Cornfields are ready for harvest, cheerful orange pumpkins are peeking out from their withering vines and broomsticks are fast gaining in seasonal popularity as a fuel-free mode of transportation. Squirrels are digging under prized flowers while searching for safe nut storage and tinges of orange are beginning to envelop the maple trees. Fall is beginning to show itself and will soon fill the landscape with vibrant color. Farm kids look forward to slow hayrides in the wagon pulled behind the tractor where ghost stories will be the highlight of the evening, and city kids will dress as their favorite ghoul and go knocking on doors hoping for better trick-or-treat candy than last year. Adults will again wonder if the banging on the deck at night is a curious raccoon or if it is really a spooky creature yet unidentified by science. As the great Hallowed Eve gets closer, one’s lifetime of accumulated ghost stories begin to surface and take on a life of their own. But it could be a lot scarier if living in one of these fascinating houses! Would you live in a haunted home?
The Spectacular Spooky Home of Robbie Williams!
Thousand-year-old houses with good bones are much admired by manor hunters in the 21st century, who are so taken with the prestige of owning such an impressive pile, they fail to consider if any spirits are still sticking around. Such was likely the case with British-musician Robbie Williams and his American actress-wife, Ayda, who purchased the stunning Compton Bassett House in Wiltshire, England on 72 acres in 2009 for just over $11 million, where their children could run free over the land and where they could enjoy entertaining and daily living away from prying eyes. Even though the couple bought it from the renowned architect-and-designer Sir Norman Foster, who had already applied his magic, they had it back on the market in 2010. Why so soon? Because it felt spooky. This overwhelmingly gorgeous mansion with every conceivable amenity felt spooky. However, having been around since King Canute was ravishing England and northern Europe, its walls, no matter how lavish today, must be oozing some pretty wild history. Early on, Robbie zeroed in on high spookiness in his daughter’s bedroom and promptly moved her to another location. However, one person’s discomfort with the supernatural and hyperactive spirits is another person’s opportunity to capitalize on the situation. The Williams mansion is currently for sale, priced at $9.2 million, listed with Knight Frank U.K.
Yikes! The Silence of the Lambs Home Is For Rent!
The film that guaranteed a lifetime of nightmares about being skinned and trimmed to make a woman’s suit for Buffalo Bill in the Oscar-winning movie The Silence of the Lambs had many tongue-swallowing scenes inside this Princess Anne home where Buffalo Bill lived in the movie. Situated on almost two acres in Perryopolis, Pennsylvania and measuring 2,400 square feet with four bedrooms and one bath, it has beautiful craftsmanship throughout the home. An in-ground pool and a vintage caboose used as a pool house are just a few of the happy reasons why the home was worth the $298,500 asking price when it went on the market at Halloween in 2020 and sold just a few months later for $290,000. It is now an Airbnb where an entire family can try to stay all night for $595.
The Devil’s Visit To Ireland!
It might be the most haunted house in Ireland, and it is for sale. According to legend, the Devil visited the Tottenham Irish mansion in the mid-1700s and left in a ball of flame shooting up through the ceiling. But did the devil really leave the 14th-century mansion? According to the story, a dark and handsome stranger was welcomed to the home with Irish hospitality. Everyone was having a good time until Lady Anne Tottenheim noticed that the handsome stranger had cloven hoofs instead of feet, which was when the Devil quickly left the home in a ball of flames. Lady Anne never recovered and spent the rest of her life alone and mad in the vast mansion. Some say her ghost still haunts the home. Built around 1350, the home includes 22 bedrooms on 63 acres and is for sale at $2 million. It still has the actual door that the devil entered through in the 1700s.
L.A.’s Black Dahlia Murder House!
Tales of terror and tragedy rarely last as long as one of the most notorious Hollywood mysteries of the last century: The Black Dahlia Murders. Rumors still abound about the home’s previous owner, Los Angeles Doctor George Hodel, and his involvement in the brutal killing, mutilation and dismemberment of Elizabeth Short. Elizabeth was sliced in half at her waist and all the blood drained from her body. It looked like the work of a skilled surgeon. The house, an unusual piece of architecture crafted by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, looks like it is cut straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. While a $2 million renovation has brought the house back to its original splendor, one can still feel that they should be running for their life through the house while being chased by Dr. Hodel.
The house was on the market in 2018 at $4.7 million and has been the backdrop for multiple Hollywood movies, TV shows such as Ghost Hunters and Paranormal America and even an American Express commercial. It was purchased by a man whose business is selling cannabis-infused pet products.
The Gardette-LePretre Haunted Mansion!
