We all know the horror movie staple: A family or couple moves into a home where a grisly murder took place, only to start noticing something a little supernatural about the place. Even if you do not believe in ghosts or bad energy, there is still something creepy about living in a house where people were brutally killed.
10 JonBenet Ramsey House
The home of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was a place of happiness and laughter until tragedy struck in 1996. Little JonBenet was struck on the head and then strangled in a murder case that remains unsolved to this day. The house where she lived in Colorado was vacant for a long time until it was purchased by Carol Schuller Milner, who is the daughter of televangelist Robert Schuller.
Unfortunately, Milner has never spent much time at the house and tried to sell it for $2.3 million in 2011. When there were no takers, it was relisted in 2014 for $1.9 million. As of late 2015, it appeared that no one else was willing to buy the house where the grisly murder of a child took place.
“Some people are making this a dark monument as opposed to thinking about the restoration that can occur after a tragedy,” Milner is quoted as saying. “Death is not the last word, and God is not bound by death. I just don’t believe it’s in his character to abandon us, and that affects my ability to look at this house and see all the beautiful things about it.”
9 Camden Ripper House
The Camden Ripper was the alter ego given by the press to Anthony Hardy, a serial killer who murdered three women at his flat in North London before he was caught. Unlike his namesake, Jack the Ripper, he was quickly brought to justice after making one fatal mistake: He threw the various body parts of his victims into a bin near his flat. A tramp was rummaging through the bin one day when he discovered a pair of legs hidden inside.
Hardy preyed on prostitutes before being sent to jail for life in 2003. The flat where he lived is now rented by several tenants, who presumably know all about the man who used to call it home. What perhaps makes this crime all the scarier is the recent time frame in which it happened. It’s possible to look at the walls and imagine the killer seeing the same view.
8 Crossbow Cannibal House
Azarias Fontaine is a student in Bradford, England, who is renting a flat at a bargain price. He pays just £360 a month, which is excellent value for a full flat in a big student area. But there’s a reason why Fontaine is getting away with living there so cheaply: He’s living in the home of Stephen Griffiths, the “Crossbow Cannibal.”
Griffiths killed and dismembered three women in the bath of the property. Then he moved their remains into the kitchen where he cooked and ate them. Fontaine had to be told about the dark past of the flat before he signed the lease, but he had no problem with the idea. Since the bathroom and the kitchen have been refurbished, he believes that the scene of the crime no longer really exists. Still, his mother claims to have felt a spirit touch her on the shoulder while she was visiting her son’s home.
7 Gardette-LaPrete House
This is a house that also demands a steep price. With a beautiful facade but a dark history, it went up for sale for $2.65 million in 2013 in the historic area of New Orleans.
It was first purchased by Jean Baptiste LaPrete in the 1830s, and the famously pink property was then renovated with wrought iron rails in a lacy pattern on all the balconies. LaPrete rented the property to a rich Turkish man who was rumored to be the brother of a sultan. Mysterious parties would go on through the night there, with music and incense floating in the air around the property.
One such party ended in horror, however. Blood trickling down the front steps alerted the local authorities to a potential crime, and when they forced their way inside, they found all the party guests mutilated and dismembered. The Turk had been buried alive in the courtyard.
After this grisly event, the house fell into disrepair. It was abandoned and crumbling by the 1960s but was bought and restored by Frank D’Amico and Anthony Vesich Jr. in 1966. D’Amico’s wife lived in the penthouse apartment while they did their work, and she claimed to have seen the ghost of a man standing at the foot of the bed. This creepy house is now separated into several apartment blocks.
6 Tyler Hadley House
Tyler Hadley was a disturbed 17-year-old living in Port St. Lucie, Florida, at 371 NE Granduer Avenue. By all accounts, he had a good relationship with his father and mother, Blake and Mary Jo, until he started smoking pot as an adolescent. Then, as his tastes turned to stronger drugs and different highs, his thoughts increasingly became violent. He told multiple friends that he wanted to murder his parents, though most dismissed it as attention-seeking behavior from a young man who would often act out in class.
In 2011, Tyler held his first house party. He had never been permitted to do so before, but he claimed that his parents were out of town and he no longer cared what happened to the house. He allowed over 200 teens to come to his house and do whatever they wanted as long as they did not draw the attention of the police.
In the early hours of the morning, he took his best friend aside and confessed that he had murdered his parents earlier that day. He had taken a hammer to both of their heads. He killed his mother first, and when his father came upon the scene, Tyler killed his father, too. Tyler threw the bodies and all the evidence into the master bedroom, locked the door, and started inviting people to his house party through Facebook.
The crime was only discovered after his startled friend saw the bodies and called the police. Tyler had spoken of committing suicide but was arrested and jailed before he could act. In 2015, the US Bank National Association bought the empty property with the intention of selling it.
5 Dennis Nilsen House
Flat 23D, Cranley Gardens boasts a fantastic location in the leafy London area of Muswell Hill, a desirable location which often comes with a hefty price tag. The balcony allows for stunning views over the north side of the city. But in April 2015, the property was put up for sale for just £300,000.
