US a destination full of creepy places and in this story, we are going to cover some of the scariest haunted houses in America. Wade through each of these-
Table of Contents
Drish House, Alabama
The house was built in 1837 by Dr John R Drish who was a prominent early settler, as a focal point for a plantation. The building was remodelled in 1850s when an Italianate Tower was built. In 1906 it was converted into a public school. Later on it was used as a garage. From 1940 it was brought and used by the South side Baptist Church. From 1997 the house has been leased by the Heritage Commission of Tuscaloosa County, to save it from demolition.
After the death of John his wife would light candles while he lay in state. After he was buried she put the candles away and made it known that she wanted this done when she passed, this became bit of an obsession to her in which she was constantly reminding people what to do. Know it is said that the room where the candles where lit, lights as if there is a fire there even though this is not the case, and also the ghost of Sarah can sometimes be seen.
Decatur House, Washington DC
The house was built in 1818 for naval hero Stephen Decatur and his wife Susan, it was the first residential property to be built on what was then known as President Park (now Lafayette Square), as the White House was just across the street.
The Decatur’ only owned the home for a short time as Stephen died at a young age following a duel, Susan auctioned off the majority of the belongings and moved to a smaller home. After them the house belonged to different important political figures, including Henry Clay and Edward Livingstone. Also it was home to numerous slaves and servants. The National Trust For Historic Preservation took over the house in 1956 after it was bequeathed to them by Marie Beale, whose family has occupied the house for 84 years.
The house is one of the oldest surviving in Washington, and one of only three surviving which were built by the designer Benjamin Henry Latrobe who was America’s first professional architect and engineer.
Stephen is said to haunt his former home, seen as a shadowy figure mainly in an upstairs window or coming out of the backdoor, also the sound of mournful weeping as been heard this is thought to be his wife.
Gilcrease House, Oklahoma
Lawyer Flower Nelson brought some land of the Mackey’s in 1909; in 1913 he built a one story sandstone mansion with veranda on this land. Thomas Gilcrease saw and fell in love with the mansion he offered the Nelsons a good deal and brought it from them. He lived there with his first wife belle Harlow and their two sons, this marriage ended in divorce in 1926, he married again in 1926 to Norma Smallwood and had a daughter, again it ended in divorce in 1933.
Gilcrease had made his fortune when he had established his own business The Gilcrease Oil Company. In 1943 it became a home for orphaned Indian children, in that same year a second floor was added with bedrooms for the girls and another building was done for the boys. In 1849 Gilcrease moved back to his home after moving for a short while to San Antonio.
For years he had been collecting art and learning about the American West, whilst in San Antonia he opened his own museum for the public to see his collection. He took all his collection back to Tulsa with him; he eventually built a museum there in his grounds and opened it to the public. In the 1950’s oil prices began to drop and Gilrease found it difficult to keep his museum going due to increasing debts and considered selling his collection.
The people of Tulsa got together and voted 3 – 1 to pay of his debts with a bond. Thomas then deeded the collection to the city of Tulsa and committed oil revenue to help in the running of the museum until the bond was paid off. In 1958 the Gilcrease Foundation gave the museum building and the ground to Tulsa as well. Thomas continued to live in his house up until his death in 1962, he bequeathed the rest of what he had collected in his final few years to the museum, and his house and garden also became part of the museum and grounds.
Thomas now in spirit still likes to look around his art collection and potter around his house. Due to this many security officers came and went until one was found that did not mind the night time visitor. Footsteps are heard and doors open and close by themselves, this is thought to be Thomas’ doing. Also a few Indian children have been seen in the house and in the garden.
Hammock House, North Carolina
The house was built in the 1700s even before the town was established and as long been a landmark for the ships that enter Beaufort Harbour. When it was built the waters edge came so close to the porch that smaller boats would be tied to it. The earlier use of the house was probably that of an inn and it is a place where Blackbeard the notorious pirate would often stay. In 1915 when work was been carried out on the back porch, human remains were found they were believed to be 3 union officers who went missing in 1862.
During the civil war it was used as a base by the Union Army. There have been many different owners but most did not stay for long before moving on. For a long time it was left neglected and suffered from vandalism. The present owners have fully restored it and the inside is once again much like it was originally. It is now part of the Beufort Historical Association Tour.
