Houses of Halloween

October seems like an opportune time to do a rundown of homes made famous by Halloween themed movies.  Below are most of my favorites.  A few are here in New England, so you can see them for yourself.  It’s a GREAT time to go to Salem.  Aside from Hocus Pocus being filmed there, the town has many Halloween themed events this month.


First of course, is THE scary movie Halloween. I recall seeing this movie when it first came out – yes, I am SO old.  No movie has scared me more – before or since.  I remember having to sleep with the lights on because I kept imaging someone in the closet or under the bed.  I even ran out of the house when the power went out the day after I saw the movie.  I was home alone and it truly terrified me.  Well, enough of my cowardice.  🙂  There were several houses and locations for the movie.  But the most famous is Myers house.  Here is how it appeared in the movie and how it looks today, all restored.  What a difference!




Whipstaff Manor was an amazing house – one of my all-time favorite movie houses.  But it is not one that existed outside Universal Studio Stage 12.  They fashioned it after the architecture of Antoni Gaudí, which I think was a brilliant choice.













Another one of my favorites.  Rather than highlight the several houses in this movie here (the colonial era houses of the movie opening, Allison’s house where the elaborate Halloween party was held, etc.)  I’ll point you to this great article that covers the Hocus Pocus houses  Better yet, go see them for yourself.  October is a great time to have some spooky fun in Salem.  


Max’s House – 4 Ocean Ave Salem









There were two houses that were main characters in the movie.  First is the house of the old man who put razor blades in apples – shown at the beginning and end of the movie.










And Hull House where most of the movie takes place.  Both houses are located in Los Angeles.








While there are plenty of other movies that take place on Halloween, most are not famous, so I’ll highlight a few more that had some interesting houses in them.



Another locally filmed movie.   Most of the movie was filmed in Cohasset.  But the Lenox mansion was actually the Crane Estate in Ipswich.  Abbott Hall in Marblehead and Milton Academy were also locations for the movie.

Crane Estate – Ipswich MA



This is an old classic that many of you may not have seen given the movie was filmed in 1959.  But it was interesting.  5 people are challenged to stay in a haunted house overnight and whomever did would get $10,000.  Aside from the scariness, there is intrigue of trying to figure out motives, etc.  So this one might be a good one to watch on Halloween.  Most of the movie is filmed in a studio, but the exterior shots are the Frank Llloyd Wright Ennis House in Los Angeles.

Ennis House front view 2005.jpg



The house is located at 4267 Roxbury Street in Simi Valley, California. 

In the movie a fictional Cuesta Verde housing  company built a housing tract over an old cemetery, but instead of moving the bodies, they only moved the headstones. Big mistake.








The exterior of the Bramford, where most of the movie takes place is actually the Dakota apartment on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.  Sadly, also the site of John Lennon’s murder.

image from:

The Dakota



Long Island’s 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville was the site of the DeFeo family murders in 1975, in which Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed six members of his family. Thirteen months later, the Lutz family moved in, but left after a month, claiming the house was haunted.

The house was the inspiration — and used for exteriors — in the 1979 film “The Amityville Horror.”  How it looked in the movie and how it looks today.  Not so spooky.  The current owners say they have not experienced any paranormal activity.








and some favorite TV shows from my childhood…..


This house at 21 Chester Place in Los Angeles was only used for exterior shots.  It’s address was originally on Adams St for a long time!  The house is no longer there.  The last owner left it to archdiocese who made it part of a college and then eventually a high school was built on the location and where this house stood is now a field.


THE MUNSTERS (1964-1966)

Known as 1313 Mockingbird Lane, this is a house built on the backlot of Universal Studios and was used in many TV shows, including Desperate Houswives and other movies, such as the Burbs with Tom Hanks.  Looked a lot different in that movie.  Click here for more pictures and information on the house. 

Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, house and outdoor


DARK SHADOWS (1966–1971)

Finally…Dark Shadows. I loved this show – I used to race home from school to watch it at 4:00 every day.  Seeing it today, I realize it was incredibly cheesy and basically was a soap opera with vampires and werewolves as main characters.   But back then, I was enthralled.  The house – Collinwood mansion in fictional Collinwood Maine was actually Seaview Terrace in Newport RI.   Only the exterior was used.  The interior I am sure was on studio lots.

By Jim McCullars

Seaview Terrace aka Collinwood Mansion


Hopefully you saw some of your favorites in this list!  

Michelle J. Lane

Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904

Spotlight on Lowell

April 26, 2016

So today I did Jury Duty in Lowell.   I’ve been there before, with my friend/client Laura Roberts, who shares my love of grand, older homes. We went on a roadtrip last year to see a particular beauty.  But I hadn’t been to Lowell Center.  I have to say the center is very quaint with the majority of the area consisting of small brick and stone storefronts from the 19th century.  I was pleasantly surprised as I never thought of Lowell as being so quaint.  In my mind, it was a former mill town that lost its reason for being (the mills) and had become a shadow of its former self akin to the Rust Belt.   

The truth is that Lowell is true to itself in that it still has a robust population that is roughly 50% immigrant, who work primarily in construction and industry.  It has not become a ghost town.  The population has, in fact grown by 5% over the past 10 years or so to about 110,000.

So why am I so curious about Lowell?  Because they have some amazing, grand old homes that can still be had for reasonable prices compared to most of the Greater Boston area.  Yet it only took me 35 mins to get from Newton to Lowell.

For a sampling of what your money can buy – here are the most grand houses on the market in Lowell today.



Beyond the awesome houses, Lowell does have a lot to offer.  An MBTA commuter line, the Merrimack River, a National Park, Universities, Hospitals. The crime rate is reasonable and declining every year.  It is about half what it was 15 years ago and less than the national average.  And I must say that everyone in the courthouse was very nice!

What it doesn’t have is great school rankings.   So it may not be ideal yet for young families looking for a city with good schools.  

As I took a break from Jury Duty, I passed a woman who was shouting to an invisible adversary and then I was approached by a panhandler.  So not exactly gentrified yet.  But I do wonder if it could be down the road as Boston and the surrounding area become too cost prohibitive.  This tight spring market is pushing prices up ever higher and is pricing people out of the area immediately surrounding Boston. 

Lowell would be great for Boomers like myself,  who don’t really want to downsize their homes but would like to cut costs in retirement.  Or for young couples who don’t plan on having children but want a nice big house not too far from Boston.

Michelle J. Lane

Century 21 Commonwealth
CELL: 617 584-3904


Historic Newton Exhibit – An Architect Ahead of her Time: Annie Cobb

Anne Cobb Exhibit at the Jackson Homestead – Starts October 3rd.

Michelle J. Lane

Arguably, the first American woman architect, Cobb made her debut in pre-Civil War South Boston and flourished during the last three decades of the 19th Century in Newton Highlands, and exhibited at the World’s Columbian Expo of 1893 in Chicago.

Reception Wednesday, October 3rd from 5:00 – 7:00 to celebrate the new exhibit.

Visit for more information.