Johnny's movies

Bela Lugosi mansion: the legend of an estate plenty of mystery

Posted in Books, Johnny Depp, movies by Anna Maria Polidori on November 20, 2014

Johnny Depp  normal_venice_2004_photocall_006 owned Bela Lugosi Estate for a long time. The story of this incredible and exclusive mansion


Bela Lugosi  Bela Lugosi was the most famous horror’s actor of the old generation. Hungarian, and born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó in 1882, he died at Los Angeles in 1956. He became very famous because of his great interpretation of Dracula. Of course he was very rich and owned a lot of properties all around the USA. A legend wants that he also owned the so-called Bela Lugosi castle/mansion now baptized Castle La Paloma located at the 2835 Westshire Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90068 Hollywood Hills, Usa, in case you would be interested to send a postcard to the new owner.

Bela Lugosi however has never bought or rented the Bela Lugosi Mansion although he could have bought/rent it. But so….Why this legend?


This castle, very recent, has a long and interesting story.


Thanks to Lory for the picture


It was built and wanted by George Campbell Carson. Mr Carson was a miner in trouble with the mines companies. He spent a lot of time of his life in court fighting for his own rights. After a very long period, something like 19 years he was in grade in 1925 of winning and received $1,000,000, something like $50,000,000 today.

Married in 1927, the big idea born in collaboration with his wife: the construction of a great mansion originally called Mt.Kalmia. It hadn’t to be a normal house but an exclusive, at time pretty eccentric and extravagant, in a very good sense, mansion. Not, of course, for all the wallets.


There were rounded turrets and towers, battlements, seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, two sun desk. There was a music room, coffe-room, solarium, library, billiard-room, refectory, a butler’s pantry, grocery and laundry rooms, and quarters for maids and chauffeurs. 125 grilled windows. The drawing room was an original Louis XVI. In total the house is 90 feet.


Although it didn’t exactly appeared like to be a little house, this mansion was constructed in a very short time: just six years for being completed and cost $500,000. It was 1933.
Unfortunately as we say in Italy, “Completed the house, dead the bird”, mr.Carson died in 1934. The widow stayed in the house for several years, but being immense in 1941 was wisely rented by Patricia Noblesse Hogan.


During the years the house has known a lot of owners.


It passed to Manuel Haig and once Manuel Haig sold it, Noah Dietrich lived there for some years in the 1950’s like also legendary Motown Barry Gordy. Gordy  discovered the Jackson Five and Michael Jackson’s legend started thanks to him. Gordy lived in the Bela Lugosi mansion in the 1960s and 1970s hosting in the castle memorable parties for hundreds of people and that years are still legendaries.

Later Barry Gordy sold the house to an attorney, Marvin Mitchelson. The attorney lost the property because of a case of bankruptcy. Convicted for a story of tax fraud. Johnny Depp bought this mansion in 1995 paying it $2.3 millions.

This mansion is suggestive and reminding to the beautiful European castles located in Bavaria, Germany.

Hollywood tour guides for this reason decided of telling a little lie to the tourists, during the tour of the various mansions of the stars: they started to tell to the tourists that that mansion was once property of Bela Lugosi. Bela Lugosi realistically never lived in that mansion.

Irony wants that anyway the mansion was called after him per decades.
The house is also known as The Carson’s Mt. Kalmia House from the creators of the house.
The original entrance gates were at the 8311 Sunset. Today at the 1486 North Sweetzer. This one was the original servants’ and service entrance.


For the enthusiastic of the Gothic genre no tears because Bela Lugosi didn’t lived exactly in that estate, because maybe maybe it’s possible to find some ghosts still in the house. Ghosts without peace because of their abrupt and unwanted departure.

Yes, well, the house is of course very recent, and it’s true that there have been a lot of passages in term of property, so the house shouldn’t keep a lot of memory of the passage of everyone, but. …

A house has a soul and a horrible murder and great horror took place in that mansion as well.

In the 80s in fact the house was bought by the criminal lawyer Frank R.Saletri. He had written, produced special effects for the 1973 movie Blackstein and in 1975 he directed a movie called Black the Ripper, maybe fascinate by the story of Jack The Ripper.

Saletri was found shot in 1982 in the house and this murder never solved.

It must be a beautiful mansion for sure. A friend of Saletri stopping by two times in the house commenting in 2010: “It was a very cool place. Spiral staircase from floor to floor. Secret passage from room to room which you would access by pulling open a coffin that was on the wall.”



Anna Maria Polidori


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