Iconic Nightmare on Elm Street House for Sale

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Halloween is a great time to sell a house, especially if it is associated with a movie franchise worth over $457 million dollars. The 1919 Dutch Colonial from Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) is for sale.

Located at 1428 N. Genesee Avenue in L.A., this 2-story house has ample room. The main house has 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms. Leading outside passed the pool, a smaller guesthouse comes complete with a kitchen. However, the house has not always looked so enticing.

In 2006, Angie Hill purchased the neglected home and began renovating. Once the home was modernized—even though it had a 1960 vibe—Ms. Hill sold the home for $2.1 million in 2013.

The listed selling price is $3.25 million, with offers due at midnight on Halloween. The listing agency has embraced Freddy Krueger, the killer in the films, and has a person dressed as the murderous janitor posing in some of the publicity photos. Quite clever!

Stingy Jack: The Story of the Jack-o-Lantern

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This may be my favorite Halloween tradition story. In America, we owe our Halloween traditions to the Irish. Halloween was not celebrated as extensively in America until the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1852), where 1.5 million Irish people immigrated to America bringing their rich traditions. One story was “Stingy Jack.”

The reason Jack placed pieces of burning coal inside smaller root vegetables is because pumpkins were not available in Ireland. When the Irish settled in America, they preferred to use the larger fruit. Today, pumpkins are used for carving and lighting the paths for trick-or-treaters.

Happy Halloween!

3 Halloween Rituals

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I was honored to present “Haunted Halloween: Traditions, Superstitions, and True Crime” last week for Ghost Education 101. If you missed it, check out the Facebook link, https://www.facebook.com/GhostEducation101/. I was a last minute substitution; however, I was ready!

The three rituals I discussed were made up to help ease a female’s mind when she was worried about whom she would marry. The “Finding a Suitor” was done after the young adults played Snap Apple. Snap Apple was a game where an apple was attached to a stick or a string and lowered in front of couples. The first female and male (which did not need to be already a couple) to bite into the apple were headed to alter for marriage. Or so the legend told.

Here is a lovely oil painting by Daniel Maclise called Snap Apple Night (1833). In 1832, Daniel attended a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland. The painting inspired the lively work of art.

It’s worth noting that these rituals were created for the purpose of marrying off women. They are when women were told that their worth was intrinsically linked to a husband. This is no longer true. In fact, I would love for these games to be updated, reflecting our changing attitudes regarding gender identity.

The image is from Gecko Galz, an online digital products company found on Etsy. The image is a cabinet card, a photographic portraiture consisting of a thin photograph mounted on card stock. It was popular from 1870 until 1924, when people desired varying sizes for displaying and keeping photographs, specifically in photo albums. The origins of the name is unclear; however, it may have become vernacular as people originally displayed these photographs in their parlors. By the early 1900s, the Eastman Kodak Company was selling an inexpensive portable pre-loaded camera. People wanted to take their own pictures. This led to the cabinet card demise.

I’ll be sharing more Halloween tidbits and factoids in the coming weeks. If you’re looking for Halloween and Horror movie suggestions, check out the ones I’ve posted in prior years. I’ve broken the films down into different genres and types. There’s something for everyone! Happy Halloween!

Elizabeth Oehler Krebs: The Flower Woman of Hiawatha

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Mrs. John Krebs.

Mrs. John Krebs had a problem. Every year at Halloween, her meticulously maintained flower garden was destroyed by mischievous children running around at night. On October 31, 1914, Elizabeth Oehler Krebs (11.19.1848-8.19.1931) organized the first Hiawatha Frolic. It is recognized as the longest consecutive Halloween parade.

Back then, women were called by their husbands’ names. Hence, you need to Google “Mrs. Krebs” to locate more information. You will find that Elizabeth was born in Switzerland and ended up residing in Hiawatha, Kansas. And she loved to garden.

In her obituary, Elizabeth is called “the flower woman of Hiawatha.” She is credited for coming up with a solution to the Halloween antics of the town’s youth: a community frolic.

Frolics are akin to the fetes held in Great Britain. The noun is defined as a “playful action” or “a lively party or game.” The Hiawatha Frolic has grown over the 107 years of its existence to include 2 parades! There’s a Kiddie Parade in the morning and the Grand Parade at night.

Elizabeth suffered great loss during her lifetime. Her only son, John Edward Krebs (12.27.1870-10.19.1893), died at the age of 22 from consumption in 1893. Two years later, she would lose her 16-year-old daughter, Charlotte May “Lottie” (10.22.1878-10.20.1895) to typhoid fever, as well. Tragically, Lottie was buried alongside her brother on what would have been her 17th birthday. The following year, Elizabeth and her husband would lose another daughter, Emma G. (1874-1896), to consumption, as well. Emma had just begun working her third year as a teacher. According to her obituary, all 19 city teachers attended her funeral. The remaining fourth child, Louise Elizabeth Krebs Friend (1872-1946), married, had children, and lived a full life, surviving both her parents.

It is easy to understand what drove Mrs. John Krebs to organize the Hiawatha Halloween Frolic. She loved children and gardening. She planted and took care of many city flower beds during her lifetime. By envisioning the community celebration, she came up with a productive solution to entertain the children of Hiawatha.

Haunted Halloween: Traditions, Superstitions, and True Crime

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Tomorrow night (October 13th) at 9 PM EST, I will be stepping in to chat about the 2nd most popular holiday in America: Halloween.

