Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Real House on Haunted Hill

In 1959, the wonderful film "House on Haunted Hill" was released.   The exteriors for the movie were filmed at the famous Ennis House in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, just a short drive from where I live.   While the Ennis House was simply a spooky looking set for a great movie, it overlooks the backyard of a real life 1959 horror house which has sat abandoned for over 50 years.

On the night of December 6, 1959, Dr. Harold Perelson murdered his wife with a ball peen hammer, attempted to murder his oldest daughter, and then killed himself by taking poison.  The two youngest Perelson children woke up during the murder, and saw their father in the hallway.  He told them them they were having a nightmare and they should go back to bed, which they did.

Police found Perelson dead on the floor next to his wife’s blood-soaked bed.  He was clutching the hammer. Next to his bed, investigators found a copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy, opened to Canto 1.   “Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost ... ,” read the passage.

Police made quick work of the case, the children were moved to the East Coast to live with relatives and the house was locked up, nearly untouched, for 50 years.  Visitors to the house say that they can see through some of the windows where pans and dishes have been placed to catch rain water leaking through the roof.  A 1959 artificial Christmas tree still sits in one of the rooms, with wrapped presents nearby.  Neighbors have taken to attending to the lawn as necessary for the past 50 years. 

For the entire eerie story, please read THIS.

1 comment:

ShellHawk said...

Ennis house was also used for exteriors on both "Buffy" and "Angel."
The Ennis house site also says they put it up for sale. If only I had won the lottery! That house would make it worth it to move back to L.A.