Blogtoberfest Guest Post #3, by the writers at Top Ten Real Estate
The wind howls, lightening crashes and a ‘For Sale’ sign creaks eerily in the breeze as the bright October moonlight dances off of its surface. Yes, it’s that time of year again when ghosts and goblins walk among us and the awesome ‘Top Ten Scariest Homes for Sale’ list comes out!
This year’s list has some ‘spooktacular’ listings that will raise the hair on the backs of the necks of even the bravest souls! Homes for sale where you might find yourself sitting down to breakfast with Ma Barker and her ghostly gang, or haunted inns where you might be the only guests counted among the living. One must be strong of heart when touring these homes where ghost children play and devils dance in the stories rumored about these estates!
Maybe you’d like to live in a grand estate where a mother superior made mincemeat out of her charges in a demented rampage, or if you’re expecting the earth to disintegrate with the end of the Mayan calendar this December 21st, we’ve found the perfect spot to clink glasses together for the last time. Guaranteed to increase the heart rate of paranormal believers everywhere, come with us to tour some of the most haunted, scary and fabulous homes for sale in the country.
December 21, 2012 has rumors swirling all around it, most involving the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar. Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, didn’t have the end times in mind when he designed this ‘Mayan Revival’ styled home for his friend John Sowden in 1927, or the end of the life of Elizabeth Short, better known as the Black Dahlia murder.
This Hollywood home is where the movie The Aviator was filmed, as well as Project Runway, Season 6 and has the warm inviting feel of the movie Apocalypto.
One might expect as they’re walking through this magnificent 5,600 sq. ft. home to step on the wrong floor tile and to be chased by a large rolling boulder out the front door. As you’re running for your life through the house, don’t miss the walls of vegetation, courtyard pool or large open rooms that give you that warm, welcoming “Mayan Temple” feel. This is the kind of home that says to your friends, “Hey we can sit by the pool and enjoy a fire on the patio, or sacrifice someone to the sun god, it could go either way tonight…who wants margaritas?!
Buxton Inn Bed and Breakfast
When you think to yourself, “Wow, I sure would like to have a side of scary with these delicious waffles and various breakfast meats”, you think of the Buxton Inn, Ohio’s oldest continually running bed and breakfast. Now celebrating its 200th anniversary the Buxton is considered one of Ohio’s best weekend getaways and also one of its most haunted spots! This beautiful and very old 29,934 sq. ft. estate attracts visitors and ghost hunters from all over the country. Recently while on one paranormal investigation at the historic Inn, a group of ghost hunters caught a rather detailed EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or the voice of the undead) on one of their overnight investigations. They said they believe it was the voice of the man that the inn was named after, Major Buxton. Here is a transcript of what they believe the ghostly voice said: “They’re selling this place for $3,900,000…Wow, that’s like $12.32 in 1812 money!”
The property has ten total buildings; five comprise the inn while the other five have additional rooms when the main inn is full. After a day of walking through the beautiful courtyard with its six gorgeous fountains and grand garden, you can sleep the night away in one of the cozy rooms in the inn while listening to disembodied footsteps walking the halls, doors opening and closing by themselves and if you’re lucky you’ll see the lady in blue. Any buyer with a love for history and ‘the other side’ would be happy to own such a beautiful and haunted property!
A spooky little postscript to the story: As the property was being shown recently, the real estate agent had the potential buyers walk down the steps ahead of her. When they started down the hall, footsteps on creaking steps were coming behind them. Looking back in that direction, there was no warm body to be seen, though the stepping and creaking continued!
If your own house is already haunted and your poltergeists have finally gotten on your last nerve but they have nowhere to go, here’s your answer. This is a castle in need of a spook! If a spirit was looking for a new home, a groovy place to haunt and lots of ghost-friendly opportunities, then this would be it.
First, you need to convince your own ghosts that this scary looking castle would be a wonderful upgrade from your own boring home. You could start by leaving photos of the castle all around your ghoul-infested home where they will see it during their nighttime marauding, floating through walls, and bouncing your family pictures and dishes off your walls. Write a glowing description of the castle in terms they will recognize, like “dungeons, clawfoot tub, turrets, vine covered, tons of room to haunt”, you know, . . . set the stage. The more you elaborate on the unlimited potential for ultimate ghost fun, the quicker they’ll leave for this grand new haunt! Just be sure to tell them it’s in Amsterdam, New York! They’ll never be short of ghoulish friends there. In fact, just a hop across the nearby Erie Canal is the Green Hill Cemetery with its glowing orbs caught on film, heavy fog and vapors, leaves rustling, and Widow Susan Road where a figure of a woman wearing a white nightgown is frequently seen walking in the cemetery late at night crying, looking for her husband’s grave.
Be sure to tell your resident haints that if they’re a little starstruck, the castle also has a celebrity filled history. John F. Kennedy gave a speech there during his 1960 presidential run, in what later became known as the Kennedy Room. Hollywood has also shown interest and TV producers have already used it for ABC’s Wife Swap and Talon Films shot scenes for the PBS movie American General, about Benedict Arnold. HGTV also hopped on board featuring the redo on You live in a What?. Suggest to your ghosties that they may get the chance to rub elbows (do they have elbows?) with JFK and Benny!
