Inside Guillermo del Toro’s spine-chilling Bleak House: A treasure trove of horror memorabilia

Like a true creative genius, Guillermo del Toro is devoted to his craft even after the cameras have stopped rolling. Behind the façade of his Tudor-style home lies a spine-chilling wonderland — a mansion brimming with mystery and fantasy! He uses his spooky mancave to research, write, and unwind with creepy monsters, which he considers his most prized possessions.

Cha Miñoza
8 Min Read
Photo credit: Biansho | | Tinseltown | Shutterstock

A horned faun, an Exorcist doll, a huge Frankenstein head – these are just some of the macabre memorabilia you’ll find in Guillermo del Toro’s house of horrors.

Named “Bleak House”, in homage to the Dickens classic, this L.A. mansion houses thousands of priceless, spooky artifacts that are bound to make your hair stand on end.

Known as one of the greats in the horror genre, it’s no surprise that the Oscar-winning filmmaker owns a museum that honors his lifelong love affair with creatures of myth. And it’s not just a space to store his stuff.

He actually spends 90% of his time here, in the company of his monsters. For del Toro, this IS paradise. 

horror-inspired collector artifacts inside director Guillermo del Toro's house, including a Frankenstein head, a creature with no face, and a life-sized realistic statue of Edgar Allan Poe
Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and some of the artifacts in his prized collection, which he shared with other horror enthusiasts a few years back, during the Guillermo del Toro: at home with monsters exhibit. Photos: Tinseltown | Shutterstock | Biansho |

The collection overtook the director’s old house

Before Bleak House came to be, del Toro’s collection was displayed in his primary residence.

The collection took up more and more rooms, forcing him to expand. He bought the Bleak House in 2006 and it took him over four years to organize everything.

Located in the suburbs of Los Angeles, the two-story property looks like any ordinary Tudor-style house from the outside. Save for the small signage out front that says “This is the Bleak House lodging the Del Toro collection since 2007,” passersby will have no clue of the horrors it holds inside.

According to Guillermo, his treasure trove grew unexpectedly. It took over his old three-bedroom house and his wife grew concerned. As he was hanging a creepy painting in an area near the kitchen, he realized that it was time to move his collection out.

“My wife says, ‘That’s too close to the kitchen, the kids are gonna be freaked out’. And inside of me something cracked and I said, “I’m gonna get my own place,” he explained.

What’s inside Guillermo del Toro’s Bleak House?

The horror show starts as soon as you open the front door.

Guests are greeted by a massive Frankenstein monster head looming over the entryway. The wooden floors and wine-red walls add an air of mystery to the space. Every area is filled to the brim with fantastical wonders.

Among the most notable pieces are props from his famous movies including Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, Hellboy, and The Shape of Water.

RELATED: The wildly imaginative homes of our favorite movie directors

There are 13 libraries throughout Guillermo del Toro’s house, each one holding books from a specific subject category. There’s a whole library just for art books, another one that houses fairy tales, another one for horror stories, and so on…

Guarding some of the libraries are lifesize wax figures of Edgar Allan Poe and HP Lovecraft, two of del Toro’s greatest inspirations.

There are also over 7,000 Blu-Ray and DVD movies, along with hundreds of movie posters and paintings displayed on the walls. Small, creepy trinkets and figurines are peppered everywhere around the house. 

The living room is often graced by a special guest — a realistic replica of a demon-possessed Linda Blair in The Exorcist. She sits with del Toro while he watches TV. While these monsters may scare visitors, it’s pretty clear that they are the famed director’s most prized possessions and best creative companions.

RELATED: Is It Real? The Exorcist House, Fact vs Fiction

“It’s the single thing that I have done that expresses me the most completely, more than any of my films. Bleak House is the best thing I’ve done,” he once said.

He writes in a special ‘rain room’

The Bleak House also serves as his most valuable creative source.

Del Toro goes here to research, write, and create. He has a special “rain room”, where he does most of his writing. The room is adorned with a fake window on the wall, simulating a stormy outside view. 

The rain room was recreated in his exhibit Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters in LACMA a few years ago. Along with the room replicas, some of his journals, paintings, and drawings were also displayed. 

As it is his mancave, the director likes to spend most of his time in the Bleak House. His family, however, isn’t too excited to be sharing space with monsters.

“My wife likes it. We stay at Bleak House when we are in LA together. But my children are, at best, ambivalent. My younger daughter doesn’t like it – she finds the monsters too scary,” he said in an older interview.

Where does Guillermo del Toro live?

When he’s not cozying up to eerie creatures, he spends time with his family in his other homes. Del Toro has acquired several properties so that his family can live peacefully, away from his horror house.

One of his most recent purchases is a 1920s bungalow in Santa Monica. He bought the 3,500-square-foot home for $4.2 million last year. 

The single-story house has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a spacious grassy front yard. Inside, the living room area boasts beautiful hardwood floors and a floor-to-ceiling fireplace.

Vintage light fixtures, ornate chandeliers, and stained glass windows decorate the interiors. There’s a stunning stone-clad courtyard in the center of the house, equipped with a fire pit and a barbeque area for entertaining guests.

Del Toro’s suburban residence exudes charm and elegance but the Bleak House remains his place of refuge. One thing is clear: this horror maestro feels most at home when he’s surrounded by eerie creatures. Lucky for fans, the spine-chilling wonderland inspires him to craft even more masterpieces!

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One of our leading celebrity insiders, Cha Miñoza has been writing for over a decade, specializing in topics like lifestyle, celebrities and pop culture. She also holds bylines in other media companies like The Inquisitr and international fashion blog Tokyo Fashion.