Riddle House

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The Riddle House in February 2013

The Riddle House is an old Edwardian house located in Palm Beach County, Florida. The house was built in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1905 by some of Henry Flagler's hotel construction workers. Originally known as "Gatekeeper's Cottage", the house was home to the groundskeeper of Woodlawn Cemetery. By 1920, the house became privately owned by Karl Riddle, a city manager and superintendent of West Palm Beach. He is the namesake of the house. The house was eventually dismantled and moved to Yesteryear Village in 1995, a historical park within the South Florida Fairgrounds. The building was featured in an episode of Ghost Adventures in 2008.


The Riddle House in 1920

The Riddle House was built in 1905 by the constructors of Henry Flagler's hotels, using leftover wood.[1] Originally located at 327 Acacia Street in West Palm Beach, the house was nicknamed "the painted lady", because of its bright colors.[1] The Riddle House was originally a funeral parlor, known as "Gatekeeper's Cottage", at Woodlawn Cemetery, which was the first cemetery in the city of West Palm Beach.

It was acquired by Karl Riddle in 1920, who is the namesake of the house. Riddle was the first city manager and superintendent of public works of West Palm Beach.[1] He and his twin brother Kenyon later built houses on a 36 acres (15 ha) property just outside the city in 1935. This area would later become incorporated as Cloud Lake in 1951, after a vote by residents.[2]

Later, the house was scheduled for demolition, to make way for the expansion of Palm Beach Atlantic University. However, the city of West Palm Beach instead donated the building to John Riddle, nephew of Karl Riddle. John was then serving as chairman of the Yesteryear Village committee of the South Florida Fair board of directors. Between August 12 and August 13 of 1995, the Riddle House was dismantled and moved to the Yesteryear Village. The roof and attic were split in two, as was the first and second floors. Finally, the building was transported to Yesteryear Village and was reassembled,[3] where it remains to this day.[4]

Haunting legend[edit]

According to legend, the house is haunted by the spirit of Joseph, (one of Riddle's employees) who committed suicide by hanging in the attic to escape his financial troubles. Commercial "ghost tours" are conducted by Yesteryear Village where guides dressed in period costumes tell stories of their own supposedly paranormal experiences in the building.[5] The house was also featured in 2008 on the ghost-hunting paranormal television series Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel.[6]

War Party Paranormal, a paranormal group based in South East Florida, began paranormal investigations with the historical ghost tours from September 2019.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Eliot Kleinberg (February 5, 2003). "Village A Haven For Historic Homes". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  2. ^ Cloud Lake (Report). Historical Society of Palm Beach County. 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  3. ^ Fred Lowery (July 24, 1995). "Historic Riddle House Moving To Fairgrounds". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  4. ^ Christine Davis (August 1, 2012). "Ghost Tales". Palms West Monthly. West Palm Beach, Florida. pp. 1 and 9. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
  5. ^ Sorocka, Nadia. "Make a date with the paranormal: Ghost tours to start at Yesteryear Village". Sun Sentinel. Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Riddle House". The Travel Channel. 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°42′21″N 80°13′36″W / 26.70583°N 80.22667°W / 26.70583; -80.22667