Haunted houses have long been part of ghostlore, appearing throughout literature and film, as well as many real life superstitions. The history of haunted houses goes back several centuries and can be found in lore from a variety of cultures around the world. In many of these stories, houses became haunted as the result of people passing away in them. Up until the 20th century, the majority of people passed away at home and because of this, houses became the natural setting for many ghost stories.
Some of the most famous stories in all of literature are set in haunted houses, notably "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe. This short story was first published in "Burton's Gentleman's Magazine" in 1839 and tells the story of a man who visits his friend Roderick Usher to care for him. Usher has an illness, as well as his sister Madeline. Madeline soon passes away from the illness and she's kept in the family tomb before being buried. One night, the narrator is reading a story to Usher when he begins to hear creaking and shrieks from inside the home. He becomes hysterical, believing that Madeline has been entombed alive. Soon enough, the door opens to reveal Madeline and then, out of nowhere, she and her brother both fall to the ground as corpses. The narrator then leaves the home in terror, only turning back to see the house split in two and sink into the ground.
As the horror genre evolved over time, so did the concept of a haunted house. Today, many of our favorite films and television shows center on a haunted house, including "The Conjuring," "Insidious," "The Woman in Black" and "American Horror Story: Murder House." We've even been privy to a number of stories from the perspective of the ghosts doing the haunting, including "Beetlejuice." In honor of the ongoing transformation of haunted houses in lore and the real world, take a look at 25 of our favorite haunted house tattoos in the gallery below. Then let us know your favorite fictional haunted house and if you'd dare spend the night in a real haunted house in the comments section on social media.