Sometimes houses are built for reasons we do not understand. There are also homes that are just so incredible that they continue to be talked about due to the random stories that accompany the house. A professional “ghost hunter” can detect paranormal activity by using tools that find frequencies that operate on a different plane of existence than the rest of us. Sometimes it is as simple as a tape recording where a voice appears that was not heard when first spoken. We can hear footsteps on an upper level when nobody else is in the house. These are sometimes real, but other times it just might be our minds playing tricks on us. Investigators are sent out to see some of these homes to find if they can detect any unusual activity; and sometimes they find what they are looking for, and other times they do not. It does not mean that ghosts don't inhabit the location; they could just be inactive at the time the investigation takes place.
Sometimes we will see a joke or a meme, asking if we would stay in a haunted mansion, a castle, or even a larger house over night. Most people will say yes if a lot of money is involved, but when in the reality of an actual haunted area, the first thing that pops to mind is to run. A few of these houses are so beautiful that when we look at pictures of them, it's hard to fathom the fact that people would not want to live there or that the asking price for the empty ones are so low. More than likely, those places were escaped from people who believed more than anything that their house was being taken over by evil spirits in a realm that may have been overlooked at first sight.
8 Ann Starrett Mansion – Port Townsend, WA
The extremely wealthy contractor, George Starrett, married his sweetheart, Ann Van Boklen, in 1887. Two years later, George gave his wife (who he referred to as his “Queen Ann”) a house. This was no ordinary home; it was a mansion that he had built specifically for her, and hired an artist to paint portraits of his “queen” on the ceiling, which can be seen in different forms when the sun shines in through the window during different seasons.
If you take a ferry from Seattle, Washington, you can arrive at Port Townsend, where the beautiful, eight-bedroom, seven-bathroom estate was built for the love of George Starrett’s life. After George and Ann married, they had one son named Edward, and a nanny, who also lived with the family. When the clan had passed on, the house was handed on to future generations of the Starrett family; but was eventually turned into a hotel. Even though there were other people living in this house, the original owners are said to still be seen throughout; according to visitors. It is apparent that George created the home strictly out of love, and that the three original dwellers shared a bond that can never be broken. Visitors have said to have seen the likeness of Ann roaming the hallways during their stay, and have sensed a “warm feeling” throughout the house. People mention that they can feel the presence of a male (who may or may not be George or their son), but the nanny is one that still seems to linger in the abode. She likes to flip pages of the bible, turns the lights on and off when entering and exiting a room and has “clanked” wine glasses to let people know of her existence. She also gets upset if anyone says negative remarks about the service or the house.
7 Levy House - Reno, NV
There is little information to be found on the Yale graduate and deceased entrepreneur, William Levy. However; in 1906, William bought a rather large home in Reno that is now referred to as the “Levy House.” The house is in downtown Reno, and has had a few different businesses since it was occupied by William and his daughters, but is now a bookstore called Sundance Books and Music.
The employees of the bookstore have reported hearing footsteps on the second floor while being on the main floor; but once they go upstairs to investigate, there is no one there. Paranormal investigators were called to the scene to find out just what was happening, and they had reported many ghosts living inside the mansion. In one report, they had used a recording device that had whispers being heard when asked questions. The spirits had responded, and one even said that they like to play craps in the alley behind the large building. It is said that over 24 ghosts are currently occupying the home, while the bookstore still operates as normal during the day.
6 Hampton Lillibridge House – Savannah, GA
Are you looking to invest in some real estate property? How about a five-bedroom, two and half bathroom, 4606 square-foot mansion in beautiful Savannah, Georgia? It is currently listed for less than two million dollars. There is even a YouTube video stating all of the beautiful features of this 200 year-old home that has only had three owners in the entire time of its existence. It’s even been priced to sell; it was initially listed for 2.4 million. According to Chatham County records in Savannah, Georgia, there are no records of sales in the previous years. It is amazing that this home has not sold throughout the time it has been on the market. Oh, and did I mention that it’s considered the most haunted house in Savannah?
