HomeTrending38 Real Haunted Houses and the Stories Behind Them

38 Real Haunted Houses and the Stories Behind Them

All throughout the country there are houses of all different styles and time periods, which have been home to people from all walks of life, from the most ordinary farmers to the wealthiest businessmen and high society families. They may all share quite a few differences, but they all share one common trait: they’re haunted. Now, don’t necessarily start producing visions of terror at the thought of haunted house, as not all hauntings are malevolent. In fact, most haunted houses don’t come with any type of negative activity, even though the word “haunted” has definitely acquired a negative connotation. Many haunted houses are simply the eternal homes of former owners/residents, all of whom are either friendly or oblivious towards the living. Of course, the negative imagery of a haunted house exists for a reason, and some of the houses provided in this list of 38 homes offer up the kind of hauntings you most likely would never want to encounter in your own home. Sometimes, especially when traumatic deaths occur (think murder and suicide here), spirits tend to hold a deep hostility to anything and anyone around them. This hostility can manifest itself in some disturbing ways, such as outright violence towards the occupants or visitors of a house. Experienced by guests of houses that are now hotels, by staff members of those turned into museums or business spaces, and by paranormal investigators out to discover the truth, the houses listed here exhibit enough of a diverse range of hauntings to make you sit up and rethink your views on the topic.

38. Hampton House, Towson, Maryland

Beautifully situated and stunningly constructed, this 1790 mansion held the distinction of being the largest in the country at its completion. The mansion and its surrounding plantation was the home of the Ridgely family for 8 generations, with the mansion itself being constructed by Captain Charles Ridgely. Today, the house is known to be haunted by several different spirits, some of them identified and others still unknown. The known entities are Priscilla Ridgely, Cygnet Swann, and a former butler named Tom. Priscilla has been seen wandering throughout the house and has interacted with people on occasion. Cygnet Swann was a little girl and daughter of a governor who visited the mansion in order to recuperate from an illness. While visiting, Cygnet passed away in her room and was found at her table with a brush in her hand. Today, many people have seen her in her room, sitting at the table and brushing her hair. Tom’s story is rather interesting, as he apparently provided a young woman with a tour of the home without her realizing that he had been dead for several decades. Other occurrences include locked doors being unlocked and opened and objects in the house being moved.

37. Jennie Wade House, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

During intense shooting between Confederate soldiers, barricaded within the nearby Farnsworth House, and Union soldiers, a stray bullet made its way into this house’s kitchen where young Jennie Wade and her sister were making bread, fatally wounding Jennie. Jennie has been seen throughout the house and the smell of fresh bread usually accompanies her. A male apparition has been seen and felt in the cellar as well as another one on the second floor who produces the smell of cigars. Several apparitions of children have been seen inside and outside of the house. These children have a tendency to touch the visitors, as well as swing on chains used to rope off certain areas and play with the bed-skirts throughout the house.

36. Farnsworth House, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Built as a private home in the early 1800s, this building became a bed and breakfast with an accompanying tavern around the early 20th century, a function that it retains to this day. During the Civil War, the house became a hideout for Confederate soldiers, thanks to which the south side of the house can be seen to have countless bullet holes to this day. Visitors to the inn, along with employees, have witnessed countless apparitions of Confederate soldiers throughout the building. Footsteps, especially pacing, are often heard, along with occasional music. Several waitresses have had apron strings snatched by an unseen presence, hard enough to force them into turning around. A woman in 19th century clothing has also been seen on the premises, although no one is sure of her exact connection with the place.

35. Powel House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This exquisite Georgian row house styled mansion, now a museum, was bought in 1769 by Samuel Powel, who would later carry the distinction of being the city’s last British mayor and its first American mayor. Powel entertained a variety of notable guests here, including George Washington and his wife Martha, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and the Marquis de Lafayette. In fact, Lafayette, along with several other apparitions in uniform, has been seen entering the house on occasion. Of the apparitions witnessed here, however, the most common seems to be an unidentified young woman, reportedly very beautiful and in period dress. She has interacted with visitors to the museum numerous times.

