Movie Real Estate: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

This is the house that started it all. This is the house that I fell in love with as a young girl and never got over. It all started when I was little, and my mother introduced me to The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  An old house by the sea, the turrets inspire some of the many perspectives in the film. Balmy weather and lush vegetation often frame the home and the story. 

1900: Having had enough of living with her late husband’s mother and maiden aunt, young widow Lucy Muir decides to move with her daughter Anna to a place of her own by the sea. Her eye falls on the picturesque coastal village of Whitecliff where she finds a beautiful house Gull Cottage. The landlord tries his hardest to dissuade Lucy from taking the cottage, telling her that all the previous tenants have moved out just as quickly as they moved in. Lucy soon discovers the reason for the landlord’s warnings when she sees windows and doors open on their own, candles blown out and hears disembodied laughter. Unlike the previous tenants, strong-willed Lucy refuses to be scared off by the hauntings and demands that the ghost reveal himself. He appears and Lucy recognises him immediately as Captain Daniel Gregg, the cottage’s previous owner and whose portrait hangs above the mantelpiece. Initially hostile towards one another, Lucy and the Captain soon develop a mutual respect that quickly becomes admiration. When Lucy suddenly finds herself in financial difficulties, in order to raise money the Captain (or Daniel as he asks her to call him) dictates to her a novel about his life. While writing the book, Daniel and Lucy learn more about each other and become closer.

I can’t possibly tell you more, you’ll just have to rent it for yourself.

Who wouldn’t want to live here?

Gull Cottage: The Ghost and Mrs Muir

Gull Cottage: The Ghost and Mrs Muir

There really is, in fact, a Gull Cottage. It resides in Montecito, California, shouldered between condominiums, and minus the lion statues on the porch, the ship’s wheel on the balcony, and the widow’s walk on the roof. Many of the interior scenes in the television series were shot in the house, and the rest were filmed at  Twentieth Century Fox. Below are some stills highlighting some of the interior.
Viewing the house for the first time...and the infamous monkey tree.

Viewing the house for the first time...and the infamous monkey tree.


The inside hallyway. Beautiful staircase -

The inside hallyway. Beautiful staircase -

The kichen: huge stove and well lit.

The kichen: huge stove and well lit.

Bedroom with view of the sea.

Bedroom with view of the sea.

Bedroom, fireplace view.

Bedroom, fireplace view.

Saving a seat for you,



69 Responses to “Movie Real Estate: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”


  2. Jenny Lefebvre Says:

    Thank you for the bit of info on “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” house. I have thought that was one of the great houses in the movies, and am so glad to see it is real, and in fact, still is. Saw the movie again, decided to look it up, and found it on your site. Thanks!

  3. Mary Ann Holan Says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for posting this house on your site. I have long dreamed of living in this house or a replica of it. Now I know that it is possible to have the house of my dreams. I am trying to find floor plans for this house and now have someplace to start.

    • Christine Haskell Says:

      I’m so glad! I dreamed of this house a long time myself. I’ll try to do some more research on it myself, but if you find anything, pls feel free to share it!

      Good luck!

    • Christine Haskell Says:

      I would also look to these houses….they are pretty dreamy too! I was amazed by these pictures!

    • Christine Haskell Says:

      Apologies for responding so late to your post. Thank you for your comment. It’s my dreamhouse too, as is Rex Harrison. I would love house plans if you come across any…

  4. Hi there!
    The house with the ship’s wheel is the one used for the television series… completely different to the one in the film. Unfortunately there is no reference to the beautiful one in the movie anywhere, other than a snippet I found, saying that the movie studio constructed it on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in California. I’m not sure it still exists or if the interiors were actually shot there. I’m not even sure that that information is correct. It is one of the most attractive houses I’ve ever seen. If I ever win the lottery, I will have the house recreated on the Cornish coast. I find it astounding that there isn’t more information available, because everyone says how much they loved the house from the movie, when it’s mentioned… even the menfolk!!!

