Episode #161 — Owner of Buffalo Bill’s House, Chris Rowan

Let’s just get this out of the way — you’ve probably noticed that our blog has been on a bit of a late summer hiatus. We’d like to say that time was spent at an exclusive blogging retreat on a remote island in the Pacific, where we learned how to entertain and inform in 700 words or less. Maybe at this retreat we attended blogging seminars where we felt mentally superior to other podcasters trying to learn how to blog about pop culture when they don’t even know that “KISS Saves Santa” isn’t an actual movie but instead was featured on a “Family Guy” holiday special. Embarrassing.

Or maybe we failed the blogger trust exercises the activities coordinator wanted us to do every afternoon at 2:48 on the dot. We don’t trust anyone, and a blazing sun and crashing surf won’t change that. It’s possible that Luke discovered he’s past the point in his life when sharing a bathroom with strangers is acceptable, and that the other participants ostracized Heidi because she always got dressed up for dinner and refused to wear shorts. How many sundresses can one person own? Or, most likely, our producer Rachel had a severe allergic reaction to the intense South Pacific sun and spent several weeks hunkered down in a cool, dark room, desperately trying to catch a breeze from a table fan and using up a national supply of aloe.

Ultimately, who’s to say where we actually were? (An entire morning of the blogging retreat was dedicated to keeping the mystery alive for our readers.) All that matters is that we’re back to writing and connecting pop culture synapses. And what better to way to celebrate than to talk to someone whose own pop culture references haven’t missed a beat. This week we spoke with Chris Rowan, the owner of Buffalo Bill’s House. No, not that Buffalo Bill… THAT Buffalo Bill. If you’re a fan of “The Silence of the Lambs,” or if you’re just interested in renting a historic home on a beautiful piece of property, this interview is for you!

Chris is an art director and prop stylist for movies, so transforming a Victorian home into a small business wasn’t necessarily in his wheelhouse. But when he saw a house come up for sale that played a pivotal role in the classic horror movie “The Silence of the Lambs,” he had to act fast. This stately home in Perryopolis, PA (about 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh), plays an integral role in film history and Chris had a vision about how to transform it and share it with other horror movie enthusiasts and film buffs. Instead of keeping it to himself, Chris has transformed the home and its two acres into a rental destination.

In talking with Chris, we learned that an admirable level of detail was employed to all aspects of getting the home ready. This isn’t a bed and breakfast — this is, instead, an immersive experience on private property. That means the home and property are exclusively yours to enjoy when you book a stay. There aren’t movie tours running through every hour on the hour, it’s just you and Buffalo Bill’s mannequins. And if you want to throw on a kimono and dance around, Chris has facilitated that. Actually, Chris has left no aspect of “The Silence of the Lambs” unturned, so expect an amazing swag bag with some great word play if you book a stay.

Tune in to this week’s episode to hear about how Chris purchased and got Buffalo Bill’s House ready in under a year. You can also find out which parts of the film were shot at the house, along with how, exactly, Chris makes the experience truly unique. Let’s just say we’re ready to stay there. And in the meantime, we’ve got some shea lotion and a cute basket to buy from his shop online. You can find out more about Chris and how to book a stay at Buffalo Bill’s House on his website. He’s also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter if you want to learn a little more about the place before committing to buying a nice bottle of Chianti and driving to western Pennsylvania.

We promise we’ll be back with more blogging fun next week. Unless, of course, there’s backlash from the HBO miniseries based on our aforementioned retreat. In that case, we were in Perryopolis, PA, for the last few weeks, having an old friend for dinner.


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