Fair warning: Reading this collection of scary haunted house stories in the dark or by yourself is likely to keep you up all night (as was surely the case form). You might feel a little bit chill – even if you are the most courageous person. Is that a challenge? Yes, it is. We invite you to explore the 15 most frightening haunted houses stories from the scariest locations in the country. If you feel really scared and ready to get scared, you can book a stay in most of these haunted houses. You can also greet the ghosts.
1 The Lemp Mansion, St. Louis, Missouri
Start strong with a scary house: The Lemp Mansion, St. Louis. This haunted house in Ohio is famous for its tragic past and is one of America’s most haunted.
William Lemp, a successful brewery entrepreneur, built the 33-room house in the 1860s. He died in 1904, after Frederick, his youngest son, had died. His wife died from cancer in the home a few years later. In 1922, William Lemp Jr. shot himself in the exact same room where William Sr. had died.
As if this weren’t enough tragedy, Charles Lemp, William’s third son, shot his dog in the basement and then committed suicide in his own room. The house was then sold and turned into a boarding home, where hauntings were reported. According to Destination America, witnesses have experienced burning sensations and slamming doors.
The Lemp Mansion, a restaurant, and in which also hosts events, is now open. The inn hosts a Murder Mystery Dinner every Sunday.
2 The Villisca Axe Murderhouse in Villisca (Iowa)
Josiah Moore and Sarah Moore were killed in their Villisca home on June 10, 1912. The crime was also committed against their four children and two of their friends, who were staying the night. It is considered to be one of the most haunted homes in the country and attracts many people. For one night, guests can pay up to $400 for a stay.
“Tours have been cut short by children’s voices, falling lamps, moving ladders, and flying objects,” says the Villisca Axe Murder House website. And, in 2014, a paranormal investigator stabbed himself after spending the night. The website states that “Skeptics are now believers.”
3 Jean Harlow House, Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is a great place to hunt for haunted houses. This Bavarian-style home located in Beverly Hills has an especially gruesome past. It was the home of Jean Harlow, an iconic actress, and Paul Bern, her abusive husband. In 1932, he shot himself in his head standing in front of the mirror. There were many rumors that he was not actually dead. His butler found him and called MGM rather than the police. Many believed Bern was in fact his ex-girlfriend. This suspicion was heightened by the fact that she died from a fall from a boat a few days later. Jean, who was 26 at the time, moved away after Bern’s death.
But wait–it gets creepier. Jay Sebring, a celebrity hairdresser, bought the house in 1963 and lived there until Sharon Tate left for Roman Polanski. They were close friends and continued to be so until their deaths by the Charles Manson cult. Tate was exactly the same age as Harlow at her death.
Back to the Harlow House, where the couple lived. Tate shared horror stories about the Harlow House with friends and was even quoted in interviews. One example is when Tate was alone in her master bedroom, she saw a “creepy little guy”. According to her friends, she believed that it was Paul Bern’s ghost. After seeing the ghost, she was so scared that she ran from the room. She then saw a shadowy corpse hanging in the hallway with its throat cut. Two other deaths occurred in the pool over time, according to stories.
4 SK Pierce House
There are many haunted mansions in Massachusetts, and the SK Pierce Victorian is no exception. Sylvester Pierce was just starting out in furniture manufacturing when he built the home for his son and his wife Susan. He was a popular man in town and hosted many famous people over the years in his 7,000-square foot home, including President Calvin Coolidge, Bette Davies, and Norman Rockwell.
Susan became ill just one week after she moved into the house. She died from mysterious bacterial diseases. He married Ellen, a woman three decades his junior, one year later and had two more children. His sons began a bitter feud after Sylvester and Ellen died. However, the Great Depression hit and made it easier for them to make their decision since the furniture company was bankrupt.
Edward, the youngest son, took control of the house and made it a boarding home. According to local legend, it became a hotspot of illicit activities. This included the deaths and murders of many occupants. These violent ends led to many guests reporting every type of haunting possible, including visions of apparitions, flying objects, disembodied voices, pressure, and temperature drops, as well as visions of ghosts.
5 Mudhouse Mansion
The Mudhouse Mansion, which is located in Fairfield County Ohio (until recently), has a poor reputation. It is not clear when it was built but most people agree that it was sometime between the 1840s-1800s. It is not possible to visit it like the other abandoned mansions listed on this list. The home was destroyed in 2015, after having been vacant since the 1930s. Lulu HartmanMast was the last legal resident. Jeanne Mast is the current owner.
There isn’t much information available about who lived there and when. Also, abandoned places can spark the dark side of our imaginations, so there are many legends surrounding alleged atrocities (and subsequent hauntings). However, the sources aren’t very reliable.