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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 17 09:25 PM

June 18th, 2018: Witch’s House

The Witch's House doesn't come with witches but their may be some ghosts.

The house was built for Willat Studios back in 1920 as a set for a few silent films, including Hansel and Gretel, and a studio office. It was not built to be lived in. Nobody’s certain when exactly it was moved to Beverly Hills. I’ve seen building permits from 1924, so that helps narrow the date down.
Ward Lascelle, one of the producers who worked with the Willats, bought the structure because the studio was planning on demolishing it. He had owned this lot at the time, so he moved the house here to Beverly Hills and turned it into a functioning home. It was really small at the time. There was only the entry foyer, a bedroom, a bathroom, and a tiny kitchen.
Some websites and historians refer to this house as the Spadena House. Ward Lascelle’s wife, Lillian, divorced Ward, kept the house, and then married the house boy/guest/man servant, whose last name was Spadena.
Married couple with foyer, bedroom, bathroom, tiny kitchen, and house boy?

Years later, after growing my career at Coldwell Banker, I was searching for a home in the flats of Beverly Hills. The Witch’s House was placed on the market in 1997 and it was being shown extremely discreetly by the Greens. In fact, Mrs. Green would only allow a prospective buyer to visit the house if he or she brought a deposit toward the purchase price with them in the form of a cashier’s check. If she sensed a buyer would want to tear it down, she casually ignored that person.

After buying it, I thought I could get away with powdering its witch’s nose. Boy, was I wrong!
The exterior looked similar. It always had that Gingerbread-house-in-Bavaria look to it. The entire interior, unfortunately, had the look of a bad tract home from the 1960s with sliding glass doors and recipe tiles adorning the kitchen, red shag carpet throughout, electric fireplaces, and super low cottage cheese ceilings in many rooms.

The Witch’s House is a Mecca on Halloween—I knew that when I bought the house. What I didn’t realize is how much work it really is! In just a few hours we typically have between three and four thousand children and their families visit with hands outstretched and mouths agape. I hire private security for the night. Police and volunteer officers also maintain control in the area. The surrounding streets are cordoned off as it’s simply too dangerous to have traffic flow when masses of children are in the streets.

Some neighbors love it, some don’t. Out of courtesy to certain ones who asked me to one year, I tried to shut the whole event down. I even placed newspaper announcements and left off the lights—but people still came by. Now I embrace it.

Tour buses come by countless times per day, and more in the past ten years since the “crop top” van conversions have been in place and new independent tour companies exist. I was told by a Starline tour guide that mine is the most requested and most visited non-celebrity house in all of the West Los Angeles!
Wow, this place must be worth hundreds of dollars.


fargon  Sunday Jun 17 09:46 PM

Dollar 3.80

Diaphone Jim  Monday Jun 18 01:05 PM

At least now it has two bathrooms.

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