We are currently on a quest for a new home. Due to our family’s needs and financial …complications… we’re searching for a very specific kind of home in a very limited area. Since it’s hard to spot that “hidden gem” on paper, we see our share of houses. Sometimes these prospects make for interesting stories. These are those stories.
Our visit to this turn of the century victorian house started out better than most. This house was larger and older than others in the same general area and price range. It was 3 stories, and for the first two stories everything was fine. It needed a healthy amount of updates, but we really liked some of the features. While we were chatting, we made our way to the third floor: an attic that had been converted into two bedrooms. The first bedroom had an exposed seam along the wall, and Ryan, his dad and the agent set about figuring out why that might be. I have little to contribute to those conversations, so I wandered out and went into the next bedroom.
The second bedroom started off with a small hallway that opened up into the bedroom proper. I took two steps down the innocuous-looking hallway and froze. I was terrified, as if someone had just appeared out of nowhere and screamed in my face to get out. I didn’t see or hear anything, though. It was as if I’d crossed some invisible barrier and a switch had flipped in my head. One moment I was happy and imagining living in the house. The next moment, all I wanted to do was run away as fast as I could. I took a deep breath and tried to calm down. I even took another step into the room, trying my best to prove something to someone. Or not appear rude. Or something. I don’t know. It’s hard to stay rational when something so wild happens to you.
“So, it’s haunted,” I said, casually as I could when I rejoined the party.
Because my family and our real-estate agent are awesome, everyone took me seriously while still remaining skeptical. I was skeptical. I try really hard not to believe in these sorts of things and search for rational explanations whenever I can. But this…this was hard to deny. We’ve looked at lots of older houses, and my imagination has led me down some silly, hypothetical paths, but what I experienced in that room is a different sort of thing.
We investigated the room as a group and found the creepiest little door boarded up in the back of the closet (which was just access to the crawlspace that wasn’t converted, but would have creeped us all out regardless). We all had a good laugh and some of the tension lifted. Trying to do my part as a critical observer of the house, and block out all the heeby-jeeby vibes, I mentioned that this room was a bit cooler than the rest of the house. Not uncommon in attic conversions, but noteworthy. Later, I would learn that my husband and his father didn’t notice any coolness. I always forget that’s a sign others attribute to ghosts. It’s probably for the best that I do.
Before we left, I spent some more time in the bedroom and I decided that something bad happened there. Probably repeatedly, which is why enough bad mojo had built up to be detected. I’m fairly certain that what I ran across wasn’t an evil presence as much as it was feral and protective of the house. I spooked it when I entered the room, which is why it lashed out at me. It might have been fine with us eventually, but I couldn’t shake the idea that someone who grows up sleeping in that room grows up a little …off.
Rational or not, that’s a deal-breaker for me. Even without that rider, the house had several challenges that meant it wasn’t a good match for us. We moved on.