The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

My Photo
Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Long Time Coming . . .

Easter came and went without too much fanfare.  Cold rain, power outages, all the teenage cousins being herded through an inter-dimensional portal to China by a five year old, and coffee with a parole officer.  Really, it was a pretty tame affair.

Anyhow, I finally got around to taking a picture of the new front door.  While a full twenty some percent of you think that I will be burning in hell, it really doesn't look as bad as I imagined it.  The fact that it opens and closes with ease is a bit seductive too.

And, for the astute few of you out there who are wondering what in the hell is hanging from the doorknob, that would be our real estate agent's lock box.

That is right.  If you want an old Victorian possessed and brimming with a full century of evil, this house is for you.  Also, we're already done all the hard work.  Finish the paint job, refinish a few floors, and mow the lawn and that is it.  Enjoy old evil with all the modern amenities. 

For those you who are wonder how or why we could put the Devil Queen up for sale, that is another story which I'll tell soon.  However, until that time, here is a little bit for you to think about: $4.00 a gallon gasoline.

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Blogger Jayne said...

Oh, no! You're selling the Devil Queen?? But aren't your souls intertwined with that of the house? Won't selling her tear the fabric of the underworld?? Oh, maybe that's what you're hoping...

1:34 AM  
Blogger Tarr said...

Tarr wants you to move to Midland St. in Little Rock. We can get you a heck of a deal. Your child would be giddy with delight.

6:57 AM  
Blogger John said...

Jayne, yes they were. But I'm all for a good, old fashioned exorcism. So, yes, you are correct. The underworld will be torn asunder.

Tarr, I'm interested. What have you got? At this point, a rental would be wonderful if noting else. Tempt me.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Tarr said...

Tarr says that there is a fixer upper house at 209 Midland Street. There are others.

6:37 PM  
Blogger StuccoHouse said...

Damn, you are one of the old timer bloggers - that group that was first there when Houseblogs started. It's getting to the point that so many have sold or fallen silent that I'm starting to feel alone. So, the next place will be old & require you to blog too, no?

10:32 PM  
Blogger Jayne said...

Stucco House, I'm hoping for that, too. Houseblogs won't be the same without John's unique voice!

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's sad. :-( But I think I understand, it's a lot of work you put in, and as young as you are, sometimes staying in one place just isn't the best course of action. I hope to hear more from you and your family working on a new (or at least new to you) house. :-) Good luck with the sale! :-)

10:15 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Oh damn -- I was so enjoying your posts about your house! I hope it sells for a wonderful profit, and you will find something else that is wonderful.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a bummer. Ditto comments above. Petro is a buck .97 in Texas.

10:36 AM  
OpenID ottawa-emptor said...

Time to get the fuck outta the Ark. You'll need a young priest, an old priest, and a shitload of salt. Bring me a bible. It's time to leave The Devil Queen!!

-- Janine

PS. Ever thought about Canada? How'd you like to try the cold instead of hurricanes and fall out zones?

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, I've really enjoyed your blog. Sorry to hear that you're leaving the 'Queen, but you have to do what's best for you and your family. That said, have you considered compiling your blog entries into a book? Your writing and wit have been a lot of fun, and it would be great to see everything put together. Hope you think about it!!

6:41 AM  
Blogger John said...

Tara, I'll take a look at Midland. Great location, but I may be in the rental market only for the short term. Still, never hurts to look.

Stucco House, I know what you mean, but don't feel too alone. We're with you in spirit. Besides which, I'm sure that I'll end up with another house sooner or later. It's like friggin' disease. Once you've caught it, it can be hard to shake.

Anonymous 1, thanks!

Diane, thanks! But, unless inflation hits Weimar-like proportions, it is pretty unlikely that we'll profit.

Anonymous 2, it's about that much in Arkansas now, but we never really recovered from the days of $4.00 gasoline. I'm not convinced that they are not coming back again either.

Ottawa-Emptor, we're going to have to get together and have a drink sometime. I couldn't have said it better myself. I've considered Canada before and applied to grad school there back in the day. They sent a very polite letter informing me that a 4 year college degree in America did not qualify me for grad school in Canada, so fuck off and stay south of the boarder. I've done the cold before. Still, I may have to visit anyway.

Anonymous 3, thanks! I have considered this from time to time. I never did much with the idea because I felt like I needed an ending before I started. I may have that soon. The damn house owes me a book deal at least after all the money we've pissed away on her. Breaking even would be getting ahead in my book.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Amalie said...

Well, I just saw this, and while I'll be sad not to read more about the house, I know it has sucked a lot out of you guys. But you're right-- it is a disease. I can't imagine what I'll do if we ever (hahahaha!) finish work on our place. But I suppose Ark is brimming with old houses in need of attention. We're certainly not at a loss for needy homes...I imagine I'll find a fixer upper again, somehow. Whether I want to or not!

Keep us all updated.

9:02 AM  
Blogger John said...

Amalie, you are right, no shortage of old homes in need of help in Arkansas (or elsewhere I imagine). I'll certainly keep you and everyone else updated.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm one of the old-timers at Houseblogs. I signed on in early 2005. I was shocked and amazed at Fixer-Upper's departure and am every bit as surprised at yours. It has been ages since I've looked as I've been so busy with other things, but yours and Crack House have been two of my faves over the years.

Your artwork is truly fabulous and I have my fingers crossed that your home sells quickly so that you can get on with things!

Good luck :)

-Folksy Lady (Jackson, MI)

6:18 PM  
Blogger John said...

Thank you Folksy Lady!

7:14 AM  
Blogger KYP said...

I've commented only once or twice, but I'm wearing my Devil Queen t-shirt as I type (am at work doing late night catchup on a weekend!), and I've read your blog for a couple of years now, ever since the post about your mother-in-law's tale of woe that won her the year's "dumbass award." Hope you sell the Queen but don't leave off blogging--or writing in general. The house tale would be a great backstory for a booklength ramble on the craziness of AK as you've described it here! P.S. If you, Scarlet and Gideon are ever back in the DC area, drop me a line...

6:02 PM  
Blogger John said...


Thanks! I'm glad you've enjoyed it and stuck with us through it all. I don't know when we'll make it back east, but if we do, we'll look you up.


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