From horror movies to thriller novels, there’s no setting scarier than one that takes place inside a terrifying home. When the one place that should be the safest of all becomes the scene for your very worst nightmare, where is there to run to? It’s hard to imagine that your home could become a house of horrors. Neither could the owners of the 10 terrifying houses coming up.
10) Shanley Hotel
It is never a good sign when, after arriving at your hotel, ready to enjoy a relaxing holiday, you’re asked to sign a waiver before even getting your room key. If you’re a guest at the spooky Shanley Hotel in New York, that is exactly what you can expect.
In fact, this hotel is so haunted that no guests under 16 years old can enter.
Said to be the scene of over half a dozen deaths, this former-home is believed to be cursed. Visitors report hearing footsteps and seeing chairs rocking by themselves.
Also, there have been many ghost sightings – including the mourning spirit of Beatrice. She’s the former owner whose three children all died in the home before their 1stbirthday. Here’s a story of one sighting that was recorded:
Sal Nicosia, the current owner, remarked how, after he moved in, his cat, which he had for 14 years, would refuse to enter certain rooms. The cat then started doing strange things like refusing to move off certain floors, and never exiting the house, despite freely spending most of its time outside prior to moving in. Then one night, they recorded this creepy ghost encounter:
If that wasn’t spooky enough, this hotel is so chilling that it inspired one of the scariest stories of all time; Stephen King was staying at this very hotel when he wrote The Shining! That’s not exactly the kind of inspiration you’d hope for from a holiday… who are these crazy people that actually pay to stay there anyway? If anything you’d have to pay me a lot of money to endure that sort of trauma!
9) The Corpse Doll House
There’s not much scarier than a house full of life-size dolls – except when those dolls are made from real corpses. That’s what greeted investigators when they entered the house of Anatoly Moskvin.
He was, on the surface, a Russian academic and linguist – but once they dug deeper, they discovered he was hiding a lot of dark secrets. Moskvin, a paranoid schizophrenic, had dug up the bodies of 26 girls, all aged between 3 and fifteen years old. After mummifying their bodies, he would dress the corpses up in little girls’ clothing, apply make-up to their faces, and pose them around his house.
Apparently, he claimed to have felt great sympathy for the dead children. He thought he could bring them back to life by either science or black magic.
Unbelievably, Moskvin lived with his parents, who claimed they had no idea that the ‘dolls’ were actually dead bodies. They should probably consider getting their eyesight tested…and their sense of smell. Eventually, Moskvin pleaded guilty to his spate of grave desecrations. It’s a charge carrying up to 5 years in prison. He’s since been moved to a psychiatric clinic, and every extension to his stay has been approved since.
8) Villa De Vecchi
Known as Italy’s most famous ‘ghost house’, this abandoned mansion in the mountains was built in 1854.
It was built by Count Felice De Vecchi, the head of the Italian National Guard. It’s said that the Count came back home one evening to find his wife had been murdered and that his daughter was missing, never to be found. Overcome with grief a year later, the Count took his own life inside the mansion.
Since then, locals have reported ghostly goings-on, including hearing the piano playing every night.
The high levels of paranormal activity attracted occultist Aleister Crowley. He is said to have visited many times to carry out seances and satanic rituals. It’s safe to say that if it’s somewhere Crowley liked to hang out in, it’s probably not high on anyone’s list of dream destinations.
7) The Snake House
After buying their dream home for $180,000, a couple thought they made the deal of a century. That is until they moved into their new property in Idaho. Not long after did they discover they weren’t the only residents calling the house home. In fact, the five-bedroom house was pretty full already: of snakes.
It turned out their dream home was already the dream den for hundreds of garter snakes. And those snakes refused to move out, instead slithering around in the walls, and popping out of places all around the home. Turned out, the home was most likely built on a winter snake den, or hibernaculum, where the reptiles gather in large numbers to hibernate.
Even their water supply was affected by the snakes; it carried the foul onion-ey smelling musk that the snakes released as a warning to predators. Eventually, the new residents called it quits with their nightmare neighbor and moved out, leaving the house to be roamed free by the wriggly reptiles.
6) The Sallie House
One of America’s most infamous haunted houses, this House is said to be haunted by a demonic spirit called Sallie. A former resident of the home, Sally died tragically young after a botched operation that took place inside the house.
Sallie is believed to have been the first ghost that haunted the house. But it’s now believed to be the home for many lost and wayward spirits. In December of 1992, Tony and Debra Pickman moved in, and their stories are chilling. Lights would randomly turn on and off, their dog would bark at their nursery room, and their infant would wake up periodically ”as if someone was playing with him”. Neighbors could see the nursery window and even questioned the parents why they kept the light on all night with the baby sleeping in there. Of course, they had no idea – Debra always switched off the lights. Tony even saw the little girl one night as he went down to the kitchen.
He then sketched what she looked like and showed it to a child of another former owner, who identified it as her imaginary friend when she was younger, Sallie.
That’s just one story. Former owners have reported literally every possible paranormal act imaginable. From seeing apparitions, objects flying through the air, and hearing scratching sounds coming from the walls to child toys being strewn around bedrooms, only for the child to explain it was their friend Sally.
Although the demise of Sally was surely tragic, I’ll pass on visiting to offer her my sympathy!
