A Look Inside the Real “American Horror Story” Murder House

American-Horror-Story-TV show house

This old house is haunted and known as “Murder House” on the TV show American Horror Story, but in real life it’s the stately Rosenheim Mansion in L.A. Architect Alfred Rosenheim built it in 1908 in Country Club Park as his own residence.

They gave the front of the mansion a serious “makeover” (makeunder?) for the opening scenes of the pilot, which supposedly took place in the 1970s when the house was standing empty.

The Real-Life Rosenheim Mansion in L.A.

American Horror Story Murder House FX

According to Curbed, it was on the market for $4.5 million earlier this year. I tracked down the listing on Trulia, and it’s now “Off Market,” but the photos and information are still posted.

The Harmon family takes one look at the house and decides that–even though it was the site of a murder-suicide and their dog keeps barking at things they can’t see–this is the perfect place for a fresh start:

Entry hall in the listing:

American Horror Story Murder House 1120 Westchester For Sale

“The three-story, 10,440 square foot house has six bedrooms, five bathrooms and sits on almost an acre of land alongside a former chapel that is now used as a recording studio,” according to HuffPo (which has many more photos of the real house by Cameron Carothers, via the listing with Brad Downs, Rodeo Realty).

American Horror Story Murder House 1120 Westchester For Sale

Set photos of the entry hall:

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

The hallway and staircase in the listing:

"The three-story, 10,440 square foot house has six bedrooms, five bathrooms and sits on almost an acre of land alongside a former chapel that is now used as a recording studio," according to HuffPo (which has many more photos of the real house by Cameron Carothers, via the listing with Brad Downs, Rodeo Realty).

American Horror Story Murder House 1120 Westchester For Sale

American Horror Story Murder House 1120 Westchester For Sale

Staircase on AHS:

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

The living room in the listing with a Batchelder fireplace:

The living room seen on the show:

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

The dining room in the listing:

American Horror Story Murder House 1120 Westchester For Sale

The dining room was used as Ben’s office on the show:

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

You can see his office has the same unusual ceilings and paneled walls as the real dining room.

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

The dining room set seen on AHS:

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

The real kitchen shown in the listing:

Rosenheim Mansion kitchen

I’m puzzled by this photo, which doesn’t really look like a kitchen. I can see why they created an entirely new one for the show.

The kitchen set designed for AHS:

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

Connie Britton, who plays Vivien, added, “I think it’s interesting how the house seems to be reflecting whatever their deepest, darkest fears are.”

It’s kind of disturbing to see “Tami Taylor” in a show like this with so many creepy and disturbing things happening all around her. If I were her, I’d high-tail it straight back to Texas and Coach Taylor.

Violet’s bedroom on AHS:

The same room in the listing, painted a brighter blue:

Set photo of Violet’s room:

American Horror Story Murder House FX Set Design

There’s a website for the house that says it’s available for filming. Maybe it’s off the market now because it’s being used on “American Horror Story”?

I collected these photos from all over the place: Set Decorator Ellen Brill’s site and Plan It Locations have lots of set and house photos; Curbed, Huffington Post, Trulia, and Ugly Angel have listing photos and information. You can watch episodes online at FX.

American Horror Story cast FX poster

“The house is the star of the show,” Dylan McDermott, who plays Ben Harmon, said in an interview. Hard to argue with that — love this one! :-)

Julia signature 6

P.S. Visit Houses Onscreen to see more, including the one from “Coven:”

Robicheaux Academy AHS Coven Buckner Mansion

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  1. Rick says

    Love the light , bright real home. It just goes to show you how much proper lighting and open drapes helps make a house welcoming.


    • Rick says

      I also came across a google search that shows it is on youtube, but can’t access it from work computer. (no I am not on work time yet) enter Rosenheim Mansion for search.

  2. Joleen says

    I loved the house from the get go, and I love scary movies so I was excited about this show. It’s a little weird but I can’t stop watching it!

  3. Heathery says

    “Off market” until the show is canceled! That is the strangest kitchen ever. Did they run out of money during a remodel? Letting the new owner make it their own?

  4. says

    My daughter loves this show, but I have not seen it yet. I need to watch it now for the house! Great photos, Julia, and thanks so much for putting this post together for us. I know how time consuming it must have been using so many different sources!

  5. Kellye says

    Seriously…the kitchen should be used in your “what room doesn’t belong” feature! I haven’t seen this series as I just got into BBC’s “Bedlam” which has a similar premise.

