The New England Grimpendium: Edward Gorey House

For the next month, I’ll be posting photo essays on locations, attractions, and artifacts elaborated on in my new book, The New England Grimpendium (available now) to celebrate its debut...and to convince you that it’s worth buying, I guess. That was directed at you, Mom.

September 2, 2010 — Located on Cape Cod in Yarmouth Port, MA, this humble-looking house was the actual home of renowned artist and writer Edward Gorey, who was known for such hilariously macabre works as The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Loathsome Couple, and Dancing Cats and Neglected Murderesses. Gorey died a mere ten years ago, and the house was turned into an intimate little museum that is staffed by his friends and relatives. So where his house was once just full of his stuff, now it's full of his stuff under glass and on display shelves. It's one of my favorite New England discoveries, and a great opportunity for appreciators of Gorey's work.

 He called the place "Elephant House."

The eponymous Doubtful Guest 
(Am I using that word right? Have always had trouble with "guest.")

Here lies the Gashlycrumb Tinies. Your deaths amused us all. 

The problem with this Gorey-designed weather vane is that you don't want to 
subject it to the elements. And that there is only one.

 Gorey designed the animated credit sequence for the PBS show Mystery! 
(bonus Vincent Price connection)... well as the narrator set for some of the seasons.

He designed the set and costumes for the 1977 Broadway play Dracula, 
winning a Tony for the latter .

Sometime Gorey inserted himself in his work...

 His famous racoon coat

 The man himself

Read all about my visit to the Edward Gorey House in The New England Grimpendium, which is on sale now.


  1. Love, love, love Gorey. Ever since I was 8 years and got a copy of John Bellairs' The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull for Halloween (yes, my family gave gifts on Halloween) which featured an absolutely brilliant cover by Edward Gorey. That Jack-o-Lantern in the shack window really freaked me out. Used to stare at it for hours...Gorey also coined one of my favorite phrases in the English language, "brained by a piece of masonry." Man, would I love to visit the Gorey house! Thanks for posting these!

  2. Way glad you brought up his cover illustrations. He did some amazing work for a lot of authors.

  3. I loved his stories. My mom used to read them to me when I was little. I loved the Gashlycrumb Tinies and The Beastly Baby were my favorites. I also loved the one about the little girl who trapped the bird in her little cloth bag.
    What a fantastic imagination he had.

  4. The Gashlycrumb Tinies amused me very much, I was shocked how he thought of their untimely deaths, thinking that he is writing about children! Who thought of putting the children's tomb in his yard? Is it meant or what? It made a good attraction when they decided to keep his house as a museum.