13 horror movie houses and what they’d cost you
The houses from horror movies can be as iconic as the ghouls that dwell within. But how much would you pay for them?
As anyone who’s lived (and died) there can tell you, choosing to buy a horror movie house has its pros and cons. On the upside, the sellers are usually highly motivated, so you can often get a good deal. On the downside, the tormented spirits of the damned are likely to rip your shrieking soul from your body and plunge it into the unspeakable realms of madness.
It’s a tough call, in other words.
To see how good a deal you might be able to get on some horror movie houses, we checked out the property market in some famous horror movie locations, as well as calculating the probable costs in fictional settings. Just in time for Friday the 13th, here’s what you can expect to pay to live in some of the most terrifying properties ever filmed.
The Exorcist (1973)
Location: Georgetown, Washington D.C.
Real location: Georgetown, Washington D.C.
The house: This beautiful brick condo in the upscale Washington D.C. suburb of Georgetown features three bedrooms (one of which has a tendency to become unnaturally cold) and five bathrooms. It also played host to a legion of hungry demons trying to consume young Regan MacNeil. The real house is not quite as spacious as the film suggests, as filmmakers built an entire false wing for the exterior, but there’s still plenty of ceiling space for the little ones to crawl around.
The price: Zillow puts the current price at US$2,494,414.
The pros: Presence of soul-devouring demons keeps house cool in the summer.
The cons: Watch out for those stairs. They’ll get ya.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The location: Just the worst part of Texas
The real location: Kingsland, Texas
The house: The Sawyer family farmhouse has a rustic design sensibility that makes use of found objects to create a sort of slaughterhouse chic aesthetic. The house was originally situated in Round Rock, Texas, but was purchased and moved to Kingsland, Texas, in 1998. It’s currently the site of a cafe, which seems nauseatingly appropriate.
The price: Because it’s a commercial property, the value of the house is difficult to determine. Similarly-sized houses on neighbouring streets go for around US$185-190,000.
The pros: It’s a renovator’s delight brimming with potential. You could say the house has good bones.
The cons: The bones are human.
The Conjuring (2013)
The location: Burrillville, Rhode Island
The real location: Currie, North Carolina
The house: Another film said to be based on a true story, the Perron family, whose experiences are dramatised in the film, still maintain that the film is an accurate depiction of real events. The four bedroom, two bathroom farmhouse at the centre of the film is a part of Rhode Island history, with New England folklore claiming former resident Bathsheba Sherman was a witch who sacrificed her infant to the forces of darkness.
The price: The North Carolina house used as the film’s setting is estimated to be worth US$484,723. The real Perron house, located in Burrillville, Rhode Island, has an estimated value of US$395,608.
The pros: You can own a part of American paranormal history.
The cons: You might become a part of American paranormal history.
American Horror Story Season 1 (2011)
The location: Los Angeles, California
The real location: Los Angeles, California.
The house: When the Harmon family tries to start their lives afresh in this restored six bedroom, five bathroom historic mansion, they find most of the previous tenants have yet to vacate. The house used for filming, the Alfred Rosenheim Mansion, was built in 1908 and has a factual history nearly as interesting as its fictional one.
The price: The Rosenheim Mansion last sold in September of 2015 for US$3,200,000.
The pros: Some of the ghosts totally want to make out with you.
The cons: Most of the ghosts totally want to murder you.
House of the Devil (2009)
The location: Lakeville, Connecticut
The real location: Lakeville, Connecticut
The house: Home to the elderly Mr. and Mrs. Ullman, this beautiful Victorian home includes tantalising commercial opportunities for anyone willing to “babysit” Mr. Ullman’s probably non-existent mother. The grounds also offer plenty of room to perform dark satanic rites.
The price: The house used for filming is actually a tax law office. Zillow estimates its worth at US$488,087.
The pros: Perfect vantage point for viewing any lunar eclipses.
The cons: House is a share arrangement, and flatmate is the devil.
The location: The fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois
The real location: Los Angeles, California
The house: Babysitter Laurie Strode is in for a tough night in the four bedroom, two bathroom home of the Doyle family. The spacious home offers plenty of places to hide, but few where lumbering, Shatner-masked Michael Myers can’t find you.
The price: The real home nestled close to Hollywood’s Sunset Strip is valued at US$2,693,281.
The pros: Closets come complete with wire hangers perfect for stabbing hulking, homicidal man-children through the eye.
The cons: Neighbourhood is plagued by constant, irritating synthesiser music.
Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Location: The fictional town of Springwood, Ohio
Real location: West Hollywood
The house: Protagonist Nancy Thompson lived in this sprawling three bedroom, four bathroom traditionalist home built in 1919. The hapless Jesse Walsh moved into the property just in time for Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. It features a melting staircase, pliable master bedroom walls and a front door with a mother-sized arch-lite window.
The price: While the real house’s West Hollywood location lends it a hefty price tag (it last sold in 2013 for US$2.1 million), the movie’s fictional Ohio town would be substantially less expensive. Assuming Springwood is a mid-sized metropolitan area, it would be comparable to a town like Akron, which has a population just under 200,000. We found a four bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home on Zillow advertised for US$260,000.
The pros: Location adjacent to a young Johnny Depp.
