Horror maestro and bestselling author Stephen King lives in a house in Bangor, Maine that could be the setting for any number of his terrifying novels.
The house itself is a in a neighborhood just outside of downtown Bangor, on a street with several other very nice homes. However, few of the other houses on that block have black wrought iron fences with twisted decorations of spiders and monstrous creatures, like some sort of permanent Halloween decoration.
Image Via LA Times
Red with stark white trims, the house just looks like it could be hiding a dark secret or is secretly possessed by otherworldly spirits or slowly drives its residents insane. We can see why King lives there, the place is just dripping with the flavor of his storytelling techniques.
And if you read how the man himself talks about it, the mansion might very well have been haunted, at least at first. “Of course we fell in love with the house we live in, and it has never disappointed us. Have we disappointed it? Disappointment probably isn’t the right word. I think it disapproved of us at first,” wrote King in 1983. “The parlor seemed cold in a way that had little to do with temperature… My oldest son was convinced there were ghosts in the turret towers.”
Image Via Z107.3
Eventually, the horrors that possessed the house proved themselves to be either benevolent or nonexistent, and the King family managed to make themselves at home. King goes on to talk about more banal reasons why they settled on the home, like the walking distance to school, but there’s no denying that the King of Horror is right at home.
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
So begins one of the most beloved children’s tales in the world. “Hobbit-holes” captured the imaginations of audiences everywhere… enough so that some people decided to build their own. These beautiful houses were inspired by The Hobbit and would be right at home in the Shire!
Sometimes I get so engrossed in a book that I forget how long I’ve been sitting in one spot. I’m sure you are familiar with the feeling. Whatever you’re reading is so much more interesting than wherever you actually are that you wish you could dive into your book and live in its world instead. While that is, regrettably, impossible, here are five real-life houses that will make you feel like you’re in the pages of your favorite novel.
1. The “Harry Potter” or “Hogwarts” House
Image Via Spacecrafting
This house in downtown Minneapolis is the result of seven years of renovation by the owner. The interior of the three bedroom and bath home looks like a Hogwarts dormitory or the inside of The Three Broomsticks. Guess it gives new meaning to the phrase “a man’s home is his castle.”
2. The Gatsby Mansion
Image Via InsideHook
This mansion served as inspiration for the 2013 film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel and exists in the real-life location of the fictional story: Long Island, New York. The 14,551-square-foot house has eighteen bedrooms, a wine cellar, and even a hair salon.
3. Chatsworth House, better known as Jane Austen’s Pemberley
Image Via Chatsworth House
Although there is some dispute as to whether Chatsworth House or the nearby Wentworth Woodhouse (or both) served as the original inspiration for Pemberley in Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, it is mentioned in the novel as one of the places that Elizabeth Bennet visits before she arrives at Mr. Darcy’s residence. Additionally, Chatsworth was used as Pemberley in the 2005 film adaptation of the novel.
4. Baan Suan Noi, also known as Hobbit House Thailand
Image Via Nookmag
There are actually numerous “hobbit homes” that have cropped up across the world, but you might not expect one to be located just two hours outside of Bangkok, Thailand. It may be smaller than the other locales included on this list, but it is cozy and has all the amenities a modern-day hobbit needs, and it is only thirty minutes away from a national park.
Image Via Escala Penthouses
Okay, so this last one is a bit of a departure from the other places on this list, but it is the setting for many of the escapades that take place in E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey series, and it is a real place even if James did get some of the details wrong. The penthouse of the Escala Building is a 6,320-square-foot residence that has three bedrooms, a large open-plan kitchen, a library, and many floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of Seattle’s skyline. Sorry, there’s no helicopter landing pad on the roof. And no, there’s no playroom either.
I moved to New York from Dublin in June and since then, I’ve been thinking a lot of all the other places I’d like to live. No disrespect to NYC, but moving here has made me realize how many other places I also want to spend time in. So here are some fictional houses I’d love to chill in for a while. Take me in, Mrs. Weasley!
Located on the outskirts of Ottery St. Catchpole, the Weasley family home is without a doubt the coziest spot in the entire Harry Potter series. It’s a ramshackle, tumble-down affair held together by magic, and at one stage was the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix.
Weirdly in the Chamber of Secrets film, when Harry first arrives at The Burrow after being rescued by Ron, Fred, and George in the flying car, he is looking around in awe, and for some reason the Weasleys are also looking around in awe, as if it is the first time they’ve seen it. Maybe seeing their home through the eyes of a neglected orphan gave them an instant appreciation for what they have. And what they have is the most appealing family home ever, full of enchanted household appliances working away on their own, and a clock that shows the whereabouts of the family members.
Members of the Weasley family see their home in a new light | Via Fanpop
In the book, Howl’s Castle is described as big and black, apparently constructed out of lumps of coal, with four turrets and four doors, three of which are invisible. So, it sounds a little bit like a bold-yet-innovative child saved up the coal they received each Christmas from Santa Claus for being bad, and with it built a renegade residence in which they could ride around and commit more bad deeds. Pretty cool, right? Out of each of the windows is a different view, and each of the doors opens to a different place. Clearly the bold child is also quite a powerful wizard.
In the Hayao Miyazaki adaptation, the castle is a little friendlier in appearance. It is so intricate and a true feat of animation, resembling an enormous, ambling creature. Also, Howl’s bedroom is the most extra place of all time, look at all dem gems. I wanna hang out there.
Even those among us over five feet tall (I’m a towering 5’3″ so I think I speak for all of us) long to dwell in the peaceful surroundings of Hobbiton, more specifically Bilbo Baggins’ lovely little house. With circular doorways, charming wooden interior, and a lovely writing station for writing about your extensive adventures throughout Middle Earth, it’s the perfect hideaway for a peace-loving Hobbit-sized bookworm. For the Gandalf-sized bookworms among you, though, you may need to make some renovations.
Also, there is ample space for guests | Via Tumblr
Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory is a little bit creepy, there’s no denying it. The Oompa Loompas are omnipresent and Mr. Wonka himself is on the strange side. Also, if you have any serious personality flaws, one of many unpleasant fates is sure to befall you. However, if you’re perfect like me, it would be a lovely place to lie around and drink chocolate and lick flavored wallpaper and drink fizzy lifting drink and, pretty much, just chill.
Simon being hospitable | Image Via The Marlow Bookshelf
So, I take any and all opportunities to talk at length about Joan Aiken’s masterpiece The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and its many, many marvelous sequels and I’m going to indulge myself again by talking about dreamy beekeeper and gooseboy Simon’s lovely cave in the forest. Oh Simon, we could have lived there together while you painted lovely pictures. If only Lord Willoughby hadn’t funded you to go off to study art in Battersea. It sounds so cozy and peaceful. What more could one want than bees and geese and paint and peace? Sigh.
Misselthwaite Manor is the enormous stately home of protagonist Mary Lennox and her uncle and cousin Colin. Of course I would like to dwell there only after Colin has regained the ability to walk and his father has decided to be chill and hug people every once in a while, instead of staring into fires, flanked by large dogs and taking long journeys to stand on cliffs and miss his dead wife. Only after all of that. Once all the unpleasantness of the plot is said and done, and the Secret Garden is open and in full bloom once more, I would like to live there and relax amongst the nice flowers and the large library a house that size most definitely has.
Nice | Via Pinterest
So these are six pretty cool places into which I would not say no to moving. But I suppose New York will do for now.