Weird California
Weird California - By Joe Parzanese

The Witch's House

Map 516 Walden Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210

The Witch's House lures in small children in Beverly Hills
The Witch's House lures in small children in Beverly Hills

Nestled on the corner of Walden and Carmelita in Beverly Hills, sits The Witch's House, more formally known as The Spadena House. The house is a perfect example of Storybook style construction which involves various whimsical building elements often seen in structures found in fairy tales or old stories. These elements range from castle turrets and towers to cottage style roofs.

The Witch's House was originally built by Culver City based, Willat Studio. Willat Studios made silent films, and The Witch's House was utilized as dressing rooms and offices for the studio before being moved to its current location. It was built by Harry Oliver who worked as a set designer and art director for the silent movie studio.

It was relocated to Beverly Hills in either 1926 or 1934, and since then has been the subject of many urban legends including: a story stating that it was built for a movie version of Hansel and Gretel, a story stating that it was built by a Snow White and the Seven Dwarves fanatic, and a story that states the owner use to dress up like a witch on Halloween to give out candy (which is highly possible and rumored to be the source of the house's name).

Currently the house is undergoing major restoration as the new owner named Michael Libow is trying to preserve the whimsical structure. Originally, the house had a wishing well, a miniature mill, a moat with a bridge for crossing, and a beautifully landscaped yard complete with twisted gnarled trees. During the reconstruction, a lot of these elements have currently been removed.

Michael Libow, the third owner of the structure, acquired the house and land for 1.3 million in 1998. His remodel also includes the interiors of the house as well. The house has also made a cameo appearance in the movie, Clueless starring Alicia Silverstone.

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Last Edited: 2007-04-30


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