Monday, October 27, 2014

House Doctored

It’s close to midnight, and something evil’s lurking in the dark.

Does the house at 1345 Carroll Ave. in Los Angeles look familiar? It may, because in October 1983 it was a setting for what is arguably the most famous music video of all time. In the 13-minute video for his hit “Thriller,” Michael Jackson, wearing blood-red pants and a matching jacket to “dye” for, raised his arms from side to side, hands clawed, as his backup zombie dancers did the same. His frightened girlfriend fled to an abandoned house — this house.


Three years after securing permanent residency in the pop culture world, the house sold for $150,000. The following year, it was built.

You see a sight that almost stops your heart. 
You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it.

According to Zillow, an online real estate database, the Victorian home was built four years after appearing in the video that made it famous, and it sold a year before its fabrication date. (Those last two words can be interpreted in one of two ways.) No realtor is that talented!

You close your eyes, and hope that this is just imagination.

The house is assuredly not the same age as Blake Lively, the Fox network, GIFs, Full House and everyone’s favorite purple dinosaur, Barney. It was built well before “Baby Jessica” fell in a well.

I’ll save you from the terror on the screen.

The house was not erected two years after the failure of “New Coke,” back when Michael Jackson was Bad. This dwelling was built in the 19th century, so why don’t we, ahem, dwell in the past? Travel with me back to the Gilded Age, to a time when only 38 states existed and to a year when Georgia O’Keeffe and Frankenstein’s monster himself, Boris Karloff, graced Earth’s canvas. It was a world without escalators, zippers, airplanes, traffic lights, aspirin, Australia, the Eiffel Tower or motion pictures, though Coca-Cola had poured into our lives the year before.

No nines should reside in Zillow’s “built” date. It’s time to ring in a new year, with assistance from an old year. Your time is now, 1887.


Thank you to my friend Lindsay, of IAMNOTASTALKER, for notifying me of today’s uninvited houseguest. The error thrilled me ... to death!

‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night!

I took this 2008 photo of 1345 Carroll Ave. 21 121 years after the house was built.

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