Test Your Friendship at a Spooky Airbnb

Spend the holidays with members of your chosen family or friends in sheer terror. Travel Channel's experts round up the scariest Airbnb rentals in the world.

November 14, 2019

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Airbnb

Photo By: Courtesy of Airbnb

Photo By: Courtesy of Airbnb

Photo By: Courtesy of Airbnb

Photo By: Courtesy of Airbnb

Photo By: Courtesy of Airbnb

Photo By: Courtesy of Airbnb

Photo By: Courtesy of Airbnb

Photo By: Courtesy of Airbnb

Photo By: Courtesy of Airbnb

Photo By: Courtesy of Airbnb

New Orleans, Louisiana

Just a stone’s throw from Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the picturesque Garden District, the palm-shaded, 130-year-old Parks-Bowman Mansion features classic New Orleans flourishes like generous porches, a majestic cypress staircase and glittering stained-glass windows. Its Haunted Bedroom also occasionally features “a young girl in a yellow dress from the 1890s,” according to the description on the Airbnb site. The "young girl" is said to hum lullabies while limping about the property and hiding eyeglasses. The mansion’s owners note that she’s very shy, and you might not see her. Phew — lullabies are much less disturbing when you can’t see their source.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $80/night

St. Paul, Minnesota

Sean Doyle, the owner of what was once voted the "most mysterious house in Saint Paul” by readers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, traces uncanny experiences with his estate back to a barrette: When he was exploring The Manor as a prospective buyer, he retrieved the vintage accessory from the floor and had a sudden vision of a girl in a white dress. A year later, he learned that a young lady named Rosalia Fihn had died of typhoid in the house more than a century ago — and the photo her descendants showed him matched the image that had flashed before his eyes, naturally. Doyle told Reader’s Digest that he’s “a skeptic when it comes to actual ghosts, but…there was definitely some of Rosalia’s energy here.” Does your Friendsgiving table have room for a drop-in?

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $76/night

York, England

Collect your keys for The Haunted Chamber Apartment at Trembling Madness, a medieval ale house down the road from your digs. As an MTV UK reporter relates, you’ll wind your way down an unlit alley, let yourself in, then encounter “taxidermy on almost every wall,” “a ‘Beware of The Ghost’ sign above the fireplace,” “a Ouija board on the coffee table,” and “an actual ‘Ghost Detector.’” With a four-poster bed and a sofa that folds out for two, this 600-year-old rental provides cozy quarters for four in the center of historic York — provided that the Ghost Detector remains silent, of course.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $154/night

Preston, Connecticut

Groups in search of a spooky and swanky gathering place should look to Captain Grant’s, a historic bed and breakfast built in 1754 and available room-by-room or in its entirety for $900/night. Guests who book a two-night stay between Sunday and Thursday “receive a spirit communication lesson," according to the description on the Airbnb site. And all guests can chat over breakfast with Carol Matsumoto, innkeeper and author of The Ghosts of Captain Grant’s Inn (in which she describes the property’s 12 resident spirits). Previous visitors have reported moving objects, rattling doors and “a group of ghostly children playing marbles in the inn’s hallway.” Don’t forget to take a stroll through the neighborhood: The inn is nestled between two cemeteries (dating back to 1650 and the 19th century).

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $179/night

La Cañada Flintridge, California

The ornithologist who built this home in 1929 appears to have taken a page from the notoriously tireless builder Sarah Winchester’s book of blueprints: Robert Moore is said to have been so secretive that he hired different construction workers every day to maintain his project’s mysteries. He’s also said to have died in his bedroom on the property on the day before Halloween in 1958 (and to roam the halls to this day). Five guests can share the house’s spacious “family suite” — and if they’re inspired to head down to Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, it’s just about an hour south.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $140/night

Great Dunmow, England

This Essex property’s owner, John Trevillian, has leaned into his home’s chilling vibe and decorated its master bedroom to "recreate in nightmarish detail the bedchamber of a seven-year-old Edwardian child complete with books, toys, and ephemera.” If you fancy a Gothic get-together, the Haunted Bedroom is the space for you: it's low-lit with “period lighting and candles.” There are “unexplained smells and sounds,” and it’s “not for the faint hearted.” (Renting it will also guarantee your exclusive use of Talliston House and its gardens for the duration of your stay.) “I’m torn with writing a review at all,” one recent visitor wrote, “as I feel like I stumbled into a delicious secret and am reluctant to share it.” As a memorable character in The Witch put it, wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $160/night

