By Graham Wood
SEATTLE (Zillow) —The house Freddy Krueger haunted was a real nightmare — though not on Elm Street — when Angie Hill bought it in 2006.
That’s right, Hill lives in one of the most legendary horror homes in movies: the house with the scariest basement in America, where Nancy Thompson faced the sharp-fingered Krueger in the 1984 slasher flick A Nightmare on Elm Street. (Of course, the real home used for filming is in Los Angeles, not the fictional Springwood, Ohio, and it’s on North Genesee Avenue, not Elm Street.)
It was a delightful suburban cottage when it appeared in the film, but when Hill snatched it up 22 years later, it looked like something out of a scary movie. Neglected by the previous owners, the house was falling apart.
“It was horrible,” Hill said. “It was the only house on the street that looked beaten up. …The pool looked like it hadn’t been touched in 10 years — it was black.”
Paint was chipping, and cracks were showing all over the home’s exterior, and the concrete patio in the backyard was breaking apart.
“It had the weirdest vibe,” Hill said. “You could feel the weird energy. There was a really oppressive odor.”
She bought the place anyway with the intention of renovating it completely. First she burned sage to clear the energy in the house, she said. Then, she took apart 90% of the entire home — walls, ceilings, the roof — and replaced them.
“I replaced every piece of wood and reconfigured the floor plan,” Hill said. “I ripped off half the house.”
Only a portion of the exterior shell of the house remained intact while she gut-renovated every room. The work was so extensive it took nearly a year to complete before she could move in officially. But it was all worth it: “I love my house,” Hill said.
The front exterior of the house still looks mostly the same as it did in Elm Street, save for a new, striking red door. Cult followers of the classic horror film still recognize it.
“People stop and take pictures, and there’s a tour bus that goes by three times a day,” Hill said. “Sometimes people come to the door and say stupid things like, ‘Do you know what house this is?’”
But, she admits, the home’s fictional history of horror still has a very real effect on her.
“I used to be afraid to go in the basement,” she said.
See a slideshow of the renovations here.