5 Most Haunted Houses in America
1. LaLaurie House, New Orleans, LA
Built in 1832 and owned by socialite Madame Delphine LaLaurie and her husband, Dr. Louis LaLaurie, the house was the reported setting for vicious cruelty against the couple’s slaves. In April, 1834, a fire broke out in the LaLaurie residence on Royal Street, starting in the kitchen. When the police and fire marshals got there, they found a seventy-year-old woman, the cook, chained to the stove by her ankle. She later confessed to them that she had set the fire as a suicide attempt for fear of her punishment, being taken to the uppermost room, because she said “Anyone who had been taken there, never came back.” As reported in the New Orleans Bee of April 11, 1834, bystanders responding to the fire attempted to enter the slave quarters. The bystanders broke down the doors to the slave quarters and found seven slaves in various states of mutilation – suspended by the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other.
At one point actor Nicolas Cage owned the home, and while he said he never saw any ghosts, he too felt the curse of the home; losing the property to foreclosure in 2009.
2. Winchester House, San Jose, CA
The residence of Sarah Winchester, widow of gun magnate William Winchester, this house was under continuous construction from 1884 until Sarah’s death in 1922. The 38 years worth of round-the-clock construction cost an estimated $5.5 milllion (over $70 million today). The result: a maze-like structure that includes 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 the spirits that had fallen to her husband’s invention.
3. 108 Ocean Drive, Amityville, NY
In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into 112 Ocean Avenue, a large Dutch Colonial house in Amityville, a suburban neighborhood located on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Thirteen months before the Lutzes moved in, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. had shot and killed six members of his family at the house. After 28 days, the Lutzes left the house, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena while living there. In 1977 Jay Anson would publish a book based on the Lutz’ experience. Some of the paranormal activity mentioned in the book include swarms of flies in mid winter, levitation, vivid nightmares, and hidden rooms stained red.
The five bedroom Dutch Colonial was listed by Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty for $1.15 million in 2010.
4. Franklin Castle, Cleveland, OH
Unlike the previous three haunted homes on this list, Franklin Castle actually looks the part. Built in 1865 for German immigrant Hannes Tiedemann, the castle saw the death’s of Tiedemann’s mother as well as four of his children within a three year period. The nature of the deaths gave rise to rumors of various crimes committed in the house by Tiedemann. The home is rumored to have a variety of hidden rooms and passages that were used for bootlegging during prohibition.
The gothic-style castle was sold in 2010 for $260,000 to Oh Dear! Productions. The company has plans to turn the property into a 3-family home.
5. The White House, Washington, DC
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might be the most famous address in the United States. It’s also reportedly home to a veritable who’s-who of ghostly spirits including Abigail Adams, Dolly Madison, Abe Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, and a British soldier from the War of 1812. Lincoln has been the White House’s most social ghostly figure. Mrs. Coolidge reported seeing the ghost of Lincoln staring out of the Oval Office window on several occasions and a young clerk once claimed he saw Lincoln sitting on a bed pulling off his boots.