The real-life home in Los Angeles featured in the fictional horror film “The People Under the Stairs” is now for sale. The Craftsman property, built in 1905, is available for $2,495,000—and there’s nothing frightening about it.
It’s known as the Thomas W. Phillips residence and was designed by the architectural firm Sumner Hunt & Eager at the turn of the last century.
Fans will recognize it from the 1991 Wes Craven horror comedy, whose plot revolves around a young boy and two adults who try to rob the house and become trapped inside.
“I just loved it,” a five-star review of the film on Amazon gushes. “How many times do you drive down the street and see a normal-looking house and wonder what is happening inside?”
The storied home, which is on the market for the first time in 30 years, is located in the West Adams neighborhood, close to Koreatown, downtown L.A., and the University of Southern California.
In reality, nothing sinister is known to have happened behind its closed doors.
“They had used the house for filming,” says the listing agent, Melissa Barlow of Re/Max Estate Properties.
“The look is so cool. You shoot at night, throw some cobwebs around, and it looks like a haunted house. It’s beautiful old architecture.”
There are other grand historic homes on the block, which has been a popular movie location.
This property can also be seen in lesser roles, in movies such as “The Convent,” “Witchcraft,” “The Immortalizer,” and an episode of “Modern Family.” The nearby Beckett Residence has also been used as a “standing set,” primarily for horror movies.
The extensive, 7,707-square-foot home contains eight bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. Many of its original elements have been preserved, including wood built-ins, coffered ceilings, columns, and of course, the (not-so) infamous staircase.
The living room, formal dining room, updated kitchen, and a library or office are all built on a grand scale. The spacious layout includes a hallway with an alcove, a family room, and a sitting room, and the grounds contain a backyard, a motor court, and detached garage.
Quite apart from its horror movie past, the space was also used for entertaining long before the 1990s. The third floor, Barlow told us, reportedly had a “juke joint” with “a whole stage and a coat check,” which are still there today.
While the residence is “livable as is,” the agent says that an ambitious buyer may decide to turn it into a restoration project. “You want to keep what’s there. It’s maintenance, restoring, and painting,” she says.
The current owner is hoping to downsize, and the home was listed at the current price back in January.
“You have to let the right buyer come along,” Barlow says. “No one is interested in a fire sale. You have to have the vision for it.”
With this film-friendly abode, Hollywood is likely to come calling again. Do you dare make an offer?