A man by the name of Hampton Lillibridge built this house in 1796, and after his death, his wife remarried and sold the property. A man by the name of Jim Williams bought the place in the 1960s, and decided to have the entire house moved to a different location. During that time, he had the house restored, but there were many problems with the process. Jim had heard about a sailor who once lived in the house (when it was used for boarders), who committed suicide by hanging himself inside of it. Jim had suspicions that the young man’s spirit was most likely still inside when workers who were renovating the home would constantly hear footsteps and voices that were unidentifiable. The workers would then report that they felt another presence when working on the structure. Jim also experienced strange occurrences when visiting the site, and witnessed a man face-down in water in the upstairs while investigating noises throughout the home.
The house is currently empty, and reports of exorcism have not worked in releasing the spooky entities that are rumored to be occupying this house. Rumors of men getting killed during the move of the house, a crypt found buried underneath the building, and reports of murders inside are most likely preventing this one-of-a-kind manor from being sold.
5 The S.K. Pierce House - Gardner, MA
Imagine buying the Victorian home of your dreams; it has ten bedrooms, 6,661 square feet, and was occupied by many famous people. Norman Rockwell, Bette Davis and Calvin Coolidge were just a few of those previous owners. It was built by Sylvester Knowlton Pierce, back in 1875, and is just as stunning today as it was 140 years ago. Now, imagine finding out that this house is considered to be the most haunted house in New England, and has appeared in many television shows regarding hauntings. That is exactly what had happened to a couple after buying their dream home in Massachusetts. They soon moved out when the spirits wreaked havoc among them.
This house has had many other owners, as well as being a brothel at one point in time. During one interaction, a ghost hunter allegedly had a discussion with a prostitute that had died in the house many years prior. There have been reports of things moving on their own, dark shadows moving across the hallways and whispers that are completely unexplainable. If you are interested in buying this house and you aren’t afraid of ghosts, it is currently listed at only $315,000. That is, if you don’t mind sharing the space with those who can literally walk through walls.
6. The “Mystery” House, AKA Sarah Winchester’s house – San Jose, CA
Child prodigy, Sarah Pardee went to Yale and had an obsession with numerology, mathematics and solving encrypted puzzles. She also had family members who were Freemasons and she was an artist with work that would be considered very similar to M.C. Escher, who worked with abstract pictures, and upside-down staircases.
Sarah fell in love with William Wirt Winchester, the man whose father was responsible for the “Winchester Repeating Rifle.” William was a very wealthy man, but Sarah wasn't looking for money, she was very much in love with him during the time they were together. The couple was married in 1862, and had a daughter shortly thereafter. In 1866, their child named Annie died suddenly, and five years later Sarah lost her husband due to Tuberculosis. After being completely heartbroken by losing both of the loves of her life, Sarah moved to California and had a house built for herself.
According to legends, Sarah had visited with a spiritual counselor, and she was told that the spirits were following her and needed to build a house to keep the bad spirits away. There are so many stories surrounding what happened to Sarah, it is difficult to believe a lot of them. It is said that the ghosts that haunted her were the ones killed by the Winchester guns that her husband and father-in-law helped manufacture and it was necessary to build the house in ways to keep the spirits confused, so they wouldn't come after her, as well. Her employees worked around the clock, and were not permitted to end construction on the house as long as she was alive. She did rotate their shifts, so they weren't completely overworked; but the hammering never stopped. There are stairs that lead to the ceiling, stairs that lead to nowhere, doors that opened up into walls and windows that have walls behind them. People say that they have seen the men still working in the house, even though the pounding on the walls stopped immediately after Sarah's death when she was 83 years old. Those men would surely have long since been deceased. The house is currently not inhabited, but tours are given throughout the week to see the very unusual house. The television show, Ghost Hunters, featured the “Mystery House” on a segment where they tried to debunk the theory behind the ghosts. They did not find any spiritual or unusual activity in the mansion while they were there, but it does not mean that nothing exists. It is possible that Sarah created the house in reference to her love of numerology and mazes. It could have also been in relation to her close ties to the Freemasons; as there are many similarities built into the house.
4 Ashton Villa - Galveston, TX
James Moreau Brown had fifteen brothers and sisters and ran away from home at a young age. He first moved to New York, and after making enough money from laying bricks, he moved to Galveston, Texas, and opened up a hardware store. He fared pretty well, so he bought a plot of land in the area and decided to have his slave, who was a brick mason, build a house on it in 1859. The man he enslaved was named Alek, and built the home exactly to Mr. Brown’s specifications.
