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The Real Deal Los Angeles

‘American Horror Story’ house has become a nightmare: lawsuit

Owners of the $3M home claim "daily intrusions" from fans
By Dennis Lynch | February 08, 2018 05:00PM

The Rosenheim Mansion (Credit: Wikipedia)

What a nightmare.

The owners of the “American Horror Story” house in Olympic Park have sued the brokers who negotiated the $3.2 million deal and the former owner for failing to disclose its connection to the FX show.

Since the couple purchased the home in 2015, it has become a “macabre tourist attraction” for fans of the horror show who “trespass, attempt to break in, and [create] a significant nuisance,” according to the lawsuit.

Dr. Ernst von Schwarz and Angela Oakenfold purchased the mansion at 1120 Westchester Place, also known as the Rosenheim Mansion, from Elizabeth Axelrod. The mansion’s starring role in the show, which first aired in 2011, was not disclosed. The suit was filed Wednesday in LA County Superior Court.

Stephan Apelian and Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker, who are defendants in the suit, brokered the deal and represented both parties. When reached by phone, Apelian said he could not comment. Rey did not immediately return a call for comment.

An attorney for Coldwell Banker said the company had not been formally served, and could not comment on the suit. Axelrod could not be reached for comment.

The new owners began noticing fans of the show turning up outside the home and on the property “almost immediately,” their attorney, Doug Vanderpool, told The Real Deal. They have “weekly” break-ins and recently have become particularly concerned since having a baby, he said. The 10,000-square-foot house has six bedrooms and five bathrooms.

“A week before I first visited them [to work on the case], they had been awakened by the sound of glass breaking — someone came in through the window in the kitchen,” Vanderpool said. The couple called the police.

Vanderpool said the seller and the brokers had a duty to disclose the home’s role in the show and the frequent visitors it attracts, and specifically signed off that there were no nuisances in the neighborhood to disclose. The suit claims the buyers would not have purchased the home if they knew its connection.

He added that the seller and brokers failed to mention the house was haunted by two ghosts, a point that was not included in the complaint.

Oakenfold, who is an actress, and von Schwartz, a cardiologist, also allege that Axelrod did not follow through with repairs required by the mansion’s status as a historic home with the city, but did benefit from the tax breaks the status provided.

The couple does not plan to sell the mansion and are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.