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Mapping Twenty of America's Most Infamous Spooky Houses

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Built in the 1880s by German immigrant Balthasar Kreischer, this sprawling Victorian mansion would be creepy enough without the harrowing historical tales. According to local legend, Kreischer build his son, Charles, a similar mansion. Then father and son got into a feud, during which the younger Kreischer's house burned down, with him and his wife inside. The fire was rumored to have been started by Balthasar, whose other son later died under similarly mysterious circumstances. Left without an heir, the family sold the brick business and sank into obscurity. This mansion, on the other hand, gained a reputation for hauntings and strange activity that was only bolstered in 2005, when Joseph "Joe Black" Young, the home's caretaker, lured a man to the house and murdered him, on the orders of a local organized crime boss. That man's remains were disposed of in the basement incinerator. The Cleveland-based owner has opted to try to sell the cursed property, despite the more than $1M he had plunged into a restoration. It is now listed with a commercial brokerage for $1.3M. This and more creepy houses are mapped below.

· Kreischer Mansion [Massey Knakal]

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1. Phil Spector's Castle

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1700 Grand View Dr
Alhambra, CA 91803

One-time home to record producer Phil Spector, this castle has sat vacant ever since Spector went to prison for the killing of a female companion in the entryway. Though he's withering away behind bars, Spector still recently sued the city of Alhambra in an attempt to prevent construction next door.

2. Winchester Mystery House

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525 S Winchester Blvd
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 247-2000
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Now operated as the Winchester Mystery House, this sprawling Northern California mansion was built by the paranoid and superstitious Sarah Winchester, widow to Winchester Rifles founder William Winchester. A fan of seances, she used her communications with the dead to design the structure, built over 38 years, which resulted in a maze-like home, full of dead ends, secret passages, and twisting hallways.

3. Gardette-LaPrete House

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716 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70116

In the years before the Civil War, this French Quarter mansion was reportedly rented to a rich young Turk, who came complete with "a harem and eunuchs" and threw secretive parties. One morning, a passerby noticed blood trickling down the steps and alerted authorities, who found all the revelers hacked to death. Legend says the renter had stolen from his brother, a sultan, and that the murders were revenge.

4. Hampton Lillibridge House

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507 E St Julian St
Savannah, GA 31401

This spacious 18th-century home was moved to this site by historic preservationist Jim Williams. During site preparation, a watery crypt was discovered beneath street-level, but workers covered it and put in the house anyway. Williams would later be tried for the shooting death of his assistant, an episode that would later serve as the basis for the novel and film, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

5. Mercer-Williams House Museum

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429 Bull St
Savannah, GA 31401

The Jim Williams shooting drama unfolded at this historic antebellum mansion, which already had a sordid past. In 1913, another owner had tripped, fallen on his head, and later died from the injuries. In 1965, a young boy chasing pigeons on the roof fell and impaled himself on the fence below. The house is now operated as the Mercer-Williams House Museum.

6. LaLaurie House

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1140 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70116

In the 1830s, Dr. Louis Lalaurie and his wife, Delphine, were known for their wealth, social prominence, and lavish parties. Today, they're infamous as an evil duo who tortured their slaves, subjecting them to horrific pseudo-scientific experiments that were only discovered when a fire broke out in the mansion. More recently, the mansion was owned by actor Nicolas Cage, until he lost it to foreclosure in 2009.

7. Franklin Castle

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4308 Franklin Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44113

Franklin Castle is widely referred to as the most haunted house in Ohio, and for good reason. Completed in 1865, the house saw its first death in 1881, when the owner's daughter succumbed to diabetes. The owner's mother passed soon after. In the following three years, the owners buried three more children and built onto the house (perhaps as a distraction from their grief). Sold last year for $260K, the house is slated to be renovated into a multi-family apartment building.

8. Lizzie Borden House

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92 2nd St
Fall River, MA 02721

In 1892, Lizzie Borden allegedly hacked her parents to death in this Federal home on Second Street in Fall River. Following the gruesome deaths of her parents, Borden was acquitted of the killings and moved to a seven-bedroom mansion elsewhere in town, where she lived out her days.

