Share on Facebook

10 Real-Life Haunted Houses You Need to See

Get your fill of paranormal activity with a haunted house near you.

whaley house museum san diegoArtazum/Shutterstock

The Whaley House: San Diego, California

In 1852, James “Yankee Jim” Robinson was hanged for grand larceny. A few years later, Thomas and Anna Whaley built a house on the spot of Robinson’s death. Soon after, Yankee Jim’s ghost came to stay. He’s known to storm around the house. Today, Mr. and Mrs. Whaley, a young girl, and the family dog have also been known to show up at the home in ghost form. The Whaley House was classified as haunted by the U.S. Commerce Department in the 1960s. 

san jose california winchester mansionMichael Neil Thomas/Shutterstock

Winchester Mystery House: San Jose, California

This Victorian mansion is haunted by the ghosts of everyone killed by a Winchester rifle. To make room for all of the dead, the house’s owner, Sarah Winchester, the heir to the Winchester rifle fortune (and the founder’s widow), continued to add rooms to host the ghosts. The house now has 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, 47 fireplaces, 40 staircases, 13 bathrooms, and nine kitchens.

lizzie borden houseJames Kirkikis/Shutterstock

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast: Fall River, Massachusetts

In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were killed by a psychopath with an ax. Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie, stood trial for the crimes but was ultimately acquitted. She is now said to haunt the home where her father and stepmother were infamously murdered. Her ghost is said to stop at the top of the stairs and let out a laugh. Today, the house is a museum and bed and breakfast. Every August, the museum stages their annual re-enactment of the gory crimes. How creepy! Here’s how to find out if someone died in your house.

Amityville houseRichard Drew/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Amityville Horror House: Amityville, New York

The famous haunted house of Amityville resides on New York’s Long Island. In 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. inexplicably shot and killed his mother, father, two sisters, and two brothers while they slept. He received life in prison, and the house was put up for sale. A couple with three young children bought the house, but soon began to hear strange noises, had swarms of flies invade the house, found cloven pig hooves in the snow, and the young daughter made a frightening imaginary friend. They subsequently moved out 28 days later. The Amityville Horror is one of our favorite horror films based on true stories.

haunted lemp mansion restaurantJAMES A. FINLEY/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The Lemp Mansion: St. Louis, Missouri

This 33-room home was built in the 1860s by William Lemp, a successful brewery owner in the Midwest who ultimately committed suicide in 1904 after his youngest son died. A few years later, his wife died of cancer in the house. In 1922, William Lemp Jr. shot himself in the same room as his father. In 1949, William’s third son, Charles Lemp, shot his dog in the basement, then killed himself in his room. The house was sold and made into a boarding house that year, although reports quickly surfaced of burning sensations and slamming doors. Today, the mansion is a restaurant and inn, and even hosts a Murder Mystery Dinner. 

Hotel monte vista arizonaFotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock

The Hotel Monte Vista: Flagstaff, Arizona

Since its opening in 1927 as the Community Hotel, Monte Vista has seen numerous paranormal guests come through. Guests of room 220 have reported the TV changing channels on its own, while others have claimed to feel hands touching them in their sleep. The ghost of a bellboy has also been said to knock on doors and announce “room service.” When guests open the door, no one is there. There’s even the ghost of a baby crying from the basement. Despite all the haunting stories, the hotel says there has been no information to explain the peculiar goings-on! You may also be intrigued by these 100 super-scary home inspector nightmare photos.

myrtles plantationRoberto Michel/Shutterstock

Myrtles Plantation: St. Francisville, Louisiana

Dating back to 1796, the Myrtles Plantation is rumored to have been built on top of an Indian burial ground. It’s believed to be home to at least 12 different ghosts. Among the ghosts is former slave Chloe, who had her ear chopped off for eavesdropping. Chloe sought revenge by poisoning a birthday cake that ultimately killed two of the master’s daughters. She was then hanged by her fellow slaves, and today is said to wander about the plantation with a turban covering her ear. Today, you can stay at the plantation to get your dose of creepy paranormal activity. Check out these haunted house mysteries no one can explain.

crescent hotel arkansasBonita R. Cheshier/Shutterstock

The Crescent Hotel: Eureka Springs, Arkansas

In 1937, millionaire inventor Norman G. Baker pretended to be a doctor, turning a hotel into a hospital where he claimed he could cure people’s cancer. His fetish for the color purple motivated him to paint many sections of the hospital purple. Today, the chimneys remain that color—an eerie reminder of the horrifying time when people came from all over the world to have their cancer cured by a fake. In fact, many who were treated there died. Although the inventor was ultimately exposed and run out of town, the property remains an active hotel—haunted by several ghosts.

white house washington dcAndrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

The White House: Washington, D.C.

The federal government has hosted some of the most powerful people throughout history, so it makes sense it would come with a little haunted activity. Visitors, staff, and White House residents have reported seeing the ghosts of Abraham Lincoln, Abigail Adams, and Andrew Jackson. Among the witnesses, FDR, Dwight Eisenhower, and Winston Churchill have claimed to have seen the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. The Obamas even claimed to have repeatedly heard strange sounds and felt a sensation of someone gnawing at their feet in the middle of the night. Check out some more spooky ghost stories from the world’s most haunted places.

Biltmont estate NCZakZeinert/Shutterstock

The Biltmore Estate: Asheville, North Carolina

The Biltmore Estate is an infamous and massive home whose original owners, George and Edith Vanderbilt, still haunt it. While he died in 1914 and she in 1958, their ghosts continue to walk the grounds and laugh in certain rooms. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, is the largest home in the U.S. and comes in at a staggering 135,280 square feet. Here are 15 more of the best haunted houses in America.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected], and check out her website: