In recognition of the abnormal, weird, disturbing, and just plain scary, we present:
Terrifying Tales from the Attic!
Nefarious Noises from the Cellar!
Shocking Stories of Crossed Wires!
The Horrors of Home Repair!
– or –
How to get your ‘new‘ old home at a scary cheap price!
The sunlight is waning; the leaves are falling. The chill in the air tingles your skin. The moon rises. You think you’re safe inside your own home when you hear the growling noise vibrating through the walls.Now! You must stop and ask yourself this: Do you want the noise to be a reanimated poltergeist intent on doing ill to your home and family.
A fault in the mechanical system that will lead to a series of repairs, lost weekends, and countless buckets of spilled cash?
We will help you answer such a question as we now enter the home of Mr and Ms Levitt. John and Susan. They have two lovely young children and are whispering about a third.
Eight years ago, when Mr and Ms Levitt were newlyweds, they thought they knew what they were getting themselves into when they purchased a one-hundred-and-something year old house. A long-past-its-prime Victorian that had suffered through decades of half-hearted repairs, misguided renovations, and plain old neglect.
Now, Ms and Mr Levitt bought the house intent on a proper renovation, and, of course, they knew the unexpected would occur.
They were more right than they knew.
We now see Mr Levitt enter the kitchen and put his tool box on the counter. He’s earned that right by now. In the throws of a home-repair, he can put the tools wherever he darn well chooses. But this setting down of the tools was done in anger. Something was wrong.
“What is it?” His wife asked.
He shook his head. “Ahhh . . . There’s an old pentagram etched into the basement floor. I think it’s outlined with blood.”
“The kids?” His wife asked, almost hopefully.
“Nah, they’re upstairs. I think it’s some old sacrificial thing. And now some specter or whatnot has come back on the anniversary of some botched spell or ceremony. I just. I just wish those jerks would just do it right in the first place and not leave all this mess for others to clean up.”
“I know honey. I know.”
Mr Levitt had just pulled up the old linoleum tile in the basement. The very same tile floor, that upon buying the house, Mr Levitt had remarked, “this is coming up so fast you won’t even remember it was here.”
Haven’t so many of us made such boasts in our well-intended but uninformed-hasteful youth?
Some eight years later the tile remained, but now an ooze, too cohesive to be called an ordinary liquid, was seeping up from between the edges of the tiles. And it smelled FOUL. “Probably a cracked sewer pipe.” Mr Levitt had said.
“Roots you think?” Ms Levitt asked. Mr Levitt could only shake his head.
So, despite having just finished repairing, replacing, and restoring all the wood trim (and there was more trim work than plaster work) in the dining room. And, despite having said that he needed a break before the next round of repairs, Mr Levitt was forced by the ooze to reopen his toolbox much sooner than he preferred.
The linoleum tile came up without much trouble, and then the source of the problem was revealed, though it was not the problem Mr Levitt expected to find – soon after that we joined the Levitts in their kitchen, having witnessed the toolbox being set down in anger.
Though, this was not the first unexpected, uncovered problem. There had been many. Tops on the “what where they thinking?” list:
A flickering light bulb at the top of the back stair had led to the discovery of lamp cord being used for house wiring! Then there was the cardboard used instead of plaster in the hall closet. And the caulk used in place of mortar on the chimney – what a mess that was!
“You’re sure it’s not a sewer pipe?” Ms Levitt asked as she cleaned the dinner dishes.
Mr. Levitt shook his head. “No.” He said, almost sadly. “I think the blood’s coming up out of the floor. Actively, I mean. Looks like it anyway.”
This was not the first problem of that sort in the house. The most frustrating had been the installation of the shed. At the store it wasn’t haunted, but a few days after delivery, it was. The lawn mower, which had never been a problem when it was stored in the garage, was turning itself on at night.
Now, let it be known that neither of the Levitts are prudes. If the haunted lawn mower had been mowing the grass? Fine! More power to you ghost mower. However! It was mowing the flower borders along the side walk. Something had to be done!
After much wrench turning and Tobin’s Spirit Guide consulting, it turned out that the shed had been placed over an old family burial plot. The head stones had been moved, but not the bodies!
Mr Levitt opened a cabinet, pulled out an old leather satchel, and set it gently on the counter. Ms Levitt turned to do some busy work. If the satchel was coming out, there was bound some serious work ahead. Probably an exorcism. And boy did Mr Levitt get worked up out of shape over those!
The satchel looked ancient. Well, it was ancient. Fourteenth Century, as best the Levitts could figure. He carefully opened the clasp, and pulled out a glass baby-food jar. “Darn.” It was empty. “Honey, where’s the new holy water? I thought I put it in here.”
“I believe I saw it behind the bucket of drywall screws on your workbench.”
Mr Levitt went to the garage, that repository for poor, tired, huddled masses, yearning to be repaired. There, on the workbench, behind the drywall screws was the jar. That beautiful crystal jar they had picked up at an estate sale. “Bless her.” He picked up the jar. “Oh come on.” It was three-quarters empty.
Back in the kitchen Ms Levitt shrugged her shoulders. “You know the kids want to be just like you. They love playing exorcism.”
“But they could just use tap water. And. This isn’t a baby food jar.” He held up the antique jar for emphasis. “I didn’t just scoop this out of the font.”
“I know.” Ms Levitt said. “I’m sorry.”
But Mr Levitt continued. “I have this personally blessed. I mean the guy does the motion,” Mr Levitt waved his hands in the air as way of demonstration, “and he sticks the thing in. The holy something or other. And he says all this stuff in Latin. I don’t understand it, but it’s the real deal.” He sighed.
Ms Levitt walked over to her husband and hugged him. “I’m sorry honey.”
He returned the embrace, savored it. Gosh, what he would give to stop uncovering old pentagrams. “All right. Look, I’m going to give this thing a go with the Sailor’s Cross. But I might need you to bring down the Virgin Statuette.” He backed away, and picked up the satchel.
“Honey.” Ms Levitt tentatively offered, “There’s only an ounce or two of holy water left. Don’t you think you might want to pick some extra up. You know. Before you get in the middle of some cleansing or exorcism,” she said the word carefully – boy did he hate exorcisms on a work night! “I mean, you don’t want to have to run out in the middle of the thing.”
“I have been to the Basilica three times this week!” But that didn’t answer her question. “Look, it’s leaking blood. I think it might be lamb’s blood. The last time we had lamb’s blood . . . “
She put up her hands. He was doing the work. “Okay. I’ll go shield the kids with love so they aren’t accidentally possessed.” Again. Ugh, try explaining that to the pediatrician!
So, Mr Levitt ventured bravely down into the basement. In his heart of hearts, he knew that he would have to make yet another trip to the Basilica. Plumbing repairs always warranted multiple trips to Home Depot and exorcisms always required extra trips to the Basilica.
“Life was so much easier when we rented . . .”