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The Hauntings Of Riddle House: Paranormal Activity In West Palm Beach, Florida

The story being the infamous Riddle House, a property that has a long history of extraordinary paranormal activity. Built back in 1905 the house has previously been used as a funeral parlor, a cemetery office, and a dormitory.


Riddle House Haunted
Riddle House has a dark history and a long rap sheet of paranormal activity in the property

Riddle House has been named as one of the most haunted properties in Florida. The infamous haunted house has been investigated by many paranormal experts over the years, including the Florida Ghost Team and also be Ghost Adventures, who filmed an episode that aired on the Travel Channel.



The Early History Of Riddle House


Riddle House was built back in 1905 on property that was owned by Joseph Jefferson, who was a well-known actor of that era. The house was located just across the street from Woodlawn Cemetery in West Palm Beach at 327 Acacia Street.


In the early 1900s, it was common practice for the dead to be buried with their jewels, which resulted in bodies being exhumed and robbed at Woodlawn Cemetery. The frequency of robberies from the cemetery created the need for extra security, which resulted in the house, then called "Gatekeeper's Cottage" being built. The house also served as the general office for the management of the cemetery as well as a funeral parlor.



One of the earliest reported incidents involving the paranormal happened following an argument between a man named Buck who worked at the cemetery and a local man from the town. A violent fight broke out and Buck was killed. Shortly after his death people started to claim they had seen his spirit wandering around the cemetery as well as the house.


No one that had witnessed the ghostly sighting of Buck ever felt that it was a malevolent spirit. However, in 1920, a man by the name of Karl Riddle became the city manager and superintendent of the Public Works Department and moved into the Gatekeeper's Cottage, he also started working as an overseer of the cemetery ontop of his other roles. It was then that the house name changed to Riddle House.



The Haunting Of Riddle House


The wasn't until after Karl Riddle moved into Riddle House that the paranormal incidents quickly increased. A worker called Joseph who had been struggling with domestic and financial problems hung himself in the attic of Riddle House.


One local story claims that Joseph had been accused of stealing, and that the feeling of anger and desperation caused him to take his own life. Regardless of the reason behind Joseph making the decision to take his own life, it was shortly after his death that Karl Riddle and his family started to report a lot of paranormal incidents occurring in the house.


Karl Riddle, his family and their employees quickly started to report hearing strange noises that sounded like distant conversations, they also experienced loud knocks and a sound that was described as "like chains jangling." It didn't take long before the employees quit due to all the disturbances, they eventually even caused the Riddle family themselves to move out.


Several other businesses attempted to the use the house for various different reasons, but the unexplainable and terrifying noises drove them all out. Palm Beach Atlantic College even tried to use the house a female dormitory, but because of the never ending complaints of paranormal phenomena and disturbing noises, they left as well.



The Move Of Riddle House To Yesteryear Village


In 1980, the City of West Palm Beach decided that Riddle House should be demolished, noting that the property had been abandoned for years and now was left in a state of disrepeair and could potentially become dangerous due to its dilapidated state.


John Riddle, who was the nephew of Karl Riddle believed that the home was of historical value and importance and should be saved.


After some lengthy discussions the decision was made to move Riddle House to Yesteryear Village, a ten-acre museum that showcased replicated building, artifacts, and various other items of historical importance from the early years of Florida.



Riddle House was moved to Yesteryear Village as planned and shortly after, work on reconstructing the house began.


Almost immediately after the work on Riddle House started, strange happenings started to occur again, the workmen reported ladders constantly getting tipped over or moved, windows would suddenly appear broken with no explanation as to how it happened, and a carpenter by the name of Steve Carr was hit over the head with a lid from an iron pot that mysteriously flew across the room.


The paranormal attacks were all blamed on Joseph, the unsettled spirit of the depressed worker who had previously hung himself in the attic at Riddle House. All the attacks seemed to be aimed towards men, so they started discouraging men from entering the house due to the fact that the attacks appeared to be getting more violent.


After a six month break in the reconstruction work, Riddle House was finally restored to its full Victorian glory.


On the day the Riddle House was opened for the public to enter, it's said that a couple dressed in early twentieth century clothing were seen walking through Yesteryear Village.


The guests that where visiting Yesteryear village that day all presumed that the couple were workers wearing period costume. However, when photographs of Riddle House in its original location were unveiled on a plaque, the same two people that were seen walking around the village were in the photograph... Could this mystery couple have been spirits from Riddle House?


Recent Paranormal Investigations at Riddle House


To this day Riddle House remains an extremely active property with constant reports of paranormal activity throughout. People working there have claimed to have witnessed lights turning on and off by themself, furniture moving, American flags disappearing and even having their hair violently pulled by unseen hands.


The Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures team investigated Riddle House and spent an entire night in the property, throughout the investigation they heard footsteps, bells ringing and witnessed doors slamming.


They felt cold spots all over the house, giving the indication that a spirit was potentially present, an American flag was also aggressively knocked over.


An EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) recorded the sound of what appeared to be a child's voice in the toy room, and whilst one of the investigators was alone in the attic, a large birdcage was knocked over behind him.


The Florida Ghost Team also went to investigate Riddle House, they heard footsteps and received strong EMP (electromagnetic field detector) readings where Joseph had hung himself in the attic, however, they said that their results were relatively inconclusive.


It is difficult to discredit the fact that Riddle House is certainly home to some unexplainable and uneasy phenomena, given it's past history, it is plausible that the spirit of Joseph could still be lingering around the home, however, that is up to you to decide. Let us know your thoughts on the Hauntings of Riddle House in the comments section below. Now you have read this story, make sure you read about England's most haunted house, Borley Rectory.