The Story Behind Arkansas’s Most Haunted House Will Give You Nightmares

The Allen House in Monticello, built in 1906, is a lovely work of architecture in the Queen Anne Victorian style. The home itself, however, has a terrifying history.

Originally, local businessman Joe Lee Allen planned for his beautiful house to be Monticello’s showpiece along North Main Street. Allen made sure the home was an eye-catching structure with impressive porch columns and neoclassical design with a touch of gothic decoration. Allen, along with his wife and three daughters, moved into the family home and for a while were content. Allen’s business ventures thrived and all was well until his death in 1917.


In 1949, a tragedy happened that would cast a shadow over the house’s majestic appearance. During the last week of 1948, daughter Ladell Allen poisoned herself after consuming mercury cyanide. The new year would begin on a dark note with Ladell’s death. For nearly 40 years her room was sealed off by her mother. After Mrs. Allen died in 1954, the home was sectioned into apartments and remained a rental property run by the Allen family. Tenants began seeing strange things and experiencing paranormal activity not long after they moved in.

YouTube/Hayley Zagurski

Shadowy figures would appear in photographs taken by residents. Furniture was rearranged with no one having touched anything. Objects around the house would disappear into thin air. The story of Ladell grew into urban legend, and the Allen house was declared haunted by both residents and locals. By the time the 21st-century arrived, the property was under new ownership. Paranormal investigations went on at the property per the approval of the home’s current owners. Multiple “EVP”s (electronic voice phenomenons) were witnessed during the visit. One investigation had to be called off, as a tree branch inexplicably fell as the investigators were visiting the property and slightly damaged their equipment.


The Allen house remains a popular hotspot for ghost hunters and historians. Guided tours are conducted by appointment, and special Halloween tours are conducted annually. Those interested in early 20th-century Arkansas life will want to see the Allen family artifacts and heirlooms that are on display as well. The beauty of the house (despite the urban legend) has even made it a popular spot for weddings. Find out more about how to schedule a tour or event at the Allen house—and beware of Ladell’s spell!