No matter how beautiful the house or spotless the yard, one bad neighbor is all it takes to turn a dream home into a nightmare. Unlike with weeds or drafty windows, neighborhood drama is no easy fix, leaving homeowners with little they can do — that is, unless they decide to get creative. But instead of ripping out rose bushes or knocking down fence posts, these property owners built “spite homes” to make their feelings clear — and some of them definitely took things a little too far.
All Zipporah wanted was to remodel her home with a basement, but the neighbors wouldn’t allow it. They’d be left in shock, however, after Zipporah decided to transform her multimillion-pound Kensington home into a red-striped eyesore. They should’ve just settled with the basement!
Think your marriage ended badly? Back in the early 1920s, one woman demanded her soon-to-be ex-husband build her a replica of their Massachusetts home. The deal was documented for legal purposes, but the location was never specified — so the husband built the home in the middle of nowhere. Harsh.
There was nothing personal with this narrow spite house; just a need to keep people at bay. The original home owner of one of the adjacent homes was tired of strangers invading the alleyway, which was a part of his property, so he took the extreme of building walls to block the way for those pesky pedestrians.
Before the house was built, this tiny plot of land was scoffed at by the other neighbors. Only one man, Newton Rummonds, believed in the 10-foot wide plot, and, wagering his $100 debt, he bet that he could build a proper home. When the reveal of the beautiful little home came, the man not only had a fantastic home, but was debt free!
One of the first known spite houses ever built in the U.S., was built in 1716, for two brothers who couldn’t stand to be around one another. The tiny home was not only refuge from the other brother, but it also served to block the view of the harbor, which was dear to the brother’s heart.
Seattle resident Edith Macfield truly knew how to stick it to the man, refusing to sell her small home despite pressure from developers and an entire city popping up around her. As the neighbors sold out to big industry developers, Edith said “I’m staying home.” Today, the little home is surrounded by the big city, still threatened by developers.
It’s a classic story. Wealthy girl meets aristocrat boy, wealthy girl marries boy, and then she plots revenge against her unsupportive in-laws. That’s what happened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when Corina Kavanagh requested the construction of a building solely to block her hateful in-law’s view of their favorite church.
Sometimes the backstory behind a spite house isn’t completely known, or there are multiple sides to the story. Take this tiny shotgun house that looks too narrow for anyone to occupy. Some say it’s the work of an angry divorcée; others say it came from quarreling neighbors. Either way, it recently sold for just shy of half a million dollars!
Francis O’Reilly is another eccentric guy who fought back against his enemy with an annoying placed house. When his neighbors refused to shell out the cash to buy the narrow strip of land at the end of the block, O’Reilly taught him a lesson — by purchasing the land and constructing a spite house. The eight feet-wide home still stands today.
An iconic landmark in the small town, Adamsville, Rhode Island, still stands today, in spite of its awkward position. No one knows for sure the true reason for its construction, but ironically enough, the reason might not have been out of spite at all, but instead to acquire water from a terribly placed water well.
Steal a man’s property and he’ll make you pay, legally of course. After the city of Alameda, California, took a large portion of his open land to make a street in the late 1900s, Charles Froling built this home to both irritate the city and block the view of one neighbor who supported the construction. Nothing like neighbors becoming close!
In the early 1900s, a group of city planners were working to build a neat grid of modern homes in the Long Island, New York town of Freeport, though one local developer had other plans. Not only did he instead construct this Victorian-style home, but the developer also placed it on a triangular plot of land, completely ruining the grid!
Sometimes, spite can be used for good. This colorful home was the original owner’s pride and joy, but not just because of what it stands for, but also where it stands. Protesting against homophobia, the rainbow-painted home was built across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church. Today, it’s a center for anti-bullying initiatives.
You’d think with a name like the “cake house”, there’d be a more wholesome story. The real, and terribly sad, story is that it was made in protest against state authorities, who took the home owner’s foster grandchild in the 1960s.That might not be the full story though – the child is said to have been his. Why the “cake house” is still standing, we haven’t the slightest idea.
Some spite houses are on another level. This lone home in China stood strong against developers’ plans to build a parking lot, contributing to a steadily growing trend of homeowners going to crazy lengths to stay put.
This quite awkward looking Manhattan home was built on land belonging to the wife of an eccentric billionaire. When developers refused to pay more for the space, the billionaire swore to make a home that blocked the developers’ apartments. No more than five feet wide, the design managed to fit eight apartments comfortably.
Some spite homes are more of a pain for the city than for its neighbors. In 1815, Dr. John Tyler discovered that local officials were planning to build a road cutting right through the neighborhood, where an empty plot of land resided. The doctor beat them to it, building a home to block the construction. It remains today as a quaint bed and breakfast.
This colonial home was built in 1806 with revenge in mind after the young heir was removed from his father’s will by his step-mother. Designed to be grander than the home she took over, the Phippsburg, Maine, spite house eventually fell into the step-mother’s possession as well after the spiteful son failed to make any heirs of his own.
This battered but undeniably quaint ancient property was said to be the oldest house in Hamburg when this photo was taken in 1898. Dating back to 1524, the building also housed shops on its ground floor. Ultimately, the powers of spite lost in this case, when the building was pulled down in 1910. However, it’s still considered among the most majestic buildings lost to the wrecker’s ball.
In the 19th century, a squabble between two brothers resulted in a rather skinny attraction. Upon returning from military service, one brother discovered the other had constructed a large house on land they’d both inherited. So, doing what any vindictive brother would do, he built a 10.4-foot-wide structure on the remaining property, creating one of the silliest tourist spots the city has to offer.
