America’s Most Haunted: Which House Deserves the Top Spot this Time? [Guide to the Unknown]

America’s Most Haunted: Which House Deserves the Top Spot this Time? [Guide to the Unknown]

Horror


So many places claim the title of “The Most Haunted House in America” that it makes you wonder: who’s really got the goods? Kristen and Will of Bloody FM’s Guide to the Unknown are taking a look at places that proudly claim this accolade two at a time for mini-competitions that mean absolutely nothing.

With one previous episode under their belt, this week, they’ve fixed their eyes on the Allen House and the Congelier House.

The Allen House of Monticello, Arkansas, is a beauty featuring columns, turrets, and a tragic history that seems to have led to a ghostly present. Ladell Allen Bonner killed herself by drinking cyanide during her mother’s annual Christmas party in 1948. She was 54 years old.

After her death, her mother sealed the room off, perhaps to contain and cover the tragedy—though some recount her saying it was to keep Ladell inside because she was causing trouble in the house. For years, people who passed the house said they saw Ladell’s shadow in the window of her room. It seemed Ladell was still around. Her internal life before her death was a mystery until the Spencer family moved into the Allen house in the 2000s and pulled up a floorboard in the attic to reveal a treasure trove of love letters that told a story. It seemed that Ladell, who was married to a man named Joe Lee Allen, had been carrying on an affair with her high school sweetheart, Prentiss Savage, for many years – and that his breaking it off may have caused her to take her life.

Now, some of what the family had experienced in the home, like seeing shadow figures, had context. (They’ve even shared video of some family ghost-hunting investigations with son Jacob, adorably taking on the role of Team Leader, mom Rebecca, as Tech Specialist, and dad Jacob presumably in a general support role.)

Then we have the Congelier House, built in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1880 and torn down sometime in the early-mid 1900s. The infamous abode is also known as The House the Devil Built, but it looks like this one is all bark and no bite.

The lore around the Congelier House is mainly focused on sinister events that would precipitate later hauntings, as opposed to hauntings themselves, but the events have been largely debunked. The house probably wasn’t haunted by the ghosts of people who didn’t exist. It seems like it was inhabited by ordinary people living everyday lives – including the actual Congelier family, which gave the house its name (but certainly not the story that goes with it).

The legend goes that the Congeliers were the first to live in the home and, driven mad by her husband’s dalliances with their maid, the lady of the house murdered the other two. It is a classic setup for ghosts’ unrest if you stop there. But whatever pre-teen came up with it went a little too far, adding the detail that soon after, a family friend came over unannounced to find Mrs. Congelier singing lullabies to the cradled, decapitated head of her husband’s mistress.

Then there’s the fictional story of another tenant, Dr. Adolph C. Brunrichter, a mad and murderous doctor who lured women to the home only to murder them and perform experiments with their remains. It was, of course, too late to do anything about it once the authorities realized what he was up to: he had fled. He supposedly turned back up years later in New York, where he evaded the police once again, able to roam dangerously free.

There’s no record of any of this happening, but these stories certainly get points for creativity, and there’s something kind of cool about imagining how they’ve reached us today. They must have been passed around during and after the time the house was standing, and then, luckily, when the internet came around, someone thought to type up a memory about that one house, and it went on from there.

Then boom, this place gets touted as the most haunted house in America. However, in Kristen and Will’s extremely unofficial estimation, it’s gotta lose the smackdown to the Allen House. At least the Allen House was home to people whose stories check out…and one extremely delightful paranormal Team Leader.

For a more in-depth discussion of these haunted houses, check out this week’s episode and subscribe to Guide to the Unknown on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts to get a new episode every Friday.





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