5) Monte Cristo Homestead
Since being built in 1885, this house has become the scene of many tragedies.
It is today said to be Australia’s most haunted house. The first family to live in the property experienced an unusually high number of deaths, all of which took place inside the home. It includes a young child who was dropped and fell down the stairs. A maid fell to her death from the balcony and a stable boy was burnt to death.
The mentally ill son of the caretaker was kept locked up inside a cottage on the property.
He was one day discovered laying down beside the body of his dead mother. Shortly after being sent to a mental institute, the son died.
Even after the original family moved on, the curse of death lived on inside the house, including the murder of another caretaker.
Said to be haunted by the spirits of all those who tragically died here, this is not a house recommended visiting – especially if you’re a caretaker.
4) The Myrtles Plantation
This Louisiana home is a former plantation. It is believed to be haunted by 12 ghosts, including Chloe, the young child of a former slave.
It is also supposedly inhabited by the spirits of an unusually high number of people who have been murdered here – the rumor is that 10 people have lost their lives inside this house, in various gruesome manners.
One such murder victim was William Winter. He was an attorney and lived on the original plantation from around 1865 until 1871. Winter was shot dead by what was believed to be a complete stranger. Nobody has since uncovered the reason for such a cold-blooded killing. After being shot, Winter tried to climb the stairs in a bid to seek help. However, Winter never made it up the stairs, instead of bleeding out right on the stairwell.
People have reported seeing ghostly apparitions and hearing footsteps through the hallways. When TV show Unsolved Mysteries tried to film here, they reported experiencing many technical difficulties whilst trying to film. However, one of the most commonly reported paranormal experience- and perhaps the most poignant- is that of the sound of footsteps, climbing the stairwell, said to be -of course- the last dying footsteps of William Winter.
3) Loftus Hall
Widely regarded as Ireland’s most haunted house, the history of this house can be dated back to 1170. It has a long and bloody history. Many a spirit is said to roam its hallways.
The aboding building is so frightening that locals claim it’s haunted by the devil himself. In the 1600s, it’s reported that a young girl living at the mansion called Anne was playing cards with a sailor who was seeking shelter from a storm. During the game, Anne dropped a card and when she looked under the table to retrieve it, she saw that the sailor had cloven hooves. After Anne screamed in shock, the sailor revealed himself as Satan before disappearing into a ball of fire.
It is said that Anne never recovered and lived the rest of her days in shock-induced silence. When she died, her muscles had seized meaning her body couldn’t be straightened, so she was buried in the same sitting position in which she had died. Catholic priests have since tried to exorcise the house. However, the exorcisms didn’t end its ghostly reign, as staff working there have since claimed to have seen Anne’s ghost walking down the stairs.
2) Ancient Ram Inn
This 12th-century building, In the village of Wotton-under-Edge, in the UK, is believed to be riddled with up to 20 specters who torment visitors. Built on an ancient pagan burial ground – and also believed to be the scene of child sacrifices and devil worship – it’s haunted by the likes of a murdered young girl called Rosie, a high priestess, and even a male sex demon, known as an incubus. But despite its ghoulish reputation, some people are mad enough to actually PAY to visit. That is why it was briefly turned into a bed and breakfast before its owner’s death in December of 2017. Still, most visitors who paid around $50 a night refused to stay in the room named ‘the bishop’s inn’.
The reason being the ghost of a monk is said to haunt the room on a regular basis. Some who did sleep ended up fleeing in the middle of the night.
Before revealing the number one spot, here are 2 creepy occurrences people noted in equally scary houses that didn’t quite make the top 10. First up, A filmmaker scouting a location for a BBC nature documentary came across an abandoned house and decided to investigate further by entering the building. Once in there, what he saw immediately stopped him in his tracks- the walls were bleeding.
After overcoming his shock, the filmmaker realized the truth was not quite as bizarre but was, perhaps, almost as terrifying as fiction: the ‘bleeding walls’ were actually the result of an infestation of hundreds of bats and their digestive system!
Still, it gets creepier. There’s nothing quite like creepy-crawlies to get your skin crawling and your mood creeped out. So, imagine the horror of coming across a house like this that’s so completely infested with spiders that their webs are blocking the hallways.
That’s what happened in this Missouri home after over 6,000 brown recluse spiders overtook it. Perhaps it would be better just to let the spiders have the house, at that stage…
1) McKamey Manor
The ultimate house of horrors, McKamey Manor is a haunted house experience like no other. It’s so intense, nobody has ever completed it.
The experience is supposed to last around 8 hours – although most don’t make it this long. It’s so horrific that it reduces most visitors to tears.
Whether it’s being tied up, forced into small spaces, or covered in snakes or spiders, whatever your worst fear is, the staff at McKamey Manor will make sure you face it -and fail.
The experience takes place in 4 separate locations. Each one is designed to push visitors to their physical and psychological limits. Basically, it’s an interactive horror movie.
Every participant must be over 21, free of medical conditions, and sign a waiver. That should really be the last red flag telling you to stop. Even so, there’s a waiting list of over 24,000 people. Makes me seriously question the sanity of the human population. In comparison to McKamey Manor, I think a haunted house full of ghosts and spirits sounds like a much better time.
So, which house would you refuse to enter? Or have you ever experienced an encounter with a poltergeist? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below. Thanks for reading!