The Gardette-LePretre Mansion, or more locally referred to as the Sultan’s House, has been photographed and heralded in articles from the time it was built in the 1830s. Having hosted the cream of New Orleans society from the beginning of its rich history, the home comes with a scary story! One morning as neighbors were walking by the Sultan House, they saw blood trickling from under the front door. The police were notified and had to break into the house only to find that all inhabitants had been murdered with swords or axes and the Sultan was found brutalized and buried alive in the backyard. It was always felt that the murders were executed by his brother, the real Sultan, as retribution for the theft of his fortune and many of his wives. How much is local lore and how much is true, we will never know for sure. This is, after all, New Orleans.
Only a block from Bourbon Street, the French Quarter-style home with nine bedrooms and 10 baths most recently was on the market at $2.65 million and sold in 2013 for $2 million.
Colorado Ghost Town!
Tourists once flocked to Uptop, Colorado to ride on the railway, which the railroad company advertised as the “Railroad Above the Clouds.” Later, lumber companies moved in and in 1930 the Chapel-by-the-Wayside was built for that community. The railroad brought many tourists through La Veta Pass to Uptop which was a depot at the top of the pass and what was then the highest railroad and depot in the world. With the building of the depot, merchants moved to the location to cater to rail passengers and for entertainment, they built a large dance-hall saloon. It was a favorite stop for miners, railroad men and lumberjacks. The bar, known for its unique curved bar, served prohibition liquor made in a still behind the building that fueled many a raucous poker game.
Unfortunately for Uptop, the railroad left in the early 1900s, and in the 1960s the new highway system bypassed the town leaving just a ghost town. Recently restored by two sisters from Boston, the entire town went on the market in 2014 for $2 million including the train depot, dance hall, saloon and chapel. Still on the market, now priced at $1 million.
The Arizona Boulder People!
During the construction of their new home next to a mysterious pile of ancient rocks in Arizona, a young couple from Washington discovered that they weren’t the first people to live in the boulders. Pottery shards and rock carvings were dated by experts back as far as one thousand years. Then they found something even more astonishing: a Stonehenge-type phenomenon that occurs on both the spring and fall equinoxes. A six-inch-wide beam of light that starts in the glass between two boulders and slowly works its way across the floor and up the wall to a 36” spiral petroglyph. When the sun hits its mark, the stone projections light up like diamonds. What does it mean? Some people think it is a signal to the space creatures. A light that will guide their spaceships to the Arizona desert. Or, maybe it doesn’t mean anything. Just a freak of nature. Whatever it might be, it started over a thousand years ago when the boulder people first began living there, about the same time that hard-shelled life forms first showed up on earth.
A dream home for archaeologists, historians, artists or mystery lovers, the Boulder House on nine acres with 4,380 square feet, three bedrooms, two baths and a great room with a massive fireplace was recently for sale at $4.2 million. It was reportedly sold, not long after the listing, for almost $5 million.
Haunted New Orleans Magnolia Mansion!
While most going businesses want to keep their ghosts in the closet so as not to frighten off clientele, the Magnolia Mansion has cleverly built its business around multiple ghosts and wish its ghosts would invite their friends! Here the ghosts are friendly with a sense of humor, where ghostly children tease you by moving things around during the night to watch your reaction the next morning. There are reports of a ghostly maid who will tuck you in at night, a child who walks the halls and a bearded man who spends his time downstairs! A perfect place to hold your “Spooktacular Gatherings” and “Ghostly Galas!”
The Greek Revival mansion of over 13,300 square feet and 13 bedrooms could be changed back into a single-family estate. It was sold at around $3 million and is an active B&B, event location, and friendly hauntings near Halloween.
Thousand Islands Haunted Mansion – Needs Work!
When it was built in 1895 for the president of Remington Arms and Typewriter Company, Carleton Manor was one of the grandest structures in all of New York. The solid-stone outer structure sits on an island of 6.9 acres and is surrounded by almost a thousand feet of waterfront. Today, it is an abandoned shell not fit for humans or ghosts. For a mere $495,000, the buyer willing to make this piece of history into a grand restoration project can turn this house from a nightmare into a dream home. Then the spirits could come down from the ceiling and the chimneys for more cushy digs and have fun throwing the good china around after midnight.
Amityville Horror House!
No longer on the market, the actual Amityville Horror home was for sale in 2016 reduced from $1.15 million down to $850,000. The New York home where Ronald DeFeo got up in the middle of the night in 1974 and brutally murdered his parents and four siblings with a rifle while they slept. The home was occupied just a year later by the Lutz family until they were forced to leave because of rampant paranormal activity. The storied horror house on the Ocean Avenue waterfront is today an extensively remodeled home. The 5,000-square-foot home most recently sold in 2017 for just $605,000, and brave people are actually living there today.
Photo credit: Robbie Williams, Knight Frank U.K., All others Top Ten Archives