Horror mansion where human beings are chopped and cooked in North London

A Horror mansion in North London where human beings are being chopped and cooked has been found.

Sitting in an idyllic location in leafy Muswell Hill, with a balcony giving stunning views over north London, Flat 23D Cranley Gardens seems like a dream home.

But there is a very sinister reason why buyers have been reluctant to even visit the seemingly perfect north London property over the years.

It once belonged to notorious serial Dennis Nilsen.

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That alone may be enough to put people off living there, but it gets even worse.

Nilsen carried out three of his estimated 15 murders of vulnerable young men inside after luring them back with the promise of booze and food.

The twisted killer hid the dead bodies of his victims under the floorboards in his previous home in Cricklewood before burning them outside when the stench became too much.

But without a garden in his next home, he resorted to dismembering his victims, boiling body parts in his kitchen so the flesh would dissolve, then flushed smaller parts down the toilet.

Nilsen had already killed between nine and 12 young men when he moved to the attic flat in Muswell Hill on October 5 1981.

Before his capture 16 months later he would lure another three there and murder them.

The sick necrophiliac was caught by accident after the drains became clogged with bits of rotting corpses he tried to flush away.

He and other tenants in his block of flats had complained to the landlord about the smell from the drains, which would be his downfall.

Police were called after drain clearage company Dyno-Rod visited the property and discovered a flesh-like substance being eaten by rats.

A police search then turned up three men’s bodies in a wardrobe, tea chest and chest of drawers.

They then turned their attention to his former home in Melrose Avenue, Cricklewood, where they made more horrific discoveries.

Almost 40 years since the final murder took place, the house was put on the market for the second time in a year in April 2015.

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It had previously sold at auction for £250,000 in 2013 but was not believed to have been occupied in the time before it went on sale again.

The property, which had undergone a dramatic refurbishment was described as a “well presented one double bedroom top floor flat with own private balcony”.

But buyers were given a gruesome warning about the house’s sinister past on the listing.

The bold statement read: “BUYERS ARE KINDLY ASKED TO RESEARCH THE HISTORY OF THIS PROPERTY OR ENQUIRE WITH THE MARKETING AGENT PRIOR TO VIEWINGS.”

Despite this, there were around 100 enquiries for the property in the first six weeks it was on the market.

But only one in 20 of those actually dared to view the horror house.

At the time, Reuben John, of Paul Simon estate agents whose job is to sell the flat, said: “We often have one person in each couple who does not care about its past, and one who definitely does not want to live there.

“It has been very well renovated but there is a lot of stuff about it on the internet and it was a very big story at the time, meaning it is still in people’s memories.

“One of our photographs on the listings looks very similar to the forensics photographs.

“It is taken from the same angle as one from the time which showed pans on the hob which he used to boil the shredded bodies.

“The person who bought it wanted to refurbish it then sell it on for a quick buck – but that hasn’t happened.

“I’m on the middle ground with this though.

“If I was looking for a house in Muswell Hill and my budget was only £300,000 I would definitely go for it.

“We’re looking for a buyer who cares about the future and is not bothered about the past – that buyer just hasn’t walked through the door yet.”

In a Mirror Online poll, only 375 of people said they could live in a house where murders had taken place.

Many potential buyers were put off by the gruesome history of the house, with people who weren’t alive when the murders took place knowing its dark past.

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One woman who viewed it said: “I wasn’t even born when these  murders  took place but everyone round here knows about what happened.

“I’m sure it will make a nice home for someone – and a tidy bargain – but I wouldn’t spend the night under that roof.”

However, a cash buyer was found by June of 2015 and came forward with the full £300,000 asking price.

A former tenant of the spacious house, who lived below the murder flat, said she only has good memories about living there.

Frances, 27, who lived in the flat below for two years, said: “I lived here for a year with two friends and had a great time, so I’ve only ever had good associations with the house.

“It had been nicely renovated and never felt sinister to us.

“The benefits of living somewhere known as a serial killer’s address were that taxi drivers always knew our road, and it made the rent cheaper as our landlady couldn’t always find tenants willing to overlook its history.”

Then in 2017, Nilsen’s former home went back on the market again – but with a staggeringly higher asking price.

The fully refurbished flat went on sale for more than £30,000 above average the asking price for the area – despite its grisly past.

“Being able to walk to Highgate tube gives us an easy commute to work or for socialising,” read the advert.

“Our separate private entrance and south facing garden allow privacy and makes it feel more like a house.”

The home had been knocked down from its original asking price of £525,000 after it failed to sell.

Yet it has shot up by almost £200,000 in less than two years after it was extended from a one-bed to a two-bed.

While Nilsen’s Melrose Avenue flat, where he stashed 12 bodies under the floor, went for a cut price in spring 2016.

Undaunted first-time buyers Bruno and Mathilde paid £493,000 – around 10% less than other similar properties in the area.

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After they completed a Grand Designs-style makeover it looked unrecognisable from the maggot-infested horror house where Nilsen killed and hid his victims.

The couple even grew fruit and vegetables in the garden where Nilsen used to burn piles of corpses and hid teeth and bone fragments.

“We know a lot of people would not live here. But from the moment people see what the place looks like, it puts that to rest,” they told The Sun in 2018.

“If you compare what the flat was with what the flat is, it has nothing to do with what happened 35 years ago.”

Admitting they estate agent had urged them to search the internet for the flat’s past, they added: “We looked it up and read all about the history. But it was all 35, 40 years ago. For us it was never an issue.”

Nilsen pleaded guilty by way of diminished responsibility in order to be convicted of manslaughter, but on November 4 1983 he was convicted of six counts of murder and two attempted murders.

Among his victims were Stephen Holmes, Kenneth Ockenden, Martyn Duffey, William Sutherland and Malcolm Barlow.

Nilsen was sentenced to life in prison and spent the last days of his life as “a loner in prison”.

The serial killer died from natural causes aged 72 after being found slumped over a toilet at HMP Full Sutton near York.

An inquest heard that Nilsen died after having a pulmonary embolism – a blocked artery in his lung – and bleeding in his abdominal cavity on May 12, 2018.

Hull Coroners’ Court heard he was left deteriorating in his own faeces as health care staff refused to review his condition throughout the day.

He had suffered a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, which was only detected when paramedics examined him after 6pm, then was successfully operated on at York District Hospital and transferred to intensive care.

His condition worsened and he died in the early hours of May 12, 2018.

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