The Haunted House from “Girl on the Third Floor” Flipped and Up for Sale in Frankfort, IL

Every house has a history and the tiny village of Frankfort in Chicago’s southwest suburbs has a house that’s notoriously spooky. And now, after over century it has gotten the TLC it so desperately needed and you can own it for an initial asking price of $449,000. The timing of its listing couldn’t be more perfect and poetic—just 9 days before Halloween 2021.

The Known History of the Frankfort House at 207 Center Rd

The four-story Victorian mansion at the corner of Sauk Trail and Center Road in historic Frankfort comes with 4 bedrooms, a front porch, and allegedly two harmless ghosts named Sarah and Sadie—both of whom died in the same third floor bedroom in the early 1900s. Hence the name of the 2019 movie Girl on the Third Floor, which was filmed in the summer of 2018 and inspired by the real story of the house (with some creative liberties).

You can learn more about the inspiration of the Girl on the Third Floor movie from this article from WEBEZ radio’s The Art Section website.

Built in 1909, the history of the house is suprisingly little written about—I’m truly surprised not more about this house was ever reported or recorded. The story of the young girls who died in it only came to light when the most recent owner Kevin Ziegler moved in to the house in 2009.

To the Frankfort Patch in 2012, Ziegler recounted some of his experiences, as well as that of a friend who over Skype one night with him, met one of the ghosts! That friend swore off ever stepping into the house.

Neighbors confirmed their knowledge and Ziegler consulted with mediums and other experts to better understand the house’s history. One of the stories further spooks me out about the timing of the listing of the house only last week. Ziegler told the Frankfort Patch that:

“in recent years he has routinely heard voices that speak directly to him and anyone else who might visit the house. He says that Sarah and Sadie have appeared in period clothing and that he has heard crying on the third floor, and even heard Sadie screaming at the top of her lungs several years ago on Oct. 22, which is said to be the date of her death.”

Anna Bybee-SchierPatch Staff

October 22 is not only the date the house went up for sale, it’s also the date that one of the ghosts died!

Who Put The Girl on the Third Floor House Up For Sale?

Before and After of 207 Center Road Frankfort Illinois House 2018 vs 2021

I reached out to Zillow to be connected with the realtor for the property, but did not get a response. I’m not sure what you would want to know, but I’d be curious to find out:

  1. Who bought the house last year when it went up for sale?
  2. Why did they buy the house?
  3. What do they hope becomes of it?
  4. Did they experience any of the spooky things others have?
  5. Have they invested in any special spiritual services to make the house ready for occupants?

Who ever is lucky enough to get to speak with the developer, I can’t wait to read your article.

Are There Really No Such Things As Coincidences?

I’ve written about this before, but our daughter played the protagonist couple’s baby in the movie (Eileah’s IMDb profile). And here’s another eerie coincidence: my husband and I have been looking at houses for a few weeks now because we are ready to expand our family and intend to move out of our townhome in Tinley! So even before the house hit the market, we have been house hunting. And no, we are not interested in buying the house. Here’s why

  1. No huge backyard.
  2. The history is a little worrying.
  3. It’s only a little larger than our townhome.

So how did I know it was for sale? The only reason I found out about the house going up for sale was because back in 2018, I saved it on the Zillow app because I’m sentimental like that. We frequent the area a lot, going to Downtown Frankfort for Sunday Market Day, the KidsWork Childerns Museum two blocks away, and the cool shopfronts. The house is also on the way to where we board our dogs for vacations. So no, we’re not into scary things, except my husband who finds the Leprechaun horror movie series hilarious.

But here’s just one more coincidence. The anniversary of the movie’s worldwide release falls between both the listing date and Halloween, October 25th. That gives me an idea…If a family or person doesn’t buy the house, maybe a company can turn it into one of those escape room things—a commercialized Halloween house thing? My husband says it’d make a great frat house à la Animal House (1978) and Neighbors (2014). Just a thought…?. David Arquette actually has started hosting Halloween parties at the SCREAM house, so this is definitely not as out there of an idea nowadays. It’s amazing how times change, isn’t it?

Who Would Buy A House With A Spooky History?

Now that it’s beautified, what will become of the house at 207 Center Rd? It’s totally remodeled, unrecognizably aesthetically, like night and day—fresh coat of exterior paint, modern on the inside but the ultimate question is…who’ll buy it?

Will whomever buys the house be comfortable? Who would buy a house with such a history? Does the movie hurt its chances? It’s definitely not mentioned in the description of the listing online. Though, my husband’s cousin Katie thinks it would be a huge selling point to mention that it was the site of a movie. Girl on the Third Floor wasn’t a huge box office success, but then again horror movies tend not to get great funding. But it is noteworthy that it had its premiere at SXSW (3/10/2019) and the movies appeared in Screen Rant’s list of the 10 underrated horror movies from 2019.

