There are few things in life harder than flipping a house. It takes many hours repairing walls and scrubbing away unsightly stains to get it ready for future homeowners to peruse.
However, no abrasive cleanser or all-purpose spackling paste can remove the stain of a home's infamous history.
A couple in Perryopolis, Pennsylvania, is learning that lesson about real estate the hard way. The home they have been trying to sell since last summer served as one of the key settings in the classic horror film "The Silence of the Lambs."
Director Jonathan Demme picked the two-story, Victorian-style house located at 8 Circle Street in Fayette County to be the home of Jame Gumb, the serial killer nicknamed by law enforcement as "Buffalo Bill" because he skinned his victims. These days, Scott and Barbara Lloyd live in the home used in the 1991 film as Buffalo Bill's HQ. It was put up for sale last summer, but they had to cut the price because they were having trouble finding a buyer, according to the Associated Press.
The Lloyds originally listed their home for $300,000 when it first went up for sale in August of 2015, according to Pittsburg's CBS affiliate KDKA. Since then, they've dropped the price to $250,000 and still haven't been able to find any interested buyers.
It's not just the exterior of the house that viewers can see in the movie. Film crews also shot several scenes in the actual house, including the foyer where FBI agent Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster, discovered that Gumb, played by Ted Levine, is the infamous serial killer. There is also a well under a slab of concrete in the side yard that served as a model for the one seen in the film. I'm sure that last feature is not part of the realtor's tour and if it is, that probably explains why they haven't been able to find a buyer yet.
The listing at Realtor.com describes the two-story home as a historic structure built in 1910 that's "oozing with charm and grace." It has a total of 11 rooms including 5 bedrooms and a full bathroom. The house also has a pool, a gas log fireplace, propane-powered central heating and a detached garage. And yes, it also has a basement, but the listing insists that even though the home comes "complete with pit and Precious too," that it was "all 'movie magic.'"
This Pennsylvania home may by hard to sell because its grisly reputation, but it's not the only house connected to a classic movie that's been hard to get off of the seller's market. The owners of the Highland Park, Illinois, home that served as Cameron's family home in the 1986 John Hughes comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" went up for sale in 2009 with an asking price of $2.3 million. It didn't find a buyer until 2013 who picked it up at the heavily discounted price of $1.5 million, according to Chicago Magazine.
The only way that could have hurt more for the original owner is if the buyer was named Abe Froman.
Check out the scene in "The Silence of the Lambs" that featured the Lloyds' Pennsylvania home.