9. The Myrtles Plantation

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7747 U.S. 61
St Francisville, LA 70775

Built a few years after the end of the Revolutionary War by General David Bradford (who had a role in the treasonous Whiskey Rebellion), this plantation later came under the management of a Clark Woodruff. According to legend, Woodruff had an extramarital affair with a slave, whose jealousy of the Woodruff's wife caused her to poison a pie and kill two of the couple's children. That's apparently just a tall tale, but a Civil War soldier was murdered on the front steps.

10. Chambers Mansion

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2220 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94115

Built for a silver baron who later became a U.S. Senator, the Chambers Mansion is surrounded by legend. The senator lived in the home with two nieces who reportedly despised one another. When he passed, one of the heiresses remained in the house while another moved next door. The one who stayed was later found scythed in half in what the family described as a farming machinery accident.

11. Morris-Jumel Mansion

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65 Jumel Terrace
New York, NY 10032

Said to be the earliest surviving house on Manhattan, the Morris-Jumel Mansion has had 247 years to amass spooky stories. George Washington's HQ during the Revolutionary War, the house was later occupied by a rich Frenchman, Stephen Jumel, and his wife Eliza, who moved in in 1810. When Jumel turned up dead in the house under mysterious circumstances and Eliza quickly married Vice President Aaron Burr, speculation turned to her having a hand in her husband's death. Today, unsurprisingly, it serves as a museum.

12. Moore Homestead

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508 E 2nd St
Villisca, IA 50864

On the evening of June 12, 1912, businessman J.B. Moore, his family, and two guests were axed to death in this modest Iowa home. One of the prime suspects was a U.S. Senator, Frank F. Jones, who was never charged. Today the house is operated as a "museum" that seems more like a haunted house.

13. Conrad Aiken House

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228 E Oglethorpe Ave
Savannah, GA 31401

The childhood home of poet Conrad Aiken, this brick home in Savannah was the site of a murder-suicide by Aiken's father, who shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself while his son listened from the next room.

14. Hex House

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Rehmeyers Hollow Rd
North Hopewell, PA 17363

Officially known as Rehmeyer's Hollow—after its original owner, the Pennsylvania Dutch "Pow Wow Doctor" Nelson Rehmeyer—this house is more commonly referred to as the Hex House. That's because Rehmeyer was beaten to death here after another "witch doctor" accused him of casting a hex.

15. Kreischer Mansion

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4500 Arthur Kill Rd
Staten Island, NY 10309

Built in the 1880s for brick baron Balthasar Kreischer, this elaborate Victorian mansion has seen more than its fair share of ill events. For one, there was once a similar mansion, one Balthasar had built for his son, but it was destroyed by fire during a fight between father and son, killing the younger Kreischer and his wife. A far more recent killing took place in this house. In 2005, local mafia elements paid then-caretaker Joseph "Joe Black" Young to murder a man and dispose of his remains in the house's incinerator.

16. Kennedy Estate

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326 S Bedford Rd
Mt Kisco, NY 10549

Currently listed for close to $4M, this environmentally friendly Mount Kisco estate was formerly home to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and was the site of his estranged wife's tragic suicide in May. The 10,000-square-foot modern mansion sits on 10 acres and is being sold by Kennedy, who has relocated to the West Coast in the wake of the tragedy.

17. Amityville Horror House

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108 Ocean Ave
Amityville, NY 11701

In 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murdered six of his family members while they slept in this grand Dutch Colonial on Long Island, allegedly at the urging of spirits occupying the house. When the subsequent owners, George and Kathy Lutze, moved in, they could only tolerate 28 days inside before moving out due to strange, supernatural occurrences. That drama inspired the classic film "The Amityville Horror."

18. Taliesin

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5607 County Road C
Spring Green, WI 53588

Famous as the home and studio of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin was also the scene of one of the most horrifying crimes of the 20th century. On August 15, 1914, a disgruntled estate employee barricaded the doors and set fire to the residence, burning alive Wright's wife and her two children, along with four others.

19. Joel Rifkin's House

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1492 Garden St
East Meadow, NY 11554

Once owned by notorious Long Island serial killer Joel Rifkin—and the site of several of his murders—this nondescript suburban home was sold last year for around $320K.

20. Dorothea Puente's Boarding House

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1426 F St
Sacramento, CA 95814

One of few female serial killers, Dorothea Puente ran this place as a boarding house until she was apprehended for the murder of at least seven people. It was most recently sold at a foreclosure auction for $215K, with full disclosure of course.