  6. says

    I didn’t even hear about this show before! Well, it’s okay though… I’m becoming a scared cat lately! :-) I guess it’s the fact I’m giving birth to my little one in only 4 weeks and the last thing I need is to feel my heart racing more than already is! :-)

    I hope everything is great with you, Julia. Loved your daughter’s custom. She’s always so adorable.

    Have a happy and sweet Halloween!!!


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  7. Dee says

    I love this show too and had been wondering if it was filmed in a real house (or if at least the front shots were of a real house). How cool that it is but I think I’d still be freaked out living in it based on the show–even though it’s not really haunted :)

    Thanks for sharing–can’t wait to go check out the house’s web site now!

  8. Cindy says

    GREAT post Julia! This house is amazing – 6 Batchelder fireplaces, are you kidding me, and those windows and woodwork. I need to get some housework done but now I’ll probably be spending the next 3 hours checking out all the links. Thanks cuz I hate housework.

  9. Diane says

    Love the real house, but stopped watching the show about halfway through the first episode – really, really vulgar language. So fair warning on that.
    Too bad, ’cause I love Jessica Lange playing creepy!
    Thanks for the great house comparisons. The stained glass and woodwork are gorgeous!

  10. Kim says

    What a great looking house. I love the staircase and stained glass windows.

    It’s really sad the way the kitchen looks. You would think it would reflect the details of the other rooms. I hope someone will redue the kitchen and make it match the rest of the house.

  11. Mandy says

    I love this show! I still think the house is creepy, especially with that kitchen!

  12. says

    Oh…this was a great read. I am so into this show. I look so forward to it each week. So creepy and scary. Love Jessica Lange in it. I just don’t know how they are going to justify that they stay in that house with all the bad things happening. So interesting to see the actual house on the inside. That real kitchen is very strange. The one they’ve created for it goes so well with the rest of the house. Whoever eventually buys this…should redo the kitchen to look like that.

  13. Margot says

    I’ve never watched the show as real life is scary enough for me but I love this house. The stairway looks very familiar to me. Is it possible it has been used before? I’m thinking specifically of a murder mystery I saw on TV. David Ogden Stiers played a blind man who committed a murder. He located his victim by putting a pieces of paper on the steps that the murder victim stepped on. Maybe an old Matlock or Murder She Wrote?

    • says

      Since the website says it’s available for filming, it’s very possible that it’s been used for other TV shows in the past. Not sure which ones, though. Does it look familiar to anyone else?

      • KatD says

        From another website:

        “The Rosenheim home was also used in the Halloween-themed Season 4 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer titled “Fear, Itself”, as the Alpha Delta fraternity house where Buffy Summers (aka Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her friends attended a Halloween party. […] [In one] scene Oz (aka Seth Green) turns into a werewolf, which was filmed inside of one of the property’s real life bathrooms.”
        –> That is the same bathroom in which in “American Horror Story” the intruders in Episode 2 “Home Invasion” try to murder Violet, who is then rescued by Tate.

        “According to the property’s official website, it appeared in a 1950’s movie named Old Blue Eyes which starred Frank Sinatra […] according to [another] website, the house was also used in 2002’s “Spiderman”, 2007’s “Because I Said So” […] and “Seabiscuit”.

        In the series, there is some kind of attic, in which Vivien and Ben find a gimp suit left there by murdered gay couple owners. That scene was actually filmed in a former Chapel which was installed by the Sisters of Social Service, who converted the house into a convent in the 1950s.

        There are more amazing pictures here:

        and here
        (this even features the basement, yup… THAT basement)
        Sooooo much more to see: I mean check out that GOAT sculpture on the hand railings!

        My favorite pieces are the garage-y place and the pillar thingys (what do you call that?) outside on which Violet sits and smokes with Tate.

        In sum: I absolutely adore this house! Thanks for putting the post together! So happy to see it featured here.

        I also love this show and absolutely recommend it to everyone. My favorite characters are Violet, Tate and now Chad.

        • says

          Thanks so much for this additional info! That’s great! The Malibu Locations link you gave us had different photos of the dining room that convince me that they filmed Ben’s office scenes in there (I wasn’t sure before). You can see the same stained glass and everything. Very interesting!

        • cecile delouvrier says

          thank you so much for the links, i wanted so much to visit that house and that is a real tour!

