Whether The Amityville Horror is a true story or a hoax perpetrated by the Lutz family has been the subject of debate and lawsuits despite being depicted in numerous films and documentaries. Subsequent residents of the house in which the Lutz’s claimed to have experienced paranormal activity so severe that they fled after a month’s occupation have reported no similar experiences. Neither did the movers hired to remove the Lutz’s belongings after they abandoned the house. One subsequent owner commented that “nothing weird ever happened” in the house during the period of time in which he resided there. Other owners echoed his lack of fear in the residence which books and films made one of the most frightening in America.
There are many other frightening places where people do live, because of paranormal activity reported by past and present owners. Their fearsomeness is based on events which occurred, or are purported to have occurred, sometime in their past. Some are explained by residents, others are not. A particular site does not have to be haunted to be frightening, natural disasters are also frightening, but paranormal events are one of the leading causes of residences being considered scary, though they remain occupied. In some cases, such as the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts, people rent rooms in the expressed hope of encountering the spirit or spirits said to be in residence there.
Here are some of the scariest places where people continue to reside, curiosity or courage overcoming circumstances overwhelming to less hardy souls.
1. The official residence of the Governor of Delaware is reportedly haunted
Woodburn mansion is the official residence of the Governor of Delaware and his family. The house was built as a private residence in 1790 and in 1820 was leased by its owner, United States Senator Martin Bates, to Governor Jacob Stout. Stout was the first governor to reside in the mansion though it wasn’t designated as the official home of the state’s chief executive until 1965, when Delaware bought the mansion and it underwent extensive renovation and modernization, supervised by Jessica Irby-Terry, wife of then Governor Charles Terry Jr. By then the lore of the house and grounds being haunted by numerous spirits, some benevolent and some less so, was well known to residents and guests in the home.
The first reporting of a ghost in the house was recorded in 1824. According to Governor Terry, at least one of the shades presented a marked taste for the fine wines available in the mansion’s cellar, as well as in decanters in the house’s private and public rooms. During the inauguration festivities for Governor Michael Castle in 1985 several guests reported encounters with playful spirits pulling on their clothes as if to gain attention. One guest reported seeing the apparition of a small girl, a ghost which had been reported by preceding residents of the home. The ghosts of slave raiders, killed while seeking runaway slaves, have been reported on the grounds of the house, and residents have described hearing their eerie moans and screams. As of this writing the house remains the official Governor’s residence.