Famous Haunted House Architecture

Fall is here and the smell of pumpkin spice and jars of candy corn can be found all around. The colors of orange, black, and purple have everyone tuning in on Saturday evenings to watch classic horror films. Although, it begs one to wonder what details protrude into making a somewhat seemingly beautiful home that turns into a haunted iconic feature. Could it really be the special details not typically found in modern architecture? Or could it be the work of sheer artistic genius?

frank-lloyd-wright-taliesin-houseIsolated Large Estates

Whether it’s gruesome historic events or just sheer solitude, there is something about historic estates that pique our interest. There is no better story of sadness and architecture genius than Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin home in Iowa County, Wisconsin. Although some may think karma was at play due to a torrid love affair, nothing could account for the act of horror that ensued. The gruesome murder that took place in August 1914 was a devastating tragedy. The home was rebuilt in spirit of the family who owned Taliesin during the murders.

Half Quarter Moon Windows

The famous murder that took place in 1974 in Amityville, Long Island, signified that voices can suggest almost anything. The High Hopes home was the site of a mass murder that claimed the lives of the DeFeo family. The famous, classic half quarter moon windows are common in Dutch colonial design; they typically adorn the sides of an exterior chimney and are accompanied by a Dutch barn roof.  However, the recent homeowners replaced the windows in order to mask the home in need for added privacy. Although still quite common in victorian-mansard-houseclassic New England home designs, the windows are now seen as demonic.

Victorian Thrillers

There are few homes that can raise goose bumps just simply because of viewing the property. The Bates Victorian mansion fits that bill. The home was the inspiration behind Alfred Hitchcock’s, Psycho, and Edward Hopper’s 1925 painting, House by the Railroad. The original house is located in Haverstraw, NY and was built in 1885. The particular detail of freight circles around the mansard roof dates back to 1550. Pierre Lescot, a French architect, is accredited for the roofing detail during the French Renaissance period.


Terrifying Gothic Structures

One has a hard time reminiscing any castle without legends and foregone horrific tales. The most famous horror inspired character is Count Dracula.  Count Dracula has stood the test of time and so has his residence. The Bran Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle, sets in Transylvania upon the hillside in Romania. Bram Stoker, the creator of Dracula, set the story based on a description of the estate made available to him according to the Bran Castle website. Although the accounts cannot be verified, it seems to reason that Bram Stoker would have chosen a castle adorned with Gothic architectural design regardless of location. The Bran Castle is a testament to Gothic architecture. Built in 1377 at the request of Hungarian king Louis I of Anjou, the Saxons was entrusted to erect the Gothic structure.

Gothic design first appeared in structures throughout Europe during Medieval times. The style was brought about in order to bring design and function while adding light within the structure. The Bran Castle depicts typical Gothic style features such as the steeply pitched roofline, an asymmetrical floor plan, and pinnacles.

Regardless of whether fiction or factual inspired gruesome events, one thing is certain—the architectural detail setting is deeply rooted in the horror genre. Who knows… the next big horror classic may feature a quaint brick rancher with a white picket fence.

If you enjoyed this blog you may want to read our blog about, “Four Things Successful Architects, Designers and Builders Do.”

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