5 Interesting Haunted House Hoaxes You Should Know About

haunted houses

Yeah, I’m going there. Some of these scary, spooky places aren’t really haunted. Many are made to seem worse than what they actually are from media influence. You may disagree, and that is fine, but around these parts, there is nothing that can’t be debunked to a crazy story. You’ll see that those crazy stories sometimes grow legs, take a part of something that isn’t what it seems to be, and legend carries it away. Some places are just haunted house hoaxes instead of being something real.

As much as I love haunted parts of the United States, not every article needs to be 70 percent from there. 50 percent is good enough.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

I know, I know, it’s a castle, not a house. But it once was indeed a house. This castle is an old gal, but she keeps her name as a fortress. Built in the 12th century but as old as 900 B.C., this castle has been home to many greats of Scotland. Greats such as St. Margaret, Queen Mary of Guise, Mary Queen of Scots, James VI, and Charles I. St. Margaret’s son, David I, built a chapel in his mother’s honor and it is stands as the oldest building in Edinburgh to this day.

It houses its own history now, with jewels and secret tunnels. It has a massive history, but haunted, I’m not so sure. This place is like the Moscow Kremlin, old, but probably not haunted. With a place like this, you would assume it is haunted, and thus, perceive every noise as a ghost.

Edinburgh Castle by Kevin Phillips, haunted house hoaxes
Edinburgh Castle by Kevin Phillips

I found one account from Time that states that there was a group of over 200 people who’ve conducted a walkthrough of the castle. Only 51% showed the typical paranormal spots as haunted while 35% had haunts in non-typical spots. These are low numbers for a place that is supposedly the most haunted.

Even more so.

To continue this, VovWorld did an interview with Ray McRobbie, who spoke of the same experiment, stating it occurred over 10 days. What he states is the same, with the people seeing dark shadows, orbs, and cold spots.

As much as I would like to believe this, but it is a castle. There are spots in these massive buildings that could create such a thing as weird shadows or cold spots. Castles didn’t have A/C and cold spots could be from the infrastructure. Or it is our eyes, as we expect something haunted to come from a place that is portrayed that way. Yeah, it has some crazy history, but this place isn’t haunted.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

Yes, yes, I am going to put my own story in this one. I’ve been to the Biltmore many times from living in western North Carolina. It is a massive mansion that has some oddly short beds. I never understood that. This hunk of stone started growing in 1889, finishing construction in 1895. The family, George Vanderbilt, moved in his 250-room home. He later married Edith a few years later.

This place is massively beautiful. Everything around the estate is beautiful. Their McDonald’s down the street has a piano in the dining area, at least when I was there. Though during the tour, I do not remember many ghost stories, if any. The main house was not spooky, nor did it cause anyone to see a ghost.

Biltmore Estate by Abhay Bharadwaj, haunted house hoaxes
Biltmore Estate by Abhay Bharadwaj

The pool didn’t splash, mostly because it was kept empty and there are typically items in it. The noise in that room has a great echo, so I could see someone hearing something like splashing. You wouldn’t hear much of anything because with everyone around the estate, a ghost wouldn’t be able to get a word in. The building itself is not very quiet with the museum décor. Hearing “George” down the hallway could be anything with such long corridors.

It is really just a grand house with a lovely estate.

Amityville Horror House, Amityville, New York

Thanks to the bankrolling of motion pictures, this house has been depicted as a demon possessed home that forced a man to kill his entire family in the 1970’s. Call me a critic, but you cannot blame demon possession for killing your kin.

This house may look creepy, but with enough controversy, that is all it is. Claims and lawsuits poked holes with the Lutz family when they moved out in a hurry. In their own possession story, their claims of slamming doors and slime created trouble, with even lawyers getting in trouble for the tall tales. Ronald DeFoe, the original killer, may have been experiencing something, but I don’t think it was the house. No other hauntings have been reported since the Lutz family left.

Palacio de Linares, Madrid, Spain

This beautiful palace was constructed in 1877 for Marquis and Marquise of Linares. It was considered a monument in 1976. The hauntings are fairly basic, with shadows, screams, and footsteps being heard and seen through the building. It is said that there is a girl who walks around that there is a massive dollhouse in the courtyard. That seems to be a correlation right there.

The building itself housed a badly rumored past, including an affair, incest, murder, and suicide. Researchers have the idea that these stories were just rumors, and that the daughter of the affair was never a biological daughter, but possibly adopted. Also, there was never any affair. These stories are just that: stories. There is no real evidence of them occurring and while the horror wants to fit the bill, it just doesn’t pan out.

The hauntings have also turned out to be just rumored and very little evidence has come about. The dollhouse may hold some hauntings, but the palace doesn’t hold much in terms of being ghost-bound.

Borley Rectory, Essex, England

This home is one that had many puzzled until its demise in 1938. The home itself was built in 1862, being placed on top of the destruction of another rectory that burned to the ground in 1841. You can probably see where this is going. The home itself went through many residents. They claimed to hearing footsteps and laughter, people being thrown and having objects thrown at them, and seeing ghosts haunt the yards. After the rectory was destroyed, though, one of the residents, Louis Mayerling, stated in his book We Faked the Ghosts of Borley Rectory, shed some light.

Borley Rectory, haunted house hoaxes
Borley Rectory, via Wikimedia Commons

He stated that the haunts were a hoax, and many residents were in on it. It was a way to gain some fame and some extra income. The fame the home had was merely just rumors planned to assist in getting extra cash. Even its demise, being burned to the ground, was stated to be a possible intentional case of insurance fraud. Even a visiting paranormal investigator, Henry Price, was in on the hoax and made it his 15 minutes of fame.

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