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Old Dark Houses

What does a haunted house look like? There is probably an image that immediately pops into your mind. If it isn’t the house from THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, or your own house, if you happen to live in a house that is haunted, then you probably picture a creepy old Victorian home that has fallen into disrepair. Where does the ubiquitous image come from? Thank Charles Addams, the first World War, and the Great Depression. Previously it was castles that were most linked to the worlds of Horror. Creaky, cobweb-laden castles like the ones occupied by Dracula and Frankenstein. Those castles gave way to creaky, cobweb-laden houses, like the Psycho house or dozens of others, but how exactly did this happen?

The Victorian era was America’s “Gilded Age.” Lots of nouveau rich, leading up to the era of the “robber barons”. The bourgeoisie built lots of these big, sprawling gothic mansions. Then came World War One, and architectural styles changed. And then after the Great Depression, lots of those formerly grand gothic mansions sat abandoned by former owners who could no longer afford them. The ones not torn down were left to slowly fall apart. These became symbols of the past, of a time dead and gone, of ruin. Sad reminders, perfect for ghosts. Then came Charles Addams and his Addams Family cartoon strip—and the haunted crumbling Victorian mansion they called home.

Check out this video for more details.

TheCheezman • December 13, 2019


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