America's Scariest Cities and Haunted Houses
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Villisca Ax Murder House - Villisca, Iowa
On June 10, 1912, two adults and six children were murdered in their sleep, presumably with an ax. The Villisca Ax Murder House in Iowa now contains wandering spirits, children's crying voices and a door with a mind of its own. The house is open to visitors for daytime tours and overnight stays.
Whaley House - San Diego, California
The Whaley House, built on the site of Yankee Jim Robinson's hanging, is haunted by multiple spirits, including the house's owners and Robinson, himself.
Joshua Ward House - Salem, Massachusetts
Joshua Ward, a wealthy sea captain in the 1780s, built his home where Sheriff George Corwin once held the infamous Salem witch trials. Corwin's body remained buried in the cellar for many years until it was moved to a proper grave, but the house remains haunted by Corwin and two individuals convicted of witchcraft.
LaLaurie House - New Orleans, Louisiana
Once home to socialites Dr. Louis and Delphine LaLaurie, the house in the French Quarter is now haunted by Delphine's slaves, whom she is said to have tortured and mistreated.
Lemp Mansion - St. Louis, Missouri
This site, named one of America's most haunted houses by LIFE Magazine in 1980, was home to the William Lemp family in the 1860s. Three Lemp family members committed suicide here and now haunt the premises.
Myrtles Plantation - St. Francisville, Louisiana
Home to dozens of deaths from poisoning to murder, Myrtles Plantation is often described as one of the most haunted houses in America. Guests claimed seeing furniture move on its own, mysterious handprints and people disappearing in pictures.
Amityville House - Amityville, Long Island, New York
This location became notorious as the site of yet another family mass murder. Inside, the oldest son of the DeFeo family shot and killed his parents and four siblings in 1974. Later inhabitants abandoned the home after reporting eerie apparitions, cold drafts and strange odors.
Winchester Mystery House – San Jose, California
A depressed Sarah Winchester bought and renovated this house in 1884 after losing her daughter and husband to illnesses. In an effort to avoid stalking spirits, she built and rebuilt the house multiple times and slept in a different room every night to confuse them. Hidden passages, maze-like hallways and a séance room all add to the mystery of this eerie house.
Franklin Castle – Cleveland, Ohio
Many mysteries surround the Franklin Castle. Built by Hannes Tiedemann in 1865, multiple deaths in the house raised suspicion. His wife, mother and four children died in the house. Baby skeletons, hidden rooms, a woman in black and strange voices add to the house's ominous lure.
The White House - Washington, D.C.
Yes, even The White House is not immune to ghosts. Visitors, staff and residents claim to have seen ghosts of Abraham Lincoln, Abigail Adams and Andrew Jackson. The Obamas said they heard odd sounds in the hallway during the night and reported feeling strange sensations of someone gnawing at their feet.
Hotel Chelsea - New York, New York
Some locals call it the most haunted place in New York City. With all the celebrity ghosts wandering around, the Hotel Chelsea just might be. Many visitors claim to have seen Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, poet Dylan Thomas and even Mark Twain, Jimi Hendrix and Tennessee Williams.
Cassadaga Hotel - Cassadaga, Florida
The Cassadaga Hotel serves as a hot spot for spiritualists and mystics due to the community’s rich history with Spiritualism. A spirit called Arthur still haunts the hotel almost 80 years after his death. Even skeptics sense the paranormal while staying here.
You're bound to see an apparition of General Robert E. Lee or a wandering soldier in Gettysburg, site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Even the city's inns are said to be haunted.
Famous for the Salem witch trials, this popular tourist city is haunted by some of the witches put to death during that dark era. The House of Seven Gables is also a must-see for thrill seekers and ghost hunters.
San Antonio, Texas
Ghosts of war heroes who perished during the bloody battle of the Alamo still haunt its walls, as do notes of Davy Crockett's fiddle. The Bullis House Inn, Mission San Jose and the Menger Hotel all house apparitions of their own.
Long since abandoned, the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary once held infamous criminals. Some of the prisoners still remain – as ghosts. Back on the mainland, the San Francisco Art Institute and Fisherman's Wharf also house spirits of the dead.
Charleston, South Carolina
Known for its Southern charm and Spanish moss, Charleston has a lesser-known haunted side. John Wilkes Booth's father haunts the Dock Street Theater, where he once performed; the Unitarian Church Graveyard houses the ghost of Annabel Lee, the subject of Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem of the same name; and the Battery Carriage Inn, where several ghosts give guests "friendly" visits.