5 Creepy, Halloween Horror Homes
These real-life haunts take weird to a whole new level.
As All Hallow's Eve approaches, it's time for ghost stories, apple cider and walks in the woods where one can occasionally stumble upon a derelict house long abandoned or a pioneer-era graveyard with headstones barely visible. Would you buy a haunted house? According to a survey by Realtor.com, 33 percent out of 1,000 people said they would. Discover five ghoulish houses with histories of past horrors for the curious or the brave where spirits might come out to play on Halloween night.
Hauntings and the macabre usually take place in abandoned structures in the woods or near graveyards, but what about a house built in 2000 in a swanky community just outside of Houston, Texas? It's a manicured and stately house from the street like all the neighboring houses, but bring your most stable friend with you if you plan on going inside and make sure you, your friend and the real estate agent are the only ones in the house when you go. Crazy? Insane? The house is filled with people but none of them are alive! You hope. Not one inch of wall, floor or table space can be seen that isn't covered in mannequins, animal skins, picture frames, taxidermy or bizarre doodads. Mannequins are sitting at the bar, hanging feet first from the ceiling and crawling under the bed with their legs sticking out.
For sale at $1,275,000, the owner will take it all with her when it sells and already has 10 tractor trailers on standby.
The Mortician's House
When the last owner was in the process of turning his historic 1911 house into a Dead and Breakfast, he and his wife had first-hand experience with its resident gang of ghosties. He figured out that they were probably hanging out in the old mortuary — the remnants of which were still on the first floor. Brad Warner and his wife had bought the house in foreclosure in 2010 and were in the process of beginning a major restoration when they first became acquainted with the existing spirits. Well located off scenic I-5 across from the Sacramento River and a stone's throw from Mt. Shasta and its much-publicized Bigfoot population, there would be no shortage of human guests to fill the extra bedrooms and enjoy being terrorized by his non-human guests. But, sadly, just as a large portion of the house had been gutted for the redo, Warner and his wife divorced and the house is now back on the market for $100,000, a far cry from its original listing price of $900,000 a few years ago. Could this be the B&B, er ... D&B that you've always wanted? You'll enjoy bragging to your guests that this house was the inspiration for the best-selling book The Mortician's Wife.
Crazy Clown Motel
There may not be anything quite as foreboding than to be named "the scariest motel in America," as was the Clown Motel in Tonopah, Nev., by Roadtrippers.com. A brother and sister built a motel in the '80s next to the Tonopah graveyard so they could be close to their deceased father. This obviously doesn’t start off well from the get-go, and after they added their small clown collection as decor, the motel attracted the producers of the Travel Channel show Ghost Adventures. The show attracted clown donors from around the world, and now the Clown Motel is chock-full of horrific/funny (you choose) clowns.
At 79 years old, the owner is interested in selling the motel with the caveat that the clowns stay; he hopes to get about $900,000. He said he's had some offers. How could anyone resist the hundreds of clowns and the sublime view from the owner's apartment overlooking the old miners' graveyard?
Thousand Islands Haunted Mansion
Seventy years ago, Carleton Manor in St. Vincent, N.Y. was abandoned. Chances are with no living residents to frighten, the resident spirits got tired of waiting for someone to move in and may have moved on. Or they may still be waiting and hovering inside the falling ceilings or up the chimneys, bunking up with the ravens nesting there. When it was constructed in 1895 for the president of Remington Arms and Typewriter Company, William O. Wyckoff, Carleton Manor was one of the grandest structures in New York. The solid stone outer structure sits on an island, is comprised of 6.9 acres and is surrounded by almost one thousand feet of waterfront. 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.
Howey-in-the-Hills Haunted House
Mysterious and abandoned for years, Howey Mansion was completed in 1927 for its owner, citrus magnate, William Howey, who founded the small town of Howey-in-the-Hills just north of Orlando, Fla. The Mediterranean Revival-style house was one of the most opulent homes in the state of Florida, and to celebrate its completion, Howey engaged the New York Civic Opera Company. Even President Calvin Coolidge was a guest in the early years when Howey hosted many dignitaries and the rich and famous.
Measuring in at 8,832 square feet, the mansion has eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms and is sited on 3.63 acres. But it's not a ruin. Of course, the red-tile roof needs thousands of dollars of repairs and the marble that was stripped from the tall foyer walls needs to be replaced, but the exquisite stained glass and wrought-iron banisters, sunroom, giant cypress front door and ballroom with its romantic upper terrace are intact, though the ceilings need a redo. The mansion has had only one other owner, an heiress who died in 2015. The house foreclosed and has been sitting abandoned until April when the mortgage company put it on the market for $480,000. Bids started pouring in and it sold right away for an undisclosed amount that was considerably higher than the asking price. It's estimated that it will take another $3 million to restore it to its full glory.
The listing real estate agent said that the mansion was very creepy unless filled with potential buyers looking around and that she would only feel secure with an entire football team as co-inhabitants. The new owner may occasionally think he's hearing music when the house should be quiet. Will he know about the New York Civic Opera Company performing there so very long ago?