Many years ago when I started working on the first site for My Scary Halloween, I was living in a haunted Victorian flat in San Francisco. I fell in love with the architecture, the vivid colors, the old smell of the place, and the strange energy inside. I knew that I wanted the icon for the site to be a haunted Victorian mansion.
Looking through stock photography sites, I came across the picture on the right. I was mesmerized by that main tower with the arching windows that looked liked eyes. It was dark, forboding, and a perfect centerpiece for my design.
Years later, a reader send me a link to the Ingomar Club, a private club located in Eureka, California (just north of San Francisco). It turns out the house in the picture is called the Carson Mansion, and has been owned by the club since 1950. I always imagined this Victorian House was located in some distant land, not a 5-hour drive from my house. Unfortunately, the house and grounds are not open to the public, but their site has a thorough pictorial tour of the house.
The mansion was built in 1884 and originally the home of Northern California's first lumber tycoon, William Carson. The mansion is a mix of every major style of Victorian Architecture but primarily considered to be the finest example of Queen Anne Style – even though it's overall style is considered eclectic and "peculiarly American". It's been carefully maintained and nearly in the same condition as when it was built (although it's had some earthquake damage).
The appeal of the Carson Mansion continue to spread as many graphic designers see the dark possibilities in this house. The North Coast Journal printed a fascinating story called The Creepy Carson in 2010 that delves into this unique and scary house.
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