The Most Haunted Houses In America By State
Haunted houses are as much a part of a state's history as any other building, with most of the ghost-occupied residences having deep roots in the community thanks to their age. It isn't any wonder, then, that each state in America is proud to share its most haunted house with everyone and encourage visitors.
These haunted houses all have different lore based on the prevailing beliefs of the state's people. For instance, Hawaii's (reportedly) most haunted house is tied to the state's Japanese roots. Many others are tied to slavery, whether by their prominence as a stop on the Underground Railroad or as a plantation. Several have stories spanning generations of a single family and their misfortunes, while others have no clear cause for the alleged haunting.
Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, the most haunted houses in America reveal a lot about a population and their views on the afterlife.
Alabama - The Drish House
Supposedly one of the most haunted places in America, the Drish House in Tuscaloosa, AL, was built in 1837 by Dr. John R. Drish. The house's alleged haunting involves lost funeral candles from Dr. Drish's wake, held after he fell on the house's stairs while drunk in 1867. His widow, Sarah, decided to make her husband's funeral an event to remember and informed her family that the candles used for her late husband were to be used for her as well.
Unfortunately, Sarah's bereaved family was unable to uncover the candles in time for her 1884 funeral and may have unlocked over a century of hauntings in the home. Witnesses claim the third-story tower windows show fires blazing in the home, but others believe it's just the glow from Sarah's long-lost candles.
The house is now an event venue that hosts weddings and parties - but no funerals.
Alaska - The Augustus Seaberg House
Augustus Seaberg moved from Sweden to Anchorage, AK, in 1909 and went on to build the house that still bears his name today. After its completion in the early 1920s, Seaberg went on to fill the house with a wife and four daughters while he worked the railroad. While there are no stories of horrific events plaguing the family, the Augustus Seaberg house is still allegedly the most haunted home in Alaska.
Visitors claim Seaberg himself paces about the upstairs of the home, while his daughters also make frequent appearances to startled guests. His daughter Helen supposedly haunts the home's parlor and the primary bedroom. Other occurrences include disembodied voices, people being pushed by unseen forces, and cold spots in the home.
Arizona - The Rosson HousePhoto: Greg O'Beirne / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Originally built in 1895 by Dr. Roland Rosson and his wife Flora, the Rosson House has a long history of ownership in Phoenix, AZ, where it holds the distinction of being one of the large city's oldest homes. It's a large Victorian manor with modern amenities such as electricity, running water, a telephone, and other rarities. Oddly enough, however, the alleged hauntings don't start with the original owners.
Dr. Rosson allegedly died by suicide in 1898, but he was in Los Angeles, CA, at the time. Flora passed away in 1911, but she wasn't at the Rosson House at the time, either. After nearly a century of Phoenix's who's-who living in Rosson House, it became a museum in 1980 to accommodate the city's Heritage Square project.
In the early 1980s, a caretaker of the Rosson House was shot and killed in front of the home, and people allege that his death started the hauntings. People claim they hear his footsteps in the house, and some even believe they saw his full apparition. Employees at Rosson House feel heat coming from cold fireplaces and report mysteriously locked doors and items being rearranged.
Arkansas - The Allen HousePhoto: angel1238812 / Flickr / Public Domain
Joe Lee Allen built his dream home in 1906 and lived there with his wife and three daughters until he died in 1917. The Allen House had no misfortunes to speak of until the last week of 1948, when middle daughter Ladell purposefully ingested mercury cyanide, spending time in the hospital until her death in early 1949. In her grief, Ladell's mother sealed off her daughter's room for nearly 40 years.
Mrs. Allen passed away in the home in 1954. Ladell's sealed room was re-opened, and the house was sectioned into apartments. Almost immediately, tenants of the Allen House began seeing shadowy figures in their developed photos and the shape of a woman in Ladell's bedroom window. They also claimed the presence in the house moved their furniture around and made items disappear. When the house went to new owners Mark and Rebecca Spencer, they supposedly found letters uncovering a secret affair gone wrong that led Ladell Allen to drink poison all those years ago.
The Allen House has had several ghost investigators on property attempting to collect proof of spirits. Many claimed EVP (electronic voice phenomena) were recorded in the home, and one investigation was cut short when a falling tree branch damaged equipment. Now, the home offers tours to non-investigative visitors as well, with options for tea and dinner parties.
California - The Whaley HousePhoto: Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Touting itself as “The Most Haunted House In America,” the Whaley House is located in San Diego, CA. The land itself served as a thief's execution site before Thomas Whaley purchased it in 1855 for his new home, perhaps cursing it to a ghostly future. The brick building served as a home for Whaley, his wife, and their three children, but also as the general store that provided their livelihood.
Soon after moving into their home, their 18-month-old son Thomas died from scarlet fever, and a fire gutted their general store. The home was also used for the city courthouse headquarters, as well as the first theater troupe in the city. Unfortunately, businesses gradually moved away from the area and opportunities were not as plentiful.
Then, in 1871, Mrs. Whaley was attacked by armed men who wanted court records. A few years after that, the Whaleys daughter Violet died by suicide via firearm on August 18, 1885. The house continued to home Whaley generations who supposedly heard the footsteps and strange noises of the criminal executed on the land. Some claim Violet haunts the second floor and keeps it icy cold, while toddler Thomas allegedly giggles throughout the house.
The house has not been a residence since 1953 and offers haunted evening tours to curious visitors.
Colorado - The Molly Brown HousePhoto: Jonathan Mauer / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0
The Molly Brown House in Denver is named for a socialite who survived the maiden voyage of the Titanic, earning herself the nickname Molly “The Unsinkable” Brown. Before that bit of infamy, Brown's husband, James Joseph Brown, purchased the home for $30,000 in 1894 and immediately transferred it to his wife. The home was left uninhabited by the family while they traveled, leading to Brown's trip on the Titanic.
Over the years, the Browns traveled, and their home served as the Governor's Mansion in 1902 while the real one was remodeled. In 1926, the home became a boarding house, and after Brown's death in 1932, it saw several iterations. After falling into disrepair, the house was saved from demolition by the group Historic Denver and restored to its former glory. The Molly Brown House is now a museum offering tours and exhibits showcasing her life.
Visitors and employees report smelling Brown's husband's pipe wafting throughout the home. Supposedly, a woman wearing Victorian garb enjoys rearranging the furniture in the house and sometimes loosens lightbulbs.