The Homes From Horror Movies That Are Now Haunted

Few things get our hearts racing like a good scary movie. From the suspenseful scenes and unexpected jump scares to bloody gore and monster makeup, horror movies are designed to thrill audiences. However, the scariest thing about many of our favorite horror films happens off-camera. The houses, mansions, and apartment buildings that appear in scary movies are often haunted in real life and have the spooky history to prove it, per Screen Rant.

Whether you're a believer or a skeptic, the true stories behind the homes in classic horror flicks like "The Shining" and "Rosemary's Baby" are sure to send a chill running down your spine. In some cases, the real life events surrounding these locations might even be scarier than the cinematic version. Between ghostly legends, supernatural sightings, and unexplained accidents, the following 13 real life haunted homes all appear in horror movies. Many of them are open to the public and you can visit them yourself — if you dare. 

The Stanley Hotel from The Shining

It was during a night spent in room 217 at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, that Stephen King was inspired to write his famous novel "The Shining." The author woke up screaming in the middle of the night after dreaming his 3-year-old son was being chased by a fire-hose through the hotel's corridors. The eerie hotel on the edge of the Rocky Mountains helped King map out the entire plot of the book in his head. And while the hotel wasn't featured in Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation, it later appeared in a three-part miniseries called "Stephen King's The Shining."

Originally built in 1909 as a beautiful grand hotel, the first guests of the Stanley Hotel were impressed by its modern amenities, which included electric lights, telephones, and a fleet of automobiles. However, since the property was so isolated they needed to install an auxiliary gas lighting system which exploded in 1911. The explosion ruined part of the hotel, injured eight people, and hurled the hotel maid from the second to the first floor, breaking both of her ankles. Following this incident, there were numerous reports of paranormal activity taking place at the hotel. The maid was actually hurled out of room 217, the same room that Stephen King stayed in during his visit. Other guests have reportedly seen the ghost of the hotel's founder, Freelan Oscar Stanley, hovering behind the reception desk, and have heard a piano playing from an empty room.

Oakley Court Hotel from The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The spooky, gothic atmosphere of the Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor, England has made it a popular location for horror movies. "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," "Vampyres," and the 2020 BBC "Dracula" series were all filmed at the mansion, as well as many Hammer horror films.

The castle was originally built in 1859 for Sir Richard Hall Say. According to Haunted Island, he built it in the style of a French Chateau to give comfort to his homesick French wife. After the building was converted into flats in the 1960s, residents complained of paranormal activity, per Berkshire Live. Strange banging noises were repeatedly heard from unoccupied parts of the house and ghostly figures were seen at night. The menacing aura was attributed to drownings that took place at the nearby Thames.

When the building was turned into a hotel in the 1970s, its hunted reputation was cemented. Inexplicable events occurred throughout the process, with continuous electrical faults, smashed glass, missing tools, and strange noises. Today, guests of the hotel continue to experience a shiver down their spines from the ghostly apparitions. 

The Dakota from Rosemary's Baby

Renowned for its starring role in Roman Polanski's 1968 horror film "Rosemary's Baby" and as the site of John Lennon's assassination, the Dakota has a long and dark history of paranormal encounters. In the movie "Rosemary's Baby," the ominous building is believed to be cursed and home to cults, witches, and Satanists. While Rosemary doesn't believe the stories when she first moves into the building, she soon begins to suspect the neighbors across the hall of having sinister plans for her new baby which are eventually revealed to be true.

In real life, the Dakota's history is almost as ominous. While one of New York City's most famous buildings, the Central Park West apartments have seen more than their fair share of supernatural happenings since their construction in 1880. In the 1960s, construction workers and residents saw a spectral vision of a man with the face of a little boy, per ABC News. In more recent years, reports have surfaced of people seeing a little girl wearing period clothing. The spookiest stories include the time a porter saw random objects moving of their own accord in the basement. Lennon's spirit is also said to frequent the Dakota, as Yoko Ono has seen his ghost playing the piano in their apartment.

Amityville house from The Amityville Horror

While some believe "The Amityville Horror" is more of a hoax than true horror story, the house is reportedly the site of many strange incidents. The film is said to tell the true story of the Lutz family who move into the home at 112 Ocean Avenue and experience horrific hauntings one year after the gruesome DeFeo murders. Their spine-chilling accounts of paranormal events, as reported by Biography, include George Lutz seeing his wife Kathy levitating over the bed, green slime ooze out of the walls, and feeling cold spots while walking through the house.

