The Most Fantastically Petty Houses Built Out Of Pure, Malicious Spite

Voting Rules

Vote up the spiciest spite houses you'd vengefully live in.

A spite house is built by its owners for one deliciously frustrating reason: to get their way. Spite (in less costly ways) is obviously a universally recognizable act, but the people who built these homes are masters in their chosen path of venomous retaliation against laws, planned roads, or even just passersby. Each of these homes has a local legend detailing why it's so strange, whether it's built practically on top of the neighbors' home or it's the skinniest house in Boston.

The reasoning behind these strange homes is enough to impress even the most casual spite enthusiast. The only trouble is choosing the most malicious and spiteful of the homeowners below.

  • 1
    2,876 VOTES

    Alameda Spite House (Alameda, CA)

    In Alameda, CA, sits a spite house whose intended purpose seems fairly clear from photographs - its neighbors are so close, the residents could shake hands through the windows. As the story goes, a Mr. Charles Froling decided to get revenge on the city and his neighbors in one fell swoop. Forced to give up his land in 1938 to allow for the city's expansion, Froling built this home 20 feet high, 54 feet long, and 10 feet wide.

    He built it right in front of his neighbor's house for the crime of not caring about Froling's plight. Not only does the house take up every inch of the property up to its borders, but it also blocks every window in the neighbor's house and impedes access to the front door.

    It is now a rental property and grandfathered into the city's building codes, allowing it to remain intact to this date.

    2,876 votes
  • 2
    1,533 VOTES

    Plum Island Spite House (Plum Island, MA)

    Plum Island Spite House (Plum Island, MA)
    Photo: Samantha Sharp / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    The people of Plum Island, MA, believe this pink house originated in the 1920s when a couple divorced. Supposedly, the wife insisted that her soon-to-be ex-husband build her an exact copy of the house they shared at the time. Her mistake was not insisting on the location or usability of the house, as her estranged husband opted to build on the salt marshes, leaving the home without fresh running water. 

    Other investigations landed on the theory of a philandering husband building the home for himself, his wife, and their infant. The salty water running through the pipes was normal at the time, but supposedly the husband pushed them toward divorce by refusing to eat with his family in the home and having an affair in Boston. Either way, the home has sat uninhabited since the early 2000s.

    1,533 votes
  • 3
    1,477 VOTES

    Cambridge Spite House (Cambridge, MA)

    This tiny home was built by Francis O'Reilly in 1908, boasting measurements of 37 feet in length and 8 feet in width. The story goes that O'Reilly tried to sell the thin piece of property to a neighbor, but when the neighbor declined the offer, O'Reilly erected the 308-square-foot home.

    Since 2009, this spite house holds no residents but does serve as an interior decorator's office.

    1,477 votes
  • 4
    1,281 VOTES

    Freeport Spite House (Freeport, NY)

    This home may be the most spectacularly spiteful of all due to the reasoning behind its creation. There are no neighbor or sibling spats involved in this scenario, just a legend of a petty 19th-century man

    The city of Freeport intended to build a neighborhood and entire town in a grid pattern, likely to assist in navigation. The villain of the story decided to build a large Victorian home on a triangle of land, completely obliterating the grid plan. The house is still intact and serves as a private residence in a crowd of square land plots.

    1,281 votes
  • 5
    1,339 VOTES

    Tyler Spite House (Frederick, MD)

    Legend has it that in 1814, a Dr. Tyler constructed this spite house right next to his actual dwelling in order to thwart a new roadway. He didn't want the noise and bother that accompanies a road too close to one's house. At the time, the law stated that if a house was under construction, then no roadway shall be built.

    Dr. Tyler had a concrete foundation poured and met the confused roadway workers the next morning from his rocking chair in the middle of his build. Making his action even more malicious is the fact that he never even lived in the spite house, choosing instead to rent it out.

    Over the years, the house gained a third story from one owner, became apartments, and eventually ended up as a bed and breakfast. The house still stands today as a bed and breakfast where people can possibly meet the oft-spotted ghost of Dr. Tyler roaming its halls.

    1,339 votes
  • 6
    1,207 VOTES

    The Skinny House (Boston, MA)

    This 10.4-foot wide house built in 1862 is found along the Freedom Trail in Boston. According to the town's lore, two brothers were gifted land, and one planned to build a large home on the property. When the other brother returned from war to see his slender remnant of land, he decided to build this home to block sunlight - and the view - from the windows of his brother's house. 

    Currently a private residence, there is no front door to the green house, and it must be accessed by the slim alleyway beside it.

    1,207 votes