How to Build a Haunted House

Mitch Horowitz
5 min readJun 15, 2017
The octagon house of Copake, New York (with apologies to my neighbors).

Ihave never slept in a haunted house. Or so I think.

One day, while researching my first book, Occult America, I made an impromptu road trip to central New York to visit some hot spots of 19th-century Spiritualism, the practice of séances and talking to the dead.

It was a darkening November evening, and I needed somewhere to stay. I checked into a historic inn on Main Street in Penn Yan…

Mitch Horowitz

"Treats esoteric ideas & movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness"-Washington Post | PEN Award-winning historian | Censored in China