For Sale: Modernized Converted Chapel
In the market for a converted chapel? Don’t miss out on this modernized 2,245 square foot 2-story detached home in North Lopham, Norfolk, England. Current price of £490,000 has been slashed nearly £100,000 since listed last April. This 3 bedroom/2 bathroom home features a state-of-the-art kitchen and en suite (master bathroom); oak flooring; underfloor heating on the first (ground) floor; and unobstructed light entering through the wrap-around windows on the second floor. This home is a rare find!
The former Methodist Church was built in 1810 and boasts 36 front yard gravesites, with an additional 14 along the side. The graves date back to the 1870s, when the small cemetery reached capacity. The church closed in 2014 and was sold to a developer in 2016. The building has been completely modernized.
Title excludes the graveyard, which is owned and maintained by the Church of England. Translation: The church will mow the front yard. However, the leasehold is for 999 years. Plan accordingly. Although interest is minimal, someone will snatch a piece of British history at a fantastic price.
Pet Sematary House for Sale
Although Stephen King has not lived in the house located at 664 River Road, Orrington, Maine, since 1979, the house plays a large role in the horror genre. King rented the house while he was a writer-in-residence at the University of Maine—Orono. The house sits along a busy highway, a negative for selling; however, it inspired one of King’s most popular novels Pet Sematary.
The 4 bedroom/3 bathroom house sits on 3 acres. Built in 1904 it features hardwood floors, custom built-in shelving, two fireplaces, and a spacious sunroom. It’s listed at $255,000.
King’s daughter, Naomi, had a cat named Smucky who was killed by a truck. The family buried the cat in the pet cemetery that borders the rear of the property. Inspiration struck and King began writing his book. The novel debuted in 1983 and became a best-seller. It was adapted to a film in 1989. The production budget was $11.5 million. Combined movie ticket and DVD sales total more than $83 million. It spawned a sequel.
Although the film was shot in Maine, a different house was used. King often states this is the book that scares him the most. Luckily, he does not remember the house as sinister or evil. Actually, he barely remembers the house…only the busy highway.
Log on to Zillow.com to view pictures. Hopefully, one of you purchases the property. It would make a fantastic bed and breakfast.
Amityville: The Awakening—Release Date Postponed. Again
Originally announced to debut in 2012, Amityville: The Awakening (ATA) has been postponed. Again. This does not bode well for the film, part of the Amityville franchise. Production completed nearly 3 years ago and has endured 7 release date changes. Seven! If this movie does hit the theaters, save your money. The drama surrounding post-production is an indicator that this movie is a dud.
ATA comes 38 years after The Amityville Horror (1979) jolted theater-goers by claiming it was “based on a true story.” With a production budget of $4.7 million dollars, the movie made $86 million in the US alone. As a staple on cable TV stations, the movie continues to generate income. The 1970s ushered in a new form of horror movie: those loosely based on potentially true events. The budget for the 1973 The Exorcist was $12 million dollars. It raked in over $204 million in the United States alone. Likewise, it continues to generate income through cable TV revenue. Arguably, both movies were cutting edge and advanced the horror genre. Most importantly they came from incredibly popular books. Both films successfully bridged the text to celluloid. Although both stories claimed to be based on true events, the stories continue to unravel—more so with Amityville.
The Amityville franchise is successful. By keeping production budgets low, companies can produce a profitable film. This, in turn, leads to more sequels. Not all of them are as successful. This is the case with Amityville. Three motion picture sequels were not as successful. One barely broke even. But the “legend” surrounding the house endures. Unfortunately, it is time to shutter the house and move to a new location.
Initially titled Amityville: The Lost Tapes, this reboot occurs in the infamous Long Island home. The most alert viewer will notice some discrepancies, though. The house is a private residence located at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville. After the film’s release throngs of tourists would linger in the yard. The owners successfully petitioned to change the address to 108 Ocean Avenue in the hopes of confusing tourists. The owners also made extensive renovations to the house so it would not resemble the house at 18 Brooks Road, Toms River, New Jersey, which was used to for filming. Most notably removed were the quarter pie-shaped windows, pretty much the most haunting feature.
The official movie trailer opens with the old house and lots of land around it. The real house sits on a densely populated street with a canal in the back. There is very little similarities between the two.
