Notorious Haunted Houses Through the Ages - Home & Texture
Article Haunted Houses

Dark History: Notorious Haunted Houses Through the Ages

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October 25, 2023 at 11:38 PM PST
Article Haunted Houses

Dark History: Notorious Haunted Houses Through the Ages

By
October 25, 2023 at 11:38 PM PST

Haunted houses are a big part of Halloween. Not only are they fun to decorate, they’re even more fun to explore. But haunted houses aren’t just a fun way to celebrate the spooky season. For many people, they’re a true reminder of a dark history. So to celebrate the spookiest day of the year, here are five stories about haunted houses that are sure to make your skin crawl.

Hampton Plantation Mansion - SC
Photo credit: akaplummer

Myrtles Plantation

Built in 1796 in St. Francisville, Louisiana, Myrtles Plantation is a former antebellum plantation that reportedly houses up to 10 ghosts. According to legends, married couple Clark and Sara Woodruff owned many slaves, one of which was named Chloe.

After one of her punishments, Chloe decided to take revenge by baking the family a cake made with poisonous oleander leaves. She was subsequently hanged and thrown into the river to atone for her actions. But if the legend is to be believed, Chloe had the last word as her presence is still felt in the home today.

As for the other deaths, Myrtles Plantation tales also include seeing the ghosts of three Union soldiers who were murdered inside the home during the Civil War, a former resident who practices voodoo on visitors as they sleep, a Native American woman set to reclaim the Indian burial ground the property was allegedly built on, and the ghost of William Winter, who was shot on the porch and tried to crawl up the stairs before he died on the 17th step.

Atmosphere at Winchester Mystery House on October 15, 2007 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
Photo credit: Barry King

Winchester Mystery House

The story of the Winchester Mystery House starts with Sarah Winchester, the wife of gun magnate William Winchester. The couple had a daughter, an infant who died from a childhood illness. Then, tragedy struck yet again when William Winchester contracted tuberculosis and died. After this, Sarah contacted a medium who advised her that her family was under a curse by the ghosts of all the people who were murdered with Winchester rifles.

To appease the spirits, Sarah moved away from the home, and into an eight-room farmhouse. There, she tirelessly built up the home in odd ways for 38 years until her death in 1922. And as a result, the quaint farmhouse is now a 160-room Victorian mansion featuring a twisting labyrinth with stairs that go nowhere, doors that open to walls, and other eccentricities.

The House of Seven Gables, Salem, Mass., c.between 1900 and 1910. Creator: Unknown. (Photo by Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Heritage Images

House of Seven Gables

If you’re a literature fan, you might be familiar with the historic House of Seven Gables. Built in 1668 by merchant and ship Captain John Turner, the House of Seven Gables is considered one of the most haunted houses in history.

The Salem, Massachusetts home features seven gables that protrude from its roofline, which were immortalized in famous writer Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel The House of the Seven Gables. With Turner’s son accused of practicing witchcraft during the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, the home now serves as a museum showcasing the tragic history that makes it one of the most terrifying houses in the world.

Photo credit: Beyond My Ken

Morris-Jumel Mansion

Touted as the oldest house in Manhattan, the Morris-Jumel Mansion is filled to the brim with rich — albeit dark — history. The home was originally owned by Roger Morris, however, during the Revolutionary War, it was confiscated so that George Washington could use it as his headquarters. However, the former president isn’t the only one who’s made an impression on the home.

Visitors have reported seeing a woman — thought to be previous owner Eliza Jumel — wearing white, floating around the mansion. And if you listen really closely, many have claimed to hear the faint sounds of a child laughing and playing somewhere in the home. Eliza Jumel married Stephen Jumel inside the mansion before he passed away in 1832. She later remarried and moved, however, her ghost lives on in the Morris-Jumel Mansion, longing for her lost love.

Photo credit: Joe Mabel

The Whaley House

The Whaley House is considered to be the most haunted house in all of America. Located in sunny San Diego, California, this haunted house was built on top of a property that held many public executions.

Reported hauntings include the ghost of James “Yankee Jim” Robinson, a man who was hanged on the property, as well as the Whaley family members themselves who died tragically in the home.




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