These storied homes are valued for their architecture or their role in historical events, but many visitors and residents report that something otherworldly lingers…
Lizzie Borden House
The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum in Fall River, Massachusetts was the scene of a gruesome unsolved double murder, perhaps among the most infamous in the U.S. Thirty-two-year-old Lizzy Borden became the chief suspect, but she was acquitted at trial. Today it’s open for tours and overnight stays.
The Franklin Castle
Built between 1881-1883, Franklin Castle (or the Tiedemann House as it is more properly known) is located in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. It is rumored to be home to more than a few tortured souls left over from a series of gruesome murders – but are any of those stories true? Only a few people have been allowed inside its wrought iron gates to know for sure.
Built for automotive mogul James Asbury Allison in Indianapolis, Indiana, this Art & Crafts Country-style mansion quickly gained a reputation as a “house of wonders”. The Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenberg purchased Allison’s estate at 3200 Cold Spring Road in 1936 and moved their school there, renaming it Marian College. After Allison’s death in 1928, rumors spread that his ethereal form remained at his beloved estate. This unusual activity has led some to call Allison Mansion the most haunted house in Indianapolis.
Wilmington, North Carolina’s original stone jail, known as a gaol, stood at the corner of Market and Third Streets from 1744 to 1768, when it burned in a fire. Sensing an opportunity, a British merchant named John Burgwin purchased the property, along with its stone foundations. He built a handsome Georgian-Style home where he could conduct business while in town. Visitors have reported apparitions, disembodied voices, and the sound of a woman sobbing.
The historic Manning House sits near downtown Tucson, Arizona. When Levi Howell Manning built the mansion for his family in 1907, it was situated on 10 acres of fertile grazing pastures. According to the Tucson Weekly, an employee once quit her job at the Manning House after seeing a hazy figure drinking whiskey at the bar. Others have seen the apparition of a man pacing up and down the hallways holding a candlestick. Faucets appear to turn off and on by themselves, and faces materialize in the bathroom mirror.
Tinker Swiss Cottage
Disembodied footsteps, a rocking chair that moves on its own, and phantom figures would be enough to spook anyone. For staff and volunteers at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens, however, it’s just another day on the job. Located at 411 Kent St. in Rockford, Illinois, Tinker Swiss Cottage is rich in local history and home to a few hair-raising reminders of the past.
Le Ray Mansion
Fort Drum and its training area sprawls over 14 square miles of Jefferson County, New York, which shares a waterway with Canada. The estate of James Le Ray, son of Revolutionary War hero Jacques-Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont, was appropriated by the military base during World War 2. Neither Le Ray nor his children spent much time there, but Le Ray’s granddaughter, 15-month-old Clotilde, died in his home and is buried on the property. Some visitors claim her spirit never left and guests have heard her crying from beyond the grave.
Peyton Randolph House
The Georgian-style house was built in 1715 by William Robertson. It was later owned by Peyton Randolph (1721-1775), president of the First and Second Continental Congress. His home, expanded and modified over the intervening decades, still stands in Colonial Williamsburg. It’s been called the most haunted house in America, possibly the most haunted on the East Coast, and certainly the most haunted in Virginia.
Is it cursed by a slave woman named Eve, or haunted by the agonized souls of Betty Randolph’s other slaves? Do the ghosts of two children who died at the home play in its halls? Or how about Civil War soldiers who succumbed to their wounds? Or is it because American Indian graves were disturbed during the building of the Colonial National Historic Parkway tunnel? Any of these explanations is enough to satiate the curiosity of believers.