Eerie Homes & Gardens

Growing up, the closest I ever got to a haunted house was watching episodes of Scooby Doo on Saturday morning cartoons.  As a teenager, I visited facsimiles of haunted houses, made purely for Halloween profit.  But insofar as I’ve never seen a ghost, I don’t believe in them, nor haunted house.  But if by chance, they do exist, I imagine they reside in spooky homes like this, with broken windows and dilapidated porches with rusted railings.

all photos from Shorpy
all photos from Shorpy unless labeled otherwise

This old Victorian mansion may appear innocent enough, with a fruit stand out front, and laundry blowing in the breeze.  But you know there are some kidnapping milk carton victims trapped in that upper bedroom.  Don’t you see their fingerprints on the panes?

Franklin Street, Houston, TX  1943
Franklin Street, Houston, TX 1943

You actually can see the child in the lower left portion of this tenement housing, so it’s a given those curtains upstairs are concealing various abducted persons.  The ones out front are just a cover.

Brockton, Mass 1940
Brockton, Mass 1940

This plantation house is creepy even in brightest sunlight.  No doubt the ghosts of former slaves are flying amongst the rotting shingles and crumbling chimneys.  The boy sitting on the stoop is merely an apparition.

St Charles Parish, Abandoned Plantation 1938
St Charles Parish, Abandoned Plantation 1938

This one looks more like a movie set, like the swamp scene in The Rescuers.

Volusia County, Florida 1904
Volusia County, Florida 1904

RescuersBut this one gives me the williest of willies.  It’s not the broken windows nor decaying wood; it’s the fact that it appears to be tucked into a hillside, maybe in the recesses of some mountain community, where subspecies and dialects exist that you and I know nothing of.

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I bet it looked fine in its glory days, but it’s time for the wrecking ball.  Make room for suburbia!

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12 comments

  1. Yeah, I’m pretty sure all of these are haunted. But really, once I die, someone needs to remind me to pick a NICE place to haunt. I mean, I know they’re dead, but who wants to live in a place like that? Pick a five-star hotel, at least.

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    • Maybe once you’re a ghost and you’re too stubborn to join the rest of the folks in the afterlife, your perception of fine living is distorted? I imagine Four Seasons have Ghostbusters on standby, should any swanky phantoms try to haunt the deluxe suites.

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  2. since I have a tendency to view 90-100% of everything through the comedic lens I think these locations would fit quite nicely as the back drop to a sitcom about a grown up Haley Joel Osment who (of course) sees dead people and is a real estate agent that caters to their “special” spiritual needs. Only to be constantly harassed by a wise cracking, trouble making dead uncle played by (you guessed it) Bruce willis. I am thinking the title “Sixth Century 21” would fit best.

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    • This is genius! You need to pitch this to a functioning network that can offer Bruce a salary close to Ashton Kutcher’s in 2 1/2 Men. I’d rather watch your show anyway. Would the uncle also be a little randy, like Beetlejuice was dead but still liked the ladies?

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      • that would be great! wow.. I think we are starting to collaborate here. Bruce can be a washed up (obviously in more ways than one) ex (80’s) greasy Hollywood movie producer (think Gordon Gekko meets Russ Meyer) horn-dog who is constantly trying to set up Haley with questionable women in an effort to get him to stop being so shy and reclusive

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  3. The second photo reminds me of some of the pictures in the WPA “Bound for Glory” color Depression era collection. Those photos are mesmerizing. I love old houses, haunted or not. There was one up the street from me when I was like 5, and we all called it the Spooky House. I guess I hadn’t yet come into my own in the creative naming things department.

    Also I love Shorpy. Shorpy love right here.

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