    • Christine Haskell Says:

      Thank you for your post. Yes, I also read somewhere that there were two different houses (one for the TV series and one from the film). I believe anything from the set was destroyed, but think the house in Palos Verdes is still there. I will see if I can dig up that article, bc I recall seeing the house between two modern condos, which was sad.

      I agree that it seems everyone’s favorite house. Seems odd that some millionaire hasn’t done just that – recreated the house for him/herself. Would be cool if some architect students provided the plans at least…

    • You are correct. The home was constructed by the production dept. of 20th century fox at the location in Palos Verdes. It no longer exsists, dismantled right after production ended. The Fox production dept. payed every attention to detail. The Monkey Puzzle tree was found, after an exhastive search, on the back lot of the Fox studios belive it or not! they then transplanted it for the shoot. The set had no real running water or electrical and the ceilings were false to accomadate lights and sound equipment. The set was a true tribute to the studio system of the day and the superb work of the studio production departments- Just take a look at the Reata ranch house used in the movie Giant with Liz Taylor and Rock Hudson; it was brought in on train cars and built out in the Texas desert near Marfa Texas and was simply a three sided facade with no interior at all. All interior shots were done back at the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank.
      By the way; if you look over the fireplace in the main bedroom of Gull Cottage, you will see a ships wheel clock the rings on the hour and every half hour; That clock is now in my bedroom over my fireplace, it was given to me by my Grandfather who worked for Fox in the production dept., I think of the movie each and every time it rings.

      • Christine Haskell Says:

        That is incredible!!!

        This has to be one of my favorite movies – do you have any other stories of this film? I’ve seen the director’s cut many times and have the intent to write another post about it. I think it’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen.

        I find it a real crime how wonderful the sets were and how they were dismanteled! Beadboard, built ins, the incredible details!!! I heard that the entire set of Cleopatra is somewhere in the California desert and that many, many antiques were just sitting in the warehouse and ended up in producer’s homes, as the wives picked from what they liked.

        Ugh… to be in a computer job! Oh the agony!

      • Marcia Morgan Says:

        The fact that there are so many questions about the house in this movie is simply a testament to the fact that movies of this nature are indeed doing thier job ! They are vehicles for our dreams! They inspire us to want to put ourselves in the place of the characters, to live in thier time, and in those glorious old houses ! Just take a look at the house in the movie “Practical Magic” … who wouldn’t dream of living in that wonderful place ? ( another “house by the sea”) But sadly it was another victim of the film industry… merely a shell for the filming. It too was dismantled. I guess we’ll all continue to live in our dream worlds, be that as it may…. I’m happy there… I’ve lived there all my life – or so my friends and family tell me !

      • Greg Ebeling Says:

        is the clock made by Chelea? what model is it? i cant find any info on this, that one must be very rare.

      • Sandy Gallagher Says:

        That is truly amazing and marvelous that you own the original clock from the movie. Can you share any information about it such as the type or if there are duplicates? I would be truly grateful for any information that you can provide.

      • Hi Steve
        Could you please tell me the make of the ships wheel clock. This movie is one of my favourites and I love the clock…would be wonderful to track one down.

  5. Not really, except there was also a hothouse contructed for the shoot as well that never made it into the movie, it somehow ended up in my Grandparents back yard. My Grandmother grew flowers and herbs in it for years. The “painting” of the Captain was given to Rex Harison by the studio. These things were really kept very quiet because the studios were adament about props not being taken of the studio lots or sets and the production depts. were very meticulous about keeping track of each and every piece. Since the clock was part of the full set in Palos Verdes, and had to make the long trip back to the studio, that’s when it probebly ended up in my Grandfathers hands. By the way, there was also another identical interior set contructed back at the Fox studios for additional scenes so many of the props had to be duplicates, such as my clock and the painting. My clock may well be, not from the Palos Verdes set but from the Fox set which would also explain why writen on the back of the clock it says “Studio SS #2”. Another interesting story told by my Grandfather was that the painting they did of Mr. Harrison was not real, but a photo of Mr. Harrison that was then painted over to save time and money. I regret not getting more information from him before his death, but I was very young and back then these things simply didn’t interest me.

