Los Angeles

The Los Angeles ‘Murder House' Sells for Nearly $2.3 Million

A couple has bought a storied "murder house" that has been the subject of urban myth and a dark chapter in Los Angeles history for decades.

The house that sold is the four-bedroom mansion at 2475 Glendower Place in Los Feliz where Dr. Harold N. Perelson bludgeoned his wife to death with a hammer and attacked his 18-year-old daughter before killing himself "in a frenzy that he himself likened to a nightmare," the Los Angeles Times wrote on Dec. 7, 1959.

Nancy Sanborn, the realtor of the property, said Tuesday that a couple purchased the home for nearly $2.3 million in a probate sale last month. She did not name the couple, only saying that they really wanted to buy the house.

As far as the local lore that comes attached to the place, she said, "It's not a haunted house. It's urban legend that people have been having fun with for years."

"It's kinda like the alligators in the sewers of New York," she said.

Jeff Maysh, an LA-based journalist who wrote a history of the house on Medium.com and sold the story to an LA production company that plans to make a horror film, was incredulous.

"This really demonstrates how nuts the Los Angeles real estate market is right now," he said in an email. "Someone has paid over two million dollars for the city's most notorious private residence, a home that took the crown after the Manson 'murder house' was demolished on Cielo Drive."

The ad on realtor.com listed the 5,050-square-foot Spanish Revival nestled on a hill. It has a grand entrance, step-down living room, ballroom, library and serene views.

The "murder house" has become the center of morbid fascination, sparking ghost hunters to ruminate about it online.

"People into weird, creepy stuff would know about it," LA history blogger Kim Cooper said. "There's no justice. That's what makes it so weird and mysterious."

A Los Angeles Times article documents the killing under the headline, "Doctor Kills Wife and Self in Frenzy of 'Nightmare.'"

Perelson, 50, killed his wife while she slept, then attacked his daughter, the article said. She survived. Two other children, Debbie, 11 and Joel, 13, were not hurt.

When Debbie woke to the sounds and confronted her father, Perelson told her, "Go back to bed; this is a nightmare," The Times wrote, citing police.

Nobody knows what set Perelson off, but detectives at the time said they found paperwork suggesting he was having financial problems.

The dark history of the house took on a life of its own.

After the Perelsons, another family bought the home in probate in the early 1960s. When they died, the son inherited it from his parents but he didn't live there. The last owner died last year and the home went to probate again. The house went up for sale last week, said Sanborn.

Some claim they've seen the ghost of Dr. Perelson.

"The house is a sinister character in my story," said Maysh. "It's a building that has secrets which kind of gives it a personality. LA is a town based on secrets. Everyone wants to know what's behind closed doors."

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