Join 3,416 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Shunned House for Sale
April 22, 2011 8:24 PM   Subscribe

For Sale: One Shunned House. The house at 135 Benefit Street, Providence RI is for sale. This house was the inspiration for H.P. Lovecraft's short story The Shunned House. Even without the Lovecraft connection, the house has an eerie history. It can be yours for $925,000.
posted by marxchivist (34 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
A dear friend of mine and I used to walk around eastern Providence wailing incoherently at night, with occasional bits of extra gibberish thrown in when we reached his commemorative plaque. But I don't think we specifically knew of this house. Thanks!
posted by Earthtopus at 8:36 PM on April 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've got a Crookes tube and a carboy of sulfuric acid.
posted by electroboy at 8:36 PM on April 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Close to a million bucks for that thing? Really? And I thought the housing bubble burst.
posted by zardoz at 8:53 PM on April 22, 2011


A million bucks and they couldn't spring for a second color of paint for the trim?
posted by bannana at 8:53 PM on April 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't move to RI. You get taxed to death.
posted by CarlRossi at 9:01 PM on April 22, 2011


Dibs! I do believe I am first.
posted by Krazor at 9:10 PM on April 22, 2011


Here is a picture of me standing in front of the house in summer 2000. You will notice I am not shunning it.
posted by marxchivist at 9:19 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, I got this link via the always excellent HPodcraft.
posted by marxchivist at 9:20 PM on April 22, 2011


A million seems to be roughly in line for that neighborhood according to Zillow.

It would be a ridiculous steal to buy an almost 4000 sq ft house for only $1m in California (at least LA/SF), so it doesn't seem like much to me, but I've never lived in RI.
posted by wildcrdj at 9:36 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


That is a fucking beautiful house. I have an affinity for old, historic houses. If only I had the money...
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:21 PM on April 22, 2011


This is a house exactly between RISD and the Fleet Building. This is like a three story house with garage fronting on Central Park in NYC terms. There's both a Whole Foods and a Stop'nShop within biking distance, spooky!

A mill is still too much. RI housing prices are still bubble-fied in places that aren't Warwick, Johnston or Cranston.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:22 PM on April 22, 2011


I would quite enjoy a stroll through the Ghost Tour park on my way home from buying groceries at Whole Foods.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:27 PM on April 22, 2011


I'd like to see the paperwork pertaining to the sale. How does the agent account for the condition of the property? Should the story come up in the disclosures, or is the owner better off playing dumb until the inspection? I can see the comments now:

"Acid pollution continues to effect use of property."

"Continuing fungal problem in basement, but history shows consistent rental turnover."

"Unfinished basement, sale of property as-is."

"Some foundation settlement after apparent removal of soil and/or large object."
posted by Graygorey at 10:40 PM on April 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


*counting pennies, cackling*
posted by New England Cultist at 11:25 PM on April 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Is the Picture in the attic?
posted by Mblue at 11:50 PM on April 22, 2011


Close to a million bucks for that thing? Really? And I thought the housing bubble burst

The mindless realtor-sultan Azathoth, who creates housing bubbles at the nucleus of infinity [a great location with good schools], who gnaws hungrily while waiting to sell bungalows beyond time and space, cannot be blasphemed as he is blasphemy itself [and a NAR member in good standing].
posted by benzenedream at 11:57 PM on April 22, 2011 [30 favorites]


Here is a picture of me standing in front of the house in summer 2000.

Man, the price went through the roof after they removed that flag. Sellers take note!
posted by tumid dahlia at 1:01 AM on April 23, 2011


I bet Stephen King buys it. Hell I'd buy it if I had his money, and his love of Lovecraft. It'd be a great 'I dare you to spend the night in this house' place.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:11 AM on April 23, 2011


I think the high asking price reflects the fact that the house was built in 1763. There aren't many houses that old on the market.
posted by wadefranklin at 4:20 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would buy it if I could live down the street from the Terrible Old Man.
posted by pentagoet at 6:50 AM on April 23, 2011


As a prospective buyer on the East Side, I reckon that there's a $100k premium for the historical significance. Benefit Street is the Central Park West of Providence and it is a stunningly gorgeous place to live. If someone wants to gift me the cash I'll buy it and report back in the thread.
posted by moammargaret at 8:26 AM on April 23, 2011


I would buy it if I could live down the street from the Terrible Old Man.

Too late - Buddy Cianci sold his place on Benefit before his stint in federal prison.
posted by moammargaret at 8:31 AM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the first link: Historical Note: Although 135 Benefit Street is featured in "The Shunned House" it was actually a house in Elizabeth, N.J., that inspired Lovecraft to write the story.

So, sounds like he combined the exterior of this house with the interior of an entirely different one, two states away, for his story.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:08 AM on April 23, 2011


So, sounds like he combined the exterior of this house with the interior of an entirely different one, two states away,

No the actual interior of this house IS located in New Jersey, it's a dimensional gateway to Hell.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:19 AM on April 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Some people live on Power, but most of us live off Hope.
posted by machaus at 9:31 AM on April 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Close to a million bucks for that thing? Really? And I thought the housing bubble burst.

Ahaha, I saw that, noticed the house was actually fucking Colonial (as in, built in 1764), and thought, wow, the real estate bubble really did come down hard.

For comparison, consider Vancouver, where a teardown in the suburbs on a 9000 sq. ft. lot is asking $1.6 Million (that's 1.7M USD).

Also, it's less than a mile away and directly in line with one of the runways at Vancouver International Airport.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:30 AM on April 23, 2011


Expletive deleted is right. If you're able to buy in the $800k range you can get some gorgeous 18th and 19th century colonials on College Hill. See link.
posted by moammargaret at 10:50 AM on April 23, 2011


Nice place but I work in Kadath and the commute just wouldn't be practical.
posted by jtron at 10:59 AM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's a couple blocks from Brown, fer crissakes! From a Vancouverite's perspective, this is absurdly cheap.

If you're looking for a commercial opportunity in Vancouver, can I interest you in the fashionable Chelsea Inn. For only $1.9 million, you could be a slumlord presiding over a 31 room tenement housing some of the poorest and most desperate people in the city, except for the people sleeping in your doorway, of course! Great amenities, literally around the block from North America's only supervised safe injection site! Hurry, this one-of-a-kind opportunity won't last!
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:14 AM on April 23, 2011


bannana: The local paint store only carries colors from within space.
posted by marakesh at 2:00 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've got $92.50 here. Maybe one of the American financial geniuses that steered us into The Ditch can tell me how to leverage it.

If not, then maybe we should re-locate all of America's financial geniuses back to R'lyeh. Where they can sit in a room for 23 hours a day with the disinterred corpse of Lovecraft until they fix what they broke.
posted by Twang at 2:42 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Olneyville is a bit more frightening : )


Used to walk past this every day, I love that old new englandish horror/puritanism thing.

theres a harry callahan shot from benefit st, with the senate building inbetween two houses that could almost have been shot from this house but my google- fu is awful.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:11 PM on April 23, 2011


Remember, it's always written as "historic Benefit Street," and it's typically folllwed by a reminder that it is one of the finest collections of restored 18th and early 19th century architecture in the United States. Also, there are a couple of good geocaches in the area (though mine keep sgetting wrrecked by city grounds crews).

Also, Machaus, give Mad Peck due credit! "Rich folks live on Power and poor folks live on Hope."
posted by wenestvedt at 8:33 AM on April 25, 2011


Lovecraft’s Providence: The homes and haunts of horror and science fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:41 AM on May 4, 2011


« Older It has applications in health care, pharmaceutical...  |  Children's drawings painted re... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments