Horror House for Sale

I think I found a legit haunted house. No, no, really. A legit haunted house. Or at least a home worthy of a gory horror movie, if not of the ghostly variety.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about relocating so I’ve been doing some light research on Zillow, realtor.com, and other real estate sites when I stumbled across one of the most bizarre postings I’ve ever read. Now, I’ve noticed the home seems to be making the rounds on social media lately (obviously I’m not the only person trolling real estate ads) but just in case you haven’t seen it, I thought I would share. Oh, and just for the record, while the “for sale” ad has been removed from Zillow and realtor.com (probably because it’s causing quite the stir), I did snag some screenshots which I will happily share.

Everything started out well and good with the listing. Just what you’d expect. The opening picture of the house was lovely. The information about the number of bathrooms and bedrooms seemed normal. The square footage was right in the sweet spot that most people look for. I thought to myself, “This house looks great” and continued to read up about it. It didn’t take long for things to take a very dark, very creepy turn for the worse.

photo courtesy of realtor.com – click picture to go to site where more pics are shown

The first cause for concern? There was a tenant still living in the house. That’s not weird in and of itself, but as the listing explained, this tenant cannot be disturbed and while he or she is on a lease, they pay no rent and cannot be evicted for non-payment. So, basically it’s just an entity floating around the property that you can’t get rid of or take any action to remove. Kinda sounds like a ghost to me.

Second cause for concern: While there is an upstairs unit to the house, as the post laid out in very clear, no uncertain terms, this unit cannot and will NOT be shown to any potential buyers under any circumstances whatsoever. It is strictly off limits. I kid you not, this is what it said. It sort of reminded me of Beetlejuice, when the new family moved in and there was no way to get into the mysterious attic. I picture in this house an impenetrable door with who knows what hiding behind it.

screenshot via realtor.com — info has since been removed

Third cause for concern: I was scrolling through the pictures and one in particular caught my eye. One of the doors is covered in some sort of red spatter. I’m not a CSI detective so I can’t confirm or deny what it may be, but one thing I know is that red liquid splashed along a broken door doesn’t bode well for the property’s history.

photo courtesy of realtor.com

Fourth cause for concern: Putting on my sleuthing cap, I dug a little bit deeper and pasted together a curious timeline for this house. It was being rented out as late as February 28th of this year. The tenant sought was a professional couple or single. No mention of an off-limits section upstairs or a mysterious tenant — though an artist appears to be in residence.

screenshot via hotpads.com

Now, just a touch over two months later, the pictures of the house that are online show a dwelling in total disrepair. Walls are gutted. There are holes in the ceiling (I don’t even want to know). Floor tiles have been uprooted. Random junk and garbage are stacked both in and outside the house. Old, rusted appliances lean against the walls. Unexplained leaks coming from upstairs — which, isn’t that where the unseen tenant resides? I’m not going to guess as to what’s smeared on the walls. What the hell happened to this place in those two months? Or did it always look like that, even as it was being advertised as a rental property? If that’s the case, that’s pretty damn frightening, I must say.

photo courtesy of realtor.com

 

photo courtesy of realtor.com

Now, normally I’d be all for living in a haunted house. I have no issue with ghosts. However, given these four points, I believe I am well justified in saying that we have the beginnings of a real-life horror story here — and not the fun variety either.

Honestly, isn’t this how horror movies start? A nice couple buy a fixer-upper. All seems well the first couple days into their renovation. Then, one night, a weird noise comes from the supposedly vacant upstairs unit. Later, doors that should be locked are left wide open. Next, strange signs that someone or something has been moving around when they’re asleep. All this leading up to the climactic moment when the unseen housemate bursts through the wall with a pickax trying to kill the unfortunate couple. Given how those stories normally go, the pickax wielding roommate is usually pretty darn successful in quenching their blood lust with their handy dandy farming implements.

So, yeah, I think I’ll pass on putting in a bid.

How to Survive a Haunted House — Revisited

So in time for Halloween, I thought I would re-run an entry from January 26, 2014 that hopefully will save everyone a lot of heartache should they ever find themselves living with a less than friendly spirit.  You’re welcome. 

—————

Everybody already knows, and I am not ashamed to admit, that I love horror movies. Always have and always will.  The only other film genre that has a chance at being my #1 is this new (and much appreciated) wave of comic book inspired extravaganzas that have been inundating the screens for the past decade or so.  While I have a deep passion for horror movies it’s been quite a while since I’ve been truly creeped out by one. Outside of the original The Exorcist I honestly can’t recall a film that has sent that delicious chill up my spine, made my heart race, or gotten the hairs on my arms to stand on end.

Instead of true thrills and chills, it seems like the horror movies nowadays depend solely on what I call the “surprise factor” to scare their audiences.  As in, something suddenly jumps into or out of the scene or a door slams or a piece of furniture falls over with a loud bang. To me that’s a cheap scare. I much prefer the slow creepy build-up and truly “scary” maneuvers of the masters of horror.

I’m not complaining because I still do find the latest movies entertaining in their own right, just never truly hitting the mark as far as making me have to sleep with the lights on.  What does tend to happen though is that instead of getting goose bumps I end up shaking my head at the rampant stupidity that many of the main characters always seem to exhibit. Paranormal Activity is a perfect example of moronicness (yes, I’m aware that is not a real word) gone awry.

