Empty houses can be unsettling; there’s an oddness to a place that’s built to be lived in is instead bare and lifeless. Appearances can be deceiving, though, and sometimes these kinds of houses might not be so empty…or maybe their late inhabitants never left.
Haunted houses are, surprisingly (or not), a novelty that doesn’t impede buyers—just last year, 24% of American homeowners said they already live in one. As Halloween approaches, now is a perfect time to take stock of the haunted house market.
The most haunted house in America, the Amityville House, is currently off the market (though the New Jersey house used to film the 1979 movie “The Amityville Horror” sold for $1.5 million earlier this year). That said, several others are currently up for sale—or have recently sold this year.
Some of these homes were first built in the 19th century; the older a home is, the more likely it is to have some dark history.
The Enslin Mansion, 562 5th Avenue, Troy, New York (On the market, listed for $444,444)
This house was built by a German immigrant in 1925 and has been in the family ever since. Now, though, it’s up for sale, listed by Grand Lux Realty—even though past inhabitants are part of the bargain. Current owner Michelle Bell says there are “about nine ghosts in the house.”
The house’s reputation has earned it profiles in local publications, and the listing describes it as a “hub for paranormal enthusiasts.” If your house has such a history, you might as well take advantage of it and create an eye-catching description. The house combines a Colonial architecture style (see the sizable front porch adorned with white pillars) mixed with modern amenities, not to mention four bedrooms. The eventual buyer will be experiencing the past in more ways than one.
56 Main St, Millbury, Massachusetts (Recently sold, listed for $769,000)
Listed in September 2023 by Media Realty, this home didn’t have a “For Sale” sign sitting on the front lawn, but instead, a “Probably Haunted” one.
The listing doesn’t mention explicit encounters with ghosts by past residents; however, the property, built in 1850 as a residential home, served as a funeral home beginning in 1948 until recently. In advertising it as a haunted house, the bet was that some of the ghosts that passed through in those decades liked what they saw.
The Taylor-Trask Museum, 35 North Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts (On the market, listed for $1.4 million)
Plymouth, Massachusetts, is a town well-known for having a haunted past. On its tourist attraction, the “Dead of Night” ghost tour, one stop is the historic Taylor-Trask Museum, now up for sale with the premise that the owner can renovate it back into a single-family home—provided the ghosts don’t mind. Built in 1829, the home’s long history makes it worthy of the museum function.
The house was previously featured on a 2022 episode of ghost-hunting show “Portals to Hell.” That extra publicity might help explain the million-plus asking price.
The Priestley House, 138 E Fulton Street, Canton, Mississippi (On the market, listed for $999,999)
Considered a Mississippi landmark for its antebellum history, the Priestly House is not the home you’re looking for if you never want to be thinking of the past.
First built by Dr. James Priestly in 1852, the home has been added to several times, with the original additions completed in 1915. However, it remains known as the Priestly House, and some believe the original inhabitants, Dr. Priestly and Susan, never left even after passing on within the house. In 2002, then-owner Franke McMillan recounted phenomena from a piano playing on its own to the sighting of a ghostly woman (presumably Susan Priestly) in the halls.
The Dakota, W 72nd St, New York City, New York (One apartment on the market, listed for $4,950,000)
The Dakota comes with a celebrity neighbor, but not a living one. The luxurious apartment complex in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, has been home to many celebrities since its construction in the 1880s. One of them was John Lennon of the Beatles, and his assassination took place outside the building. Some have claimed to see his spirit within the Dakota’s halls, including playing a piano in his old apartment.
Only slightly less frightening, the building was also used for exterior shots of the fictional New York apartment complex in “Rosemary’s Baby.” There’s currently one three-bedroom apartment in the complex, currently listed for $4,950,000, but if you can afford that, you can probably afford any apartment in a not-haunted building, too.