34. President Truman’s House, Independence, Missouri

The home of President Truman and his wife Bess before and after his time in office, this quaint Victorian was also his childhood home from the age of six onwards. It seems that the house remains just as important to him even in death, as his ghost has been seen here on numerous occasions. His favorite place to be seems to be the living room, as this is where he is spotted the most often. His favorite type of brandy is also often smelled, and he has been spotted walking along the sidewalk in front of his house.

33. Lemp Mansion, St. Louis, Missouri

Very few houses in the country come with the same level of continual, connected tragedy that the Lemp Mansion has experienced. Completed in 1868, this mansion was home to the Lemp family who were major beer brewers in St. Louis before the advent of prohibition. The family itself, even while experiencing business success, was plagued by personal sorrow. William J. Lemp Sr., the founder of the family’s brewery, had hoped to pass the business to his son Frederick, but Frederick unexpectedly died in 1901 due to illness. A few years later, William Sr. committed suicide by shooting himself. William Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps in 1922, shooting himself in what is now the dining room. Another Lemp, Elsa, the daughter of William Sr., also committed suicide by gunfire in her own home in 1920. The final Lemp to commit suicide, also in the Lemp Mansion, was another of William Sr.’s sons, Charles, who shot himself in 1949. Common paranormal occurrences at the Lemp Mansion include footsteps, knocking on doors, the slamming of doors, and the strong sensation of being watched. Various apparitions have been seen, including a little boy reportedly with some type of mental deformity who often asks people to play with him. Various apparitions and shadows have also been witnessed in the building, now a hotel with bar and restaurant. Drinks in the bar often stir themselves while glasses are sometimes thrown and broken.

32. The Molly Brown House, Denver, Colorado

Home of famed Titanic survivor Molly Brown and her husband James Joseph (J.J.), this remarkable Victorian is now a house museum dedicated to her life. While the museum’s collection is certainly the main feature here, the presence of spirits tends to draw a bit of attention as well. Both Molly and her husband have been seen in the house, with the smell of J.J.’s pipe and cigars often reported. Another apparition commonly appears in the dining room and occasionally likes to rearrange the chairs here. The couple seems to have a child who died young and in this particular child’s room the blinds raise and lower on their own. Molly’s mother, as well as a former servant, are also frequently glimpsed.

31. Grant Humphreys Mansion, Denver, Colorado

An amazing tour de force of the Beaux Arts style, this 1902 mansion was erected for businessman and former governor James Benton Grant. After 1911, the home belonged to Albert E. Humphreys who would later die in the home as a result of a suspicious gun accident. A nearby graveyard incurred controversy in the years just before the house was built when its site was slated to be used for other purposes and many of the remains in the cemetery were left available for grave robbers, until the city had enough of the fiasco and filled in the area to create a park. It is believed that many of these disturbed spirits have come to haunt this neighboring mansion, as several different apparitions have been viewed here, although one of them has been identified as Humphreys.

30. Catfish Plantation Restaurant, Waxahchie, Texas

Housed in a quaint late 19th century Victorian farmhouse, this restaurant has experienced strange paranormal phenomenon before it even officially opened for business. The owner experienced two incidents before the restaurant was up and running: the first occurred when she arrived one morning and unlocked the building to find a fresh pot of coffee waiting for her, with no possible known person responsible for it; the other incident involved a similar scenario of opening up and finding restaurant implements neatly piled in the middle of the kitchen, as if to suggest their removal. Kitchen staff repeatedly complain of food suddenly flying across the room and glasses breaking, and it is believed that all of the kitchen activity is caused by the last residential owner who doesn’t approve of the business being in her former home. A separate female entity has been seen in the dining area in a wedding dress and has been observed by employees as well as patrons. A final male spirit spends his time on the front porch and was even witnessed by police who saw him suddenly vanish in thin air.

