Renter Advice

10 Awesome Properties with Horrifying Secrets

1285 views January 11, 2024 Karina Jugo 3

Every time Halloween approaches, I always think it would be exciting to explore some of the more interesting homes you’ll find out there. We often talk about how there are scary areas with some bizarre properties in the practical sense, but have you ever thought about a haunted property?

Some properties can be on the market more often than you think, and if nothing else, make for some great stories. Here are 10 of the more popular ones I came across.

  1. 8435 Roanoke Drive, Saint Louis, Missouri
  2. 108 Ocean Ave. Amityville, New York
  3. 1492 Garden Street, East Meadow, New York
  4. 208 Meriden Ave. Southington, Connecticut
  5. 1537 North Orange Grove Ave. Los Angeles, California
  6. 713 Center Street, Oregon City, Oregon
  7. 5460 S. Eastern Ave. Las Vegas, Nevada
  8. 148 Washington St. Salem, Massachusetts
  9. 20 Nevada St. Redlands, California
  10. 9067 Southern Blvd. West Palm Beach, Florida

8435 Roanoke Drive, Saint Louis, Missouri

roanoke drive

This first property is not currently on the market, having last sold in 2005 for $165,000—right about four grand under asking. This 1, 676 square foot brick colonial on an 8, 856 square foot lot is nestled in the beautiful, quiet neighborhood of Bel-Nor, in Saint Louis.

Boasting gorgeous hardwood flooring, this property also offers three bedrooms and two baths. It has central air and forced heating, as well as a fireplace. It was built in 1942 and has a detached garage for parking. Though this home physically offers two stories, it’s the third that makes it so interesting.

It is the last standing landmark to one of America’s most spellbinding tales. In 1949, a 13 year old boy and his family moved into the home from Washington, D.C. While that may not seem all that fascinating, their reasons for the move captivate people even today. The boy was believed to be possessed by Satan, himself.

That is still hotly debated, but the exorcism did in fact happen—and though it actually happened at the Alexian Brothers Hospital—the area where he was housed is now a parking lot. Quite a bit is rumored to have happened at this quaint little colonial.

Granted, what did happen has been hotly refuted as being nothing like the movie, it’s still not exactly a selling point for this property. As a matter of fact, Realtor Patrick McLaughlin, who was selling it refused to talk about it and the prior owner said he just didn’t feel it bore disclosing. Besides, how does one go about saying something like this?

“Well, see, apart from the stuff that happened before the priests got here, they came in to find this kid’s bed rocking and shaking all over the place with no real explanation as to why. If they cited scriptures, he writhed and screamed in pain. He got a bunch of welts, scratches and letters on his skin and then, a bottle of holy water got chucked across the room by unseen hands…but HAVE YOU SEEN THIS BATHROOM?”

108 Ocean Ave. Amityville, New York

ocean drive, amityville

This one, I wouldn’t even bother to try springing that “Surpriiiiiise!” on, because what do you think of the moment you see Amityville? Exactly. The whole town was made famous by what has been widely debunked as a big time hoax. But it was a hoax based on a reality, which means, hey, it’s still a freaking scary property.

I’m not even sure I need to retell the story that made this one famous. Everyone knows it. Young couple, nice kids, and a fabulous deal on a beautiful home. Then, some spirits with terrible interior design chops and personal space boundary issues started causing trouble.

Still, for 80 grand, the house at 108 Ocean Avenue probably did seem like one amazing deal. The home sits on a small lot—only .25 acres—but it’s a waterfront property with a boathouse. Additionally, it is a 5-bedroom, 3-bath, 3,600 square-foot monstrosity of a historical building built in 1927. It last sold in 2010 for a cool $950,000.

People still debate the Lutz’s account of what happened, but what is not debated is the original tragic and terrifying events associated with this property. By now, there have been a multitude of books and movies about the house: some documented, some not.

Oddly enough, as I was writing this, I did find some stills from the 2005 remake on my computer. I’d say that adds a somewhat creepy touch to the research I’m doing, except I feel relatively sure these were not part of my girlfriend’s paranormal research. Paranormal research, as you know, is just fraught with fake images. I’m not sure movie remakes count, but apparently, they do.

1492 Garden Street, East Meadow, New York

garden street

Well, what could possibly be the secret of this pretty 4-bedroom, 2-bath home? With its expansive 6,649 square foot measurements in a wonderful neighborhood with an impressive school district, people won’t be able to help but say, “Wow, he was such a nice, quiet fellow” if you bought it. Whether or not that actually happens of the current owners, who bought the property for $322,000 in March of 2011,we may never know.

