Property

7 Haunting Secrets About the Versace Mansion

Rumor has it that a time capsule is buried somewhere in the walls.
IMAGE KEN HAYDEN PHOTOGRAPHY
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In light of the announcement that Ryan Murphy's "Versace: American Crime Story" will premiere in early 2018, we're going to take you into the depths of the mansion where Gianni Versace's murder took place. It's been 20 years since the horrific events unfolded at the Versace Mansion—and despite the case being closed, there is still so much mystery surrounding the mansion itself.

For about a year after the prolific fashion designer's murder, the Miami Beach house sat on the auction block without a single bid. Finally, an intrigued investor bought it for $47 million, making it one of America's most expensive homes—considering the mansion's 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and a 24-carat-lined swimming pool, we can see why.

Now known as the Villa Casa Casuarina, the lavish estate currently operates as a boutique hotel where guests can stay in Versace's bedroom for a steep $1,000 per night. You can wander the same halls as one of fashion's most iconic figures and uncover the mansion's many secrets.

Here are just a few we dug up.


1. TRAP DOORS AND SECRET PASSAGES ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE.

The original architect, Alden Freeman, wanted a way to quickly move throughout the mansion, so he incorporated a number of secret doors and passageways in the home's design. Guests are forbidden from using them today, but Gianni often used a shortcut from his bedroom to what is now called the G Lounge, which is a grand event space.

2. RUMOR HAS IT THAT A TIME CAPSULE IS BURIED SOMEWHERE IN THE WALLS.

Supposedly during construction of the mansion in 1930, a time capsule was carefully hidden inside one of the walls. The architect died just seven years later, so we might never know exactly where to find it.


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3. A MEDUSA STATUE CAN BE FOUND IN THE GARDEN.

Imported from his hometown of Reggio Calabria, Italy, Gianni installed a Medusa statue in the middle of the pool garden, which is made up of thousands of mosaic tiles. It is the largest statue in the house and eerily looks over guests as they wander the mansion.

4. VERSACE HAD CLOTHING NOOKS INSTALLED THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE.

Even 23,000 square feet wasn't enough to hold all of the designer's clothing. He added hidden cubbies around the property to store the overflow from his wardrobe. In some of the rooms, guests can still store their belongings out of sight.


5. THERE IS A 24-KARAT GOLD TOILET.

One of the most expensive pieces in the house, it was one of Gianni's few belongings that his sister Donatella didn't sell at auction. The luxe toilet is carved from a slab of marble and the seat and lid are both plated with 24-karat gold.

6. VERSACE USED CARRIER PIGEONS.

Right below the Villa's observatory, there once stood a bird coop for Gianni's many carrier pigeons. He and his friends are rumored to have exchanged secret messages using his little pets.


7. THE TILES ARE ARRANGED FOR YOU TO DECODE A SECRET MESSAGE.

Take a peek at the intricately tiled floor by the pool area. Rumor has it that the complex design holds a cryptic coded message.

h/t: Conde Nast Traveler

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Sara Tardiff
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