29. Ashton Villa, Galveston, Texas

Completed in 1859, this beautiful mansion, with its ornate cast iron piazzas and Italianate architecture, has the distinction of being one of the earliest brick structures in the state. The mansion was the home of Colonel James Moreau Brown and his family and remained in the Brown family until the late 1920s; today the house is now a museum. While it was the Colonel who built the house, it seems to be his daughter Bettie that has stuck around over the years. She has been seen numerous times by staff and visitors, often in formal attire, with one caretaker even witnessing a ghostly argument between her and an unknown gentleman. Items in certain rooms have been seen to move on their own, such as furniture, and clocks stop for unknown reasons.

28. Ferry Plantation House, Virginia Beach, Virginia

While the current house dates to the early 19th century, the site it sits on actually dates back much further, to 1642 to be exact. At that time, it became the site of a ferry crossing, one that would be the scene of a fatal shipwreck in the early 1800s. With a history involving slaves, various owners, shipping fatalities, and more, this site has become a veritable beacon to those residing in the afterlife. Various paranormal groups have investigated here and captured a multitude of EVPs, which seems fitting since many people have reported hearing voices and whispers. A total of 11 ghosts are said to haunt this house, some of which died in the ferry accident while others include a slave and former owner of the house. These apparitions have been seen on numerous occasions by visitors, staff, and visiting researchers.

27. The Amityville Horror House, Amityville, New York

Perhaps one of the most controversial as well as frightening haunted houses in the country, this rather unassuming small town house was nevertheless the site of a very real mass murder. In the early hours of November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr stalked through his family’s home with a rifle, killing everyone in their beds as they slept. The victims included his parents and four siblings, who ranged in age from 9 to 18. Just over a year later, the Lutz family moved into the home where they began to experience paranormal events so severe that they abruptly left after only living in the house for less than a month. The events that they experienced included extreme cold spots and odd smells; slamming doors and moving objects; their children began sleeping in the manner in which the DeFeo’s had all been killed – face down on their stomachs; their youngest daughter befriended what was described as a demonic entity; and welts would appear out of nowhere.

26. Levy House, Reno, Nevada

Built by local businessman William Levy in 1906, this beautiful mansion has become home to a string of businesses over the years, as well as a few hauntings. Employees have often reported hearing footsteps running back and forth on the upper floors when no one was up there, and that sudden and unexplainable cold spots show up all of the time. Items also tend to show up in odd places after they’ve gone missing. People also experience sudden headaches in both the cellar and attic as well as the feeling of being watched throughout the house.

25. Kelton House, Columbus, Ohio

Now a house museum, this home was built in 1854 for Fernando and Sophia Kelton and remained in their family for three generations. Several members of the Kelton family from these generations are believed to still haunt the house. Both Fernando and Sophia have been seen in the house, with Sophia known to greet visitors while Fernando tends to cause them to bump into him before disappearing. Their eldest son died when he was just 18 years old while fighting for the Union and he has repeatedly been seen inside and outside of the house in his uniform. The last Kelton to live in the house, Grace, an interior designer, has also been seen and felt throughout the house. Items have gone missing, only to turn up in odd spots and furniture that is rearranged has a tendency to be put back when the staff returns the next day.

24. Chateau Laroche, Loveland, Ohio

Considering the slightly eccentric nature of this amazing home’s construction, it seems almost fitting that it should also serve as a site for various hauntings. This medieval castle replica was constructed by Harry Andrews over the course of 50 years has a hobby house, which he eventually willed to the local Boy Scouts troop. A couple lived near the castle for some time until their moonshine operation caused an explosion and killed the wife. Today, an entity that is thought to be this woman has been seen walking the grounds. It is believed that Andrews also haunts the castle, as an apparition has been seen going towards his old bedroom. Another entity dubbed “The Viking,” has also been seen, wearing a cloak and helmet. It is thought that this spirit is somehow attached to one of the artifacts Andrews brought back from Europe during his travels.

