With Halloween racing toward us like a serial killer in a hockey mask, it’s high time to frighten yourself with a classic horror flick—or, as we do, ponder the homes where these scary scenes unfold. Are these horror-flick homes as creepy in real life as they appear on-screen? The answer, we found out with some digging, is no! (OK, maybe just one is.)
Read on if you’re wondering what’s really up with some of the homes that served as the backdrop to many a nightmare.
‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968)
The home’s location: The Dakota, 1 West 72nd St., Manhattan, NY
The movie portrayal: This Gothic-style building serves as the setting for a satanic cult’s clubhouse and is the birthplace of the devil’s heir, aka Rosemary’s baby. The film opens with sweeping views of the imposing edifice, as Guy and Rosemary Woodhouse eagerly and innocently scout for a new apartment. Like, how could they afford this place, anyway?
The reality: The Dakota, built in the late 1800s, is one of the most prestigious old-world New York City addresses, what with Central Park views, ornate apartments (no two are alike), fireplaces and an interior courtyard.
And, while it’s not known how many of the neighbors might be devil worshipers, they do include a generous swath of the rich and the famous (Yoko Ono has lived there since 1973).
A two-bedroom currently goes for $12 million. All in all, it’s (almost?) nice enough to tempt any apartment hunter to strike a deal with the devil.
The home’s location: 4267 Roxbury Drive, Simi Valley, CA
The movie portrayal: This ranch house was chockfull of seriously angry spooks: The living room had that creepy TV, the bathroom inspired someone to imagine tearing their face off, and one of the bedroom closets led to a spooky, child-swallowing alternate universe. The backyard wasn’t much safer—a bunch of skeletons and coffins bobbed in a pool under construction, like marshmallows in a cup of cocoa. In the dénouement of this seminal horror flick, the house implodes and disappears into some sort of demonic black hole.
The reality: In real life, this four-bedroom home is very much still standing. The 2,373-square-foot house is estimated to be worth close to $700,000. And no, it wasn’t built on a cemetery, plus: The pool is complete! And free of festering corpses.
‘The Exorcist’ (1973)
The home’s location: 3600 Prospect St., NW, Washington, DC
The movie portrayal: In this film, one of the home’s bedrooms was commandeered by—you guessed it—Satan, who possessed a 12-year-old girl named Regan. Regan/Satan made a mess in the house—peeing on the floor, projectile-vomiting green bile, and using demonic powers to crack the walls. Doesn’t anyone care about resale value anymore?
The reality: This 2,808-square-foot townhouse located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, is currently worth about $2.7 million. It boasts a fireplace, three bedrooms, and six bathrooms, and is a stone’s throw from the Potomac River. Plus, the nearby 75-step so-called “Exorcist stairs” (where the demon was finally vanquished in the movie) are a great workout. The “possessed” wing that appears in the film was torn down; today a fence surrounds the home. And for good reason: Movie fans still flock here to snap photos.
‘The Conjuring’ (2013)
The home’s location: Old Brook Farm, Harrisville, RI
The movie portrayal: Legend has it that when the Perron family bought this property in the winter of 1970, they got a whole lot more than 8.5 acres and a farmhouse. Namely, a witch named Bathsheba Sherman. The film is based on the run-ins with Bathsheba that the real Perrons had over the 10 years they lived there. The most frightful episode was a nasty bit of possession in the basement.
The reality: The Perrons have since moved out, and the farm’s current residents claim there are no ghosts. In fact, “The Conjuring” wasn’t even filmed there, serving only as the inspiration behind the film. Nonetheless, the popularity of this movie resulted in a different kind of invasion: hordes of movie fans descending on the property to gawk and snap pictures. The incursion was so horrific that the current homeowners are suing Warner Bros. over the “‘Conjuring’-instigated siege of their property.” Nonetheless, it seems to have resulted in a nice bump in the property’s value: Old Brook Farm is currently worth an estimated an estimated $428,664.
‘The Omen’ (1976)
The home’s location: Pyrford Court, Surrey, England
The movie portrayal: Pyrford Court, a Georgian-style mansion, was abandoned when the original movie was shot here in the 1970s. That’s when one Damien Thorn, aka the spawn of Satan, took up residence. During his 5th birthday party, held on the sprawling grounds of the 20-acre property, his nanny jumped off the roof as a twisted present.
The reality: The estate was built in the early 20th century for Lord and Lady Iveagh, heirs to the Guinness beer fortune. The sprawling country house has since been completely restored and was last on the market for 20,000,000 pounds sterling. In addition to two wings, the residence boasts 15 bedrooms, a ballroom, an orangery and expansive views of English countryside. In other words, you’d risk an “Omen”-style haunting to move in.
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