8 Murder Houses You’ll Be Dying To Visit
When it comes to murder scenes and disembodied screams, America has some intriguingly blood-soaked soils. Join us, if you will, for a rip-roaring, axe-wielding, head-shattering romp across the great US of A. (Note: Some of these are private property, and despite all our desires to enter the spooky abodes, we do encourage you to act with decorum and respect the wishes of the owners.)
1. The Lizzie Borden House – Fall River
“Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks,
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one”
In 1892, Lizzie Borden was accused of the murder of her father and stepmother; both of her parents were found savagely axed to death in the Borden home at 92 Second Street in the city of Fall River, Massachusetts. Since 1996, however, the Borden House has operated as a bed and breakfast since 1996, offering weddings, “paranormal experiences,” and axe-murder related souvenirs. According to Martha McGinn, the current owner of Lizzie Borden House Bed and Breakfast, the room where Lizzie’s stepmother Abby Borden was found murdered is the “most requested room” of the bedrooms at the bed and breakfast.
2. Amityville Horror House – 112 Ocean Avenue
November 13th 1974, 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island. 23-year-old Ronald J. DeFeo Jr. murders his entire family in their sleep with a pistol to the head. Thirteen months later, the Lutz Family purchase the 5-bedroom home, but last only 28 days before leaving it. They claimed to hear a nearby garage door opening and closing; a pig-like creature with red eyes staring in through windows; children levitating from their beds. If you’re brave enough to visit, the house has been renumbered to 108 Ocean Avenue.
3. LaLaurie House – New Orleans
Now owned by movie star and meme-lord Nicolas Cage, The New Orleans house previously occupied by socialite-turned-muderess Delphine LaLaurie stands today at 1140 Royal Street (formerly Hospital Street) in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. A once luxurious, Gatsby-esque mansion filled with socialites, the mansion was blackened, both metaphorically and physically, after a fire began in March of 1834. In the midst of one of the LaLaurie’s infamous parties, smoke began to fill the mansion. After an enslaved woman was found chained to the stove in the kitchen, fire fighters continued to discover slaves throughout the house and behind a secret, barred door in the attic. They found more than a dozen slaves, some chained to the wall, some strapped to makeshift operating tables, some confined in cages made for dogs with broken limbs. The LaLaurie house is now known as one of America’s most haunted houses, with visitors claiming to see and hear the spectres of LaLaurie’s tortured and mutilated slaves.
4. The Axe Murder House – Villisca
In 1912, Josiah and Sarah Moore, their four children and two guests were hacked to death with an axe while they slept in their beds at their family home in Villisca, Iowa. Josia had been cut to such an extent that his eyes were missing. They used the blade of the axe on Josiah while using the blunt end on his wife and sleeping children. Chillingly, two spent cigarettes found in the attic suggested that the killer patiently waited above the unsuspecting family until they and their guests were asleep. The Villisca Ax Murder House still stands in Iowa, and visitors even have the option of spending the night.
5. The Sowden House – Los Angeles
Hollywood’s most famous murder case unfolded on January 15, 1947, when 22-year-old actress Elizabeth Short (dubbed “Black Dahlia” due to her dark hair and striking appearance) was found dead on the streets of Los Angeles. Her body had been cut in half and drained of blood with precision. 3-inch gashes had been cut into each corner of her mouth, creating the first “joker” or “chelsea smile.” The Sowden House, LA was home to the infamous Black Dahlia murder suspect Dr George Hodel. The architecture of the home is based on Mayan infrastructure, and the house is now available for weddings and extravagant parties.
6. House of Death – New York
Nicknamed the “House of Death,” 14 West 10th Street in New York, NY, is supposedly haunted by the ghosts of 22 known deaths within the house, including the spectre of author Mark Twain, who resided there from 1900-1901. Residents in the neighboring houses have also reported sightings of ghostly women and children.
7. “Haunting In Connecticut” House – Southington
In 1986, the Snedeker family (Allen and Carmen, and their three sons, daughter, and two nieces) purchased 208 Meriden Ave, a rural family home that had once been a funeral parlor. Whilst living in the property they discover various mortuary toys, including a hoisting apparatus for coffins, a medical gurney, blood drains, and toe tags in the basement. Soon after, the family begin to report strange activity and noises in the house. The story of the house was loosely used as basis for the film A Haunting in Connecticut. (Private property. Be respectful.)
8. Franklin Castle – Cleveland
Franklin Castle, located in Cleveland, Ohio, was home to Hannes Tiedemman (a wealthy German-born banker) and his family in 1883. However, after moving into the property, Tiedemman was hit with an unrelenting barrage of deaths; his mother and daughter died within weeks of one another, and over the next three years, Tiedemann and his wife would bury three more children, one of them just 11 days old. Tiedemann is said to have begun the extensive renovations on the house, creating what is now Franklin Castle, as a means of distracting his wife from their cursed fate. That is, until she too suddenly passed away in 1895. Tiedemann subsequently sold the property; however, new residents reported tales of haunting, surging electricity, the sound of babies crying, and a mysterious woman in black.