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.
Huffington Post ran a story at the time with even more photos of the house, which is great because now we can compare how it looks onscreen to how it is in real life.
In the listing photo, for instance, it doesn’t look haunted at all:
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:
You can see that front entry in this listing photo, which leads me to believe that the show is at least partially shot in the real house:
“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).
Here’s how that hall looked when the house was deserted in the 1970s (on the show):
The hallway shown in the listing is in much better condition, and there’s nothing creepy about it:
You can see the staircase behind Ben (Dylan McDermott) in this shot:
And again in this one:
This is how the staircase looks in the listing for the Rosenheim Mansion:
We get a look at how the living room looked in a flashback from the 1960s:
Here it is in the listing (there are 6 Batchelder fireplaces in this house–gorgeous):
The Dining Room (this show is filmed SO dark that it was almost impossible to get clear snapshots as I watched it, so I lightened them within an inch of their lives):
And the real dining room, which is clearly different (but looks a lot like Ben’s study, as you’ll see):
Constance (the brilliant Jessica Lange) and her daughter Adelaide like to make unannounced visits to the Harmon home. Adelaide always tells people, “You are going to die in there!” Alas, the Harmons don’t take her warnings seriously…
When Vivien strips the wallpaper in this room, she discovers some truly disturbing and macabre murals underneath.
Ben works from home. He’s a psychiatrist whose mentally unstable patients meet him here in his office.
That pretty young maid who keeps coming onto him only looks pretty and young to him. To everyone else she looks like Frances Conroy.
The stained glass in this house is incredible.
The ceilings in his study look like the ones in the dining room that we see in the real house. Here’s a shot of the dining room from the real estate listing:
See what I mean? I thought they may have shot the office scenes in the actual dining room of the house, but it seems to be a little different (larger, with more windows), so I’m not sure:
These doors shown in the listing photo are the same that we see on the show with the circular designs on the glass:
Ben and Vivien in the kitchen:
“The house is the star of the show,” Dylan McDermott, who plays Ben Harmon, said in an interview. Can’t argue with that!
Connie Britton, who plays Vivien, added, “I think it’s interesting how the house seems to be reflecting whatever their deepest, darkest fears are.”
I loved her in “Friday Night Lights.” I have to say 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.
You can see photos of Murphy’s house, which used to belong to Diane Keaton, here:
The upstairs landing and hallway:
Master Bath (listing photo):
Their daughter Violet’s room:
They clearly shot this in the real house because I spotted the same room in the listing, but in a startling blue:
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”?