Monday, October 22, 2012

Most Famous Haunted Houses

As a great introduction to wednesday's official kick off of the Coffin Hop 2012, I decided to set the mood with ghost stories of the real kind. Is there anything better than a real haunted house for Halloween? Well, here I put together a few of the most famous, but you have to promise to be back and check out my Coffin Hop giveaway! There are books to be given and plenty scary stories to be told. Don't miss it!! Now, back to our regularly scheduled program...

The world of the death is truly one that intrigues us. Through time, there is no other question that has bothered us more than what happens after we're gone. Generation after generation, fear of the unknown, curiosity, and grieve have tangled a convoluted web resulting in ghost sightings and haunted houses that plague us to this date. Of course no one can absolutely refute every sighting, every picture, every story, and that's how the afterworld has engrained itself on our brains with the most tantalizing stories.

It is in this spirit that I present here a list of ten of the most haunted houses in the US. Weather you believe their stories or not is entirely up to you. As for me, I always found Marquise du Deffand's posture to be an intelligent one. As she famously said, "Do I believe in ghosts? No, but I'm still afraid of them."

The Sorrel-Weed House

Located in Savannah, Georgia, the Sorrel-Weed House was formerly owned by G. Moxley Sorrel, a brigadier general for the Confederacy during the Civil War. After Sorrel left for Virginia, the house was bought by Henry D. Weed, hence the peculiar name the house bears today. The present owners of the house report hearing voices, clinking of glassware, music, and many others sounds associated to a party that can never be found when investigated. There are also reports of war sounds, like soldiers marching and guns being fired, but the most famous resident ghosts are those of two women who died in the property under very distressing circumstances. Mr. Sorrel was found having an affair with one of the slaves, Molly, upsetting Mrs. Sorrel so much that she jumped to her death from the second floor porch. Just two weeks later, Molly's body was found hanging from the neck in the carriage house. Suicide or murder? The jury is still out there, as are the tortured souls of both women.

The Moore House

In 1912, the quaint and booming town of Villisca, Iowa was shook to its core when the brutal murder of eight people occurred during the night without attracting the attention of any of the neighbors. On the morning of June 10, 1912, Mary Peckham realized his neighbors, the well-respected Moore Family, hadn't started their day as usual. Worried, Mrs. Peckham decided to go check on them. When no one answered the door, she tried peaking through the windows, but it was too dark. She then tried opening the door but found it to be closed from the inside. Finally, a few hours later Mrs. Peckham decided to call Mr. Moore's brother, who came in and opened the door with his own set of keys, finding everyone in the house dead. J.B. and Sarah Moore, along with their four kids and the two daughters of a friend who had been invited to spend the night there, had been slaughter beyond recognition with an axe. The murders were never solved and remain surrounded by mystery to this day. The sounds of children voices, objects moving without reason, and sightings of a dark, menacing shadow said to be that of the killer are a common occurrence in the residence.

The Landon House 

Originally constructed in 1754 on the banks of the Rappahannock River in Virginia, the Landon house was dismantled in 1840 and moved to its present location in Urbana, Maryland. Its rich history tells us of the many roles it has served through time. First used as an academy for girls, transformed into a military school short time afterward, and finally serving as a military hospital during the civil war, it is its present reputation that brings it to this list. There have been reports of all kinds of paranormal activity in the house, from heavy feelings to apparitions of dead Civil War soldiers. Care to stop by for tea?

The McRaven House

Located in Vicksburg, Mississipi, it was originally built in 1797 and changed hands a few times in ordinary circumstances. However, it is in 1849 under John H. Bobb's ownership that the McRaven House is at the center of a tragic situation that would determine its fate as a haunted location. The house served as a Civil War Hospital during the siege of Vicksburg and withstood severe damage by gun and cannon fire. Bobb was so angry that he attacked a sergeant with a brink, who ordered him arrested, taken to the back of the house, and shot. His ghost, as those of fallen soldiers are said to roam the house.