But there’s one thing we know that we’re sure of. Notorious serial killer Joel Rifkin once lived and, uh, worked here. Known for having murdered more than a couple people in the basement of this fine home, Rifkin also stored at least one of the bodies in the garage. The new owners, however, have happier plans for the large property and a pretty great attitude about it all, saying, “We’re bringing all positive vibes—no more bad.

Good luck with that, you guys!

208 Meriden Ave. Southington, Connecticut

meriden drive haunted property

Well, here’s a beautiful, spacious home. This one even offers a multiple occupancy option and though it was built in 1916, it most definitely has been updated since. This is particularly important, since it was once a funeral home. However, that isn’t why it makes the list.

Here, we have yet another home visited by Ed and Lorraine Warren. Oddly though, the current owner refutes any and all reports of the home being haunted, though it’s most certainly famous for it. Gosh, this seems to be a pattern for them. (The Warrens also helped out with the Amityville case.)

In 1986, Allen and Carmen Snedeker rented the property and quickly learned of its interesting past. Shortly after that, the couple and their family began to experience some terrifying things. Some of those experiences included reportedly being harassed by two demons: one, described as being tall, gaunt, with black hair and eyes, and the other, tall, with white hair and eyes, wearing a pinstriped suit.

The home itself is 3,084 square feet and sits on a small, well-manicured lot. It offers prospective buyers five large bedrooms and two baths. However, after the 2009 film A Haunting In Connecticut, the current owners, who paid $140,000 for the property in 1998, say that though they’ve never been visited by any snappy dressing demons, they have, however, been harassed by tourists.

1537 North Orange Grove Ave. Los Angeles, California

Here, we have an absolutely gorgeous 5-bedroom, 3-bath home in sunny Los Angeles. That’s it, it’s in LA, there’s your horrifying secret —just kidding! So, what could have possibly happened at this pretty home? Actually, nothing at all.

The home, which last sold in June of 2008 for $1,500,000 is actually quite a lovely house with no hauntings, demons, demonologists, ghost hunters, or other terrifying things that go bump in the night. As a matter of fact, the price for the location and size wasn’t even all that horrifying. So, why is it on this list, then?

Well, the house has become famous as the filming location for John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic, Halloween. Property records indicate that the 2,600-square-foot home was first built in 1962 and has undergone some fairly drastic renovations since the film was released.

713 Center Street, Oregon City, Oregon

A spectacular, historical location, this home was built in 1846 and is actually a National Historic Site. This was once the home of Dr. John McLoughlin, a giant of a man and one of the most important people in the history of Oregon itself.

John died in 1857, with his wife Marguerite following three years later. They were buried in the churchyard at Saint John The Apostle church. After their daughter sold the home, it was converted into a hotel, then a staff house for Chinese workers, and later a brothel and an apartment. Eventually, it was abandoned but saved from demolition and moved to its current location in 1909. Because the churchyard of St. John the Apostle was also razed, the graves of John and his wife were transferred next to the home in 1970. This is where the ghost stories began.

Mcloughlin himself is said to be seen in the home—his imposing 6’5 form is kind of hard to miss, but he’s also said to play the harpsichord and rock a chair in his room. His footsteps are often heard on the upper levels, and coming down the stairs. Additionally, legend has it on the anniversary of his death, the ring around his portrait glows as the sun rises.

Marguerite is also said to haunt the home, with the scent of her pipe tobacco following the cleaners, as though the specter is checking up on them. Rumor also has it that the parlor contains a very negative entity—though no one can substantiate if it was where John Sr. died, or if a murder took place there during the home’s later years.

5460 S. Eastern Ave. Las Vegas, Nevada

While this 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath seems kind of sparse in comparison to the other homes on the list, this property is interesting for a number of reasons. It sold to a realty company called Shannon Day Realty in 2003. So, what’s so horrifying about a real-estate office?

Note the small red fox in the lower corner of the sign. This isn’t because the CEO loves the critters, nor is it their logo. Rather, the building once belonged to famed comedian Red Foxx. It’s probably good that this is a business and not someone’s home because Fox wasn’t at all pleased with how things shook out in his life. Rumor has it that he’s still hanging around as a result.

In 1989, the IRS took possession of this property for nonpayment of taxes. After all the stress caught up with him, Foxx died of a heart attack in 1991 at the age of 68. Since then, the home has changed hands more than a few times. It has been home to an Elvis impersonator and several businesses, but almost everyone who visits say the same thing: Foxx still haunts the place because he’s still mad at the IRS.

