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13 Haunted House Mysteries No One Can Explain

These creepy houses already look like perfect locations for a haunt, but they also hide dark and horrible secrets.

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myrtles plantation
via myrtlesplantation.com

Myrtles Plantation: St. Francisville, Louisiana

Just how many murders and deaths have occurred at Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana is up for debate; some say it’s as many as 10, while others think the only murder was one of the owners who got shot on his own property. However, there is a legend that one of the former slaves on the plantation killed her master’s family and still haunts the grounds, though no one knows for sure.

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Pittock Mansion a historical landmark in Portland Oregon.

Pittock Mansion: Portland, Oregon

The Pittock Mansion now belongs to the city, but many believe it’s still the property of the ghosts who are said to reside there. Unlike other stories of haunted houses, this one has friendly ghosts. The mystery here, then, is why they are still there. Why do they make themselves known to people? If nothing bad happened, why haunt the mansion?

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winchester mystery house

The Winchester Mystery House: San Jose, California

With the word mystery in its name, the Winchester House has a good reason for its reputation. Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, continued construction on this house after her husband and infant child had passed with the purpose of creating a mystery. A psychic had told her that her family died because the spirits of the people who died by Winchester rifles were angry; by continuing to add rooms and wings to her home, she could give these spirits a place to go. Sarah believed that the confusing passageways that turned on themselves and staircases that led nowhere would confuse and trap the evil spirits. If you think that’s spooky, these chilling ghost stories are absolutely true.

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Glasses of light and dark beer on a pub background.
Natalya Okorokova/Shutterstock

Lemp Mansion: St. Louis, Missouri

Once one of the wealthiest families in the United States, the Lemps’ legacy is now death and mystery. They earned an immense fortune thanks to their brewery, but luck was not on their side: Numerous untimely family deaths plagued the mansion. The most haunting mystery of all is the legend that William Lemp, Jr. spawned a deformed child with a prostitute and kept the boy hidden away in the attic for his entire life.

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lizzie borden house
James Kirkikis/Shutterstock

The Lizzie Borden House: Fall River, Massachusetts

Everyone knows about Lizzie Borden’s ax and her 40-plus whacks thanks to the ghoulish children’s rhyme. So, did she really chop up her own parents? While she was officially acquitted of all charges during her lifetime, the debate still continues today. No one knows for certain what really happened in that house and whether Lizzie was a normal young lady or a cold-blooded killer. Here are more spooky stories from the most haunted places in the world.

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the whaley house
Sherry V Smith/shutterstock

Whaley House: San Diego, California

Now a museum and landmark, this property has had a long history of hauntings, due to the number of people who were hanged there and the suicide of Violet Whaley in 1885. The most striking story is one of a man called Yankee Jim, who was hanged there after committing a serious crime and still haunts the premises.

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Fugitive slaves fleeing from Eastern Maryland to an Underground Railroad depot in Delaware Ca. 1863.
Everett Historical/Shutterstock

McPike Mansion: Alton, Illinois

The entire town of Alton, Illinois, is known for its paranormal activity. The McPike Mansion is Alton’s most well-known haunted house, as dozens of people have reported strange phenomena there. The spirits of all the previous owners are thought to haunt the property; some say that it’s part of a Native American curse, while others say it is because it was an old stop on the famous Underground Railroad. Don’t miss the 11 creepiest things caught on security cameras.

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Waiter in a tuxedo on a black background

Governor William Sprague Mansion: Cranston, Rhode Island

The Sprague Mansion has been haunted for many years. The wine cellar and the doll room—yes, a room filled with dolls–are the two rooms with the most reported supernatural activity. Legend also says that a ghost named Charlie the Butler haunts the place because he is still angry at his wealthy employer for refusing a marriage between their two children.

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Spooky dark castle house Halloween
Andriy Babets/Shutterstock

Franklin Castle: Cleveland, Ohio

This Ohio home has all kinds of terrible history attached to it. From the deaths of several infants to the executions of German Nazis taking up residence there, there is no short supply of mysteries and ghosts. It is one of the most haunted—and one of the most tragic—houses in America. But how does it compare to the most haunted colleges in America?

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The Bible with the Cross in the Hands of the Priests

The Amityville Horror House: Amityville, New York

The murders of six members of the DeFeo family and the following haunting of the Lutz family has made the Amityville House world famous. It has inspired several horror films with its stories of demons, possessions, and more. Did the supernatural cause all of these deaths and hauntings? Or was it just a man?

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governer's mansion
Joseph Sohm/shutterstock

Woodburn Mansion: Dover, Deleware

The story goes that a little girl was found dead in the fountain of the Woodburn Mansion during the inauguration of Delaware’s governor. People also say that soldiers from the Revolutionary War still raid the place for all the drink they can find. If haunted mysteries are your thing, find out how to become a real-life ghost hunter, according to an expert.

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Exit from dark room
maradon 333/Shutterstock

“The Murder House”: Boise, Idaho

Not very original in name, but it gets the point across. “The Murder House” of Boise, Idaho, is so named because in 1987 a dead man was found inside, chopped into pieces—and no one’s sure why. They say his soul still haunts the house and will do so forever.

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The sun rises on a pair of doors stops on the front patio of the Ferry Plantation House in Virginia Beach, VA.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferry_Plantation_House
Bill Chizek/Shutterstock

Ferry Plantation House: Virginia Beach, Virginia

It is said that more than ten spirits lurk around the Ferry Plantation House, including ghosts of those who died in a ferry wreck. A woman thought to have been a witch was killed there, too, and also haunts the premises. Next, get ready for the spookiest urban legend from every state.

Taylor Markarian
Taylor Markarian is a regular contributor to RD.com covering culture, advice, travel, pets and all things weird and haunted. She is the author of "From the Basement: A History of Emo Music and How It Changed Society," which analyzes the evolution of punk and mental health. She holds a B.A. in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College.