The paranormal activity that is said to go on is the sound of a woman screaming, this is believed to be one of Blackbeards many wives whom he killed by hanging her from one of the oak trees in the yard, a male ghost is said to wander around, the 3 union soldiers haunt the building and upstairs people have the feeling that that they are under threat, in one of the rooms an old bloodstain remains and no matter how many times the floors as been remanded, stained and cleaned it will just not go.
Ham House, Dubuque
Mathias Ham was a 19th entrepreneur in the lumbering and agricultural industries, the goods were shuttled using his own fleet of vessels, this lead to a high social standing and lots of money. With some of his fortune he built in 1837 a small 5 bedroom home for his first wife and 5 children after his wife’s death in 1856 he reconstructed it into a 23 roomed Victorian mansion, which eventually shared with his second wife and 2 more children, the building sits on the borders of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
He built it with a cupola so he could observe his fleet on the Mississippi River. Mathias died at home in 1889, the last family member to live there was Sarah, and the City of Dubuque brought the property from her in 1912. Sarah died in 1921. And since 1964 The Dubuque County Historical Society as opened it up as a museum.
One story which leads to haunting today is, because of Mathias’ practice of looking out over the Mississippi, he saw a crime being carried out and due to this a group of pirates were arrested, and they vowed to take revenge, at the time Mathias took no notice of this warning.
Many years later, Sarah Ham’s daughter, and the only surviving member of the family, kept hearing noises at night and when she called out no replies came, due to this she took to taking a gun to bed with her. On night whilst in bed she heard heavy footsteps coming towards the room, she fired two shots through the door, when she went to look she found a trail of blood through the house, her neighbour later found the dead body of a pirate at the waters edge.
Even to this day a strange light is said to be seen going through the house, it is thought to be the light of the lantern the pirate was carrying, as he keeps coming back to try and find Sarah to avenge his death.
Also windows open by themselves, strange voices are heard, objects move, cold spots are felt and there are always lots of problems with the electric.
Hannah House, Indianapolis
The house was built by Alexander Hannah in 1858 in a Italianate style, He married his wife Elizabeth in 1872 and it was at this time he added a service building to the south east of the kitchen wing. Both of the Hannah’s were staunch abolitionists and hid slaves in their basement here they had a secret room (these were on there way to Canada). The room was always kept locked, over a period of time some slaves died and they were buried beneath the floor of the basement to prevent detection.
Alexander died in 1895 and leaving no heirs the house was divided and sold. In 1899 Roman Oehler brought the house and some surrounding property, he passed the house on to his daughter and family and they lived there till 1962. The house went through a period of restoration between 1981 and 1999 and is now open as a reception hall.
The ghost of Alexander is said to haunt here near to the staircase, there have been many sighting of the ghosts of the slaves and mostly people report the strange smells, one is the smell of rotting flesh thought to be that of Elizabeth’s stillborn baby and the other is of rotting flesh thought to be of the slaves when they burnt to death from a fire.
Lalaurie House, New Orleans
The Creole mansion was built in 1831 and lived in by Delphine and Dr Louis LaLaurie. They were known and respected for their wealth and social standing. The exterior of the house was rather plain but inside was very lavish and the guests from the social gatherings held there were treated in grand style. This was the side of Madame Lalaurie that she wanted people to see, but there was another side that was of cruel cold blooded women.
The house and the Lalauries were attended by dozens of slaves and she had every whim catered for. The cook was chained to the fireplace in the kitchen and other slaves were brutally treated. The neighbours were the first to suspect something was wrong after noticing that slaves kept coming and going and other would disappear without trace.
One day a neighbour heard a scream and looked up to see Madame LaLaurie chasing her personal slave with a whip on the top balcony, the girl jumped to her death, she was buried under a tree in the yard. This was reported and the authorities removed the slaves from the house and sold them at auction, but LaLaurie had persuaded relatives to buy them and sell them back to her.
The stories continued about she treated her slaves and invites to her house had began to go ignored and the family began to be avoided by the other members of society. In 1834 the true extent of the horror was realised. A fire broke out in the kitchen and swept through the house, after the fireman had put the fire out they discovered a gruesome site behind a secret door in the attic.
They saw dozens of slaves in terrible states; some were chained to walls, other to makeshift operating tables, and some in dog cages, all were naked. Body parts were missing and internal organs were found in buckets, it was clear to see it was done to ensure a long lingering death. Most slaves were already dead, others unconscious and a few crying out in pain.