After hearing the Lutz family's stories, paranormal investigators came to check it out firsthand. Researcher Lorraine Warren felt a gloomy presence during the night she spent at 112 Ocean Avenue, according to ABC News. As part of their investigation, the investigators took time-lapse photos of the house's interior. While many failed to record any evidence of the supernatural, one famous photo captured the ghostly face of what seems to be a little boy looking out from one of the bedrooms.

While it has since been claimed that the paranormal stories that launched the legend of "The Amityville Horror" were stretched to the point of fiction, the house is still believed to be America's most famous haunted house by many people and remains a popular tourist attraction.

The Biltmore Estate from Hannibal

The Biltmore Estate was originally built between 1889 and 1895 in Asheville, North Carolina as a vacation home for George Vanderbilt, one of the heirs to the Vanderbilt industrial fortune. Most of the filming for the chilling movie "Hannibal" took place in and around the estate, and the house itself was the residence of reclusive character Mason Verger. The 178,926 square feet space includes 250 rooms, along with servant's corridors, gym, indoor pool, and a library. There are many staircases in the mansion, which are common places for odd occurrences. Many paranormal investigators say that stairs are spiritual vortexes, attracting spirits.

Hauntings are said to be incredibly common around Biltmore Estate, the largest private home in America. Fortunately, they are all happy hauntings, as reported by Southern Living. While the estate's indoor pool has not been filled with water in recent memory, splashing water can still be heard, along with the sound of glasses clinking together. It seem that the former founders of the estate, George and his wife Edith Vanderbilt, are continuing a festive existence from the afterlife.

The Brewster Apartments from Child's Play

The Brewster Building has a long and storied past. On July 31, 1895, on the eve before the unveiling of the building's completion, builder Bjoerne Edwards was on the rooftop of the building supervising the final phase of construction. While instructing work crews, he tripped on scaffolding and plunged to his death, per ABC News. After the builder, who was a prominent Chicago publisher, met his untimely end, the so-called "curse of the Brewster Building" began. On the same day, July 31, 2013, 118 years later, a 15,000-foot-tall, 5,000-gallon water tank fell off the roof of the building.

The Brewster Apartments are perhaps best known for their role in the iconic horror film "Child's Play," as the home of the maniacal Chucky. The preserved interior features a manually-operated cage elevator and suspended glass-block walkways in a glass-roofed central atrium. People who visit the stone fortress in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood say they feel dread and a fear of falling when they reach the upper floors. Based on these reports, it appears the building's curse lives on.

Oak Alley Plantation from Interview with the Vampire

The rows of century-old oak trees leading up the entrance of Oak Alley Plantation are the beautiful namesake for this historic location. Originally constructed in 1837 by Jacques Roman, a member of an elite French family, the house stood on the grounds of a sugarcane plantation where 200 enslaved people endured forced labor. While most of the plantation homes from this era have been demolished or fallen into disrepair, Oak Alley received a careful reconstruction in 1925.

It's perhaps not surprising that the picturesque mansion and grounds have served as the backdrop for several movies, including the classic horror flick "Interview with a Vampire," and an episode of "Ghost Hunters." Tales of levitating objects and disembodied voices were enough to draw film crews to the Louisiana plantation in hopes of capturing the supernatural on camera. Many employees say that they have been touched by an invisible presence or have heard a crying child, per the Louisiana Bed & Breakfast Association. Other visitors have seen everything from visions of ladies in period dress to candlesticks flying across dining rooms.

Ettington Park Hotel from The Haunting of Hill House

Situated in England's beautiful Stour Valley, the Ettington Park Hotel holds the dubious honor of being the most haunted hotel in Britain. Both guests and staff alike have reported otherworldly encounters, according to Handpicked Hotels. The ghost of a young woman named Lady Emma can frequently be seen floating through the hallways. Others ghostly figures include an old man and his dog in the library, an army officer, and a monk who haunts the grounds.

The ghostly location was personally selected by the director of "The Haunting," a 1963 horror film classic based on the novel by Shirley Jackson. While the actors and crew were filming, rumor has it that actresses Julie Harris and Claire Bloom were afraid to even step foot inside the building. Considering that archaeological surveys of the area suggest that humans settled on the land around the estate 2,000 years ago, it's not surprising that there are traces of the supernatural at Ettington Park. 

Yaquina Head Lighthouse from The Ring

While the Yaquina Head Lighthouse on the Oregon Coast is undoubtedly a beauty, it has a dark side. A dizzying array of rumors and ghost stories surround the lighthouse, and it even played a role in popular horror movie "The Ring" in 2002. One tale is about a construction worker who fell to his death within the lighthouse walls. According to Treehugger, his corpse was unable to be retrieved, and at the time when construction was completed, his body was still inside. 

