built in an abandoned meat packing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Factory of Terror in Canton, Ohio, are duking it out for the honor of being named the world's biggest haunted house. (The Guinness book people measured Cutting Edge tops in 2009, but Factory of Terror measured bigger in 2010. Cutting Edge is asking for a recount, because they said they never bothered to have Guinness measure some of their haunted hallways.)
In the meantime, the real estate site Zillow reminds us that there are houses where the haunting is real, or at least not seasonal. Zillow recently listed the nation's Top 10 Haunted Houses -- the places that stay haunted all year round.
Number one on the list is San Jose's infamous Winchester house (photographed above), built and haunted by Sarah Winchester, whose real life was so haunted that she spent 38 years building the 160 room Victorian mansion with miles of hallways, doors leading nowhere, a window in the floor -- all to confuse the evil spirits that were haunting her.
It is one of two homes in California that were certified as haunted by the U.S. Commerce Department. The other, the Whaley House in San Diego, ranked 10th on the Zillow list.
Fourth on the list is a familiar location --1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The White House is reportedly haunted by the spirits of Abigail Adams, who is sometimes still spotted in the laundry room; Abraham Lincoln, whose specter so frightened Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands that she fainted at the sight of him; and Dolley Madison who apparently still hangs out in the rose garden.
Other noteworthy haunted houses? The Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Mass; the LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans; Franklin Castle in Cleveland; Sprague Mansion in Cranston, Rhode Island; the Chambers Mansion in San Francisco; Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, La.; and the Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
One famous haunted house not on the list is the Amityville Horror house in Amityville, NY, that sparked a movie of the same name after the owners talked of slime oozing down walls, strange odors and moving furniture. It turns out, the whole story was dreamed up over "many bottles of wine," according to the Zillow researchers.
For more information on these Haunted Houses -- along with photos of these (generally) beautiful homes, check out Zillow's Top 10 Haunted Homes.