The fireman fled and doctors from nearby hospitals came to the house. All the slaves were removed. After word of what happened spread mobs gathered outside the house seeking vengeance. The LaLaurie family fled the house and there are no records to say they were ever saw again or of any charges been brought against them.
Since then there have been numerous tenants and usages of the house but none staying or lasting for very long and it spent many periods standing empty. Over the years it was a private home, in 1874 a school for white girls and not long after a school just for black children, in 1882 a dance school, in the late 1880’s it was the home and place of death for Jules Vignie, in late 1890’s it became apartments for Italian immigrants, and it was also a bar and a furniture store, now it is luxurious apartments. During renovations over the years many human bones have been found buried in different parts of the house and grounds.
Madame LaLaurie is said to haunt the house and is still evil. Many ghosts of the slaves are seen especially in the attic and a black man in chains on the stairs and different noises and screams have been heard. Also people who have been in or close to the house have reported feeling sick and faint.
Lemp Mansion, Missouri
Frederick William’ favourite son and heir died from a heart attack in 1901 and in January 1904 his closest friend Frederick Pabst also died, this led to William becoming withdrawn and feeling indifferent to running his business and he fell into a deep depression and in February 1904 he committed suicide by shooting himself, he also killed his dog. The business passed to William Junior and over the next few years, he married his partner Lillian in 1889, the following year they had a son William III. In 1906 Mrs. Lemp died of cancer. By 1908 he had enough of his trophy wife and filed for what was to become a messy divorce.
During his marriage it is believed William II had an illegitimate child, he was born with a deformity, and it is believed he was kept locked in at the mansion as not to bring shame on the family. He remarried later on in 1915, during these years the business had began to limp along due to competition. In 1919 when The Prohibition came and because of his wealth felt no reason to carry on and the brewery were closed. In March 1920 his sister Elsa also committed suicide by shooting herself thought to be because of her rocky marriage, though this was not at the house, William Jr. in December 1922 was another to commit suicide again by shooting himself, he had led his later life in near seclusion and suffered from depression.
There were two other brothers and one of them Charles moved back into the mansion along with William’ illegitimate child and 2 servants, William’ child died in his 30.s at the mansion and is buried at the family’s cemetery plot. Further tragedy happened in 1943 when his other son with his wife William III died of a heart attack. Charles committed suicide in 1949; he first shot his dog in the basement and then killed himself whilst climbing the stairs towards his bedroom. The other brother Edwin who lived most of his life away from the family and moved to his own home in 1913 died from natural courses in 1970 aged 90.
After Charles death the building was sold and turned in a boarding house and began to deteriorate but was saved in 1975 when it was sold to Dick Pointer who began to renovate it and now it is a bed and breakfast.
The mansion is known as one of the ten most haunted houses in America and many things have been reported. William juniors’ illegitimate son who was known as monkey boy is seen peering out of the window, and if toys are left for him, they will move to a different place from where they were left.
The womanising William junior himself is seen as he peers over the shower cubicle if a woman is using it. His first wife is known and is seen as the lavender lady because of her fondness for the colour.
Also the door leading from the basement tunnel to the brewery are known as ‘the gates of hell’ doors lock and unlock by themselves, light switch off and on, voices are heard, the piano is heard playing by itself and numerous other apparitions are seen.
McRaven House, Mississippi
The house as three main sections the first was built in 1797 by Andrew Glass, the second built in the Empire period about 1836 by Sheriff Steven Howard and the Greek revival part in 1849 by John H Bobb. There as been many deaths in and near to the house many due to The Siege of Vicksburg when a field hospital was set up in the grounds and many soldiers died some are buried within the grounds. Mary Elizabeth Howard the wife of the sheriff died in one of the bedrooms in 1836 and John Bobb was murdered here in 1864. There are thought to be others owners which have also died here. The house is now privately owned and is a museum; it is opened for daily tours.
This house is known to be extremely haunted and just about every type of phenomenon as happened, orbs, smells, sounds, strange mists and full apparitions, some which have been seen are previous owners, soldiers and Native American Indians.
