The Riddle House was built in 1905 and is located in Yesteryear Village, Palm Beach County Florida. However, the village is not it’s original location. Riddle House was originally built in palm beach, but after many years of neglect, the city planned to demolish the historic victorian home. A nephew of a former owner decided that the old house shouldn’t be torn down and moved it
to Yesteryear Village, where it still sits today. So what makes Riddle House important to ghost hunters and paranormal fans alike?
Haunted History of The Riddle House
The Riddle House was originally built and used as a funeral parlor. The parlor was adjacent to Woodlawn Cemetery. It wasn’t long before the old cemetery became host to crimes such as grave robbing. The Riddle House was then converted into the “Gatekeepers Cottage” which housed cemetery employees that were in charge of security and other things needed at the cemetery. it was during this time that a cemetery employee known only as “Buck” was allegedly killed during an argument on the cemetery grounds. Locals would report seeing the ghost of Buck, who seemed to be continuing his work at Woodlawn cemetery.
Later in 1920, Karl Riddle, who was serving as city manager and supervisor of Woodlawn Cemetery, moved into the rumored haunted house and made it his own private residence. This is when the Riddle House received it’s name and was no longer known as the Gatekeepers Cottage.
Soon after, The Riddle House witnessed it’s first tragedy as a groundsman by the name of “Joseph”, hung himself in the attic. This was around the time of the great depression and Joseph had become depressed over financial woes. Visitors to the Riddle House started to have strange experiences and would often report seeing the shadow of a man through the attic windows. Many believed that this was the ghost or spirit of Joseph, the former groundskeeper who had hung himself.
It didn’t take Karl Riddle long to notice the paranormal activity within the home. Stairs would creak as if something was being dragged up the old stairs. Workers would report voices, strange noises and sometimes even being touched by unseen hands. After awhile, Karl and his family left the home and a number of businesses attempted to make the old haunted house their own. Everyone who inhabited the house was faced with the same scary, unexplainable and ghostly activity as previous tenants.
In the 1980’s the Riddle House was used as a girls dormitory for Palm Beach Atlantic College, but that didn’t last long either. Soon there was nobody willing to try moving into or using the riddle house. It sat unattended and it eventually started to deteriorate. The city decided to destroy it and that is when John Riddle, Karl’s nephew stepped in.
The city donated the house to John and he had the home moved to Yesteryear Village, which consists of historic homes that have been moved from their original location, or ones built exactly like homes that were destroyed in the local area. The moving of Riddle House is what many say “awakened” the ghosts and spirits within the home. Many paranormal investigators will tell you that construction and renovations to a home seem to disturb any ghosts that my reside in the home. That is exactly what seemed to happen to the old Riddle House.
Visitors to the home have had their hair pulled, heard disembodied voices, witnessed ghostly apparitions and more within the home. Workers who helped move the home had so many terrifying experiences that some of them never returned to work. One of the most interesting cases involved the ladders. Ladder that were left up overnight were found knocked over. Sometimes the ladders would be moved completely. This is believed to be connected to Joseph who had hung himself by kicking the ladder from underneath his own feet in the attic. One carpenter had the lid from an iron pot hurled at his head and hasn’t entered the riddle house since.
Things being thrown have become common at the home and many people are afraid to even go inside. This has prompted numerous paranormal investigations, by people wanting to prove that the ghosts of Riddle House are real. The Riddle House has been the center of investigations, television spots and more since it’s humble beginnings in 1905 and is undoubtedly one of the most haunted places in Florida.