Guillermo Del Toro Has One Of The World's Most Impressive Horror Collections In His 'Bleak House'

Pop culture lovers the world over have adorned their living spaces with prized relics of their favorite films and TV shows, but they all pale in comparison to the extraordinary and downright macabre contents of the Guillermo del Toro household. Named after a classic Dickens novel, Bleak House is a living, breathing love letter to the stories, movies, attractions, and memorablia that inspired Guillermo del Toro to create the bone-chilling films that made him famous. Every piece of the collection, from the freakishly realistic wax figures down to the original frames of animated classics, was handpicked by del Toro to live in his own personal ecosystem of weirdness.

Which is more frightening? Del Toro’s films themselves or his random collection of peculiarities that inspired them? Read on to find out.

  • Life-Sized Figures Of Lovecraft, Poe, And The Cast Of ‘Freaks’ Linger The Halls
    Photo: @RealGDT / Twitter

    Life-Sized Figures Of Lovecraft, Poe, And The Cast Of ‘Freaks’ Linger The Halls

    If catching a looming cut-out of your friend’s favorite movie character in the corner of their living room creeps you out, then you may want to skip a visit to Bleak House. Notable sideshow performers and cast members of the 1932 film Freaks populate the rooms of Bleak House in alarmingly realistic detail, including Schlitzie the Pinhead, Koo Koo the Bird Girl, and Johnny Eck, who was born without the lower half of his body.

    Guillermo del Toro’s cast of permanent house guests also includes a few of his literary heroes, including Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. “I made it a point to live with all the guys I admire,” del Toro once explained on a 2015 tour of the grounds.

  • Del Toro’s Own Family Is Afraid Of Bleak House

    While Guillermo del Toro considers Bleak House to be a haven of art and inspiration, his family members have a slightly different opinion on the matter: “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.”

    This fear may be for good reason, since del Toro reported a strange presence being felt in the house after purchasing an antique dining room set, complete with the sounds of footsteps nearby. This supposed phenomenon went away after del Toro’s mother visited the house to perform a cleanse.

  • Del Toro Considers Bleak House To Be His Own Holy Place
    Photo: @RealGDT / Twitter

    Del Toro Considers Bleak House To Be His Own Holy Place

    For Guillermo del Toro, monsters are more than vessels of fear and dread. He considers them to be representations of the more complicated sides of the human spirit. In other words, monsters are the “patron saints of imperfection.” Because of this philosophy, del Toro considers Bleak House to be more than just a collection of his favorite monsters.

    “To me, it has a spiritual calling,” del Toro once explained. “I love monsters the way people worship holy images. To me, they really connect in a very fundamental way to my identity.”

  • The House Contains A Huge Collection Of Skulls
    Photo: @RealGDT / Twitter

    The House Contains A Huge Collection Of Skulls

    One of Guillermo del Toro’s favorite images is the human skull. He estimates that he has at least 100 in Bleak House alone, but few are actually real since real skeletons “creep him out.”

    This stems from his upbringing in the historically violent town of Guadalajara, Mexico. He once explained in a 2011 interview that real violence is just not as inspiring as its artistic counterparts: “People tell me, ‘Oh, you must love forensic photos.’ But I can’t stand the sight of real pain or blood.”

  • Del Toro Loaned Out Hundreds Of Bleak House Pieces For A Road Tour
    Photo: @RealGDT / Twitter

    Del Toro Loaned Out Hundreds Of Bleak House Pieces For A Road Tour

    While Guillermo del Toro is very precious about the treasures he’s amassed within Bleak House, he made a realization in 2016 that the public deserved to enjoy it too. So he took his menagerie on the road, with an initial exhibition not too far away at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The tour would eventually move on to Minneapolis and Toronto in the following year.

    An audio guide, which included quotes from del Toro himself, took viewers on a journey through red halls that featured some of Bleak House's most famous items, like Hellboy 2’s Angel of Death, del Toro’s personal journals, and even a replica of the "Rain Room."

  • A Giant Frankenstein’s Monster Head Looms Over The Entrance Hall
    Photo: Frankenstein / Universal Pictures

    A Giant Frankenstein’s Monster Head Looms Over The Entrance Hall

    The story of Frankenstein’s monster had a great influence over Guillermo del Toro during his childhood, so it comes as no surprise that this character would be featured front and center in his house of cinematic treasures. Boris Karloff’s classic 1931 version of the character features heavily in Bleak House, the crown jewel being a 7-foot-long sculpture of the creature’s face hanging in the main hall.

    The looming likeness was sculpted by artist Mike Hill with an expression specifically chosen to represent the cinematic experience of seeing the monster appear onscreen for the first time. The sculpture was temporarily removed from the house to be featured in del Toro’s “At Home with Monsters” exhibit.