Though it is said that the 1894 castle that was originally built as a National Guard Armory didn’t come with resident goblins, it has been totally restored and renovated into a charming bed & breakfast. After your goblins move in, guests can prepare themselves for things that go bump in the night by first practicing in the castle’s rifle range, and if all else fails, they can make a hasty retreat into the fallout shelter or the weapons vault! Or, . . you could go for a visit and BYOG. Ghosts, that is!
The Ma Barker Gangster Ghost
Do you need to hideout from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Have you ever said to yourself, “Boy, I sure would like to live in a place where the longest shootout in the FBI’s history occurred.” Well if so, you’re in luck! The infamous house where Kate “Ma” Barker and her son Fred made their last stand against a barrage of FBI gunfire is now available for purchase.
Both interesting and eerie at the same time, is that all the original furniture is still in place that Ma and the boys used. Of course all spilled blood has been cleaned but just seeing and touching the well-maintained furniture takes you back to the day.
This house that was once full of bullet holes (now covered, but still visible patches) is also full of country charm. Situated on the lovely Lake Weir, with over nine acres of land and loads of beach front property, you’ll feel like you can bring the whole gang down to stay. History and rumor has it that Ma Barker’s ghost still haunts the homestead, so an adventurous buyer would find the asking price of $1,000,000 a steal!
Disney Haunted Mansion
If you want sheer terror, screaming zombie children, dead-people sightings, buckets of sweat, crazed cartoon creatures, little noggin heads, and occasional green vomit, nothing compares to waiting in line to see Mickey Mouse at Disneyland in the middle of July. Count Dracula and Frankenstein are child’s play compared to a hot summer day at the happiest place on earth. But it seems that millions of Americans are not afraid of two-hour lines and heat stroke, and we have good news for these brave souls. If you have ever wanted to skip the line and stay overnight at the Disney Haunted Mansion, here’s your chance. Now, you can actually buy a replica of the Haunted Mansion just like the one at Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. It’s in Georgia and costs about the same as a day at Walt’s place. It is only $873,000, which includes parking.
The home was built by Mark Hurt, who is a Disney fan and contractor, and wanted something a little different than the other homes in his upscale Duluth neighborhood. He managed to get the Disney home’s specification details and duplicated much of the home including the Haunted Mansion sign in the front yard. It’s not actually haunted and is quite nice both inside and out with over 10,000 sq. ft., 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, hardwood floors, stainless-steel appliances, an in-law/nanny suite and a guest suite. There is the one scary guest bathroom with flickering lights and a faucet that plays ghost tunes and even the Disney ghost Ezra’s image in the mirror. But nothing that would frighten any parent brave enough to challenge Disneyland in the summer.
Lizzy Borden’s Home
The Maplecroft name of the estate alone puts goose bumps on the skin of the neighbors that live around the home where accused axe-murderer Lizzie Borden, the O.J. Simpson of the 19th century, spent her final days. Many were the day that Lizzie would be outside of her residence chopping wood furiously on the front lawn while she glared menacingly at her neighbors. Lizzy bought this home after she was acquitted a year after her parent’s brutal murder and lived there until the day she died. It was thought that she was having an affair with the maid Bridget Sullivan and was caught by her parents which led to the horrific chopping. Since Lizzie died in 1927 (with her funeral being held at Maplecroft) the house has been through multiple owners over the years finally ending up in the hands of Robert Dube.
Dube has tried multiple times to sell the estate and he’s finally chopped his asking price from $725,000 down to $650,000. Though he also tried to get zoning approval for first subdividing the lot to build another home and later to turn the carriage house into a residence, he was turned down by the board and the property has remained configured exactly as it was when Lizzy lived there.
Built circa 1889, the home has 14 rooms, original parquet floors, tin ceilings and seven fireplaces. With the history surrounding the home, its beauty and the possibility of a ghostly companion to sit down and watch ‘Ax Men’ with you, Maplecroft would be the perfect home for any potential buyer.
America’s #1 Haunted Farmhouse
If you always wanted to buy the most haunted farmhouse in the United States, you may have missed the boos….er…..bus. An ancient farmhouse on eight acres near Olean, New York that was once a stagecoach stop is the creme de la creme of haunted homes. Locals call it “the spook house,” and it has a long history of frightening off its past owners since the 1850s.
According to neighbors, friends, clergy and ghost experts who were brave or foolish enough to visit the home, there are 12 or more not-so-friendly ghosts who are frequently seen in or around the house. Documented incidents include ghost cars that disappear into the night, a possessed teenager, a young woman who once lived there and kept a diary who later committed suicide, house vibrations and a ghost who seems to take control of visitor’s automobiles causing accidents and breakdowns. Some people say that the home is near a Native American massacre-site.
In her book about the home “Echoes of a Haunting” by one-time resident, Clara M. Miller, explained the feeling about the house as a buildup of pressure under an umbrella that finally releases in the form of activity from these clearly visible spirits. Clara wrote her book from her daily diary and goes into great detail about events that happened there including weird noises, frequent ghost sightings, and a chimney that was taken apart brick-by-brick by some unseen force. According to Clara, her mother was able to actually talk to the ghosts. Clara’s family lived here from 1970 to 1974 before they fled the home in terror leaving many of their possessions behind.
