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The Ghosts of Murder Mansion

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A creepy story about a haunted mansion in Los Angeles where a doctor went berserk on December 6, 1959, and slaughtered his wife before committing suicide. Excerpts:

Inside her bedroom, Judye somehow escaped her father, whose hands were covered in blood, as was his shoulder. Judye ran into her parent’s bedroom. There she saw the full horror of her father’s work. Judye sprinted down the hallway and found the spiral staircase. She ran out the front door, taking deep breaths of cold night air. The smiling gargoyle in the fountain watched on as she flew down the concrete steps. She banged desperately on the door of the Lewis house. Getting no answer, she began hammering on the French windows next to the front door, smearing them with blood. Upstairs, Cheri and Shelley were frozen in fear. Judye tried another neighbor, Marshall Ross, who finally opened his door. Together, they called the police.

Back in the Perelson house, the two younger children had woken up to the sound of their sister’s screams. “Go back to bed. This is a nightmare,” Harold told 11-51V0KBUx7ULyear-old Debbie. Then he strode away, dripping blood onto the floor. Meanwhile, Marshall Ross was climbing the steps to the Perelson house. He found Debbie and 13-year-old Joel waiting on the first floor. Then he climbed the stairs and came face-to-face with the doctor.

“Go on home,” Harold told him, according to the Coroner’s report.

“Don’t bother me.”


By the time they found the doctor, he was on the floor. His head lay on a pillow covered in his daughter’s blood, the hammer in his hand. He was only just breathing, and would be dead before the ambulance arrived. The police gathered the rest of the pills and laid them on a dresser in his room. There they discovered on a nightstand next to Perelson’s bed, a copy of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy.” It was opened to Canto 1: Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ha! If only he had read Dante, the lives saved would likely have been two. One more bit, from the present day, a trespasser to the Murder House:

And there in the living room, she saw the fabled Christmas presents. As promised by visitors before her, their ribbons were still tied. Just then, Jennifer felt “something ominous.”

Maybe it was the same feeling that drove away the homeless, who once tried to shelter there many years ago, but fled citing unsettling chills, mystery footsteps, unholy noises at night. Maybe it was the feeling described by neighbors in a newspaper that they were being “followed.” Adrenaline squirted in her veins now.

Read the whole thing.

The traditionalist conservative thinker Russell Kirk was an avid collector of ghost stories, and writer of them too. Tonight, on my last night at Villanova, I’m having dinner with the university’s Russell Kirk Society. I promise you there will be ghost stories. I’m going to make sure of that.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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