A Haunted Mansion In The Bronx

This is why I love scouting the Bronx.

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Because you’ll be driving down a street lined with typical Bronx apartment buildings, the last place you’d expect to stumble on anything outside the norm…

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…when all of a sudden, you’ll notice something minor – maybe a break in the trees up ahead…

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And I swear, in the Bronx, these little snippets always have a habit…

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…of turning out to be something really incredible:

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As I jumped out of my car and started taking pictures of the beautiful property at 1857 Anthony Avenue, someone saw me and yelled out “Don’t get too close to the haunted mansion!” And I realized he was right – I don’t know if I’ve come across a more archetypal haunted mansion-esque home (of the stone variety) in New York City.

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Want further proof? From the myriad of rusted gates (sealed by chains, no less!), worn stone steps, and withered trees, tell me this doesn’t seem like the fuel for dozens of local ghost stories:

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And it gets even better – because 1857 Anthony Avenue is watching you. Look to the top of the steps…

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…and you’ll see a pair of ornamental figures whose eyes are just waiting to dart left and right when you’re not looking:

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The other figure:

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A bit of history: 1857 Anthony Avenue was built in 1896 by Edwin Shuttleworth, a stonedealer, at a time when this area of the Bronx was a prosperous suburb.

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The Shuttleworth mansion was constructed on “Mount Hope,” a hill that was formerly part of the nearby Buckhout farmland.

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One of my favorite features is the front gable, with its wonderful ornamental railing. Does it get any more Addams Family than this?

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I also love the two “candle-snuffer” towers…

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As I was shooting the right tower, I noticed something…

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Someone else was watching me!

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In fact, if you swing around to the side…

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You’ll find quite a few faces keeping watch…

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Here’s another on the tower…

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A close-up:

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And another on the side:

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Who are these faces? Judging by Shakespeare’s appearance, they’re presumed to all be famous men, but most remain unidentified:

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The house was sold in 2007 for $675,000 by a seller who had lived there for 70 years. The new owners have vowed to restore it to its previous opulence.

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One final note: there’s an old garage at the rear of the property.

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One of the walls appears to have fallen off, and it’s really neat to see the ancient timbers inside:

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Of course, the haunted mansion effect is somewhat seasonal – during the summer, the green vegetation makes the place quite a lot cheerier.

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But never forget that 1857 Anthony Avenue is always watching.

-SCOUT

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43 comments

  1. Beautiful! Just beautiful. I really hope it get restored to its appropriate glory.

    I suspect this one’s Dante, by the way:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/scoutingny/8607971729/

  2. If there were ever a case of developers showing their complete lack of style and grace, that building next to it does the trick.

  3. Very cool.

    Thanks.

    MS

  4. Beautiful … and filled with texture and personality. Amazing that it’s still standing there and hasn’t been replaced by another tasteless, stark building.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Richard Campbell

    I’m guessing Washington and Columbus are alongside Shakespeare.

  6. Current market value is a steal at $563,000 (as of Jan 13, 2012). Some great background info at http://www.flickr.com/photos/emilio_guerra/5509314298/

  7. I thought for sure this was an April Fool, but unless you’ve got Google Maps in on the prank, it’s real.
    How is it not covered in grafitti?

  8. Oh!!! I sooo hoped for another April Fool’s Day twist…not this year I guess!

    • Actually, if you check the dates on my other April Fools posts, I never seem to get the date right, sometimes even months off. So don’t throw in the towel for this year so quickly ;)

  9. I gotta be honest, I kept waiting for the April Fool’s punchline (though it would be hard to beat your Haunted Mansion classic), but this is an incredible property.

  10. I too was waiting for the April Fool’s twist. Still not convinced there isn’t one…

  11. Google map it. It’s real!

  12. This house would make a cool movie set! I kinda wish you were able to get inside. I bet there are a lot of cool spaces in that house.

  13. My 94 year old grandmother grew up in this house with her 8 siblings. She has great stories about the huge dinner parties that her parents would host. My great-grandfather was involved with the Metropolitan Opera and many stars of the day would spend an evening at this extravagantly detailed house enjoying a meal with a our large Italian family.

