If you're easily spooked, stop reading; there's still time to save yourself! But if you're a fan of haunted horrors, gruesome ghouls, and murderous mysteries, you've come to the right place. Delve into the creepiest of the creepy — haunted houses.
Though only a few centuries old, America has amassed an impressive number of eerie residences, each deemed haunted due to paranormal activity or a frightful past. From spooky hotels to murder mansions, these ghostly dwellings span from coast to coast. Read on to see the list of America's creepiest haunted houses . . . if you dare.
1. Whaley House
San Diego is home to the Whaley House, dubbed "America's Most Haunted House." Ghosts have been rumored to roam the halls since the estate was constructed in the mid-1800s, spooking residents and visitors alike for well over a century. Whether or not you believe the tales of Yankee Jim Robinson, a criminal who was hanged on the property and supposedly haunts it to this very day, you should make the trek to this spooky dwelling for its Ghost Presence tours and Silent Screams movie screenings.
2. Joshua Ward House
This Salem, MA, stunner was not only built in the heart of the Salem Witch Trials, but also on the same grounds as many of the witchcraft-fueled executions. Nineteen accused witches were hanged or burned on the lot of this home, leaving the property to be haunted evermore by the restless dead. Intrigued? The haunted home is selling for $900,000, which seems a bit high for a house that comes with so many spooky roommates.
3. Lalaurie House
Fans of American Horror Story: Coven might be horrified to learn that Delphine Lalaurie — a sadistic slave owner who performed cruel torture on her household staff — was a real person. Ghosts of Lalaurie's victims (rumored to number in the hundreds) still haunt her New Orleans home, so be sure to steer clear if you find yourself in the South.
4. Queen Anne Hotel
Before it became a historic hotel, the Queen Anne in San Francisco served as a Victorian finishing school called the Mary Lake School For Girls. Its headmistress, who loved the institution and her students, was devastated at the school's closure — so devasted, in fact, that she still roams the halls to keep an eye on things.
5. Lizzie Borden House
It would be an understatement to say that this home has a troubled history. Within the house's walls, Lizzie Borden allegedly murdered her parents in the gruesome fashion that inspired a popular children's rhyme, which is widely believed despite her acquittal of the murder charges. These days, her departed mother and father haunt the site in Fall River, MA, delighting thrill-seeking patrons of the paranormal-themed bed and breakfast now occupying the house.
6. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
If you're a pop culture enthusiast, then you'll love the celebrity ghosts at Hollywood's The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. From Marilyn Monroe to Carole Lombard, deceased silver screen stars have been reported to haunt the halls at the hotel.
7. The Crescent Hotel
Dubbed "America's Most Haunted Hotel," the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, AR, has a very spooky history. Haunted by numerous former guests, this establishment offers horrors alongside hospitality. No longer offering room service, the Crescent now hosts nightly tours of the property. Make sure to read the creepy ghost stories before you dare to plan a visit!
8. Franklin Castle
Franklin Castle is the perfect picture of a haunted house. Since its construction in 1865, the spooky home played host to many supposed murders (including those of at least five children) and suspicious disasters. While you can't take a look at the home's hidden passages or the skeletons within its walls, you can visit the outside of the castle in Ohio City, OH.
9. Hotel Chelsea
It's hard to believe that this 12-story building was once the tallest in New York City. The dozen floors that once made the Hotel Chelsea famous for height are still its claim to fame, but for a very different reason: their ghosts. Many suspicious deaths occurred at the hotel during its peak popularity, including Nancy Spungen (of Sid and Nancy fame) and poet Dylan Thomas. As rocker Janis Joplin once said, "A lot of funky things happen in the Chelsea."
10. The Sowden House
Nestled in the heart of the LA neighborhood of Los Feliz, this Hollywood estate harbors dark secrets. Former owner Dr. George Hodel supposedly committed the Black Dahlia murder on the property, with the torture and killing confirmed by his own son despite inconclusive court rulings at the time.
11. Lemp Mansion
This stately mansion in St. Louis is incredibly beautiful but also incredibly cursed. The Lemps, the family that built the estate, experienced nothing but bad luck under its roof. From untimely deaths to other mysterious tragedies, the unfortunate events that occurred at Lemp Mansion left a paranormal mark on the property — a few of the Lemp family members can still be seen and heard on dark nights.
12. Buckner Mansion
This New Orleans mansion served as the setting for American Horror Story: Coven's Miss Robicheaux's Academy, where witches come to learn about the ins and outs of magic. Many dark events took place in the mansion during the show's run, but the home also has a troubling history of its own — the original owner, Henry Sullivan Buckner, was a slave-owning cotton magnate. If you'd like to get a taste of the creepy-yet-beautiful estate, the daily rental price for the mansion is $4,700 . . . a bone-chilling feature in itself.
13. The Logan Inn
It is reported that upon looking into the mirror in The Logan Inn's room number six, guests have come face to face with deceased children. Others have spied an armed Revolutionary War soldier roaming the halls, rueing his violent death. Over eight ghosts are known to haunt this historic hotel in New Hope, PA, so be sure to write it on the bucket list if you're a paranormal thrill-seeker.
14. The Myrtles Plantation
When attorney William Winter was shot by a stranger outside his Louisiana home, he died attempting to climb the stairs within. While his murder is the only confirmed manslaughter on the property of the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, legend says that more than 12 ghosts linger on the property. If you're dying to visit one of America's most haunted homes, the Myrtles Plantation now serves as a hotel and restaurant.
15. Winchester House
Sure that she was being haunted by the ghosts of rifle-slain people, Winchester Firearms widow Sarah Winchester fled from Connecticut to build a mansion in San Jose, CA. The Winchester House was an expensive, labor-intensive project that resulted in a cavernous, confusing home. So disconcerting that it's now called "The Mystery House," the Winchester mansion contains rooms without floors and staircases that lead to nowhere — architectural oddities often attributed to Sarah Winchester's fear of the spectral spirits that haunt the property. In death, her own soul is said to have joined those that haunted her in life, so don't be surprised if you see the widow make an appearance during a tour of the mansion.
16. The Stanley Hotel
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," or so goes the famous saying from Stephen King's The Shining. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, served as the horror author's inspiration for the classic horror novel, but the haunted history of the Stanley is anything but fictional. Ghosts enter and exit rooms as they please, supposedly hoping to steer guests clear of the same dangers that claimed their own lives. Want to experience the hotel for yourself? There are a selection of "haunted rooms" available for spook-seeking patrons, and every TV at the hotel has a special channel just for marathon viewings of The Shining.
17. The Cassadaga Hotel
The Cassadaga Hotel is seriously haunted, and nobody is more pleased about it than the management! The hotel staff proudly proclaims their paranormal predilections, which makes perfect sense when considering the hotel's location. Cassadaga, FL, is a town full of psychic mediums, specializing in spiritualist retreats and paranormal readings; if you're looking to contact the dead, you won't find a better place to do it than the Cassadaga.
18. The Kreischer Mansion
With a violent history spanning from 1885 to 2008, the Kreischer Mansion in Staten Island, NY, has ghosts both old and new. The original owner committed suicide within the home, sparking rumors that his spirit still remains among the bricks. More recently, however, a caretaker for the mansion pleaded guilty to a grisly murder that he committed in the house, culminating with a body burned in the mansion's furnace. The victim is said to have joined Edward Kreischer in haunting the spooky Victorian, creating a ghostly presence that spans multiple centuries.