26 April 2016

House for Sale! Not Haunted!

2475 Glendower Place, Los Feliz (Los Angeles), CA 90027

by Paul D. Marks

Los Feliz Murder House
“First time on the market in over 50 years! Perched on a hill up a long drive way with sweeping views sits this 4 bedroom 3 bath Spanish Revival home on a large lot. Features include grand entrance with a step down living room with serene views, formal dining room, library/study, large kitchen, and a ballroom with bar on the third floor. Three car garage at street level and two car garage at the end of the driveway. Waiting for that special person looking for a wonderful opportunity to remodel or develop,” says the agent’s listing, which you can find at: http://www.bhhscalifornia.com/listing-detail/2475-glendower-place-los-angeles-ca-90027_1843846

All of this for only 2.7 mil (and change). Spare change, for some.

The one thing that the agent forgot to mention in her description is the murder-suicide and attempted murder committed here on December 6, 1959. No biggie. So it definitely might take a “special person” to buy this joint.

According to CA law, I believe the crimes committed in this house need to be disclosed. When my wife and I were looking for our current house several years ago, one of the houses we liked a lot had had a suicide in it and that was disclosed to us. It wasn’t a deal breaker – no, that was the fact that the house needed work and the seller wouldn’t come down, considering the amount of work needed. But one does think about how it would be cozying up in the family room, watching The Haunting and knowing that someone had shot themselves right there. So when that popcorn you were eating is suddenly all gone you might wonder “who” ate it…

But this Los Feliz house (a really great neighborhood by the way) has something on the house we were looking at, a murder and a suicide instead of just a mere suicide. And an attempted murder. I guess today we’d call the killer a family annihilator or at least a family annihilator wanna-be, though I don’t know if the term was in use in 1959.

The house’s architecture is Spanish Revival, similar to the house used in Double Indemnity and the house I grew up in. And my favorite style of home architecture.

Los Feliz Murder House
Apparently the house is frozen in time, a relic of 1959, when Dr. Harold Perelson hit his sleeping wife with a ball-peen hammer till she was dead. He then attacked his daughter Judye, but his bad aim caused her to wake up and run into her parents’ bedroom. Finding her mother dead, she ran out of the house screaming, until the neighbors called the police. The commotion caused the Perelson’s two younger sons to wake up but the good doctor gently told them they were having a nightmare and to go back to bed... but not as bad a nightmare as they probably had when they woke up and found their mother bludgeoned to death.

A neighbor entered the house to see Perelson taking a handful of sleeping pills, lay down on Judye’s bed and count sheep – or maybe dead bodies – while waiting for death, which came before the police. Nobody knows what motivated the good doctor to do what he did. People speculate that he was depressed or had business setbacks, but no one knows for sure.

The house was sold in a 1960 probate sale and the son of the buyer died just this last year. Supposedly another family rented the house right after the sale, adding a Christmas tree and presents, but fled a year later. Since then, no one lived in it except maybe a squatter here or there. But word is, because of the murders, they never stayed long. And the Christmas tree, old and untouched, and presents are still there and supposedly have been all this time.

Rudy Enriquez, the recently deceased son of the home’s buyer, said he used the house for storage but not much else. He could have given it to me, I would have loved it.

Word is that the house is a teardown, both because of its history and because it’s falling apart and in such great disrepair after so many decades. But one has to wonder, does the bad energy of that fateful night linger? And will it linger on this spot if the house is torn down? Oooooh!

Curious Lookie-Loos come up the narrow street and bother the neighbors, parking in their driveways or just using them to turn around. They park and get over the chain-link fence and look around. The gawkers would bother me more than the “ghosts”.

Some people think haunted houses increase a home’s value. Others wouldn’t’ touch them. But as silly as it may sound to some, even “haunted” houses have to be disclosed these days.

Personally, I love Los Feliz. It’s a beautiful neighborhood filled with tons of gorgeous Spanish Revival homes, where my cousins and aunt and uncle lived in a cool Spanish style house, pretty close to this murder house. So, we’d hear stories…about the bogeyman and worse! And when my wife and I were looking for our current house we looked in Los Feliz, but ultimately decided we wanted to be farther out of the city, so where we live now the local little paper has things like saddle stolen on their crime blotter page instead of family bludgeoned to death every other day. Los Feliz is where the main characters in my novel Vortex live. And there’s a really cool bridge there, the Shakespeare Bridge, that is part of a very intense scene.

SHAKESPEARE BRIDGE, LOS FELIZ (LOS ANGELES)
So, if you happen to have 2.7 mil handy, make an offer. If I could afford it I’d put a down payment down right now. And I wouldn’t tear the house down either.

