; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Leona Helmsley's Haunted Mansion For Sale

Who remembers the 'Queen of Mean', Leona Helmsley...the real estate investor and hotelier who did time in the hokey for tax evasion? She was friends with Imelda Marcos and the Noriega family...and left a $12 million trust fund to her dog when she passed away. Well, it seems that her Connecticut mansion Dunnellen Hall is haunted...and for sale:

Here’s something that sounds like a great idea: paying $65 million to live in the mansion that feared hotel empress Leona Helmsley died in. That is what a real estate company is currently hoping someone will do, as the newly renovated estate, in Greenwich, Connecticut, has just been put on the market. Who’s going to buy this place? Someone very brave.

See, the thing is, it can be a risky proposition to buy a creepy old mansion that a nice millionaire died in. That alone could lead to an untold amount of spooks and scares. But, and pardon me for speaking ill of the dead, Leona Helmsley was not known to be the nicest of people. She was, in fact, often referred to as the Queen of Mean. So a scary old castle that she died in, let alone one called Dunnellen Hall, is bound to be a nightmarish hotbed of phantasms and specters. Right? I think that pretty much everything we know about ghost science, which is a lot these days, tells us that this is one haunted pile of bricks.

Now, of course, nothing is known for certain. The house has been renovated, so maybe that did the trick. Most crucially, the servants quarters were turned into something else. And if there was going to be one spot in that creep factory that was going to be haunted, other than Ms. Helmsley's personal quarters of course, it was where her terrified servants lived. Those rooms are gone, so really, all you'd have to steer clear of is whatever chambers Helmsley's furious spirit is clanking around in. And with eight other bedrooms, that should be easy enough. Plus, three swimming pools have been removed, so the risk of any sort of Japanese water ghost infestation has been significantly lowered.

I guess you could look at this as something of a fun challenge. Yes, every blind crone and pale-skinned child in the village has warned you not to buy the raven-circled property, but do you really want to listen to those weirdos? You aren't afraid of no ghost, are you? Plus, it's only $65 million! And you get to live in Connecticut! Maybe there's no reason not to buy this place. Yes, you run the slight risk of hearing high-heeled shoes creaking down the hallways at night. And sure, you'll be slowly driven mad by the sound of a lapdog yipping ceaselessly in the dark. And you may find that your spouse or children have woken up with mysterious bruises and burns on their arms and that they've taken to robotically sweeping and dusting and washing, as if some terrible invisible force is compelling them to become servants of its cursed manor. But other than that? This could be a solid investment. - PageSix

I said: "You must pay a lot of taxes". She said: "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes."
– Elizabeth Baum, former housekeeper to Helmsley (October 1983)

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