Haunted Houses have become an integral part of our history as a civilization. From centuries old plantations, to modern day bungalows, many places throughout the United States are said to be riddled with specters. Many of these locations have been the site of horrible tragedy, and ghosts keep these places alive by their constant presence. Here are five haunted house stories that are sure to creep you out.
1. Whaley House – The Family of Ghosts
This 19th Century San Diego home is ripe with paranormal activity. Once the location of a gallows, the Whaley House was deemed haunted shortly after it was built. A convict that was hung there can still be seen wandering through the hallways of the house. The Whaley family rented a portion of the house out to the county, and it was converted into a courtroom. As a result, many unnamed ghosts linger in the room, the location where they were once sentenced to death.
Apart from these spirits, the house is haunted by members of the Whaley family. Thomas Whaley, his wife and one of their young daughters are often spotted, going about their daily activities as if they do not know that they are dead. The house has since been converted into a museum which accepts daily visitors.
Many tourists report that doors seem to open and close of their own accord. Disembodied footsteps, music and the sounds of a crying baby are also heard on a regular basis. As far as haunted house stories are concerned, the history of the Whaley family and their house have become downright notorious.
2. Villisca Axe Murder House – Home of the Crying Children
The malice that has occurred in the Villisca house is reminiscent of things you’d see in a horror movie. On the night of June 9, 1912, an unnamed individual snuck into the house and one by one went to each of the rooms and murdered its inhabitants with an axe.
Eight people were living in the Villisca house at the time, including six children. Each were brutally slain in their beds. News of the murder spread throughout the country, and although many people were suspects, nobody was officially charged with the murder.
Many people believe that due to the violent nature of their deaths, the six children continue to haunt the house. Their ghostly apparitions are often seen running through the house, laughing at first, then crying in an eerie manner. Disembodied footsteps and whispers often accompany these misty figures. Paranormal investigation teams have come to the house to gather evidence. Creepily enough, EVPs have been captured of children instructing others to hide.
3. William Kehoe House – The Nightly Visitor
All of the haunted house stories that stem from this Savannah, Georgia home stem from the family after which it was named. Built in 1892, William Kehoe, his wife and their twin sons lived in the house for many years. During their time there, the two boys died in a tragic accident. After William and his wife’s death, the house was utilized as a school, and then a funeral home. Today, it has been converted into an inn, although some tourists are far too frightened to stay the night there.
Apparently, every member of the Kehoe family has yet to leave the house. It’s been reported that Mr. Kehoe has been spotted wandering about the house. On one occasion, he even managed to lock all the exterior doors of the house simultaneously. Mrs. Kehoe has been seen hunched over a desk, writing a letter. A few unfortunate guests have even claimed that they woke up to see her ghostly form seated at the foot of their bed!
While the twin boys’ deaths remain rather a mystery, they have no qualms about making their presence known, especially as they can be heard running up and down the hallway on the second floor of the house.
4. Lizzie Borden House – A Daughter Turned Murderer
Be prepared for one of the most gruesome haunted house stories you will ever encounter. The infamous Lizzie Borden house, located in Fall River, Massachusetts, was the place where unspeakable evil once took place. Three years after the death of Lizzie Borden’s mother, her father remarried a woman who Lizzie and her sister did not care for, believing her new step-mother, Abby, was after her father’s wealth.
After several weeks of arguing and tension, the two sisters purchased property from their father and left the household. On the morning of August 4, 1892, someone entered the Borden house and killed Mr. and Mrs. Borden with multiple strikes from a hatchet. Lizzie was charged and put on trial for the murders but was later acquitted.
Despite great animosity, Lizzie stated that she wished to remain in Fall River after the trial. Nobody knew her desire would extend past her death. Not only does the ghost of Lizzie haunt the Borden house, but her father and step-mother are also said to be there. Lizzie’s ghost most often appears by the top of the staircase, laughing as people pass below on the first floor. Occasionally, visitors have even seen Bridget, the maid who lived in the house during the time of the murders. Her ghostly apparition has been known to call for help.
5. Ann Starrett Mansion – Haunted House Stories with Physical Ramifications
This beautiful house, located in Port Townsend, Washington was the ultimate token of love. A gentleman named George Starrett built it in 1899 for his new wife, Ann. After the house was finished, they immediately moved in and had a son, named Edward.
As Edward became a toddler, the couple hired a local woman to be his nanny. Unlike most of the haunted house stories on this list, the family lived in perfect harmony until their deaths. Apparently, Mr. and Mrs. Starrett, as well as the nanny, were so comfortable in their Victorian mansion that they decided to never leave.
The Queen Anne style house has since been converted into a bed and breakfast. Guests have often reported seeing the spirits of George and Ann walking through the house, but it is the dead nanny who causes the most activity. Not only does she have a tendency of making pictures fall off the walls, and pages of books to turn, but she has been known to touch the living.
Generally, she’s a pleasant kind of spirit, but occasionally, she takes offense to a guest or two. Be wary of saying anything potentially offensive while visiting this beautiful inn … the nanny has been known to thump guests on the head for foul language.
Spirits Among Us
The next time you and your loved ones decide to visit a historical house or inn, be sure to be on the lookout for ghosts, and disembodied voices. You never know what may have transpired there in the past, or who may still be lingering around in the dark.
Good gathering of haunted houses! Spooky stuff!
I spent the night in the Lizzie Borden house when it was a bed and breakfast. Definitely had a strange vibe. When we were there, the guests recreated the crime in order to see whether Lizzie’s account made sense. It didn’t. There were a lot of inconsistencies. We took a vote among the guests that were there that night. If we had been her jury, we would have convicted her of murder, although some held out for manslaughter.
That must have been a breathtaking experience! Thank you for sharing. *Shudder*
I love reading about ghosts and hauntings but I’m a right scared cat I wouldn’t stay in any of those
Jill in Portland
Guess I won’t be visiting the Ann Starrett Mansion anytime soon. Sh#@!!
I enjoyed seeing that the Whaley House was at the top of the list. Being a native of San Diego, and still living there, I grew up with stories about that house. Mrs. Whaley makes her presence known by the scent of her perfume, even in the middle of the night, as told by the security guard. A co-worker took her visiting parents there and took pictures. She was amazed when after the film was developed, a strange remix transparent form could be seen standing behind her parents.