While Airbnb does make travelling more efficient and affordable, not everything about the Airbnb experience is a rosy or romantic as modern day vagabonds might have you believe. There is a dark side to the rental site that caters to those with more ghoulish taste. They can be somewhat hard to find, but on the plus side the waiting list is fairly short. The naive, curious, or foolish can spend a weekend at a reportedly haunted mansion, or sleep inside ancient stone fortresses. There are no guarantees that everyone will get the experience they hope for staying in any of these fifteen locations, but everyone will definitely have a story to tell. Could you stay the night in any of these places?
A Tower Near Tuscany
A one bedroom rental in the Italian Lake Country sounds like a lovely spot to vacation. It is highly rated on Airbnb as well, with a full five star rating. However, there is more than likely some very unsavory history to the area and the tower itself. Apparently, the tower used to be part of a stable the was inexplicably abandoned before being purchased by the current owners. The tower also lies a short distance from the village of Sanguineto, the root of which indicates the Latin/Italian word for blood. It is thought to be the location where Hannibal of Carthage massacred 15,000 Roman soldiers during the Battle of Lake Trasimene. Still sound like a cozy overnight stay?
The Robert T. Moore Estate
In Flintridge, California there is a gorgeous estate presently up for sale that is rented on Airbnb for $179 per night. Originally built by ornithologist Robert T. Moore, the property was once home to more than 50,000 exotic birds when it was his primary residence in the 1930s. Apparently a bit of an eccentric (he was a professional birdwatcher after all), Moore apparently employed two sets of laborers to construct the estate. His purpose for doing so, per his own words, was that he didn’t want the general public to know the “secrets” of the house in their entirety, so by alternating labor crews he was able to maintain his privacy. What “secrets” the house needed to keep from the outside world is anyone’s guess, but it is distinctly unsettling that he went to such great lengths to keep them hidden.
The Haunted Stagecoach Stop
Surrounded by a ghost town near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, there is a stagecoach stop that can be rented for just $63 a night on Airbnb. The actual rental is a historic adobe home, but you can always take a late night walk out by the long-abandoned Old Cuchillo Hotel or visit the long-silent saloon. The Airbnb page bills this location as the perfect artists retreat, though the actual rental property is devoid of cobwebs and musty old rooms. One potential issue that may come up is the fact that the townspeople are all long dead and may not have actually completed their “crossing over” just yet.
The Madness Chamber
This rental is not for the faint of heart. $219 per night buys you a stay in a room considered to be so haunted that they call it “The Madness Chamber”, a 600 year old gorgeously wood paneled apartment above an ancient pub called The Trembling Madness, which is purported based on wood aging tests to be 800 years old. In addition to its ancient construction, some claim parts of the original construction date back to the 1066 Norman Conquest, and the pub itself sits not far from a former site of public executions. They can’t say it’s certifiably haunted, but if a place in England were going to be haunted, it would be this place.
Out in the wilds of Camden Maine, there stands a farmhouse that is a bit like a time capsule of a preindustrial New England between the great expanse of the Atlantic Ocean and the peaks of Ragged Mountain. The presence of ghosts on the property is a generally accepted fact, and in order to amplify the overall haunted atmosphere, the Cranford Lodge is decorated with vintage toys and dolls from its construction time period of 1850.
Castle Chateau Pitau
At a nightly rate of $206, this Russian castle near the capital city of Moscow is a bargain at twice the price. The beautiful red brick fortress has its own forest in the rear of the grounds, three bedrooms, a dining room, and sleeps eight altogether. The 2,000 square foot garden encircles the entire property, and there is a lake within walking distance of the front door. However, as with all the properties on this list, there is a very punctual ghost who it is said haunts this ancient castle: every weekday, a ghost appears exactly at midnight. While this sounds somewhat suspect even for paranormal activity, the Castle Chateau Pitau offers the closest thing to a guaranteed supernatural experience.
In the nation of banshees, fairies, and pugnacious elven mascots, Ireland is also a land of spirits (and not just the alcoholic kind). With its rolling green hills and well-watered grasslands, the misty mornings and evenings provide an otherworldly feel to the lands of the Emerald Isle. So, a gigantic haunted mansion is just par for the course, right? According to previous guests at this stately home, Headfort House in Meath is positively rife with haunting spiritual entities. Originally constructed in the mid 18th century by a Dublin architect named George Semple as commissioned by a Sir Thomas Taylour, First Earl of Bective, Headfort House is among Ireland's 100 Most Endangered Sites as of 2004. It has served as a school for young people aged 3 to 14, and former guests claim that you can hear long-dead alumni playing out on the grounds or creating a racket inside of the house itself.
