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What's the best way to get in the Halloween spirit? Hanging out with the undead, of course!
Care to carouse with centuries-old witches or explore the location of rumored ghost sightings? We've curated a list of the top ten haunted houses across the country, from New York to California, all of which can be toured or even booked for an overnight stay.
Winchester Mystery House
Location: San Jose, California
Why It's Spooky: The Winchester Mansion is the work of Sarah Lockwood Pardee, who, after the death of her husband, firearms mogul William Winchester, in 1881 began making all sorts of renovations to the two-story farmhouse for reasons still unknown. She added 40 staircases, 2,000 doors and all sorts of nods to the number 13. Construction started in 1886 and stopped after her death in 1922, leaving the house unfinished to this day. According to Winchester Mystery House historian Janan Boehme, Sarah's obsessive construction could stem from "trying to disconcert bad spirits she didn't want to have in her house" or simply being the work of a "really bad architect." Its spooky history and architectural oddities even inspired the movie Winchester starring Helen Mirren.
Who Haunts It: Visitors have claimed to feel Sarah's presence in the house, especially psychics who say they can "sense" her, according to Boehme. "Generally, it's kind of good energies, though often sad," she adds. Some say the "wheelbarrow ghost," a figure dressed in overalls pushing a wheelbarrow, haunts the basement and is believed to be one of Sarah's loyal employees. Book a tour to see for yourself!
The Conjuring House
The Conjuring House
Location: Harrisville, Rhode Island
Why It's Spooky: For horror movie enthusiasts, seeing "based on a true story" at the beginning of a film is an absolute dream. That's probably why fans love The Conjuring franchise, as the house that inspired the movie is an actual place in Rhode Island that can even be booked for an overnight stay. The farmhouse was built in 1736 and is known for its haunted happenings — most notably when paranormal experts, Ed and Lorraine Warren, performed a séance for the house's inhabitants, the Perron family, during the 1970s, after they had several harrowing supposed encounters there. PEOPLE's own Julie Jordan spent a night on the chilling property and confirmed she sensed some paranormal activity there. She experienced tables moving on their own, balls of light flashing in the corner of her eye, and loud creaks in the living room during her stay.
Who Haunts It: Although Bathsheba Sherman, the famous witch in The Conjuring, was an actual person who lived in Harrisville during the 1800s, the Perron family is unconvinced her spirit is behind the real-life hauntings. While no specific ghost has been identified, visitors have reported books randomly falling from shelves and sightings of "shadow figures" in the upstairs bedrooms — the same room where one of the Perron daughters was tormented by an unseen force.
The Hobo Hill House
The Hobo Hill House
Location: Jefferson City, Missouri
Why It's Spooky: Don't let the cozy interior fool you, the Hobo Hill House is reportedly as haunted as they come. One hundred years after it was built in 1910, the historic home caught the eyes of Aaron and Erin Clark, who purchased and renovated the property in 2017. It seemed like the perfect house until they started noticing strange occurrences, such as the kitchen sink and other appliances frequently turning on by themselves. The creepiest part may have been when their 8-year-old daughter started having sudden night terrors and sleepwalking. "It seemed as if she was possessed because she would be really wide-eyed and shaking," Aaron told the News Tribune.
Who Haunts It: The Clarks would often see a tall man wearing a suit and top hat out of the corner of their eyes, and hear strange voices whisper "Hi" whenever they entered the house. After seven spooky months on the property, the couple decided to vacate the house and turn it into an Airbnb for paranormal fanatics to rent at $325 a night.
The Witch House
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Location: Salem, Massachusetts
Why it's Spooky: The Witch House is the "only structure you can visit in Salem with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692," according to its official website. The home was purchased in 1675 by Jonathan Corwin, who was responsible for charging and executing nineteen people suspected of witchcraft. It's said to harbor the "Corwin Curse," which was supposedly responsible for the premature deaths of all five of his children, according to Ghost City Tours.
Who Haunts It: While it's still unclear whether the accused witches or the Corwin family themselves are still hanging around the property, countless visitors have reportedly felt the presence of unseen spirits and heard disembodied voices during their visit.
Villisca Ax Murder House
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Location: Villisca, Iowa
Why It's Spooky: Villisca, an Iowa town of just 1,108 people, proves that not all small towns are boring. The sleepy spot actually holds a chilling history dating back to 1912, when two adults, Josiah and Sarah Moore, and six children were brutally murdered in what is now known as the Villisca Ax Murder House. While the murderer was never caught, there are four people that historians have suspected — with Frank F. Jones, an Iowa State Senator at the time and Josiah's former employer, being at the top of the list.
Who Haunts It: The ghosts of the Moore family are said to haunt the property. Visitors have claimed to have felt the presence of Josiah and Sarah, along with their four children and two friends who were murdered in their beds. Horror enthusiasts can book an overnight stay at the white farmhouse to see for themselves.
