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American Horror Story: Legal battle over Season One's Murder House

Contributed by
Feb 11, 2018

Scary things happen on FX's American Horror Story, but the real terrors take place in the American legal system. According to TheWrap, a lawsuit was filed by Dr. Ernst R. von Schwarz and Pier Angela Oakenfold who bought the Los Angeles mansion used as the Murder House in the first season of American Horror Story. They alledge that the previous owners did not disclose that the mansion was used for filming in the anthology series created by Ryan Murphy. 

Dr. von Schwarz and Oakenfold are suing on grounds of breach of contract as well as “fraudulent concealment," leaks, water damage, and mold, pursuing monetary damages of around $3 million. The defendants are Stephen John Apelian and Joyce Bowman Rey, agents of Coldwell Banker who brokered the sale. Elizabeth Axelrod sold the property from Greta von Steinbaur’s estate and is also implicated in the case brought by the plaintiffs. 

“Unbeknownst to the plaintiffs, and not disclosed by Defendants, hundreds of fans of the TV show would come to the property, trespass, attempt to break in, and created a significant nuisance not only for the Seller, but for the neighbors as well,” says the official lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of California (via TheWrap). 

"It is very disappointing when any client involved in a real estate transaction is unhappy. I have no doubt that the truthful facts of this case will resolve this matter in our favor," Apelian told SYFY WIRE over email. 

Season One focused on the Harmon family moving from Boston to Los Angeles and settling in a mansion haunted by ghosts. It starred Jessica Lange (AHS regular), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story: Asylum), Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Kate Mara (Fantastic Four), Eric Stonestreet (The Loft), and Charles S. Dutton (Alien 3), among others.

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