Ozzie and Harriet's haunted house remodeled, spirit gone (with before-and-after photos)

Ozzie and Harriet's haunted house remodeled, spirit gone (with before-and-after photos)
·Homes Editor
Ozzie's supposedly haunted train is gone. So is the pub room that the train circled.
Ozzie's supposedly haunted train is gone. So is the pub room that the train circled.

Before the Pritchetts and Dunphys, or the Cosbys, or the Bradys -- before the Cleavers, even -- there were Ozzie and Harriet Nelson and their sons, David and Ricky.

For 14 years and 435 episodes, the Nelsons starred in a TV show about themselves, filmed on sets that replicated their own Los Angeles home.

They invited America into their living room from 1952 to 1966, and hundreds of thousands of American families returned the favor. Even now, the phrase "Ozzie and Harriet" is practically synonymous with clean-scrubbed 1950s America.

The Nelson house stayed in the family long after "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" went off the air. And folks say Ozzie's ghost stayed in the house even longer. (Click here for a slideshow of Ozzie and Harriet's house, with photos before and after the remodel -- some of them vintage.)

Ozzie, 68, died in the house of liver cancer in 1975. Harriet tried to remain, but "it was very lonely," she told a reporter in 1981, so she sold it to a local plastic surgeon.

The house changed hands multiple times after that, with one special Nelson relic passing along from one owner to the next: Ozzie's model train encircling the so-called pub room.

The family circa 1960. Click any photo for a slideshow.
The family circa 1960. Click any photo for a slideshow.
The same room in recent years, before the remodel. The fireplace is still recognizable.
The same room in recent years, before the remodel. The fireplace is still recognizable.
The room after its East Hamptons remodel.
The room after its East Hamptons remodel.

The train started mysteriously running in the middle of the night, owners related. Doors opened themselves, even though they'd been locked. The air would inexplicably, fleetingly smell of rosy perfume. Bedclothes would fly from slumbering bodies.

The reports were so consistent that listing agent Billy Rose -- who handled three sales of the house -- felt compelled to tell prospective buyers of the rumored haunting. A paranormal investigator visited to assure one prospect "that their purchase would be agreeable to the resident ghosts," the Los Angeles Times wrote last year.

A real estate investment and development company bought Ozzie and Harriet's old house in June 2013 for $3 million. After a top-to-bottom remodel including a dramatically different floor plan, the house has been relisted at $5 million. (Click here for a slideshow of Ozzie and Harriet's house, with photos before and after the remodel -- some of them vintage.)

Yahoo Homes asked the listing agent, Eric Lowry of Coldwell Banker, about the supposed hauntings.

"We heard that Ozzie used to have ice cream at night," he affirmed. In the morning, the drawer next to the kitchen sink would be open, just where the ice cream scoop was kept. ("His only vice was ice cream -- and oh boy, what a vice!" Harriet told a reporter back in 1981.)

But "that's not true any longer," he said: The house has a new kitchen now, in a different location of the house.

"I guess Ozzie went and got his scoop somewhere else," Lowry said.

Before the remodel, Ozzie's ghost is said to have made late-night ice cream raids in this kitchen. It has been ripped out for an all-new modern chef's kitchen.
Before the remodel, Ozzie's ghost is said to have made late-night ice cream raids in this kitchen. It has been ripped out for an all-new modern chef's kitchen.

What about the train in the pub room, passed along from one owner to the next over the years? we asked.

"Gone." As is the pub room.

The remodel introduced an "East Hamptons look" that's "light and bright -- spectacular," Lowry said.

He added that a Nelson aunt had dropped by recently and proclaimed: "Ozzie would love it, Harriet would love it, David would love it, Ricky would love it."

It's "totally spotless" now, he said.

Click here or on a photo for a slideshow of Ozzie and Harriet's house, with photos before and after the remodel -- some of them vintage.

And here are a couple of vintage episodes of "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," including the first one: