Home is where the heart is, and a happy home is a good home. Indeed, there's no place like home. Etcetera. There are so many tropes and cliches about the elusive concept of home that it can be hard to remember them all. But the whole idea behind home is an important one; it means the place where we are the most comfortable, and the place where we should be able to rest our head peacefully.
Sometimes, though, home can be the most dangerous place. 'Home' is one of the biggest facilitators of violence and brutal murder. Forget the comforts and coziness just for a moment - the home can be a useful method to end the life of a person with knives, pillows, and nooks and crannies for hiding weapons and poison, not to mention the advantage of catching someone unawares where they're most at ease and comfortable. The thought of being murdered at home is terrifying simply because it's the place where we're supposed to feel safest, so it's no wonder that so many horror movies and so much horror fiction sees the pivotal action unfolding in the victim's home.
But this is not just reserved for horror movies; real-life homes have at times notoriously and tragically become the scene of brutal, horrific crimes. We've taken a look at ten of the most morbidly famous murder houses around, ranked by approximate year of either the murders or the conviction of the murderer. From quiet killings to axe wielding psychos, walking into any of these houses knowing their backstories would send some chills up anyone's spine. As such, it can be hard for these unfortunately famous houses to sell on the real estate market; there's a social stigma and even certain superstitions surrounding a home in which people were killed. Generally, you'll know if your home has a dark history - California and New York require full disclosure, though other states are a bit more lenient. The knowledge of a home's troubled past may be bothersome for most, but for the minority who have a penchant for the creepy it might actually be a draw. In any case, many of the homes on this list have not outlived their reputation and for better or worse are still best known today as morbid murder houses.
10 LaLaurie Mansion – 1800s
Recently seeing a surge of popularity thanks to “American Horror Story”, the LaLaurie Mansion was the site of numerous murders of slaves and servants in the 1800’s. Marie Delphine LaLaurie was a New Orleans socialite, also known as Madame LaLaurie, and her reputation for viciously mistreating her slaves between 1831-1834 is well known. After a fire broke out in the three-story home in 1834, firefighters found numerous slaves, bound and showing evidence of being tortured. Afterward, Madame LaLaurie fled to Paris where it is believed she died. In 2007, Nicolas Cage bought the house for $3.45 million.
9 Lizzie Borden – 1892
Located in Fall River, Massachusetts, the Lizzie Borden House was the site of the grisly murders of Andrew Borden, and his wife Abby Borden. Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie, was accused of killing Abby by slaying her with a hatchet 19 times, and killing her father with 11 blows to the head. Given the nature of the killings and Lizzie being a young woman accused of the murders, the story and the house became the center of media frenzy of the time. Lizzie was later found not guilty of the murders, but there is still strong speculation that she was involved. The house stands to this day and has become a bed and breakfast, as well as featuring on shows such as Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures”.
8 Villisca Axe Murder House – 1912
7 Hex Murder House – 1928
6 The Tate House – 1969
It was the murder that would make Charles Manson an instant and unwelcome celebrity. In 1969, a very pregnant actress, Sharon Tate, and four friends were gruesomely murdered by members of the Manson family in the 4,600 square foot home of Tate and Roman Polanski. The site remained a spot for numerous tourists and onlookers, and it was rumored that Polanski offered $1.5 million to the city of Los Angeles to destroy the house. The Los Angeles home was eventually bulldozed and the address of the site was changed to 10050 Cielo Drive.
5 Amityville – 1974
4 The Menendez Murder House – 1996
3 Clear Lake, Texas – 2001
2 Green River House – 2003
1 Cleveland, Ohio – 2009
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