Sears Mishap House Myth – Savannah, Georgia - Atlas Obscura

Sears Mishap House Myth

Local myth claims this is a Sears catalogue home with its windows installed upside-down.  


Savannah, Georgia, is rich with strange local tales. Many involve ghosts or other mysterious hauntings, but some involve something a bit less sinister: Victorian architecture.

Local guides will tell tourists that all is not as it seems with the peach-colored house with green shutters at 32 Habersham Street. Look at the house, and you’ll notice its windows have a unique decorative style to them, said to be due to the fact they were installed upside-down. 

How did this oddity occur? Pranksters blame it on the Sears catalog craze. Long before the advent of the internet, the Sears catalog provided people all over the United States with a single source for all of their mail-order shopping. You could purchase just about anything through the catalog, including, apparently, DIY home construction kits.

In reality, the windows were arranged in this way so that the top part could open, which better allowed the heat to escape to keep the house cooler.

Though this house is not in fact a Sears catalog home, that hasn’t stopped that particular myth from running wild. The house and its rumored construction mishap have become a quirky point of interest on city tours and have tricked many a visitor, despite the signs disputing the story hanging outside.

Correction: This entry previously stated that this home was a Sears Roebuck catalog house with the windows installed upside-down. That is an incorrect, though oft-repeated local tale. In fact, the house is a Victorian-era design and the windows are installed correctly.

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