Madrona Manor, California
The Victorian Manor was built in 1880 by Ludwig and Guerne who was given the contract by John Alexander Paxtron, he was live there with his wife and 2 sons, Blitz and Charles. It was known then as Madrona Knoll Rancho. He also planted vines so he could produce his own wine. John died in 1887 whilst travelling aboard a steamer on his way to Liverpool for business. He was buried by a favourite tree at Madrona Manor until his wife died in 1902. They were then both taken to San Francisco to be buried. The manor was inherited by their sons. Blitz took over the family home. Charles committed suicide there because of financial difficulties and also because his wife ran off with another man.
In 1913 the manor was sold and continued to have many owners. It was standing vacant in the 1980’s when it was bought and turned into a Bed and Breakfast. The winery still produces award winning wine.
Employers at the manor have felt as if they are being watched and studied. Guests have lost items and then found them in unusual places. Room 101 is known to have a particular spirit, and a ghost known as Elsie is said to haunt the dining room.
McCune Mansion, Utah
The mansion was built in 1900, by entrepreneur Alfred W McCune. It was designed by architect S C Dallas to be the best money can buy. It was completed in 1901, at the cost of over $1 million. Alfred would live there with his wife and children. After their children had grown up the McCunes moved to Los Angeles in 1920. They donated their home to the Latter Day Saint Church who turned it into McCune School of Music. Today it has been fully restored and is used for personal use such as weddings and business use like meetings plus many other things.
Many strange things that have happened at the mansion have been reported for eg, cold spots have been felt, lights have been known to flicker erratically, doors have locked even though they have no lock on them, voices have been heard, and when items have been laid out for an event, they have been moved and also when the McCune used to live there musicians would play from behind a door which hid a secret room under the stairs, and now music can sometimes be heard coming from that area.
Southdown Plantation House, Louisiana
It was built as a one storey building in 1859 by sugar planter William J Minor. The second floor was added by his son Henry in 1893. The family helped to save the sugar industry in the 1920’s by propagating a sugar cane that was resistant to the mosaic disease. The minor family stayed at the plantation until 1932. After this it was owned by a sugar corporation and the house is occupied by corporate employees.
A subsidiary of Southdown Sugar Inc donated the plantation and servants quarters to the Terrebonne Historical and Cultural Society who turned it into a museum with many original pieces from the Minor family. And each room dedicated to a certain subject such as history and culture.
The plantation is said to be haunted by figures that look out of the windows, many of these are thought to be former slaves.
The Stickney Mansion, Illinois
It was originally situated in seclusion away from all others, they chose the isolation for the peace and quiet and for their spiritual activities as both were said to be accomplished mediums.
The house had an unusual design and consisted of two floors, the second floor was a ballroom which ran the whole length of the house. The Stickneys also requested that there be no corners as spirits could ‘get stuck’ or that corners could attract bad spirits. Somehow though there ended up being a 90 degree angle in one of the rooms. This is where George was one day found dead, it was unsure exactly what from but it was thought to be a suspected heart attack. Sylvia continued to live at the house, and become quite a successful medium.
Even though the house was known as a strange place, its bad reputation did not come about until the 1970’s when the then owner reported that the house had a bad atmosphere and that unusual things were happing in there. He claimed that the atmosphere change was due to devil worshippers that had lived there in the 60s, (these were actually hippies who had painted the place in dark colours, lit open fires and left drug equipment strewn around the house). The next owners though reported none of these going on. And neither have any of the police force who know own part of the building.
The reports that have been known are that there were lots of strange noises and dogs were never comfortable in the property. But since then no one as said that anything still goes on, but some people believe that the house is haunted and its just that no one is no longer saying anything.
Stevenson House, California
Built around 1830, the 2 story house was first owned by Don Rafael Gonzalez. Over the years it has served as different purposes and as had many owners. In the late 1800’s it was a Boarding House run by Manuela Giradin, in 1879 her husband caught the Typhoid Fever and died as a result, also her 2 grandchildren got the disease and she lovingly nursed them through day and night, unfortunately Manuela died of Typhoid herself before knowing her hard work had paid off and her grandchildren had got better. At the time of her ownership Robert Lois Stevenson stayed there whilst he was in America visiting Fanny Van De Grift Osbourne who was later to become his wife. In 1937 it was brought by Edith C van Antwerp and Mrs C Tobin Clark to save it from being destroyed, they then gave it to The State of California as a memorial. It is now a unit in Monterey State Historic Park and is a museum dedicated to Stevenson .
