By Graham Wood
The house that 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 original 1984 slasher flick “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” (Of course, the real home used for filming is in Los Angeles, not the fictional Springwood, OH, 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 family who owned it, 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 completely renovating it. First, she burned sage to clear the energy in the house, she said. Then, she took apart 90 percent of the entire home — walls, ceilings, the roof — and replaced them.
Only a portion of the exterior shell of the house remained intact while she gut-renovated every room. The work was so extensive that it took nearly a year to complete before she could officially move in. 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 today.
“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.
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