Not all that long before the pandemic hit, Ghost Adventures star Zak Bagans made headlines when he purchased the house made famous by a terrible double murder in eastern Los Feliz, an upscale neighborhood in Los Angeles. It was at this house where, after midnight of August 10, 1969 Charles Manson and three of his followers brutally stabbed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca to death, aged 44 and 39 years, respectively. This was the night after the bloodbath on Cielo Drive left five dead at Sharon Tates home (plus Sharon’s unborn child as she was eight months pregnant).
It was assumed that Bagans would turn this macabre purchase into another documentary, like his “Demon House” venture, where he purchased an Indiana house that had been the location of a recent exorcism, or at least a series of episodes for the series “Ghost Adventures.” After all he did purchase a 1938 haunted house in Las Vegas. Not only does it now serve as a haunted attraction (aptly called The Haunted Museum), but Bagans has made use of the space, basing several episodes of Ghost Adventures on the items within.
In a paranormal news side note: The latest addition to the collection as of press time is a portion of James Dean’s death car. Elements of this car, seemingly no matter how small the piece, seems to carry some negative or cursed energy with it. We shall see if new chapter to this legend unfolds at the museum.
So, what happened in Los Feliz? And how much of a money suck was this for Bagans?
- Bagans purchased the home in September 2019 for $1,889,000.
- Just about a year later, October 2020, Bagans put the house back up for sale, apparently looking to flip it for a cool profit as he initially listed it at $2.2 million.
- By April 2021 the price had dropped to $1,999,000
- In June 2021 a sale was finalized for the price of $1,875,000, $14,000 less than what he had paid for it. However, that’s not the full story on the losses…
$14,000 in paid/sold losses + $34,700 (est) as the cost of a year and a half of property taxes + $154,800 in estimated closing costs for a grand total of a business loss of over $203,500. Wow.
Now, while Zak Bagans can be a polarizing figure within the paranormal investigation world, I am not here to celebrate a failure. Hell, that’s bad karma and could only be read as jealousy as I own 0% as many Lamborghinis as Bagans. I can’t say I’m a big fan, but he is an entertaining host and I’ve seen nearly every episode. It doesn’t hurt that we made a drinking game out of watching (click this sentence to download the PDF).
But this reversal does remind me of Trent Reznor’s purchase of the Sharon Tate home & murder site. The industrial rocker/producer & Nine Inch Nails frontman, Reznor likely thought about the headlines and how producing music at a famous murder site would reflect how dark and edgy his music is. In addition to his own work, he also produced music for Marilyn Manson and Tori Amos here. But it wasn’t until meeting Sharon Tate’s sister who asked him if he was trying to exploit their family tragedy that he finally realized that he may be aligning himself with Charlie Manson. Now feeling some level of shame, Reznor moved out. After Reznor left the Cielo Drive location, the next owner bulldozed the property. Did Bagans have a similar crisis of conscious?
I have to be honest here in that if a Ghost Adventures episode was filmed at this location, I would certainly watch it. This house has been very hidden, off limits to curiosity-seekers, even its address was changed in order to make the place a little harder to find. From the street, there’s little to see beyond the driveway and garage. So, a deeper look into the home, even on television, would be fascinating. Not to mention that we don’t actually know if there is any paranormal activity associated with this location. One would assume a negative cloud if nothing else, but a ghastly residual haunting would be understandable too. For the sake of the LaBiancas, I hope they are resting peacefully on the other side.
The Zillow listing for the site (yes, I’ll provide the link at the bottom) mentions that the LaBianca house (no, the listing never mentions the LaBiancas or the history of the site) starts with the call, “Attention builders/developers/flippers/history buffs and those looking add their touches to reimagine one of LA’s most unique properties.” It seems to beg the new owners to either see this as a remodel opportunity or even as a great location for a tear-down and rebuild. The 1922-built home is on .71 prime acres of land, so perhaps this 100-year-old home is nearing the end of its life, which would remove one more connection to the Charles Manson story… a story that shouldn’t be celebrated, but likewise, a story that should not be forgotten.
If anyone is curious, we don’t have information, one way or the other if the house built on top of the Tate/Folger/Frykowski/Parent/Sebring/Polanski murders has any hauntings associated with it (one very flamboyant neighbor thinks his house has attracted the souls lost on that day). The good news for you, industrious ghost hunter, is that the house at the end of Cielo Drive is available for rent! The 21,000 square foot mansion is available for the low low price of $250,000 per month (plus the $500,000 security deposit). If you do rent the house for investigating, drop me a line – I’ll happily bring the pizza!