And here’s how the ad should read if there really was truth in advertising:

“Planning that perfect murder? Don’t mess up a virgin house. Famous Murder-Suicide house on the market for first time in over 50 years. Haunted by ghosts of past murders. Perfect for you: Features soundproof walls. Large kitchen with butcher block, perfect for chopping. Formal dining room with wood beams for hanging things from. Ball-peen hammer room on the third floor. Stainmaster carpet throughout. Only two people died here. Three got away. You might too...”

(Hat Tip to Leigh Lundin for suggesting this piece, though not the tone of it. And I hope I haven’t offended anyone with my gallows humor. ’Cause so many are offended so easily these days…)

***


16 comments:

Leigh Lundin said...

I love the look of that house and the charming bridge, Paul. It’s hard to believe that in the 21st century, sellers are required to use the word ‘haunted’. And what nincompoop (as my mother would say) deems it haunted anyway? Enquiring minds want to know.

Sharp article, Paul, and it’s great hearing where you grew up.

Paul D. Marks said...

Thanks, Leigh. Glad you enjoyed it. It does seem kind of weird to have to put "Not Haunted" signs on a house. But maybe it shouldn't end there. I'm sure there's a whole list of things that should be hanging from the real estate sign :)


janice law said...

If you live in a house of any age at all- never mind a real antique - there have probably been all manner of things in it that one is probably just as happy not to know.

Paul D. Marks said...

Definitely, Janice. What we don't know can't hurt us, right? :)

Eve Fisher said...

I love the house, and I love the tone of the piece, and keep that gallows humor coming! There's a lot of houses in LA with history, and not all of that history ever even made the newspapers. A few things got covered up, the occasional birth (where did Loretta Young have Clark Gable's baby?), the occasional overdose, the occasional murder... What the heck. I'm sure there's a few farmhouses in Iowa where funny stuff's happened, too.

John Floyd said...

I agree with Janice: MOST houses are probably haunted, in one way or another. Certainly here in the deep south.

Great column, Paul. (I love the sign.)

David Dean said...

Enjoyed this, Paul. Do they have a Haunted Hollywood (or L.A) tour out there? it seems so many cities do these days.

Elizabeth said...

I lived in a rented house in New Jersey with a friendly ghost. My landlady wouldn't admit the house was haunted, but her daughter told me the whole story.

Art Taylor said...

Yowsa! What a story! And yes, full disclosure would be appreciated in situations like that... before it gets to the point of the neighbors spilling the beans while you're moving in....

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Great article, Paul. I love the photos, and your humor is spot on. Personally, I wouldn't want to live in a haunted house, but then again, I'm easily spooked. I most definitely would not want to live in this house so no worries about competing bids if you change your mind. ;)

Herschel Cozine said...

Reading this, I couldn't help but think of the Manson killings. Whatever happened to the house? How about the apartment where OJ Simpson's wife was killed? I could never get my wife to live in a "murder" house. But, as Eve said, no one knows the grisly history of most houses. For all I know we could be living in one. But please, don't tell my wife. Thanks for the article.

GBPool said...

I've killed off quite a few people in our house... on the page that is. I wonder if fictional characters have ghosts? And I didn't know the seller had to disclose past murders. I wish the former owners of our house had told us the dishwasher had a hole in it. I've had to wash everything by hand for 30 years.

Paul D. Marks said...

Thanks, Eve. And I’m sure you’re right, there’s a lot of places with history that we don’t know happened in them. Would be fun to find out though.

Thanks, John. And re: the sign, when I was searching that you wouldn’t believe how many real estate signs with “not haunted” additions I found. It’s really funny.

Thanks, David. I’m not 100% sure if they have a Haunted Hollywood/LA tour, but I’m guessing they do ‘cause there’s tours for everything else…

At least the ghost in your house was friendly, Elizabeth!

Art, up until fairly recently I don’t think those things had to be disclosed, but they do now. I guess it would make a difference to a lot of people. And I’m sure it would be weird, but think of the great Halloweens you’d have.

Thanks, Sarah. Glad to know we wouldn’t compete on bids. I really love that house and Los Feliz and would consider bidding on it if I could afford it.

Herschel, the Sharon Tate house was demolished and replaced. I used to take friends from out of town there and show it to them before they tore it down. I’m not sure what happened to the La Bianca house. And OJ’s house was torn down, but not sure about the apartment that Nicole lived in. And I won’t tell your wife about your house’s grisly history ;)

Gayle, I’m not sure if you need to disclose fictional deaths in your house. Hmm… ;)

Evelyn Moore said...

Great article Paul. I lived in West LA right off of Bundy when OJ killed his ex-wife and her friend. I used to drive by her place and wonder how anyone could ever live there again.

Paul D. Marks said...

Thanks, Evelyn. I wouldn't want to live there because of the Lookie-Loos. But I'm sure some people dig it and love to brag about it to people. Who knows?

Dixon Hill said...

Hey, Paul, I read Vortex and really enjoyed it.
--Dixon