By the way, not for nothing, but I did propose to the studio Dark Sky Films (also known as MPI Media, based in Orland Park) that it’d be a great opportunity to boost rental and purchase sales for the movie if the case, including our daughter Eileah, Trieste Dunn, C.M. Punk, and Director Travis Stevens reunited there—cutely marketing the photoop as “making sure the house ? is good to go for the next owners? ? Ultimately, timing wise the boat was inevitably missed, when you factor in the time the house was put up for sale, the anniversary of the movie’s release, and Halloween. Maybe the owners really do see the movie as bad for selling the house. It is important to disclose everything though, but maybe they don’t think the history or the movie are a big deal. We’ll just have to see.

Designed this graphic with pleasure. Couldn't help myself with the third floor window. Simply took that part of the movie's poster and blended it into the coloring of the home in real life.
Designed this graphic with pleasure. Couldn’t help myself with the third floor window. Simply took that part of the movie’s poster and blended it into the coloring of the home in real life.

We of course did make a point of stopping by this week before Halloween. Eileah and I stopped by the scene of the crime on the anniversary of the movie’s release and I took a selfie of her while she was on my shoulders that way she would be level with the house. It was a brisk 48F, cloudy, windy, rainy day, but clearly the look of her fierceness in her face breaks through all that. The question is, who’s that up on the third floor window? I also get a future ghostbuster vibe from her photo. I’m sorry but even if I weren’t her mom I’d say she is the coolest kid I know. ?

All of this new and information is boggled my mind when I realized all of it in that big picture way. My husband and I definitely wanted to take a short peak for nostalgic reasons. Especially since my husband wasn’t with us for Eileah’s shoot—I wanted to show him where her seminal scene took place in one of the upstairs bedrooms. But we’ve changed our minds—I think we’re a little scared actually. We definitely will take a little family selfie in front of the house one of these days.

I know I said that was the all the coincidences, but here’s one more, I promise! If you look closely at the house’s purchase history, you’ll see that the house went up for sale last August 16, 2020…but here’s the kicker for us: the house was finally sold at $225 kto whomever did this flip, just 2 days after Eileah’s birthday! I know, this is all so incredible. Sorry for all the shameless plugging, but this house’s history is a little comingled with ours, it’s just really cool to me and maybe this will all make you curious to look into your own history for coincidences you never realized.

What Could The House Be Turned Into If Nobody Buys?

DVD of Girl on the Third Floor 2019

I can definitely see the house being turned into an Inn or Bed and Breakfast. Dare a cute young family make it their home? The tagline for the movie though doesn’t help with the “home idea.” It literally reads “Home is where Hell is.” ? If home is where hell is, what will the next inhabitants do?

The house does remind me of the Coraline (2019) movie Victorian (that one was 150 years old!).

But here’s a better idea: How about a writer of scary, suspensful stories like Stephen King? Who wouldn’t be inspired to write those kinds of stories by a spooky Victorian? In fact, Stephen King has owned a 19th century Victorian in Bangor, Maine since the 1980s—which comes complete with ironwork bats and spiderwebs. Now that he lives mostly in Florida in his golden years, he is actually in the beginning stages of turning the house into an archive and writer’s retreat.

However, I learned that despite the reported ghostly activity in the house, that earlier owenr Kevin Ziegler said he doesn’t think the spiritual tenants are dangerous in any way.

“Never have I ever been frightened of them,” he said.

In fact, since becoming comfortable with his live-in ghosts, Ziegler and several of his friends have started the Greater Chicago Paranormal Society. The society will pursue ghostly interactions at both local and national locations, including the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet and the old Joliet prison.

Today, Ziegler prefers to think of his house, not as haunted, but as spiritually occupied.

“They’ve been there long before I got there and they’re going to be there long after I leave,” he said. 

From the Frankfort Patch’s article written by staff writer Anna Bybee-Schier (Dec 5, 2012)

Just as well we don’t choose it as our final “resting place.” I think it might be best to simply have the building operate as a museum, similar to how UIC runs the Jane Addams Hull House. Nevertheless, if you happen to be interested in becoming the new owner, visit the 207 Center Rd listing on Zillow. And if you buy it, won’t you contact me?

2 comments

  1. I’m not sure I believe in haunted houses. But, I do like your idea of turning it into a for-profit year-round haunted house. I’m curious if it will get sold. I’m sure you’ll keep us posted.

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