James Brown moved his family into the house, and they lived their entire lives in the massive house in Texas. It is unknown whether Alek was able to live in the house, there isn’t much said about the poor man who created the masterpiece. There are rumors circulating that the house is now haunted, even though it is now a visitor’s center, and there are no occupants (other than the workers). According to sources, a woman (rumored to be a daughter of James) is seen in the home arguing with a man while visiting. These people are apparent ghosts, possibly one of the spirits could be Alek, coming back to get his revenge.
3 W.H. Dorrance House – Camden, NJ
W.H. Dorrance was a man of the cloth in New Jersey in the 1800s, eventually opening up several hardware stores in the area. After earning quite a bit of money, he moved his wife and four children into a Queen-Ann style home that was built in 1900, now known as the W.H. Dorrance House.
The extravagant three bedroom house was eventually sold, but had remained on the market for years after owners had immediately moved out shortly after their purchase of the home. An article was released that showed the house on Google Maps, with some features that may have led to the house being vacant for so long. Figures appear in the windows, along with what seems to be hand prints that may or may not be from other worldly creatures. The beautiful house was put on the National Register of Historic Places, and was finally purchased in May, 2015, for a very low price of $105,000.
2 Griggs mansion – St. Paul, MN
Chauncey Griggs was a wealthy man, and in 1883, he built a very large house in St. Paul, Minnesota. Chauncey must have decided that the building was just too dark and eerie to live in, so he only stayed in the mansion for four years before moving elsewhere. After he left, the home was divided into different sections. It was an apartment building, an art school, an arts and science building, and eventually turned back into a private residence. The home is currently a private residence and the owners no longer want anyone who is looking for ghosts to invade their privacy.
Rumors speculate that there are about seven spirits that walk the halls of Griggs mansion; most of which occur on the fourth floor. A young girl who was working as a maid in the building killed herself in the upstairs room because of a broken heart in 1915. She has been seen by many occupants and visitors, going up the stairs, and witnesses mention a feeling of anxiety when her image appears. Some of the other apparitions include the previous gardener; who liked to read books about his work and can be seen in the library flipping through the pages, and a thin man that disappeared through a brick wall on one occasion. A small child, a teenage girl who plays the piano and a man who may just be Mr. Griggs have also appeared by visitors. Windows seem to open and close on their own, and even windows that were nailed down have become opened once again, according to many eye witnesses at the house. Footsteps are randomly heard by those visiting or living there, as well as seeing unexplainable shadows that move around. The Griggs Mansion is now considered “the most haunted house in St. Paul.”
2. Perkins Mansion – Akron, OH
General Simon Perkins, the man who founded the city of Akron, Ohio, had a son, Colonel Simon Perkins, who bought a house made entirely out of sandstone in 1837. The heirs of the Colonel lived in the house for many years, up until they decided to sell the Perkins Mansion to the Summit County Historical Society, in 1945. Two other buildings were later added on to the property; including an office and another building that had an operating windmill.
The house has been a museum belonging to the public for over fifty years, and was restored to its original condition; but in 2005 it had overcome a major restoration project when many renovations were made throughout the house. Leianne Neff Heppner is the Executive Director of the Summit County Historical Society and is seen in a creepy YouTube video, where she shares unusual occurrences that have happened in the museum since the major overhaul. She explains how an employee in the museum noticed a little girl in the upper level of the mansion playing with a red and white ball, but there were no kids at the building that day. The site is now giving tours as a haunted building, and there are many stories from visitors who have been to the old house who are now afraid to return.
1 The White House – Washington, D.C.
Out of all of the homes in the United States, the White House probably has to have had the most amount of residents throughout the years. From George Washington to Barack Obama, the nation’s main living headquarters is where the president spends his time to relax and sleep at night. This must be the most stressful living environment imaginable, so the idea of any spiritual activity occurring is inevitable, or so it may seem.
There are reports that the attic is one of the most haunted areas inside the White House; as president Truman can be heard walking around upstairs, along with the man who gave up his house in order for the building to be built on his property. Dolly Madison is still attached to her rose garden, a “demon cat” appears in the basement right before a major disaster strikes, and Abraham Lincoln and Abigail Adams have reportedly been seen roaming the halls inside the main floor of the White House on numerous occasions.