The Riddle House, West Palm Beach

  • By: Timothy Rose
  • Date: 29 July 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Silhouetted against the sky, the foreboding façade of The Riddle House in West Palm Beach, Florida, captivates and terrifies all who dare to step foot within its premises. This historic Victorian house is not only a prominent architectural piece, but also a notorious haunted location that has captivated paranormal enthusiasts with its tales of eerie encounters and supernatural phenomena.

History of The Riddle House

Riddle House
Riddle House, West Palm Beach

The Riddle House in West Palm Beach, Florida was built in 1905. At first, it served as the ‘Gatekeeper’s Cottage.’ It was used as both a funeral parlor and the home for the keeper of Woodlawn Cemetery. Unfortunately, the house had its fair share of deaths. Not only was it a funeral parlor, but one of the residents, Joseph, allegedly took his own life in the attic because of financial problems.

Bought by the city government in 1914, it was then renamed ‘City House.’ In 1920, Karl Riddle, West Palm Beach’s first city manager, claimed ownership and christened it with its current name. Despite serving as temporary accommodation for city employees and a dormitory for Palm Beach Atlantic College, it faced the threat of demolition. However, the college decided to gift it to the Yesteryear Village, where it was carefully relocated and restored to its 1920s state by dedicated volunteers, keeping alive its eerie and tragic past.

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Riddle House
Haunted Riddle House at Yesteryear Village – Credit Jim

The Riddle House teems with spectral happenings that chill the bone. Unseen entities slam doors and toss objects about, filling the air with an eerie soundtrack. Visitors tell tales of ghostly figures lurking in the shadows, with some even alleging physical contact by invisible hands – often linked to the distraught spirit of Joseph.

Workers have reported strange feelings like ghostly fingers touching their hair. They have also seen lights in the distance that disappear when they get closer to the dark house. Phantoms of a playing boy and a prepping woman have been spotted. Becky Kobussen, the tour guide, greets the house respectfully. She suggests that the century-old structure must have some kind of energy.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage

The chilling reputation has caught the attention of popular media, propelling it into the limelight. It has been featured in episodes of paranormal investigation shows such as “Ghost Adventures” and “Mysteries at the Museum,” further solidifying its status as a house of hauntings. This media coverage has stirred interest and curiosity, attracting many to experience its eerie presence firsthand.

Investigation and Research Efforts

The Riddle House has been the subject of several paranormal investigations. Prominent teams, such as the crew from “Ghost Adventures,” have collected evidence including electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) and video footage of unexplained movement. Skeptics, however, continue to challenge these findings, attributing them to natural occurrences or psychological suggestions.

Visitor Experiences and Urban Legends

Visitors to The Riddle House often recount their chilling experiences, ranging from a sudden drop in temperature to witnessing poltergeist phenomena. Many urban legends are woven around the tragic figure of Joseph, who is believed to haunt the attic of the house. These tales form a part of the local cultural narrative and continue to enthrall and terrify those who hear them.

Preservation and Tourism

Today, the Riddle House is managed by the Yesteryear Village. It is located at the South Florida Fairgrounds. The Victorian home is preserved as a historical landmark. It is also famous for ghost tours and paranormal investigations. These activities attract tourists and fans of the paranormal. They greatly support local tourism.


The Riddle House, with its architectural elegance and haunted tales, stands as an emblem of both history and mystery in West Palm Beach. The allure of its haunting legends, coupled with the human fascination for the unknown, continues to draw crowds and feed curiosity. As long as the stories of apparitions and eerie sounds echo through the halls , its spectral residents will continue to both enthrall and terrify, keeping the mystery of this haunted location alive.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Where is The Riddle House located?

The Riddle House is located within the South Florida Fairgrounds, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Q2: Can I visit The Riddle House?

Yes, The Riddle House is part of the Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds and is open for public visits.

Q3: Can I participate in a ghost tour at The Riddle House?

Yes, ghost tours are regularly organized for those interested in its haunted history.

Q4: What paranormal activities have been reported at The Riddle House?

The House is known for a variety of paranormal activities, from mysterious sounds and apparitions to claims of visitors being physically touched or pushed by unseen forces. Many believe these phenomena are connected to the spirit of Joseph, a previous resident who ended his life in the house.

Q5: Has The Riddle House been featured in any television shows or documentaries?

Yes, it has been featured in several TV shows and documentaries, including popular paranormal series like “Ghost Adventures” and “Mysteries at the Museum.”

Q6: Who was the most notable resident of The Riddle House?

The most notable resident was its namesake, Karl Riddle, the city manager of West Palm Beach. However, the ghostly tales often revolve around Joseph, a man who is said to have died by suicide in the house’s attic.

Q7: Are there skeptics who challenge the reports of hauntings at The Riddle House?

Yes, while many claim to have experienced paranormal phenomena skeptics argue that these experiences may be due to natural causes, overactive imaginations, or the power of suggestion.

Q8: Is The Riddle House preserved as a historic landmark?

Yes, The House is preserved as part of the Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds, recognized both for its architectural significance and its haunted reputation.

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