People think that it is Manuela, who haunts the museum and is the person responsible for the strange things that happen, a rocking chair is known to move by itself, people can sometimes smell carbolic acid and disinfectant in what was the sick room and also a ghost of a woman who is dressed in black as been seen.
Spy House, New Jersey
The Spy House was built in 1663 as a one room cabin and originally belonged to Thomas Whitlock and over the years it as had many different usages including a home, inn, pirate’s lair and even a bordello, and as had many owners. It has also had much work and extension carried out and now stands as a three story wooden house. Its proper name is the Seabrook Whitlock Wilson House but became known as the Spy House because it was thought at that time by the Royal Navy that the house was being used to spy on their ships. Middleton acquired the property in 1972 after it had stood empty for some years and they transferred the ownership in 1997 to The Monmouth County Park System. It is now a museum.
The house is thought to have many ghosts including Whitlock who likes to pull women’s hair, Lydia Seabrook who is seen staring out of the window, Captain Morgan a horrid pirate can be heard ranting, Walter a young boy is thought to be searching for his mother and in the basement people have a sense of dread and foreboding.
Stranahan House, Florida
Built-in 1901 as a trading post for settlers and the Seminole Indians by Frank Strahan, it quickly become the local post office, community centre and town hall. He became a pioneer becoming Fort Lauderdales first banker and postmaster; he married the areas first teacher Ivy Julia Cromartie. In 1906 they made the building their own personal home it remained this way until 1971 when Ivy Stranahan died.
Frank committed suicide during the depression, following this Ivy lived upstairs and leased the first floor out as a restaurant. In 1973 the house was named in the National Register of Historic Places. After the restaurant closed in 1979 the Fort Lauderdale Historic Society took possession and the house was fully restored. In 1981 Stranahan Inc was incorporated to manage the property. It is now a museum which represents how it would have been during 1913 and 1915.
It is said Frank still remains at the house he so lovingly built, but is not the only member of the family, there are at least 6 others who all died within the building, Ivy Cromartie and her father Augustus who at different times died in the same bedroom, Ivy’s brother and sister and also an Indian servant girl.
The attic is known to have a lot of activity staff report being touched by a cold hand; this is thought to be Ivy guiding them as her fears when she was alive was her staff having an accident in this area. Also in the bedroom where she died the bed as to be repeatedly made.
The Brown Mansion, Kansas
The mansion was completed in 1906, it was built for it was built for Mr W P Brown, who handpicked all the wood that was used himself, and it is said not a single knot will be found anywhere. All the walls are 20 inches thick and are wood framed with brick and concrete mortar. It was the first house in Kansas to have central heat.
The Brown family lived at the mansion until 1973 when the only surviving heir (now deceased) Violet Brown Kohler sold the property to Coffeyville Historical Society with the stipulation that it was to be opened to the public. The mansion is said to be haunted by Mr and Mrs Brown, Violet (daughter), Donald (son) and Charlie the butler who is seen sitting in his room as if waiting to greet visitors.
The Guilbourde Valle House
The region where the house was built was under French rule until 1763 when it assigned to Spain, St Genevieve was the outpost for the Spanish Empire and it became a place where Spanish officers had their meetings. In 1803 it became part of the Louisiana Purchase and territory of the United States. The house was built in 1784 and the first recorded tenant was Jacques Dubreuil Guibord. The Guibourd family lived there until 1906. The house was brought by Mr and Mrs Valle who restored both the house and gardens. After Mrs Valle’s death in 1972 the property was donated to the Foundation for the Restoration of Saint Genevieve for it to become a museum.
The house as been reported haunted for many years, presences have been felt all over the house, footsteps and music have been heard, sometimes when people have gone up to the second floor and attic they have felt uneasy and have the need to leave.
The White house, Washington
The construction started in 1792 the contract was awarded to an Irish man James Hoban, when George Washington was president. The name White house was not officially used till 1901 when President Theodore Roosevelt had the name engraved on his stationary. Before this it was known as The Presidential Palace or Presidential Mansion.