Another Irish castle, this property sits on a hill south of Tuam in County Galway, presenting a grand view of the surrounding countryside. Named for the family who erected it (the Hiberno-Norman Hacketts), the construction was finished in the 1400s, but the castle was ultimately abandoned in the early 1700s. As legend would have it, the land upon which the castle stands was acquired by driving off two local Irish clans, the O’Flaherty and Kirwan tribes, and most historians suspect that their ouster was most likely accomplished through violent means. As if to add to this rather macabre reputation, the castle has largely been reclaimed by nature (as pictured), and the subterranean dungeon is still intact. Try spending the night in a place like that and not letting your imagination get the best of you.
Standing on the grounds of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War, this farmhouse is surrounded by a history of violent death. 23,000 soldiers died fighting for the Union, while as many as 28,000 gave their lives for the Confederacy. Naturally, with so many people meeting a death by violence, Gettysburg is considered one of the most haunted places in the United States.
For the paltry sum of $105 per night, visitors can spend the night at a small farmhouse close to the old battlefield itself. The real advantage is that the farmhouse was actually a field hospital shortly after the battle, and many wounded men suffered and died within its walls. Essentially, if this house is not haunted, then there is no such thing as haunted houses.
The Parks-Bowman Mansion
Nestled in New Orleans Garden district, this is a well known haunted location in The Big Easy. You can even spend the night in “the Haunted Bedroom”, where the ghost of a playful little girl dressed in yellow is said to wake the occasional overnight guest. While harmless, it is quite unsettling to say the least. Nightly rental is about $115 on Airbnb, but with a guaranteed haunting that’s quite a steal.
The Haunted Castle Bed and Breakfast
The above title is actually the name of the location. People flock to this place in Brumley, Missouri stay in this Queen Anne Victorian mansion, which was originally constructed in the 1850s and has recently undergone extensive restorations to make it appear as if it has remained untouched since the 19th century. The owners intentionally made these restorations in order to preserve the ghostly ambiance of their establishment. Their most famous ghost, Mrs. Dixon, has been dubbed the Screaming Woman, and was married to the original owner of the house. Most hauntings take place in the wee hours of the morning, and there are more than just Mrs. Dixon allegedly populating the premises.
In the crown jewel Georgian city of Savannah, there stands a tiny shack that rents on Airbnb for $225 a night on average. This 18th century home was originally a guest house, and the titular spirit Laura is known to have greeted many guests and passersby over the years with a friendly hello.
Battery Carriage House Inn
Charleston is the archetypal Old Southern city, and as such has many haunted places, but none quite so ghostly as the Battery Carriage House Inn. Room 8 is apparently a veritable centerpoint for supernatural activity, at times visited by a headless torso, and at other times a poltergeist that enjoys jumping into bed with sleeping women and getting handsy without permission. Hmmmm...ghoulish torso, or groping ghost? Tough call there.
Captain Grant’s House
A Connecticut home that provides the full range of New England flavor, this house is located in the port city of Mystic, which is as well known for its architectural beauty as it is for its supernatural activity. The original owner was a well regarded world traveller and seaman, and his family inhabited the house for generations afterwards. It was also a home for Continental Army soldiers during the Revolutionary War, and escaped slaves during the Civil War. It is said to be haunted primarily by spirits from the St. James Cemetery and the Poquetanuck Cemetery that lay on either side of the house itself. Naturally, due to the alleged supernatural activity, there are many ghost tours and halloween parties hosted here every year.
The Paris Catacombs
An ancient ossuary dating back to before the Roman Empire, this Airbnb rental is for October 31st only, but you do get to spend the night in one of the oldest burial places in the world. One unique identifying characteristic of the catacombs is the quaintly named “Gate of Hell” entrance. It was so named due to an occurrence in the 1790s, when the cities cemeteries ran out of room and bodies were disinterred and unceremoniously dumped in fortified tunnels beneath the city throughout the catacombs. A few brave souls a year still try to explore the catacombs in order to discover the alleged mouth of hell that exists there that swallowed up all the bodies that were removed from their graves and tossed deep within the catacombs. There is even a video online you can watch on their Airbnb site that documents the adventures of one such explorer who lost his mind due to sheer terror after one night of wandering among the bones.