Many of the most terrifying properties are prisons, hotels, and hospitals, but there are also some seriously scary residences that are basically real-life haunted houses. Whether the locations of brutal murders, spooky ghost sightings, or both, the stories behind these creepy houses and menacing mansions are guaranteed to give you goosebumps.
Almost everybody knows the story of The Amityville Horror, the best-selling book and movie supposedly based on true events. While it is true that on November 13, 1974, Ronald J. DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family in their beds in their Long Island home, the supernatural events reported by the subsequent owners of the house have been discredited. Still, the real story is gruesome enough to give us chills just by looking at this house.
The murder of the 6-year-old pageant queen in her Boulder, Colorado, home is one of the country's most infamous cold cases of all time; the story resurfaces every few years in the news. To this day, we don't know exactly what went on in that house—but theories abound.
Because of its grand size and old age, this mansion in the French Quarter is a New Orleans landmark. But the LaLaurie House has a seriously dark history. It was once owned by wealthy socialite (and one of history's deadliest serial killers) Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie, who allegedly tortured and killed her slaves. When a fire broke out, neighbors burst into the house to help and discovered a grisly scene. LaLaurie avoided being caught and punished, though, reportedly fleeing to Paris. Now, the corner building is a stop on the Haunted History Tours in the French Quarter.
Sarah Winchester was the heiress to a gun empire, but it's said that she feared she was being haunted by the spirits of those killed by her family's famous rifles. So, supposedly to appease the ghosts, she ordered continuous construction and expansion on the farmhouse-turned-mansion in San Jose, California, from 1822 until her death in 1922. At one point, the Winchester Mystery House was the largest private residence in the United States. Now, it's a National Landmark that's available for tours, the subject of an upcoming film starring Helen Mirren, and according to some, still haunted.