It isn't just the Winchester house with its stairways to nowhere, doorways to nowhere, and convoluted passages, some houses are simply built odd. As the character Eleanor said in "The Haunting of Hill House," when you add up all the odd angles, you get a great big distortion in the house as a whole.
Feng Shui principles tell us that chi "energy" moves easiest on straight paths and gets trapped by darkness and clutter and dead ends. That is one issue in homes to be aware of, but there are other very interesting and subtle traps that can make you feel uneasy, but you don't know why.
Some homes seem like they should be haunted just by looks or feel, and that corrupts our objectivity. In my book "Was That a Ghost?" I discussed what I call the "Trinity of Relevance" in figuring out if an occurrence was indeed paranormal or not and one thing to take into consideration is the context. If you expect a ghost, you will likely find one in every sound, feel, and smell. So, keeping your mind clear of the fact that a place is historic or just looks creepy ass weird, helps to be more objective.
Lastly, we run into houses that are just all jumbled up feeling; slightly off doors and windows, floors that tilt a bit. If you ever feel weird in a place, stand with your feet together and close your eyes and see if your body starts moving like a pendulum in circles over your feet. This is a sure sign of the funhouse effect; floors that are buckled, angled, or slightly off, enough to make balancing a difficult task. Jim Heater from the great ghost hunting team in Illinois called ChIPS, carries a level in his car so they can check floors. Great idea!
How do we see past the visuals and the odd angles of a home to see if it's truly haunted or not? The regular study and gathering of evidence is called for, but only after you have checked EMF in which might a poorly constructed home, check odd pitched floors, doors that close on their own on crooked frames, and take note of whether floor boards stepped on at one end of a room, make things on the other end jiggle.
Having rid yourself of the funhouse possibilities, it is time to do a regular study being a lot more clear-headed about what might be a funky decorated, weirdly built, oddly angled, lousy wired, messy, cluttered, cobbled together building.