John Bell's Cabin and the Bell Witch Cave
Historic Bell Witch Cave
Location: Adams, Tennessee
Why It's Spooky: Just 40 minutes outside of Nashville lies the creepy farm where John Bell and his family once lived, including an eerie on-site cave that's been the site of much paranormal activity. The haunting dates back to the early 1800s, after Bell purchased the plot of land on the Red River. He started seeing oddly shaped animals and hearing whispers from phantom entities. His youngest daughter, Betsy, received the worst of the haunting, as she allegedly felt an unseen force pulling her hair and slapping her. She was even said to wake up with hand prints all over her face and body.
Who Haunts It: The spirit supposedly responsible is known as the Bell Witch. Though her identity has never been confirmed, some believe that an "eccentric" late neighbor named Kate Batts was behind the haunting, according to the home's official website. The legend became known as "America's Greatest Ghost Story," and even caught the attention of then-Major General Andrew Jackson, who traveled to Adams to see the witch for himself. Fans of the paranormal can book a tour of the Bell family's farm and see artifacts from when they lived.
The Grove House
Location: Jefferson, Texas
Why It's Spooky: The hauntings of the Grove House begin with a woman named Louise Young, who lived on the property in the early 1900s until her death in the '80s. Young frequently talked about the "haints" that occurred, including seeing shadow figures walking around the house at night. Following Young's death, subsequent owners have reportedly heard faint voices and footsteps along with smelling "unpleasant" odors, according to the home's website. Wet footprints and strange puddles were found in the house under completely dry conditions — plan a tour if you're brave enough to see for yourself!
Who Haunts It: Former resident Patrick Hopkins, who tried to convert the home into a restaurant, claims to have witnessed a woman he'd never seen before walk down the stairs and go into the powder room. After she didn't come out for a while, he went to check on her and found the room empty. A similar occurrence happened while prepping for a dinner theater, when one of the light technicians felt a presence behind her and turned to see a woman dressed in all white. She followed the mysterious woman around the corner of the house only to see she had vanished.
The Campbell House
Location: Spokane, Washington
Why It's Haunted: Rumor has it that Amasa B. Campbell and Grace Fox, who moved into the newly-built Campbell House in 1898, witnessed three of their children murdered and one kidnapped on the property. But, in her book Ghosts and Legends of Spokane, Deborah Cuyle debunks the theory, pointing out the lack of news coverage of the incident, especially since Amasa was a prominent investor at the time. The couple's only confirmed child was Helen Campbell, who died in 1964. But that doesn't mean she doesn't believe it's haunted.
Who haunts it: Visitors have claimed to see ghostly figures of young children and hear strange noises at the property. Cuyle guesses this may be the Campbell family themselves. She writes, "Icy cold spots can be felt throughout the mansion, and the eyes in the portrait of [Amasa] are said to follow you as you walk by." Some have seen a woman's figure lurking in the upstairs sewing room, while another apparition was spotted in the old carriage house. Drop in on a "dark history tour" to experience all the peculiarities of the Campbell House.
Burn Brae Mansion
Burn Brae Mansion
Location: Glen Spey, New York
Why It's Spooky: Now operating as a charming bed and breakfast, the Burn Brae Mansion was once home to Margaret Ross MacKenzie Elkin and her husband Charles Elkin. The couple built the house in 1907 on her father's $3.5 million estate, after he acquired great wealth as president of the Singer Sewing Machine company. Now under the current ownership of Mike and Pat Fraysse, the bed and breakfast allegedly guarantees a spooky stay and even offers private paranormal investigations for groups.
Who Haunts It: Along with hearing disembodied children's voices and witnessing doors open and close on their own, guests have spotted all kinds of ghostly figures. Some have seen apparitions of a woman in all white, a man dressed in old-fashioned clothing and another man wearing more modern clothing. Eerie sounds of an organ playing have also been reported, despite the fact that there is not an organ on the property.
Location: Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey
Why It's Spooky: This historic New Jersey mansion was first purchased in 1767 by a woman named Ann Bartow DeVisme. According to the official website, the Hermitage hosted a few famous figures from the Revolutionary War era, including Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and even George Washington for a few days. After DeVisme's death the house was sold to an Elijah Rosegrant who kept the estate in his family for 163 years until the last surviving member in the family died. It now belongs to the State of New Jersey and serves as a museum and is said to be haunted by many spirits.
Who haunts it: With over 250 years of occupants on the property, it's no surprise that visitors have encountered an excess of paranormal activity. Ghostly presences are so strong that the house has even attracted local medium Craig McManus who hosts ghost tours and gatherings every year on Halloween. During these tours, people have reportedly seen a woman in the upstairs window and heard disembodied voices. McManus claims to help visitors connect with spirits from the Victorian era all the way back to the Revolutionary War. While the Halloween tours are currently sold out for this year, those who are brave enough to try and spot some ghosts during the day can take a regular tour of the house on weekends.