Monday, November 26, 2012

A Great Location to Inspire You...

This is the San Francisco Cliff house. A seven-story Victorian with a 200-ft observation tower, the third version of the building (the previous one had been destroyed by a ship loaded with dynamite) was known as the 'Gingerbread Palace.' It survived the 1906 earthquake, then burned to the ground one year later.

Irresistibly creepy, right? What if I told you the walls were white, and the roof was a
cheery shade of red...
But on a moonlit night--a different place. I can imagine a woman screaming,
then tumbling from the balcony to the rocks below.

The most famous photo was taken by T. Imei, a Japanese photographer. A copy hangs in my writing room where it creates a wonderful, moody atmosphere.

Sadly, the artist's signature is missing from my print. My hope is that Mr. Imei's estate profited from the sale of his work, though it seems unlikely.

Here's a Tintype from that era:

Someday I'd like to tell a story about these two women (maybe from the horse's point of view?)

I think their names are Emma and Rose.

If you've ever been inspired by a setting, I'd love to hear about it. (And see pics, too!)

(Thanks to the Cliff House Project for the great photos and history.)

Cheers...and Happy Writing!



  1. Have you seen the movie, "The Uninvited" with Ray Milland? It's one of those movies that's creepy/scary/gets-me-everytime.
    It's set in a mansion on a cliff over the ocean, too, but I think it's in Scotland or England. Maybe.
    I wonder if that house was the inspiration for it as well?

    1. Awesome! I'll check it out. In a classic case of 'Six Degrees of Separation' I had 'Uninvited' by Alanis Morrisset on my iPod while drafting my wip.


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