It’s a bargain because the former owner, Dennis Nilsen, was a serial killer who terrorized the area with his perverted killing spree. He would lure young boys back to the house by offering them food or alcohol. Then he would kill them and keep their bodies around for months. He would watch television with them or masturbate next to their corpses.
When he was done having his fun, he would chop them up into small pieces and flush the body parts down the toilet. Although three men died in the flat, it’s believed that he killed at least nine others before moving there.
He almost got away with the murders, but he didn’t chop the bodies into small enough chunks. The drains became clogged with rotting body parts, leading the police to discover the crimes and arrest him.
Many have joked that the continued existence of the house—in a country where murder houses are often torn down—demonstrates just how valuable property in London has become.
4 Birnie House
David and Catherine Birnie have gone down in history as a serial killer couple with sick tastes. Their reign of terror in Perth, Australia, began when a young woman named Mary Neilson came to the house at 3 Moorhouse Street to buy car tires. Instead of getting a bargain, she was tied to a bed and raped. Then they stabbed and strangled her before dumping her body in a nearby forest area.
That was in October 1986, and before the end of the year, three more victims would fall into the Birnies’ grip. A 15-year-old hitchhiker named Susan Candy and a 31-year-old woman who ran out of gas on the highway were the next to face abduction, repeated rape, torture, and eventually death. Then another hitchhiker, 21-year-old Denise Brown, met her untimely death at their hands.
Their murder spree came to an end that November when they attempted to abduct a 17-year-old girl. She escaped and ran to the police, who quickly discovered the grisly deeds the pair had committed. They were not actually married. Catherine had left her husband and children in 1985 to live with David and took his surname during that time.
Their house has changed hands several times over the last 20 years. In October 2015, it went up for sale again at an asking price of $579,000. In a great location near the central business district of Perth, the house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Homeowners just have to get past the memory of the four women who were brutally abused and murdered right there in one of the bedrooms.
3 Roseangle Murder House
The house at 2 Roseangle, which stands opposite the art college in Dundee, has a great location and four spacious bedrooms. This large property looked like a real steal when it went up for sale in September 2015 for only £500,000. But prospective buyers were put off by the property’s dark past.
The Roseangle house is also opposite a church and might be mistaken for the place where the local priest would live. It was actually owned by a doctor and his wife, who were elderly and living alone. In 1980, a man named Henry John Gallagher happened on the house. With his history of attacking clergymen, he probably thought he had found another.
Gallagher broke into the house and attacked the residents with a hammer, beating them both to death. Unfortunately, he was never tried for the crime and went on to murder a priest and his housekeeper in Ramsgate, Kent. The rampage that followed had him sent to Broadmoor Psychiatric Prison.
The house was at first bought by the university as student housing but is now in private hands. There is also planning permission to turn it into a restaurant, although this has not been realized as of late 2015.
2 Betts House
This house certainly makes you wonder whether a curse exists. In just a few years, the property at 9337 Columbia Boulevard in Silver Spring, Maryland, was home to three murders. It went on the market in 2011 at a price of $515,000.
In 2002, a man named Anthony Kelly broke into the home and pistol-whipped nine-year-old Erika Smith. When she called to her father for help, she was shot and killed at point-blank range. Rushing in to help his daughter was Greg Russell, whom Kelly then shot at least six times and also killed. Kelly fled the house after stealing just one item—a New Testament.
In 2003, Brian K. Betts, a popular middle school principal, learned of these events after his deal to buy the house was already underway. Although he tried to renege on the purchase, it was too late.
Betts was living in the house when he met 18-year-old Alante Saunders on a gay sex chat line and invited him over to continue their liaison in person. Once there, Saunders and three of his friends tried to rob Betts. Ultimately, Saunders shot the principal while the robbery was going on.
Betts’s family wanted to have the house bulldozed, but instead it went up for sale to private owners.
1 Edmonton Massacre House
The worst mass murder in Edmonton’s history is something that most people in the area want to forget. It is particularly painful for those who live on 83 Street and knew 53-year-old Phu Lam and his family, who once lived at number 18024. On December 29, 2014, Lam snapped. He shot his wife to death, along with six of her family members and friends, all of them within the walls of the property.
He continued his rampage by killing another woman on the south side of the city before heading to a Vietnamese restaurant in Fort Saskatchewan and finally killing himself. In all, he killed nine people that day, including a three-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy. Fortunately, Lam spared his one-year-old daughter and a baby nephew.
The bank foreclosed on the three-bedroom house, which went up for sale in August 2015 with an asking price of $365,000. The property is in a nice neighborhood but considered too bloody by many, including some neighbors who have moved away to escape the awful memories.
Rhiannon D’Averc is a freelance writer living in the UK. You can find her on Twitter at @rhiannondaverc to see all of her latest posts at various websites, including photography blogs and entertainment articles.