Tales of grisly murders surround the old place and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as the facade of the creepy old manse stares back at you. To your surprise, you see a ‘For Sale’ sign swinging slowly in the wind, through bursts of lightning. Do the walls of the master bedroom bleed at midnight, like you’ve heard? Or is it really just a classic Victorian, remodeled with contemporary fixtures and appliances and priced to sell? Are those bumps in the night dead demons walking the halls or the bass from the newly installed full-house stereo system?
Would you buy a haunted house? According to a survey by Realtor.com, 33% out of 1,000 people said they would! TopTenRealEstateDeals.com has found ten ghoulish houses with histories of past horrors for the curious or the brave where spirits might come out to play on Halloween night to send shivers up one’s spine. All ten homes have been or are currently on the market.
The film that guaranteed a lifetime of nightmares about being skinned and trimmed to make a woman’s suit for Buffalo Bill in the Oscar-winning movie The Silence of the Lambs in 1991 had many tongue-swallowing scenes inside this Princess Anne home. Situated on almost two acres and measuring 2,400 square feet with four bedrooms and one bath, it has beautiful craftsmanship throughout the home. An in-ground pool and a vintage caboose used as a pool house are just a few of the happy reasons why the home is worth the $298,500 asking price. Sister agents Eileen Allan and Shannon Assad of Berkshire Hathaway, The Preferred Realty in Wexford, Pennsylvania hold the listing.
It’s not the same house where Lizzie Borden may have used an ax to whack her father and stepmother to death in 1892, but it is the Fall River, Massachusetts home where she moved after her parents’ deaths, and stayed until her death in 1927. With wealth behind her as evidenced in the size and craftsmanship of this charming Queen Ann Victorian, it is where she lived in high style and mixed with local high society after being acquitted of the brutal ax murders of her father and stepmother. Measuring 3,935 square feet, it has seven bedrooms and four baths. The Lizzie Borden home is being sold fully furnished in period furniture appropriate to the time of Lizzie’s ownership. Priced at $890,000, it is listed by Suzanne St. John of Century 21 The Seyboth Team, Glocester, Rhode Island.
Tales of terror and tragedy rarely last as long as one of the most notorious Hollywood mysteries of the last century: The Black Dahlia Murders. Rumors still abound about the home’s previous owner, Los Angeles Doctor George Hodel, and his involvement in the brutal killing, mutilation and dismemberment of Elizabeth Short. Elizabeth was sliced in half at her waist and all the blood drained from her body. It looked like the work of a skilled surgeon. The house, an unusual piece of architecture crafted by Lloyd Wright, looks like it is cut straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. While a $2 million renovation has brought the house back to its original splendor, one can still feel that they should be running for their life through the house while being chased by Dr. Hodel.
The house was recently on the market at $4.7 million and has been the backdrop for multiple Hollywood movies, TV shows such as Ghost Hunters and Paranormal America and even an American Express commercial.
The Gardette-LePretre Mansion, or more locally referred as the Sultan’s House, has been photographed and heralded in articles from the time it was built in the 1830s. Having hosted the cream of New Orleans society from the beginning of its rich history, the home comes with a scary story! One morning as neighbors were walking by the Sultan House, they saw blood trickling from under the front door. The police were notified and had to break into the house only to find that all inhabitants had been murdered with swords or axes and the Sultan was found brutalized and buried alive in the backyard. It was always felt that the murders were executed by his brother, the real Sultan, as retribution for the theft of his fortune and many of his wives. How much is local lore and how much is true, we will never know for sure. This is, after all, New Orleans.
Only a block from Bourbon Street, the French Quarter-style home with nine bedrooms and 10 baths most recently was on the market at $2.65 million.
Tourists once flocked to Uptop, Colorado to ride on the railway, which the railroad company advertised as the “Railroad Above the Clouds.” Later, lumber companies moved in and in 1930 the Chapel-by-the-Wayside was built for that community. The railroad brought many tourists through La Veta Pass to Uptop which was a depot at the top of the pass and what was then the highest railroad and depot in the world. With the building of the depot, merchants moved to the location to cater to rail passengers and for entertainment, built a large dance hall-saloon. It was a favorite stop for miners, railroad men and lumberjacks. The bar, known for its unique curved bar, served prohibition liquor made in a still behind the building that fueled many a raucous poker game.
