Every house has a story to tell, but some houses spin darker tales than others. When death, murder, or insanity are involved, houses have a strange way of trapping those dark memories, and exhibiting terrifying signs of their past. As a result, these buildings take on a life of their own, and continue to haunt visitors and residents for years to come.
Thousands of people report sightings of ghosts, supernatural events, and scary apparitions every year. When this happens, patterns start to emerge, revealing houses that repeatedly present evidence of their terrifying past. Throughout the United States, there are hundreds of haunted houses that frighten locals, but only a select few are so chilling that they make national (and even international) headlines. So,this begs the question: what are the scariest haunted houses in America?
The Scariest Haunted Houses in America
It’s a common Halloween tradition for tourists to visit “manufactured” haunted houses, where actors jump out and scare passersby. However, it’s even more terrifying to visit the sights of truly horrifying events. So, let’s take a look at a few of the scariest real-life haunted houses in America:
The Haught Mansion
Before becoming a dilapidated old building on the outskirts of Brush Park, Michigan, the Haught Mansion served as an upscale brothel for soldiers returning from World War II. In addition to its creepy aesthetic, the Haught Mansion is believed to have been the site of a murderous cult ritual. Years after the brothel was shutdown, a man discovered several dead bodies in the building’s basement. Every corpse supposedly had a “perfect circle” engraved in its chest, leading many to believe that a satanic ritual had occurred. In the years since, the Haught Mansion has attracted thousands of visitors as one of the most haunted houses in America.
The Drish House
Located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the Drish House is considered by many to be one of the most haunted houses in the southern United States. As the story goes, the original owner of the home, John R. Drish, died by falling down the stairs. His grief-stricken wife obsessed over his death, and once she passed years later, she continued to haunt the grounds looking for her beloved. Visitors claim to hear moans echoing through the empty hallways of the Drish House every night.
The Murder House
With a name like “The Murder House,” it makes sense why the residential home-turned-frat-house in Boise, Idaho is one of the scariest haunted houses in America. In 1987, neighbors awoke to find a trail of blood leading to the front door of an ominous house on Broadway Avenue. Investigators found the bloody corpse of a young man by the name of Preston Murr. He had been shot and chopped into a dozen pieces. Later, more of Murr’s body was found in a different location almost a hundred miles away. The murder stumped investigators, and the mystery of what really happened makes this haunted house so much creepier.
The LaLaurie Mansion
The story of LaLaurie Mansion has now been popularized for modern readers, thanks in large part to the television series, American Horror Story. Located in one of the most haunted cities in the entire country, New Orleans, Louisiana, the LaLaurie Mansion was home to numerous atrocities. The owner, Madame Delphine LaLaurie, became famous for torturing and murdering several of her house slaves. The treatment of the slaves was so horrendous that an angry mob raided the mansion and destroyed almost everything inside. Madame LaLaurie was forced to flee the city and live out the rest of her days in France, but the property remains haunted to this day.
The Lizzie Borden House
Many readers are probably familiar with the story of Lizzie Borden, a young woman who violently murdered her father and stepmother with an axe in the family home. While she was acquitted of all charges, and no one was ever convicted for the murders, she is still considered to be the main suspect in the case. Nowadays, the Lizzie Borden house in Fall River, Massachusetts operates as a bed & breakfast, where visitors report hearing nightly screams and the maniacal laughter of Lizzie Borden’s ghost.
Often times, when houses are associated with evil spirits, it has a severe impact on the occupants’ mental health. This was certainly the case at the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri. The Lemp family saw 4 family members commit suicide in the house over the course of several decades in the 18th and 19th centuries. Though the mansion now operates as a restaurant, guests often hear a piano playing, and have reportedly seen strange apparitions all over the property.
The Amityville House
If you’ve seen The Amityville Horror, then you already know why the Amityville House in Long Island, New York is one of the scariest haunted houses in America. On November 13th, 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his parents and all four of his siblings as they slept. Less than a year after the murders took place, the Lutz family moved into the house. The family was soon terrorized by a malevolent spirit, which became so strong that the Lutz’ decided that they had no choice but to move out.
The Kreischer House
In Staten Island, New York, the Kreischer House is well-known for its frightening and violent history. The original owner of the home, Edward B. Kreischer, committed suicide on the property. His spirit was said to have haunted the grounds for years. During this time, various acts of violence took place in the home, including an alleged murder carried out by the property’s caretaker. Nowadays, people still try to avoid the house, as it is only associated with death.
There you have it! These are the 8 scariest haunted houses in America. While many skeptics have attempted to debunk the theories surrounding these haunted homes, they’ve never been able to fully explain the paranormal activity and mysterious reports. Are you brave enough to see these haunted houses for yourself?