On Halloween, the place that draws the most children is the fabled Witch’s House in Beverly Hills. The house draws between 3,000 to 4,000 children each Halloween! Dating back to the 1920’s the house is now Beverly Hills Landmark #8 and it also has a somewhat scandalous history.
Also known as the Spadena House, it began its life as a set for Willat Studios back in the Twenties. One of the films it was used in was Hansel and Gretel. When the studio planned to demolish the studio, it was purchase by Ward Lascelle, a producer that worked with the studio. He moved it to a lot in Beverly Hills.
Here is where it gets into the “scandalous” part of the story that old Hollywood is so known for. Lascelle’s wife divorced him and kept the house. She then married the house boy whose last name was Spadena and that is the name that has carried forward with the house.
Along the line the house became a favorite trick or treat spot for children but in the nineties the house became neglected and appeared abandoned. Fortunately it was purchased by a real estate agent named Michael J Libow who had fond memories of the house as a child.
He began extensive renovations on the house always keeping in mind its role as the Witch’s House. Halloween has grown into such a huge event at the house that LIbow hires private security and the Beverly Hills close the neighborhood streets to keep them safe for all of the children.
The house is located at 516 Walden Drive in Beverly Hills. Parking in the area requires you have a Beverly Hills Parking Permit #8. However, I’m sure you can park long enough to walk up for a quick look at the house without getting a ticket. Please be respectful of the owners and the property and do your looking from the sidewalk around the house.
Also, note well, this is 2020 when I am writing this post. What will and will not be allowed on Halloween during the COVID-19 restrictions is changing daily. The last I heard is trick or treating is prohibited in Los Angeles for 2020. However driving the kids by the Witch’s House before Halloween might help them feel a little better about not being able to take part in the long standing annual tradition of trick or treating on Halloween!
More photos after the break…
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