‘Silence of the Lambs’ House Can’t Find a Buyer

From NYTimes.com 1/12/16

Silence of the lambs house

The house used as the home of the killer Buffalo Bill in the 1991 film “The Silence of the Lambs” is for sale near Perryopolis, Pa. Credit Keith Srakocic/Associated Press        

Since it was listed for sale last summer, a century-old house made famous as the home of a serial killer in the 1991 movie “The Silence of the Lambs” has attracted plenty of curiosity, but it has mostly languished on the real estate market.

The home, located in the village of Layton, Pa., was first put up for sale last August. Over the past few months, the house has attracted plenty of interest online: It was the second most-clicked home on Realtor.com last year, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported, but it has failed to attract people who might actually want to buy it. The owners have since dropped the price to $249,900 from $300,000.

Though it was the setting for a movie that won in each of the so-called big five Academy Award categories, there’s not much action in this community an hour south of Pittsburgh, which might be the reason a home with Hollywood cachet is failing to sell. Photos of the home show a sun-drenched yard, a pool and clean bedrooms, a departure from the cluttered, gray interior of a home used by one of the film’s villains.

Nearby, there’s a creepy-looking tunnel, which some visitors suspect is haunted. There’s an old, rusty bridge that crosses the Youghiogheny River and serves as the main access route to the nearby town of Perryopolis. The isolated location is perhaps the perfect place for a fictional killer to set up shop, but for real (and sane) buyers, the amenities may fall short.

As some observers on social media pointed out, the home may be overpriced. The property is listed well above the median listing price for Pennsylvania, which, according to Realtor.com, is $149,900. Still, others were intrigued by the home’s gory lore.

“I’ll take it if it comes with a pit …?” another person wrote, referencing the basement of Buffalo Bill, the serial killer who kept his prey in a lair beneath the home in the film. (No such luck — the pit in the basement was filmed on a soundstage, The Associated Press reported.)

Homes with pop culture cachet often have mixed results on the market. The Minneapolis home used in Prince’s ”Purple Rain” movie was sold for $117,000 about a month after it was listed for sale at $110,000 last July, according to Zillow. The Los Angeles home featured in the comedy “Modern Family” had a similar turnaround period, selling for $2.1 million.

Other properties, including distinctive homes and mansions, tend to linger. It took several years for the owners of the glass-encased house featured in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” to find a buyer. If you’re looking for a bargain, the price for the Toronto mansion featured in the movie “Mean Girls” has dropped to $12.8 million from $14.8 million.

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