(NEXSTAR) — It may not be anyone’s dream home, but it’s certainly the home of someone’s nightmares.
A real estate agent in Louisiana has — successfully — marketed an abandoned house by playing up one of the eeriest aspects of the property: a pair of terrifying dolls left behind by a previous owner.
“I did it just to get the house some attention, because the house was so hideous and horrifying,” said Tony Bertucci of NOLA Living Realty. “I wanted to do something to lighten up the photos of the house.”
Bertucci, a resident of New Orleans, tells Nexstar that he’s actually the current owner of the home, located in nearby Metairie. He bought it with the intention of fixing it up and selling it, but Hurricane Ida threw a wrench into his plans.
“We were recovering from catastrophic damage,” said Bertucci, whose properties took a hit during the hurricane. “So it kinda took precedence over a few of the renovation projects.”
Hoping to sell the home quickly, he figured he’d try to attract attention by digging out the disturbing dolls and placing them prominently in the listing photos.
Surprisingly, Bertucci said he was soon talking with potential buyers, some of whom questioned whether the house was haunted, or wanted to know more about the dolls.
“I just told them the dolls were my clients,” Bertucci joked. “I said they were selling because the house was much too big for them.”
The home ultimately went under contract after only one day on the market, largely thanks to the buzz generated by Bertucci’s dolled-up photos. In fact, Realtor.com determined the listing to be its most popular of the last week, generating tens of thousands of clicks largely thanks to the dolls.
“And when we say dolls, we don’t mean they’re cute, adorable, or cuddly,” Realtor.com wrote in its coverage of the listing. “No, these dolls are creepy — and make an ideal match for this decrepit residence.”
When asked if he was bothered by Realtor.com repeatedly suggesting that both the dolls and the home were creepy, Bertucci said he wasn’t.
“I mean, it’s pretty spot-on,” he said of the site’s article. “I was creeped out just looking at the photographer taking the photos.”