The first person to live there was President John Adams and his wife when the construction was nearly finished in 1800. Since then each President as made there own changes and additions, as it their own private home. The White House has survived 2 fires one in 1814 and the other in 1929 when Herbert Hover was President. The greatest renovations happened when Harry S Truman was in presidency; they moved Truman and his family out to Blair House in 1948 whilst internally it was put back to its shell and wooden joists were renewed with steel beams and it was built back up, the family moved back in 1952. The white external stone is still original. The White House is open for the public to see the first time this was done was in 1805 when Thomas Jefferson was President. But it now has much more restrictions applied.
It is said some people have yet to leave the White House as their spirit still roams there, these include Abigail Adams in the East Room, what used to be the laundry room, Dorothea Paine Madison who roams around the Rose Garden she tended when she was alive, Andrew Jackson in the Rose Room where is bed remains and Abraham Lincoln as also been seen.
Whaley house, San Diego
Whaley House was not just a family home in its time it was also a courthouse, theatre and general store. The first part of the construction in 1856 was a granary which later became the courthouse. The house was designed by Thomas Whaley himself and was the first two storey building made from a brick edifice in San Diego. The house has had many alterations over the years to accommodate Whaley’s businesses and growing family. In 1950’s the property was purchased by the County of San Diego and many more alterations were made to make it suitable to become a museum. Since 2000 The Save Our Heritage Organisation has managed the property.
Not only does the house have a lot of history with the family goings on of the Whaley’s the suicide of Violet Whaley in 1885, and all the different businesses, but also the area in which the property was built used to be a place were hangings were carried out, so the place is known to be very haunted.
A man known as Yankee Jim haunts the house, Whaley watched this mans execution on the land which a few years later he brought to build his family home.
Thomas and Anna Whaley have been seen wandering around. A small woman in the courtroom, a young girl in the dining room and a small dog which runs around the property.
Baleroy Mansion, Philadelphia
The house was built in 1911, and is currently owned by George Meade Eastby, who is the great great grandson of civil war general George Meade.
The mansion is known to be very haunted, and among the bumps bangs and other unfamiliar voices and noises, there have also been reports of the ghosts of previous family members, a little blonde boy and a monk. In the Blue room, there is a ghost who as been given the name Amanda, it seems that she has put claim on one particular chair in the room, and that it is now cursed, if any one sits on that chair then they will die. It is said that there has been 4 people who have died from doing this.
Bliss Mansion, Nevada
The mansion was originally built by railroad and lumber tycoon Duane Bliss in 1879. At the time it was built it was the largest and grandest house in the state. It was also the first home in the city to have gas lighting and a telephone system installed. Now it as been fully restored and it is run as an historic bed and breakfast.
The mansion was built on top of what used to be a graveyard, all bodies were exhumed, but lots of people still believe that some of the spirits still remain to haunt Bliss Mansion, and they also believe that one of the most popular ghosts is Mr Bliss himself who is still happy to remain at his home.
Carnton Mansion, Tennessee
The mansion was built in 1830 by former mayor of Nashville Randall McGavock. It is a large 2 story building with 22 rooms. For 30 years it was a peaceful family home. This was up until the civil war and The Battle of Franklin.
Battles were fought within a short distance of the house and many soldiers who had been injured were taken to the house, as it became used as a field hospital, soldiers injuries were treated and some were operated on, but because of the extent of some of the injuries, there were many deaths and bodies were stacked up on the porch because of the lack of room.
Afterwards the soldiers were hastily buried nearby along with all the others whom had died on the battlefield, at a later date they were buried properly thanks to John McGavock, Randall’s son. It is the largest confederate cemetery having 1496 soldiers interred there. The mansion is now open for the public to tour.
The mansion is said to be very haunted, the cook who worked there during the civil war period is seen in her kitchen, a women in white haunts the back porch, many spirits of soldiers are seen, more so in the Autumn. Also voices are heard, objects have been found in a different place to where they have been left and many orbs have been witnessed.
Greystone Mansion, California
The building of the mansion was started in 1926 and was completed in 1928. The land was given to Edward Laurence Doheny Jr (Ned) by his father as a gift. It was to be home for Ned, his wife Lucy, and their 4 sons and 1 daughter. The cost of the mansion was nearly $4 million and was the most expensive home built in California at that point. Ned would not live there for very long as he died in 1929 in a murder – suicide with his secretary Hugh Plunkett in his bedroon, whilst it was Ned’s gun that was used and he has not been buried in the family plot at the Catholic Church, the official telling of the story puts Plunkett as the murderer.