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1. Phil Spector's Castle

1700 Grand View Dr, Alhambra, CA 91803

One-time home to record producer Phil Spector, this castle has sat vacant ever since Spector went to prison for the killing of a female companion in the entryway. Though he's withering away behind bars, Spector still recently sued the city of Alhambra in an attempt to prevent construction next door.

1700 Grand View Dr
Alhambra, CA 91803

2. Winchester Mystery House

525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128

Now operated as the Winchester Mystery House, this sprawling Northern California mansion was built by the paranoid and superstitious Sarah Winchester, widow to Winchester Rifles founder William Winchester. A fan of seances, she used her communications with the dead to design the structure, built over 38 years, which resulted in a maze-like home, full of dead ends, secret passages, and twisting hallways.

525 S Winchester Blvd
San Jose, CA 95128

3. Gardette-LaPrete House

716 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

In the years before the Civil War, this French Quarter mansion was reportedly rented to a rich young Turk, who came complete with "a harem and eunuchs" and threw secretive parties. One morning, a passerby noticed blood trickling down the steps and alerted authorities, who found all the revelers hacked to death. Legend says the renter had stolen from his brother, a sultan, and that the murders were revenge.

716 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70116

4. Hampton Lillibridge House

507 E St Julian St, Savannah, GA 31401

This spacious 18th-century home was moved to this site by historic preservationist Jim Williams. During site preparation, a watery crypt was discovered beneath street-level, but workers covered it and put in the house anyway. Williams would later be tried for the shooting death of his assistant, an episode that would later serve as the basis for the novel and film, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

507 E St Julian St
Savannah, GA 31401

5. Mercer-Williams House Museum

429 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401

The Jim Williams shooting drama unfolded at this historic antebellum mansion, which already had a sordid past. In 1913, another owner had tripped, fallen on his head, and later died from the injuries. In 1965, a young boy chasing pigeons on the roof fell and impaled himself on the fence below. The house is now operated as the Mercer-Williams House Museum.

429 Bull St
Savannah, GA 31401

6. LaLaurie House

1140 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

In the 1830s, Dr. Louis Lalaurie and his wife, Delphine, were known for their wealth, social prominence, and lavish parties. Today, they're infamous as an evil duo who tortured their slaves, subjecting them to horrific pseudo-scientific experiments that were only discovered when a fire broke out in the mansion. More recently, the mansion was owned by actor Nicolas Cage, until he lost it to foreclosure in 2009.

1140 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70116

7. Franklin Castle

4308 Franklin Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44113

Franklin Castle is widely referred to as the most haunted house in Ohio, and for good reason. Completed in 1865, the house saw its first death in 1881, when the owner's daughter succumbed to diabetes. The owner's mother passed soon after. In the following three years, the owners buried three more children and built onto the house (perhaps as a distraction from their grief). Sold last year for $260K, the house is slated to be renovated into a multi-family apartment building.

4308 Franklin Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44113

8. Lizzie Borden House

92 2nd St, Fall River, MA 02721

In 1892, Lizzie Borden allegedly hacked her parents to death in this Federal home on Second Street in Fall River. Following the gruesome deaths of her parents, Borden was acquitted of the killings and moved to a seven-bedroom mansion elsewhere in town, where she lived out her days.

92 2nd St
Fall River, MA 02721

9. The Myrtles Plantation

7747 U.S. 61, St Francisville, LA 70775

Built a few years after the end of the Revolutionary War by General David Bradford (who had a role in the treasonous Whiskey Rebellion), this plantation later came under the management of a Clark Woodruff. According to legend, Woodruff had an extramarital affair with a slave, whose jealousy of the Woodruff's wife caused her to poison a pie and kill two of the couple's children. That's apparently just a tall tale, but a Civil War soldier was murdered on the front steps.

7747 U.S. 61
St Francisville, LA 70775

10. Chambers Mansion

2220 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94115

Built for a silver baron who later became a U.S. Senator, the Chambers Mansion is surrounded by legend. The senator lived in the home with two nieces who reportedly despised one another. When he passed, one of the heiresses remained in the house while another moved next door. The one who stayed was later found scythed in half in what the family described as a farming machinery accident.

