8 Haunted Houses You Can Buy Right Now
In real estate, the only thing more important to buyers than location is whether a property has ever hosted an exorcism. Unfortunately, not all states require disclosure when a home is believed to be haunted. Others, like Massachusetts, compel sellers to admit if something has happened that could result in a “psychological impact” to occupants.
While realtors may not want to get into whether a home has tested positive for blood in the walls, we do. Check out eight houses with haunted histories that you can purchase right now.
1. THE ANN STARRETT MANSION // PORT TOWNSEND, WASHINGTON
As devoted husbands go, George Starrett set a standard. After marrying his fiancé, Ann, Starrett set about constructing a material monument to their romance. Work was completed in 1889 on this eight-bedroom, eight-bath home, which Starrett topped off with a spectacular 70-foot-tall dome tower that features paintings of Ann depicting all four seasons. Used as a bed and breakfast for years, visitors have claimed sightings of a red-haired woman believed to be Ann; others have spotted the couple’s nanny staring back at them from a mirror in what was once her bedroom. Fortunately, the entities appear to be friendly. The house is currently listed as a residential property for $850,000.
2. THE PRIESTLEY HOUSE // CANTON, MISSISSIPPI
Originally built by physician James Priestley in the 1950s, this Greek Revival home stayed in the Priestley family until the 1990s. When new owner Frankie McMillan moved in, she became concerned that Priestley’s wife, Susan, hadn’t gotten the message to clear the premises. McMillan claimed to have seen Susan in hallways and in the bedroom where the woman is believed to have died. The home was restored in 2004 and is listed for $699,000.
3. THE HOUSE ON PLANT AVENUE // WEBSTER GROVES, MISSOURI
From 1906 to 1944, a railroad car salesman named Henry Gehm occupied this 3871-square-foot pad near St. Louis. As legend has it, Gehm had dealings with a circus for transport compartments and somehow came into possession of a bear that he kept tied to a tree in the backyard. The animal’s ghost is now said to haunt the land; prior owner Robert Wheeler told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1975 that he heard footsteps in the third-floor study room. If you’re interested in interacting with a paranormal zoo animal, the home can be yours for $500,000.
4. THE MORTICIAN’S WIFE HOME // DUNSMUIR, CALIFORNIA
Built in 1912, this Victorian located in Southern California has one feature not even most haunted houses can boast of: an on-site mortuary. Once the home of a mortician who used it as a viewing and chapel area—and who was later said to have spent weeks there post-mortem because his wife couldn’t bear to part with him—current owner Brad Warner has reported a fireplace spontaneously extinguishing itself and French doors slamming shut. Yours for $475,000.
5. THE SALLIE HOUSE // ATCHISON, KANSAS
How spooky does a house have to be that its current owner recommends it as an hourly rental? Pretty spooky. The Sallie House in Atchison is up for sale at $499,900 and is being openly marketed as a tourist attraction. The rash of ghost sightings, upside-down picture frames, and other unusual activity has no definitive source, though some believe a young woman named Sallie died of appendicitis in the home. In 1992, when the Pickman family moved in, stories of odd scratches on occupants and a ghost’s eerie propensity to return the TV remote to the armrest made the rounds. When they moved out in 1994, the home became a revolving door of paranormal investigators and other brave spirits.
6. THE WATCHER HOME // WESTFIELD, NEW JERSEY
While not haunted by spirits, this $1.19 million home is still struggling with uninvited attention. After a family closed on the property in 2014, they began to get a series of unsettling letters from an anonymous source. “My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s,” one message read. “It is now my time. Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?” In addition to a sadistic voyeur, the home also comes with beautiful hardwood flooring.
7. THE AMITYVILLE HOME // AMITYVILLE, NEW YORK
This might be one of the most infamous addresses in history. In 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. lost his mind and murdered six family members on the premises of 108 Ocean Avenue. In 1975, the Lutz family moved in and promptly reported a series of supernatural occurrences, from strange noises to oozing walls. Their account was turned into a book, The Amityville Horror, and several movies of the same name. Listing agent Gerald O’Nell maintains the accounts were embellished to help DeFeo with his criminal defense. Of the four subsequent owners, he said, “none of them ran out of the house screaming.” And hey, it’s got a sun room. On sale for $850,000.
8. THE MA BARKER HOUSE // LAKE WEIR, FLORIDA
Families surrounding this lakefront property in Ocklawaha probably didn’t think much of the older woman and her four grown sons when they rented a home there in 1934. Weeks later, they found out that the polite “Mrs. Blackburn” was infamous criminal matriarch Ma Barker, who had aided her sons in several kidnapping and robbery excursions. The FBI surrounded the house, firing 2000 rounds of ammunition into it as Ma and son Freddie fired back. By the end, both were dead.
The bullet-riddled home, which was recently up for sale at a price of $889,000, is said to be inhabited by the ghost of Ma, who likes to switch lights on. (Freddie was apparently evicted in an exorcism years ago.) In a strange turn, the owners were able to sell the land earlier this year but not the house itself, which will remain on site until it’s either relocated 800 feet away or dismantled and moved entirely. Marion County is interested in purchasing it and is currently looking for funds to cover the $250,000 asking price.