Some are eerie, some are horrifying, and some just give you the heebie-jeebies. In honor of the approaching Halloween holiday, we found the top three scariest real haunted houses in the country.
3. Morey Mansion in Redlands, CA
This Victorian mansion was built in 1890 by David and Sarah Morey. They say Sarah’s spirit still lives in her home and hovers in the garden she loved tending. Today, the mansion serves as a bed and breakfast. Many guests have reported strange incidents, like sounds of phantom falling objects and doors rattling and cracking open in the dead of night (is that you, Mom??). The owner’s dogs will not walk the hallway that leads to the front door. They either take the long way around the hall or avoid that part of the house altogether. Some guests have heard children playing in the house, even when none are there.
2. Carnton Mansion in Franklin, TN
During the Civil War, a girl named Caroline glanced out of a Carnton Mansion window to see over 200 wounded men gathering outside. Caroline ordered the servants to help carry the soldiers into the mansion and began bandaging and feeding all she could. Doctors operated in the parlor and piled the dead high on the back porch.
Caroline recorded any available information about each dead man, including names and belongings, in the hope of comforting their loved ones. But legend has it that some of the men buried at Carnton Mansion have not rested peacefully. A ghost of one restless soldier has been spotted walking through the house and across the back porch. The sound of stomping boots alerts observers to his presence.
His ghost was apparently joined by a former cook; someone claims to have a picture of this woman’s head hovering in the hallway. Although the staff at the historic mansion never mentions the hauntings, visitors often ask about them. Some people said they hear heavy walking or see ghostly soldiers in bedrooms.
1. Danvers State Hospital in Danvers, MA
During the 1940s, this insane asylum was crammed with over four times the amount of patients it was designed to house. The wretched conditions were said to be the curse of its plot of land, formerly owned by ruthless Salem Witch Trial judge, John Hawthorne. Danvers is the rumored birthplace of the lobotomy, a procedure that severed the frontal lobe from the rest of the brain and was used to cure lunatics or at least to make them docile.
The asylum closed in 1992. But you’re in luck! It has since been converted to condos, where sounds of footsteps, windows breaking spontaneously, screams, ghostly attacks, and strange shadows in photographs haunt the occupants.