The current owner, Shannon Day allows ghost hunters to tour the place from time to time. Lights turn on and off, footsteps are heard racing up and down the halls, doors open and close by themselves, and famed paranormal investigators Mark and Debbie Constantino claim to have caught EVPs of Red Foxx himself. Have a listen, you decide: is this the spirit of Red Foxx? I must admit, it does sound like him.

148 Washington St. Salem, Massachusetts

Joshua_Ward_House_in_Salem_MA

Known as the Joshua Ward House, this  3-story Federal style brick house was originally built in 1784.  It is said to be haunted because Joshua Ward built it over where the home and jail of Sherriff George Corwin once was. Known for his extreme cruelty in interrogating and sentencing suspected witches, Corwin was called The Strangler and had 19 men and women executed under his command. Upon his death, his body was interred in his cellar on the property where it remained for a number of years until it was moved to the Broad Street Cemetery.

Why his body remained in the cellar of his home so long is still unknown and undocumented. Some say it was because his wife feared retribution enacted on the corpse. Nonetheless, it is said that the Joshua Ward house is haunted by several entities.

One is said to be the ghost of Giles Corey, an accused warlock who was killed during one of Corwin’s rock-crushing interrogations. He is said to turn over trash cans, melt candles, and disturb people who visit. Then there’s the ghost of The Strangler himself. Mostly, it’s just reports of him knocking about or sitting in a rocking chair, but there have been some reports of people being choked—the method of torture that made him infamous.

Those that run the building now, however, don’t really care much for any notoriety. It’s not like they’re a hotel, or some other business that might benefit from a little spooky PR.

20 Nevada St. Redlands, California

barton_mansion

The Barton House boasts 4,500 square feet of rentable space, breathtaking mountain views and a prime location right between Loma Vista and Redlands. As the oldest building in a very well kept park like setting, it’s easy to see why people would want to locate their businesses there. Until you get into some of the unlisted perks.

Legend has it that the Barton House was built over Indian burial grounds. This place was basically engineered to be one of the creepiest places on earth because, guess what it was when it was built? An insane asylum. Then, it became a jail.

Rumor has it that when renovations were done, they went through three construction companies because nobody wanted to be there. People say they can feel an evil or eerie presence, laughter can be heard, as well as music playing, knocks on doors, lights in windows when no one is there—the list of fairly common “haunting” behaviors goes on and on.

Creepiest of all, however, are reports of an extremely tall, demonic, animal-like figure, carrying a lantern. Dementia patients at the nursing home nearby also claim to have seen a man. When they describe him, he fits Dr. Ben Barton’s description.

9067 Southern Blvd. West Palm Beach, Florida

riddlehouse

A beautiful old Edwardian place in Palm Beach County, the Riddle House was built in 1905. Originally known as The Gatekeeper’s Cottage, it was where the overseers of the nearby Woodlawn Cemetery would stay to protect the graves from being robbed.

In 1920, the city manager/superintendent of West Palm Beach bought the house to live in until odd things began to occur. Rumor has it that one of his employees hung himself in the attic, and after hearing all sorts of shuffling, chains, voices, laughter, footsteps and other things, each employee of the house quit. Without servants to help out, the house was deemed too big for the family, so they moved out. A handful of businesses tried to occupy the house, but all vacated fairly quickly.

Reports of hauntings at the Riddle House are varied, and all of them creepy. After the suicide of the employee in the attic, conversations in the home when no one was there to speak were heard, shadow of people have been seen, knocks and other terrifying noises scared occupant after occupant out of the building. The businesses that took it up dealt with the same problems, and when it was a dorm for female college students, residents reported being too terrified to sleep, some even refusing to stay.

Explore with Caution

While a few of the places on this list do allow adventurous people to come check them out, a few of them are also private residences. These awesome properties are great for scary stories, but really, some of them should remain urban legend lore at a distance.

So there you have it—ten homes across different parts of the country, each with an interesting story to tell. This resource article isn’t just meant to entertain you with bizarre secrets some homes may hold. It also serves as a fitting reminder to always check into a home’s history before renting one!

Authors

  • Karina Jugo

    Karina Jugo is a content administrator at RentPost who works directly with real estate and property management experts to create resources and guides for property managers. She has more than 15 years of experience in content research and writing for various industries.

  • Jacob Thomason

    Jacob Thomason is the CEO and co-founder of RentPost, software platform providing property managers, landlord or owners with the tools necessary for property management. Jacob is a software entrepreneur with with a vast array of expertise ranging from business concept design to software architecture and development. He is running RentPost for more than 14 years and helping property managers and property owners.

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