Pop culture helped to seal the deal on what seems spooky. Think of the home from "Psycho," and the dark room filled with bric-a-brac and rotting lace where Norman Bates' mummified mother sat, or the stately manors of "The Addams Family" or "The Munsters."
Even Walt Disney turned to the Southern Victorian to create the façade of Disneyland's famous Haunted Mansion. The wrap-around porches festooned with New Orleans-style wrought iron, massive columns and pediment and crowning turret recall the houses of the coastal South, Burns said. (Indeed, even that home is rumored to be the final resting place of a departed soul.)
So no matter how many haunted homes break from tradition, there's always something chilling about just the right spooky style.
"I love a Victorian house," Burns said. "It makes me wonder where the bodies are buried."