2220 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94115

11. Morris-Jumel Mansion

65 Jumel Terrace, New York, NY 10032

Said to be the earliest surviving house on Manhattan, the Morris-Jumel Mansion has had 247 years to amass spooky stories. George Washington's HQ during the Revolutionary War, the house was later occupied by a rich Frenchman, Stephen Jumel, and his wife Eliza, who moved in in 1810. When Jumel turned up dead in the house under mysterious circumstances and Eliza quickly married Vice President Aaron Burr, speculation turned to her having a hand in her husband's death. Today, unsurprisingly, it serves as a museum.

65 Jumel Terrace
New York, NY 10032

12. Moore Homestead

508 E 2nd St, Villisca, IA 50864

On the evening of June 12, 1912, businessman J.B. Moore, his family, and two guests were axed to death in this modest Iowa home. One of the prime suspects was a U.S. Senator, Frank F. Jones, who was never charged. Today the house is operated as a "museum" that seems more like a haunted house.

508 E 2nd St
Villisca, IA 50864

13. Conrad Aiken House

228 E Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401

The childhood home of poet Conrad Aiken, this brick home in Savannah was the site of a murder-suicide by Aiken's father, who shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself while his son listened from the next room.

228 E Oglethorpe Ave
Savannah, GA 31401

14. Hex House

Rehmeyers Hollow Rd, North Hopewell, PA 17363

Officially known as Rehmeyer's Hollow—after its original owner, the Pennsylvania Dutch "Pow Wow Doctor" Nelson Rehmeyer—this house is more commonly referred to as the Hex House. That's because Rehmeyer was beaten to death here after another "witch doctor" accused him of casting a hex.

Rehmeyers Hollow Rd
North Hopewell, PA 17363

15. Kreischer Mansion

4500 Arthur Kill Rd, Staten Island, NY 10309

Built in the 1880s for brick baron Balthasar Kreischer, this elaborate Victorian mansion has seen more than its fair share of ill events. For one, there was once a similar mansion, one Balthasar had built for his son, but it was destroyed by fire during a fight between father and son, killing the younger Kreischer and his wife. A far more recent killing took place in this house. In 2005, local mafia elements paid then-caretaker Joseph "Joe Black" Young to murder a man and dispose of his remains in the house's incinerator.

4500 Arthur Kill Rd
Staten Island, NY 10309

16. Kennedy Estate

326 S Bedford Rd, Mt Kisco, NY 10549

Currently listed for close to $4M, this environmentally friendly Mount Kisco estate was formerly home to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and was the site of his estranged wife's tragic suicide in May. The 10,000-square-foot modern mansion sits on 10 acres and is being sold by Kennedy, who has relocated to the West Coast in the wake of the tragedy.

326 S Bedford Rd
Mt Kisco, NY 10549

17. Amityville Horror House

108 Ocean Ave, Amityville, NY 11701

In 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murdered six of his family members while they slept in this grand Dutch Colonial on Long Island, allegedly at the urging of spirits occupying the house. When the subsequent owners, George and Kathy Lutze, moved in, they could only tolerate 28 days inside before moving out due to strange, supernatural occurrences. That drama inspired the classic film "The Amityville Horror."

108 Ocean Ave
Amityville, NY 11701

18. Taliesin

5607 County Road C, Spring Green, WI 53588

Famous as the home and studio of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin was also the scene of one of the most horrifying crimes of the 20th century. On August 15, 1914, a disgruntled estate employee barricaded the doors and set fire to the residence, burning alive Wright's wife and her two children, along with four others.

5607 County Road C
Spring Green, WI 53588

19. Joel Rifkin's House

1492 Garden St, East Meadow, NY 11554

Once owned by notorious Long Island serial killer Joel Rifkin—and the site of several of his murders—this nondescript suburban home was sold last year for around $320K.

1492 Garden St
East Meadow, NY 11554

20. Dorothea Puente's Boarding House

1426 F St, Sacramento, CA 95814

One of few female serial killers, Dorothea Puente ran this place as a boarding house until she was apprehended for the murder of at least seven people. It was most recently sold at a foreclosure auction for $215K, with full disclosure of course.

1426 F St
Sacramento, CA 95814