Search our themed lists of stigmatized properties and other noteworthy homes
The BTK Murders and The House Addresses Where They Happened
Dennis Rader, known better as the BTK killer, was a serial killer that claimed the lives of 10 individuals over the span of 17 years. His alias, BTK, stood for "Bind, Torture, Kill". Between 1974 and 1991, Rader would send letters to the police and local news outlets detailing the unfortunate fate of his victims. By 2004, the murders were considered cold cases. However, Rader resumed sending letters in 2004, eventually leading to his 2005 arrest. Like many killers, hubris was his downfall. After sending a news outlet a floppy disk, police were able to use metadata from a deleted Microsoft Word file to identify him. Rader was arrested while driving near his home in Park City on February 25, 2005. He was sentenced to 10 consecutive life sentences and is currently incarcerated at the El Dorado Correctional Facility, in solitary confinement for his own protection. Since all of BTK's murder took place in the victims' homes, these following addresses will forever be marred by the heinous acts that took place within.
Stay out of the Basement of These Homes
Shhh! What’s that sound – it’s coming from the basement. You open the door a smidge and peer into the darkness. Is something lurking? Are there secrets down below? You slowly make your descent, down the creaking staircase. Something catches your eye, you hear rustling, and you notice movement in the corner. You brace yourself and prepare for the worst.Maybe you should have stayed upstairs. Here are a few homes where you should not go down to the basement.
3 Homes Where Infamous Killers Lived
Often hidden in plain sight are the properties that once housed some of the world’s most notorious serial killers. While there is seldom anything distinctive about the homes themselves, it is the inhabitants that make these properties noteworthy. To neighbours, these are homes that carry a heavy stigma and serve as a morbid conversation starter. Check out these three homes where infamous killers once lived.
3 Apartments That Give Jane & Finch a Bad Rep
Located in the northwest end of Toronto, ON is a neighborhood known as Jane and Finch. This densely populated area has earned a less than stellar reputation given its disproportionately high crime rate and poor socio-economic conditions. In fact, Jane and Finch has one of the largest concentrations of criminal gang activity in Canada, making it one of the more undesirable locations to live. Some might argue, however, that Jane and Finch is not all bad - but there are most certainly some apartments you should avoid.
10 Terrible Toronto Apartments
If you’re looking to move to Toronto and desire a modestly priced, quality apartment in a safe neighborhood, then I would advise you to consult elsewhere. Instead, this list will provide you with the worst apartments Toronto has to offer – everything from pigeon infested units to havens for homicide.
3 Homes with Unexpected Discoveries
Have you ever moved into a property, surprised to find that the previous owner has left a possession behind? Maybe you find a hammer resting upon a shelf, a chair sitting in the corner of the basement, or even a framed picture covered in cobwebs up in the attic. Well, these aren’t the types of unexpected discoveries we’re going to be talking about here.Instead, we’d like to present you with some most bizarre home discoveries – the ones that truly test the limits of the unexpected.
How an Insane Asylum Shaped this Toronto Neighbourhood
When John Howard designed the Provincial Lunatic Asylum in the 1840s, he envisioned a state-of-the art facility. However, when the facility first opened in 1850, it was understaffed, underfunded, and plagued by overcrowding and pollution that blackened the walls. The institution's negative reputation followed it well into the 20th century, inspiring several name changes. The address itself was even changed from '999 Queen' to '1001 Queen' in 1979. Meanwhile, the bordering neighbourhood of Parkdale was establishing a reputation of its own, particularly South Parkdale. Once known as an affluent neighbourhood with beautiful Victorian mansions, Parkdale began its decline during The Great Depression, and by 1941 many of those stunning mansions had been converted into multi-family dwellings. In fact, 62% of houses constructed as single-family dwellings had multiple household occupancy, twice Toronto’s average at the time. Parkdale was dealt another unfortunate blow when it was cut off from Lake Ontario by the Gardiner Expressway in the late 50s, which saw the neighbourhood's middle class shrink and many of the mansions demolished to make way for the Expressway. Many homes were also demolished in favour of high-rises funded by federal housing programs. It's the late 1970s and South Parkdale has been regarded as a slum for over two decades. The Provincial Lunatic Asylum, or the “Queen Street Mental Health Centre”, as it was called during this time, was trying to distance itself from its stigmatized past. Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital in nearby Mimico was shut down and partially re-merged with the Queen Street facility. Still suffering from overcrowding, the provincial government decided to release many of the patients in favour of community-based care. While a nice idea in theory, the deinstitutionalization of patients was not properly thought out and many mentally ill men and women were left to their own devices without adequate housing or care. Many of Parkdale homes that had been converted to multi-household dwellings, were now used as boarding or rooming houses. In addition, many rooming house units were converted into illegal 'bachelorette' mini-apartments that simultaneously contained sleeping, living, and dining space, with a separate bathroom. By 1985, most former patients were living in unofficial boarding houses, with only a small number living in the 39 official group homes in the neighbourhood. Instead of being treated as people in need, the community saw former patients as 'crazy' and dangerous. Parkdale's already unfavorable reputation worsened, with the neighbourhood increasingly being associated with poverty, crime, drugs, and homelessness. Taking a quick look into Housecreep's vault, it's easy to see that although Parkdale has experienced some gentrification in recent years, the neighbourhood is still plagued by many of these same issues.
