One of House Crazy Sarah’s all-time favorite movies is the 1988 comedy Funny Farm.
What’s not to love about the premise of a man quitting his job in the big city and moving to the Vermont countryside with his doting wife to live in an old house and write his big novel? Turns out his wife was a better writer than him and they both had a lot to learn about country living and small town life.
The whole movie is a hoot and the scenery is amazing – shot on location in rural Vermont. But it is the house at the center of the Funny Farm that captured House Crazy Sarah’s heart many moons ago when the movie first came out.
To celebrate the picturesque Cape Cod, House Crazy Sarah has dug through the interwebs and pulled together every photo she could find of the house.
Here’s a recent view of the backside of the house (where the driveway pulls up):
Ans this is how it appeared in the movie:
Looks like the shutters have since been painted a darker green color and the split-rail fence was replaced with a stone fence.
Known as the “Hall House”, the brown two-story home sits on a hill above the town of Grafton, Vermont. It was (and still is) a private residence that was rented out for the filming of the movie.
Contrary to how most movies are filmed – interiors captured on a sound stage – both the home’s actual interior and exterior were used in Funny Farm. According to Vermonter.com, the owner’s furnishings were moved out and stored, and the set designers brought in their own furniture for the shoot.
House Crazy Sarah could find no record of the house being sold since 1988 so presumably, the same owners still live there. Lucky them!
According to public records, the Funny Farm house was built as recently as 1965, but House Crazy Sarah has a hunch the house is much older than that. (Pro tip: public records aren’t always accurate!) There are tell-tale signs that this is a 19th century house or older because of the large chimney, the single pane windows and the electrical casings which run on the surface of interior walls (rather than being built into the walls – indicating electricity was added long after the home was built).
The house is also larger in real life than it appears in the movie: it has 3,208 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. In the movie we only ever get to see in two bedrooms (one being used as an office) and there is mention of a third guest room.
Funny Farm was shot over three seasons so we get to see the house from summer through fall and winter.
Here’s a real life photo of the house in winter:
The house sits on 149 acres – so it is quite the rural spread.
Let’s have a look at some interior screen shots…
Here’s a view of the living room before the Big Scary Snake Scene:
(If you haven’t seen this movie yet, House Crazy Sarah highly recommends it!)
The house has some lovely built-in cabinets:
Here’s old Andy sitting beside the fireplace with Yellow Dog:
Speaking of Yellow Dog…
How on earth did they find such a mellow dog?
Here’s a shot of the big country kitchen:
The large kitchen has an eat-in dining area:
Here’s another view of the kitchen:
On the upper level, there are two bedrooms which were featured in the movie…
The master bedroom:
The second bedroom was used as Andy’s writing office in the movie:
After Andy hit the writer’s block wall, his wife Elizabeth secretly began writing her own book which she then sold to a publisher. Eventually, she took over use of the office.
This led to the couple almost getting a divorce and selling their dream house in the country.
In the end, they realize their love for each other and their shared love for their Funny Farm outweighed any trials and tribulations.
In case you are ever house-peeping up in the Vermont area, the home’s address is 198 Fire Pond Road, Grafton, Vermont 05146.
The road is so named because of a pond used by the local fire department just down the road from the home. But it’s not the same pond that is shown in front of the house in the movie.
Scenes from Grafton and another nearby town called Townshend were used as the fictional town of Red Bud.
While filming in Townshend, the set designers built a gazebo for the Christmas in-town scene and the locals liked it so much, they kept it.
Ethel Dingus’s antique shop is also a real-life antique store in Townshend.
Here’s how it appeared in the film:
How cool is that?
Andy and Elizabeth Farmer had some misfortunes here, but in the end, they decided they loved the quirky place – the house and the town – too much to leave.
House Crazy Sarah would stay too!