    • Wow, RL!. I work at the school across the street and marvel at this gem everyday. I often wonder of the glory of this neighborhood back in its heyday. Being an Italian-American myself, I now feel more of a connection to this home and neighborhood. I wish I could turn back time and be a fly on the wall at one of those lavish gatherings!

    • We are relatives – my great grandmother was Edwin Shuttleworth’s cousin. We should chat – I have a bunch of letters hand written by Edwin

  14. When this house sold in’07 the Times ran a very informative article on it, the new owners and the old one. At the time the new owners were optimistic about restoring the house. I would venture to guess that the recession took a toll on that.

  15. Maybe you can contact the owner and get some images of inside…

  16. That apt building next door ruins the pic.

  17. Oh, you simply must find a way to get inside this beautiful house. No matter what condition it is in, there MUST be all sorts of gems in there.

  18. Nick, it’s killing me that we could get a look-see inside!!

  19. You have spoiled us – need to see inside pictures!! Get in there!!

  20. Very interesting site. Your readers might like to visit my photo tour: http://www.thearchobserver.com
    Cheers
    Albert

  21. Hi Jake,
    I take “On the street” photos of interesting properties around Seattle. Many people that like to look at NYC scenes like to look at west coast architecture also…

  22. The garage wall looks like the original finished surface in the vein of Adirondack stick style cabins. I don’t think it was structural timber now exposed. I would guess that the horizontal siding was a later addition. It may have always been a garage, but could have been a garden folly or summerhouse.

  23. I wish there were pictures of the interior. What a great house!

  24. It’s very spooky to have so many faces watching on the surface of the building. Do you know about “haunted” houses in Manhattan?

  25. Whoa… A friend is at this moment staying in this house with a friend. He reports the house is quite impressive inside. I can imagine a movie being written for this place, overgrown as it is with the surrounding urbs. Will pass this blog post along to him.

  26. I grew up in the Bronx. It is weird this way.

  27. I was dreaming of a house for the past 10 years, how ironic this picture is up of that same house. The inside was dark wooden floors, little furniture like a table, and a lamp on the first floor. But every time I dreamed of it I had nightmares. I would love to see how it looks inside. Great post.

  28. I WAS INSIDE THAT HOUSE 40 YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS A POLICE OFFICER IN THE 48TH PRECINCT. I HANDLED A DOA THERE. IT HAD WOOD EVERYWHERE AND THE CEILINGS WERE METAL THERE WERE WINDOW IN THE REAR THAT CONTAINED PHOTOS OF FAMILY MEMBERS DEVELOPED ON THEM. HOUSE WAS BEAUTIFUL.

  29. I would love to live in this house iwould honor being a caretaker just for the opportunity

  30. Would do it for free as soon as I laid eyes on this house I felt intriged. I can truly say she’s beautiful I live it .

  31. Im staying with my boyfriend now and we pass by this house all the time, we even got our baby kitten in front on this house as it was laying helplessly in front. But one thing I always noticed is that sometimes the lights will be on in the top floor but then I get confused cause the first gate is chained up so I don’t understand whats going on in there. But it is beautiful and I always wanted to go inside.

  32. My grandparents owned the home for many,many years. The inside was beautiful with dark rich woods. There were secret passages from the kitchen to the basement below. Sliding doors to separate rooms. Huge bathrooms!I mean huge!. Very large kitchen with a number of ovens and double simks. There was an ornate semi spiral staircase, I remember a lovely piano. LIght wood and hand painted..but never quite in tune.There would be at least twenty of us at the diner table for all the big holidays. There was a maid and a chauffeur.Grandpa was a hunter and a horseback rider, I remember trophy pheasants and squirrels as well as a deer. Long time ago but I remember the house well.

  33. You have some awesome exterior pictures. I would love to see the inside!

  34. maureen stephens chung

    Ok, so is this house on Anthony Avenue really “haunted”?….it would be cool to see pictures of the inside; seriously take it down and rebuild from the ground up just the way it was…

    • This is actually my sister’s house. So glad it’s in the family! The architecture is a marvel but just for those who are curious, it’s far from haunted. Great memories in this place :)

  35. Our family knew Bill Evers for many years and we were always amazed at this house and its contents when we visited. This is truely a very beautiful house

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