. Francisville, LA
Ghosts: Chloe, Sara and her children, and William Winter
Myrtles Plantation is haunted by numerous spirits, but the ghost of Chloe is the most famous. Chloe, a slave girl has been photographed numerous times. According to the legend, “Judge Clark Woodruff, the plantation’s owner, had an affair with Chloe. When Judge Woodruff began having an affair with another girl, Chloe feared that she would be banned from the house. Chloe devised a plan to remain in the home. She baked a cake and included poisonous crushed oleander leaves, hoping to make his daughters sick. This way Chloe could remain in the home and nurse the girls back to health. However, her plan backfired when the poison caused the children to die. The other slaves dragged Chloe from here bed one night and hung her, then threw her body in the river.”
Location: Alton, IL
Ghosts: McPike family
The stunning mansion was built in 1869 by an architect, Lucas Pfeiffenberger. The home was occupied by the McPike family until 1936. The McPike mansion is believed to be haunted by the McPike family members, servants, and the most recent owners of the home. Photos of balls of light, orbs and figures are common at this property and it is known for its hauntings within paranormal circles.
Location: Cleveland, OH
Ghosts: Tiedemann family
In 1883, Hannes Tiedemann, built the sprawling mansion for his family. By 1891, tragedy struck the Tiedemann family. First, Tiedemann’s mother died followed by four of his children over a matter of just a few years. To take his wife’s mind off the recent tragedies, Tiedemann began renovations on the house. The legend says secret passages, concealed rooms, and hidden doors were part of the construction. Many suggest Tiedemann used these secret passages to commit the murder of his mistress. By 1908, the entire Tiedemann family had passed and the property was purchased by the German Socialist Party. It was used primarily for meetings and parties. In 1968, it was purchased by the Ramona family, who spoke of strange occurrences and ghostly activity until the day they sold it to Sam Muscatello, who immediately started offering ghost tours of the house.
Location: Gardner, MA
Ghost: Unknown spirits
Built in the late 1880s, Sylvester Pierce, a wealthy business man built the home for his wife who died a few weeks after moving into the home. After the death of Sylvester Pierce, his youngest son took control of the mansion. The mansion fell on hard times as the family fortune dwindled. The home was turned into a boarding home where some unsavory activity went on. Possibly, even murder. Over the years, guests of the mansion have spoken of paranormal activity. In 2015, Dark Carnival acquired the home to create an attraction for overnight guests. According to the website, the property is undergoing renovations in preparation of their opening season.
Location: Fall River, MA
Ghosts: Andrew and Abby Borden
This house is the site of a famous American murder. Inside, Mr. and Mrs. Borden were brutally murdered by their daughter, Lizzie Borden, with an ax. Though, she was acquitted of the crime in 1892. Currently, the home is a museum with guided daily tours. Additionally, the home is also a bread and breakfast hotel, it can be rented out by groups for parties or ghost hunting at a nightly rate of $1,500. *Warning – Not for the squeamish at heart.
Photo credits: Zillow Porchlight