    • Christine Haskell Says:

      Interesting – what a neat story to have in your family! My only tie to Rex is seeing him perform in The Tempest when I was quite young-but even at age 10 had a crush on him…I would have loved to hear what his experience was on the set and with the movie. Jean seemed to have been in rather a deep depression due to some family losses, and apparently had a broken ankle the whole time.

      So cool, thank you so sharing your information here. If anything else comes up, do let me know. It’s one of my most popular posts! People seem to have a thing for dreamy ocean houses, perhaps inspired by this movie. It’s fantastical, that one might conjure their perfect partner from the fog off the sea, and walk off into the clouds with them – all amidst lovely wooden paneling, perfect layers of white paint, and beautiful brass finishes.

      Thanks again for the background.

    • It is also my very favorite movie – and all the details about the house always fascinated me. OK – we have established that the house was dismantled by the studio people (dummies!) – but are there any PLANS existing anywhere for the design of the house and where would you write/ask about them?

  6. I am so excited to find this blog.

    I am 56 years old and have been a fan of the movie since I was a child. I was thrilled to purchase the collector’s edition dvd of the movie, and of course I own the cd soundtrack.

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, I longed to see the cottage portrayed in the movie. Imagine my excitement, after moving here to Torrance, CA, when I learned the house was actually filmed in Palos Verdes – a hop, skip and jump away from me. How sad to learn it was only a very well-made prop that had been torn down. That “prop” was such an exquisite testimony to studio artistry – long gone.

    Thank you for such a nice trip down memory lane. I do believe the Ghost and Mrs. Muir will remain my favorite movie until the day I die.

    It was exquisite, on so many levels.

  7. Annie-Laurie Says:

    I grew up not far from Rocky Point and Lunada Bay and KNEW that’s where it was filmed!

  8. If you are obsessed with Gull Cottage, as am I, you must watch the old DAVID COPPERFIELD, with Freddie Bartholmew, WC Fields, Basil Rathbone, etc from 1936; George Cukor, director. I saw it last night.

    David’s Great Aunt Betsey Trotwood lives in Gull Cottage too – it must have also been filmed at the same PV location because it looks like the White Cliffs of Dover, which is exactly what it looked like in the original G & MM (including the monkey-puzzle tree).

    Although according to Wikipedia – “The scenes set outside Aunt Betsey’s house atop the white cliffs of Dover were filmed at Malibu” ???

    David Copperfield was filmed in 1935 (MGM) and Ghost & Mrs Muir (FOX) was filmed in 1947 – but the two houses look almost exactly alike.

    So weird…maybe there were plans and architects shared with MGM & FOX, except that the White Cliffs of Diver (Malibu or PV?) are in both shots.

    By the way – Muir means “sea” in Gaelic!

  9. What a great piece of trivia Kathleen.

    I am such a fan of The Ghost. I even bought the soundtrack on cd.

    What a disappointment when I learned Gull Cottage was not a real house. I live close to PV and would love to drive up the hill and spot the actual location where it was filmed. It’s probably a private, gated area by now though.

    Does anyone know?

  10. Kathleen, I cannot thank you enough for posting the still photos of Gull Cottage. I recently started a miniature version of the 1947 Gull Cottage and still photos are such a great help now that Fox has removed great chunks of this wonderful movie (due to copyrights) from YouTube. It was my go-to place for referencing at a moments notice while working on the project, and I have been resorting to memory as I haven’t obtained the DVD yet.
    My rendition will not be an exact replica, as I started with a dollhouse kit that I am tweaking here and there, but it will be as close as I can manage with my limited skills. This has been one of my dearest fav’s for many years…it is such a charming and touching movie. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore. Again, many thanks for capturing the many charms of this classic film.

    • Christine Haskell Says:

      Thanks! I’m glad the post was helpful to you. Please come back and post a link to your replica – I would love to see it!

    • Hi! I would love to see pictures of your miniature Gull Cottage. I am working on a miniature of Rosehill Cottage from The Holiday.