Another tiny attraction born out of bad intentions is the Newby-McMahon Building. After a nearby oil boom in Wichita Falls, Texas, J.D. McMahon collected investments for a skyscraper to house the influx of people. But he swindled the investors when he built the world’s tiniest skyscraper — at just 480 inches (40 feet) tall. Then, he pocketed the rest of the money.
On the list of other must-see bizarre attractions, there’s also the smallest park in the world, Mill Ends sits in a median once intended to house a light pole in Portland, Oregon. When bureaucrats nixed the pole, a local journalist planted flowers and dubbed it a park.
A group called Peace Meditation at the United Nations named Manhattan’s smallest island (2,000-square feet) after the Burmese former United Nations Secretary-General. It acts as a sanctuary for migrating birds.
Straying away from more obscene sights, Chestnut Ridge Park in upstate New York is home to what’s known as the Eternal Flame. This fire, which sits quaintly within a small cavern of a waterfall, burns bright even in the dead of winter. The endless flame is fueled by a stream of natural gas flowing underground.
Created by a Benedictine monk over the course of 50 years, this masterpiece is comprised of 125 miniature replicas of some of the most famous religious structures in the world. Dubbed “Ave Maria Grotto,” it’s actually not located in some sprawling Italian countryside — instead, you’ll find this piece in Cullman, Alabama.
Looking for a pup-ular place to get away? Head to central Idaho for a stay at the Dog Bark Park Inn. Known by locals as “Sweet Willy,” this beagle-shaped building features a queen bed, complimentary breakfast, and plenty of other treats that are sure to keep you wagging for more.
Who needs to travel to the United Kingdom to see the mysteriously stacked stones of Stonehenge when you can take a drive through the Great Plains to Alliance, Nebraska, and see cars spray-painted to look like sandstone?
Nicholas Cage probably didn’t mean to stir up the Internet again, but his pyramid gravesite in St. Louis 1, New Orleans’ oldest cemetery, has become something of a meme landmark. Some believe the actor built the plot as proof of his Illuminati association, others that it’s an attempt to lift a Louisiana curse. Either way, be sure to stop on by!
Though declared a micronation by founder Kevin Baugh, the republic, located in Dayton, Nevada, isn’t recognized by the United Nations. Still, Supreme Leader Kevin gives the United States “foreign aid” (otherwise known as property taxes).
In Durham, North Carolina, trucks, SUVs, and tall people wearing tall hats, beware: the tiny, 11-foot, eight-inch bridge nicknamed “The Can Opener” collects—on average—one truck scalp per month.
Michigan banned motor vehicles from this eight-mile stretch of road that wraps around the popular tourist island in Lake Huron. The law was passed in 1898 after a doctor’s car scared some horses and people complained.
If ice cream runs through your veins — or just through your fridge — then visiting Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard in Waterbury, Vermont is a no-brainer. A stop on the brand’s factory tour, the “graveyard” is the final resting place for ice cream flavors they no longer make. If you get up the courage to visit one of your former favorites, just make sure to bring tissues.
If history is your thing, you might be interested in finding George Washington’s bath tub. West Virginia’s Berkeley Springs State Park is not only home to natural beauties but also to what’s believed to be the first president’s old bath. The tub is part of the Washington Heritage Trail, which follows Washington’s path from when he visited the area in 1748.
In Cactus Flat, South Dakota, stands a towering six-ton prairie dog statue, which has proudly resided there for more than five decades to promote the Ranch Store gift shop and a local “town” of prairie dogs. Why not grab a souvenir and some peanuts and go feed the adorable little guys?
Make your child’s — or your inner child’s — wildest dreams come true with a trip to Santa Claus, Indiana. It’s Christmas all year round in this small Indiana town, where visitors can enjoy everything from Santa’s Candy Castle and the Santa Claus Museum to the Christmas Lake Golf Course and even an entire holiday theme park.
Whether you have an obsession with twine and obscenely large objects or are just passing through the Darwin, Minnesota, area, you have to see the world’s largest ball of twine. And once you get your fill of twine (if that’s even possible), the museum next to it features an even greater deal of Minnesota history. Go and have a ball!
Looking for your next ideal selfie location? Try the Windsor Ruins in Claiborne County, Mississippi. These 23 stone columns are the only remains of a historic mansion, which burned in 1890 after a party guest decided it was a smart idea to leave their lit cigarette behind.
Other artists take a more spontaneous approach to their work, like billionaire Stanley Marsh. He woke up one day and thought, “I’m going to graffiti several Cadillacs and nose dive them into the ground, that’s what the world needs right now.” The resulting roadside attraction outside Amarillo, Texas, also welcomes visitors to add their own graffiti.
Florida is known for its wackiness, so it’s no surprise they have an island of real monkeys as a roadside attraction. Aptly named “Monkey Island,” the small piece of land is home to four monkeys that are cared for and promoted by the Homosassa Riverside Resort. It may sound bananas, but it definitely got our attention!
If you thought Monkey Island was weird, you’re in for a trip. Walking through Seattle’s Post Alley, you might need a vomit bag, because you’re about to see one disgusting wall. Down the way is a 15-by-50-foot wall covered in chewing gum. For some reason, it became a trend for visitors to stick their chewed gum to the wall, and even after it was thoroughly cleaned in 2015, the gum still continued to pile up. Germaphobes beware!