11 "Real" Haunted Houses to Visit—If You Dare!

Creaking doors, cold spots, moving objects—be afraid, be very afraid of these famed ghostly retreats.

The Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana

Myrtle Plantation

A staggering 10 murders are said to have been committed on the grounds of The Myrtles Plantation, although only one is confirmed. Nevertheless, numerous reports of ghoulish activity—ghosts of former slaves appearing to ask about chores, inexplicable footsteps heard on the stairs, and even a grand piano playing itself—have earned this 18th century Louisiana plantation the reputation of being one of America's most haunted homes. The property is now a bed-and-breakfast, so you can check in and check it out for yourself.


Franklin Castle in Ohio

Franklin Castle

With its gloomy exterior and secret passageways, Franklin Castle certainly lives up to its title: the Most Haunted House in Ohio. Franklin Castle has it all—children crying, voices arguing in the walls, chandeliers spinning, faces materializing in the woodwork, a reoccurring blood stain, and a mysterious woman in black who appears in the topmost turret window. Other peculiarities about the home are almost as creepy: a room that is 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house, a stash of baby skeletons said to have been discovered in the 1970s, and the macabre history of its original owner, whose family and many of those around him may have died under mysterious circumstances.

Flickr.com; Francis B Angelone

Hampton Lillibridge House in Georgia

Hampton Lillibridge

The stately Hampton Lillibridge house is considered to be the most haunted house in Savannah. The site of multiple unfortunate deaths, the home was uninhabited for years and is believed to be cursed by an ancient crypt in its basement. The house's eerie history does not disappoint: Even now, neighbors report seeing shadowy figures in the windows and hearing music and laughter—signs that some otherworldly party is under way.


The Arnold Estate in Rhode Island

The Conjuring House

The last words the previous owner said to the Warren family as they moved into their new, spacious Rhode Island home were, "Leave the lights on at night." From that moment on, the Warrens endured 10 years of hauntings so chilling that they became the basis for a movie, The Conjuring. Some spirits were kindly, sweeping the kitchen every week, while some were malicious, attacking—and even possessing—their mother. The eldest daughter, Andrea, explains, "Eight generations of one family lived and died in that house prior to our arrival...some of them never left."


The Villisca House in Iowa

Villisca House

In 1912, this Iowa home was the site of a gruesome axe murder that took the lives of eight people in their sleep, six of them children. At the time, the police had no protocol for criminal investigations of this nature and allowed city residents to walk about the house while the victims lay in bed. In the 100 years that followed, people have heard voices of children crying and seen doors opening and shutting on their own. Neighbors have watched multiple tenants flee, terrified, in the middle of the night, never to return.


George Stickney House in Illinois

George Stickney House

Because he believed spirits needed the freedom to roam his house without getting trapped in angles, George Stickney designed his Illinois home with rounded corners. It has been more than 150 years since Stickney and his wife conducted regular seances in this now famous abode, but the supernatural occurrences have not ceased. Stickney's residence is now home to the Bull Valley Police Department; strange footsteps, objects moving on their own, and shouts coming from thin air have been enough to prompt a few officers to turn in their badges. 


Ashmore Estates in Illinois

Ashmore Estates

Ashmore Estates, a former poorhouse and then mental facility in Illinois, sat abandoned for decades. Some believe that it used to be the meeting place for a satanic cult. Others say they've heard disembodied voices, felt hot and cold spots, and even seen full-bodied apparitions. Still others claim they've run into Elva Skinner, the spirit of a young girl who tragically died there more than a century ago. Visitors' experiences differ, but all agree on one thing—this building is massively haunted.


Smith-Ely Mansion

Smith-Ely Mansion

Built in 1858, this 43-room Classical Revival mansion in upstate New York retains much of its original craftsmanship. But craftsmanship isn't all you'll find here. Shadows move from room to room, there are sounds of people breathing when no one is around, and some mysterious event in 2008 upset one construction worker so much that he refused to reenter the house! Thrill seekers have the chance to experience the hauntings for themselves—today the Smith-Ely Mansion is a bed-and-breakfast.


Rowan Oak in Mississippi

Rowan Oak

Famed writer William Faulkner is said to haunt his former residence in Oxford, Mississippi. The Greek Revival house was built in the 1840s and is now a National Historic Landmark. If you take a trip to see Faulkner's famous homestead, you might just spy his ghost wandering the grounds—or even writing on the walls.


Pittock Mansion in Oregon

Pittock Mansion

This 22-room French Renaissance-style chateau in Portland, Oregon, sounds like the ideal site for a horror movie, and for good reason—several films have been shot here. Although random apparitions are said to materialize, they seem to be happy. In fact, many people would even say that one of the mysterious presences—a strong scent of roses—is actually a blessing.


Pioneer Park in Colorado

Pioneer Park

Although charming, this Aspen, Colorado, house is said to be haunted by the scorned wife of Henry Webber. Rumor has it she learned of his apparent affair with their niece and committed suicide by ingesting strychnine. Webber went on to marry the niece, and the couple heard gloomy footsteps wandering the house and roof until Henry’s death.


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