    • Chris, I’m fascinated by your attempt to re-create Gull Cottage in miniature form. It has bugged me for years that the window from the master bedroom (leading onto the balcony) and the upstairs hall window are in alignment when you look at the front of the house (and the bedroom window is directly above the living room window). However, when you come up the stairs (which don’t seem to line up perpendicularly with the downstairs hall) and go across the hall to the master bedroom door, the light reflects from the upstairs hall window – to the right – but then when you go through the bedroom door, you do turn a little to the right to approach the balcony window, but it just doesn’t seem that you’ve turned right far enough to actually be facing the front of the house again.

      Would love to see interior schematics of the house – like many others have expressed here, I’d build a duplicate in a heartbeat if I had the money and the means!!

  11. Linda Cast Says:

    The house and film are in my dreams too. The book (1945, by Josephine Leslie, writing as R. A. Dick) is charming, and so far (a few chapters in), the film follows the story closely. In the tale, Gull Cottage is a small stone house on a winding road at the end of Whitecliff (there’s a White Cliff Bay in England, surrounded by high bluffs). The following link goes to an interesting article on the story and the relationship of the times, ghosts, and feminism.;jsessionid=BB34F09F10D0A4DC80049CBAB0B3AAA7.inst2_1a?docId=5000370040

    • Christine Haskell Says:

      Thank you for including that great article! It is true that 1945 must have been an incredible year for women of the time…the loss and changing times. This movie has struck so many people and is so layered in its themes. They just don’t make them like that anymore –

  12. Hi all,
    It’s great to see how much interest people have in all this… romance is not dead! LOL I haven’t been able to track down any plans. It’s a pity that Steve wasn’t more interested as a child… you know if he ever wan’ts to sell those props he’ll make a fortune… and that’s just the bidding amongst us, let alone the “real” collectors. hahaha. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an architect to recreate the house, in plans, for me. And then see what alterations would be necessary for all mod cons, and building restrictions/standards etc. Have to find out about the cost. I imagine it would be high, as they’d have to study the movie stills quite intensely. It wouyld be so hard to gauge scale unless you knew exactly what height the actors were in their dress shoes, or had some other ‘Standard’ item by which to gauge size. I don’t think I’d be satisfied if it were a guesstimate. I want that house!! Hahahahaha

    • If you look really closely at the film you will notice the master bedroom is not over the living room but on the right side of the house where the double staircase leads, please send your ideas. I have the definitive version on DVD. Thank you, look out for it next time you watch the movie.

  13. Jaya, you are not alone! I could die happy in that house!

  14. […] wheel in the cottage […]

  15. Morgan Says:

    So confused: when I used to stand on the spot where you could see (from the coastline) that this was the “spot” where the cottage stood, I thought the farmers building holding onions was what was left of the set. Now, that being said, so VERY glad I am wrong about the house. However, I still want to know about that porch I stood on as a child. Any Ideas? Thanks

    • Not sure what your question is, but part of the film was filed in Monterey, I believe. I believe the coastline is the Monterey coastline. Anyone have definitive info?

  16. brigitte Says:

    Hey, where did you guys get the music soundtrack of the movie? I would love to have it! My husband grew up right by where the movie was filmed. He never believed me about it being filmed in PV. do you think the house was by the old Marine Land site?

  17. brigette, yes, I believe that’s where the house was. I bought the soundtrack from It’s the most haunting, beautiful music I’d ever heard. I loved that soundtrack for years and was so happy to finally find it on amazon.

