The US is full of unusual dwellings that defy convention. From the quirky to the downright bizarre, these homes are not your typical abode and demonstrate the creativity of those who have crafted them. In this blog post, we will take a look at five of the strangest homes in the US and explore the stories behind them!
The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California
If you’re looking for a home with a spooky past, the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California should be at the top of your list. This sprawling mansion was once the home of Sarah Winchester, the widow of the inventor of the Winchester rifle. Legend has it that Sarah was plagued by spirits who were angry with her husband’s creation, and that she believed she could appease them by constantly building and adding onto the house.
The result is a maze-like structure with over 160 rooms, staircases that lead nowhere, doors that open onto blank walls, and even a secret passage or two. The house also has numerous oddities, like a window built into a floor and a door that opens onto a 10-foot drop.
But the strangest feature of the Winchester Mystery House might be its numerous “ghost traps” – rooms with doors that lead only to blank walls, or staircases that suddenly end. Legend has it that Sarah built these traps to confuse any evil spirits that might be following her.
Today, the Winchester Mystery House is open to the public for tours. Whether you’re a believer in ghosts or just love a good mystery, this bizarre home is a must-see.
Dr. Seuss Housee- Talkeetna, Alaska
The Dr. Seuss House is a curiously unique residence that is hidden in the dense woods outside of Talkeetna, Alaska, even though that is not what its designer calls it. While there is no direct connection between this eccentric house and the well-known author, it is understandable how the name of the building came to be.
The whimsical house is what most of us would consider to be something we’ve seen in a Dr. Seuss book, and it’s located in the tiny community of Talkeetna, Alaska. The 185-foot-tall home’s creator, builder, and owner, Phillip Weidner, claims that despite anything Dr. Seuss wrote about, it is “real and not a fantasy.”
Image Source: Atlas Obscura
Spaceship House- Signal Mountain, TN
By 1972, STAR TREK had concluded, and the idea of extraterrestrial life had become firmly ingrained in the collective unconscious. In 1972, Curtis King created the Galactic Home for his kid in the woods close to Signal Mountain, Tennessee, embracing the feeling of being from another planet.
The house, which cost $250,000 to construct, contained every element of future living, including a drop-down staircase that allowed occupants to access an elevated spacecraft. The home was furnished with an entire bar and entertainment space in addition to the three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The entire residence has a peculiar circular style because every room and the majority of the furnishings are rounded.
The structure’s almost 2,000 square feet of living area is made of steel and concrete. The house’s entryway is a retractable staircase, however it is broken and is stuck in the “down” position. According to a neighbor, one prior homeowner who was having a disagreement with her husband found that function to be helpful. In order to prevent her husband from using the steps to descend, she pulled up the staircase, parked her truck underneath it, and then left him trapped within.
The house was sold by King and his family, and during its existence, many different people owned it. The Tennessee relic was placed up for auction by the most recent owner in 2008, and a Signal Mountain local won the bid for $120,000.
Image Source: Atlas Obscura
Vanadu Art House – Hyattsville, MA
Gallery Conservator Clarke Bedford was alone and had some free time in his modest, mid-sized Maryland home. Bedford started building one of the world’s most secretive, out-of-the-way, and extravagantly constructed art houses the next day, putting all of his effort into it and employing tons of unusual items and recycled metal in the process.
Clarke Bedford’s strange art house, known as “Vanadu,” is crammed with an enormous assortment of old things, garbage, and historical artifacts. A crested wooden owl, a black and white striped cone, a skull, a statue of John Locke, a German language globe stuffed within a rusted horn, and a woman’s face covered in colored glass and rubbish are among the sculptures and mosaics that make up the dense collection.
Additionally, Clarke Bedford has four completely functional art cars that are usually parked on the curbside of the art house and are composed of various materials, including discarded washing machine parts, moose antlers, and car parts. The most well-known vehicle, the moving Vanadu Ford, has graveyard spires on the roof, vases on the sides, and horns, and it even has a Facebook page. Bedford used to commute to work in one of the ornate silver vehicles while he was a conservator for the Hirshhorn Museum, and the art cars are still one of Bedford’s principal modes of transportation today.
Image Source: Atlas Obscura
Dog Bark Park-Cottonwood, ID
In Cottonwood, Idaho, there is a hotel dubbed the Dog Bark Park Inn. Because to its beagle-shaped construction, the hotel is a well-known icon in the region. Locals refer to it as “Sweet Willy” in casual conversation.
The largest beagle in the world, SWEET WILLY, is 30 feet tall and doubles as a bed & breakfast. For guests travelling through the neighborhood, Dennis J. Sullivan and his wife Frances Conklin, who are chainsaw artists, have constructed a single room inside of Sweet Willy that comes replete with a bathroom and loft.
Dog Bark Park is a roadside destination for those who aren’t looking to stay the night and is surrounded by other animal sculptures made by Sullivan and Conklin, including bears, fish, and moose. Visitors can schedule group tours or stop by the artist studio and gift shop with canine themes.
Image Source: Erin_Pass/Flickr+Creative Commons
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