The 5 Most Sinister Mansions in the Houston Area

So it turns out that people may not want to live in a murder mansion. Go figure.

And if you're Seabrook resident Nir Golan, you don't want to live in a mansion that's been built on and/or near the site of a murder mansion either. Even if you're unsure as to the actual location of the original house.

You see, Nir Golan leased a waterfront house off of Todville Road in Seabrook recently, but he was apparently unaware that his rental steal with scenic views also came with a sinister history, and according to Golan, ghosts.

Golan claims those ghosts and creepy apparitions are because his rental house, and the entire subdivision, are built right on the plot of land where the Todville Murder Mansion -- or the List Mansion, in less dramatic terms -- used to sit.

The List Mansion on Todville Road was a sprawling, multistory home overlooking the Galveston Bay. Built by multimillionaire and known sex offender Bill List, who did a prison stint in 1959 for molesting teenage boys, the home came complete with an indoor swimming pool, a glass wall overlooking the bay, and a catwalk that connected the two wings.

As a bonus, the mansion also looked like a prison from the exterior view, and came complete with burglar bars on the exterior windows, making for quite a difficult exit, should anyone -- or teenage boys, perhaps -- want to get out.

Good ol' Bill used that sprawling mansion to house the teenage boys he'd pick up in Montrose, who he would have "house sit." The Todville Mansion was always full of boys, who he'd ply with drugs and alcohol in return for sex.

List went about his creepy mansion business undisturbed, right up to the day that one of those teenage boys -- Elbert Ervin Homan, or "Smiley -- shot him upon his return home in '84.

The mansion sat unoccupied for many years, with virtually no interest from buyers, despite it remaining on the market. A number of caretakers came in and out, but reports of strange creatures and shadows were abundant from them, so no one stayed long.

The place finally burned to the ground and was demolished, only to be replaced by the neighborhood that Golan is now renting in a decade later. And Golan, who claims he didn't know the story of the Todville Murder Mansion, is apparently creeped out by the entire situation.

But dude. It's not like this story isn't layered into Houston's history. It's a relatively well-known murder mansion, and people have been talking about the story for decades. The neighborhood that sits right next to where the List Mansion was -- Bay Vista -- even changed its name from "Gay Vista" to deter attention from the area. Perhaps Golan should have done his homework on the creepy murders in the area, no?

But don't worry, Golan. If you get out of that lease, and we're hoping for you cause ghosts and all, we wouldn't want you to make the same mistake again. So call us your ghost mansion knights in shining armor, cause we're here to help you from renting a creepy house where a murder mansion once sat.

Here are five other creepy mansions in Houston, for your reading -- and educational -- enjoyment. Or perhaps for your lease agreement, if you're Golan.

5. Wichita Street Mystery House So we're not saying that we know too terribly much about the history of this creepy old place, other than it's kind of cool in a strangely unnerving way, what with all the turrets and such, but we do know that there's a good chance we wouldn't want to accidentally sign our life away on a lease to it. Or on the deed to it, for that matter. It is for sale, after all.

So the former owner, Charles Fondow, spent about 31 years of his life on the never-ending renovation project for this Riverside Terrace home. He sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into the ongoing renovations, adding a slew of strange aesthetics, from coffered ceilings to turrets and gables. The project was ongoing until Fondow passed away at a hospital in Barbados after falling ill on a cruise, and the house has been for sale several times since.

Sinister? Meh. But it sure is a bit creepy, and we think Golan should steer clear of it, considering he's weirded out by a house that sits on a plot of land where one person died once, a long time ago. We can't imagine what a mystery house would do.

This story continues on the next page.

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Angelica Leicht
Contact: Angelica Leicht