10 Famously Haunted Houses

Do you love a good ghost story? How about real ghost stories? Whether or not you believe in ghosts, you have to admit that supposedly haunted houses can be more than a little bit creepy. As Halloween approaches, let’s take a look at some of the world’s famously haunted houses. While these are far from the only haunted houses around, with some of their back stories, it’s no wonder they’ve earned their reputation.

1. Winchester House

This house was built by the wife of an heir to the Winchester rifle fortune. Sarah Winchester had a seeming obsession with ghosts, building continuously in an effort to confuse ghosts. She also built strange features into the home for this purpose (such as staircases going nowhere and doors opening to walls). She was known to hold regular seances and to use guidance from the spirits to determine the next building project on the home. The home was partially destroyed in an earthquake in 1906. The photos below show the home before and after that earthquake.

Winchester House
Credit: Simon Carrasco (via Flickr)
Winchester House
Before the 1906 earthquake – Credit: San Jose Library

2. The White House

The White House is probably the most famous historic residence in the United States. It’s said to be haunted by the ghosts of several past U.S. presidents — most notably Abraham Lincoln.

The White House
Credit: Jed Scattergood (via Flickr)

3. Raynham Hall

Raynham Hall is located in Norfolk, England. It’s the home of one of the most famous ghost photographs of all time — that of the Brown Lady.

Raynham Hall
Credit: Nigel Jones (via Wikipedia.org)

4. The Lizzie Borden House

This house (now a bed and breakfast) was the home of Lizzie Borden — famously tried and acquitted of murdering her father and stepmother with a hatchet. If you can’t visit this haunted house in person, you can view a short video tour on the inn’s website.

Lizzie Borden House
Credit: dbking (via Flickr)

5. The Myrtles Plantation

This plantation home is said to house a dozen ghosts. Its most famous ghost is that of a slave named Chloe. However, there is no evidence she ever existed. There was one verified murder on the property though — that of William Winter, who was shot on the porch.

The Myrtles Plantation
Credit: ShannonLane.com (via Flickr)

6. The Whaley House

The Whaley House in California was built on the site of former gallows. Because of this, the home is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of hanging victim, “Yankee Jim” Robinson. Ghosts of members of the Whaley family who died in the home have also been reported.

The Whaley House
Credit: Konrad Summers (via Flickr)

7. The LaLaurie House

This New Orleans mansion was the home of a terrible woman — Delphine LaLaurie — who was known to torture her slaves. The home is said to be haunted by the spirits of some of these slaves.

The LaLaurie Mansion
Credit: Reading Tom (via Flickr)

8. Loftus Hall

Ireland’s Loftus Hall is not only supposedly haunted, but it’s the only home on our list currently abandoned and boarded up — out of the reach of curiosity seekers. This home was rumored to have been visited by the devil himself. However, that story is rooted in the original building. The one currently on the premises was built after the original home’s exorcism and later demolition.

Loftus Hall
Credit: dneale52 (via Wikipedia.org)

9. Rose Hall

This Jamaican plantation home is said to be haunted by the ghost of Annie Palmer, better known as the White Witch. She was thought to be tied to the practice of voodoo, and is believed to be responsible in some way for the death of three husbands. She herself was supposedly murdered in the house during a slave uprising.

Rose Hall
Credit: Loren Sztajer (via Flickr)

10. The Borley Rectory

This English rectory was dubbed “the most haunted house in England” by paranormal investigator, Harry Price. Everything from ghostly footprints and the ghost of a nun to headless horsemen have been reportedly witnessed at the Borley Rectory.

Borley Rectory
Credit: rolldi (via Wikipedia.org)

Have you ever visited one of these famously haunted houses? Do you believe it was really haunted, or do you think there’s another explanation? Are there any local haunts around where you live that you want people to know about? Share it with us in the comments below.

Written by
Jennifer Mattern