Lucy remarried in 1932 and continued to live at the mansion with her new husband, in 1954 she sold part of the property known as ‘The Ranch’ to developer Paul Trousdale who developed Trousdale Estate there. Befor her death in 1955 Lucy sold Greystone to Industrialist Henry Crown who rented the estate to a movie studio. In 1964 the City of Beverly Hills wanted to purchase the estate for a city park and to use the site as a reservoir, they purchased it in 1965.
Many repairs was needed as the property had been left vacant for some time, they then rented it to America Film Institute for a $1.00 a year in return for them keeping up the repair work. They leased Greystone from 1969 till 1982. In 1971 the City of Beverly Hills officially dedicated Greystone as a city park. Today it is a place for a varied activities and public events and is also a place for weddings.
Greystone Mansion is thought to be very haunted there have been quite a few ghosts reported as well as the sound of footsteps, the sudden smell of perfume, objects going missing and then being found easily in obvious places and strange noises.
Hickory Hill Mansion, Illinois
The mansion was built in 1842 in a Greek revival style; it was to be the dream home of John Crenshaw, his wife Sina and their 5 children. But not only was it to be a family home where they would live a privileged live, it was also built to house slaves in the attics where there was 12 tiny rooms with thickened walls. At the time in Illinois it was illegal to own or sell slaves, but you could lease them from other places. John owned salt mines and was a wealthy business man and he used the slaves to work in them. But soon instead of leasing them, he would kidnap them and also would ‘breed’ them and sell them on in places where it was allowed.
He had a carriage way which led straight into the back of the house and then they would go up a staircase where they would then be put in the attic, where they would be shackled to the floor. It became a place of torture, rape, suffering, birth and death. A pregnant slave or one with a child would fetch more money.
In 1842 John was arrested for selling freed blacks into slavery but was found not guilty. The real truth was not found out until they had both died (1871 and 1881). It became one of the greatest scandals in Illinois. The house became a home to the Sisk’s and they opened it as a museum but it was closed down because they could not keep it going. Since 1996 it as been on going to find away of once again opening it up to the public. It is guarded by a policeman to try and keep the place safe.
Due to what went on in the attic there are many angry spirits hanging around especially in the attic, lots of strange noises have been heard, the sound of whimpering, cries and clanking of chains. People who dare go there feel uneasy and it is as if they are being watched.
Lockwood Mathews Mansion, Connecticut
The mansion was built in 1864 by LeGrand Lockwood, a banker/railroad tycoon. Many American and immigrant artisans were employed to work on the mansion which was completed in 1868. Due to a decline in Lockwood’s finances and his death in 1872, the estate was lost through foreclosure in 1874. The estate which was then known as Elm Park was sold to Charles D Mathews and his wife Rebecca in 1976. Along with their children they lived at the mansion until 1936.
In 1941 the estate was sold to the City of Norwalk and was designated a public park. The building was saved from demolition in 1950 by local preservationists and the Lockwood Mathews Museum was formed. The mansion is believed to be haunted with strange occurrences happening such as strange globules and unusual mists being seen.
Winchester House, California
Sarah became a very rich heiress following her husbands death, she inherited 20 million dollars, a 48.9 percent of The Winchester Repeating Arms Company, and an income of about $1000 a day. (Her husband and company were responsible for creating the Winchester rifle)
Sarah continued to grieve following his and 15 years previous her baby daughters death, after seeing a medium who told her the deaths were due to spirits seeking revenge for the rifle weapon William and his company had created and that she would be next, she also told her to move and start a new life and when she found her home to keep on building and never stop, if she did as she was told, she would not die.
In 1844 she sold her home and moved to start her new life. At San Jose California Dr Caldwell was building his home; Sarah brought this along with 126 acres of land. For the next 36 years the craftsmen Sarah had chosen built, rebuilt, altered, changed, constructed, and demolished one section after another. They worked 24 hours a day and everyday of the year. They had no master plan they would just build what Sarah had asked for and if something did not go right they would start again.
The house just continued to grow even after a hurricane in 1906 destroyed the top three floors of the then seven storey building they just kept on building. ( it is four stories high) Staircases were put in that led nowhere, doors which opened onto blank walls, one door opened to reveal a steep drop to the lawn below outside, 47 fireplaces were added, chimneys were built that served no purpose and many of the bathrooms had glass doors on them.
