When we think of Halloween, we don’t think of stale candy corn and store-bought costumes. We think of gory horror movies, haunted houses, and things that go bump in the night. But it’s not always enough to limit that stuff to pop culture and secondhand stories. Sometimes we want to see if we can’t get a few ghost stories of our own.
The Parks-Bowman Mansion: The Haunted Bedroom
New Orleans, LA
The Haunted Bedroom in The Parks-Bowman Mansion may not look like much. It’s a massive bedroom with a relatively ugly rug, located in a beautiful old house right in New Orleans’ Garden District. But just because there are no shackles in the basement or gaudy fake spider webs strewn about doesn’t mean it isn’t a horrifying experience. The owners casually describe their ghost as “a young girl in a yellow dress from the 1890s,” and guests consistently report strange and unexplainable occurrences. One guest said, “We both sat there listening all night to tiny footsteps dancing around the bed. It sounded like a young person who had a long skirt on. You could hear the rustling of her taffeta on the floor.” They go on to say that the footsteps only sounded about three or so feet away.
The Haunted Chamber Apartment
York, North Yorkshire, UK
Billed as The Haunted Chamber Apartment (with a room apparently called The Madness Chamber), this spot makes our list because not only is it billed as a haunted dwelling, but it’s also a 600-year-old building in the middle of York—the odds of someone having probably died there at some point are pretty damn good. Guests vouch for it, and several have reported “friendly” ghost encounters, bumps in the night, and mysterious noises aplenty.
This listing is the kind of property urban legends are made of. Re-branded as the Highlands Mansion, this property was formerly known as The Lumber Baron Inn. The 8,500-square-foot mansion was built in 1880 by John Mouat, a Scottish immigrant who’d earned an incredible fortune in the local lumber trade. He built it in the Highlands overlooking Denver for his family. It’s massive, and even includes a swanky third story ballroom.
Fair warning. From here, we’re going to get pretty goddamn morbid. On October 13th, 1970, 17-year-old Kara Kanoch was raped and strangled to death in her room at the in, and was then stuffed under her bed. Later that same evening, her friend Marianne Weaver stopped by to see Kara, and was shot in the head execution style. The murder has gone unsolved for over 45 years, and guests, locals, paranormal investigators, and former owners have shared their eerie experiences about staying at the old inn.
Historic Civil War Farmhouse
Union and Confederate armies suffered between 23 and 28-thousand casualties during the Battle of Gettysburg, making it one of the bloodiest battles not just of the American Civil War, but of any war. With that many bodies in the area, it’s no surprise that guest reviews make frequent mention of bright lights, loud footsteps, and other strange occurrences. This B&B allows you the opportunity to stay in one of the busiest field hospitals during the battle and to get your paranormal kicks there are live ghost tours of the property, and teams of paranormal investigators frequent the barn.
The Haunted Castle House
If you’re looking to stay in one of the most haunted houses in the Midwest (allegedly), then Brumley is your destination. While there are no stand-out paranormal experiences on the Airbnb reviews, a quick Google search yields an interview with the Kansas City Star, where the owner describes some pretty creepy occurrences. Dozens of guests confirming strange and creepy events, and the owners encourage them to write about and share their experiences. The “castle” itself was built in 1850, was a contentious point for Union and Confederate soldiers throughout the American Civil War, and is home to at least one cemetery.
The owners specify on their listing that while they cannot guarantee a paranormal occurrence, they also will not issue refunds to guests who leave early because they become frightened by anything that happens. Could it be a sales gimmick? Sure. But could it also be a legitimate warning? We’re going to go ahead and say yes.
Captain Grant’s Inn
Built in 1754, the house has a ton of history. Captain Grant’s Inn, located in Preston, Conn., is not just a location on the National Register of Historic Places, but also served as garrison for the soldiers of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and housing for escaped slaves during the Civil War.
Guests have reported everything from hearing random knocks on their room doors, to seeing unusual shapes in the middle of the night. One guest said they woke up in the middle of the night to see a woman dressed in Colonial-era garb, holding hands with two children, standingright next to their bed. Others report the ghosts even get physical, caressing faces and making audible speech.
We love listings like this—you get all those stories, but then the listing makes absolutely no mention of the fact that ghosts allegedly frequent their properties. We guess the lesson here is, make sure you do your research before you sleep in a stranger’s house.
Savannah is one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S., full of food, culture, and history. But as with any historic American city, there’s a lot going on. Laura’s Cottage is considered one of the most haunted properties in Savannah, and for good reason. Dating back to the late 18th century, the cottage is said to be home to at least one identifiable spirit. That spirit is named Laura and she’s who they named the place after.
Though you won’t find much about it on the Airbnb listing (although it does mention the property’s inclusion in local ghost tours), the beautiful 1,100-square-foot cottage—with exposed beams, beautiful hardwood floors and walls, etc.—has a storied history in Savannah. Laura is said to be friendly and welcoming to guests, even though they’ve reported unexplainable smells of burning wood, flickering lights, and opened windows. If you’re looking for a mild paranormal experience in an absolutely gorgeous period-correct cottage in Savannah, this is it.