Second Empire Victorian: The Haunted Archetype

I was browsing The Old Haunted House and happened to notice that a number of classic “haunted” houses in film, theme parks, etc. have been built in the style of Second Empire Victorian.

I thank the website, because it spurred me to do some research on Victorian architectural styles.

What about this particular subset of Victorian style lends itself so well to haunted atmospheres? What about elongated dormer windows, towers and Masnard roofs is so terribly attractive to the undead?

Pop culture has many examples.

The Munster Mansion:

The Psycho House:

Disney’s Haunted Mansion, Paris:

I have to admit that Second Empire Victorian is one of my all time favorite architectural styles (you may remember my model DREAM HOUSE).

Maybe the dead just have great taste.


14 Responses to “Second Empire Victorian: The Haunted Archetype”

  1. I second the idea of these being a DREAM HOUSE!! what i wouldn’t give to live in a place like that! I already have the layout in mind; a study and library, themed rooms (the asian room, the 50’s room ect.) a small section devoted to the sciences (and particulary to the 19th century naturalist movement) a studio for art and plenty, PLENTY of antiques and oddities. In fact, it is my intention to buy a big ol’ victorian mansion, fill it with junk for the majority of my life and when I die leave it as a museum to the public.

  2. Many years ago my wife and I spent our first night in a B&B and it was in the Baird Mansion aka The Magnolia Plantation. This stay prompted us to continue to stay in B&B’s rather than hotels/motels and eventually purchase an old Queen Anne in Moultrie, GA to turn into a B&B. The Second Empire style is our favorite but unfortunately they are extremely difficult to find in the South, particularly one that is for sale.

    The Baird Mansion has been meticulously restored and is a treat for the eye as well as the body.

    Joe and Cindy were, and I’m sure still are, the perfect Inkeepers! Thanks for a beautiful memory!

    If the opportunity to stay at this B&B presents itsself, take it!

  3. Says:

    I came across this page when discovering other house styles. I’m just a college student, but I am sometimes called an ‘old soul.’ I don’t know if I was a Victorian person in another life, but I sure love French Second Empire Victorian architecture. There are about a half dozen houses near my house that are constructed in this style, one of them is my ‘dream house,’ boasting a full wrap-around porch, tall narrow entry doors and windows, and my favorite, the awesome slate mansard roof. So if I did have to build a house some day, and I had a couple million dollars, it would be a fabulous Second Empire Victorian with matching carriage house and gazebo. There are still young people who appreciate old homes. I live in New England, so plenty of architecture!

  4. Very interesting topic , thankyou for putting up. “Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity.” by
    Johann von Goethe.

  5. Somee really select posts on that site, saved to bookmarks.

  6. love those places. such character!

  7. I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering
    issues with your blog. It seems like some of the written text in your content are running off the
    screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me
    know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a
    issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously.

  8. It isn’t “Disney’s Haunted Mansion in Paris”. it is at Paris Disneyland but it is called ‘The Phantom Manor’

  9. Savoy IL Says:

    Second Empire is really creepy, I wouldn’t go in there no matter how many Scooby Snacks you offered!

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