There is a certain timeless charm about the old mansions that keep deadly secrets on the other side of their door. They add romance to a movie, no matter how horror the action. The decadence of the vastity of spaces filled with objects left to disintegrate, the hypnotic attraction to secret passages, the melancholic childhood memories, always present in a haunted house, give the horror movies a rich historic and artistic dimension they wouldn’t get any other way.
Here are the most beautiful haunted houses in movies:
1. Crimson Peak – In the movie, which premiered in October this year, Edith, the daughter of a wealthy American business man is seduced by the penniless but charming Englishman, Sir Thomas Sharpe, who bears a dark secret, together with his sister that seems to always be around. When they get married, Sharpe brings his new wife to a mansion, which is as gorgeous as it is poorly maintained. Due to lack of finances, Sharpe and his sister cannot afford to repair the roof, which leads to a nostalgic but miraculous dance of autumn leafs and sunlight in the middle of the entrance hall.
For those who have seen the movie, the house alone makes an impression. But here’s the catch. Unfortunately, the house is not exactly real. Director Guillermo del Toro couldn’t find a location that matched his vision, so together with production designer Thomas E. Sanders, they created virtual interiors and outside looks for was ended up being an architectural gem of Gothic inspiration.
2. Basileus’s Machine – The house in the 2001 version of the movie Thirteen Ghosts is probably the only house we’re going to write about that has functions more important than just being a place for shelter and food, as you would expect from an ordinary house. And that is because it is not mainly a house, but a machinery called a Basileus’s Machine, created by dark forces and powered by ghosts. At the heart of it, there is a central core of huge mechanical gears and a rotating crest of rings that, if activated, would open the Eye of Hell.
The House is made entirely of soundproof glass panels, decorated with Latin texts. The mixture between glass and metal offers the construction the ultimate modern air, completed with high end designer furniture.
3. Rose Red – who doesn’t know Stephen King’s alive house bearing its own name, that builds itself continuously? The massive construction, housing deadly bound-to-earth spirits, leaves in awe the group of psychics led by parapsychologist Dr. Joyce Reardon, that have decided to scientifically prove that paranormal activity is, indeed, real. From the mini-series, scripted by horror novelist Stephen King and directed by Craig Baxley, we find out that the mansion was built in the heart of Seattle, on Native American burial ground, thus making it cursed and leading to a high number of unexplained deaths and disappearances. Though feared by the locals, the mansion is recognized as an architectural treasure.
Built in Tudor-Gothic style, the Rose Red manor is actually real. It is the Thornewood castle, situated in Washington State. Featuring 54 rooms in total, it was built 100 years ago, from brick that had been taken down from a 400-year-old Elizabethan manor in the UK. Thornewood’s front doors are 500 years old. Its charm is timeless, though, as the Thornewood Castle works like an accommodation and events location, it is not available for tourist visiting.