  14. Angie says

    This is my family’s favorite show! I had been looking for pix on the internet since the show’s start. I was SO happy to see it featured today. I’ve been looking everywhere for the floor plan. Any ideas where to find them???

  15. Nathan says

    That kitchen is horrible!! I really love the room used for the daughter’s bedroom though.

  16. says

    We love this show! We were just saying last week that this show has given us so many decor ideas for our own home. It’s 100 year old house with all of the original red oak woodwork and I honestly was on the verge of painting it all white because I just could not find any elegent inspiration for what to do with… well… WOOD colored woodwork! I told my husband when we watched the last episode that I was going to do the framed out linen upholstery in our dining room just like on the dining room in the show. I love the way it looks! Thanks for posting this btw!

  17. says

    Awesome! this post caught my eye-I love how you always have the houses from shows, because I totally obsess over them when I watch. Jamin (the hubs) and I have actually had our eye on an antebellum house on a bad part of town here, and I think we may get in to see it next week-this guy is restoring it, and I am fascinated. So, this show caught my eye halloween night after we got the kids into bed…and it has awkward disturbing parts in it, but I set it to record on my DVR. So this post…needless to say…made my morning! I still think its got a creep factor to it, even when its cleaned up. It has that 1908 architecture factor that I personally find a little weird. 😉 LOVE it.

  18. says

    Fantastic post, Julia! I am a big fan of anything creepy so this show is awesome! I am always confused by it so I read recaps online after the new episodes air to try and make sense of what I just saw (*nerd alert*). Dylan McDermott is right, the house is absolutely the star of the show. All the wood work, stained glass, moldings, it’s really gorgeous! I love Violet’s room! It was fun to see the house as it appears on the show and the listing, that kitchen is so bizarre! It looks so small and lost in such a huge house. I much prefer the kitchen on the show.

  19. Anthony says

    So glad that I came across this web site!! I am hooked on “American Horror Story” and cannot take my eyes off of the house. It’s GORGEOUS!!! One thing that I love about houses, is that they are filled with so much history. This house in particular probably has tons of history… not only in the show, but also in reality. Regardless of how much history it has and how old it is, it still looks young. That’s the great thing about houses – as long as you take care of them, they could look ageless. Here is a cool feature from the show’s web site. http://www.youregoingtodieinthere.com/
    I understand that the show does not interest many people, but I love admiring the house while listening to the song (you’ll know what I’m talking about if you visit the site). Enjoy!

  20. Lee Kay says

    Thx 4 the extra photo links, I have enough info now to draft up faurly accurate floor plans, will post when done. Here’s vid of AHS Prod Designer, Mark Worthington, talking about using the actual house & how they’ve recreated some of it as sets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHJjO5zmgHQ&sns=em

    Sent from my greasy iPhone

  21. cecile delouvrier says

    OMG! I didn’t realized you had that house on the site. I just discovered the show by chance on the internet (in France we don’t have it yet) and I was first intrigated by the script talking about an haunted mansion. So I watched it and fell in love with the house on the first image even if in the series it looks creepy. But I’ve seen beyond the haunted side and I wanted so much to have a tour of the place. I love the house, if I had the 5 millions and a green card, I’d move there even if the backyard is a real mess; and I’d still rent it for the show to be filmed there because it’s an amazing freek show and I love it too.
    Thank you for all the pics and links, I’m really happy tonight.

  22. Rebekah D. says

    I LOVE this house! Love the stained glass windows! Love that deep, rich wood throughout the home. The kitchen needs “more” (a bigger island in the middle maybe). I sometimes wonder what I like — the house or the show because of the house. Either way, I still watch this show every week.

    P.S. I hope the real basement (if there is one) isn’t like the one in the show. LOL

    • says

      The basement totally freaks me out. I wish the characters would stop walking down into it in every episode with the lights off, at night. I mean, seriously!

  23. Mary says

    I think the house is beautiful, but the decor in the listing photos is scarier than the show. Some ugly garrish colors, some cheap looking pieces of occasional furniture, even some of the expensive pieces look really badly chosen for the house. All those framed paintings going up the stair case wall… too much, breaks up the wall in a way the fragments the space rather than adorns it. Poor house.

  24. Matt grimaldi says

    Just saw the house. Creepy old lady looking out the window. How amazing!!!

  25. Chris says

    I read an interview where the guy who plays Tate, said the pilot was filmed in the actual house, but now they only use the real house for exterior shots and have build sets that mimic the house interiors.

