From a Southern plantation to a farmhouse in Iowa, America is full of haunted houses. Here are eight of the most frightening.
The 162-year-old May-Stringer House in Brooksville, FL is one of the oldest homes in the area, not to mention the most haunted. Legend has it up to eight ghosts roam the property which is now a historical museum.
Today, guides and paranormal investigators report moving shadows, glowing orbs of light, and the sound of a wailing child. Many believe the child is Jessie Mae, a lost spirit calling out for the mother she never knew. Other ghosts include a former resident, a shooting victim, and an angry spirit known as Mr. Nasty.
Myrtles Plantation – St. Francisville, Louisiana
The Myrtles Plantation bills itself as one of the most haunted homes in America. Dozens of legends surround the historic property, though the tale of a murderous slave is by far the most famous.
According to popular legend, a slave named Chloe baked an oleander-laced cake and poisoned three members of the prominent Woodruff family: Sarah, the lady of the plantation, and her two daughters. Now the murdered family, and Chloe, reportedly haunted the property.
Today, hand prints and strange “drip” marks appear on a mirror the group haunts, marks that no amount of cleaning can remove. Visitors also report seeing figures in old-fashioned clothing lurking inside the mirror’s warped glass.
Eliza Thompson House – Savannah, Georgia
Located at 5 West Jones Street, the home now known as The Eliza Thompson House was built in 1847 for a prosperous cotton dealer and his family. Today, it’s an inn with a haunted reputation.
Number 132, the R. Bruce Room, is one of the home’s original bedrooms and is reportedly home to the ghost of a uniformed soldier. According to local legend, several guests have spotted an ethereal soldier gazing out the window of the room. Innkeeper Susan Powers says the ghost usually only appears from the waist up.
The Amityville Horror House – Amityville, New York
On November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr., shot and killed his parents and four siblings as they slept in their beds at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, NY. Now, the Amityville horror house is arguably the most famous haunted home in the United States.
Thirteen months after the DeFeo murders, the Lutz family of five moved into the Ocean Avenue home. What followed was 28 days of unimaginable horror, or so the legend goes. The Lutz family story inspired countless books and a dozen films.
According to Jay Anson’s best-selling book, The Amityville Horror (1977), terrifying events at the home included doors flinging open and closed, slime oozing from walls, cloven hoof prints in the snow, physical assaults from unseen entities, and hordes of flies, among other things.
Both the original Ocean Avenue home and the house used in the Amityville films still exist. No family after the Lutzes has reported any strange activity.
Lizzie Borden House – Fall River, Massachusetts
On August 4th, 1892, someone took an ax to Andrew and Abby Borden inside their Fall River, MA home. The gruesome story made international headlines, and some say, a haunting.
Given the gory history of the Borden home, it’s hardly surprising the building has a haunted reputation. Strange events at the property, include the sound of a woman weeping, muffled conversations in empty rooms, and shoes moving across the floor. Another tale speaks of a maid who quit after seeing the indention of a body on the bed in Abby’s room.
Thomas-Carithers House – Athens, Georgia
The Alpha Gamma Delta sorority house in Athens, GA hosts more than exclusive parties and secret initiation rites. This 121-year-old home, known historically as the Thomas-Carithers house, is also said to harbor the heartbroken ghost of a beautiful young woman abandoned at the altar.
Legend has it the spurned bride hanged herself in the attic after her groom failed to show. Now, sorority sisters report doors opening and closing on their own, faucets turning on and off, the sound of a chair moving in the attic, and lights flickering with no explanation. The antique piano in the parlor has also been known to play by itself.
Villisca Ax Murder House – Villisca, Iowa
On June 10, 1912, someone took an ax to six members of the Moore family and their two overnight guests. Six of the victims were children and each had been viciously struck in the head. Though authorities investigated many suspects, including one man who stood trial twice, none were found guilty, and the murder remains unsolved. Today, the home is reportedly haunted by the slaughtered victims. Strange activity includes vanishing bloodstains, disembodied voices, and shoves from unseen hands.
Sorrel-Weed House – Savannah, Georgia
Built in 1840, the Sorrel-Weed House in Savannah, GA is famous for its history and infamous for its ghosts.
Legend has it wealthy cotton shipping merchant Francis Sorrel took a liking to one of his slaves and arranged for her to live in the carriage house. When Sorrel’s wife Matilda discovered the affair, she jumped the home’s second-story balcony and died in the courtyard below. The slave hanged herself soon after. Both women allegedly haunt the home today.
Eerie events at the 177-year-old site include odd thuds and bangs, disembodied voices, and shadowy forms. Many visitors also report feeling violently ill.
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