Rental pick of the week

Rent horror author Peter Straub's former townhouse for $22,000 a month

This five-floor townhouse offers 5,000 square feet in which to stretch out.

Citi Habitats

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This single-family, Queen Anne-style brick townhouse in a prime section of the Upper West Side at 53 West 85th St. is about as far as you can get from a house of horrors, but it has a rather famous connection to the genre.

The five-story townhouse belonged to prolific author Peter Straub for 30 years, until 2015, when he sold it for $7 million. Straub is the prize-winning author of 17 novels, including The Talisman and Black House, written in collaboration with Stephen King.

The six-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath house is available for a whopping rent of $22,000 a month. But hey, there's no broker’s fee. It’s been renovated too, and features modern, all-white interiors, dispensing with the more traditional look of wallpapered walls and Persian rugs from the Straub era.

Towards the rear of the parlor floor is a modern kitchen with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a tree-lined garden. There’s a separate entrance on the garden floor, which has a guest bedroom/office.

There’s another entrance on the parlor floor and a large, south-facing formal dining room (see the top image) has original wooden shutters. Past the ornate staircase, an entertainment room overlooks the garden.

Floors three, four, and five have a total of six large rooms that can be used as bedrooms, libraries, offices, and/or media rooms. There are three bathrooms up here.

The garden includes a gravel seating area. A full basement with high ceilings can be used as a game room, a gym, or a storage area, and there is central air conditioning throughout the house. 

The house is conveniently located. Central Park is half a block away, the C and B trains are about two blocks away and the American Museum of Natural History is four blocks away.