Due to last minute changes in scheduling, I am thrilled to bring you tales of fright, based in facts to whet your appetite for the upcoming holiday. Join me in the Ghost Education 101 Facebook Group for a LIVE stream, where I will take questions & the chat room will be open, OR watch the encore episode on the Ghost Education 101 YouTube channel.

This is guaranteed to be spooktacular!

Scissorland: Visit Edward Scissorhands’ Real House

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Fresh paint and topiaries adorn the front yard.

In 1990, director Tim Burton transformed the Carpenters Run neighborhood into a bizarre movie set for the film Edward Scissorhands, starring Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. Although the houses have aged and regressed back to the typical Florida décor, the neighborhood has attracted fans since. On September 11, 2020, Joey and Sharon Licalzi won a bidding war and paid $230,378 for the 3 bedroom/2 bath 1432 square foot home. They’ve transformed it back into the movie set and have opened Scissorland, a free museum.

Edward Scissorhands (1990) is a cult classic. Filmed on a $20 million dollar budget, it grossed $56 million in the U.S. and $86 million worldwide. Deemed one of Burton’s best (aren’t they all?), the film was a fantasy-romance hybrid that told the story of Edward, the man with scissor hands. The movie is currently streaming on Hulu.com.

Fast forward 30 years and you can see how the neighborhood changed. Gone are the pastel color exterior house paint and topiary scrubs. However, Joey and Sharon have started the transformation.

The exterior is now a pastel blue, and the front yard is adorned with topiaries. The backyard is a whimsical playground. The original owner saved the mushroom wallpaper, which the couple reinstalled. They offer the home with the growing movie memorabilia as a free museum. Outdoor movie screenings will begin when the weather cools.

The memorabilia are an eclectic collection. There’s a license plate that the residents had to place on their cars for filming. A pack of cigarettes supposedly belonging to Depp is on display, along with an endearing mannequin dressed as Depp’s character. The collection continues to grow.

Although reservations are not required, I encourage those wishing to visit make them. Remember, not only is the house a museum: the couple actually resides there. The address is 1774 Tinsmith Circle, Lutz, Pasco County, Florida.

Missing Tombstone Used to Make Fudge

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Marble is the best surface for making fudge. According to one blog, “Real fudge makers … all use marble slabs.” Apparently one family in Okemos, Michigan began making fudge on a 5-foot marble slab around 1875. The slab was passed down to future generations, who also perfected their fudge-making skills with the same old marble slab. The slab was finally turned over by an estate auction dealer who posted it for sale on the Internet. One inquiring mind reached out to the Friends of Lansing’s Historic Cemeteries (FoLHC) in Lansing, Michigan, where it was identified as the long lost—some 146 years lost—tombstone of Peter J. Weller. On Sunday, September 26th, a celebration was held to celebrate the re-installation of the tombstone. Fudge was served!

Fudge being made on a marble slab. This is NOT the tombstone.

Peter J. Weller was a recent transplant to Lansing. He was born in New York in 1801 and relocated to Lansing in 1845. He died from inflammation of the bowels on December 26, 1849, at the age of 48 years, 8 months, and 22 days. He was initially buried in Oak Park Cemetery. His two daughters Christina and Lucretia were also buried there. By 1875, Lansing was growing, and the city was extending boundaries. All of the interred bodies at Oak Park were relocated to Mount Hope Cemetery. Tombstones were to be reinstalled, as well. Both Christina (4.3.1832-5.11.1854) and Lucretia (dates unknown) had individual tombstones that traveled to Mount Hope and marked their new resting place. For some unknow reason, Peter’s went missing.

The City of Lansing and the FoLHC attempted to locate any living descendants. None were found. The historic society paid for Peter’s tombstone to be clean and installed once ground penetrating radar was used to verify there were remains and a coffin buried in an unmarked grave. The daughters’ broken and aged tombstones were also clean and restored. The family are resting in a 10-plot family site. Peter’s first wife Louisa, and the known mother to Christina, is in another unmarked grave in Mount Hope. The second wife is not buried in the cemetery.

Three tombstones cleaned and reinstalled.

This is another one of those stories where tombstones are removed from cemeteries and used for odd purposes. A house in the neighborhood I grew up in had tombstone fragments in the turret in their house. Strange, indeed.

Winnie the Pooh’s House is a BearBnB

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Illustrator Kim Raymond incorporated small details into the house.

Two lucky residents of the United Kingdom will spend £95 to spend one night in Winnie the Pooh’s house. The open dates are September 24th and 25th, which coincides with the 95th anniversary of A.A. Milne’s first publication of the adorable honey loving bear.

The one-room house has all the hallmarks of Pooh’s house. Kim Raymond, who has illustrated the Pooh books for 30 years, incorporated small details into the construction of the house, which sits along the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England. A.A. Milne lived here and based his famous Hundred Acre Wood on the forest.

Two lucky U.K. residents will enjoy the comforts of Pooh’s house and Hundred Acre Wood.

The guests receive a guided tour of the wood, along with honey-inspired meals. They will also play Poohsticks on Poohstick Bridge and enjoy naps in the cozy beds.

The outside façade has Pooh’s tree and the “Mr. Sanders” sign. The mystery surrounding who Mr. Sanders was remains; however, the house has been beautifully realized. I hope that the house will be open on future dates for international tourists.