Three Horribly Haunted Houses

What is a ghost without a house to haunt? Every village, town or city has its own legends – with varying degrees of historical accuracy, of course – but nevertheless, if there’s a spooky old house at the end of your street, it’s only natural for locals to put a ghost in there. 

Many of these legends are so localised that their notoriety is lost to the outside world. However, there are those who’s tales are so terrifying, that they have become legends in the wider world of the paranormal. 

Let’s explore a few of these cases.

The Sallie House, Atchinson Kansas, USA

The Sallie House via Trip Advisor

The alleged history of the Sallie house has all the makings of a great ghost story.

Built in the mid 1800s – making it positively ancient by American standards – the house has was home to the Finney family for generations. Under the ownership of one Dr Charles Finney, the house doubled up as his medical facility, and saw him working out of the lower floor, whilst he and his family lived upstairs. 

This was a rather common arrangement for medical folk at the time – my own Great Uncle pulled teeth in his living room. He was, allegedly, a dentist.

This was all well and good, until a mother rushed her daughter, Sallie, to Dr Finney when she experienced severe abdominal pain.

Sallie was afflicted with an appendicitis, and under the belief that the organ way set to rupture any moment, Dr Finney prepared for an emergency surgery. 

Unfortunately, the story goes that Finney was a little too eager to put blade to belly, and made his incision before the anaesthetic had taken full effect on little Sallie. 

She died during the surgery, confused and frightened, allegedly believing she was being tortured.

In the years following the tragedy, the house passed from tenant to tenant, with each alleging more paranormal activity than the last. 

It is often alleged that a former resident was an avid ‘satanist’ and carried out ‘rituals’ in the house’s basement, where a large pentagram can still be found – obviously adding a pinch more spice to an already spicy situation. Some believe their may be a demonic component to this case, as a result.

Much of the reported activity in the house is centred around men, with many reporting being scratched through their clothing, leaving visible makes as a result. Perhaps this is Sallie’s attempt at lashing out at those who remind her of the doctor she believed was killing her. Other alleged activity includes anomalies with video and investigation equipment, moving objects and physical touches. 

But don’t just take my word for it. The Sallie house has been featured in just about every paranormal reality series including Ghost Adventures, and my personal favourite, Buzzfeed Unsolved. If you’re brave enough, you can visit the house yourself, with either a visiting paranormal group or via a self guided tour.

30 East Drive and The Black Monk of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, UK

30 East Drive via Experience Wakefield

When you think of a haunted house, you may picture a sprawling mansion, with covered up windows and a scary looking tree in the garden. You probably wouldn’t imagine a mid-century ex-council house in Yorkshire, but according to some, this is in fact the location of one of the most violent poltergeist cases in recent history.

Reports emerged when the Pritchard family move into the house in 1966. Almost immediately, oddities occurred in the form of sprinkling chalk dust and random pools of water spontaneously appearing in front of witnesses. This escalated to several years worth of moving objects, shaking cupboards and, rather ominously, fining photographs slashed with a knife.

The family referred to their unseen housemate as “Fred”, but this did little to soften the impact of the haunting, which progressed to slaps, scratches and worst of all, the family’s daughter, Diane, being pulled up the stairs by her hair.

As is often the way with poltergeists, Diane seemed to be at the centre of the haunting, but subsequent tenants and ghost hunters claim the activity continues to this day. Perhaps this is due to the belief that rather than a spontaneous poltergeist haunting, the spirit behind the activity is that of a ghostly monk, who didn’t live up to his vows.

According to legend, the land on which the house was built was the scene of historic battles, and later, in the 15th century, was close to the sight where the Cluniac Monastery hanged a monk, who had attacked and murdered a village girl. This story, proposed by paranormal investigator, Tom Cuniff, has been disputed by many, although witnesses have spotted a black hooded figure, believed to be the evil monk, in and around the house itself.

The house was locally renowned for it’s alleged haunting until the account was popularised in the book Poltergeist! By Colin Wilson. This went on to inspire the 2012 film When The Lights Went Out, by director Pat Holden, himself a relative of the Pritchard family, and producer, Bil Bungay, who is the house’s current owner – certainly an interesting way to promote a film!

The property can be booked for private ghost hunts, if you’re brave enough to take on the alleged monk yourself.

The Whaley House, San Diego, California, USA

The Whaley House via The Whaley House Museum

This historic home in Southern California is supposedly one of the most haunted in America. Built one the land where horse thief, Yankee Jim Robinson, was executed, the house was home to Thomas and Anna Whaley, who’s tragic family is said to have lead to its infamous hauntings.

The Whaley’s first loss what that of their 18 month old son, Thomas Jr, who died of scarlet fever inside the house. Within a few months of this, the family’s general store, which was inside their home, was destroyed in a fire. The family then moved to San Fransisco, before returning to the house, which  later, saw the death of their daughter, Violet, who committed suicide after he marriage failed. 

In subsequent years, the Whaley family members all passed away within the house, but their spirits continued to reside there. 

Witnesses have reported the sound of a giggling child – thought to be Thomas Jr – as well as the sorrowful spectre of Violet along the second floor, along with the smell of Anna’s perfume and the sight of Thomas Sr. at the top of the stairs. Objects have been seen to move, and strange mists have been seen on cameras, as well as lights turning on and off spontaneously. The ghost of Yankee Jim is also said to reside in the house.

The house is now a museum which can be visited both day and night, with ghost tours and paranormal investigations a regular occurrence.

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