(Side note: I do understand that the creators of these movies have to put the characters in certain situations to make the action move forward and sometimes not acting like an idiot would be boring, but please allow me to remain on my soapbox a little bit longer.)

So, Paranormal Activity. Decent movie, a little dated I know, but I liked it — I just don’t get the logic behind it. If you think ghosts are hunkered down in your spot, why the hell would you go around the house trying to piss them off? It makes no sense. I can barely get a mouse to leave my kitchen. What chance does someone have of driving away a spirit from another dimension? Most people are terrified at the idea of living in a haunted house (a big reason why these movies are so successful, it’s a universal feeling), but think about it; as long as you just did your normal stuff, make breakfast, tidy up, mow the lawn, you’d probably be alright. Think of the ghost as a roommate. You might not like him or her, but suck it up.

I fully understand the natural instinct to guard your space. If I moved into a new place and found out it was haunted, I probably wouldn’t just shrug my shoulders and tell myself that these things just sort of happen sometimes.  I’d freak out some.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d have a ball.  But in a freaked out sort of way.  It’s totally justifiable to have a meltdown upon learning the news you’ve been duped into a haunted abode…at least for a little while.  Sure, you could take the righteous indignation attitude, as you would with any intruder, and stomp around with a baseball bat, yelling insults at Mr. or Mrs. Ghost to get them to show themselves.  Although seriously….WHY would you want them to show themselves!? I mean think about it!  That never ends well.  So just know that if and when this happens, chances are the ghost is going to be slightly upset at such disrespect and retaliation is to be expected.  In fact, what other reaction would you really expect to achieve?

I don’t have much face-to-face experience with an angry ghost but I can only assume whatever it has in mind to do, it’s going to be something I’m clearly and gloriously unprepared to handle. Which is what I want the characters in these movies to consider when they’re throwing their “show yourself” tantrums. It might be better just to let the ghost win right off the bat.  Let them have the house.  But if you do decide to stick around and share the place with Casper or say….a demon from Hell, just don’t take any tips from the Paranormal Activity’s resident genius Micah. The rule is simple: Don’t piss off the ghost. If you do, well, have fun in in the afterlife.

How to Survive a Haunted House

Everybody already knows, and I am not ashamed to admit, that I love horror movies. Always have and always will.  The only other film genre that has a chance at being my #1 is this new (and much appreciated) wave of comic book inspired extravaganzas that have been inundating the screens for the past decade or so.  While I have a deep passion for horror movies it’s been quite a while since I’ve been truly creeped out by one. Outside of the original The Exorcist I honestly can’t recall a film that has sent that delicious chill up my spine, made my heart race, or gotten the hairs on my arms to stand on end.

Instead of true thrills and chills, it seems like the horror movies nowadays depend solely on what I call the “surprise factor” to scare their audiences.  As in, something suddenly jumps into or out of the scene or a door slams or a piece of furniture falls over with a loud bang. To me that’s a cheap scare. I much prefer the slow creepy build-up and truly “scary” maneuvers of the masters of horror.

I’m not complaining because I still do find the latest movies entertaining in their own right, just never truly hitting the mark as far as making me have to sleep with the lights on.  What does tend to happen though is that instead of getting goose bumps I end up shaking my head at the rampant stupidity that many of the main characters always seem to exhibit. Paranormal Activity is a perfect example of moronicness (yes, I’m aware that is not a real word) gone awry.

(Side note: I do understand that the creators of these movies have to put the characters in certain situations to make the action move forward and sometimes not acting like an idiot would be boring, but please allow me to remain on my soapbox a little bit longer.)

So, Paranormal Activity. Decent movie, I liked it, but I just don’t get the logic behind it. If you think ghosts are hunkered down in your spot, why the hell would you go around the house trying to piss them off? It makes no sense. I can barely get a mouse to leave my kitchen. What chance does someone have of driving away a spirit from another dimension? Most people are terrified at the idea of living in a haunted house (a big reason why these movies are so successful, it’s a universal feeling), but think about it; as long as you just did your normal stuff, make breakfast, tidy up, mow the lawn, you’d probably be alright. Think of the ghost as a roommate. You might not like him or her, but suck it up.

I fully understand the natural instinct to guard your space. If I moved into a new place and found out it was haunted, I probably wouldn’t just shrug my shoulders and tell myself that these things just sort of happen sometimes.  I’d freak out some.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d have a ball.  But in a freaked out sort of way.  It’s totally justifiable to have a meltdown upon learning the news you’ve been duped into a haunted abode…at least for a little while.  Sure, you could take the righteous indignation attitude, as you would with any intruder, and stomp around with a baseball bat, yelling insults at Mr. or Mrs. Ghost to get them to show themselves.  Although seriously….WHY would you want them to show themselves!? I mean think about it!  That never ends well.  So just know that if and when this happens, chances are the ghost is going to be slightly upset at such disrespect and retaliation is to be expected.  In fact, what other reaction would you really expect to achieve?

I don’t have much face-to-face experience with an angry ghost but I can only assume whatever it has in mind to do, it’s going to be something I’m clearly and gloriously unprepared to handle. Which is what I want the characters in these movies to consider when they’re throwing their “show yourself” tantrums. It might be better just to let the ghost win right off the bat.  Let them have the house.  But if you do decide to stick around and share the place with Casper or say….a demon from Hell, just don’t take any tips from the Paranormal Activity’s resident genius Micah. The rule is simple: Don’t piss off the ghost. If you do, well, have fun in in the afterlife.