What’s it like to live in a haunted house?

What’s it like to live in a house that’s really haunted? Do people always have to leave their haunted houses if the ghosts won’t leave?

Most haunted houses are benign. I’ve lived in a few.

haunted stairwayGenerally, it’s like living with an invisible roommate. Some ghosts can be annoying.

That’s especially true if the ghost likes to turn lights on and off, adjust the volume on the TV, or turn a faucet on and leave the water running.

I don’t mind ghosts in my house. I do mind any inconveniences they create.

Downtown Houston’s famous ghost

One of the most persistently annoying ghosts haunts downtown Houston, Texas. She is Mrs. Pamelia Mann, one of Houston’s most famous madams.

Many evenings, Mrs. Mann strolls around the Market Square block she once owned.

She visits ladies rooms (toilets) in modern-day clubs and restaurants on that block.

Once in each ladies room, she locks the door so others cannot enter. Then, she vanishes. The staff are not amused, because they have to keep unlocking the door at the request of impatient patrons.

However, the living and spirits of the dead usually find ways to stay out of each other’s way.

Other famous haunted homes

Lantern outside Salem haunted houseAt some locations, such as the Myrtles Plantation, the staff regard the ghosts as friends. Many people who live in haunted houses feel the same way about their ghosts.

I know one homeowner in Salem (MA, USA) who is extremely protective of “her” ghost. Although the first floor of her haunted home is a shop, she won’t allow anyone inside if she thinks they’re looking for her ghost.

That’s a little extreme.

The owner of the Lizzie Borden house seemed comfortable with that house’s ghosts.

TV, movies, and reality

Many TV shows and movies present scary ghosts. Reality is very different.

Once people become accustomed their ghosts (and vice versa), some seem to forget they live in a haunted house.

When I’ve lived in haunted houses, I’ve been unable to forget they’re there. Not for long, anyway. Sometimes, I’ve been startled by an apparition floating across my kitchen. Unearthly footsteps still surprise me when I’m tired, especially if the ghost has been silent for a while.

Despite that, living with ghosts can be easier than living with roommates.  Ghosts don’t steal your food, come home drunk at night, or leave the seat up.

I’m okay with that.

Why is the Lizzie Borden house haunted?

People have asked me why the Lizzie Borden house is still haunted, if — as many believe — Lizzie committed the crime. Isn’t the mystery solved?

Lizzie BordenIf Lizzie actually haunts the house now, I think she would stay even after the crime was solved. Everything that I’ve learned about her points to a quirky personality. She probably likes the attention.

When I visited the Lizzie Borden house, I received very strong impressions. They’ve been confirmed by other psychics, and one Lizzie Borden historian.

However, I’m not sure the house is actually haunted. Not by a ghost, anyway. When I was there, wiring-related EMF issues were a problem. I haven’t been back.

Who committed the Lizzie Borden house murders?

In my opinion, more than one person was involved in the murders. I believe that two were involved. If Lizzie had a clue what she and others were actually doing, I’m not sure she would have participated.

That’s more a mental health issue than an absolution of what she may (or may not) have done.

Also, I think several people went to considerable lengths to prevent Lizzie’s conviction. Close friends did their best to protect her. That may have included murder.

For me, the most intense impressions came from the basement. Those below-ground rooms have a gruesome history. They could have inspired horror stories, even without the lurid murders upstairs.

In addition, the basement has physical evidence best seen with Luminol (C8H7O3N3) or fluorescein and black light. It is not for the squeamish.

Yes, there are logical explanations for that much blood. It’s also a great smokescreen for something more sinister.

My psychic impressions included a maid, someone looking through a window, and a young person who appeared to be a man… but I’m not sure if that was just a disguise.

If Lizzie haunts any one room, it’s probably the room nearest the front door. When you visit Lizzie’s famous house, sit on the sofa if you can. If you’re sensitive to psychic impressions, I think you’ll be impressed.

What are your favorite haunted houses?

My favorites vary. It depends on the current activity at each site.
At the moment, my three favorite haunted buildings are:

  • Falstaff’s Experience/Tudor World (Stratford-upon-Avon, England)
  • The Myrtles Plantation (Louisiana, USA)
  • The Witch House (Salem, MA, USA)

In the United States, in addition to the Myrtles Plantation, I like the ghosts of Houmas House. Both sites are in Louisiana.

In New Orleans’ French Quarter, I always stay at the happily haunted Hotel Monteleone. A good night’s sleep plus some odd encounters and great ghost stories…? It’s an ideal mix.

Also, I dine at Brennan’s Restaurant where the Red Room has an eerie, ghostly history. The restaurant’s food is among the best in New Orleans… and perhaps the world. (Don’t be surprised if you see celebrities at nearby tables. When actors are filming anywhere near New Orleans, they make a point of having a meal at Brennan’s.)

And, based on my ley line research, I spend time in a park on the edge of the Quarter… but there’s no house there, haunted or otherwise.

Salem Inn, Salem, MAI’ve been very impressed by the ghosts of the Salem Inn in Salem, Massachusetts. Also, I’m fascinated by the old pirates’ tunnels beneath Essex Street. Several buildings adjoining it have dramatic ghost stories.

Salem’s Witch House is an interesting case with surprising physical phenomena, even in broad daylight.

In nearby Danvers, I’m drawn to the remains of Rev. Mr. Parris’s home, as well as Whipple Hill (aka Witch Hill) near Endicott Park… but the hill has no “haunted house,” either.

In England, I like the Falstaff’s Experience. I also like Warwick Castle, just a few miles away. So far, Falstaff’s Experience is the most intensely haunted site I’ve been to, anywhere in the world.

Also around Stratford-upon-Avon, I like the Falcon Hotel and Ettington Park Hotel.

York (city) has more eerie and interesting haunts than I can list here. The Golden Fleece is the tip of the iceberg.

And, though it’s not quite a haunted house, I like the Tower of London. Each part of the Tower complex has fascinating ghost stories. Usually, visitors can see physical evidence supporting the Tower’s paranormal history.

As you can see, only a few haunted houses and hotels stand out among my favorites. However, if you’re looking for truly haunted places, try haunted cemeteries, parks, and lakes, and haunted beaches. You may have far better results.