The Horror House owner speaks about his love for dolls, antiques and movies


Cape Town – A house in Woodstock has been dubbed the “Horror House” by its owner who shares the love for such movies including a fascination with dolls and antiques.

In 1975, Sandor appeared on the front page of the Cape Argus when he was just two years old.

The Cape Argus Sandor appeared in, in 1975. SUPPLIED

Now at age 48, Sandor has made headlines again with his unique and eccentric house which has left everyone guessing what goes on inside.

Sandor amongst some of his creations in their garden infront of his home. Sandor owns the house he has dubbed the horror house in Woodstock. Pictures: BRENDAN MAGAAR African News Agency (ANA)

The Weekend Argus team visited the house this week to find out what exactly was the reason behind the display of dolls, crosses, old clocks, masks, mannequins, portraits and antiques.

Sandor, who prefers to use only his first name “like Madonna”, said he has been living at the house for 15 years with his partner.

Fifteen years ago, Sandor owned a retro-styled shop in the CBD.

The house is filled with fish tanks, books, LPs, unusual chairs and couches, including reptiles in jars.

A few weeks ago Sandor received two jars filled with a lizard and a frog, which had been left outside his home.

“People think this is the home of a sangoma,” he added.

“I found it outside in the bin and I first thought it was one of the trolley friends I have here in the area.

“Now I think it can even be a doekom (a curse).

“I got the sign with the word Horror, from a shop and I placed it above the doorway.”

Showcasing a mask made using the mouth section from a porcelain doll, he said often people would scream when he is seen like that in public.

“One day this woman walked past me and she jumped into the air screaming when she saw my mask,’’ he laughed.

His neighbours say they have grown to love him, stating he is one of the best and friendliest of people: “He is one of the best neighbours, the sweetest and most gentle person and we have been neighbours for years and we have never had any trouble,” said a resident.

Sandor, the man who owns the house he has dubbed the horror house in Woodstock, seen among some of his creation wearing a crown he calls the social distancing crown. Pictures: BRENDAN MAGAAR African News Agency (ANA)

The neighbours are so used to Sandor’s eccentric personality, they often share old antiques with him that he might be interested in.

It all began when Sandor was between the ages of six and eight.

His mother loved to go to drive-ins to see films and would sneak him inside the boot of the car, where he watched the movie “Tourist Trap”.

It was here where the fascination and love for dolls and horror movies began for Sandor.

“This movie was where I saw the dolls and how their mouths were cut open,” he said.

The 1979 movie is about a group of teenagers who fall prey to an eccentric owner of a museum and his range of evil mannequins.

At age 11, Sandor’s love for antiques began.

He became almost bed-ridden with flu and had previously seen a human skull at an antique shop in the CBD which he knew he could not have.

“I was always small and I had a terrible fever,” he said.

“One morning, I woke up and there was the skull next to me on my pillow.

“I think my parents were so afraid something would happen to me.”

Besides the love for antiques, art is another love and passion.

Sandor reconstructs dolls and places different heads on top of each other like the Christmas teddy bear which dances and sings.

The bear now has the head of a mannequin.

His prized possessions are an antique spoon which he received from his aunt and a 1920s gramophone and mixing deck.

“The spoon has a section where you can place poison inside,” he said.

Sandor shows off one of his favorite antiques, a spoon that was made with a secret compartment for the sole purpose of housing poison. Sandor owns the house he has dubbed the horror house in Woodstock. Pictures: BRENDAN MAGAAR African News Agency (ANA)

“This deck, I bought from a woman at a flea market in Cape Town some years ago.”

When asked if he gets any backlash from religious groups with having crosses on his front gate, which has a doll hanging from it, he laughed, stating he rarely made anyone angry.

Sandor’s partner, who did not want to be identified, said he allowed him to pursue his passion: “I give him the space to do what he loves.”

Weekend Argus


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