Kathryn Welling, Property journalist
First published 13 Oct 2023, 5:00am
The home featured in the hit Hollywood flick Goosebumps – When Good Ghouls Go Bad.
One of Wahroonga’s most important properties – Hazeldean, built as the grand guesthouse of the North Shore in 1898 and painstakingly transformed by John and Stella Dennis into a landmark family home has come to market with $12m-$13m expectations.

Hazeldean on 3422 sqm of land with championship tennis court, heated swimming pool and spa and two self-contained apartments is a Queen Anne mansion designed by Varney Parkes, son of Sir Henry Parkes. It was built for holidays and honeymoons before the Blue Mountains became popular and it had 35 rooms and large grounds.
The home dates back to 1898.
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In 2000 Hollywood movie makers used the house to make the children’s film “Goosebumps – When Good Ghouls Go Bad” from the author R.L.Stine and starring Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown from the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy).
When the Dennis’s purchased the Burns Rd property in 1997 it was divided into nine apartments. There were nicotine stains on the walls, verandahs carved up into bathrooms and boarded up fireplaces. The couple engaged heritage architects and began the exhaustive process of turning the vast property into a family home.
Period charm.
The home has been restored to its original grandeur.
One of the nine bedrooms.
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They discovered original embossed wallpaper from Belgium in the hall and richly decorated lathe and plaster ceilings under layers of paint. In 2002 the house won the Ku-ring-gai Heritage Restoration Award, but the couple kept improving and added a new roof of Welsh slate in 2015.
John is chairman of the Variety Children’s Charity and formerly worked as managing director of Australian Structured Finance. Restoring this property has been his passion.
There are now nine bedrooms, six new bathrooms, formal lounge and dining rooms, a Carrara marble kitchen, a library, rumpus, media room, home office and wine cellar. A north-facing deck overlooks the pool and there is covered parking for four cars.
Christopher Lloyd in a scene from Goosebumps – When Good Ghouls Go Bad shot in the home.
An aerial shot of the 3422 sqm property.
Hazeldean is a short level stroll to the train station, shops, and cafes as well as Wahroonga Prep, Abbotsleigh and Knox Grammar. The two self-contained apartments, in their own wings were regularly offered to visiting school families as the four Dennis children attended the nearby private schools.
Lynette Malcolm, of Di Jones Wahroonga, said she already has good interest from local families wanting to upgrade.
“This is a real showpiece home, it is attracting families with children at the nearby schools,” she said.
According to PropTrack the median house price in Wahroonga is $2.7m, that’s steady over the past 12 months with 194 houses sold.
Expressions of interest close on November 18.
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