Welcome To “The Witch’s House!” Beverly Hills Has A Wild Halloween Haunt – The Spadena House!

Welcome To Beverly Hills 90210!

It’s an iconic zip code, and at night this is the view of Beverly Hills from atop the Waldorf-Astoria hotel…although, with the pandemic still raging on, some things have changed in the 90210:

Yes, masks are everywhere, and it seems that trick-or-treating will be severely curtailed or even cancelled this year – but since it’s Halloween season, let’s check out 90210’s most unique property!

Welcome to “The Witch’s House”!

Yes, literally three blocks away from the Waldorf-Astoria is one of the city’s most unique houses!

Located on the corner of Walden Drive and Carmelita Avenue, this house is just steps away from the ritzy 90210 shopping area of Beverly Hills – but it looks like a world away!

To me it looks like it was part of “The Hobbit” set – the unique design seen in all of Peter Jackson’s movies…here is the real story of this magical house:

First Thing To Know: It’s Called “The Spadena House!”

Here his how wikipedia describes it:

“The Spadena House, also known as The Witch’s House, is a storybook house in Beverly Hills, California. Located on the corner of Walden Drive and Carmelita Avenue, it is known for its fanciful, intentionally dilapidated design, and is a landmark included on tours of the area.”

They go on to report:

“The house was designed by Hollywood art director Harry Oliver, who went on to play a major role in Storybook architecture. Oliver was a Hollywood art director who worked on more than 30 films between 1919 and 1938 as art director, art department & as set decorator. It was originally built in 1921 to serve as the offices and dressing rooms for Irvin Willat’s film studio in Culver City, and was moved to its present location in 1934. The converted private home, with its pointy, lopsided roof, tiny windows and stucco with a distressed paint job were then surrounded by an intentionally overgrown English-style garden and a moat-like pond.”

Here is what the house looks like up close:


Yes, those crows may not be real, but they add some really fun atmosphere to the landscape, along with many signs that ask you please not to trespass, but why would you? You can see everything from the street!

My friend Alison Martino wrote the best story about the house – how can you top this intro?


“I grew up trick or treating on Halloween in the late ’70s and early ’80s at the Witch’s House. The owners at that time would dress up as ghosts and goblins and hand out taffy from a witch’s kettle. There was dry ice coming from the moat around the house and Disney’s Haunted Mansion soundtrack could be heard out the upstairs window. It was an event.”

Alison wrote this intro for her great Los Angeles Magazine story on the house…which explains how a terrific Real Estate Agent saved the house from demolition – you can see that great story here:

http://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/exclusive-look-inside-witchs-house-beverly-hills/

Alison has a terrific website, “Vintage Los Angeles”, that tells the great stories of Hollywood’s past, and you can see all of them at her website here:

http://alisonmartino.com

I haven’t seen any official word regarding trick-or-treating this year but will update once an official, final decision come through.

I’ve posted a number of stories about great Beverly Hills landmarks – including this infamous house:

What makes this house so interesting?

Well, look at this headline:

Yes, this is where Actress Lana Truner’s mobster boyfriend was stabbed by her daughter…or was he?

Click here to read more about this “True Hollywood Mystery”:

https://johnrieber.com/2017/07/30/lana-turners-mobster-mystery-a-beverly-hills-mystery-scandal-the-house-still-stands-today/

And just a mile or so north, Hollywood history was made behind these gates:

You see, this is the mansion where Producer Jack Woltz woke up to this:

Yes, this is the house where “The Godfather” filmed the shocking moment when the Studio Head wakes up to a very bloody surprise in his bed!

And the horse head was real!

Click here to read the entire story:

https://johnrieber.com/2018/05/14/producer-jack-waltzs-godfather-mansion-the-real-beverly-hills-estate-yes-the-horses-head-was-real/

If you like these stories, why not sign up to receive emails whenever I post? It’s easy to do, I do NOT collect any information about you at all, there are absolutely NO ads of any kind, just stories about movies, music, books, food, travel and pop culture…

You can sign up by clicking on my blog here and see the note on the right!

https://johnrieber.com

Let me know if you’ve seen “The Witch’s House” up close!



Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Film Fight Club, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Real Estate, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. This was wonderful, John. What a treat to see the witch’s house up close.

    Like

  2. I love, love the witch’s house and the story of the man behind its unique design. The stories of the others are interesting as well, but sad and tragic

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love these trips as I am not likely to get there for real. All houses should be built with some fun. Coincidentally, there was a good radio play on BBC Radio 4 the other week about Lana Turner’s life and leading up to the death of the lover; I had never heard of that story before.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow…what an absolutely awesome house it just looks like it has come out of a Halloween tale…Love it! I can just imagine it on Halloween with the dry ice and spooky music….

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I remember this house, and still love it! I don’t celebrate Halloween, but I would be happy to live in that house.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is a great house, it looks like a gingerbread house. I remember your story about Lana Turner.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A very ‘quirky’ house is ever there was one. I love the style. It makes me think straightaway of fairytales but with a darker twist. Good find, John! As for Halloween, Covid would be a pretty cruel trick to pass around so I kind of hope it’ll be cancelled, as boring as that might seem. x

    Liked by 1 person

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