23. Loudoun House, Lexington, Kentucky

Looking more like something you might see in rural England rather as opposed to Kentucky, this impressive Gothic Revival mansion was built in the mid-19th Century for a local lawyer. The house remained a private residence until the 1920s when it was sold to the City of Lexington, which now uses it to house the Lexington Art League. Two different female apparitions in Victorian dress have been seen in two different locations within the mansion, while the spirit of a black cat has been repeatedly seen all throughout the building. Voices and soft music have often been heard and one of the upstairs bedrooms repeatedly exhibits the smell of 19th Century perfume.

22. The Pink Palace, Louisville, Kentucky

The hauntings that occur in this house act as a testament to the fact that not all spirits are negative entities, and that some of them are actually rather devoted to the living. The Victorian mansion was completed shortly before the dawn of the 20th Century to be used as a gentlemen’s club. It later became a private residence, passing through a succession of owners before being turned into apartments and finally back to a private home. Over the course of its history, one special spirit, dubbed as Avery, has consistently appeared to homeowners and tenants. He is described as a well-dressed gentleman from either the late 19th or early 20th Century and is considered a friendly spirit. His appearance is often heralded as a warning for some sort of calamity. He appeared to one female tenant while she was taking a bath, causing her to hurriedly get up, just before two intruders threw a concrete block through her bathroom window. He has also appeared in the kitchen to warn of impending fires.

21. Battery Carriage House Inn, Charleston, South Carolina

This beautiful mid-19th Century home commands an impressive site overlooking the waterfront battery and White Point Gardens in Charleston’s historic district. The main house itself remains a private home, but its rear carriage house has been turned into a quaint bed and breakfast, and this is where all of the supernatural events occur. The area surrounding the property has witnessed quite an interesting history, from events of the Civil War back to when pirates were hanged from nearby trees. This may be why the inn is such an active paranormal site. In room 8, male guests are typically targeted by a rough looking sort of ghost who likes to startle and harass them, without being hostile. Chairs have been known to slam against walls in this room and his apparition is usually only seen from the torso up. Room 10 has an apparition of a slender man who has mostly appeared to women, with a mother and daughter capturing the sound of breathing and tapping on a camera left running overnight, along with a shadow that continuously passed in front of it. The last bit of activity occurs in room 3 where strange lights are observed and electrical devices seem to have a mind of their own – like blaring to life when turned off or unplugged.

20. LaLaurie House, New Orleans, Louisiana

Bought in 1831 by Marie Delphine LaLaurie and her husband and extensively extended and remodeled, this elegant New Orleans mansion was the height of luxury and refinement for its day. However, it held a far more sinister secret in its slave quarter and attic space. While Madame LaLaurie seemed normal to her white, high-society counterparts, she enjoyed the sadistic torture and murder of her slaves in private. In 1834, a slave that had been chained to the stove in the kitchen started a fire in an attempt to either commit suicide or gain help, and it was at this time that the chained and mutilated slaves were found, causing a huge backlash of anger that culminated in a large mob descending on the mansion and destroying it. LaLaurie escaped and fled to France where she died about a decade later. The aftereffects of her malicious actions are still felt to this day, however, as extreme paranormal occurrences have been routinely reported at the mansion ever since the mid-19th century. Screams and groans are often heard, and apparitions of chained and mutilated slaves are often seen, much to the horror of visitors. Some have even reported being attacked by what appears to be the spirit of Madame LaLaurie.

19. Woodruff Fontaine House, Memphis, Tennessee

Completed in 1871, this house was built for Amos Woodruff, a local businessman. His daughter Mollie was married in the house and lived here her whole life…and beyond. Mollie’s spirit has been seen repeatedly throughout the house, now a museum, and has even interacted with employees. On one occasion, Mollie appeared to a couple of employees in order to explain that she would like the furniture rearranged according to how she’d always placed it in the house. Impressions are often left on her bed as if someone were sitting there. While Mollie’s spirit is certainly kindly, there is a more hostile male entity who frequents the first and third floor, leaving the second to Mollie. This particular entity greets many people with an overwhelming sense of hostility, and one woman even had her necklace ripped off of her.

