Lots of things can happen when you stay in an Airbnb, from the good, to the bad… to the haunted. I mean that literally, by the way; there are tons of allegedly haunted Airbnbs you can actually stay in listed on the accommodation rental site. Are all of them truly haunted? That’s up for debate — but you can’t deny the thrill that comes from just the mere possibility that you might encounter something supernatural while you’re away. And hey, if you’re planning a trip around Halloween this year, there’s no better way to get in the spirit of the spookiest holiday of the year.
Interestingly, it’s no secret that many listings in Airbnb’s database claim to be haunted. Indeed, the site actually released a piece on its official during the 2017 Halloween season detailing the stories behind five allegedly haunted homes available for booking. Besides these five, though, there are many, many more listings all over the world that claim to come with a side of the paranormal when you stay in them — and although the listings do tend to come and go, there’s never any shortage of ghost stories for those hoping to engage in a little haunted travel.
These 13 listing were all active as of the end of September, 2018. The alleged hauntings in each one all seem to relatively benign in nature — I doubt the rentals would be available to book if they weren’t — but still: Know that if you choose to stay in one of these paranormal hotspots, you do so at you own risk.
Are you brave enough to stay in them?
1. The Stroud House, Wake Forest, North Carolina
Built in 1940, the Stroud House has been in the family for several generations, according to it listing. It’s located just a block from downtown Wake Forest, includes plenty of shiplap (“Eat your heart out, Joanna Gaines!”, the listing cheekily notes), has its own private entrance, and sleeps three on one queen-sized bed and a twin.
It’s also haunted.
According to the listing, “several friends, family, and guests” of the owners “have experienced supernatural events here”; footsteps in the hallway, lights turning on and off on their own, orbs in the living room, a music box that plays by itself (yikes!), and even “a shadowy figure in the kitchen and dining room” have all been observed inside the house. However, the owners are careful to note that no activity has been reported in the guest room; furthermore, the activity isn’t “malevolent in nature.”
2. The Parks-Bowman Mansion, New Orleans, Louisiana
There are actually three rooms available to book in the 130-year-old Garden District abode known as the Parks-Bowman Mansion — but only one of them is haunted. Per the listing, guests share the Haunted Bedroom with the ghost of “a young girl in a yellow dress from the 1890s”; she’s apparently “very shy,” though, so you may or may not actually encounter her while you’re there. Host Adrienne Parks told News.com.au in 2017 she believes the ghost to be the youngest daughter of the first family to occupy the house; she died young and was buried on the grounds next to her father.
The room itself is one of the largest rooms in the house, with a queen-sized bed, a sitting area, a full shower bath of its own, and access to the porch on the third floor. If you’re not into ghosts, though, you can also stay in the Red Room or the Library.
3. Laura’s Cottage, Savannah, Georgia
Laura’s Cottage is located in a designated historic district in Savannah — which, by the way, happens to be one of the most haunted cities in the United States. The cottage itself was built in 1799 and features pine beams, antique furnishings, and a Juliet balcony; it’s also been modernized, however, so you’ll have all of today’s conveniences at your beck and call, too.
We don’t know much about Laura, other than the fact that she haunts the cottage; she reportedly lived there when she was alive and grew the most beautiful flowers. According to one account on Road Trippers, she makes herself known by opening windows and turning lights on and off. She’s benign — and gorgeous flowers still grow at her former home.
4. Chateau Pitau, Vidnoye, Russia
You probably won’t want to book Chateau Pitau, which is located about 10 kilometers from Moscow, unless you’ve got a large group with you: An actual small castle, it can sleep up to nine people. It’s also got several swimming pools, a billiards room, a wooden sauna, and tons of gardens.
I’ll admit that I’m a little skeptical of the claim that it’s haunted; no detail is given about the alleged ghost other than the fact that it “appears weekly at midnight.” The smiley face after that pronouncement makes me think that maybe it’s a gimmick — but I mean, who knows? Maybe it is haunted. It is a castle, after all.
5. The Haunted Chamber Apartment, York, UK
Right off of Stonegate — a historic road built during the period of Roman rule in Britain — and right around the corner from York’s 7th century cathedral, York Minster, the Haunted Chamber Apartment is over 600 years old, so perhaps it’s only to be expected that at least one of its visitors never checked out.
When Matt Risley reported on his stay in the apartment for MTV in 2016, he regretfully didn’t see the ghost; he did, however, note that according to the rental’s welcome manual, the ghost is apparently “a man with long dark hair wearing a cap” who suddenly appears over people’s shoulders. His presence is usually heralded by a drop in temperature.
6. The Manor Master Chamber, St. Paul, Minnesota
The listing for the Manor Master Chamber doesn’t mention anything about a ghost — but when owner Sean Doyle spoke to Reader’s Digest about the 130-year-old, castle-like home in 2017, he revealed a fascinating story. Apparently, Doyle found an old barrette on the ground while he was looking at the house about a decade ago, picked it up, and immediately had a vision of a girl in a white dress pop into his mind. When descendants of the family who had built the house, which dates back to 1883, got in touch with Doyle about a year later, he asked if any little girls had ever died in the house — and it turns out that there was: In 1908, Rosalia Fihn had caught typhoid fever and died. Doyle even identified her in a photograph based on the vision he’d had.