The story-line could stand on its own. The mental thoughts of “Kill, kill, kill” is the only visible link to the original movie. The producers should have created a new, fresh horror film franchise. I’ll have to wait until June to see it. That’s if 7 release date changes are the charm! Stay tuned!
Historic—and Possibly Haunted—Garden District Mansion for Sale
Located in the Garden District in New Orleans, the former Harris-Maginnis Mansion has hit the real estate market. Again. Currently operating as a bed and breakfast (B&B), the home can revert back to a private home and can be yours for the discounted price of $4.9 million.
Designed by the famous architect James H. Calrow in 1857, the house was built for the cotton broker Alexander Harris. Harris and his child bride, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Thompson, moved into the sprawling home in 1858. On July 19, 1896, Harris died from yellow fever. The young widow remarried and sold the home in 1879.
The next owners were John Henry Maginnis and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Tweed. [Note: Both women were called “Lizzie.”] Maginnis was a cotton baron. While vacationing at another residence, Maginnis was struck and killed by lightning on July 4, 1889—only 10 years after purchasing the home. Tweed held onto the property and willed it to her only daughter, Josephine, in 1921. Josephine and her husband split their time between New York City and Europe; therefore, Josephine gifted the 13,000 square foot home to the New Orleans chapter of the American Red Cross in 1939.
The American Red Cross used the home as a headquarters from 1939-1954. Dr. Clyde E. Crassons purchased the building and converted it back into a private residence.
The home has changed hands several times. Mr. and Mrs. Schreiber remodeled the home and converted it into a bed and breakfast. Hollie Vest, a Tina Turner impersonator, purchased the home in 2001.
Even more noteworthy is that the home has been listed for sale a lot. Like, a lot. It was listed in 2012 for $2.85 million. It sold in 2013 for $1.6 million. And now it is for sale again. Originally listed for $5.475 million, the sale price has been reduced to $4.9 million. The new owners can leave the home as an operating B&B or convert it back into a private home. I would not be surprised if the beautiful home reverts back. That seems to be the trend with historic properties.
Now known as the Magnolia Mansion, the home is not marketed as haunted. However, the B&B Website does provide some interesting stories and photographs of possible hauntings. Activity seemed to commence during the renovations. Another Website proffers that the ghosts are friendly. One tucks guests into bed at night while another child “plays” in the hallways. I don’t know if the home is haunted. I would love to investigate, though. Who knows? Maybe the next time I’m in the Crescent City!
John Zaffis Recovering after Surgery
The Godfather of paranormal research, John Zaffis, underwent surgery to unblock an artery. The artery was 90% blocked and required the placement of a stent. Zaffis was jovial in a recent Facebook post stating,
My wife had to put up that posting so very fast, never in a million years did I think I was going to have to be concerned with so many people knowing me in the emergency room and they started texting and posting so I told my wife to post something so our family and friends did not see something that was incorrect in a posting, we all know how that go’s. But I am home now and doing good, thank you all for all the prayers and positive energy.
Zaffis is very well-known in the paranormal community and has gained a new following from his hit TV show Haunted Collector (2011-2013). The show featured Zaffis and his team investigating paranormal activity, oftentimes identifying the source attached to an object. Zaffis collects the objects and houses them at the John Zaffis Paranormal Museum, which opened in 2004. I blogged on February 6, 2015, https://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2015/02/09/zaffis-may-purchase-former-funeral-home-for-museum/, that Zaffis is finalizing plans to relocate the museum to a former funeral home. The property would contain a gallery and conference space for special workshops. To my knowledge, this project is still moving forward.
Zaffis, nephew of Ed and Lorraine Warren, is a respected Demonologist and has consulted and investigated thousands of cases. Further, he has appeared on several TV shows and makes frequent conference appearances. Most notably, he is one of the sweetest people working in the industry. For more information, check out his Website, http://www.johnzaffis.com/.
Get well soon!
Paranormal Activity’s “Haunted” Home For Sale (Maybe)
Paranormal Real Estate
The home used as the set for Paranormal Activity is for sale. The 4 bedroom 2 ½ bath home is listed for $749,000. The home is not haunted; however, it was the set for the first two movies in the popular franchise. Neighbors say that the home is really nice and assure reporters that there is nothing extraordinary paranormal about the house.