Savannah, Georgia

Little is known about Laura, the midwife who’s said to have lived in this 220-year-old pine cottage for half a century — or, more precisely, little is known about her activities before she died. Guests have reported the occasional appearance of a dime, a nickel, and two pennies (a midwife’s fee in the 18th century) in the house, and it’s a perennial stop on Savannah ghost tours. If Laura’s spirit is indeed lingering in her former home, she seems to be intent on making guests comfortable: This cozy four-person space gets rave reviews from its living visitors.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $178/night

Richfield, Ohio

Glamping is undeniably fun, but isn’t it a bit old-hat at this point? We’re here to say the next big thing is clearly hamping (that is, haunted camping), and the place to start is the grounds of Farnham Manor, near Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park. If your Friendsgiving guest list has at least 10 names, pitch your tents on Everett Farnam’s estate, where his little daughter Emily drowned in 1858 (and her spirit is said to remain). Is Farnham Manor truly an “angelic vortex” (where visitors connect with loved ones who have passed on)? There’s only one way to find out.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $65/night

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The David Stewart Farm has accommodated crowds for quite some time: In July of 1863, the farmhouse and barn served as a field hospital after the Battle of Gettysburg. In 2019, you’ll have one to two private bedrooms in the house with its owner, her pets and the many spirits who reside with her: “They have lived at the farm for many, many years,” she says, “some for hundreds of years. Yes, the house is haunted, but they are all friendly!”

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $99/night

Aspers, Pennsylvania

Like the David Stewart Farm, this 1838 home played a role in the Civil War: Confederate soldiers en route to the battle at Gettysburg stayed in its attic and camped on its hills. It also has spectral guests, according to its hosts, who invite you to “come enjoy our hospitality…and maybe one of our spiritual residents will entertain you.” They’re willing to make introductions on that count: They’re ghost hunters, and will offer “paranormal investigations” of the house for an additional fee.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $128/night

New Orleans, Louisiana

Built in 1855 for Louise Arsene Vitry, a free woman of color, Maison Vitry oozes with character: The 3,700-square-foot, three-bedroom Creole mansion features stunning architectural details like 14-foot ceilings, its original plaster moldings, mantels, and frescoes, and cast-iron balconies, and it’s a photographer’s and videographer’s dream (it’s featured in both HBO’s Treme and FX’s American Horror Story). One of the house’s owners reports that it is not haunted — “but I think Louise appreciates that I’ve [restored it to a state of elegant decay], he told Curbed New Orleans. This rental is the perfect HQ for an AHS marathon — if your crew is steely nerved enough for it.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $385/night

Cuchillo, New Mexico

The Old Cuchillo Hotel was once a stagecoach stop for travelers in the southern New Mexican desert, and it’s now a sustainably restored adobe dwelling for visitors with a taste for the history of the Old West. Ghost-curious guests enjoy the best of both worlds at this rental: They get a tour of the reportedly haunted bar space (above), which dates to the mid-19th century, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the hotel building itself is spirit-free, probably.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $63/night

Oberlin, Ohio

Since 2018, Oberlin’s Inspiration House has been a place to get unplugged: Operated by a nonprofit and dedicated to offering small-group retreats and workshop spaces, it’s TV-free and proud. It’s also a place to open yourself to invisible influences, as the proprietors suspect it is haunted — and owner Michelle Belanger (of Paranormal State and Portals to Hell) designed its display room, where she trains visitors to develop their psychic abilities. (Evening and overnight ghost hunts with Michelle are available as well.)

