Do you ever watch a scary movie about a haunted house and wonder if you could live there? Could you deal with the sound of phantom footsteps and slamming doors in the middle of the night? Could you handle staring into the eyes of a ghostly apparition or having to dodge objects flying off the shelves? Watching it happen on the screen is one thing. Experiencing it in real life is another.
There are several reasons someone may end up living in a haunted house. Perhaps they live near a cemetery, have inherited the home or purchased the property without knowing its history. Or maybe they bought the home specifically because it was haunted.
If that last reason resonates with you and you’re the type of person who wants to experience a real-life haunting, this list of haunted houses for sale may be just the place to find your next home.
So why are these houses – or any other homes, for that matter – haunted? As you’ll see, each one has a different story and each spirit a different reason for staying.
“Sometimes, someone who passed may want to comfort a loved one,“ suggests Todd Bonner, co-founder of Detroit Paranormal Expeditions, a team that researches and investigates haunted places across the country. “Other times, they are attached to their home or an object that they may have loved or had some connection to in their lifetime.”
While those reasons may seem wholesome enough, spirits may stay in a home for reasons that are far more disturbing. For example, the home’s history may include multiple murders, suicides or other tragic events – and that can affect the type of haunting one may experience. If you’re serious about moving into one of these homes, do your research before you buy to decide if you are comfortable with the property, its history and the type of haunting you may encounter. We’ve started the research on some of these homes for you. Here are 10 of our favorite haunted houses for sale right now.
10. 1 Laveta Place
Located on a tree-lined, dead-end street in Nyack, New York, 1 Laveta Place is as famous as its past celebrity owners – including director Adam Brooks, singer Ingrid Michaelson and rapper Matisyahu. The home gained notoriety when the New York Supreme Court declared it legally haunted in 1991. The ruling was the result of the Stambovsky v. Ackley case in which home buyer Jeffrey Stambovsky sued seller Helen Ackley over not disclosing the haunting prior to the sale and fought to rescind his offer. The court ruled in Stambovsky’s favor and the home made history.
While there have not been any reported hauntings in recent years, perhaps you’ll experience the paranormal activity the Ackleys publicly claimed to have had decades ago. Before selling the home, Helen and her family had reported multiple incidents of poltergeists from the Revolutionary War shaking the beds, slamming doors and leaving gifts.
Possible paranormal phenomenon aside, the 1890 Queen Anne Victorian also boasts arched doorways, stained glass, an in-ground saltwater pool and views of the Hudson River from almost every room. The spacious home features five bedrooms and baths and is within walking distance to Nyack’s quaint downtown area. To see all the home has to offer, schedule your walkthrough with our agents today.
9. Panola Hall
Panola Hall was originally built for Henry Trippe in 1854, but its most popular resident is simply known as Sylvia. Said to be a young, beautiful, shy spirit, Sylvia typically appears on the stairwell with a rose in her hair and wearing a white, hoop-skirt dress. Her presence also brings about a strong smell of roses.
The beautiful Antebellum home is decorated with heart pine floors, 12-foot ceilings, a second-floor balcony and a secret tunnel. At the time of writing, this home has a pending offer. To get an update on the home, contact your local Rocket HomesSM agent.
8. The Pillars Estate
Sometimes a homeowner loves their home so much, they can find it difficult to leave – even in the afterlife. Such is the case, many believe, for the Pillars Estate, an 1878 mansion in Albion, New York. The homeowner we’re referring to is Myrtie Carr, who moved into the home with her husband William in the 1940s. It’s said that Carr loved the home so much that she purportedly told one of her daughters that when she died, she would never leave it. According to the current homeowner, Tony McMurtie, she’s kept that promise. McMurtrie, who has spent more than 10 years carefully restoring the home to its original splendor, has had his fair share of haunting experiences, including hearing doorknobs jiggling and seeing the apparition of a woman lying in bed. Despite the paranormal activity, it’s believed that Carr’s presence is warm and friendly and that she’s happy to see the care McMurtrie has put into her beloved home.
The Pillars Estate in Albion, New York is one of the oldest homes in the area. When you turn that antique key and step inside, you go back in history. The restored home is filled with antique furnishings – many of which are included in the sale of the home. McMurtie also added an extravagant ballroom featuring a grand staircase, dark wood features, chandeliers and a bar. And just because you feel like you’re back in time, doesn’t mean you’ll live like it. McMurtrie updated the electric, plumbing, heating and septic to make the home more livable. To see McMurtrie’s work firsthand, check out the Pillars Estate listing and schedule a walkthrough.
