Haunted houses that were once worth over $1 million

A common horror movie plotline involves innocent folks believing they're getting an incredible deal on a new home, only to discover the place is haunted.

haunted house
A haunted house. Vladimir Mulder/Shutterstock

What if that were to happen in real life?

Many homes are made only more valuable due to their haunted reputations. Some haunted houses have become tourist attractions or even the subjects of big Hollywood horror franchises, attracting fans from across the world to their doors. However, other haunted houses have only been sold after dramatic price cuts.

We consulted Zillow records to determine the price history of some of America's most notorious haunted houses. While they were all priced at more than $1 million at one point, they are all now worth considerably less, either due to changing housing markets, dilapidation, or perhaps even paranormal occurrences scaring away buyers.

Here are seven haunted houses that were once listed for millions, but are now worth much less.

The Amityville Horror House in Long Island, New York, has a reputation for being haunted.

amityville horror home
The Amityville Horror House in Long Island, New York. Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Popularly known as the Amityville Horror House, 112 Ocean Avenue still stands and is remembered as the site of a mass murder in which six people were killed. According to Biography.com, on the night of November 13, 1974, 23-year-old Ronald J. DeFeo Jr. shot and murdered his entire family while they slept. Those murdered included DeFeo's two parents and his four siblings.

A little over a year after the murders, the Lutz family purchased the home for a reduced price of $80,000, on account of the house's sinister reputation. They only lasted 28 days before moving out of the house, citing paranormal happenings like strange odors, green slime oozing out of the walls and keyholes, and cold spots appearing throughout the house.

Stepfather George Lutz also reported waking up at 3:15 a.m. every night, around the time DeFeo carried out the murders. Perhaps the strangest and most terrifying instances of all, the family claimed wife Kathy and sons Daniel and Christopher levitated off their beds.

The home, which underwent renovations and an address change in order to deter investigators or horror fans from visiting the property, was listed for $1.15 million in 2010. However, it sold for $950,000. In 2017, it sold for $605,000. It has been repeatedly cited as one of the most haunted places in America.

Charming Forge Mansion in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, has reportedly been the site of multiple paranormal occurrences.

Charming Forge Mansion
Charming Forge Mansion in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania. Google Maps

Built in 1784 and restored in 1994, this Georgian-style mansion has seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, seven working fireplaces, and original Colonial-era details and woodwork.

Described by Realtor.com as the perfect home for "thrill-seekers," the Charming Forge Mansion in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, has been the site of multiple reported paranormal occurrences. Ghost stories include reports of a woman heard crying in the hallways, sightings of a man in the house's backyard, and various noises reportedly sounding like German prisoners of war circa the American Revolution.

The mansion was originally listed for $2,500,000 in 2009 but it has been on and off the market for the past ten years. Its most recent listing was for $695,000 but it sold for $650,000 in 2019, according to Zillow.

Franklin Castle in Cleveland, Ohio, has a seriously spooky history.

Franklin's Castle
Franklin Castle in Cleveland, Ohio. Seph Lawless

Considered one of the most haunted places in Ohio, Franklin Castle in Cleveland has quite the paranormal history. According to Atlas Obscura, the Victorian-style home was originally built in the 1880s by grocer-turned-banker Hannes Tiedemann. Many of Tiedemann's close relatives died in the house, including his 15-year-old daughter, his mother, his wife, and three other of his infant children.

After Tiedemann died in 1908, it spent many years as a German cultural center and base for the German Socialist Party. However, throughout the 1960s, tales surfaced of paranormal activity within the castle walls. Visitors have claimed they've experienced electrical surges, heard crying babies, and even saw a mysterious woman emerging from black steam.

According to Cleveland.com, rumors of heinous acts, like multiple murders and a mass shooting motivated by Nazi politics in the basement, have emerged. However, many of these claims are unsubstantiated. Regardless, people have claimed to see apparitions such as Tiedemann's illegitimate daughter, who is rumored to have been hanged by her father, and his mistress, who he also allegedly killed with an axe.

