Dakota Building up close.

The Spookiest Haunted Houses For Sale

Lauren Nowacki7-minute read
October 13, 2022

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, you’re not alone. Among this list of haunted houses for sale in recent years are many that have sold. But don’t let that discourage you. If you’re the type of person who wants to experience a real-life haunting, this list can help you know what to look for in your search. There may also still be some homes from this list that are still on the market. And, who knows, maybe they’ll be up for sale again soon if the new owners experience something spooky.

If you’re serious about moving into one of these homes, do your research before you buy so you can decide if you’re comfortable with the property, its history and the type of haunting you may encounter. We’ve started some of the research for you.

Here are 10 of our favorite haunted houses.

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3. Los Feliz Murder House

Neighborhood of Los Feliz.

Residential area of Los Feliz. 

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 have reported finding old magazines and books, canned food and cleaning supplies. Rumor has it that unwrapped presents were found 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. Even better, the listing states that the property will come with “exquisite plans designed by world-renowned architect, Richard Landry, that have been submitted to the city.”

The Los Feliz Murder House is for sale if you’re ready to take on a project that can result in a gorgeous living space.

2. The Dakota

Dakota building in New York.

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. Along with being the residence of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, it was the place where Lennon was fatally shot by Mark David Chapman in 1980.

Throughout the building’s existence, residents and staff have claimed sightings of a little girl, a crying lady and Lennon. 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 available listings and can afford the hefty 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 decides whether you can live in the Dakota – and they’re 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.

1. The Priestley House

Map of Canton.

Map featuring Canton, Mississippi.

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 residents of 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, which is currently for sale, offers historical significance and was honored by the Mississippi Historic Trust for Outstanding Restoration in 2010.

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What To Consider Before Looking At Real Haunted Houses For Sale

If you’re thinking about buying a haunted property and turning it into a family home, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the right space for your needs, your goals and your family’s future.

While buying a haunted home can seem like a lot of fun, you’ll want to consider a few items before you start actively looking for a haunted property. These include:

  • How it impacts your family: Before you decide to share your home with spirits, think about how living with ghosts could affect your loved ones. If you have small children, they may be scared of the home and feel uncomfortable in their own rooms.
  • What you’ll do with the home: Think about how you’ll use the property before you buy. Remember, if you’re buying it to live in, you’ll have to live with these spirits every day. On the flip side, if you’re trying to turn it into a business venture like a haunted attraction or a bed and breakfast, the haunting may drum up business.
  • The future resale value: Haunted houses can be easy to sell if you find the right buyer, but finding that buyer can take time. Often, sellers have to accept lower offers when they’re ready to move just so they can get out of the home.

If you’re confident that buying a haunted house is the right move for you, that’s great. If not, you can always look at other homes in the area.

The Benefits Of Buying A Haunted House

Buying a haunted home may mean sharing your space with unseen housemates, but it can be a great option for those interested in the paranormal. Below are a few benefits you’ll experience when you purchase a haunted house rather than a normal home.

More Negotiating Power

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 negotiating the asking price.

Even some of the beautiful haunted mansions on this list were on the market for months, even years, and many of their prices dropped by thousands of dollars. Some even dropped by millions. You could get a great deal on a gorgeous, historic mansion if you buy one that’s haunted.

Income Potential

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 ghost-hunting 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.

The Drawbacks Of Buying A Haunted House

Though buying a haunted house may have benefits, it’s not the right move for everyone. Here are a few of the downsides of buying a haunted property to consider before you start looking at homes.

You May Have Trouble Attracting Visitors

Not everyone is keen on sharing their space with a spirit, so don’t be surprised if some of your family members and friends decline an invite to stay over. If you’re planning on entertaining guests often, you may be better off buying a house that isn’t haunted.

The Home May Be Harder To Sell

Haunted homes aren’t perfect for everyone. Don’t find it shocking when potential buyers aren’t interested in purchasing your home when you try to sell it. Many buyers want a home that’s quiet and free of disturbances. An active haunting may make it harder to sell your home or attract buyers willing to pay you what it’s worth, ghostly apparitions and all.

It May Be Costly

Buying a haunted house 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. Since a home is a big financial commitment, you may not be able to just leave if the setting gets spooky. You may end up stuck in a negative or dangerous situation that you can’t quickly escape.

It May Take A Toll On Your Mental Health

Living alongside ghosts can make you feel anxious or nervous at home, and that level of stress anytime you’re in your house can take a toll on your mental health and wellbeing. And if spirits are slamming and breaking objects at night, you may lose sleep, potentially making it harder for you to maintain a positive outlook on life.

Don’t Limit Your Search To Haunted Houses Alone

You could miss out on a really great place if you’re determined to move into a house that’s said to be 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 property.

The number of rooms, the neighborhood and any non-paranormal problems with the house are more important factors to consider. 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.

The Bottom Line

Living in a haunted house can be an adventure, but it’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll need to consider how your new home will impact your family and your lifestyle before you decide to buy one of the creepiest mansions for sale in your area.

If you’re interested in any of these haunted homes or any other homes for sale near you, contact a Rocket Homes℠ agent to get more information and schedule a walkthrough.

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Lauren Nowacki

Lauren is a Content Editor specializing in personal finance and the mortgage industry. Her writing focuses on reporting the best places to live in the U.S. based on certain interests and lifestyles. She has a B.A. in Communications from Alma College and has worked as a writer and editor for various publications in Philadelphia, Chicago and Metro Detroit.