Iconic American author Mark Twain, best known for his stories about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, has more than just books as a claim to fame. A lesser-known aspect of Twain—whose real name is Samuel Clemens—is that his former residence is haunted.
Between the years 1874 and 1891, Twain lived in a 25-room Gothic-style mansion in Hartford, Connecticut. (It’s here that he penned classics The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.) The author commissioned New York architect Edward Tuckerman Potter to design the house but did the actual building himself. Louis C. Tiffany & Co. decorated the walls and ceilings of the building’s public spaces.
Twain and family initially left the house to go on a speaking tour in Europe. While away, his daughter, Susy, died of meningitis, and he never returned to his mansion—it was too emotionally painful. The home was subsequently sold in 1903 and was converted into a boarding school and library before becoming a museum about the author. It’s then that the paranormal activity started. As far back as the 1960s, staff members reported “presences” looming, as well as things that couldn’t be explained—like the smell of cigar smoke in the billiards room/office and visions of a woman in a white Victorian nightgown—said to be Susy.
For those interested in finding apparitions, the mansion offers the opportunity to do so. Visitors can tour the house during the Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours all during October, the spookiest month of the year.