The most popular story surrounding Yaquina Head is about a lighthouse keeper named Herbert Higgins in the 1920s. One version of the story is that Higgins got drunk while his fellow lighthouse keepers were off duty, fell, and broke his neck. Another version states that after Higgins became ill, Keeper Story was left in charge. Instead of taking over the responsibilities, Keeper Story got drunk and Higgins was forced to keep working until he died. Later lighthouse keepers reported encountering the ghost of someone coming in and going up the spiral stairs, never to come down again. Today, the lighthouse is open to visitors with daily tours. From beautiful sunsets over the ocean to fascinating local wildlife, there is plenty to see in the area, supernatural or otherwise.

The haunted house from The Conjuring

"The Conjuring" house might look like a peaceful farmhouse, but it is reportedly one of the most haunted houses in the United States, per the Independent. The house's supernatural activity was first discovered by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren in 1971 when they were called in to examine its spooky history. Originally built in the 18th century, the farmhouse sits on eight acres of land and has three bedrooms. Current owners Cory and Jennifer Heinzen jumped at the chance to buy it when it went up for sale. As paranormal investigators themselves, they lived through plenty of otherworldly events in the house, including seeing doors opening, black mist, and disembodied voices. Their daughter even saw a veiled spirit while she was eating dinner.

After the Heinzens opened the house to visitors, numerous people reported chilling stories about their experiences spending the night on the property. Far from a relaxing bed and breakfast, people come to the house intent on exploring the paranormal. Before checking in, every guest must signs a waiver that they acknowledge the potential risks involved with violent spiritual attacks and unpredictable situations. Unfortunately, some get more than they bargain for and don't last through the night. According the Heinzens, some visiting ghost hunters have asked the couple to stay with them, while one man spent the night outside in his truck.

Winchester Mystery House from Winchester

Legend has it that the sprawling Victorian mansion in San Jose, California is haunted by the ghosts of every person killed by a Winchester rifle. Sarah Winchester, the house's owner and heir to the Winchester rifle fortune, built the house and added room after room to make more space for the spirits. The result is a labyrinthine structure with halls that lead nowhere, dead-end staircases, sloping floors, and a maze of chambers. According to ABC News, the house features a whopping 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, and 40 staircases.

Ghost sightings are a common occurrence in and around the property. For example, a ghost named Clyde is a frequent houseguest in the mansion. He often makes appearances in the basement area of the house, wheelbarrow in tow, or patching up one of the building's fireplaces. On the mansion tour, visitors often feel a tug on their skirts and pants or hear the sound of fading footsteps. In 2018, the house made its big screen debut in the supernatural horror movie "Winchester."

Whaley House from The Haunting of Whaley House

In 1852, James "Yankee Jim" Robinson was convicted of the crime of grand larceny and hanged. A few years later, Thomas and Anna Whaley built a house at the place where Robinson died and Yankee Jim's ghost soon showed up to haunt the site. His footsteps are said to be heard walking around the house. But the spectral sightings at the San Diego Old Town home do not end there; the ghosts of Mr. and Mrs. Whaley are also regular residents, noticeable by the smells of cigar smoke and perfume. A little girl and the family's dog are also said to make appearances from beyond the grave.

According to Time, the paranormal activity was at such a high level that the U.S. Commerce Department declared the Whaley House as haunted in 1960. The little house also inspired the 2012 horror movie "The Haunting of Whaley House," which follows ghost hunters as they conduct an unauthorized tour of the haunted house.

Hatley Castle from The Changeling

British Columbia's Hatley Castle is a film industry regular, most famously appearing in the movie "The Changeling." The 1980 movie follows a composer as he moves into a new home and begins to see supernatural figures there, particularly the ghost of a murdered boy. The castle has also appeared in the "Poltergeist" series, "Smallville," and the "X-Men" movies.

In real life, Hatley Castle is believed to play host to the supernatural. The castle was constructed in 1909 for James Dunsmuir, a premier of the province, and his wife, Laura Dunsmuir. Tragically, their youngest son lost his life while voyaging to France to fight as a soldier in World War One. His death left James devastated, per Victoria News. After James passed away from what was believed to be a broken heart, his ghost reportedly took up residence at the castle. The sound of music and footsteps are often heard coming from his former study, along with other haunting visions such as flickering lights and ringing bells.