As kids, there was always that one house in your neighborhood that gave you shivers. Something about it just made the hair on your neck stand up. Luckily, the scariest mansion I’ve ever faced was Disney’s, but here are 9 truly scary mansions that will make you seriously rethink the neighborhood.
1. The Winchester Mystery House
Tucked away in San Jose, California, this bizarre Victorian mansion features 160 rooms. Yes, 160. William Winchester, of Winchester Rifles fame, passed away and like most widows, Sarah dealt with it in the most rational way possible. You know, by speaking to him through seances. Her dead husband told her to never stop building, and never stop building she did. The house has bizarre architecture with stairs that lead to nowhere, doors that open randomly to the outside of the house, and secret hallways and passages. Now that is one big-ass fun house. And by fun I mean terrifying.
2. The Gardette House
New Orleans is no stranger to haunting, with a rich background in voodoo and general creepiness. This pretty manor in the French Quarter once belonged to a Turkish merchant, that for one reason or another ended up being buried alive in the backyard. Oh, and his harem was also murdered there.
3. Rose Hall
This amazing sugar plantation is a misleading Jamaican paradise. Annie Palmer, A.K.A. “The White Witch,” lived here in the late 1700’s with her husband…for a while. When she became sexually dissatisfied by her husband, she began sleeping with slaves. To make sure that her affairs remained secrets, she’d kill the men off after. She later killed her husband, too, for his money. I think “Black Widow” would be a better alias.
4. The Chambers Mansion
Silver tycoon Richard Chambers built this palatial estate in San Francisco for him and his two beloved nieces. His nieces definitely loved him, each other though? Not so much. When he died and left the home to them, one moved next door. The one that won the wishbone fight (and got to live in the house), ended up being cut clean in half in a “farm implement accident.” That’s some next level sibling rivalry.
5. The LaLaurie House
Unless you’ve lived under a rock this past year, you’d know a bit about this New Orleans home (see a pattern here?) Dr. Louis and Delphine LaLaurie, a socially prominent family in the 1830s, held many house parties for the social elite. If you’ve seen American Horror Story, you also know that they tortured and mutilated slaves in their attic. And if all of that wasn’t scary enough, Nicolas Cage bought the house. Now that’s fucking scary.
6. The Borden House
Remember that nursery rhyme about how Lizzie Borden took an axe? To her parents? Well it isn’t just a rhyme. This house is available for ghost tours in the little town of Fall River, Massachusetts. I don’t know if I believe in ghosts, but I am also not willing to test it. Especially not in that house.
7. Al Capone’s House
This one is close to me because it hails from the greatest city in the Midwest. It’s also close to me because it’s about 5 miles away from my family’s house. While nothing super crazy happened here, Al Capone called this little ditty home. A home in which he gained an estimated $100 million from bootlegging, prostitution, and gambling. Ah, sweet home Chicago.
8. Pezão’s Mansion
Hidden away in the poorest areas of Rio de Janeiro, amongst the shacks and immense poverty, was a palatial estate featuring rooftop pools, a personal disco, and a professional kitchen. This is where the kingpin of kingpin’s called home. With little warning, Pezão escaped the police in the nick of time, leaving only the littlest of traces: six tons of drugs and a buffet of weapons. The scariest part of this entire scenario is not that the man is still at large, but that he had a personal mural, albeit awful, of Justin Bieber.
9. The Murder House
Known as the Alfred F. Rosenheim Mansion, you may recognize this amazing house as the incredibly haunted home in the first season of American Horror Story. In the heart of Los Angeles, this home is not, nor has it ever been, haunted and recently sold for $10 million. Hell, I would put up with a thousand ghosts to live in a house with ornate Tiffany windows and light fixtures. The only thing scary about this guy is its price tag.