The House Where Freddy Lives

Posted on: November 1, 1992 at 12:01 AM

By Andy Mangels

Published in The Nightmare Never Ends.


The issue of what house is Nancy Thompson’s and which is Freddy Krueger’s has become clouded over the years. The first and second films found the Thompsons and Walshs living at 1428 Elm St. Though Freddy’s glove was stored in the basement, it was not his house.

The third film complicated matters when the house appeared in Kristen’s nightmares old and decrepit. Kristen made a model of it, which Nancy identified as “my house” in the film, yet it was clearly also Freddy’s house in the dream sequences. Things got even weirder in the fourth film, when Kristen, Alice, and Rick are outside Freddy’s house in broad daylight, and it’s the house that’s always been identified as Nancy’s house. The fifth film dealt very little with the house, but the TV series’ opening credits showed it almost constantly, sans house number.

In the sixth film John crashes down on Elm Street and finds a mailbox reading “1427 Elm Street” on a street never shown to have mailboxes before. During the Freddy flashback scenes we see extensive shots of Freddy’s backyard, where the Springwood Water Tower is visible in the distance. The water tower is never visible in any of the previous films, yet it’s been there since before the 1960s! When Tracy, Carlos, and Spencer arrive on Elm Street, the house they go into reshapes itself as the decrepit Freddy/Nancy house we’re familiar with.

Workers on the film admit they started playing fast and loose with the continuity as of the third film, and it s most noticeable here. For the purpose of rationality and to keep continuity, I’ve created an explanation that’s used in the comic book series.

To wit: Nancy’s and Freddy’s houses were designed by the same designer, as is often done in smaller cities. They lived several blocks apart, so the tract house look was not really applicable. The houses looked similar enough that when we see one in daylight, in the fourth film, we are really looking at the Krueger house at 1665 Elm St., and we also see it in the sixth film. Nancy’s house is 1428 Elm St., and Freddy uses the structural similarities against her as a psychological weapon in the third film. She doesn’t think that the model is Krueger’s house, as she may have never been told that the long abandoned, similar looking house a few blocks away was Krueger’s. In the dreamworld, where we usually never see the house number, we are looking at Freddy’s house, though he may sometimes use the house number of Nancy’s house for added psychological terror.

Hey, it’s not pretty, but it does explain the inconsistencies!

Article Challenge

By the Site Webmaster

I do not agree with Mr. Mangels on this issue and wanted to address it here. In my opinion, many of his points are not complete and ignore established canon.

To Counter the Article

“The issue of what house is Nancy Thompson’s and which is Freddy Krueger’s has become clouded over the years. The first and second films found the Thompsons and Walshs living at 1428 Elm St.

The third film complicated matters when the house appeared in Kristen’s nightmares old and decrepit. Kristen made a model of it, which Nancy identified as “my house” in the film, yet it was clearly also Freddy’s house in the dream sequences. Things got even weirder in the fourth film, when Kristen, Alice, and Rick are outside Freddy’s house in broad daylight, and it’s the house that’s always been identified as Nancy’s house. The fifth film dealt very little with the house, but the TV series’ opening credits showed it almost constantly, sans house number.

In the sixth film John crashes down on Elm Street and finds a mailbox reading “1427 Elm Street” on a street never shown to have mailboxes before.”

To Add: This is John’s dream. When we see this mailbox, we are also shown that the crashed house is behind John, which indicates that the house that crashed is 1427 Elm Street. John looks across the street and sees the house at 1428 Elm Street. No inconsistencies here.

“During the Freddy flashback scenes we see extensive shots of Freddy’s backyard, where the Springwood Water Tower is visible in the distance. The water tower is never visible in any of the previous films, yet it’s been there since before the 1960’s!”

To Add: According to Mangels’ own map of Springwood (included in the same book), Springwood has two water towers. If this tower is indeed that old, it’s only common sense that it would have to be repaired. I counter that it was taken down for repair before the events in A Nightmare on Elm Street and is replaced in-between A Nightmares on Elm Street 5 and Freddy’s Dead.

Additionally, the Nightmare films cover a long period of time. See the site’s Timeline for details.

In roughly a 20 year time span, it’s reasonable to assume the water tower would need to be taken down for repair sometime after Freddy’s demise in 1968 (if it was standing since the 1960s) but before the events in the first film. Therefore, at any time after the eight years that Nightmares 1-5 cover, it could have been repaired and put back up in time for the events in Freddy’s Dead. An easily explainable inconsistency.

“When Tracy, Carlos, and Spencer arrive on Elm Street, the house they go into reshapes itself as the decrepit Freddy/Nancy house we’re familiar with.”

To Add: Freddy was almost at his most powerful; he was “blurring the lines between dreams and reality.” We see evidence of this when the house undergoes its change and the interior now resembles that of the dream world (i.e., no kitchen, back door, etc). No inconsistencies here. Also, we are shown the actual house number.

Mr. Mangels further adds his explanation, which is very good but misleading. With a town as small as Springwood, Nancy would know whether the house Kristen built was intended to be her house or not. We are also shown in Freddy’s Dead that Freddy grew up in that house (teen Freddy basement flashback) and later tried to raise a family there (water tower and backyard flashbacks). The basements shown in flashbacks and the present are the same. Additionally, the workprint for Freddy’s Dead includes a scene in which Maggie goes down to the basement and finds Freddy’s old “work place” hidden behind an old plastered-over door. You can watch it here.

In the series, 1428 Elm Street was always referred to as “his house” and in Freddy’s Dead we’re shown this to be true. It’s also important to note that the idea itself can be traced back to the third film. As seen in later drafts of the Nightmare 3 script, Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner had similar intentions of tying 1428 Elm Street to Freddy’s past. An example of this can be read in the novel adaptation The Nightmares on Elm Street Parts 1, 2, & 3.

Story-wise it makes perfect sense the Thompsons moved into Freddy’s house after killing him. The parents of Elm Street murdered a person and then tried to cover up their crime. They wouldn’t speak of what occurred, Freddy’s remains were hidden in an old junkyard, and his daughter was given a new name, adopted, and taken away from Springwood. The Thompsons moving into 1428 Elm Street was clearly a calculated step in helping cover up Krueger’s existence. They could cover up any evidence and any trace of who Freddy was. There is nothing in Mr. Mangels’ arguments above that would make me question that there is only one house—the one the Kruegers, Thompsons, Walshs, etc, lived in is the same house at 1428 Elm Street.

Mr. Mangels presents a creative explanation to address some very minor inconsistencies; however, his explanation ignores what we are explicitly shown on screen and the intentions of previously released materials. Mr. Mangels himself had no part in the scriptwriting or production of the films, so his article cannot be considered canon.