Tonight, children masked as scary goblins and spooky ghosts will be hitting the pavement in search of tricks and treats. But after the fun has ended, some believe real ghosts will still be wandering the halls of haunted houses across the country. In the spirit of Halloween (no pun intended), let’s take a look at some of the most notorious haunted houses in America and the stories behind them.
The White House
Unexplained voices, music and even apparitions of past White House residents have been frequently reported over the years. The most common being the presence and even appearance of Abraham Lincoln. Reports include seeing Lincoln in his top hat, smoking a cigar and even pacing the halls of the upper level of the home.
Seansie via Flickr
Other spooky sightings in the White House take place in specific rooms. Within the Yellow Oval Room, it is said that our country’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, can still be heard at times playing a violin. The Rose Room, former President Andrew Jackson’s bedchamber, is famed to be one of the most haunted rooms in the White House with visitors reporting hearing the former President ranting and even swearing within those walls. Additionally, former first lady and wife of President John Adams, Abigail, has been spotted by visitors hanging her laundry to dry in the East Room of the White House.
Located in St. Francisville, Louisiana, this 1796 plantation home was supposedly built on the site of an Indian burial ground and was home to several tragic events, including murder.
ShannonLane.com via Flickr
In the early 1800s, Myrtle’s Plantation was home to Clark Woodruff, his wife Sara and their children. Stories from the time report that Woodruff had a romantic relationship with one of his slaves named Chloe, who was eventually hung to die by her fellow slaves. Another resident, William Winter, was killed by a gunshot on the front porch and was laid to rest on the 17th step of the staircase.
Now a bed and breakfast frequented by travelers, some visitors report they have felt the spirits of Sara Woodruff and her children near the staircase, as well as Chloe’s spirit in the outdoor gardens.
The LaLaurie Mansion
This New Orleans mansion was originally home to Madame Delphine LaLaurie in the 1830s and has been considered to be the one of the most haunted and frightening locations in the French Quarter.
Reading Tom via Flickr
LaLaurie, a wealthy socialite is said to have cruelly tortured several slaves in the attic of the home. Over the years, many spooky occurrences have been documented including some hearing screams at night and others reporting the sighting of slaves walking about on the balconies and in the yards. Some stories even claimed that vagrants who had gone into the house seeking shelter were never heard from again.
The Winchester House
This fascinating house in San Jose, California, was built by Sara Winchester in the late 1800s. She was the wife of William Winchester, who founded Winchester rifles. Legend holds that after the deaths of her daughter in 1866 and husband in 1881, she was deeply troubled and sought the assistance of a medium, who suggested she build a house to ward off evil spirits.
GreggOConnell via Flickr
The house, which she designed while supposedly consulting the spirit of her husband, features many unexplained features that were apparently built into the house to ward off evil, such as dead-ends, secret panels and staircases that lead nowhere. Interestingly, the home is sanctioned by the U.S. Dept of Commerce as being haunted.
A young and very successful businessman named Frank Stranahan built this home for his wife Ivy Cromartie in 1906. It is the oldest remaining home in Broward County, Florida.
msmariamad via Flickr
Sometimes referred to as Ft. Lauderdale’s First Family, Frank and his wife Ivy founded and operated the city’s post office, a bank, hotel and trading post. They were powerful and highly regarded, until the effects of the Great Depression and a devastating hurricane strained their good fortune. Frank, who suffered from depression, committed suicide in 1929 by drowning. It is rumored that the house is haunted by Frank, as well as his wife Ivy.
Have you visited any of these spooky properties? Are we missing a famous haunted home? Tell us your scary stories on our Harman Facebook page! And from all of us at Harman, have a spooky, safe and happy Halloween!