The Largest Haunted House In America

This next stop on our paranormal road trip this week takes us back to my home state of North Carolina. About three and half hours from my hometown is Asheville. I LOVE Asheville and have many memories of going there often while growing up. Jeremy and I sometimes talk about possible moving there when he is all done with the military but that is at least a decade down the road. There is so much do in that town we could never get bored. It’s slightly hippyish, new age, mixed an amazing culinary scene, and lots of history and ghosts around every corner. I could write several posts about Asheville and the ghosts that wander around the town. But this post is about a very large property near Asheville called Biltmore Estates.

Growing up everyone in our area knew about the Biltmore but since moving out to the Midwest I am surprised to learn not many people know about the Biltmore. Actually there is a lot about North Carolina that people who don’t live in the state really know about. Like the Lost Colony… But that’s a post for another day. With as many times as I had been to Biltmore, I really remember going there until September, 2012 with my first “husband”, Tim. He had a triathlon near Asheville so we had driven up a few days earlier to stay at a bed and breakfast in Asheville. He had never been to Asheville and wanted to sightsee. One of the places we wanted to check out was the Biltmore Estates. I may have grown up hearing about it but seeing the place in person is completely different. This is the most gorgeous, massive house I have ever seen. I didn’t realize it when I was there, that there were a few ghosts walking around the Estate with all the visitors.

Me and my Barbie car at the Biltmore Estates
Me and my Barbie car at the Biltmore Estates
The view from the back veranda at the Biltmore Estates
The view from the back veranda at the Biltmore Estates

Yes, I use to own a pink Mustang convertible. It was a present from Tim. Don’t judge me. I miss that car.

THE HISTORY

George Vanderbilt first came to Asheville, North Carolina in 1887 and was immediately in love with the area. He returned the next year with his mother, Maria, and decided to purchase 125,000 acres. Construction on the Biltmore Estates began the following year. The house was to be modeled after the Chateau de Blois. It would take six years for the house to be finished. When it was finished, it was so large that the floor space is equivalent to four acres. The four story house had 250 rooms, 35 were bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The Biltmore Estates is the largest privately owned house built in the United States. George Vanderbilt married his wife, Edith Stuyvesant Presser in 1898. On August 22, 1900 Edith gives birth to their daughter, Cornelia in the Louis XV room. George died March 4, 1914 in Washington, D.C.. After his death, Edith would sit for hours in the library at Biltmore Estates talking to George as if he was still there. In April, 1924 Cornelia married John Francis Amherst Cecil in the Biltmore Village. She would later give birth to two sons in Louis XV room. George was born February 27, 1925 and his brother was born August 17, 1928. In 1930, Cornelia and John Cecil decide to open the Biltmore to the public.

THE HAUNTINGS

There are a wide variety of different paranormal activities that go on at the Biltmore Estates. It has been reported that the ghost of George Vanderbilt is often seen walking through the house or sitting in the library, especially when it is storming. While living George had that habit of sitting in the library when storms would roll in. I guess that habit didn’t end just because he died. Also in the library, the voice of his wife, Edith, can be heard calling for him or talking to him like she did after he died. Edith has also been heard crying in her bedroom. Down where the indoor pool is located, wet footsteps have been seen despite the pool being drained for decades. Also in the pool room, people have reported hearing laughing, yelling, and what sounds like water being splashed. The Vanderbilt were known for throwing large, extravagant parties. Visitors and workers have reported hearing clinking glasses, laughter, and music at various times throughout the house. The most common type of paranormal activity reported at the Biltmore Estates is footsteps. Workers have talked about seeing books that had been put on library shelves the day before being on the floor the next morning when they come into to work. Also oddly, the ghost of a headless orange cat has been seen walking around the property. No one can explain why the cat is there or why it is headless.

I would love to go to the Biltmore Estates to do an investigation. Unfortunately, the family does not allow paranormal investigators come onto the property to do any investigations. But that doesn’t mean people can’t still have paranormal experiences. Have you visited the Biltmore Estates? Did you experience anything while you were there? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Our final stop on this paranormal road trip will be a place I actually got to visit last year with my mom on a surprise trip. Any guesses where it might be?

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