October 24, 2013

Alex Brunkhorst

Ten Homes For Halloween

Real Estate

When Domaine Home asked me to write about Halloween real estate, I admit I had a moment when I didn't believe I was up to the task. But then our editor Eleanor Donohue and I got to work: And what we found were a few purportedly haunted spots (including one of my favorites in Lake Forest, Illinois) and a bunch of places that are beautiful AND perfect for penning your next horror novel or just plain scaring trick-or-treaters. Hmmm. Who needs modern? It's all about castles now.

  1. The Schweppe Estate ($12,000,000)

    Location: Lake Forest, Illinois
    Price: $12,000,000
    Listing Type: Single Family
    Beds/Baths: 8/9.4
    Year Built: 1915
    Haunted Past: Both Laura and Charles Schweppe died inside the mansion. A window known as ``Schweppe`s window,`` is always clean even when those around it are dirty and, the story goes, Schweppe`s ghost looks out the pane to see who is coming. In addition, legend has it that servants prepared meals for masters long dead in the home and that there were ``anti-human`` footprints in the cement floors.
    Bragging Rights: Legend says Laura Schweppe hosted a crown prince and princess of Sweden. Edward, Duke of Windsor also stayed in the home.
    Amazing Amenity: Scottish heraldry on the walls of the library.
    Professional Opinion: This is one of the most notable houses on Chicago’s North Shore, and its rumored haunted past makes it the perfect selection for our Halloween houses. Incidentally, the incredible house had been vacant for nearly a half a century. Coincidence? You decide.

  2. Sowden House ($4,880,000)

    Location: Los Angeles, California
    Price: $4,888,000
    Listing Type: Single Family
    Beds/Baths: 4/5
    Year Built: 1927
    Haunted Past: One of the home’s previous owners, George Hill Hodel, was considered a prime suspect in the Black Dahlia murder case. Rumor (emphasize “rumor”) has it that dog recently sniffed out the scent of human decomposition in the house.
    Bragging Rights: The unique Mayan Style makes this home one of a kind in Los Angeles.
    Amazing Amenity: Water and fire features reflect designer Lloyd Wright’s vision.
    Professional Opinion: Black Dahlia or not I would live here. One of LA’s icons.

  3. Castle In The Woods ($9,950,000)

    Location: Austin, Texas
    Price: $9,950,000
    Listing Type: Single Family
    Beds/Baths: 5/5
    Year Built: 2002
    Bragging Rights: Most expensive clay flat tile roof in the world, manufactured by Ludowici.
    Amazing Amenity: 1500 bottle wine cellar.
    Professional Opinion: There is definitely a gothic element to this guy … particularly interesting since it’s on a golf course in Austin, Texas. I like the hint of the unexpected.

  4. Hidden Valley Estate ($8,850,000)

    Location: Cornwall, Connecticut
    Price: $8,850,000
    Listing Type: Single Family
    Beds/Baths: 7/7.3
    Year Built: 1920’s
    Bragging Rights: Many of the columns were collected from France and Italy by the original owners, Dr. Walton Martin and Charlotte Bronson Hunnewell.
    Amazing Amenity: 275 acres of land.
    Professional Opinion: I would have missed this absolute jewel if I weren’t doing research for this story, but now that I’ve found it it went smack dab in the middle of my inspiration board. Calling Stephen King. We’ve found the spot to film your next book.

  5. Lizzie Borden's Victorian ($650,000)

    Location: Fall River, Massachusetts
    Price: $650,000
    Listing Type: Single Family
    Beds/Baths: 7/3.5
    Year Built: 1889
    Haunted Past: Lizzie Borden’s former house.
    Bragging Rights: Lizzie Borden lived out the rest of her life in this home.
    Amazing Amenity: Original parquet floors, tin ceilings and mahogany moldings.
    Professional Opinion: This Victorian may not be a typical “Bungalux,” but when Domaine asks me to think “Halloween” I couldn’t overlook it.

  6. Sherman Castle ($750,000)

    Location: New Hartford, New York
    Price: $750,000
    Listing Type: Single Family
    Beds/Baths: 9/7.3
    Year Built: 1928
    Bragging Rights: The home was constructed for $200,000 in 1928. That was a lot of money then. Now it’s a car.
    Amazing Amenity: Completely renovated.
    Professional Opinion: When I spotted that main photo there was no way NOT to include this house on a Halloween list. The perfect house for haunting.

  7. Magazine Plantation Home ($910,000)

    Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
    Price: $910,000
    Listing Type: Single Family
    Beds/Baths: 5/2.5
    Year Built: N/A
    Bragging Rights: Located right on Magazine Street, which offers a unique variety of shops, bars, restaurants, and people.
    Amazing Amenity: Original architectural details throughout.
    Professional Opinion: Maybe it’s the fact I’m obsessed with American Horror Story Coven, but what’s a Halloween list without a great old New Orleans house on it? Not a Halloween list, that’s for sure.

  8. The Sword Gate House ($18,800,000)

    Location: Charleston, South Carolina
    Price: $18,800,000
    Listing Type: Single Family
    Beds/Baths: 9/13
    Year Built: 1808
    Bragging Rights: Those famous gates.
    Amazing Amenity: That perfect South Carolina porch.
    Professional Opinion: There’s something about Charleston which is so hauntingly beautiful for me, and this is one of the city’s most famous historical estates.

  9. Copper Beech Farm ($140,000,000)

    Location: Greenwich, Connecticut
    Price: $140,000,000
    Listing Type: Single Family
    Beds/Baths: 12/7.2
    Year Built: 1896
    Bragging Rights: Breathtaking lawns and gardens, including a 75 foot pool, greenhouses, and a grass tennis court with a viewing pergola.
    Amazing Amenity: Stone carriage house with a clock tower.
    Professional Opinion: I picked this one because when I think Halloween houses I think of places steeped in history. This house was long owned by the Lauder Greenway family. (Think Carnegie Steel fortune.)

  10. Stoneleigh Hall ($2,950,000)

    Location: Tuxedo Park, New Jersey
    Price: $2,950,000
    Listing Type: Single Family
    Beds/Baths: 8/6.1
    Year Built: 1928
    Bragging Rights: Stoneleigh Hall was designed by Frederick Foster, built for the parents of world-renowned interior decorator Dorothy Draper, and has hosted Presidents, Governors, Senators and Hollywood celebrities over the years.
    Amazing Amenity: The property is constructed entirely of hand-cut stone.
    Professional Opinion: Ooh, this is the perfect Halloween/fall house. It’s the ideal spot to pen a horror novel.



view all