In September of 2014, Tom Maxwell moved with his family into a large, historic home in Hillsborough, North Carolina. With its affordable rent and lush surroundings, it seemed too good to be true. Nine months later, they broke their lease, loaded up the truck, and ran away as fast as they could from the spirits and apparitions that had tortured them. Only afterward would Maxwell learn about the 300 years of bad mojo that had piled up in the house they called Nannie.
We’re not going to say that ghosts are definitely real. But after staying up way too late hunting for the best nonfiction writing about paranormal activity, we’re not going to rule it out either. Read on for the best reporting from the supernatural beat, in which apparently rational, level-headed people document things that can’t quite be explained. Plus: why more Americans report believing in ghosts.
Image by David Wall
This block in Brazil has been home to one of the deadliest skyscraper disasters in history, a doctor with a murderous secret, and—some say—a curse that goes back centuries.
There were haunted houses before Amityville, of course, but no one place has made as deep an impression on American pop culture in the past half century or so as the notorious Long Island home, the site of a terrible murder and then the basis of scores of books and movies.