7. Wyckoff Villa – Carleton Island Villa
There’s much debate on whether the Wyckoff Villa, also known as the Carleton Island Villa, is actually haunted, but its sad history and ominous presence may lead you to believe it is. The Cape Vincent, New York, home was built as a summer estate for William Wyckoff of Remington Typewriter fame. Unfortunately, Wyckoff died of a heart attack the first night he spent in the home. The villa then went to his son, who sold it to General Electric after the family lost its fortune during the Great Depression. However, the company abandoned the home during World War II and it has sat vacant ever since – more than 70 years. A ghost of its former self, the once-ornate home has been stripped of its doors, windows, stained glass and marble features. But even as a shell of a mansion, the Wyckoff Villa is stunning. Its new owner, whoever that may be, will need to commit to a true labor of love as this home will require a complete rebuild. The property shows promise, though, as it includes close to 7 acres of land and three waterfronts. Ouragents will be happy to tell you even more about the home and its potential, so give them a call today.
6. The Uhli Home
Built in 1890, the Uhli Home still has many of its original features, including its “Uhli bricks” – the brickwork original owner Stefan Uhli was known for around Silver City, New Mexico, where the home is located. Stefan and his wife Suzanna were pioneers and two of the first settlers in the area, which served as a tent city during the mining boom. It’s believed that Stefan and Suzanna still haunt the property today. The Victorian home requires some renovation work, but has a number of great features, including a balcony, basement and one-bedroom apartment attached by a breezeway. To view the inside of the home, schedule a tour with a Rocket HomesSM agent.
5. Los Feliz Murder House
On December 6, 1959, cardiologist Harold Perelson murdered his wife with a hammer, then killed himself in their beautiful Spanish Revival home in Los Feliz, California. After the infamous murder-suicide, the home was sold but never lived in. In fact, the interior wasn’t cleaned out for years following the incident, preserving that night in time and adding to the home’s creepy aesthetic. Trespassers in the past have reported finding old magazines and books, canned food and cleaning supplies. Rumor has it there were even unwrapped presents sitting under a Christmas tree left standing in one of the rooms.
Today, the house is stripped completely to its studs – a perfect starting point for anyone looking to remodel the home’s five bedrooms, four bathrooms and third-floor ballroom. However, while the Los Feliz Murder house is for sale, it may be difficult to purchase. The seller wants cash or hard money offers and may offer seller financing.
4. The Dakota
New Yorkers may recognize this historic Central Park apartment building’s iconic mix of architectural styles, while Beatles fans recognize it because of its history. Not only was it the residence of John Lennon and Yoko Ono; it was also the place where Lennon was fatally shot by Mark David Chapman in 1980. Throughout the building’s existence, residents and staff have claimed to see the ghosts of a little girl, a crying lady and Lennon himself.
However, supposed hauntings and an alleged curse won’t keep buyers away from the luxurious, nine-room apartment for sale inside the building. The residence features 12-foot ceilings, original moldings and city views from floor-to-ceiling windows. You may even have a famous neighbor. Past residents include Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland and Bono. Yoko Ono still lives in the Dakota today.
But even if you love the apartment and can afford the $10 million price tag, there’s one thing that may keep you from moving in: the co-op board. Upon receiving your application and background check results, this group of people chooses whether you can live in the Dakota or not – and they are apparently scarier than any spirit haunting the building. The board has a history of being choosy and has rejected such celebrities as Madonna, Alex Rodriguez, Cher and Billy Joel. Do you think you have what it takes to get past the arduous application and board review? Contact us to get the process started.
3. The Priestley House
Originally built in 1852, the Priestley House has been meticulously restored to its original grandeur, right down to the historically accurate hardware and original dining room doors. The Canton, Mississippi, home may even feature the original owners, Dr. James Priestley and his wife, Susan, who both passed away inside the house. Other people who have lived in the home have experienced hot spots, falling objects, the appearance of a ghostly woman and a piano that played on its own.
Possible hauntings aside, the home offers historical significance and was honored by the Mississippi Historic Trust for Outstanding Restoration in 2010. If you’re interested in viewing the home, you can schedule a tour by contacting one of our real estate agents.
2. The Pink Palace
Purchase this light pink Louisville home and you might also get your very own guardian. That’s because the ghost that haunts this home is protective of the property and those who live there. Believed to be a previous owner named Avery, the spirit has appeared to residents just before bad things happen in the home – like a fire in the kitchen or a cinderblock crashing through a window. Both times, Avery possibly saved their lives.
Along with this added benefit, the home itself boasts six bedrooms, original woodwork, stained-glass windows and an in-ground pool. And you won’t have to worry about waterproofing the basement. That was done this year. In fact, several updates were made within the last 6 years, including the addition of a new furnace, air conditioner, water heater and roof. Reach out to our agents to get more information on all of the updates and a list of even more amenities you’ll love.
