The house was built by a lumber baron in an unusual style that Vincent D'Agosta describes as a castle crossed with a log cabin. The house has towers at either end, a long facade with many windows, and a widow's walk topped with iron railings. It stands on a small rise with a view of the forest and the Black Brake Swamp beyond.
In Fever Dream, Special Agent Pendergast and Vincent D'Agosta visited the home to learn more about the Doanes. They found the inside of the home comprehensively wrecked with furniture, broken dishes and rotten food everywhere. The walls were full of holes made by a sledgehammer or a fist. The kitchen still bore the bloodstains where Mr. Doane was shot by the police.
In one room they found a greasy mattress surrounded by empty cans of food. A corner of the room had been used as a latrine. William Doane's bedroom contained the heads of many animals, roughly nailed to the wall. Karen Doane's room contained nothing but a bookshelf with a few books.
A locked and sealed room on the second floor contained the last remnant of the family's former glory. D'Agosta described it as "jewel-like" and full of treasures. The windows were boarded over, but Mrs. Doane's paintings covered every inch of the walls. Beautiful rugs, furniture and sculptures filled the room, and jewelry was set out on sheets of black velvet. In the sealed room Pendergast and D'Agosta found a set of handmade leather-bound books containing the diaries of Karen Doane.
Karen's journals detailed the family's descent into madness, beginning with the arrival of an African gray parrot which the family kept and named Muffin. A woman later revealed to be Helen Pendergast came to the house and stole the parrot, but it was too late for the Doane family, already infected with avian flu.