Nestled in the Ranchos Penasquitos neighborhood, the home features a pool and landscaped backyard. Owner Oren Peli, writer/director, filmed the first two installments of the PA franchise at the home. He specifically remodeled the home for the first movie.
With a deep discount budget of $15,000, the original Paranormal Activity grossed over $100 million dollars. The franchise remains popular. For those looking to buy a piece of horror movie history, look up this property. Buyer Beware: Ask the realtor for confirmation on paranormal history—or the lack thereof.
1976 Historic Image Captures “Ghost” and Goes Viral
In 1976, Charles W. Nelson took a photograph from the rear of “Cedarhurst” for the Minnesota Historical Society. Thirty-eight years later, the image went viral on the Internet.
Originally a farmhouse, the home was converted into a summer retreat in 1886. Mary Frances Harriman inherited the property from her grandfather, Charles Oramel Fanning (1800-1888). Celebrated architect Cass Gilbert expanded the retreat designing the mansion for Cordenio Arnold and Mary Frances Harriman Severance. He called the house “Cedarhurst.” Construction covered the years 1911-1917. In the end, the home totaled 12,000 square feet. The 26-room mansion was built in the Neoclassical Revival style and included twin classical columned porticoes, formal ball room, and rose garden.
Severance was a corporate litigator who served as the 44th President of the American Bar Association. Severance and his wife hosted 4 presidents at “Cedarhurst.” This mansion was opulent. He and his wife lived in the home until 1925, when they died with no surviving heir. The mansion stood abandoned for many, many years. The house changed hands and fell into disarray. Located at 6940 Keats Avenue South, Cottage Grove, Minnesota, “Cedarhurst” was added to the National Registry of Historic Places on June 3, 1976.
In 2001, the Thao family purchased the property for $900,000. Investing another $250,000, the family restored the massive home and now runs it as an entertainment venue. But the story continues.
According to Examiner.Com writer John Albrecht, Jr. a member on Reddit posted this image this past Saturday, November 8th, claiming that a ghost is standing on the back patio (http://www.examiner.com/article/ghostly-figure-found-on-national-register-of-historic-places-photo). “Midwester” discovered the image while going through historic images (http://www.reddit.com/r/Ghosts/comments/2lmyvw/i_was_looking_through_photos_on_the_national/). Posters were polite and offered various explanations. Most felt it was a statue. However, one felt that it looked out-of-place. One was confused because the yard was overgrown and asked if the home was inhabited. Although this is a great image of an aging mansion, the “figure” is not a ghost.
The image is too solid and too consistent to be an apparition. Few have captured a full-length figure of an apparition. These are rare. Moreover, apparitions do not present whole or complete like the one here. This figure is too solid looking. Finally, the figure seems to be draped in a cloth.
Let me provide some historical context. This home was an opulent mansion. It was built in a style that incorporated statues, draperies, and lots of ornate items. Presidents visited. This mansion oozed high society. Large statues may have stood beside the classical columned porticos. Since it is winter, the statues may have been relocated inside for preservation.
By the time the photograph was taken, the home changed hands several times. It was deteriorating. The interior contents may have been packaged up.
Finally, I cannot locate any stories proclaiming “Cedarhurst” as haunted. The Internet is quiet on this. Even “Midwester” conceded that this was the only image with the anomaly. Unfortunately, this image does not contain a ghost.
Historic “Haunted” Mansion Sells for $1.00
Anyone in the market to buy a house missed a golden opportunity in Louisville, Kentucky. The Ouerbacker-Clement House went up for tax sale and sold for the unbelievably bargain price of one dollar. Remarkably this is not the first time the mansion sold for a buck.
The Ouerbacker-Clement House was built in the 1860s for coffee merchant Samuel Ouerbacker (1841-1922). Built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the mansion sits in the Russell neighborhood. Ouerbacker resided in the mansion until his death in 1922.
The next resident was Reverend George Clement, a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The house was rezoned and a tax preparation business set up shop afterwards. Ironically, the house went for auction for unpaid taxes. An architect purchased the home with the intent to restore the abandoned, dilapidated home; however, he was unable to see his vision through to fruition.
Reportedly haunted, the mansion sits across from a cemetery. Oracle Design purchased the home. The company has acquired several properties in this neighborhood. Plans include restoration and division of the mansion into apartments. Sorry I missed this bargain!