Unfortunately for Uptop, the railroad left in the early 1900s and in the 1960s the new highway system bypassed the town leaving just a ghost town. Recently restored by two sisters from Boston, the entire town went on the market in 2014 for $2 million including the train depot, dance hall, saloon and chapel.
During the construction of their new home next to a mysterious pile of ancient rocks in Arizona, a young couple from Washington discovered that they weren’t the first people to live in the boulders. Pottery shards and rock carvings were dated by experts back as far as one thousand years. Then they found something even more astonishing: a Stonehenge-type phenomenon that occurs on both the spring and fall equinoxes. A six-inch wide beam of light that starts in the glass between two boulders and slowly works its way across the floor and up the wall to a 36” spiral petroglyph. When the sun hits its mark, the stone projections light up like diamonds. What does it mean? Some people think it is a signal to the space creatures. A light that will guide their spaceships to the Arizona desert. Or, maybe it doesn’t mean anything. Just a freak of nature. Whatever it might be, it started over a thousand years ago when the boulder people first began living there, about the same time that hard-shelled life forms first showed up on earth.
A dream home for archaeologists, historians, artists or mystery lovers, the Boulder House on nine acres with 4,380 square feet, three bedrooms, two baths and a great room with a massive fireplace was recently for sale at $4.2 million. It is now off the market.
While most going businesses want to keep their ghosts in the closet so as not to frighten off clientele, the Magnolia Mansion has cleverly built its business around multiple ghosts and wish its ghosts would invite their friends! Here the ghosts are friendly with a sense of humor, where ghostly children tease you by moving things around during the night to watch your reaction the next morning. There are reports of a ghostly maid who will tuck you in at night, a child who walks the halls and a bearded man who spends his time downstairs! A perfect place to hold your “Spooktacular Gatherings” and “Ghostly Galas!”
The Greek Revival mansion of over 13,300 square feet and 13 bedrooms could be changed back into a single-family estate. It was most recently for sale at $3.2 million.
When it was built in 1895 for the president of Remington Arms and Typewriter Company, Carleton Manor was one of the grandest structures in all of New York. The solid stone outer structure sits on an island of 6.9 acres and surrounded by almost a thousand feet of waterfront. Today, it is an abandoned shell not fit for humans or ghosts. For a mere $495,000, the buyer willing to make this piece of history into a grand restoration project, can turn this house from a nightmare into a dream home. Then the spirits could come down from the ceiling and the chimneys for more cushy digs and have fun throwing the good china around after midnight.
No longer on the market, the actual Amityville Horror home was for sale in 2016 reduced from $1.15 million down to $850,000. The New York home where Ronald DeFeo got up in the middle of the night in 1974 and brutally murdered his parents and four siblings with a rifle while they slept. The home was occupied just a year later by the Lutz family until they were forced to leave because of rampant paranormal activity. The storied horror house on the Ocean Avenue waterfront is today an extensively remodeled home. The 5,000-square-foot home most recently sold in 2017 for just $605,000.
Proof that wealth does not bring happiness is shown by the tragedies experienced by the A.B. Widener family who built the 110-room Lynnewood Hall in Pennsylvania. Said to be the largest remaining example of Neoclassical Revival architecture from the Gilded Age, its decline began with links to the sinking of the Titanic. When Widener invested with J.P. Morgan in the White Star Line, little did he know that his son and grandson would die on the maiden voyage of its flagship Titanic. Consumed with guilt and grief, A.B. Widener died in his grand mansion three years after the sinking. It is said that the three Widener ghosts are still its caretakers and its legacy continues to be the world’s biggest abandoned ghost house.
Lynnewood Hall was listed at $20 million in 2014 and dropped to $16.5 million in 2015. It still has not sold.
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