On a blistering hot August Day in 1892, the Borden family earned their spot in infamy, as Andrew and Abby Borden’s bodies were found mortally ax wounded (allegedly) by none other than Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie Borden. Today, the Lizzie Borden House stands as a museum as well as a bed and breakfast, allowing visitors to step back to the 19th century. The house is meticulously preserved as if it were that fateful day. Visitors will find period furnishings, and an eerie ambiance, but most notably of all, the whispers in empty rooms and ghostly apparitions. It’s a place where history meets the supernatural and the past never truly rests.
The Conjuring House, formerly known as the Old Arnold Estate, is the inspiration for the “The Conjuring” series of movies and has been notorious for its paranormal activity. The picturesque farmhouse tormented the Perron family in the early 1970s, with disembodied voices, physical attacks from unseen entities and ultimately the spirit possession of Carolyn, the mother, from a malevolent spirit. Abigail, a resident of the Old Arnold Estate in the late 1700s, and a friendly ghost, is said to have remained as a resident of the house and will often warn guests to “get out” of the basement if there is a dangerous spirit around.
Tucked away in the small town of Villisca, Iowa, lies an old white frame house decorated in the style of early 20th-century America. The “Villisca Ax Murder House” has become a symbol of unsolved mystery since 1912 when eight people, including six children, were bludgeoned to death by an ax-wielding murder. Brave visitors can spend the night and try to sleep through the occasional whispers. Daytime visitors turn into detectives as they contemplate the circumstances surrounding the crime, and can’t help but conjure up various theories and suspects for the unsolved murders.
The story of the enigmatic Victorian mansion begins with Sarah Winchester, who lost both her infant daughter and her husband, the heir to Winchester Repeating Arms Company. She sought solace from a spiritual medium that told her the Winchester family was cursed by the vengeful spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles. In order to escape vengeance, Sarah was advised to move and continuously build a new home so the ghosts would be occupied and unable to harm her. Its labyrinth architecture features staircases leading to nowhere, doors opening to walls, and a maze of rooms, hallways and secret passages. It is said that the eccentric estate has become the playpen for ghosts, as visitors have heard unsettling organ playing, and ghost-like figures meandering through the twisting hallways and dead-end staircases.