The Evers’ House from “The Haunted Mansion”Oct 15th, 2015 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
My Los Angeles magazine editor is on vacation this week, so I will not have a post on LAmag.com today. To make up for it, though, I’ve got a Haunted Hollywood locale for you right here! One of my favorite parts about the Halloween season is watching scary movies. (And of course stalking their locations and blogging about them.) It always shocks me how many horror flicks and thrillers there are out there that I have yet to see. One of my more recent screenings was of The Haunted Mansion, the 2003 Disney flick based on Disneyland’s popular ride of the same name. I didn’t have very high hopes for the movie, but it turned out to be really cute – and a perfect watch for this time of year. The best part? Years ago, my buddy Mike, from MovieShotsLA, told me about the location of the home where the Evers family – Jim (Eddie Murphy), Sara (Marsha Thomason), Michael (Marc John Jefferies), and Megan (Aree Davis) – lived in the flick. He had tracked it down via this 2006 Pasadena Weekly article. As it turns out, not only is the pad an extremely popular filming location, but it is located very close to where I used to live. For whatever reason, I had never stalked it, though. So I finally amended that by running right on over there while I was in the area a few weeks back.
In real life, the Colonial-Revival-style residence, which was originally built in 1925 and sits on a 0.26-acre plot of land, boasts 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and 3,234 square feet.
As you can see below, the dwelling is extremely picturesque. For some odd reason, though, the exterior rarely makes it onto the silver screen.
Such was the case with The Haunted Mansion – only the interior of the property was used in the filming. The exterior of the Evers’ house was never shown, not even in an establishing shot, which I found a bit weird. You can check out some photographs of the inside of the home here and here.
According to the Pasadena Weekly article, to accommodate the filming, the home’s then owners had to move out for two and a half weeks (the longest they had ever been displaced for a shoot), which is surprising being that the residence was only shown in a couple of brief scenes.
The haunted mansion that appeared in the movie, which was referred to as the Gracey Estate, was unfortunately just a façade that was built at Sable Ranch in Santa Clarita. Only the lower part of the manse was constructed for the shoot – the top portion was added via CGI in post-production – and was subsequently torn down after filming wrapped. You can check out some photographs of the façade here and here. What I wouldn’t give to have been able to have seen it in person! (Side note – I was floored to discover while researching this post that the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland was modeled after a real home, the Shipley-Lydecker House in Baltimore, Maryland. Sadly, it no longer stands, but you can see an image of what it used to look like here. It is the spitting image of the Disneyland mansion. SO incredibly cool!)
I actually think the mansion looks quite fake in the faraway shots that appeared in the movie.
But the close-up views of it are amazing! Personally, I think they should have forgone the CGI and utilized the façade as it was.
The interior of the Gracey Estate was an elaborate set constructed at Barwick Studios where The Haunted Mansion was lensed. You can read a fabulous blog post written by a few lucky souls who were able to visit the set on the DoomBuggies website here.
According to DoomBuggies, the couch that appeared in the library scene was also used in the 1954 movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
And, according to internet lore, after filming wrapped a chair from the mansion’s dining room set was placed inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. It is said to be the chair that Jack Sparrow is sitting in at the very end of the attraction. Upon closer inspection, though, I do not believe that to be correct.
You can check out a picture of the Pirates chair here. While the two chairs are strikingly similar, there are some differences. Most notably, the movie chairs have an elevated carving of some sort located at the top, while the Pirates chair does not. Internet lore further states that one of the same chairs is also pictured in a portrait of a bride in the attic area of the Haunted Mansion ride. You can see an image of it here.
The Evers’ house was also where Michael Feller (Ken Howard) and Sydelle Feller (Candice Azzara) lived in the 2005 dramedy In Her Shoes. That movie was one of the few instances in which the exterior of the dwelling was shown.
The interior of the home made an appearance in the film, as well.
In the 2009 drama State of Play, the residence belonged to Anne Collins (Robin Wright).
And while 2007’s Spiderman 3 also did some filming on the premises, those scenes wound up on the cutting room floor.
Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for telling me about this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Evers’ house from The Haunted Mansion is located at 1480 North Michigan Avenue in Pasadena.