Haunted houses aren't just for Halloween anymore. Thanks to reality TV, viewers can follow ghost hunters into the world's scariest houses as they search for the ghosts and spirits that may or may not be present. Some haunted houses are small homes but others are mansions and castles that only the ultra-wealthy can afford. Here are some of the most expensive haunted houses.
Franklin Castle ($260,000)
This house was last sold in August 2011 for $260,000. That's cheap compared to other haunted homes. Before legal battles, fire, neglect and the Cleveland economy took their toll, this haunted castle was once home to an ultra-wealthy grocer-turned-banker. The home was built in 1865, but for the next 30 years rumors of unexplained deaths in the home began to surface. The house was later sold in 1913 for $34,300. That's more than $800,000 in today's dollars.
Plans to turn it into a bed and breakfast are still pending. If the new owner does open its doors to the public, guests can expect to see unexpected slamming doors, hear sounds of footsteps and the occasional crying baby.
Kimbell Castle ($879,999)
This New Hampshire castle has five bedrooms, three baths and sits on over 23 acres of land. Benjamin Kimbell built the castle after being inspired by a castle he saw while in Germany at a cost of $50,000 in 1897. That's well over $1.2 million in today's dollars. The house was listed for sale in 2011 for $879,999. Occupants say that doors open and shut and the sounds of horses can be heard near an old stable. The town of Gilford, N.H. drafted renovation plans for the castle, but due to lack of funding it remains in disrepair.
Amityville House ($1.15 Million)
This New York haunted house is the subject of multiple books and several movies. In 1974, resident Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed six family members while they slept. The Lutz family, unfazed by the events, moved into the home one year later but left after only 28 days because of putrid smells, substances oozing from the walls, and moving furniture and slamming doors. The home has remained a favorite among haunted house and movie fans. The house was listed in 2010 for $1.15 million.
The Surgeon's House ($1.2 Million)
This Arizona home, named appropriately after the original owner who was a chief surgeon, was built in 1916. After being transformed into a bed and breakfast in 1992, guests have reported seeing the ghost of a maid, a couple dancing and a person walking into a bedroom with a doctor's bag. The home was listed for $1.2 million in 2011, and comparable homes in the area are selling for half the cost.
Lalaurie House ($2.3 Million)
This home in New Orleans was purchased in 1831 by a couple who was said to have kept dozens of slaves, whom they treated poorly. In 1834, a fire broke out, killing many of the slaves. Today, guests at the home report hearing sounds of screams as well as ghosts walking on the balcony. The house was repaired and is now considered prime real estate. Actor Nicolas Cage once owned this home. In 2009, he sold it for roughly $2.3 million.
The White House ($110 Million)
The ghost hunters of reality TV might have a tough time gaining access to this alleged haunted house, but more than one person has ghost stories involving this storied home. Abigail Adams, husband of president John Adams, is said to be the oldest ghost but the most famous may be Abraham Lincoln. Past presidents and heads of state report having seen or felt the presence of Lincoln. Other spiritual inhabitants include Thomas Jefferson who plays his violin and British soldiers who are seen roaming the halls. A May 2012 article by the Los Angeles Times pegged the value of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. at $110 million.
The Bottom Line
Haunted houses have attracted the curious, the thrill seekers and scientists who attempt to explain the out of this world events that people reported. Those without a fear of the supernatural may take a vacation to tour and stay in haunted houses and hotels, but for most of us the answer to a vacation like that may be: "No, thank you!"
Photo Courtesy of adrigu