by Taylor Leonard
Alleged haunted houses exist in just about every city and town across the United States. In terms of likelihood of actually being inhabited by the spirits of the dead, a good metric is the age of the house in question. The older the home, the more lives lived within its walls, and thus the more likely one or two have reason to stick around after death.
The United States is relatively young compared to most other nations and therefore its buildings tend to not be more than a few centuries old at the most. Yet, as the following list shows, that’s still plenty of time for some of the oldest homes in America to gather a ghost legend or two under their roofs.
65 Jumel Terrace, New York, NY
Built in 1765
If suddenly transported to the front steps of the Morris-Jumel Mansion, you would never believe in a hundred years that you were in fact in Manhattan, less than 150 feet away from the hustle and bustle of New York City. The mansion is said to be primarily haunted by Eliza Jumel, self-made socialite of the 19th century. However, George Washington’s specter has been reported to pace the grounds as well, as Washington used the house as his headquarters for a period during the American Revolution.
Old Stone House
3051 M Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
Built in 1765
The oldest unchanged building in the nation’s capital, the Old Stone House predates Washington, D.C. by several decades, having existed when the area was little more than a swamp. Eleven distinct ghosts have been said to haunt the Old Stone House, including three children and one a slave.
5267 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA
Built in 1744
The cozy atmosphere of Grumblethorpe, the summer house of a Philadelphia merchant, was interrupted during the Battle of Germantown in 1777. The building was made the headquarters of British BrigadierGeneral James Agnew, who, after being shot by a sniper’s bullet, was taken to the house and bled to death on the parlor floor. Agnew’s blood remains visible in the wood, and his ghost has been seen standing over the stain through the windows late at night.
5408 Neshaminy Valley Rd, Bensalem, PA
Built in 1685
Growden Mansion had the honor of hosting more than one of America’s Founding Fathers. The first two Presidents of the United States, George Washington and John Adams, were guests of honor on more than one occasion. However, it’s Benjamin Franklin’s time spent at Growden Mansion which attracts the most notoriety, for it’s said his spirit can be seen on the lawn during lightning storms, flying his kite.
Seabrook Wilson House
719 Port Monmouth Rd, Port Monmouth, NJ
Built in 1663
Nicknamed the Spy House, the Seabrook Wilson House was a tavern during the Revolutionary War where the innkeepers would eavesdrop on the plans of lodging British officers and relay the information to the Continental Army. Nearly a century before, however, the feared Captain Henry Morgan was rumored to conduct torture in the basement. Morgan’s ghost is said to take pleasure in scaring kids in the gift shop. Another alleged spirit said to haunt the Seabrook Wilson House is a woman dressed in white moving from room to room in search of her baby.
Despite being a “new” nation compared to many, the United States is old enough to contain a number of historically significant buildings. Some are houses from centuries ago, preserved so well they practically serve as a portal to the past. In some cases they may very well be serving as portals for the spirits of past inhabitants as well.