The Halloween season is upon us, Creeps.
A couple of days ago, Mr. Louise and I got a care package in the mail, and included in it was one of those big plastic bags full of cheapie snack-sized Halloween candy that we took for granted when we lived in 'murica. I ripped it open right there on my living room floor, stuck my face into the bag, and inhaled deeply.
THERE IT IS. THERE'S HALLOWEEN FROM CHILDHOOD PAST.
As I huffed the candy bag, memories of grade school Halloween parties flashed before my eyes.
Grade school Halloween parties with "Monster Mash" playing in the background or, even better, a cassette tape of "Dungeon Sounds" on the A-side and "Haunted Mansion" on the B-side. The smell of the inside of a moist plastic She-Ra, pirate, or Ronald Reagan mask (there was always one kid whose parents thought it was a "hoot" to dress their third-grader up as "the Gipper"). The taste of Jolly Ranchers, those white Tootsie Rolls, wax lips, and, if you were lucky, a fun-size Twix, all mixed up in your mouth. A good-times, adult-sanctioned tummy ache.
But undoubtedly, the best part of Halloween was the explosion of spookiness everywhere. Haunted houses, TV specials about "American Mysteries: Ghosts, UFOs, and Bigfoot," all the ghost books on display at your local library.
It's the most wonderful time of the year. And the Creepy Corner is no exception.
Send me your scary stories, Creepy Corneristas! It's time for the Creepy Corner Halloween Reader Roundup!
Send me your ghost stories, your poltergeist stories, your monster stories, your "WTF was that?" stories, your local urban legends, your eerie family stories, your unexplained mystery stories, your past life stories, your black-eyed kids stories, your "humans are spooky" stories, your ESP stories, or any other stories about experiences in the creepysphere. We want to read them!
I do ask that any story you send to me is at least SOMEWHERE in the "true story" realm (legends exist in there). The story didn't have to happen to you, but should come from a place of "to the best of my knowledge, this happened..."
So here's what you do:
1. Send your story to me at CreepyCornerMail@gmail.com.
2. Put READER ROUNDUP somewhere in the title of the email.
3. Tell me how you'd like to be named if I decide to share your story. (Anonymous is just fine if you'd prefer.)
4. Make sure your story gets to me by Friday, October 28, 2016, at midnight Eastern Time (USA).
5. Remember, that by sending me your story you're agreeing to let me lightly edit it for length and clarity and publish it in a Creepy Corner post if I see fit. You can ALWAYS send me stories that are for my eyes only (I get them all the time); just be sure to state that, in no uncertain terms, at the beginning of the email.
The Halloween Reader Roundup will go up on Halloween day. I can't wait to hear from you glorious weirdos!
Now switching gears a bit to real estate. Well, real estate agents.
I've always been fascinated by the buying and selling of property. As the daughter of a real estate agent, few things get my blood racing like a well-executed open house (that and huffing Halloween candy, obviously). Though I'm not sure I'd be all that good at the actual selling of houses (I can hear myself telling a buyer, "YOU DON'T DESERVE THIS BREAKFAST NOOK"), being a real estate agent really appeals to the snoop in me.
"You mean people pay you to examine every nook and cranny of their home? And assess it? And learn the history of the land and the property and the building and previous owners? And you get to roam about empty houses at will, imagining what could be done with each room [buffet 'n' books den]? SIGN ME UP!"
Yes, I know being a real estate agent is way more than being a professional creeper. It's hard work, with weird hours, and can be dangerous too. There's a reason all the agents at my mom's company undergo yearly self-defense training.
Plus, being alone at an empty house can also be pretty damn creepy. As much as you know about a property you're trying to sell, you can't always know EVERYTHING.
With that in mind, cozy up to this story from a friend I'll call "Laura." This is a real experience she had at a property. I've purposely left out some details to not only protect Laura, but also the property mentioned.
The property had been on the market for more than three years when Laura came to it. It was a 13-acre piece of land in a rural area, just outside of the suburbs. On the property was an old three-bedroom house — all three bedrooms upstairs, with a large kitchen, formal dining room, and living room downstairs. Behind the house was a huge barn and a crumbling swimming pool with a diving board. The pool was full of filthy water; you couldn't see the bottom. The pool could clearly be seen from the downstairs living room.
Laura had a hard time learning about the history of the property. Several agents had tried to sell the house over the years, but none had been able to find a buyer. All had abruptly decided to give up on it. The previous occupants were an older couple: a man who had passed away and his wife, who refused to talk about the house and property much beyond square footage or price. Laura had her work cut out for her.
The first time Laura ever felt uncomfortable in the house was one summer afternoon when she brought a professional photographer to shoot the house. Even though the central air conditioner had been blasting since the morning, parts of the house were roasting while other parts were frigid. There was no rhyme or reason to it. Despite cranking up the air conditioning, the temperature started to rise in some rooms, making it very unpleasant to work.
The session was done in record time, with both Laura and the photographer feeling uneasy in the house.
The following weekend, Laura held an open house for the property. She spent most of the day alone in the house feeling apprehensive and irritable, but surprisingly not-sweaty. The air conditioning worked perfectly that day.
Late in the afternoon, a family of three drove up to the house: a man, a woman, and their young daughter. Relieved to have company, Laura took her time showing the family around the house and property.
At one point, the woman in the family looked out to the pool from the living room and said, "Oh, there's another person here."
The four of them looked out at the pool and saw a tall blond woman walking around. Laura waved at the blond woman from the other side of the sliding glass doors of the living room, but she ignored Laura.
"I had no idea that there was another person there, but I decided to focus on this family first, then talk to the blond woman," explained Laura. The blond woman continued to linger around the pool.
After Laura saw the family out the front door, she walked quickly through the house to look for the blond woman, who only moments ago had been standing by the pool. When she got to the pool, the woman was gone.
Wondering if she had walked to the barn, Laura walked over to check it out. "Hello!" she called out into the big barn, as she inspected the empty stalls and tack room. Nobody was there.
Heading back to the house, she noticed that there was no car aside from hers in the driveway and figured the woman had lost interest and somehow left without her noticing. These things happen, and it was highly unlikely that someone had walked up to the house, considering the rural location.
Going back into the house, she looked around, found it empty, and decided to call it a day. The sun was going down, and Laura didn't like being at the house after dark.
As she packed up her stuff, she heard distinct footsteps walking around upstairs.
"How did I miss her?" Laura thought to herself, but putting on her game face, she went upstairs to talk to a potential buyer.
There was nobody there. Not a (visible) soul in any of the bedrooms, all the closets were empty, as was the bathroom. As Laura hurried to the stairs to GET THE HELL OUT OF THE HOUSE, she looked out at the pool from a window and saw the diving board bending up and down, as if someone was jumping on it. But there was nobody there; the filthy water was still, not even a ripple. And who would dive into that dark water?
Laura ran down the stairs, grabbed her stuff, and as she turned off the last light by the front door, she heard pounding. Like a big heavy hammer on metal. It was coming from upstairs. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM.
Laura didn't stay to find out what it was. She walked out of the house, locked the door, and never went back. She terminated her agreement to sell the house.
As far as she knows, the house is still on the market.
Any real estate agents out there have a good spooky story to tell? Tell us in the comments or send it to me for a Halloween treat!