In early 1984, Michael DeVinko, an actor and the last husband of Judy Garland, purchased Franklin Castle. DeVinko spent close to $1 million renovating Franklin Castle before selling, according to Cleveland.com. However, fires occurred over the years that damaged the home. In 2011, it sold for a mere $260,000, down from its $350,000 selling price in 1999. The home has since been converted into apartments.

The LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of the most notoriously haunted homes in the country.

LaLaurie Mansion
The LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans, Louisiana. DMBrooks/Shutterstock

Located at 1140 Royal St in New Orleans, Louisiana, the LaLaurie Mansion has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and one horrifying history. Originally built for visiting French royalty, the mansion dates back to the 1800s.

According to New Orleans Historical, in 1832, Madame Delphine LaLaurie moved into the mansion. Many lavish parties were thrown in the residence, and LaLaurie established herself as a member of New Orleans' elite class. However, rumors and accusations surfaced of LaLaurie's mistreatment of her slaves.

When a fire broke out at the residence in 1834, firefighters attempting to contain the blaze discovered "seven horribly mutilated slaves who had been imprisoned in the house for some time," according to Atlas Obscura. An angry mob descended on the house, destroying as much as they could get their hands on. Madame LaLaurie then fled to Paris, where she lived out the rest of her days.

The house is still featured on many New Orleans ghost tours, as people speculate the souls of the slaves mistreated within its walls still haunt the premises. However, no one is allowed inside as the home is now a private residence.

In 2020, Zillow valued the property at an estimated $910,527, compared to its $2,100,000 selling price in 2010.

The Pillars Estate in Albion, New York, was once worth millions.

pillars estate
The Pillars Estate in Albion, New York. Steve Shoemaker/Amity Photos

The Pillars Estate in Albion, New York, was built in 1878 and has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, and many antique and original details that seemingly transport you back in time to another era.

According to Realtor.com, members of the household staff have said they've heard footsteps following them as they walk up the stairs. Cora Goyette, hired by owner Tony McMurtrie to help him care for the historic home he bought in 2006, claims to have heard the piano located in the parlor being played when no one was in the room. Apparitions like a woman in a white dress have also been spotted by McMurtrie throughout the house.

In 2015, the Pillars Estate was listed for $1,000,000. However, the price of the home has lowered over the years. In July 2020, the home sold for $450,000.

The Sallie House in Atchison, Kansas, has been investigated by multiple ghost hunters.

Sallie House
The Sallie House in Atchison, Kansas. Visit Atchison/Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce

According to a post by Visit Atchison, one residence in the small Kansas town has quite the paranormal reputation. Built around the 1900s, the home served as the place of business for an Atchison physician.

According to legend, a 6-year-old girl was brought to the doctor's office, believed to be experiencing appendicitis. The doctor reportedly began operating on the young girl before the anesthesia took full effect. She died on the operating table, and her spirit is said to haunt the house, reportedly causing strange scratches to appear on visitors' bodies, objects to move, unexplained fires, and cold spots being felt in what used to be the operating room.

The home's listing on Zillow actually calls attention to the home's ghostly reputation, saying it "is the internationally known home of Sallie the Heartland ghost," and that the home has a "record of $400 per night with word of mouth only," encouraging potential owners to actually rent out the house to investigators and fans of the paranormal.

In February 2016, it was listed for $1,000,000. By August of that same year, the asking price had lowered to $499,900. In November 2017, the three-bedroom, two-bath residence went off the market. However, visitors are able to take self-guided tours or even stay a night in the Sallie House in the hope of catching a real ghost on tape.

Highland Cottage in Ossining, New York, once served as a mental hospital.

squire house google maps
Highland Cottage (The Squire House) in Ossining, New York. Google Maps

The Highland Cottage, or Squire House, has quite the eerie history. Built as a single-family home in 1872, the Swiss-inspired home has been owned by multiple people over the years. The estate is located in Ossining, New York, home to the infamous Sing Sing prison.

In 1905, the home was bought by Sing Sing's chief physician, Dr. Amos Osborne Squire, who reportedly witnessed more than 138 executions during his time working at the prison. Around 1912, Squire converted the home into a privately run psychiatric facility, giving the home a creepy and even haunted reputation, according to local legend.

The extravagant and beautifully constructed home was once listed for $1.25 million but sold in 2018 for $925,000.

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