The 13 Spookiest Real-Life Haunted Mansions to Visit in the U.S.

If you like visiting scary places, these 13 haunted houses are sure to give you a thrill.
Last updated Oct 18, 2021 | By Ben Walker | Edited By Rebecca McCracken
Spooky house beneath a stormy sky

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

If you’re a fan of horror movies, have you considered visiting haunted places in real life?

Many films draw inspiration from actual events and eerie destinations. But being in a location where potentially sinister deeds took place is different from watching a creepy story unfold from the comfort of a theater or living room.

To help plan your frightening dream trip, add these 13 haunted mansions to your travel bucket list.

Henderson Castle

Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Accessibility: Open to the public for lodging, dining, and events

Tours: Walking history tour ($12.95 for adults and $9.50 for children)

Henderson Castle was established by Frank Henderson, a successful businessman, in 1895. Unfortunately, Henderson didn’t live long to enjoy his new home, as he died in 1899. He and his wife, Mary, are buried nearby in the Mountain Home Cemetery, but they tend to make a ghostly visit from time to time, according to guests and employees of the now Henderson Castle Inn — a reportedly haunted bed and breakfast.

Henderson Castle has appeared in multiple horror movies, the Discovery Channel, and “House Hunters.”

Lemp Mansion

Lemp Mansion Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Accessibility: Open to the public for lodging, dining, and events

Tours: The Lemp Experience ($35) and haunted history tour ($25)

The Lemp Mansion is much of what remains of the once-prominent and wealthy Lemp family, known for their Lemp lager beer that made them millionaires in the 1800s and early 1900s. Unfortunately, the Lemp history is filled with tragedy, including the loss of the family fortune, multiple deaths of family members, and rumors of an illegitimate son hidden in the attic until his death.

The tragic history turned into haunted tales as later residents and workers began to hear and see signs of ghostly visitors, which is reported to continue in recent times. The Lemp Mansion and Brewery have been featured on an episode of “Ghost Adventures.”

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast

US Ghost Adventures Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts

Location: Fall River, Massachusetts

Accessibility: Open to the public for lodging and tours

Tours: House tour ($25), ghost tour ($25), ghost hunt ($35), virtual tour ($5 per hour)

The Lizzie Borden House, now a bed and breakfast, is the location where Andrew and Abby Borden were found hacked to death with a hatchet on Aug. 4, 1892. Lizzie Borden, their daughter, was the main suspect in the murder, but she was later acquitted at trial. The double murders remain a mystery to this day, but visitors are now welcome to visit (and even stay) at this grim site.

The story of the Borden murders has been featured many times in popular works, including the recent movie, “Lizzie.”

McCollum-Chidester House Museum

Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism McCollum-Chidester House Museum in Camden, Arkansas

Location: Camden, Arkansas

Accessibility: Open for museum visits

Tours: Museum tours ($5 or $3 for students)

The McCollum-Chidester House was once used as a private home in the 1800s, as well as headquarters and lodging for multiple military officers. The house is now a museum that still contains evidence of bullet holes and cannon fire damage resulting from surrounding Civil War battles. Civil War casualties reportedly haunt the location over 150 years later.

Molly Brown House

Molly Brown House Museum Molly Brown House in Denver, Colorado

Location: Denver, Colorado

Accessibility: Open for visits and tours

Tours: From $10 to $16; free for members and children aged five and under

Margaret “Molly” Brown was a millionaire, world traveler, Titanic survivor, and recipient of the French Legion of Honor award. Her former home, now the Molly Brown House Museum, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places — and strange happenings have been reported within. This includes paranormal sightings of Molly and other family members in the home.

The Stone Lion Inn

Haunted Houses Stone Lion Inn in Guthrie, Oklahoma

Location: Guthrie, Oklahoma

Accessibility: Open for lodging and events

Tours: Possibly available upon request and with murder mystery nights ($181 to $229 per couple) and overnight stays

The Stone Lion Inn is a mansion built in 1907 that once housed a large family, including 12 children, one of which died at eight years old. The mansion later became a boarding house and then a mortuary, but today it’s a bed and breakfast. Multiple reports talk of apparitions and voices in the house, including sightings of the young child who passed away.

