It’s 3am. You find yourself waking to the voice of your daughter saying “Mommy, I’m scared” as she crawls into bed with you. Her tiny little hands hug your back as she nuzzles closer to you. It’s 3:01 am when you realize that your daughter is at summer camp and won’t be back til next week. You quickly turn to see who’s behind you and…nothing, there’s no one there. But as you turn your gaze towards the door, you see her…standing there, watching. Your body freezes as she grins and disappears before your eyes. It’s 3:05 am and you know you won’t be going to sleep again. You should have listened when they said you were residing in a haunted house…one of many haunted houses.
Now, this little story might be fictional, but many people claim to have had similar experiences in the houses featured on this list. From the Mexican House of Laments that witnessed brutal serial murders to the infamous DeFoe House in New York that inspired the iconic horror movie The Amityville Horror, we bet you would do anything to avoid spending a night at any of the houses featured in this list (And you’d be wise to do so). These are 25 terrifying haunted houses few are brave enough to live in.
Winchester Mystery House
Located at 525 South Winchester Blvd. in San Jose, California, the Winchester Mystery House is a huge mansion which was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester. Renowned for its size and many architectural curiosities, the house has always been claimed by many, including Winchester herself, to be haunted by the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles.
Monte Cristo Homestead
Constructed in 1885, the Monte Christo Homestead is a historic property in the town of Junee, New South Wales, Australia. The late Victorian manor was the site of seven deaths in the 1800s and is reported to be the most haunted house in Australia. Various ghost groups have reported sightings there. The house now also serves as a museum and an antique store.
Situated in the town of Inver, Donegal County, Ireland, the Drumbeg Manor is considered to be one of the most haunted houses in all Europe. Apparitions and strange events are reported to have taken place within the manor and on its grounds. Stories say that a screaming woman can be heard, as well as the appearance of a man in a white suit walking the halls.
Built in 1869 by Henry Guest McPike, the McPike Mansion is a mansion in Alton, Greater St. Louis metropolitan area in Illinois. One of the most haunted houses in the US, the mansion appeared in the series Scariest Places on Earth. According to the current owners Sharyn and George Luedke who bought the house in an auction in 1994, it is haunted by the ghost of a former owner and a former domestic servant.
The Whaley House is a Greek Revival villa in San Diego, California. The house has been cited as haunted and in 2005, LIFE magazine even called it “the most haunted house in America.” Heavy footsteps are heard in the house which are thought to belong to the ghost of James “Yankee Jim” Robinson, who had earlier been hanged on the property. Some visitors have also reported seeing apparitions of Thomas and Anna Whaley, the original owners of the house.
House of Laments
The House of Laments is a historic place in Guanajuato, Mexico. During the 1890s and 1900s, the 18th-century mansion became the site of the infamous Tadeo Fulgencío Mejía serial murders. The perpetrator of the murders was motivated by the delirious idea of contacting his deceased wife. According to locals, many paranormal phenomena have happened in this house and victims´ cries can sometimes be heard.
One of the most haunted buildings in Finland, the Villa Kleineh is an old, Empire-style villa in the country´s capital city of Helsinki that currently serves as the seat of the Dutch Embassy. According to local ghost traditions, the ghost of Kleineh’s second wife, Maria Kleineh, still roams the house and is known as the White Lady.
Once dubbed “the most haunted house in England”, the Borley Rectory was a Gothic-style mansion built in 1862 to house the rector of the parish of Borley (Essex County, England) and his family. Allegedly haunted since it was built, a number of paranormal activities have been reported within its walls. In 1939, the house was badly damaged by a fire and five years later, it was demolished.
One of the scariest places in Romania, the Vernescu House is an old casino building in Bucharest. It is said that in the past century, several players committed suicide inside the house after they lost their entire fortunes at roulette. Reports indicate the house is haunted by up to three ghosts who shake furniture, cause air currents and sometimes even appear in the hallways. Passers have also reported a strong odor of sulfur in the building’s yard.
Also known as “Die Spookhuis” or “The Haunted House”, the Erasmus Mansion is a large manor famous for frequent ghost sightings and supernatural encounters. Located in Pretoria, South Africa, the house is now open for public tours and cultural gatherings, which is why so many people have witnessed various paranormal activities such as lit windows in the uninhabited parts of the building, unexplainable human sounds etc.
The Sallie House in Atchison, Kansas, may look normal from the outside but it faces a haunting past. Ripe with paranormal activity, there have been reports of full-bodied apparitions and flying objects. Some have even heard phantom furniture along with sounds of animals and disembodied human voices. The occupants have reportedly even sustained physical harm in the form of unexplained scratches, burns and cuts.
If you enjoyed these haunted houses, be sure to check out these haunted castles.
