Truly Haunted Houses Across America

Let’s face it; some of us get a kick out of being creeped out this time of year. Perhaps it’s the pumpkins we enjoy carving with their ghoulish faces etched into contorted features. Or, maybe it’s our lawns with cobwebs, tombstones and orange lights. But perhaps the best thing about Halloween for some, is seeking out haunted places – or at least reading about them. Personally, I’m not into walking through haunted houses for fear of my leg or arm being grabbed or hearing creepy sounds – even if they are made by a real, live person. But, I do enjoy the occasional spooky read about haunted places around the world. For those of you that enjoy being spooked during Halloween, here are a few places across America that you may want to check out.

Winchester House, San Jose, California

Its Victorian era peaks seem to stretch to eternity and its large, dark windows gape at passersby. But this haunted house, filled with hallways that end abruptly and walled off rooms, still manages to beckon visitors around Halloween each year.

The year was 1884 when Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, began construction on the huge house at the recommendation of a medium that she sought after the untimely deaths of her husband and only child. The medium encouraged building the house to ward off the spirits of all the souls Winchester rifles had taken over the years. But with one caveat… building on the house must never cease, or the spirits would kill Sarah.

For years Sara had her builders work onto the house and construct the maze-like residence full of twisting and turning hallways, dead-ends, secret panels, a window built into a floor, staircases leading to nowhere, doors that open to walls, upside-down columns, and rooms built, then intentionally closed off  — all to ward off and confuse evil spirits. The construction continued until Sarah’s death in 1922 but the spookiness of the house remains today as a tourist attraction.

Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, MA

To say someone must have been mad in the Borden house is an understatement. On August 4, 1892 Andrew and Abby Borden were found hacked to death with an ax. The suspect? Andrew’s own daughter, Lizzie, who is said to have misgivings about her new stepmother, Abby, because she thought that her father was bequeathing his assets to her step-mother’s side of the family. Surprisingly, Lizzie was found “not guilty” by a jury, but the old Borden house still screams for justice for the slain couple in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Franklin Castle, Cleveland, OH

It’s got all the makings of a truly haunted house – a tower, balconies, old weathered stone, wrought iron fences and even gargoyles that loom hauntingly over the four-story structure, but this Gothic mansion has the spooks to go with its looks.

Belonging originally to Hannes Tiedemann, the house is said to contain ghosts of past occupants who met untimely deaths – including three infants whose skeletons were found in the house and Hannes’s own daughter who died at the hands of her father. Add to that the echoes of screaming babies and the hushed talks of Nazis, and this structure makes for a truly haunted house to explore!

 The White House, Washington DC

If you’ve ever wanted to meet any of our past presidents, perhaps a White House tour is all you need. Many past presidents and heads of state have either seen Abraham Lincoln or felt his presence in the White House. In fact, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands thought what they saw was so real that they fainted at the sight.

Rumor has it that workers have seen an angry Dolley Madison when they tried to dig up her rose garden. Plus, some have said that they’ve heard 7th President Andrew Jackson chuckling in the Rose Bedroom.  Third president Thomas Jefferson plays his violin in the Yellow Oval Room, and others say they’ve seen British soldiers walking the hallways.

 Got a favorite haunted house you’d like to share with us? Tell us about it by commenting below.

And remember this Halloween day, when traveling through neighborhoods in search of candy and spooks to do so safely. Wear something light to help be seen at night, tell family or friends where you’ll be and when you’ll return, and always keep your wits about you. Boo!

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