The haunted house is one of the oldest horror archetypes in the world. Does some sort of energy in our bodies, or our souls perhaps, get attached to property as time goes on, so attached that this energy feels the need to stick around even after death? This is perhaps an unanswerable question, but there are witnesses that claim that this is indeed the case. They do not just simply claim this to be true, but also believe with an amazing conviction that the spirits of the dead linger in their former homes. Here are some of the creepiest houses that are supposedly haunted.
The Winchester Mansion
After Sarah Winchester’s husband death in 1881, Sarah took solace in the occult. This interest eventual led Sarah to visit a psychic. This psychic told her that countless spirits were seeking to harm her, because of her husband’s invention of the Winchester Rifle, which was responsible for their deaths. The psychic told Sarah that the only way to save her life was to move west and begin building a house. As long as she kept building she would live. If she stopped she would die. Sarah took the advice of the psychic and headed west. She soon began using her inheritance and her $1,000-dollar a day paycheck (equivalent to about $22,000 a day today) to build one of the most bizarre homes ever.
The Winchester Mansion in San Jose, California is a labyrinth of hallways, bedrooms, and staircases. Sarah claimed that ghosts brought the strange design of the house to her during séances she held. Among the strange constructs in the house are doors that lead to nowhere, doors that lead to huge drop offs, staircases to nowhere, and windows built into the floor. Also among the eccentric mysteries of the house are purported ghosts.
The Mansion is now a museum and visitors and employees have both claimed to have many experiences with the paranormal with in the bizarre walls of the home. Disembodied voices often echo through the halls of the house. People have also claimed to see doorknobs turn on their own while others claim to have seen the ghostly apparition of Sarah Winchester herself.
A man named William Crawley originally built this historic two-story home in Australia in 1884. After Crawley’s death it is said that his wife only left the house two times in the 23 remaining years of her life. After the Crawley’s passed the history of the house is sketchy, but many legends surround the property. For example, it is said that a mental handicapped boy was chained to a wall in the barn for his whole life and that a stable boy once burned to death in a freak accident. It is said that the Crawley’s and others remain in this home to this day in the form of ghosts.
One of the most intriguing claims of paranormal activity is the inexplicable lights that are often seen on the property. People driving or walking up to the house will often be bombarded by bright lights that appear to be coming from the yard. As they get closer the lights vanish. Phantom footsteps are also frequently heard on the balcony and disembodied voices can be heard all throughout the house. Perhaps most interesting is the many sighting of full body apparitions. People often claim to see a women dressed in all white “floating” around the different rooms of the home.
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania an old Victorian home once stood with a horrific past. Charles Wright Congelier was the original owner of this home. He lived there with his wife, Lydia, in the 1800s. Things were going great for the Congelier’s until 1871, when Lydia discovered that Charles had been having an affair with their maid. In a fit of rage, Lydia stabbed Charles to death and then cut off the head of the maid. After this the house remained vacant for some time until 1892 when it was renovated to accommodate workers on the expanding railroad. The workers did not stay long as they left the home complaining of hearing the inexplicable sobbing and screaming of an invisible woman.
The house remained empty for several more years until Dr. Adolph C. Brunrichter bought the home in the early 1900s. Neighbors thought Brunrichter was strange but in a harmless way. They were very wrong. On August 1, 1901 neighbors heard a blood-curdling scream coming from within the home. What happens next is debatable, but one neighbor claims that he saw a flash of a bright red light come from within the home and the ground began to tremble. When police arrived Dr. Brunrichter was nowhere to be found. They did find the decomposed body of a young girl strapped to his bed, though. They also found the decapitated corpses of several other women buried in the basement.
In 1920 Thomas Edison visited this creepy home. Edison was so inspired by the house that he set off to make a machine that would allow people to communicate with the dead (or perhaps he just stole the idea from Tesla). The machine, unfortunately, was never completed. Its development was halted by Edison’s death.
Unfortunately the house no longer stands as it was destroyed when a natural gas facility located near the home exploded. You can still go to the area where the house once stood (Route 65/I279 interchange) and it is said that the area is still a hot spot for paranormal activity.
The White House
The White House in the District of Columbia, United States, needs no historical introduction. It is most famously known to be the home of the current President of the United States of America. There are also former Presidents who reportedly still reside there. They tend to stay out of the way, in what I imagine is an attempt at not cramping the current president’s style, but every now and again they make their presence known. Many former occupants of the White House claim that the place is haunted among them are Hillary Clinton, President Lyndon B. Johnson, President Ronald Regan, former Press Secretary James Haggerty, and former Press Secretary Mike McCurry. Also, President Harry Truman once wrote to his wife in regards to ghosts in the White House, “Damned place is haunted, sure as shootin’!”
President Andrew Jackson is known to still take up residence in his old bedroom (currently called the Rose Bedroom) in the White House. Inexplicable cold spots are often felt in his room as well as strange noises. In a typical Jackson fashion, he is usually heard laughing loudly or shouting obscenities that would make a sailor blush.
The most frequently reported ghost of the White House is undoubtedly President Abraham Lincoln. The ghostly specter of Abraham Lincoln seemed particularly active during the FDR administration; perhaps he was trying to help Roosevelt with all the problems he had to deal with. Eleanor Roosevelt claimed to have seen the ghost of Lincoln several time while she was working in the Lincoln Bedroom. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands visited the White House during the FDR administration as well. She claimed that she was awakened in the middle of the night by a knock at her door. When she opened the door Abraham Lincoln stood before her. He then vanished.
Other ghosts that supposedly inhabit the White House are President William Harrison, first ladies Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison, original owner of the White House property David Burns, among others.
Author: Jonathan Kaulay Copyrighted © paranormalhaze.com