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“ScareBnb” Popularity On The Rise as Vacationers Seek Out The Supernatural

Source: Instagram/Victoria.Anonat/Zillow

Fear, like joy and love, is a natural part of the human experience. Horror movies are popular because they give the vicarious experience of experiencing fear and danger, without any real danger. Likewise, a new subsection of the short-term rental market allows for those seeking out the thrill of the supernatural to get a front-row seat.

People Love a Good Ghost Story

Stories of haunted houses have been popular for decades, both in pop culture with movies like The Haunting and The Amityville Horror. People love the idea of the supernatural lingering in a specific location. It’s no surprise that ghost-hunting has sprung up in the last few decades as a quirky and entertaining hobby.

Source: Black Monarch Hotel

And, as with everything, where there’s room for profit, an industry will spring up. Short term rentals have been popular for years as a way to monetize extra space in your home. Now, some people have found a way to capitalize on the fascination of the world beyond the grave, and use supposedly haunted spaces to do it.

Capitalizing On a New Industry

So-called “ScareBNB’s” have risen in popularity the last several years as owners have realized that hauntings are not just scary, they can also be profitable. Scaring people during the Halloween season has been an industry for years – think haunted corn mazes – but owners of haunted properties are taking the idea to the next level.

Source: Adrienne Parks

One such property hails out of New Orleans, where Adrienne Parks and her husband, Bill, purchased a fully restored Victorian-era property in 2005. Not long after they moved in, the couple was on a walk around the block and one of their new neighbors told them that she had seen a ghost in the house before.

The Story Wasn’t Just A Story

Of course, the couple were skeptical but amused. Adrienne even joked that she would have paid more for the house if she had known that it was haunted. Upon further question, the neighbor revealed that the ghost was that of a young woman, who tended to linger in the first-floor dining room.

Source: Adrienne Parks

This struck a chord with Adrienne, who had also seen the vision of a young woman in the lower floor of the home. She and Bill had been renting out spare rooms of the house and she had merely thought that the young woman was a guest. When she tried to greet her, though, the apparition vanished.

Money to be Made on the Ghosts

More supernatural events happened as Adrienne and Bill lived in the house, and eventually the pair decided to capitalize it. In the AirBNB listing for their home, they list the various supernatural occurrences that visitors can experience should they come to visit the home.

Source: Zillow

Adrienne and Bill are far from the only couple to have thought of this idea, especially with the resurgence of “haunting” horror movies in the last fifteen years. Various “haunted” listings all over the country give supernatural enthusiasts many options to choose from when it comes to seeking out the otherworldly.

Popular, But Not Just Because of the Ghosts

The Parks-Bowman property is especially popular on social media, with the Victorian-era mansion drawing visitors from all over. The stories of the hauntings are a cherry on top for many of the mansion’s visitors, who come for the New Orlean’s charm on top of the haunting story.

Source: Instagram/Leewestartwork/Tiktok/Leeleeland

For those who do have the privilege of interacting with the Parks-Bowman ghost, they all confirm the original story that Adrienne was told. They see a young girl in a yellow period dress, with dark hair, and they report that largely, the ghost keeps to herself.

AirBNB Reviews Tell An Entertaining Story

The reviews on AirBNB tell of dozens of interactions with the ghost as well. One story reports that the ghost emptied out a coin purse several times during the guest’s visit, and that she liked the guest’s daughter very much. Another story reported the ghost knocking a book off the shelf, though the guest never felt frightened.

Source: Instagram/Victoria.Anonat

For many, interactions with the supernatural end in a quirky story and no real harm. Haunted AirBNB’s all around the country allow for normal people to feel a little closer to the world beyond the grave, and the number of homes there are out there give a choice when it comes to scenery.

There’s Haunted Houses for Rent All Over the Country

Some other listings include the Haunted Magnolia B&B in Texas, and the Black Monarch Hotel in Victor, Colorado. The various houses all have individual stories attached to them, and owners who are more than happy to capitalize on a potentially gruesome history.

Source: AirBNB

Owning one of these haunted homes isn’t just a matter of slapping the “haunted” listing on it and calling it a day, though. Every owner of a supposedly haunted building emphasizes the importance of doing the research into the property, because guests don’t want to spend time with a hoax.

It’s Not Just About the Hauntings, Though

Hauntings aren’t the only thing that can draw a guest to an AirBNB, though. The Henry Derby House in Salem, Massachusetts fetches a pretty penny for a nightly stay due to the town’s spooky history, not necessarily due to any listed hauntings.

Source: Instagram/amaznggrrace

There have been some reports of ghost sightings in the house in the past, according to the owner, but nothing credible. He’s more than happy to rely on the charm of the house and the history of Salem to draw in visitors, no ghosts needed.

The Everlasting Importance of Location

Location is a big factor drawing in visitors to these so-called haunted houses. Media attention can be another big gamble that can take an obscure “ScareBNB” from hidden, to sensation. Adam Zimmerli, owner of the Black Monarch Hotel, quickly learned the importance of the media after buying the old property.

Source: Instagram/theblackmonarch

Victor, Colorado, the home of the Black Monarch, is a tiny town of less than 1000 residents. Once a resident informed him of the building’s haunted history, he knew that he had a potential goldmine on his hands. He redecorated one of the rooms in a tribute to H.H. Holmes, and shortly afterwards, the hotel was a media sensation.

Plenty of Spooks to Go Around, and People to Share It With

Zimmerli’s success story with the Black Monarch proves that while true haunted history is important, sometimes a tribute to the macabre that fascinates people is enough to draw an audience. Fascination with serial killers and death is an eternal human interest, and where there is interest, there is capital.

Source: Gazette/Seth Boster

The interest in the spooky is not limited to the Halloween season, either, Shows like Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted have not only normalized interest in the supernatural, but they’ve made it almost trendy. Anyone with an interest in ghosts or the macabre can be assured that they’re not alone, and there are plenty of “ScareBNB’s” out there to sate your interest in the world beyond the grave.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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