Situated on the Montpelier Hill near Dublin, Ireland, the Stewards House has allegedly been haunted since it was built around 1765. Stories tell of a particularly large ghostly black cat with glowing red eyes and there are also reports of incorporeal ringing bells and poltergeist activity. The house operated as a restaurant in the 1990s before closing in 2001. It is now a private residence.
Located in Palm Beach County, Florida, the Riddle House was built to serve as a funeral parlor. By 1920, the house became privately owned by city manager Karl Riddle after whom it got its name. In 1995, the house was dismantled and moved to Yesteryear Village in South Florida. There have been many reports of haunting in the house including paranormal events experienced by workers during the moving and reconstruction of the house.
Lawang Sewu House
An important historical landmark in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia, Lawang Sewu is a huge colonial-era house famous for being severely haunted. Many ghost sightings have been reported, including a ghost of a Dutch lady as well as headless ghouls. During one of the ghost hunting programs on television, a ghost was even purportedly caught on camera.
In 1912, the small town of Villisca southwest of Des Moines, Iowa, was host to gruesome unsolved murders now known as the Villisca Axe Murders. Six members of the Moore family and two house guests were found massacred by an axe in the Moore House. Since then, the house has been reported to be haunted. Residents have claimed to hear children crying and see a man with an axe roaming the grounds.
Situated in the town of Ballindrum, County Londonderry in Northern Ireland, the Springhill House is a 17th-century plantation house in which then master George Lenox-Conyngham committed suicide in 1816. Since then, the house is reputed to be home to the most-sighted and best documented ghost in the country. The ghost is said to have appearances of a tall lady, dressed in black who is thought to be George’s widow Olivia.
Located at Amityville, a village in Suffolk County, New York, the DeFoe House was the site of a grisly mass murder in which Ronald DeFoe Jr. killed his father, mother, two brothers, and two sister in 1974. One year later, in December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and their 3 children moved into the house. After 28 days, the Lutzes left the house, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena while living there.
Built in 1637, the Raynham Hall is a huge country house in East England. The house is allegedly haunted and it even became the setting of what is generally considered the most famous ghost photo of all time – the legendary Brown Lady descending the staircase. The Brown Lady is believed to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole who was entrapped in the house and died there in 1726.
Chaonei No. 81
Also known as Chaonei Church, Chaonei No. 81 is a house located in Beijing, China. A brick structure in the French Baroque architectural style, the house is famous for the belief that it is haunted. Stories associated with the house include ghosts, usually of a suicidal woman, and mysterious disappearances. It has become a popular site for urban exploration by Chinese youth, especially after a popular 2014 horror film, The House That Never Dies, was set there.
Joshua Ward House
Built in 1784, the Joshua Ward House is one of the oldest brick houses in Salem, Massachusetts. The house was one of the centers of the infamous Salem Witch Trials and it is believed that many women accused of witchcraft were hanged or burnt in or around the house. Since then, the house has been allegedly haunted by the ghosts of the executed women.
Quinta da Juncosa
The old farmhouse was home to the Baron of Lages and his family. The Baron was very jealous, and suspected his wife of infidelities. Legends have it, the Baron tied his wife to a horse and dragged her around the farm until she died. After discovering his wife was innocent, the Baron killed his children and committed suicide. They say the Baron’s guilt keeps him from resting in peace. Ghosts of the Baron and his wife are said to be seen around the property.
Located at 1140 Royal Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Lalaurie mansion is a huge, 3-story house that once belonged to Delphine Lalaurie, a New Orleans Creole socialite and alleged serial killer infamous for torturing and murdering her household slaves. It is rumored that many of the hundreds of slaves she is thought to have killed, still haunt the house.
Once a majestic residence of Eduard Freiherr von Oppenheim, a prominent German banker, the Fuhlingen House is now one of the most haunted buildings in Germany. Found in Cologne, Western Germany, the house is believed to be haunted by several ghosts, one of them a worker searching for his long lost love and the other a judge that hanged himself in one of the rooms.
Torre de Cossio House
The Torre de Cossio House is a huge colonial mansion in the center of Mexico City. During the 1630s, the house was home to a spree killer Juan Manuel de Solórzano. Believing his wife unfaithful, he killed several men, just because they walked outside the house. He would ask them the time, if they responded 11 pm, or showed anxiety, he would stab them. Allegedly, a man with 1600s-era clothing wanders around the house, asking bystanders for the time.
Built in 1868, the Lemp Mansion is a historical house in Benton Park, St. Louis, Missouri. It was also the site of several mysterious tragedies including four suicides by Lemp family members after the death of their son Frederick Lemp. The mansion is said to be haunted by members of the Lemp family who can be seen and heard in and around the house on dark nights.