  18. Hi All,

    I’m really thrilled to have found individuals with the same passion for the movie that I share. I am 48 years old and have watched the movie over and over since my early twenties. I take my family to the California Coastal town of Cambria for a week every year and we always watch the movie while there. It’s neat to know that they filmed parts of it not too terribly far from there. We have done it since my kids were very small and now it is among their favorite movie as well. I also love the house and have thought that if I ever won the lottery that I would have something just like it built. I’ve had the soundtrack for years and play it very often and it represents some of the most beautiful music ever composed. I’m looking forward to checking back here often to read the new comments. Oh yes, one more thing….I found a clock just like the one from the movie a few years ago on ebay and enjoy hearing it chime every half an hour…


    • Sandy Gallagher Says:

      David, I am truly amazed to read your post. I am so envious that you own the same clock that was featured in the movie. Ever since I saw this movie as a child I have to say the sound of that chime has “haunted” me. If you read this post I hope you can provide details of the clock so that maybe one day I will also be able to own one! The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is my favorite classic movie!

  19. Annie-Laurie Says:

    recent photo of Lunda Bay, Palos Verdes Estates, CA

  20. Annie-Laurie Says:

    another view, probably more recognizeable from the film,

  21. Annie, unfortunately I can’t get into facebook and view your photos. Blurb comes up saying “unavailable.”

    It’s good to know there are some of us who still adore the film.
    I am now 58, and I suppose it will always remain my favorite. Can’t even put into words the beauty and purity of that movie.

  22. I am 38 and watching the movie for the first time. I live in CA and when I saw the coastline shot I thought….I have to look that up and see where this movie was filmed. Loving it. 🙂

  23. […] movie was actually filmed entirely in California. Steve told Movie Real Estate it was built by the production department of 20th Century Fox in Palos Verdes and was taken down […]

  24. […] movie was actually filmed entirely in California. Steve told Movie Real Estate it was built by the production department of 20th Century Fox in Palos Verdes and taken down after […]

  25. I have some blueprints of Gull Cottage – (like a diagram) that I found when the TV house was up for sale – (the one in CA) pretty big for a “cottage!) but still fun.!

  26. filmy bez limitów…

    […]Movie Real Estate: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir « Movie Real Estate[…]…

  27. I would love to know it there are blueprints for this home? If there is someone out there with this information please advise via e-mail to Robert Paterniti –

  28. mysteries of the world…

    […]Movie Real Estate: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir « Movie Real Estate[…]…

  29. cantamar32 Says:

    I really love this movie and have watched it countless times. I am very clear on where the set was located; Portuguese Bend. What confuses most people trying to find the original sight is that the actual land was changed forever on a fateful night in 1956. A massive landslide reformed the landscape and destroyed hundreds of homes that were built between 1946 and 1956. I have some close friends who live in a gated community about a quarter mile south of the site. We hiked to where we thought the set was, took an ipad with the movie loaded and “screened” it. Was a chilling experience. Most of the solid land features exist but the actual site sits lower and is still moving today. Driving north on “Palos Verdes Drive South” from San Pedro you will know when you hit the Portuguese Bend landslide; the road remains open but is moving daily and is in a perpetual state of repair with all the services such as water and sewer above ground. About 3/4 of the way between the south end of the slide and the Wayfarers Chapel is where the filming location was. AGAIN, the actual site has been changed and moved but if you look at the land masses that reach hopefully to the Pacific it becomes crystal clear.

  30. cantamar32 Says:

    I love the 1947 movie and have watched it countless times. I am very clear on the location; Portuguese Bend area of Rancho Palos Verdes, California on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The confusion most people have on narrowing down the actual site is because of a fateful night in 1956. The area suffered a massive landslide that forever changed the landmass and destroyed hundreds of homes that were built in the area. I have friends who live in a gated community 1/4 mile south of the actual site. We hiked to the area we thought was the location with an ipad that had a copy of the movie on it. “Screening” the movie on that site was chilling. The actual land is very different around the site Fox built the set house due to the landslide. The geologic features lying just North and South of Portuguese Bend that reach out hopefully to the Pacific are still relatively identical with differences being the flora. You can get an idea of the area if you are driving the road “Palos Verdes Drive S” heading North from San Pedro you will know when you reach the landslide. The area is STILL moving daily and the road is in a perpetual state of repair. About 1/3 of the drive from where the landslide starts to Wayfarers Chapel is where the actual site was. The changes from when the movie was filmed to 2012 are significant…but those iconic geologic features are crystal clear.

