This Old House gets into the spirit of this most macabre season with a roundup of 13 (natch) historic American homes that have been the settings of notorious homicides including the "Axe Murder House" in Villisca, Iowa, the Conrad Aiken House in Savannah, and New Orleans' LaLaurie House ("American Horror Story: Coven" fans are probably well aquainted with this one — that's it pictured above, by the way). Naturally, a certain home in Falls River, Mass. that involved a spinster and an axe is also included.

AOL Real Estate publishes an article that those with delicate constitutions may want to skip over (but I'm linking to it anyway) that involves a homeowner in Centralia, Wash. with an "extraordinary" rat infestation on her hands.

Co.Exist takes a close look at Team Austria's 2013 Solar Decathlon-winning entry, an uber-efficient wooden abode dubbed LISI ("Living Inspired by Sustainable Innovation"). Says team member Philipp Klebert of the experience: "When you hear the names of the really big universities, like Stanford and Caltech, it's kind of inspiring and intimidating a little bit, when you see them. We knew there was going to be a very tough competition with a lot of very strong teams. We're just over the moon we managed to come out on top."

UnBeige chats with HRH Martha Stewart about American crafters, cake, Halloween costumes, and her longtime admiration of the late great architect Philip Johnson and his iconic Glass House in New Canaan, Conn.

TreeHugger is thankful that the folks over at the Living Building Challenge have finally bestowed the overused term "net-zero energy"with the clarity that it deserves. Writes Lloyd Alter of the LBC's with the relatively new and rigorous Net Zero Building Certification program: "Like the Passivhaus/ Passive House, the Net Zero Energy Building Certification has, in my opinion, a lousy name that doesn't truly reflect how differently the term is used. I am not sure co-opting a name in common use was the best approach. Nonetheless it is a great step forward in defining and refining the concept of a building that gives back more than it takes. I suspect that it is going to attract a wide following."

New York Magazine admires one hell of a bamboo treehouse.

ArchDaily spreads word that LEGO-loving sustainable hedonist Bjarke Ingels of Danish architecture firm BIG has been tapped for his first Californian commission: an arts-centric mixed-used complex in San Francisco's Mid-Market neighborhood with a hotel, retail space, and over 300 housing units. Explains Ingels: “This is will be our first project on the West Coast and having traveled extensively to the Bay Area since moving to New York I am happy that we now get a chance to help develop such a significant site on Market Street. It is an unusual combination of a prime location with a landmark presence with a great potential for social and urban transformation."

Architizer receives this week's alliteration award with the "Rustic Refinement of Renovated Barns."

The Wall Street Journal kills it in the headline department with an otherwise cringey trend piece on the latest high-end real estate must-have: manses with meditation rooms (and yoga/tai chi studios, private chapels, healing gardens, etc).

Gizmag does away with the AC with a look at five lovely and passively cooled homes in balmy locales such as Singapore (x3), Bangkok, and Panama.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Murder houses, marauding rats and Martha [Weekend link clump]
This week: Historic homes with gruesome backstories, a woman wages war against rodents and Martha Stewart pays her respects to American crafters.