The home has been through a lot including an exorcism by a local priest and spirit removal attempts by a famous psychic. Both the priest and psychic are now dead and a paranormal expert who has visited the home several times claims that the New York University team that filmed the 1974 exorcism was “never heard from again.” There was also a haunted homes feature about the house on the History Channel. No word on whether the History Channel people are still with us.
In the real estate world, haunted homes are referred to as stigmatized property – a nice way of saying, “I will leave a key for you, please let yourself in.” But apparently some people don’t believe in ghosts. Despite the ghost removal problem and that the house needs a total renovation, someone actually bought the home this past spring. The asking price was $289,000. But if the stories are true, there is probably not a ghost of a chance that the new owner will stick around for long. Odds are good you will soon have another opportunity to buy this haunted house of horrors.
A long march down an old dirt road surrounded by fields where cattle graze, sits the scary-looking Galena Marine Hospital that’s been currently put out to pasture. Anyone first seeing this building might do an immediate about face and take off running back down the rutted road from whence they came. Upon closer inspection though they would notice sitting atop this imposing 6300 sq. ft. structure sits a large belvedere (a 360-degree viewing room with sweeping views of the surrounding eleven-acre area and the Galena River where it’s rumored the ghosts of this old hospital still roam the grounds!) This great piece of architecture on the hospital’s roof is supported by a spiraling, ornate iron staircase that emerges elegantly from the bottom of the structure.
For those who think this is a good place to go for Halloween . . DON’T. The bulls breeding on the land are very possessive of their cows and could quickly make you the newest ghostly resident of the dead soldier clan.
For the adventurous buyer, this building with its rock-solid foundation on top of bedrock, could be turned into a retreat, a spacious family home, or the set of the next Hollywood horror film! This structure, which has been in existence since the days of the steamboat, has three open floors and is large enough to hold a small army. Though it’s off the beaten path, this monument to Marine history is within the city limits of Galena, IL. With an asking price of just $799,000 this piece of history will make one ‘do-it-yourselfer’ say Oorah!
Thousand Islands Mansion
A thousand feet of waterfront and the right visionary buyer will see this area for what it is, a very scary diamond in the rough! When it was constructed in 1895 for the president of Remington Arms and Typewriter Company, William O. Wyckoff, the Carleton Island Villa was one of the grandest structures in all of New York. Now the mansion more resembles something that crawled out of Stephen King’s imagination. Uninhabited for over 60 years, the home is in need of major restoration (major being a kind way of saying Tom Hanks could have filmed The Money Pit at this property.) The insides are almost completely gutted aside from a few ghosts that are rumored to inhabit the home. That being said, the solid stone outer structure sits on an island of 6.9 acres and is surrounded by almost a thousand feet of waterfront and the proper visionary buyer will see this area for what it is, a very scary diamond in the rough! For a mere $495,000 the buyer willing to make this piece of history into a grand restoration project, can turn this house from a nightmare into a dream home.
Carlton Villa is big at four stories with a full basement but has been unoccupied for 60 years and needs a total restoration. Public rooms were on the first floor as well as the kitchen, servant’s dining and laundry in the rear, family ensuite rooms on the second with servants’ sleeping quarters in the rear, guest rooms on the third with storage on the fourth along with an opulent billiards room. Housekeeping rooms were located in the basement along with pantries, root cellar, utilities, a carpenter shop and iron shop.
When you first hear the tale of Blairsden, the 62,000 sq. ft. home of stock exchange tycoon Clinton Ledyard Blair, it seems more like a horrific campfire story where Sister Act, The Exorcist, and every Friday the 13th movie ever made come together in a terrifying mix. Well, except for Jason X where he went into space; that was just utterly ridiculous.
This beautiful thirty-one room mansion, when it was built in 1893, was the largest in New Jersey and was considered the height of opulence with its large Italian themed gardens, marble floors and oak interiors. In 1950 though, the house was sold to the Sisters of St. John the Baptist for $60,000, a year after Blair died because his heirs could not support the upkeep of the estate. This is when the nightmare and scary legends began.
Local lore has it that the mother superior, who lived at the estate with twenty-five other nuns and twenty-five orphans renounced her Christian faith and began to worship the devil. That, or she began listening to Ozzy Osbourne and things just got way out of hand. Legend has it one night she became possessed and went on a murder spree killing all twenty-five of the sisters (and let’s be honest, say after the first …five, you’d think the others would have gotten the news out and turned into ‘nuns on the run’.) Along with killing the sisters she also took the lives of some guests that were staying at the home. It’s said she then took each of the children down to the lake behind the house and ended their lives as well!
The price tag of $4,900,000 is considered quite a steal for this enormously sized estate. Or is it? Could it be that mother superior still haunts the home inviting all to enter the home so she can take their lives too?
For more cool Top Ten lists having to do with real estate, check out Top Ten Real Estate Deals. This post was written by multiple authors.