8 Historic Haunted Homes Across America Slideshow
October 5, 2011
Winchester House: San Jose, Calif.
The Winchester House, an Alice in Wonderland-style house with 47 fireplaces and staircases, some leading straight into walls, and a window built into the floor, has some unfinished business. Legend has it that Sarah Winchester built the house with a séance room to search for a connection to her dead daughter and husband.
Where to eat nearby? The charming, French bistro, La Foret.
Lizzie Borden House: Fall River, Mass.
Scared of sleeping alone? The Lizzie Borden House is now a B&B, where you might get a nightly visit from Lizzie's murdered father and stepmother. The owners are launching a ghost cam, where you can conduct paranormal searches right from home. But don't miss out on the breakfast — guests enjoy the same meal the Bordens ate on the day of their murder.
Myrtles Plantation: St. Francisville, La.
Southern hospitality met a gruesome end at The Myrtles Plantation. A former slave on the plantation, Chloe, murdered the owner's wife and daughter by baking a cake filled with poison, though there are many tales as to why she did so. Guests are now welcome to stay overnight to try and glimpse Chloe's ghost. The Carriage House Restaurant, on the plantation grounds, serves classic Southern fare to locals and visitors alike.
Stranahan House: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
After the former owner of Stranahan House, Frank Stranahan, drowned himself during the Great Depression, people have claimed to see his ghost wandering around the property. Now open for public tours, this home gives unique insight into the history and culture of the early 1900s, and the chance to spot a ghost.
Where to eat nearby? PL8 Kitchen, for small plates like barbecue shortribs with kimchi and brick oven chicken wings.
Whaley House: San Diego, Calif.
Not long before Thomas Whaley built his dream home in San Diego, the property was the sight of a gallows, where many of the ghosts that haunt the house today were hanged. Today, Whaley House visitors claim to hear heavy boot steps in the attic and say they’ve seen ghosts of the Whaley family wandering the home.
Where to eat nearby? Head to Sushi Ota for the best sushi in town.
Lemp Mansion: St Louis, Mo.
Whether you just take a tour or spend the night, you're all but guaranteed to experience unearthly activity at Lemp Mansion. Mystery shrouded the Lemps, most of whom ended up shooting themselves in their very home. Stop into the property's restaurant for seafood creole, fried shrimp, or a bit of dinner theatre on their “murder mystery” nights.
Hull House: Chicago, Ill.
Hull House was made famous by Jane Addams, who opened it to European immigrants arriving into the U.S. With many ghosts said to haunt the house, even ones seen by Addams herself, the most fantastical legend told is of a baby thought to be born with the devil in him. The baby's mother dropped him at Hull House where Addams tried to baptize him, before locking him in the attic. The museum now gives tours, grows organic and heirloom vegetables on their farm, and hosts classes and lectures in their kitchen.
Story Inn: Nashville, Ind.
The story of the Blue Lady precedes even the Story Inn's current owner. Accounts of seeing the ghost in the former Garden Room (now the Blue Room) have been written in guest books for years, noting that if the room's blue light is turned on, a woman (thought to be Dr. George Story's wife) will appear with hypnotic blue eyes. If you smell cherry tobacco, she's already come and gone. Stop in for Sunday brunch at the Inn's restaurant of fried green tomato benedict and a Bloody Mary.