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The Witch’s House from “Clueless”

Oct 10th, 2008 | By | Category: Movie Locations

One of my favorite sites to stalk in all of Beverly Hills is known simply as “The Witch’s House” and it just so happens to fit in perfectly with this month’s Halloween theme. Although not really a filming location, the house is a Beverly Hills landmark of sorts. Known formally as “The Spadena House”, after the Spadena family who lived there in the 1930s, the house did show up very briefly in fave movie Clueless, during the scene when Alicia Silverstone is “totally buggin'” about Ty’s crush on Josh (pictured in above screen capture).

The home was originally built on a silent film studio lot in Culver City known as Irvin C. Willat Productions and was used as an office/dressing room. It was designed by the very first art direction Oscar Winner, Henry C. Oliver, in 1921. Willat Productions was sold in 1926 and the house was purchased and later moved to its current location in the heart of Beverly Hills, where it was turned into a private home for the Spadena family. No one can say for sure how the house came to be called “The Witch’s House”, but mention the words to any Beverly Hills native and they will know exactly what you are talking about. Personally, I believe the house got its nickname due to its resemblance to the witch’s home in the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”.

In 1998, a real estate agent named Michael Libow was hired to sell the house. Apparently he became frustrated that all prospective buyers planned to demolish the property, so he took matters into his own hands and purchased the home himself for $1.3 million. He is currently restoring the property to its original state, along with the help of art director Nelson Coates. For the past few years the two have painstakingly rennovated the home, even re-creating the original moat which once surrounded the property. The Witch’s House is still currently under rennovation, so unfortunately a large chain link construction fence blocks some of the view from the street. But hopefully in a few years the rennovations will be complete and the house will be even more spectacular for us stalkers to view.

Because it is so truly unique, I am actually very surprised that the house hasn’t appeared in more Hollywood productions. Besides Clueless, the Witch’s House was also featured in the 1965 movie The Loved One, as the home of Sir John Gielgud’s character, and in the 1957 horror film The Undead. Supposedly, during its time on the Willat lot, the home also appeared in a quite a few 1920s silent films, as well.

The Witch’s House is simply a must see for all Beverly Hills tourists, especially during the Halloween season, and it is a beautiful example of Storybook style architecture.

You can read more about the history of the Witch’s House and see some fabulous photos of it here.

Until next time, Happy Stalking! :)

Stalk It: The Witch’s House is located at 516 N. Waldren Drive, at the corner of Walden Drive and Carmelita Avenue, in Beverly Hills.

2015

11 comments

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  1. Augusta says:

    This is my absolute favorite property in LA. I moved out here from the east coast (DC metro area) where exploring sprawling estates, abandoned Victorians, and other old houses were part of my childhood. I’m in my 30s and am still obsessed with historical homes! I stumbled upon your website and am stoked I did. Love it!

    I also wanted to add that I drive by 516 Walden every chance I get, the last time being a few weeks ago and the property looks FANTASTIC! LOVE LOVE LOVE it. They’ve done such a great job of restoring the unique beauty that it is.

  2. kim carrion says:

    Avril is right….Michael Libow is doing a great job with the Witch’s House….the house looks fantastic and creepy….

  3. avril says:

    So nice of Michael Libow to purchase the property and not let prospective buyers demolish it. He must be a Holloween fan:P

  4. WhitneyT says:

    Halloween is so fun! Thanks for the seasonal home stalking treats.

  5. Terry Torres says:

    I would like to say that it was a great honor to actually work with Nelson Coates designing this house for Michael Libow. When I first stepped in the house back in 2003 to field verify the existing condition, I was a bit in shock. It was such fun to actually be apart of laying out what is being constructed now. Can’t wait till it is completed.


Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. […] dressing rooms, according to Los Angeles Magazine. After the studio closed, the Spadena family moved the home to its current location in the […]

  2. […] in the same location and by the same family.  Hollywood set designer Harry Oliver, creator of the Spadena House in Beverly Hills, was commissioned to design the original building, which looks like something straight out of […]

  3. […] corner of Wilshire and North Santa Monica Boulevards, in Beverly Gardens Park, in Beverly Hills.  The Witch’s House, which also appeared in Clueless, is located just around the corner from the fountain at 516 North […]

  4. […] family.  Art director/humorist Harry Oliver, designer of the Spadena House in Beverly Hills (aka the Witch’s House from Clueless), was commissioned to design the original building in what is called the “storybook-style” of […]

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  6. […] around the corner from the Witch’s House  in Beverly Hills is one of the most famous crime scenes in Hollywood history – the home where […]

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