Each Oct. 31, costumes, candy and scary stories combine to make Halloween a special day on the calendar. Though Halloween 2020 might be unusual due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the day can still be full of candy, costumes and, of course, a few scares.
Haunted houses can provide some interesting insight into history while also satisfying Halloween lovers’ need to be scared out of their wits. The following are a handful of locations that may not be for the feint of heart.
• “House of Death,” New York City: Located in the picturesque West Village neighborhood of Manhattan, the “House of Death” at 14 West 10th Street was built in the 1850s and was once the home of Mark Twain. Twain’s ghost is one of many reported sightings inside the brownstone, where paranormal investigators have reported seeing visions of a lady in white as well as a gray cat.
• Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California: This architectural wonder in San Jose was once the residence of Sarah Lockwood Pardee Winchester, an heiress to the Winchester® Repeating Arms fortune. The 24,000 square foot Winchester Mystery House is reported to be haunted by everyone who was ever killed by a Winchester® rifle. The labyrinthine home includes cut-off staircases and halls that lead to nowhere among its 160 rooms, many of which Sarah Winchester added to provide a place to stay for the many spirits she believed were haunting the house.
• The Marr Residence, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada: Built in 1884, the Marr Residence is the oldest house in Saskatoon that is still standing in its original location. Visitors to this popular tourist attraction insist they have encountered ghosts during their visit. While no one knows for certain, those ghosts may be the spirits of soldiers who were wounded during the Northwest Resistance armed conflict in 1885. The Marr Residence was one of three homes in Saskatoon that served as a field hospital during that conflict.
• LaLaurie Manson, New Orleans: Located on Royal Street in the heart of New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, LaLaurie Mansion was built by Marie Delphine MacCarthy Blanque LaLaurie in 1832. Madame LaLaurie was a slave owner who was rumored to be especially cruel, even refusing to provide the key to the slave quarters when area residents arrived at the property to help put out a fire in 1834. Victims of Madame LaLaurie’s cruelty are believed to haunt the property to this day, and passersby have reported hearing screams coming from the home, which is not open to the public.
Halloween celebrants who can’t wait to be scared this Oct. 31 can make the day even more frightening by learning about the many houses across the globe that are believed to be haunted by ghosts from years past.