  26. sockpuppet says

    you goofball—you really thought they were filming this on location??? Do you know how much that would cost? It’s pretty common practice to film a pilot on location and then build sets once the show has been picked up. Funny.

    • says

      Wow, I haven’t been called a goofball since I was ten! Ha. As I said, it looked partially filmed there for the pilot, partially on a set, and then they presumably replicated it after that like most shows do. But I couldn’t say for sure until I saw that video where they explained it. I am amazed by the level of detail they went to. Most shows you can tell after the pilot that the houses are different. This one looked like they were still filming some scenes there (like Violet’s room). They did an incredible job!

  27. SW says

    Blech! This house is too large for me and far too creepy. It literally turns my stomach just looking at those pictures! Although, it does look like it would be a perfect fit for the show….

  28. mar says

    Thank you so much for all this great information. The house is only a five minute drive from my house here in Los Angeles and I got to go see it today, well the outside part of it!

    You really made my week! Thank you so much!

  29. Michele Nicholson says

    I can’t believe I stumbled across this site. You’re a woman after my own heart. This is fantastic. I can’t wait to tell my mom and sisters and my best friend!!! Two of my favorite houses are the one on the current tv show on ABC Family, “Switched at Birth”, and the house that was on 7th Heaven years ago. Both very warm and traditional. Do you think you will post those houses on this site?

    • says

      I haven’t watched those shows, so I don’t know anything about them. I’ll have to set my DVR to record “Switched at Birth” and check it out!

  30. says

    Such a great, scary show. Thanks for putting in all the work to compare. It would be great to tour the house.

  31. says

    this house is massive! i think i’d be terrified of the basement, but overall the real house is beautiful! thanks for the comparison between the show and the real thing – much less scary. the stained glass is absolutely beautiful!

  32. says

    Another tidbit, I was watching some old music videos not too long ago and one of the ones that came up was the band Korn and their video for “Alone I Break” The video is from the early 2000’s, maybe 2002? But it’s shot in the exact same house. Including a shot of the odd little kitchen being used to prepare food, Violet’s bathroom and the video has shots of the same staircase and ends with a shot of the front of the house. You can see lots of little details about the house not instantly noticeable on the show. Here’s the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ryfwfc_946w&feature=endscreen&NR=1

  33. Sarah says

    The pilot was shot in the house’s interior. A replica soundstage was built for the filming of the rest of the episodes. However I wasn’t aware that the beautiful kitchen was not true to the home’s interior-how disappointing! The exterior shots of the home looking dilapidated in the 1970s was done with CGI. The house is once again on the market at a newly inflated price of $17,000,000.


  34. Carisa says

    The exterior was also used as the exterior of the fraternity house/entrance to the Initiative’s hideout in season 4 of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.

  35. Me says

    This house was also used in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season Four Episode Four. It’s used as a frat house.

  36. GreenpointGuy says

    Here’s how it works: location teams find the houses for the filming of pilots. If the show is picked up, an identical version of the house (or nearly identical) is built as a set.

  37. AHS_Fan says

    I wouldn’t mind owning this house weather it was haunted or not especially if one of them ghosts were Tate.I like buildings with a story a certain fell and this one has it all not only has it been on TV but can also look beautifully normal or weirdly unnatural. P.s in the new season its based around the asylum but where is it?
    <3 Evan Peters <3
    <3 Tate Ladgon <3
    <3 Kit walkers <3

  38. says

    Hi Julia-
    Just found this post. First, thanks very much for crediting my photos (with a link to my site even!). Second, for trivia’s sake, Ben’s office was based on the dining room. The stained glass behind the woman on the couch (3rd office shot) was actually there. The doors you refer to in that shot were modeled on the doors of the study (which are Tiffany glass). But in reality the doors in the dining room were just plain french doors (not stained glass). The windows you see in the background of the 5th shot (boy on couch, Ben at left) are really there, but those in the second shot don’t exist. The actual view of that wall of the dining room is the one in my dining room shot (fireplace on the left).

  39. A says

    Oh, So poor I live in europe, I would like to see this house on my own. Really great, it is the first time in my life when I am fascinated by TV show. And I jealous about people who live in neighourhood :)

  40. Melanie says

    The house in the show looked a lot better then the real life version. The TV version showed the true beauty of the house and used the wood to make it look natural the white everywhere takes away the beauty if i seen this house on the market and seen it first as it was on the show I would buy but if i seen it the way it is in real life i would pass or have a lot of remodeling to do.