Who needs temporary haunted houses with actors and faux cobwebs when there are so many old, historic homes across America with truly twisted tales and creepy quirks all their own? Though they're open all year round, October is the perfect time to delve into the mysteries of some of the country’s most illustrious families, and how they met untimely deaths. From B&Bs with nightly visitors to haunted museums with unearthly screams, some of the spookiest homes in America are rich with a long, winding history.
Starting with one of the spookiest homes, The Winchester House is a real-life fun house, with staircases that stop at blank walls, chimneys more than three floors high, and windows built into the floor. Then there’s the Lizzie Borden House, where you can search for clues of who killed the Bordens. The house is also installing a Ghost Cam, for subscribers to catch paranormal activities from home. Or, stay overnight in their bed-and-breakfast, if you dare.
The Myrtles Plantation, built in 1796 by General David Bradford, is a true Southern gem, with a 120-foot veranda, a pink brick courtyard, generous guestrooms, and a supposed collection of 12 ghosts, the best known of which is Chloe, a former slave on the plantation. The tale of her death has many versions, but locals and tourists swear to seeing her haunting the plantation still. And guests at Indiana’s Story Inn have logged in guest book after guest book their sightings of the infamous “Blue Lady,” who in one account left a blue ribbon and a fake nail behind.
With fall foliage and darkening skies around us this month, don’t pass up the chance to peek into these historic haunted houses. With ghosts as old as the homes themselves and legends with more twists and turns than you could ever make up, they’re the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit. Plus, stories are always scarier when they’re true.