  31. Yes I to like the house in the ghost And mrs muir , But the house that I’m referring to is from the movie , Not the series. can you tell me if this house still exist? And where maybe who built the house any of these could you answer?

    • A long time ago, I bid for a press kit on the movie version of GAMM – mostly it was info about the director, stars, etc. But I did find this bit about the house. If you like, I would be glad to e mail you the articles which I scanned and converted to PDF format — but here’s a little of what it said about the “house.”

      “Inexpensive” Gull Cottage, which the Ghost tries to haunt Gene Tierney out of, cost the studio $68,000 to build — $52,000 for interior on various stages, $26,000 for the exterior at Rancho Palos Verdes. But Hollywood labor gets higher pay than any other industry; and studio costs skyrocket because house has to be constructed with movable walls for various camera angles.

      Does this help you?

    • Sometimes the house of our dreams is better than anything we construct with hammer and nails. I am happy to have spent time on the site, however altered by the Portuguese Bend landslide and the amazing view beyond the Monkey Puzzle Tree.

  32. Christine, thanks for a great blog!

    I just purchased the CD of Bernard Herman’s sound track recording of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir movie, and it is really great. If you are a fan of the movie, hearing the music “in the clear” is a wonderful experience. I purchased my copy through Amazon. Thanks again, I love visiting this place!

  33. Barbara Sikes Says:

    Am so glad you have this info about this great movie. Am (as I writing watching the movie” and cant tell you thank you enough for putting all this info together. Could we buy the plans for the house? We’ve love the house when we saw it the movie in 1997 and still love it. Thanks again!

    • Thanks so much for writing me, I’m glad you enjoy the blog. There is no place that I know of where you can buy the blueprints. But you’re free to use what I’ve posted if you want to get them drawn up. Would love you to share them if you do!

  34. I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments. I watched this movie years ago and loved it. Found it on Netflix the other night and watched it again. I used to live in the South Bay, very close to Palos Verdes, and thought that the scenery looked like PV. I had to google it and was excited to learn that it was filmed there. Some of my girlfriends and I are taking a road trip up the coast this summer and we will watch this movie first and then start our road trip in palos Verdes. By the way, we are all from Texas so this will be a fun adventure.
    I believe that I read that the beach scenes were filmed in Carmel, also a part of our road trip.
    Thanks so much for creating this site!!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

    • Cathy, when you get to PV you will be looking for the Portuguese bend area. The spot where the “house” was built actually slid toward the Pacific in 1956. The area is still moving daily, the road and services are in a perpetual state of repair. You can park at the public lot across from the Wayfarers Chapel and walk south toward the slide area. The clearly visible promontory that juts out toward the ocean will be on your right. Walk along the road and where the landslide area starts walk about halfway (1/2 mi.) down the road and look toward the ocean. The recognizable landmarks are very clear as you look toward the ocean. If the day is clear, Catalina Island will be visible on the horizon. When you walk back toward your car it is worth a walk out onto the north promontory. Look along the coastline just north of that spot and you will see an old estate that is where the “BIG W” was planted from Mad Mad Mad Mad World. The trees are gone now but those gardens were the site for that and many other movies that needed a Mediterranean atmosphere. The gate to the gardens (a private home) was featured in many of those movies too, you will see that during the journey. A visit to Lloyd Wrights’ Wayfarers Chapel is also strongly recommended. It makes for a real nice afternoon tour.


  35. Tammy Olsen Says:

    Looks like a lot of people are getting confused between the movie and the tv series. The Gull Cottage in Montecito was used for the television series. The Gull Cottage in the movie was a Hollywood prop and removed shortly after filming ended. The movie was filmed in and around Carmel-by-the-sea.

    • Jerry Anderson Says:

      The 1947 movie scenes next to the house were filmed at Portuguese Bend, Palos Verdes. One scene pans from West to South-East showing Inspiration Point to the point where Trump golf course is now. The house site was on Portuguese Bend which was destroyed by the 1956 landslide. The scenes on the beach were filmed in Carmel.

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