3 Homes that Could've Been Featured in Breaking Bad
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, we’ll assume you’re familiar with the story of a timid high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, turned fearless meth dealer, as portrayed by actor Brian Cranston in the television show Breaking Bad. While the real life methamphetamine business is likely less interesting, it has seen its fair share of home grown meth labs throughout North America. Here are 3 homes that would make Walter White proud.
church and wellesley
Bruce McArthur: Toronto's Most Prolific Serial Killer
Surely you’ve seen him by now. The ordinary-looking, white-haired man whose face has been plastered all over the news in recent weeks. His name is Bruce McArthur — landscaper, grandfather, mall Santa, and Toronto’s most prolific serial killer. Like something out of an episode of the TV show Dexter, McArthur was hiding in plain sight and led a seemingly normal life. You know, except for the fact he murdered men and hid their remains in planters at the various homes where he offered his landscaping services. When police burst down the door to McArthur’s 19th floor apartment at 95 Thorncliffe Park Drive on January 18th, 2018, a man was found handcuffed to his bed, unharmed. Several of his victims were members of the gay community in Toronto, however, police note that two of the victims do not fit that profile. The disappearance of gay men from the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood has been noted for some time now, with many theorizing the possibility of a serial killer preying on the gay community. In November 2017, Toronto True Crime did a podcast on this subject matter, which can be heard here. It’s still early days of the investigation and while McArthur has been charged with 5 counts of murder so far, the police expect that number to rise. Police are currently checking 30 properties where he may have worked. One home, 53 Mallory Crescent, was found to have skeletal remains of at least three individuals hidden at the bottom of planters. Knowing what we now know, checking out Google Streeview is an eerie experience, as you can see that the home is nicely landscaped with planters sitting at the end of the driveway. It’s not yet known when Bruce McArthur began killing. Currently 66 years old, it’s unlikely that he started killing at an old age. However, if that is indeed the case, it would put him in rare company with the likes of serial killer Albert Fish, who started in his 50s.
3 Ontario Homes that Might be Haunted
Have you ever awoken in the middle of night to strange noises coming from the basement? Perhaps your lights frighteningly flicker or your doors suddenly slam shut? Maybe, your property is built upon an ancient burial ground and ghostly sightings are the norm? Over the years, our members have shared plenty of spine-chilling tales and as a result, Housecreep has established a vault for spooky stories. Well, we’ve unlocked the vault, done our research, and want to present you with the 3 properties that just might be haunted.
3 Homes with a Secret in the Attic
The attic is a place where homeowners seldom visit. While some may use it for storage, others wouldn’t dare set foot in this dark, confined space. Movies often position the attic as a room with a secret - a sinister space. Maybe you’ve hear the pitter patter of ghost feet from above? Or maybe you’ve uncovered something buried under dust and cobwebs? Here are 3 homes with a secret in the attic.
3 Mansions with a Nefarious Past
When we see a mansion, a natural tendency is to associate it with wealth and success. The sprawling gardens, flawless architecture and humungous square-footage leave us slack-jawed, often wishing for something that many of us will never have. Perhaps that’s a good thing? What we seldom realize is that some of these mansions come with a dark past – murder, mystery and sometimes meth. And in these cases, what was once desirable, is no longer. Here are 4 mansions with a nefarious past.
5 Homes from the Movies
Often times, we tend to enjoy movies, not for the story or the actors, but for the memorable homes featured in them. For instance, we all remember the red brick colonial Georgian house from Home Alone. You might be surprised to learn that some of the homes seen in Hollywood’s most iconic films are actually right in your neighborhood. Here are 5 memorable homes from some of your favourite films.
5 Homes You Wouldn't Want to Visit on Halloween
Halloween is an event that both kids and adults can enjoy. There is a variety of costumes, an endless supply of candy and those familiar feelings of fright that exhilarate for the night. However, these next homes aren’t just creepy on Halloween; they’re like this all the time. These homes are so spooky, they should have a sign saying ‘Beware’ since you can’t be sure what creatures or people are lurking within!
These Aren't Homes, They're Tombs
Throughout history, tombs and mausoleums have been constructed to resemble houses. In fact, in prehistoric times, the dead were actually buried inside of their own homes. Tombs were often filled with food, possessions, tools, and other necessities needed for the next life. Fast forward to the 21st century and take a look at these three tombs, er... homes.
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