The Most Beautiful Haunted Houses in the World

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Real Estate

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California

After losing her husband and infant daughter, Winchester Rifles heiress Sarah Winchester turned to a spiritual medium who claimed vengeful spirits, victims of Winchester rifles, were responsible. In penance, Sarah moved to San Jose and spent 38 years constructing the labyrinthine Winchester Mystery House with 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, and bizarre features designed to confuse spirits. Since Sarah's death in 1922, visitors have reported eerie phenomena like phantom footsteps and self-turning doorknobs, as documented by the Ghost Adventures crew during their overnight lockdown investigation. The mansion stands as a haunting testament to a wealthy socialite's quest to appease the supernatural.


Larnach Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand

Perched majestically on the Otago Peninsula in Dunedin, Larnach Castle stands as the singular castle in New Zealand, surrounded by misty gardens stretching as far as the eye can see. Constructed in the late 1800s by politician William Larnach, the opulent palace harbors a tragic history. Legend has it that Larnach witnessed the deaths of his daughter and two wives within its walls before taking his own life. Whispers of Larnach's ghost haunting the castle persist, with reports of mysterious occurrences such as flashes of light, smoke emerging from fireplaces, and doors opening inexplicably—all contributing to the eerie atmosphere that envelops this historic site.


Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Nestled near Montego Bay on Jamaica's northern coast, Rose Hall exudes enchanting beauty as a Georgian plantation dating back to the 1770s. Originally owned by John Palmer, the estate boasted expansive sugar cane fields worked by numerous slaves. The tale takes a dark turn when John's English-born wife, Annie, allegedly poisoned him to seize control of the plantation and wealth. Infamously known as the White Witch by Rose Hall slaves, Annie practiced voodoo, tortured workers, and committed heinous acts, including the murders of her second and third husbands. After enduring years of torment, a slave retaliated, ending Annie's life. Though she rests in a stone tomb on the property, the vengeful spirit of the White Witch is believed to linger, haunting the restored estate and its 54-hole golf course, continuing to instill terror in guests to this day.


Château de Brissac, Brissac-Quincé, France

Standing tall as the tallest castle in France, the Château de Brissac has a storied history and a haunting presence—the famed ghost known as The Green Lady. Originally built in the 11th century and later reconstructed during the Renaissance for noble use, the grand castle is steeped in tales of tragedy. The Green Lady, believed to be Charlotte de Brêzé, the wife of castle owner Jacques de Brêzé, is said to have met a gruesome end when Jacques discovered her in an affair and took matters into his own hands, killing both her and her lover. Now, Charlotte's ghost is said to linger in the tower room and chapel, where eerie moans echo in the early morning. The spectral figure, donned in a green dress, is described most disturbingly with holes where her eyes and nose should be—a haunting presence in the castle's rich history.


The Willis Jones House, Atlanta, Georgia

The Willis Jones house is so jaw-droppingly beautiful that we would almost consider shacking up with a few spirits to live there. Keyword: almost. Grandeur aside, this Atlanta mansion was originally located on Atlanta's Peachtree Road across from the Randolph-Lucas house before being moved to West Paces Ferry near the governor’s mansion in the late '60s. Its skeleton sat there for many years and mischievous local teens dared each other to spend the night in the shell, though no one lasted an entire evening. They reportedly heard footsteps across floorboards where there were none and knocks on doors that didn’t exist. The home was returned to opulent splendor in the '80s, and we’re not sure of its ghostly status. What we do know is that the home is hauntingly beautiful.


Forbidden City, Beijing, China

In the heart of Beijing, China, the Gu Gong, or Forbidden City, stands as the world's largest palace complex, spanning over 7.75 million square feet. Completed in 1420 after 15 years of construction, this vast architectural wonder comprises over 8,700 rooms and is surrounded by a formidable 170-foot-wide moat. With a history steeped in countless murders and executions, it's no surprise that tales of paranormal occurrences have persisted over the years. Among the haunting rumors is that of a faceless, weeping woman wandering the expansive grounds—a spectral presence that has intrigued and unsettled visitors since the opening of the Palace Museum in the 1940s.


Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

While the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina stands as a beloved tourist destination, it also holds a reputation as one of the region's haunted locales. Constructed between 1889 and 1895 by George Vanderbilt, this magnificent estate boasts 250 rooms, including a library where George was known to spend considerable time. Contemporary visitors to the mansion report glimpses of George in the library, while others claim to hear the whisper of his name by his wife, Edith—adding an intriguing layer of ghostly lore to the allure of this historic estate.


House of the Seven Gables, Salem, Massachusetts

The House of the Seven Gables, also known as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion in Salem, Massachusetts, captivates with its simple yet striking appearance. The dark clapboard siding contrasts beautifully with vibrant gardens, and the numerous large, Georgian-style windows contribute to its allure. Erected in 1668, this Colonial-style home is believed to be among America's oldest wooden structures, remarkably well-preserved after over 300 years. Familiar to some from Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1851 novel and related films, the house is equally renowned for its paranormal tales. Witnesses have reported mysterious shadows in upper windows and unexplained activity involving faucets and lights. The lingering spirits of Hawthorne's cousin, Susanna Ingersoll, and a young boy are said to inhabit this historic space, adding an eerie layer to its rich history.


The Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana

The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, boasts a captivating entrance with its expansive 125-foot wrap-around veranda adorned with ornate iron columns and railing. Functioning as both a restaurant and a bed-and-breakfast, this historic home has a reputation that extends beyond typical tourist appeal. Numerous ghostly tales swirl around the property, with Chloe, the ghost of a vengeful slave who poisoned her owner's children, claiming the spotlight. Legend tells of her hanging from a nearby tree after the discovery of her actions by fellow slaves. Witnesses have glimpsed Chloe's spectral figure, clad in a white apron and green turban, wandering through the house. Guests also share accounts of eerie occurrences, from footsteps on the stairs and the sounds of children playing to a grand piano inexplicably playing the same haunting chord repeatedly. Check it out for an otherworldly experience.


Bran Castle, Transylvania, Romania

Foreboding and fantastic, Bran Castle perches atop a hill in the forest of Transylvania, Romania. The first records of the medieval castle date back to the 1300s, and the palace is Bram Stoker's rumored muse for the castle in his spine-chilling classic, Dracula. Its believed that Stoker likely drew character inspiration from one of the most notorious and bloodthirsty guests of Bram Castle: Count Vlad the Impaler. All vampires aside, Bran Castle is considered one of the most haunted fortresses worldwide, and it continues to draw tourists within its storied walls today.


Source: HGTV by Maria Conti and Maggie Tharp