While all this seemed strange to other to Sarah it made perfect sense it would confuse and discourage the bad spirits that came to the house for evil purposes. She even had a séance room where she would talk to the spirits to figure out what to do next.
After one such séance in 1922 Sarah went to bed and died in her sleep at the age of 83. She left everything to her niece Francis Marriot who helped her with her finances for some time. Everything was removed from the house and sold to a group of investors who opened it up as a tourist attraction.
Today it has been declared as a California Historical Landmark and is registered with the National Park Service as a large odd dwelling with an unknown number of rooms, this is due to the fact that on numerous occasions and over different years people have tried to count the amount of rooms but the building is that confusing, a different number is counted each time. It is thought to contain about 160 rooms.
Winchester House is known to be one of the largest and most haunted houses, there is said to be many ghosts that roam in the maze of the house including Sarah herself, footsteps are heard as well as loud bangs and voices, strange lights are seen, and windows bang by themselves sometimes so hard that the glass shatters.
Givens Castle, Chicago
The building not a true ‘castle’ was built in 1886 by Robert Givens, it is thought to have been a surprise for his bride. All the rooms were beautifully decorated and had stained glass windows one of which had the motto ‘Dum Spiro Spero’ which means ‘While I Live I Hope’. A carriage house for the castle is just west of the building and as since been totally remodelled.
They lived at the castle until 1894 then temporarily moved out, during this time it was used by The Chicago Female College, they returned in 1904 and left again in 1909 when they moved to San Francisco. Robert died in 1915. The castle was brought by John B Burdett a manufacturer who had it all wired for electricity and added radiators.
He sold the property in 1920 to Dr Miroslaw Siemans, due to the Depression things fell on hard times and he filed for bankruptcy in 1935, the castle was put into a trust in 1937. The castle was then brought by the Beverly Unitarian Fellowship in 1942, which was an off shoot from the Peoples Liberal Church, they later merged in 1951 as the Beverly Unitarian Church.
The interiors were modified and work carried out by members of the congregation. A church school building was built in 1959. The castle is said to be haunted by a female spirit thought to be Roberts wife, and many strange sounds have been heard.
Rispin Mansion, California
In 1869 Frederick A.Hihn began to have his resort Camp Capitola built, it was opened in 1874 and contained a large hotel, cottages and bath houses. When he died in 1913 his property was sold to H.Allen Rispin an oil tycoon. He had Rispin Mansion built overlooking Capitola in 1922. Rispin was forced into bankruptcy and had to sell Capitola and the mansion in 1928, it was brought by Benjamin Hayes Smith. In 1941 the mansion was brought by The Sisters of Poor Clare to be used as St Joseph Monastery. They left the property in 1959 and for many years it remained empty and unused.
The City of Capitola purchased the property in 1986, intending to make some public use of it. but in 1996 it agreed along side with the Rispin Partners to restore the mansion and grounds and open it as a small hotel, whilst allowing the city to remain owners and to follow some historical restrictions. It was again sold to the City of Capitola Redevelopment Agency in 2004 partly to help with the finances and in 2005 a lease development agreement was set out with the Rispin Partners. The project is ongoing.
The mansion is said to be haunted by at least 4 ghosts a Victorian lady who is mainly seen upstairs, a man wearing glasses normally standing in the empty fireplaces, a man who lies injured in the basement and he is sometimes heard shouting for help, he fell through the rotted floorboards and died before help arrived and a angry dog.
Belcourt Castle, Newport
The castle is actually a 60 room mansion built for Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont in 189, who had herited 60 million dollars from his father who was an America Rothschild banking representative. Oliver married Alva Smith Vanderbilt in 1896, she had not long divorced his business partner.
After Oliver died in 1908 Alva along with architect John Russell Pope redesigned the first floor. Alva continued to live on and off at the mansion until her death in 1933. Oliver’s brother Perry then sold Belcourt, its land and all the furnishings in 1940.
It remained unoccupied until 1956 when the Tinney family bought it. They furnished it with antiques and art they had collected from many different countries and Newport mansions. Even though it is now a museum the owner Mrs Donald Tinney still lives there.
Not just apparitions are seen at Belcourt but, chairs, amour, statues and a mirror are also believed to be haunted, the most active room is said to be the Gothic Ballroom.