The House of Death

Google Street View The House of Death in New York, New York

Location: New York, New York

Accessibility: Private residences

Tours: Only street tours

The House of Death is a brownstone building in New York with a famed and sordid history. Sam Clemens, otherwise known as Mark Twain, was once a tenant of the house and is reported to still wander its halls. Overall, the building has witnessed 22 deaths, including that of a six-year-old girl, Lisa, beaten by her illegally adoptive father. Some of the ghosts in the building are reported to be friendly, such as Twain. But others aren’t so nice.

The LaLaurie Mansion

Ghost City Tours The LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans, Louisiana

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Accessibility: Private residence

Tours: Only street tours

The LaLaurie Mansion is reportedly a hotbed of paranormal activity, likely thanks to its history of human torture and death. The LaLaurie family tortured and killed several of their slaves, hiding the bodies in the attic. The hidden bodies were only found after a slave woman, chained to the kitchen stove, set fire to the house.

The story of the LaLaurie Mansion was depicted in “American Horror Story” and Nicholas Cage once owned the home.

The Stanley Hotel

​​The Stanley Hotel via Facebook ​​The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

Location: Estes Park, Colorado

Accessibility: Open for lodging, dining, and events

Tours: Day tours ($17 to $24) and night tours ($25 to $28)

The Stanley Hotel is a sprawling complex of buildings nestled into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It’s likely most famous for its appearance in “The Shining” with Jack Nicholson, but the hotel already had a history with ghost sightings and strange happenings in hallways and rooms.

Villisca Axe Murder House

Villisca Axe Murder House Villisca Axe Murder House in Villisca, Iowa

Location: Villisca, Iowa

Accessibility: Open for tours

Tours: Daylight tours ($5 to $10) and overnight tours ($428 for a group of six and $75 for each additional person)

The Villisca Axe Murder House is the site of a brutal event where two adults and six children were murdered in their beds on the night of June 9, 1912. The murderer or murderers were never caught, though there were plenty of suspects. Like many scenes of horrific crimes, the house is reported to be haunted.

Whaley House

Whaley House Whaley House in San Diego, California

Location: San Diego, California

Accessibility: Museum currently closed (as of September 2021)

Tours: Outdoor and walking tours only

Thomas Whaley arrived in California during the Gold Rush (around 1849) and eventually built Whaley House after becoming a successful businessman. The house served as a home, commercial theater, courthouse, and general store during different times of its life. However, the home was built on the site of a famous public execution and Violet Whaley, one of Thomas’ daughters, died here. These events have led to increased paranormal activity in the house.

Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House via Facebook Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California

Location: San Jose, California

Accessibility: Open for tours and events

Tours: Mansion tour ($19.99 to $41.99), explore more tour ($19.99 to $41.99), garden tour ($9.99 to $19.99), ADA tour ($19.99), and virtual tour ($8.99)

The Winchester Mystery House was once the home of Sarah Lockwood Pardee Winchester, heiress to much of the Winchester Repeating Arms fortune. Her infant daughter and husband died within a few years of each other, prompting Sarah to move to California and then start construction on a sprawling mansion — a build that continued for 36 years until her passing in 1922.

The house was allegedly built to appease the spirits of individuals who were killed with Winchester rifles, and paranormal activity has been reported since. The Winchester Mystery House and its story have been featured in popular works, including the recent movie, “Winchester.”

Woodburn Mansion

State of Delaware Official Page Woodburn Mansion in Dover, Delaware

Location: Dover, Delaware

Accessibility: Currently under construction (as of September 2021)

Tours: Garden visits (free)

Woodburn Mansion was built in 1798 by Charles Hillyard III and has served as a home for farmers, landowners, U.S. senators, an abolitionist, doctors, a judge, and more. The home has since served as the official residence of the Governor of Delaware since 1965. Notable ghost sightings in and around the home have included Charles Hillyard III and a girl in a gingham dress and bonnet.

Bottom line

Dark Illusion/Adobe Spooky house under a stormy sky

If you want to save money on your spooky trip, consider using some of the best travel credit cards to lower your travel expenses. These cards offer valuable rewards that can help pay for flights, hotel stays, and rental cars. The best part? You can earn these rewards from purchases you make on a daily basis.

One of the most popular travel cards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This card offers a generous sign-up bonus, excellent earning potential, and a $50 annual credit that can be used for hotel stays. Overall, it could be the ideal card for jump-starting your eerie vacation.

For more details, check out our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

Our #1 Travel Card

Intro Offer

60,000 points

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 5X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Typically need to spend thousands to reap rewards
Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

Author Details

Ben Walker Ben Walker is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially-sound decisions. For nearly a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.