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This $850K Bavarian Castle Was Inspired by a Hitchcock Film

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The rich and puzzling tradition of American castle building continues to reveal itself, listing by listing, as the country's self-styled sovereigns attempt to rid themselves of their holdings. This one, in the town of St. Mary, Missouri, was inspired by more than just a yearning for an imagined past. The owner, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, modeled it after Manderley, the Bavarian-style English country estate in Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca, a film which, for the uninitiated, is chock-full of delightful happenings that you'd want your home to remind you of: creepy and overbearing housekeepers, secret lovers you introduce to people as your "cousin," and murder.

The 7,000-square-foot home's German-born owner, Guenter Foerster, had it built in the '70s, opting for hand-painted ceilings, stained-glass windows (one spelling out a German adage that advises drinking beer before wine), and three fireplaces "massive enough to roast a hog." Originally listed for $3.2M in 2009, with nearly 700 acres included, the home is now offered with 100 acres for $850K, and an additional 272 acres and a "rustic lodge" for $1.5M. A donkey and a horse come with the property either way, while farm equipment and a Oldsmobile Comet are negotiable.

At one point, Foerster had a contract with a group of German investors to turn the place into a beer garden, but that fell through. He's also heard from interested parties desirous of turning it into a hunting lodge, and is pretty blunt about what he thinks of that option: "I wouldn't like it, but I can't prevent people from doing what they want to do."

· Bavarian-style castle for sale near Ste. Genevieve [St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Zillow]