There’s no place like home, especially if you live in one of these bizarre abodes. From houses that double as nuclear bunkers, to zany structures that are more art than architecture, and even homes that are straight off the screen, these bizarre houses are the most unique in America.
1. Luna Parc, New Jersey
The whimsical abode and ambitious masterpeice of artist Ricky Boscarino, this Sussex County home has been under perpetual construction and renovation since 1989. It's covered in handmade art, bizarre artifacts, stained glass, stringed instruments, taxidermy, religious icons, and almost anything else you could imagine. Though this is a private residence, it is occasionally open to the public for special events.
2. The Sluice House, Idaho
This second-hand and antique shop was built by Larry Carter – he cobbled the structure together by hand, choosing each item with care. Once located in downtown Idaho city, the original shop was relocated to this 19th century building in 1996. The store is a maze of rooms, hidden passageways, false rooms, and a tower that was built as an “open invitation” to any wandering spirits.
3. The Prairie Chicken House, Oklahoma
In 1961, Herb Greene caused a worldwide sensation when he unveiled his new home. Built according to principles of “organic modernism,” the home was featured in magazines and newspapers throughout Europe and Asia. The walls are constructed from countless cider shingles and the home was aligned to resist strong winds and absorb sunlight. The kitchen and family room are perfectly positioned to catch the early morning rays of sunrise breaking over the prairie.
4. Munster Mansion, Texas
So, you love a T.V. show. I mean, you really love it. Do you: A) buy a t-shirt? B) have an all-night Netflix marathon? C) turn your family home into a replica of the television show’s set? D) wait, what? The McKee family is so infatuated with The Munsters, that their Waxahachie house is an exact replica of the fictional family’s home. Some of their furniture is even from the original set. The McKee family holds an annual open house, which I can only assume is B.Y.O.C. Bring your own cobwebs.
5. Subterra Castle, Kansas
This 1950’s nuclear bunker has been hacked into a two-story family home….and it’s a definite bombshell. Owners Ed and Dianna Peden purchased the property for a mere $40,000 and turned the industrial space into a lavish and luxurious underground sanctuary. This 11,000 square-foot residence comes complete with a solar greenhouse, a state of the art kitchen, and lots of personality.
6. The Paper House, Massachusetts
This bizarre home is constructed entirely of newspaper. That includes the furniture, the walls, and even the fireplace. The only thing that isn’t entirely made of newspaper is the roof, which has been shingled. Built in 1922 as a summer home by Elis F. Stenman, a mechanical engineer who designed the machines that make paper clips, the Paper House features a grandfather clock made of newspapers featuring all 48 states – at the time of construction, Hawaii and Alaska had not joined the union. Today, Stenman’s grand-niece looks after the curious structure. The Rockport Paper House is open to curious visitors for tours.
7. Bart Prince Residence and Studio, New Mexico
This unusual home was built by architect Bart Prince. The structure features flowing and curved walls, organic forms, and colorful designs. But this home is more than just a pretty face: the structure is solar-powered and harnesses the energy of the hot Albuquerque sun to fuel its utilities. The curved portion of passive-solar building contains the house’s bedrooms, while the tower serves as a library and storage area.
8. The Twisted House, Indiana
Located at the Indianapolis Art Center, the Twisted House is a fairy tale come to life. This whimsical structure is the work of artist John McNaughton, who stated that one of his goals in making the sculpture was to create an interactive sculpture that engages the viewer’s imagination. Though its not big enough to be a residence (for humans, that is), this adorable house is sure to delight kids and grownups alike.
9. The Smith Mansion, Wyoming
This zany house is made of logs gathered from Rattle Snake Mountain and features five stories of bumpy slide staircases, balconies, and unfinished rooms. The mansion was the pet project of Francis Lee Smith, an engineer with a lot of time on his hands. He spent 12 years building this structure with no definite plan or architectural blueprints. Smith’s wife divorced him due to the excessive time and money he poured into the mansion, and Smith eventually fell to his death while working on a balcony in strong winds. This home now sits abandoned on a hill overlooking the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway.
10. The Mushroom House, Ohio
This unusual home was designed by architect Terry Brown, a former architecture and interior design professor at the University of Cincinnati. Construction took about 12 years, with Brown employing his students and local artisans to help design the home’s intricate architecture.
11. The Plane House, Mississippi
In the mid-1990s, Jo Ann Ussery was on the hunt for the perfect mobile home. You can’t get more mobile than a Boeing 747. Usury’s brother worked as an air traffic controller and suggested she buy an old aircraft, rather than a traditional trailer home. Ussery paid $2,000 for the plane, $4,000 to have it moved to her lakefront property, and $25,000 to have it renovated into her dream home. After six months of renovations, most of which were done by Ussery, the plane was completely transformed. The aircraft contains 1,300 sq. feet of living space, which includes three bedrooms, a living room, a fully-equipped kitchen and two bathrooms. The home also features a Jacuzzi in the cockpit that overlooks the lake down below.
12. The Mushroom House, New York
Mushroom House was built in 1972 by architect James Johnson. It consists of 80-ton concrete pods that are built into the side of a hill. There are no straight lines built into the structure, which gives the home an extremely organic feel, but must make it a pain to arrange furniture. Handmade, colorful tiles and groovy mahogany doors make this home a fabulously funky landmark.
13. Caveland, Missouri
This subterranean home has a colorful history. First used as a mine, Caveland transformed into a roller skating rink and concert venue in the 1980s. It hosted such famous performers as Tina Turner, Bob Segar, and Ted Nugent. The venue closed in 1985 and the Sleeper family purchased the property on eBay in 2003. Since then, it has been converted into their family home. The interior includes two levels, 17,000 square feet of living space, and a natural ground-water spring pool.
14. The Cedar Peak Treehouse, Washington
Built right into the massive body of a 200 year-old Western Red Cedar tree, this unique home is the mother of all treehouses. The best part? If you have some spare change (about a thousand dollars worth), you can stay overnight. Originally constructed in 2003, this incredible home is only accessible via an 82-foot high spiral staircase, which has been consistently rated as one of the top twenty spiral staircases in the world. I guess there’s a list of those lying somewhere.
15. The Pavilion, California
Located on Black's Beach, this private residence is the guest home to the main house located at the top of the beach's cliff. A 300-foot tram, as seen in the picture, links the two properties. I think the odds are 9 out of 10 that this arrangement was designed with the in-laws in mind.
This house is not a home. Though it may look like a typical family abode, this place actually serves an unexpected purpose. I’m not going to spoil the surprise. Watch the video for the secret of the house on Wade Avenue.
Have you visited any of these bizarre homes? Can you think of any others? Let us know!