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Top 10 Creepiest and Strangest Homes on Zillow
You might be actively looking for a new property or just browsing; whichever category you fall into, you’ve probably used Zillow. With revenues of $8.1 billion in 2021 and information on roughly 110 million properties in the United States, Zillow has become a main platform for people looking to buy, rent, or sell properties. Their well-designed website and mobile apps allow you to search quickly and easily for a property that you might be looking for. Or just nose around!
With so many homes listed, it’s not surprising that some are not exactly mainstream. Many people find that empty homes are creepy in themselves—perhaps because we imagine that they still reflect the lives of those who once lived there. But there are other homes, some that look normal on the outside, with something about them that makes your flesh crawl. Here are ten of the strangest and creepiest homes on found Zillow, past and present.
10 Rockport, Maine
In Rockport, there is a single-family residence for sale. This six-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion with 9,500 square feet (882.6 square meters) certainly has room for friends and family to spend quality time in this attractive town. However, this home was originally Methodist Church, built in 18875, so it also comes with a bit of strange history. Priced at over $2.5 million, it’s a property that will be out of reach for most buyers, but it would be an ideal summer residence for those who can afford it.
But on a winter’s night, this roomy house that looks like a church would challenge those with over-active imaginations. With the wind howling and the old house creaking, it would be easy to believe something is waiting to get in. Add a power cut, and you’ll gladly spend the night in a motel.
9 Baltimore, Maryland
This property on Townsend Avenue in Baltimore is no longer listed on Zillow. Perhaps a fan of Gothic horror stories bought it because this house was eccentric, to say the least.
From the road, the small house had nothing to distinguish it from hundreds of similar listings, but inside, it is a different story. The owner obviously didn’t like bright colors because they decorated the whole property in black and white, then added unusual touches such as coffin lids and Gothic crosses. Thankfully there is no blood splattered on the floor or headless chickens running around, but it certainly looks like there could be.
To add to its unusual charm, the owner laid out the back lot to look like a small cemetery. Artificial, one hopes.
8 Guildhall, Vermont
Our video is a little misleading as there’s no suggestion that our house on Courthouse Drive in Guildhall is haunted. Nevertheless, it’s a strange place.
The Jail House, built in 1878, used to belong to the local jailer. It’s a pleasant-looking place that would make a cozy family home. The local jailer had to look after the town’s inmates, so his house had a wing attached with seven secure cells for wrongdoers. Guildhall has always been a small place. In 1880, the census registered a population of just 558 people—so seven cells suggest that the locals were a fairly wild bunch.
The cells are still there, although the wing needs restoration. It could be the perfect solution if you have house guests that get a little out of hand. Unfortunately, somebody bought the house for $150,000 in 2021. We don’t know what the buyer intends to do with the jail.
7 South Lake Tahoe, California
When this house came onto the market in early 2021, it immediately attracted attention. The seller listed the 1962 property for sale “as is,” and any buyer would get a little more than they might expect.
The house is a little untidy, and the decor looks dated, but anyone with some DIY skills could easily make the place cozy and comfortable. But selling the property “as is” includes the unusual feature of mannequins dotted and posed around the house. This would be enough to haunt the dreams of anyone with an imagination who believes that someone else is on the property.
Why anyone would want to people their property with fashion mannequins is questionable—our video attempts to answer that question.
6 Placerville, California
Sitting on a hill on a plot of over 18 acres (7.3 hectares), this house looks normal enough. Secluded and luxurious, the property has plenty of space. Although its listing stated that it had three bedrooms and four baths, a walk-around shows a lot more space than that would suggest.
Ms. Jeanne Clearey bought the place for a bargain of $50,000 in 1990 and set about adapting it. The main house has 4,400 square feet, a separate storage room of 2,400 square feet, and a 1,100 square foot apartment above the garage. A visitor will find that stairways and doors lead off into new spaces with more storage space than anyone could need. Perhaps the most surprising feature is “The Room”—a vast, empty, air-conditioned space with 16-foot (4.9-meter) ceilings.
Ms. Cleary, surprisingly, was not in the storage business. She was a single woman who loved books, obviously didn’t like to throw stuff away, and was addicted to shopping. She died, aged 89, in 2021. Her family donated most of the contents to victims of the forest fires that had ravaged California.
5 Parthenon, Arkansas
John Hay of the successful Celestial Seasonings Tea Company was a prepper who wanted to find somewhere safe to ride out a nuclear holocaust. Where better than a cave in Arkansas? He bought Beckham Creek Cave in the 1980s and set about stocking it with enough supplies to last 50 people for around two years. He had to do some work to make the place habitable and succeeded – he and members of his religious group moved into the complex to see out a couple of scares.
Several other owners have added to the amenities but have always respected its natural properties. Unfortunately, one of the natural properties is that some stalactites have a habit of dripping. These days, the property is not on the market, but you can rent it for vacation stays.
Living in a cave is not for the claustrophobic and, for all its luxurious amenities, the views are limited.
4 Austin, Texas
Just a 10-minute drive from Austin’s bustling, modern downtown lies the weird, wonderful (and creepy) Bloomhouse. This tiny place is featured on Zillow’s blog and is a noted attraction that many visitors to Austin have on their bucket lists.
In the 1970s, two architecture students from the University of Texas decided that they were going to ignore the traditional and build something unique. They bought a plot of land and spent over a decade building what you see today.
It’s hard to pick out the influences that inspired the builders—the uninformed might consider that hallucinogenic drugs played a large part. With no straight lines, the whole place looks like something that Alice might have stumbled across on her travels. Anyone who values traditional styles will find this place weird and disturbing.
You can, if you wish, book a night there.
3 Olalla, Washington
The small town of Olalla has much to interest visitors. One of the local attractions might be a home featured on the Zillow blog. Most people call the house “Snow White’s Cottage,” although the owner prefers “The Storybook Cottage.”
The home sits on 7.5 acres (3 hectares) of land that also features Shrek Island, a wishing well, and a treehouse. Visitors coming across it accidentally would feel they have stumbled into a fairytale. Surely you would soon hear the seven dwarves singing as you go about your daily chores? This carefully designed fantasia would make a great set for a Disney movie.
The place is off the market but is sometimes available for weddings making it ideal for a couple who like fairytales. But living there would be a bit extra.
2 Bolton Landing, New York
Once upon a time, a dad might have promised his son a model railway and then spent most of his time playing with it himself. John Lavender went a step further and promised his three-year-old son a castle. He then started building one.
Lavender has done a fabulous job crafting a location with incredible views. It’s a lovely place that looks authentic—although the facilities are contemporary rather than medieval. The castle would make a great venue for banquets and weddings, but living in the past would be more than a little weird.
The decor in Highlands Castle looks so authentic that it would be easy to imagine yourself back in the thirteenth century. From there, it would be a short step to feeling that the past was coming alive again.
1 Delavan, Wisconsin
For a mere $1.2 million, you could be the proud owner of Allyn Mansion in Delavan, Wisconsin. The city is small but attracts plenty of tourists both for its charms and the nearby Lake Geneva.
Charming is not a word you would necessarily use to describe the Allyn Mansion. Imposing? Yes, it’s certainly that. The Allyn family had the house built in 1885. Years later, in 1913, Mr. Allyn was looking over his mail in the parlor when he shrugged off this mortal coil. Some say he is still in the house, drifting around and unnerving the occupants.
Whether the ghost of Mr. Allyn is still around or not, the property changed hands quite a few times before it opened as a nursing home (a haunted nursing home must have been popular!), then it became a furniture store for a while before someone opened it as a bed and breakfast. This business closed the mansion’s doors in 2007. You might still find it listed.