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Nothing beats a good ghost story on Halloween — especially when you’re traveling. From UFO sightings, murders on luxury cruise ships, and spirits wandering the halls of British castles, our planet sure has a chock full of them. No matter where you're traveling, you're sure to find some sort of haunted site, as well as a ghost tour to go along with it. Here are 12 most haunted houses in the world you'll want to visit any day of the year—not just on October 31.
1. THE WHALEY HOUSE: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Back in 1852, James “Yankee Jim” Robinson was hung by his neck for the crime of grand larceny. A few years later, Thomas and Anna Whaley built a house on the spot where Robinson died, and soon enough, Yankee Jim’s ghost showed up, haunting the site. It's said that his footsteps can be heard clumping around the house. Yankee Jim isn’t the only one having paramount visits though—both Mr. and Mrs. Whaley, a young girl, and even the family dog have been known to make appearances from beyond the grave.
2. WINCHESTER MYSTERY HOUSE: SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA
This Victorian mansion that sits on a busy street in San Jose, California, is haunted by the ghosts of everyone killed by the Winchester rifle. That’s undoubtedly a lot of spirits, and to appease them, the house’s owner, Sarah Winchester, the heir to the Winchester rifle fortune (and the founder’s widow) added room after room to the house to add more space for the dead. Sarah didn’t just simply add rooms, though, she created a labyrinth filled with halls that lead nowhere, cut-off staircases, sloping floors, and a rabbit warren of chambers.
3. LIZZIE BORDEN BED & BREAKFAST: FALL RIVER, MASSACHUSETTS
Back in 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were found dead—killed by an ax-wielding psychopath. The police’s number one suspect was Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie. Lizzie stood trial for her crimes and was ultimately acquitted, but she spent the rest of her life under guilt. She is now said to haunt the Fall River, Massachusetts, home where her father and stepmother were murdered, and her ghost is said to laugh at the top of the home’s stairs.
4. HOUSE OF DEATH: NEW YORK CITY
This townhouse is said to be haunted by the ghosts of 22 people who lived or died within its walls, including that of a six-year-old girl who was beaten to death by her adopted father.
5. VILLISCA AXE HOUSE: VILLISCA, IOWA
In a story straight out of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood" back in 1912, the white wood-frame house was the site of a horrifying crime that left an entire family, including their four children and their two young friends, killed by the swings of an ax.
6. LALAURIE HOUSE: NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
The stately French Quarter home belonged to the blood-thirsty Madame Delphine LaLaurie, whose perfectly appointed home hid a dark secret—a torture chamber for slaves. Her victims are said to haunt the property to this day, and while tours of the house aren’t available, passersby on the street have claimed to hear ghostly moans, screams, and weeping. Some say they have seen ghostly faces from the upstairs windows, too.
7. AMITYVILLE HORROR HOUSE: AMITYVILLE, NEW YORK
The most famous haunted house in the United States is undoubtedly this stately waterfront home on New York’s Long Island. It all started back in 1974, when, for reasons unknown, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed his mother, father, two sisters, and two brothers while they slept. He was sentenced to life in prison, despite arguing that voices in the home told him to do it.
8. THE WHITE HOUSE: WASHINGTON, D.C.
The White House may be home to presidents, but it is also rumored to house many illustrious ghosts within its storied walls. According to the White House History site, President Harrison, the first president to die in the White House, continues his stay there. It’s not just former presidents who haunt the halls of the highest office in the land—Dolley Madison, wife of James Madison, is said to visit the gardens she helped plant, and Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, is known to do her laundry in the East Room.
9. THE DRISH HOUSE, TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA
The former owner, John R. Drish, died after falling down the stairs of the home one drunken night. His widow Sarah became so obsessed with his death and funeral that she kept the candles they lit at his vigil to use them at her own. Upon her death, her family couldn’t find the candles, which angered Sarah so much that she came back and began to haunt the house.
10. BRUNCKOW’S CABIN, TOMBSTONE, ARIZONA
In the late 1800s, more than twenty people were killed at this old adobe home. The first death is thought to be that of Frederick Brunckow, who was also the original owner. His employees stabbed him in the stomach and then threw him down the mine shaft.
11. THE WHALEY HOUSE, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
The Whaley House is one of the most haunted homes in California, in part due to its tragic history. The family’s daughter, Violet, committed suicide here, and there were numerous reported hangings on the property for years before it was even home.
12. WOODBURN MANSION, DOVER, DELAWARE
The most haunted houses in Delaware is the ever-famous Woodburn Mansion, which dates all the way back to 1790. The first ghost began haunting Woodburn back in the early 1800s. A slave raider tried to enter the home and was chased away by the owner. He eventually slipped as he was trying to climb away on a tree and fell to his death, hanging himself in a knot. You can still hear his screams. The dining room, however, is also haunted, and people have reportedly seen the ghost of a little girl wandering the premises.
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