The cons: Location adjacent to young-Johnny-Depp-devouring murder bed.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Location: The Bramford apartment building, Manhattan
Real location: The Dakota building, Manhattan
The house: Newlywed Rosemary Woodhouse deals with a difficult pregnancy, a scheming husband and possibly the world’s most meddlesome neighbours in this beautiful 19th century Manhattan building. The Woodhouse’s apartment features high ceilings, an ornate fireplace and a direct doorway to Hell.
The price: The historic Dakota building stood in for the Bramford in Rosemary’s Baby. It’s a Manhattan icon, and has its own troublesome history (resident John Lennon was murdered outside the building in 1980). It’s also one of the most exclusive and expensive buildings in Manhattan. While it’s hard to glean the exact layout of the Woodhouse’s apartment, units in the building range in price from US$1.85 million for a one bedroom all the way up to US$39 million for a five bedroom.
The pros: You can own a piece of NYC history.
The cons: Your child will usher in a new age of darkness and insanity.
Location: Suburban Los Angeles
Real location: Simi Valley, California
The house: Steve and Diane Freeling and their three precocious kids lived in a four bedroom, two-and-a-half bath ranch-style house in Simi Valley, California. Their newly-built home featured a pool (in desperate need of cleaning), a beautiful and gregarious old-growth oak tree and the vengeful souls of the dozens of rotting corpses their crooked property developer built the house on top of.
The price: This is one of the easier home prices to determine, as the real home and fictional home reside in the same area. Zillow puts the real Simi Valley property’s value at just over US$700,000.
The pros: Excellent, even otherworldly, television reception.
The cons: House has tendency to implode into astral plane.
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Location: Long Island, New York
Real location: Long Island, New York
The house: The Amityville Horror is ostensibly based on real events, and George and Kathleen Lutz moved into the five bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom Dutch Colonial home in 1975, little more than a year after previous resident Ronald DeFeo, Jr., shot and killed six members of his family. As anyone who’s seen the movie can tell you, things went rapidly south from there.
The price: Again, this is an easy one to determine. The actual Long Island home’s value is estimated by Zillow at slightly less than US$750,000. It last sold in 2010.
The pros: Includes a boathouse and waterway access.
The cons: When a house itself tells you to get out, you’d be wise to listen to it.
House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)
Location: Rural West Texas
Real location: Studio backlot, Universal City, California
The house: Home to the murderous Firefly family, this sprawling West Texas house could charitably be called “a renovator’s delight”. Operating as an unlicensed bed and breakfast for travellers foolish enough to pick up hitchhikers, it’s unlikely the Firefly house will end up highly rated on Airbnb.
The price: The movie is vague about the house’s location, but similarly isolated properties in rural Texas go for around US$75,000.
The pros: Off-the-beaten path location offers solitude and quiet.
The cons: Previous tenants were 1,000 corpses.
Location: The fictional town of White Pine Bay, Oregon
Real location: Studio backlot, Universal City, California
The house: The Bates house sits high atop a hill overlooking the hotel of the same name. Its location allows Mother to keep a stern eye on proprietor Norman. The Victorian mansion is handsomely furnished with period furniture, and the bare, hanging light bulbs are perfect for swinging back and forth during horrifying reveals.
The price: As the actual Bates house is built on a studio lot, it’s hard to accurately assess the value. The fictional house, per the currently-running TV series, is in the fictional seaside logging community of White Pine Bay, Oregon. A similar coastal community would be Newport, Oregon, a fishing town of around 10,000 people. While the Bates house was sprawling, it only appeared to have two bedrooms. A two bedroom house in Newport will set you back around US$275,000, while a similarly sized house could run up to $650,000. This isn’t even taking into account the motel.
The pros: Revenue from the motel could offset your mortgage payment.
The cons: Motel’s proprietor has a habit of murdering guests before they can pay the bill.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
The location: Sussex County, New Jersey
Real location: Sussex County, New Jersey
The house: We couldn’t do a Friday the 13th list without including Friday the 13th! While we could look at the value of Camp Crystal Lake, we’re more interested in residential property than commercial. Instead, we’ll examine Jason Vorhees’ corrugated steel shack from Friday the 13th Part 2. This handsome single-room dwelling is eco-friendly, having been constructed mostly from found materials. The idyllic wooded location is perfect for the lumbering undead man-beast who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern society (possibly after taking Manhattan). It features a picture window and a candlelit shrine for displaying the mummified head of your overbearing mother.
The cost: Nothing, if you find the materials yourself. Assuming you have to buy them new, the corrugated steel sheeting will set you back about $35 for a 1.6x3 metre panel, and we reckon you’d need about 16 of them to cover the walls and roof. Add to that about three sheets of plywood at $46 each for flooring, around $200 for a window and $30 for a simple, no-frills door, and you’re looking at less than $800. But you can’t put a pricetag on the freedom that comes from living off the grid.
The pros: Cashes in on the current “tiny houses” trend.
The cons: Cannot escape the watchful gaze or echoing voice of your decapitated mother.
Images: Trulia, movie-locations.com, MGM, Jay Anson, Lion's Gate, Paramount, Campblood.net, Google Earth, Kingsland Grand Central, The Hollywood Reporter, Jezebel, The Location Scout