But then, strange things started to occur. Mary Pickford standing on the front steps of Pickfair.

Legend has it that paranormal activity at Pickfair went all the way back to its original owners, Pickford and Fairbanks. Circa 1920. She said she often heard the sound of laughing women, stating they were those who allegedly died in the hands of Fairbanks during secret affairs in the mansion’s numerous bedrooms. Their subsequent films did not garner much attention either, causing Fairbanks to retire from acting completely after 1934. An invitation to a party at this lavish mansion was truly a golden ticket.

However, it didn’t take long for her to start seeing and hearing strange things in the home herself — including the laughing woman. Valuable art pieces that adorned the walls of the mansion included rare antiquities from the couple’s travels to the Orient, furniture from the Barberini Palace and Baroness Burdett-Coutts estate, and paintings by Paul DeLongpre and Philip Mercier. She explained on the show, “If I had a choice, I never would have torn down this old home.

Naturally, Zadora suspected it was just her child’s imagination or the stress of moving homes. To be invited to a gathering at Pickfair meant you were part of the elite Hollywood circle, reserved for only the richest, most glamorous, and powerful people of the time. It was her young daughter, who came running and crying about a woman staring at her in the bedroom. Although she loved Pickfair and the nostalgia and history of its walls, she had no choice but to secure her investment and demolish it in place for something new. The couple reportedly saw the spirit of a female servant multiple times.

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks in a canoe in their swimming pool. The Venetian Palazzo-style house that replaced Pickfair. Here’s how it became a prominent part of Hollywood — and why it was ultimately destroyed. The mansion would eventually be sold to Jerry Buss, the owner of the LA Lakers. Earlier, she had claimed termites, but she admitted that the house was haunted. Every item on Calisphere has been contributed to the site by a California institution. Although Zadora originally said that termites were the reason for demolishing the house, she changed her story during a 2012 episode of the show Celebrity Ghost Stories, when she claimed that Pickfair was haunted. This was to be known as Pickfair (a combination of their two names), an 18-acrre estate overlooking Beverly Hills, which had an impressive 25 bedrooms, guest wings, tennis courts, swimming pool, and a collection of rare antiquities. Pickford remained in the home and eventually married again, to actor Charles “Buddy” Rogers. One of Pickfair’s 25 bedrooms Although the couple’s life playing house in the mansion and throwing lavish parties seemed like the stuff dreams were made off, there was trouble behind closed doors. Pickfair was also the first house in Los Angeles to build an in-ground swimming pool, where the iconic portrait of the couple rowing a canoe took place. A foodie, wanderlust victim, professional Francophile, and history nerd, Andrew Milne is a freelance writer who has worked at outlets like Bon Appétit and Food Network, and currently runs content at, 21 Startling Images Of India's Biggest Landfill That's Almost As Tall As The Taj Mahal, Scientists Recover Full Human Genome From A 5,700-Year-Old Piece Of Chewing Gum, What Stephen Hawking Thinks Threatens Humankind The Most, 27 Raw Images Of When Punk Ruled New York, Join The All That's Interesting Weekly Dispatch. Glamourous parties and get togethers at Pickfair boasted A-list guest lists that included Charlie Chaplin, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Greta Garbo, Albert Einstein, Joan Crawford, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Gloria Swanson, the King and Queen of Siam, and Franklin D. Roosevelt and wife Eleanor.

Getty ImagesMary Pickford standing on the front steps of Pickfair. The property had a colorful history highlighted by extravagant parties, famous owners, and claims of paranormal activity. Pickfair changed hands once more in 1988. I wonder, if they were going to demolish it, why they bought it in the first place.”, For her part, Zadora defended the decision: “If I had a choice, I never would have torn down this old home. They were Hollywood’s first “It-Couple”, starring in numerous box office and critical successes during the Silent Era. RELATED READS: The Upcoming Museum of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) is Holy Land for Cinema Lovers. Wikimedia CommonsThe Venetian Palazzo-style house that replaced Pickfair. Then learn about other haunted places in the world that’ll terrify even non-believers. Wikimedia CommonsMary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks enjoying Pickfair’s pool. The Pickfair Estate: A Short History on the Beverly Hills Mansion Turned Haunted House, The Most Haunted Mansions, Castles and Estates in the World, The Upcoming Museum of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) is Holy Land for Cinema Lovers. Many expressed their displeasure for the demolition, including Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who regretted ever selling the historical home of his parents in the first place. Tables set up outside the Pickfair mansion. Look below the item for additional data you may want to include. He even had an underground running track so he could run naked in private. Although Pickfair started out as a wooded property with a small hunting cabin, it quickly became a luxurious estate with a Tudor-style mansion. Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were known as Hollywood royalty during the 1920s. Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesMary Pickford curls up on a divan in the living room of Pickfair. We recommend you include the following information in your citation.

The paranormal activity played a big role in the family’s decision to level the prominent piece of Hollywood history in 1990, leaving only the original gates. sold Pickfair to Los Angeles Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss, went all the way back to its original owners. Specifically, Pickfair referred to the power couple’s lavish 15-acre estate in Beverly Hills, which was a popular meeting place for Hollywood stars. Pickfair was so famous that Life Magazine dubbed it: “a gathering place only slightly less important than the White House… and much more fun.”. One night when her husband was out of town, Zadora heard a blood-curdling scream at night. Although fascinating and rather scary, it makes us wonder, what was it like walking in the palatial halls of the now demolished home of Hollywood’s historic First couple? They replaced the iconic building with a Venetian Palazzo-style mansion. RE: Calisphere: Request high-resolution copy of item for Pickfair Mansion, Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection. It was an architectural marvel, with an impressive art collection and even an … He would sell it to actress Pia Zadora and her husband Meshluam Riklis in 1988. Purchased by the couple in 1919 and transformed by architect Wallace Neff, Pickfair became a 22-room mansion, rumored to be the first private residence in Los Angeles to boast a swimming pool. They were founding members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (or commonly known as the Oscars). Pickford also began her own discrepancies, seen in the company of a wealthy industrialist. It was an architectural marvel, with an impressive art collection and even an old-West saloon. Actress Pia Zadora discusses her ghostly encounters at Pickfair. Through the 1980s, the Busses capitalized on Pickfair’s splendor and reputation to use it to house lucrative fundraisers.


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