18. The Sallie House, Atchison, Kansas

Few haunted houses in America have had the level of malevolency that has been reported in this particular house. Once a doctor’s house, a little girl named Sallie died here during a botched appendectomy and her spirit has been here ever since. When a family moved in during the ‘90s, this little girl began to create mischief, knocking pictures down, toying with electrical appliances, and leaving a trail of their child’s toys throughout the house. This activity eventually escalated to a violent level, but while they originally thought it was the little girl that their child had seen, they inevitably learned through a medium that it was actually a middle aged woman responsible for the violence. All of her malevolence was directed towards the male owner of the house, repeatedly scratching and gouging him, leaving deep red welts and scratching deep enough to cause bleeding and bruising. After this entity shoved him and almost sent him careening over the railing of the stairs on the second floor, the family finally moved out of fear for his life. These activities have been documented by several paranormal groups.

17. Sauer Castle, Kansas City Kansas

Built in 1871 by Anton Sauer, originally from Austria, this beautiful but now derelict Italianate home was a Sauer residence for several generations, during which time it was the site of many of the family’s traumatic tragedies. Two people have committed suicide in this house, while a third, a little girl, drowned in the pool on the property. The original owner, Anton, also passed away in this house. With so many deaths, most of which were not peaceful, the house has become a hotbed for the supernatural. Various disembodied voices have been heard, either laughing, shouting, or crying, while doors often open and slam on their own. People have reported feeling watched and that objects have had a tendency to shake or rattle violently on their own.

16. Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York City, New York

A pre-Revolutionary War landmark, this 1765 house was built by a British military officer and would later feature prominently in the Revolutionary War, with George Washington even using the house as his headquarters at one point. It seems that with all of this past activity, spirits in the house are a little restless themselves. Several different, distinct ghosts have been sighted here over the years, most of which seem to be from the Revolutionary period and the early decades following it. Former owner Eliza Jumel has been seen here, and the presence of both of her husbands – one of which was former Vice President Burr – have been reported. Ghosts here have a bit of a history with startling visitors. One visitor fainted upon seeing a Revolutionary War soldier step out of a painting, and another suffered a heart attack upon seeing one of the house’s ghosts.

15. Cedar Grove Mansion, Vicksburg, Mississippi

One of the most striking antebellum mansions in Mississippi, Cedar Grove has, for all of its beauty, seen its fair share of tragedy. Originally the home of John and Elizabeth Klein, it was also the site of some of the family’s deaths. One of their sons was killed on the back porch stairs when a gun accidentally went off – he was just 17 years old – and a daughter and two young infants died here as well, with their deaths attributed to disease. John Klein enjoyed pipe smoking, and near his study the smell of a pipe is often caught. Elizabeth has frequently been seen throughout the house, acting as if she’s simply carrying out her usual day to day chores. The apparition of a little girl has also been seen coming down the main stairs, and footsteps on the back porch stairs have also been heard. Apart from activity linked to the family, many guests have reported seeing Civil War soldiers throughout the house and grounds – hardly surprising since the house was also a hospital during the Civil War.

14. Ann Starrett Mansion, Port Townsend, Washington State

An enduring monument to love, this beautiful Queen Anne Victorian mansion was built in 1899 by George Starrett for his new wife Ann. They lived happily together in the mansion for the rest of their lives, and the house stayed in the family for some time before finally becoming the bed and breakfast it is today. The house exhibits a great deal of paranormal activity, some of which has been attributed to George and Ann, but the majority of activity is continuously linked to the nanny they hired to look after their only child, Edward. Both George and Ann have been seen throughout the house, but it is the nanny who has been seen and felt. She’s generally pleasant, but can take offense to certain people. She’s been known to make pictures fall off of walls, pages of books turn, and to create extreme cold spots. Lights get turned off when they’re left on in empty rooms and has been known to thump guests on the head for offensive remarks.