7. Sweet Organic Pet Friendly Getaway, Bisbee, Arizona
95 miles south of Tucson — or about 23 miles south of Tombstone, if you're into wild west history — is Bisbee, a small city in Arizona known for its scene and well-preserved historical setting. And in Bisbee is this cute little gingerbread house, whose guest bedroom features organic sateen sheets and whose living room houses a working 1919 phonograph. And according to its listing, it’s also “genuinely haunted.” Few details are given, but apparently there have been “repeated episodes of odd, unexplained mischief” in the house. None of it has been “scary or malevolent,” though, so it’s probably just a harmless trickster.
8. The Haunted Bedroom at Talliston, Great Dunmow, UK
I mean… yeah, that room totally looks haunted.
According to the listing, the Haunted Bedroom at Talliston is “decorated in the Scottish Art Nouveau style” (think Margaret and Frances MacDonald or Charles Rennie Mackintosh) and designed to “[recreate] in nightmarish detail the bed chamber of a seven-year-old Edwardian child complete with books, toys, and ephemera.” You might encounter “unexplained smells and sounds” while staying in it; the listing states that it is “not for the faint hearted.”
The really amazing thing is that the house was once just a regular, “three-bedroomed, semi-detached, ex-council house in Essex,” Somerset Live reported in 2017; after journalist John Trevillian bought it, however, he began making it over, room by room, such that each room was “designed reflect a different time and place in history.” And, well... here we are.
9. Haunted Suite in Historic Benton Park, St. Louis, Missouri
It’s not totally clear who might be haunting this suite, or how that haunting might manifest — but given that the building was built in 1890 and the suite is located in what was once the maid’s quarters, it’s perhaps unsurprising that unexplained activity might be experienced.
There’s a double dose of freakiness here, too: Nearby is the Lemp Mansion, which was once home to the powerful — and possibly cursed — family behind the Lemp Brewery. Nearly every one of the Lemp family members — patriarch William Sr. and children Frederick, William Jr., Elsa, and Charles — died unexpectedly young, by their own hand, or both. Only the youngest Lemp child, Edwin, survived; he lived until the age of 90s. He left instructions for his art collection and family heirlooms to be destroyed after his death.
Again, this listing isn’t for the Lemp Mansion — but the Mansion is close by. Also, the house in which the haunted suite is located was built by the same mason who built the Lemp Mansion. Just sayin'.
10. Marjorie’s Room, Dixfield, Maine
Marjorie’s Room is just one of several available rooms in the Marsh-Edwards House/Weld Street Inn, a Victorian B&B in the mountains of Western Maine. According to the paranormal research group Riverside Paranormal, Mary Stanley bought the land on which the Marsh-Edwards House was built in 1881; the house itself was built in the neo-Colonial style with only a few nods to the Victorian style popular at the time. In 1887, the Stanleys sold the house to the Marsh family, whose descendants held onto it for nearly a century. It’s changed hands a few times since the late 1980s, but these days, it’s a bed and breakfast — a haunted one.
The Airbnb listing for Marjorie's Room notes that activity recorded on the property includes “a little boy playing in the second floor kitchen; a lady walking around outside; mysterious music being played at all hours; [and] the ‘Big Man’ in the hallway.” Many of the spirits are believed to be members of the Marsh family. Marjorie, by the way is Marjorie Hope Edwards; born in 1909, she died in 1966 at the age of 56. She’s thought to be one of the spirits haunting the house.
11. Haunted 1890’s Home, Port Angeles, Washington
There isn’t much information available about the activity that goes on in this hundred-year-old house; the listing just notes that the it’s “allegedly still occupied by a mischievous ghost.” Port Angeles has a long history, though — and as a bonus, there’s an “underground” here: The remains of what used to be street level before the decision was made to build them up one more level in 1914.
Undergrounds are weird and fascinating; I’ve been a to a few (Seattle’s, Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Dupont Underground in Washington, D.C., namely), and while they’re all very different from each other, they’re all very much worth exploring. I can’t think of anything more fun than a stay in a haunted house and a (legal) trip through an abandoned underground system, so, I mean, Port Angeles? Consider yourself added to my travel bucket list.
12. Dead and Breakfast, New Orleans, Louisiana
Not into the Garden District? Skip the Park-Bowman Mansion and head on over to Bywater to stay at the “Dead and Breakfast” located there. Based in an allegedly haunted house that’s roughly a century old, the Dead and Breakfast has five rooms listed on Airbnb: The Manhattan Room, the Master Bedroom, the Mediterranean Room, the Drawing Room, and the Temple Room. It’s not clearly precisely what might be haunting the place, but visitors are warned that “paranormal investigations are performed regularly in this home, from 9 PM till midnight.”
13. Castello Dal Pozzo, Piedmont, Italy
If you want to rent an entire Italian estate, you can do that in Piedmont thanks to the Castello Dal Pozzo. It’s not cheap — it runs at more than $4,000 a night, which is likely far, far out of most people’s budgets — but the story attached to it is good, so let’s take a look, shall we?
According to Airbnb’s 2017 Halloween blog post, a young woman named Barbara fell in love with an army captain named Matteo in 1467 — but before the lovers could elope, Barbara’s father found out about their affair and locked her in the Castle Tower. Matteo, meanwhile, was exiled to France — but Barbara didn’t know he’d been sent away. She died in the tower waiting for him to return. Visitors to Castello Dal Pozzo say that they’ve seen Barbara’s looking out from a tower window, still waiting for Matteo to come back.