The 17 Creepiest Places in the Country

Some of America's most haunted homes are also its most famous.
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We all like to be scared a little bit around Halloween. I mean, that’s why we pay to go to cheesy haunted houses and attractions all season long. If you’re looking for more of a real-life paranormal thrill, add these creepy U.S. locations to your weekend road trip list. Many of the homes were the unfortunate spot of grisly murders, and others are simply an unexplained hotbed of ghostly activity.

The Amityville Home

The Amityville House

The Amityville House

The Amityville Home

Photo by: Doug Kerr

Doug Kerr

The Amityville Home

Six members of the DeFeo family were murdered in this Amityville, N.Y. home in 1974. A year after the tragedy, a new family moved in but quickly left after reporting unexplained paranormal activity.

The Chelsea Hotel

Hotel Chelsea

Hotel Chelsea

The infamous Chelsea Hotel in New York City is one of the area's spookiest landmarks. Built in 1884, the hotel has been home to many notable writers, musicians and artists over the years. Even though many of its most famous occupants have since died, visitors claim to have spotted the apparitions of Dylan Thomas, Eugene O'Neill and Thomas Wolfe.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/Chris Schmidt

©iStockphoto.com/Chris Schmidt

Built in 1884, the Chelsea Hotel in New York City, is one of the area's most chilling landmarks. Since its inception, the hotel has been home to many famous artists, writers and musicians. Although its most notable occupants have died, Chelsea Hotel visitors claim to have spotted the apparitions of Dylan Thomas, Eugene O'Neill and Thomas Wolfe.

Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California

Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California

Photo by: Frontdoor.com

Frontdoor.com

This 160-room Victorian home features doors that lead to nowhere, winding hallways, bizarre secret passageways and even a seance room.

The White House

The White House

The White House

For years there have been reports that the White House is a hotbed of haunted activity. Visitors, staff and even White House residents have reported seeing the ghosts of Abraham Lincoln, Abigail Adams and Andrew Jackson, to name a few. FDR, Dwight Eisenhower and Winston Churchill are among those who claimed to have seen the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. More recently, the Obamas claim to have repeatedly heard strange sounds and felt a sensation of someone gnawing at their feet in the middle of the night.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/Deejpilot

©iStockphoto.com/Deejpilot

Yes, the White House. For years, visitors, staff and even residents have reported seeing the ghosts of former presidents, like Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson. Recently, the Obamas have claimed to hear (and feel!) strange things.

Real-Life Haunted Houses

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The Chelsea Hotel

The infamous Chelsea Hotel in New York City is one of the area's spookiest landmarks. Built in 1884, the hotel has been home to many notable writers, musicians and artists over the years. Even though many of its most famous occupants have since died, visitors claim to have spotted the apparitions of Dylan Thomas, Eugene O'Neill and Thomas Wolfe.

Photo By: ©iStockphoto.com/Chris Schmidt

Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House is a 160-room Victorian mansion brimming with bizarre architectural features and a very eerie origin. With features such as secret passageways, labyrinth-like winding hallways and a seance room, this eccentric house is rumored to have been built for spirits themselves.

Photo By: Frontdoor.com

The Amityville House

In 1974, six members of the DeFeo family were found slain in this home; eldest son Ronald DeFeo Jr. was later convicted of murdering his parents and siblings. A year later, the Lutz family moved in but quickly moved out after reports of unexplained paranormal activity — strange odors, unexplained cold drafts and an apparition that took the form of a demonic pig-like creature.

Photo By: Doug Kerr

The Cassadaga Hotel

The town of Cassadaga is famous worldwide for its spiritualist community and paranormal activity. The Cassadaga Hotel sits at the center of this spooky small town, which is otherwise dotted with old cottages that are home to the many mediums, psychics and other spiritualists who live there. The hotel, which houses a number of spirits, also features a very powerful energy vortex that even skeptics have admitted to sensing.

The White House

For years there have been reports that the White House is a hotbed of haunted activity. Visitors, staff and even White House residents have reported seeing the ghosts of Abraham Lincoln, Abigail Adams and Andrew Jackson, to name a few. FDR, Dwight Eisenhower and Winston Churchill are among those who claimed to have seen the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. More recently, the Obamas claim to have repeatedly heard strange sounds and felt a sensation of someone gnawing at their feet in the middle of the night.

Photo By: ©iStockphoto.com/Deejpilot

Myrtles Plantation

Touted as "one of the most haunted houses in America," the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville is one of the creepiest places in the South. Legend has it that since the house was built in 1797, dozens of deaths have occurred from illness, poisoning and murder. Visitors and former residents claim to have witnessed many strange occurrences: disappearing jewelry; waking to find themselves completely tucked into their beds; furniture that moves on its own; a grand piano that plays by itself; mysterious handprints; and objects and people appearing and disappearing randomly in photographs.

Photo By: FrontDoor.com

The Joshua Ward House

Once home to wealthy sea captain Joshua Ward, the Joshua Ward House was built in 1784 and originally owned by George Corwin, the High Sheriff during the Salem Witch Trials. For many years, Corwin's remains were housed in the basement, though they eventually were moved to a nearby cemetery. Rumor has it that Corwin's spirit still haunts the house.

Photo By: from FrontDoor.com

The LaLaurie House

One of the spookiest homes in the French Quarter, the LaLaurie Mansion was home to Dr. Louis and Delphine LaLaurie, a socially prominent family in the early 1830s. Rumor has it that Delphine treated her slaves brutally, chaining the cook to the stove, chasing another slave girl with a whip and causing her to jump to her death, and torturing and mutilating many others in a secret attic room. The house, which was owned by actor Nicolas Cage from 2007 to 2009, has been haunted by screams of agony coming from the apparitions of Delphine's slaves ever since.