13. Manresa Castle, Port Townsend, Washington State

Inspired by chateaux in the French Renaissance style, this beautiful former mansion – now a hotel – was completed in 1892 at the behest of Prussian born Charles Eisenbeis. It was originally supposed to be a hotel, but this business venture fell through so Eisenbeis turned it into his family’s home. It remained empty for a couple of decades after his death and eventually became a Jesuit school, before finally achieving its original purpose as a hotel. While throughout the building there are instances of electrical devices switching on and off, and doors opening and closing on their own, it seems to be the third floor that’s the most haunted. Footsteps and voices are often heard on this floor, but room 306 is the most active. A female apparition has been seen and felt quite often here. She especially likes to go through guests’ belongings and usually moves things around; she’s often heard singing in the bathroom as well. The dining room and former chapel, also a dining area now, are also active, with apparitions of Eisenbeis’ wife Kate often seen, and reports of glasses being knocked over or shattering much talked about.

12. Adam Thoroughgood House, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Dating to about 1720, although previously thought to be much older, this quaint brick cottage was once the home of Adam Thoroughgood, a successful tobacco farmer and businessman. While it has had a rather uneventful history over the past three centuries, activity within the house hasn’t been so quiet. Two apparitions are commonly sighted here, one being a man and the other a woman, both in 18th century attire. The woman has been known to carry candles through the house while the man is simply observed passing from room to room, perhaps looking for something. A large group of visitors even witnessed the sudden movement of inanimate objects.

11. Kenmore Plantation, Fredericksburg, Virginia

This beautiful plantation house and its surrounding buildings were built in 1776 by Fielding Lewis for his wife Betty, who was also the sister of George Washington. Lewis sank a lot of money into the war effort against Britain during the American fight for independence, and apparently his ghost is still concerned over the state of his finances. He has often been seen sitting and going over his papers with a sour look on his face, and he has also been heard pacing the first floor hall very heavily. Staff have also reported seeing doorknobs turn on their own.

10. Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts

Undoubtedly Massachusetts’ most infamous residence, this house was the site of the notorious ax murders of the parents of Lizzie Borden, who herself was the main suspect in the murders. There was so much evidence against her that she was quickly charged with the crime and sent to court, only to be acquitted. No other person was charged with the murders, making this one of the nation’s most well-known unresolved murder cases. Oddly enough, Borden remained in Fall River for the rest of her life, residing in a neighborhood not far from where the murders took place. It is believed that her desire to remain here has held true even in death. Her ghost has often been seen throughout the house and has been heard laughing on the second floor near the stairs. Her father and step-mother have also been seen and heard, along with their former maid who has been heard calling for help.

9. House of the Seven Gables, Salem, Massachusetts

One of the most well-known historic houses in New England, the House of the Seven Gables was immortalized by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same name. Built in 1667, the house evolved over the years, featuring additions and later renovations that altered or removed additions, until finally being restored to its original grandeur. The house is now a museum, and staff and visitors often report supernatural occurrences. The electrical and plumbing systems seem to have minds of their own, as lights and faucets turn on and off unaided. Shadows and full apparitions have also been encountered, including a woman believed to be a former owner, and a little boy who plays in the attic.

8. The Pirate’s House, Savannah, Georgia

Known as the city’s oldest house, this structure dates back to 1753 when it was first used as a private residence. Sometime later in the century it became a tavern and inn, which it remained for many decades. Today, the building is used as a restaurant, with the former inn space on the second floor used for storage. During its time as a tavern and inn, it was mostly frequented by mariners and others of a rough sort. It was apparently the site of many shanghaiing episodes where privateers would get men drunk or drug them so that they could secret them away through a tunnel and to their ships, pressing their victims into service. Today, many spirits from this time period still frequent the establishment. Apparitions are often seen on the second floor and laughter is heard there as well. The first floor and basement are also very active, with chairs and place settings being rearranged in the dining rooms and people reporting being suddenly overcome by cold and nausea.

