Cue Eerie Music

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And so, gentle readers, we come to the end of Halloween. A day of terror, an evening when the dead, reputedly, walk among us. So it is only fitting that we honor the spirits and visit some reputedly haunted abodes.

From novelist Edith Wharton's palatial mansion in Lenox, Massachusetts, to a Gold Rush shack in California where rocking chairs rock by themselves, www.thisoldhouse.com on Tuesday profiled 15 of the nation's spookiest houses — and offered some tips on how to hire a reliable ghostbuster.

Some of the haunted houses are still privately owned and occupied despite the poltergeists and organ music streaming from the electrical sockets.

Others have been turned into restaurants or inns, like the Wildflower Inn in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where toilets flush and mirrors are pulled of walls.

Wharton, who died in 1937 at the age of 75, is said to still haunt her estate, called The Mount, sending indoor temperatures icy when she appears.

In California's Kern River Valley, the Gold Rush era Apalatea/Burlando house is said to be haunted by a woman who lifts shot glasses in the air and the sounds of '49ers partying, shuffling cards and laughing.

The Web site also give advice on supernatural renovation advice and took a look at some of the latest gadgets aimed at detecting the paranormal by measuring electrical or magnetic fields and spotting radio and microwaves.

"Let me assure you, though, that ghosts are not present to hurt anyone and in almost every case, a family can peacefully coincide with a spirit," wrote Troy Taylor, founder of the American Ghost Society.

You can tour the haunted houses here. But of course, the most frightening haunted house right now may be the Headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Yes, they have to deal with that horror of horrors.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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