Monthly Archives: October 2012

Spooky old abandoned houses

It was a dark and stormy night… and House Crazy Sarah’s kids were driving her, well, crazy.

So she locked herself in the computer room and began scouring the Internet for (un-copyrighted) spooky old abandoned house photos.

This is what she found…

image from: (author: Daniel Leininger)

[hover your cursor over the pictures to see where they are located]

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image from: (author: Vmenkov)

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Canada’s haunted Castle Craigdarroch

image from: (photo credit: Brandon Godfrey)

It looks rather spooky in the twilight [I should have photo-shopped in a few bats]… but not so bad in the bright sunshine.

Craigdarroch Castle is one of western Canada’s finest examples of Victorian-era Scottish Baronial and Richardsonian Romanesque architecture.

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Pronounced Craig-Derek, the Castle was built between the years of 1887-1890 by Scottish coal-baron Robert Dunsmuir, who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal.

Craigdarroch Castle stands on a hill overlooking the Canadian city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, in the province of British Columbia. The castle’s prominent location indicated that Robert Dunsmuir was the wealthiest and most important man in Western Canada at the time.

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The lavish home was actually still under construction when Robert Dunsmuir died in 1889 but his wife lived at the mansion until her death in 1908. [What is it with these Gilded Age rich men who died before they could ever live in their castles?]

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Captain McAlmond’s House

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Here’s a slightly creepy looking Gothic Revival style house in Washington State (and I say that with great affection because it reminds me of my slightly creepy old Gothic Revival house).

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I saw this house listed last year on the Old House Dreams website and when I checked again recently it was still for sale – with a drastic price reduction. It went from $895,000 to $749,000.  And that’s a shame because it is an amazing old house, and houses from the 1860’s are rare in the Pacific Northwest region.

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The house stands on a bluff overlooking Dungeness Bay near the town of Sequim in Washington state.

Built in or around 1861, Captain McAlmond’s house is named for Captain Elijah H. McAlmond, the home’s original owner. The McAlmond house remained in the same family until it was sold in the mid 1900’s.

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The tragedy of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin House

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Taliesin is the name of Frank Lloyd Wright’s former summer home located near Spring Green Wisconsin. It is one of the finest examples of his signature “prairie style” architecture. Lesser known is the fact that it is also the sight of a heinous crime that took the lives of seven people in August of the year 1914.

image from: (author: Marykeiran)

Frank Lloyd Wright began building Taliesin in 1911 after leaving his first wife and their 6 children. He had been having a scandalous affair with one of his client’s wives – Mamah Borthwick – since 1909. Mamah left her husband to be with Wright and moved into the Spring Green home while it was still under construction.

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Though Mamah did not have primary custody of her 2 children, they were spending the day with her on August 15, 1914. Wright was in Chicago that day supervising construction of Midway Gardens.

While Mamah and her children were eating lunch with several workmen in the dining room at Taliesin, a servant named Julian Carlton (who had been fired earlier that day) locked them in the house then poured gasoline under the door. He then set the fated home ablaze.

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The people trapped inside desperately tried to escape by breaking out windows but Carlton was waiting for them with a hatchet – and he did not hesitate to use it. In total, 7 people died including Wright’s mistress and her two young children.

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Friday renovation round-up

This week was all about revealing new looks, not just here at House Crazy, but it seems everywhere around the web.

Have a look at some of the amazing renovations that caught my eye this week…


1. The Zadge’s “Babe Cave” – an old carriage house/garage turned into a grown-up hangout spot is finally complete! Click here for more pictures and the Zadge’s colorful commentary.

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2. The Armour-Stiner Octagon House’s owner recently contacted me to announce that a meticulous 2-year restoration of the Egyptian-Revival Music Room has been completed (you might recall that I profiled this stunning historic home a few months ago). Click here to read the updated post [scroll down to the very bottom of post for the most recent details].

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3. Sue over at Housekaboodle did a fun piece about dollhouse makeovers into haunted houses. Check out the funny/spooky dollhouse pics here.

image from: (via via DeAnna on Pinterest)

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~ House Crazy Sarah ~

Sarah Felix Burns

"So many houses, so little time"

My first novel

JACKFISH - The Vanishing Village

My second novel

Song Over Quiet Lake