The Amitiville Horror House 

This one, we all know. The infamous house on 112 Ocean Ave. in Amitiville, NY is undoubtedly one of the most famous and controversial haunted houses in America. It all began when in 1974 Ronald DeFeo slaughtered his whole family, consisting of both parents and four siblings. After a year of abandonment, the Lutz's bought the house and lived in it for twenty-eight days. Windows opening and closing, telephones ringing in the middle of the night, black goo coming out of facets and walls, and the sightings of a pig with red eyes are among the many experiences reported by the Lutz's. The also infamous couple, Lorraine and Ed Warren were involved in the following investigation and supposedly got rid of the ghosts, reason why the current family lives there happily. Except for the hordes of morbid tourists showing at their doors, that is.

The Riddle House

West Palm Beach, Florida may not be the first location to come to mind when you think about ghosts, but it has a thing or two to scare the pants out of you. Take The Riddle House for example. Built as a gatekeeper's cottage for cemetery workers keeping an eye out for grave-robbers, the paranormal activity surrounding this house scared its former resident, Karl Riddle, out of the house. It all seems to be centered around the death of a previous worker who killed himself in the attic.

The Hanna House 

Built in 1858, this Indianapolis, Indiana mansion was utilized as a passage for the Underground Railroad. One eventful evening, a group of slaves fell asleep on the straw-covered basement never to wake up again. While the group slept, an oil lantern was accidentally turned over, setting the basement ablaze. After the fact, and in order to keep his involvement in the Underground Railroad a secret, Alexander Hanna buried the human remains in the basement. There have sightings of ghostly black males, the sounds of hushed up conversations in the basement, chandeliers swinging with no apparent reason, and sad laments that echo through the house.

Ashmore State

Is there anything creepier than an abandoned insane asylum? Ashmore State in Illinois is a 'living' prove that our fascination for the macabre can never be quenched. The fact that the decaying building isn't open to the public hasn't stopped paranormal investigators from documenting the hordes of ghosts reputedly residing there. From 1916 to 1956, the building housed indigents and people with mental disabilities. More that two hundred death were reported and from 1956 to 1976 it housed the "mentally impaired." The building remained in use until 1987 when it closed due to lack of funding. Many stories about residents that refuse to move out of the building circulate, but there have also been exposés where a group claims to have invented a ghost with a story to go and afterwards read claims of people seeing said ghost. Still, real or not, abandoned insane asylums have number one of my list of scariest places to ever be trapped...

LaLaurie House 

Known as the most haunted house of the French Quarter in New Orleans, the LaLaurie horror history is not one for the faint of heart. In 1832 Delphine LaLaurie, a woman of high prominence in European society, decided to buy a second house in New Orleans that she managed herself. Soon the family gained fame as one of great wealth and education, and it was considered an honor to be invited to one of the lavish parties the LaLaurie's gave. Though rumors ran rampant of the mistreatment of saves by Madame LaLaurie, it all came to a head on April 10, 1984 when firefighters attending a call on the residence uncovered a grisly family secret. Inside a secret room in the attic, many bodies in different state of mutilation but still alive were discovered. Nobody knows for sure just how many slaves died at the hands of the cruel Madame, but the bones of at least two more bodies, one of them a child, were found centuries later during a renovation, and a neighbor witnessed a fourteen-year-old girl jump to her death from the ceiling with Delphine, whip in hand, in hot pursue. Apparitions of black males with chains on their necks that become violent, cries and screams of pain breaking the silence of night, unseeing hands pushing people off balconies or stairs are all common occurrences.

Well, there you have. Hope you've come across a couple of stories that you didn't know before and that will keep you awake tonight. Happy Halloween y'all!!


Nicole said...

Creeeepy! I'm glad I didn't read that right before I went to bed. ;)

Gina said...

Well, it turns out I did finished the post late on the night and spooked myself enough to have nightmares all night... Oh, the irony!

Penelope Crowe said...

That Amityville kid in the pic is toooo creepy.
This was fun!
Happy hopping!

Gina said...

Thanks Penelope! That picture is the only one where one of the supposed resident ghosts of Amityville actually showed up. Pretty creepy, right?