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $161/night

Isle of Wight, England

The Isle of Wight is known in some circles as the “world’s most haunted island,” and it attracts ghost hunters from around the world. Paranormal researcher and journalist Gay Baldwin (author of four books on the island’s spirits) estimates that the land mass’s “160,000 ‘living’ residents” share space with “many hundreds of ghosts.” For a potential introduction, book a stay at Gurnard Cottage, one of three former working cottages attached to St. Catherine’s Lighthouse — where, as the story goes, three keepers who died in air raids on the island during World War II are responsible for mysterious noises and disappearances.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $145/night

Wake Forest, North Carolina

With apologies to other quaint listings in this roundup, the Stroud House in North Carolina is the most adorably supernatural space we’ve ever seen. Built in the 1940s by the Reverend I.T. Stroud and lovingly maintained by his family in the intervening decades, it’s now a country-chic Halloween dream. That said, those weathered Haunted signs aren’t just for show. The home’s proprietors offer a matter-of-fact warning: “Several friends, family and guests have experienced supernatural events here including: footsteps in the hallway or upstairs, the hall and basement lights turning on randomly, a shadowy figure in the kitchen and dining room, glowing orbs in the living room, and even a music box that has played by itself.”

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $60/night

St. Helens, Oregon

The Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart's) home in the Twilight series was ostensibly in Forks, Washington — but superfans have long known that the first film adaptation was shot at a 1930s home 30 miles north of Portland in St. Helens, Oregon (which was constructed on a sound stage in sequels). Since July of this year, the house’s owners have made it available as a rental — and they’ve done a scary-good job of recreating familiar spaces. If a star-studded take on the supernatural is your group’s speed, look no further (and get ready to fight over who gets Bella’s bedroom).

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $330/night

Crestline, California

The trio of artists who dreamed up The Crescent Manor — a “neo-Gothic fairytale retreat” in the San Bernardino National Forest — know that their dark fantasy is ripe for social media, and they encourage their guests to live it up on Instagram and beyond (the house had cameos in a recent feature in Faerie Magazine). Though this over-the-top environment is all about setting the stage for visiting spooks (there’s no mention of hauntings in its listing page), we’d venture to say that you shouldn’t be altogether surprised if one of your companions reveals that he or she was born a few hundred years earlier than you'd been led to believe.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $350/night

Ontario, Canada

Lumber baron Charles Beck built this stately brick Victorian in Penetanguishene for himself and his family of 11 back in 1885, and while the building was converted to apartments in the intervening years, it’s still a prime spot for history and haunting buffs. (The hosts present their paranormal FYI in characteristically Canadian language: “Please Note: This is is a quiet adult building tenanted with people, cats and ghosts.”) Plan an outing to Discovery Harbour, the historic town’s onetime British naval and military base, which is also thought to be haunted.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $96/night

Rensow, Germany

Historic-and-mildly-terrifying-tchotchkes like vintage baby shoes: check. Massive book-lined shelves that almost certainly conceal hidden passageways: check. A 1,200-year-old infestation of “Slavic Gods”: also check! This 17th-century north German manor (owned and decorated in period-appropriate style by a Danish countess) is two hours from Berlin and Hamburg, and ideal for globetrotting ghost hunters who aim to get away from it all (then build a fire in their massive hearth and invite unearthly visitors right back in.)

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $32/night

Troy, New York

The cozy second-floor suite in this family home (in the historic village of Lansingburgh, New York) is not its locus of paranormal activity: Per the host, her bodiless guests are fondest of the basement and the attic (ghosts gonna ghost, after all). That said, they’re also fond of harmless human-heckling, in the form of swiping keys and tapping on doors. Good clean fun, right?

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $32/night

Willow, New York

Nestled on a 34-acre property, 15 minutes outside Woodstock, this sleek and stylish modern treehouse “feels like a Wes Anderson moment,” as one recent guest put it. In exchange for unplugging (since WiFi and cell reception are decidedly absent in the secluded space), visitors gain serene views of a swimmable pond and a firewood-heated Swedish hot tub. “At times,” another recent guest recalled, “it felt like we were the only ones alive” — which sounds a bit more like a Camp Crystal Lake moment, but that’s cool, right? Those ripples on the surface of the water are definitely, probably minnows.

