In late 2015, Michelle Williams closed on a historic victorian house (technically: “Colonial Revival”) on Albemarle road in Ditmas Park. This past March, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission approved her architect’s plans to restore and renovate—a requirement for this address because it lands within the Prospect Park South Historic district. Just recently, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that restoration had begun, and included this picture of Michelle’s new, bright-white cedar clapboard:
But I’m curious: just how many ghosts are hiding behind that “great-looking historically appropriate façade”?
Answer? Probably a bunch—and worth every penny of the $2.5 million Michelle reportedly paid, in cash. At over 100 years old, the home, which is surrounded by tall trees on an ample corner, is basically riddled with haunts, most likely. There are 18 rooms and 8 fireplaces, which adds up to at least 26 ghosts, not including the porches, basement, or grounds (and we all know ghosts love basements and grounds).
The likeliest haunt is the original owner, lumber baron J.C. Woodhull (yep, his name has wood in it) and whoever he was married to, which doesn’t seem to hold much historical significance. She’s probably tearing up the place these days.
The genius architects, Carroll Pratt and Robert Bryson (it is suggested, by Brownstoner, that they were on some “heavy architectural steroids” at the time of construction) built several other homes in the area, all of them haunted, probably by Bryson and Pratt themselves, and maybe by their historically insignificant wives as well. Or perhaps Bryson and Pratt are tearing up all of Victorian Flatbush, just the two of them?
Whoever appears in these portraits—situated above one of Michelle’s eight fireplaces—is definitely rattling pans at night.
This room seems weird, and the ghost of whoever decorated it is the only person who could possibly live here, because they’re the only person who could properly enjoy it.
The SoHo loft building that hosted Heath Ledger’s untimely death has been converted to condos: likely as anything, Heath has moved over to Albemarle road to check on his ex-wife and daughter Matilda. I’m not saying he’s there all the time, but peep this clawfoot bathtub. Who wouldn’t want to drop in every once awhile?
It’s a very special mansion, and Michelle is lucky to own it. She told a friend of Ditmas Park Corner, “I love living somewhere that feels like the suburbs but is next to an express train.” You might just need that train more than you know, Michelle! Let us know if you have any problems at all, and welcome to the neighborhood.