7. William Kehoe House, Savannah, Georgia

Formerly the home of William Kehoe and his family, this 1892 house later became a school, a funeral home, and today is operated as a historic inn. The Kehoe family, however, seems to have remained in residence long after their deaths, going about their usual routines while also interacting with guests and staff. Mrs. Kehoe has often been seen sitting at a desk, writing, or sitting on the beds of sleeping guests. Mr. Kehoe has been seen throughout the house as well, and on one occasion opened all of the exterior locked doors on the first floor…simultaneously. The young twin boys of the Kehoe’s, who died in a childhood accident, have also been seen roaming throughout the house, and their noisy footsteps heard as they run across the upper floors.

6. Villisca Ax Murder House, Villisca, Iowa

On the night of June 9, 1912, eight people, including six children, were murdered in this house by an unknown assailant wielding an ax. The murders, not surprisingly, caused a national sensation, and while many suspects were questioned and even tried – later acquitted – this mass murder remains unsolved to this day. Either from the violence of their deaths, or their unresolved nature (maybe a little of both), this house has subsequently become a very active sight for the supernatural. Apparitions have often been seen, and disembodied footsteps and voices are common occurrences. The sight and sounds of the children are the most widely reported, with EVPs and personal accounts indicating laughing and then crying, as well as some children telling others to hide.

5. Robinson Rose House, San Diego, California

Reconstructed in the late 20th century according to the specifications of the original mid-19th century structure, this building seems to have brought back some spirits along with it. Built by Judge James W. Robinson, this house was also used for private and community business purposes, making it a very active locale in its day. Today, this activity has continued in the form of various paranormal occurrences. Various apparitions in period attire have been seen, as well as strange human shaped mists. Footsteps are often heard and women often feel their hair tugged or toyed with. The ghosts seem fascinated by anything electrical, as lights often go on and off on their own and the elevator has a tendency to move from one floor to the other unmanned.

4. The White House, Washington D.C.

No residence in the country has had a history quite like that of the White House. Completed in 1800, burned by the British in 1812 and summarily reconstructed, the building has witnessed numerous physical changes over the past two centuries. However, it’s the human history attached to it that seems to be the most enduring. For generations, reports of apparitions have come from those living and working in the building, including from sources such as presidents, their family members, and visiting rulers and dignitaries. The most frequently seen and felt presence is that of President Abraham Lincoln. He has been seen sitting on his bed and tying up his shoes, lying in bed with a contemplative expression, as well as walking the halls. Abigail Adams has also been seen periodically.

3. The Octagon House, Washington D.C.

Completed in 1801, this former mansion is one of the most historic in the nation. Built for Colonel John Tayloe III, it was briefly the site of the French Embassy during the War of 1812, as well as the temporary residence of President Madison, who signed the Treaty of Ghent in its central parlor. Today, the building is used by the American Institute of Architects as a museum, but it has also made quite a name for itself as a center for paranormal activity, as far back as the mid-19th century. The central staircase is a major hotspot for the supernatural, as footsteps are often heard, along with the saddened voice of a woman. Doors have been locked only to suddenly be found standing wide open. Lights turn on and off on their own, and footsteps – and even faint footprints! – have been reported throughout the building, and objects often move without human interference.

2. The Whaley House, San Diego, California

Once a private residence, this mid-19th century house is now a museum dedicated to its former owners and the history they created here. Part of the house was once rented out to the County of San Diego for use as a courtroom…which may explain the appearance of several unidentified ghosts within the house. Apart from these unnamed apparitions, the original owner, Thomas Whaley, his wife, one of their children, a little girl, and a convict are repeatedly seen within the house. The house was apparently haunted as soon as it was built, as the spirit of a man who had been convicted and hanged on the site took up residence in the house upon its completion. The Whaley apparitions are often seen engaged in the normal activities of their former day to day lives. Doors have been known to close and lock on their own, and footsteps are often heard throughout the house, along with music and the crying of a baby.

1. Sturdivant Hall, Selma, Alabama


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