Book It: Airbnb, Starting at $350/night

Hudson, New York

This carved Chinese canopy bed would be the perfect place to curl up with a book of ghost stories in any room, but it happens to sit in one of four rooms in a century-old converted schoolhouse … in the middle of a cemetery. Don’t expect to meet vengeful spirits during your visit: “nobody died in this building,” co-owner Laura Ann Jacobs told Funeralwise, and “no one had terrible things happen to them in this building.” Do expect a once-in-a-lifetime stay on an historic ground — with very quiet neighbors.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $117/night

Los Angeles, California

It’s no accident that this baroque home studio looks like a production still from a vampire romance: it was designed as a set for that very purpose. From stacks of Anne Rice novels and toothy artwork to a coffin coffee table and plush red velvet on just about every surface, “The Scarlet Dahlia” is a decidedly nocturnal retreat from the sun-drenched City of Angels. Pack your darkest sunglasses, and a cape or three.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $125/night

Clynnog-Fawr, Wales

Escape to a fairy tale on the Llynn Peninsula just west of Snowdonia National Park in Wales, where an all-natural, custom-built “hobbit/fairy/witch house” waits on 40 acres of permaculture farmland in the deep woods. (We mean that: Pack strategically, as you’ll have to carry your belongings about 300 meters “over quite rough ground” from where you’ll have to leave your vehicle.) Spend the day exploring the lakes and streams on your host’s grounds, as well as their farm itself, then load up the wood-burning stove after dark and watch firelight dance across the roundhouse’s knobby timbers. Whether or not you answer any late-night knocks on the door, should you hear any, is up to you.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $59/night

Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

Nestled among whispering white birch, this firetower-inspired hideaway is contemporary and plush on the inside — and all by itself when viewed from above. The chalet’s second-story wraparound deck offers panoramic views of picturesque central Pennsylvania, as well as glimpses of local wildlife like turkey, deer and bears (extra holiday guests are welcome, right?). Seasonal bonus: the 60-plus-acre property also features a working tree farm, so there are quite literally Christmas trees as far as the eye can see.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $175/night

Trentino, Italy

Berghütte Weiss (in the south Tyrol region near Switzerland and Austria) is unquestionably charming: it’s not hard to picture pulling out candles for intimate dinners and reading by lamplight. That’s precisely what you should picture, in fact, as the alpine Italian hut has no electricity — and in December, darkness falls well before five in the afternoon. Now that’s what we call a properly Goth digital detox.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $40/night

Terlingua, Texas

Jenna and Guillaume of HGTV’s Mighty Tiny Houses loved this quirky adobe dome in the Chihuahuan desert, and we don’t blame them: the teensy Texas Hill Country HQ was ingeniously designed and includes everything needed to live off the grid. It’s also smack in the middle of one of the few parts of the country that’s still under a dark-sky ordinance, so there’s zero light pollution between dome-dwellers and the majestic Milky Way. This isolated-but-accessible getaway is about 25 minutes from Big Bend National Park and the ghost town of Terlingua.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $98/night

Devon, England

Devon has long inspired spine-tingling authors: Agatha Christie’s The A.B.C. Murders and And Then There Were None, James Herbert’s The Secret of Crickley Hall and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles are all set in the evocative English county. Travelers with an interest in literary thrills can become the temporary lords and ladies of stately Tawstock Castle, an 18th-century edifice with a walled courtyard and two lookout towers. Perched on a rounded hilltop, Tawstock is the ideal place to watch fog roll across the countryside.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $314/night

Borgarnes, Iceland

This design-hound destination on the Snæfellsnes peninsula (about two hours north of Reykjavík on the western coast of Iceland) is a modern nod to traditional timber houses, which owed their inky-black color to the coat of tar-based weatherproofing on their exteriors. Foreboding on the outside and exquisitely decorated on the inside — designer Rut Káradóttir carried the dramatic tones of the home’s stark surroundings through its interior walls and furnishings — this dark beauty is ideal for travelers in search of the ghostly northern lights.

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $225/night

Los Angeles, California

If you and up to 11 of your friends and family members fancy a once-in-a-lifetime holiday splurge, look no further than The Houdini Estate — yeah, that Houdini — in the Hollywood Hills. First built and owned in the early 1900s by Ralph M. Walker, a friend of the great magician’s, the Edwardian-style property features caves, tunnels, terraced gardens and a deep-water tank where, as the story goes, Houdini practiced his escapes. Houdini’s widow, Bess, lived on the estate long after his death in 1929, and once played hostess to 500 magicians there. (Note: Do not try to throw a party for 500 magicians there.)

BOOK IT: Airbnb, Starting at $1,500/night