The white-shingled, two-story home at 2207 Seymour Ave. in Cleveland might look like many American homes from the outside -- if it weren't for the tall chain-link fence now surrounding it and the crowds of visitors fighting to take pictures. The home, where Ariel Castro allegedly held Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight captive for more than a decade, has become the city's latest tourist attraction for all the wrong reasons.
Despite the fence and a police officer guarding the home at all times, the curious continue to gather at the Castro home, Cleveland TV station WKYC reported. "It's like they got a movie or something over there. [This is] going to last all this week. Watch. A lot of people are going to come from other states to take a picture of the house," neighbor Arivar Santiago told the station.
Even area residents are keen to see Cleveland's "newest destination" in person. "I just came to see it with my own eyes. But next time I come, I'll probably bring my cellphone, take a picture," Stan Miller, who lives about 10 miles from the house, told WKYC.
The property already appears to have joined many other homes that have been stigmatized by notorious crimes -- the Akron, Ohio, childhood home of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, for example, or the Houston home where Andrea Yates drowned her five children. Homes such as these have been known to drop sharply in value because of their chilling associations.
According to MSNBC, neighbors already are hoping to see the home burned or knocked down, and are getting some support from City Hall. "It is too early to tell right now how long it will take before we are able to demolish it, but that is what our hope is," Cleveland City Councilman Brian Cummins told MSNBC. But it's more likely that the house will remain in limbo while Castro is on trial.