Photo By: adrigu, CC BY 2.0

Franklin Castle

Built in 1865 for the Tiedemann family, Franklin Castle makes a spooky first impression with its sandstone exterior, round corner tower and gargoyle embellishments. Those who have been inside the mansion, which is known locally as the most haunted house in Ohio, claim to have witnessed an eerie woman in black staring out the tower window, small children crying and strange happenings like doors flying off hinges and spinning lights. The possible cause? Four of the Tiedemann children died in the home, and owner Hannes Tiedemann was rumored to have killed his 13-year-old niece in a hidden passage and his mistress in the tower.

Photo By: Corey Balazowich, CC BY-ND 2.0 featured on FrontDoor.com

The Whaley House

Now a museum run by the Save Our Heritage Organisation, San Diego's Whaley House was designated an official Haunted House by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the 1960s due to frequently heard heavy footsteps of the ghost of "Yankee Jim" Robinson, who was hung on the property in 1852 before the house was built. Other ghostly sightings include owners Thomas and Anna Whaley (Anna was reportedly seen by Regis Philbin), and even the family dog.

Photo By: Smart Destinations, CC BY-SA 2.0., featured on FrontDoor.com

The Lemp Mansion

The opulent Lemp mansion, built in St. Louis in the 1860s, was inhabited by the William Lemp family, who were wealthy brewers with a streak for suicide. Four Lemp family members of various generations committed suicide — three in the Lemp mansion itself. Named one of America's most haunted houses in 1980 by Life magazine, the mansion is currently a restaurant and inn that offers paranormal tours of the home.

Photo By: Tyson Blanquart, CC BY-SA 2.0, featured on FrontDoor.com

Villisca Ax Murder House

On June 12, 1912, all six members of the Moore family and two young houseguests were found bludgeoned to death by an ax in their home, turning this bucolic setting into the scene of a grisly crime. The murderer was never found, but the house in Villisca still boasts wandering spirits, children's crying voices and a door that mysteriously opens and closes. Today, the house is open for daytime tours and overnight sleepovers — if you dare.

Photo By: Jennifer Kirkland, Flickr, featured on FrontDoor.com ©2010 Jennifer Kirkland

Plus, Infamous Horror Film Spots

Since Halloween is near, I figured I’d throw in a few chilling horror film locations I’m sure you’re familiar with. They're not technically haunted, but I bet you don’t look at them quite the same anymore.

Timberline Lodge From The Shining

Photo by: Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo. was the inspiration for Stephen King’s book, The Shining, but director Stanley Kubrick used the Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Ore. (pictured) for exterior shots in the movie.

Seneca Creek State Park From The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project

With 63,000 acres of forests, lakes and hiking trails, Seneca Creek State Park in Montgomery County, Md., is a nature lover's paradise in reality and a creepy place of doom in the psychological thriller The Blair Witch Project, which follows three students producing a documentary about a local witch. Black Rock Mill (pictured) is the starting point for the trail to Coffin Rock, where the three students camp for the night and where five men were supposedly ritualistically murdered.

Photo by: Frontdoor.com

Frontdoor.com

Seneca Creek State Park in Montgomery County, Md. is considered a place of doom in the psychological horror film The Blair Witch Project. In the film, the three students start out at Black Rock Mill (pictured above) and head towards Coffin Rock, where five men were apparently ritualistically slain.

Horror Movie Locations

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Rosemary's Baby

Renamed "The Bramford" for the 1968 horror classic Rosemary's Baby, The Dakota on New York's Upper West Side lent its stately exterior as Rosemary and Guy's new apartment in the film. When this exclusive co-op apartment building was finished in 1884, the Upper West Side was sparsely populated, but The Dakota has become known as home to celebrities including John Lennon (shot and killed at the entrance), Leonard Bernstein and Lauren Bacall.

Photo By: ©iStockphoto.com/stevenallan

The Shining

Although The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo., was the inspiration for Stephen King's best-selling novel The Shining, the exterior shots of Stanley Kubrick's movie version were filmed at the Timberline Lodge, a historic ski lodge in Mount Hood, Ore. One piece of hotel trivia: In the book, the sinister room is number 217, but the hotel asked Kubrick to change the number to 237 in the movie so real guests wouldn't avoid the room.

Photo By: ©iStockphoto.com/gregobagel

Friday the 13th

As the main filming location for the slasher flick Friday the 13th, Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, a Boy Scout camp in New Jersey, served as the fictional Camp Crystal Lake of the movie. Many of the structures, like the totem pole pictured here, the main cabin, the archery range and the lake, look much the same. Please note: Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco is privately owned and is not open to the public for visiting or tours.

Photo By: Tony Urban Photography

The Blair Witch Project

With 63,000 acres of forests, lakes and hiking trails, Seneca Creek State Park in Montgomery County, Md., is a nature lover's paradise in reality and a creepy place of doom in the psychological thriller The Blair Witch Project, which follows three students producing a documentary about a local witch. Black Rock Mill (pictured) is the starting point for the trail to Coffin Rock, where the three students camp for the night and where five men were supposedly ritualistically murdered.

Photo By: Frontdoor.com

The Amityville Horror

Although 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, N.Y., is the real-life location of the DeFeo family murder in 1974 and the supposed events of the book and movie The Amityville Horror, the movie itself was filmed at this lovely home at 18 Brooks Road in Toms River, N.J. The home was remodeled to feature the "eye" windows famous in the original home, but were removed after filming.

Photo By: Tony Urban Photography

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