1. Lake Forest Schweppe Mansion
With 5 acres of private property and 425 feet of beach along the coast of Lake Michigan, living in Schweppe Mansion will feel like you’re living on your own private island. But its haunted history might make you happy you’re closer to civilization.
Built in 1917 in Lake Forest, Illinois, the mansion was a wedding gift from John Shedd to his daughter Laura and his new son-in-law Charles Schweppe. The stunning property had 27 rooms, ornate chandeliers and carved wooden paneling. It was so exquisite that the Schweppes entertained royalty on more than one occasion while living in the home. Unfortunately, Laura passed away in 1937 and, four years later, Charles committed suicide in the home and left an ominous note that read: “I’ve been awake all night. It’s terrible.” After his death, the home sat vacant for 46 years until Donna Denton and her then-husband purchased it. They were the only other people to own the Lake Forest Schweppe Mansion and once joked that the home was big enough to share with any spirits who lived there. Good thing, because the mansion was said to be haunted by Charles, Laura and several servants who lived in the home.
To renovate and restore the Schweppe Mansion, the couple hired more than 70 craftsmen and European artists to complete the project. Today, the haunted mansion has 12 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms and 11 fireplaces and is decorated with hardwood floors, skylights and hand-carved limestone stairs and fountains. Its additional features include an elevator, sauna and steam room.
Of all the haunted homes for sale, this one may be for sale the longest. The home has been on and off the market since 2007 with no bites. Now listed online for $8.5 million, the sale price is a considerable drop from the home’s original listing price of around $18 million.
Buying A Haunted House? Here’s What To Know
Do you want to purchase one of the haunted houses for sale on this list? Are you searching for a haunted home in your area? Before you decide to share your home with spirits, consider how it could affect you and your family.
The Benefits Of Buying A Haunted House
Haunted homes, especially those with dark histories, may be harder to sell. And when a homeowner is struggling to sell their home, they may be more open to sell at a much lower price or negotiate other benefits for the buyer. Even some of the beautiful haunted mansions for sale on this list have been on the market for months, even years, and have dropped by thousands of dollars. Some have even dropped by millions. You could get a great deal on a gorgeous, historic mansion if you buy one that’s haunted.
Many of the owners of the scariest haunted homes in America have turned the structures into hotels, restaurants or museums. If you’re looking for a way to make extra money, you could host overnight stays, paranormal tours and other events. If anything, it’ll make your Airbnb listing stand out. Just make sure you get the proper permits and take the right safety precautions before letting strangers in your home.
When it comes to living in the house, you’ll never be alone. If the ghost is friendly, that’s not such a bad thing – especially if, like the Pink Palace, it also protects you from danger. And you’ll always have great stories to tell at a cocktail party.
“I think people are fascinated with the afterlife because it’s still unknown,” says Bonner. “Even if you’re a skeptic, which I think everyone should be to a point, you still want to hear these stories.”
Even with intriguing stories and the potential to benefit financially from a haunting, there are some very real drawbacks to buying a home that’s haunted.
The Drawbacks Of Buying A Haunted House
Not everyone is keen on sharing their space with a spirit, so don’t be surprised if some of your family and friends decline an invite to stay over. And don’t find it shocking when potential buyers aren’t interested in purchasing your home when you try to sell it. Just as you may be able to negotiate a lower price when you buy the home, you may have to negotiate a lower price when you sell it, too.
Another drawback of buying a haunted house is that it may cost you more money than you thought. If the spirit is clumsy or likes to make their presence known by knocking things over or slamming doors, you may have to pay for repairs and replacements. And if they’re slamming and breaking things at night, you may also lose sleep.
Don’t forget the emotional toll it can take on your or your family if the spirit has a negative energy or, worse, a menacing presence.
“Many spirits were once people, so you have good and bad ones, just like we have in the living world,” says Bonner.“We have encountered energies that made us feel comfortable, and we have had some that made us feel uneasy and anxious. The majority of hauntings are harmless, but you do get some that can cause issues in your life and be somewhat sinister.”
Since a home is a big financial commitment, you may not be able to just up and leave if things get spooky. You may end up stuck in a negative or dangerous situation that you can’t quickly get out of.
The Home’s Other Features
You could miss out on a really great place if you’re determined to move into a house that’s haunted. While it’s important to get what you want in a home (even down to the supernatural), it’s important to prioritize your needs and focus on the more mundane aspects of a home. The number of rooms, the neighborhood and any non-paranormal problems with the house are more important factors to worry about. Instead of trying to find the perfect home on your own, work with a real estate agent who can use their local expertise and training to find a place that fits your needs and best matches what you really want in a home – whether that includes ghoulish houseguests or granite countertops.
If you are interested in any of these haunted homes for sale or any other homes for sale in your area, contact a Rocket HomesSM agent to get more information and schedule a walkthrough.