I usually write about strange stuff that has happened to other people, but today I thought I’d share with you a recent experience that my husband, Anthony, and I encountered whilst innocently viewing a potential new house. I don’t think we have experienced something quite like it before, and I pray to anything friendly listening that we never experience anything like it again…
A few weeks ago we went to look at a house we had seen on the internet. It seemed nice enough judging by the outside photos and it was cheap enough that we could afford to gut it and do what we wanted with it.
What we weren’t quite prepared for was the internal viewing or the current owners.
Apart from the fact that there was a strange smear on the front door, which I was half convinced was a smudged bloody hand print from someone who had viewed the property before us but had failed to escape after, I was slightly concerned when the man of the house opened the door with a manic grin on his face and eyeballs that pointed in every direction but mine.
Meet the dad:
I hesitantly walked in, followed by Anthony, and of course offered to take my shoes off. It’s only polite, isn’t it? The dad just looked at me and grinned. I’d only offered to take my bloody shoes off, not my top. Looking down at the floor, which was covered with a curiously sticky wooden flooring and a rug that looked as if it had a decomposing body wrapped up in it at some point, I decided that my socks weren’t thick enough to take the abuse and I quickly moved the conversation on to something else. The shoes stayed on.
I’ve never met a family quite like it before. An old woman (mum) came wondering out of the downstairs loo with a shocked expression on her face and started winking at me. Say hello to mum:
I glanced at Ants who was biting his lip, trying not to laugh. “Ooooh, ‘ello, luv,” the old woman grinned as she shuffled out of the bathroom and quickly shut the door behind her. Clearly whatever she had been up to needed to be beaten back with a stick before we could go in there and look around. She kept winking at me the whole time. I think she had a glass eye (or perhaps she had had a stroke at some point) but the constant winking because she couldn’t shut her other eye was riveting to watch and I really struggled not to stare.
Dad herded us into the front room where we found the village idiot:
And the sprog:
All of them were sitting in front of the TV with impressively vacant expressions. I’m assuming the village idiot was either the son, the daughter’s boyfriend/father of the child or maybe all three. They all seem to be related and I suspect not in completely legal ways (Incest: The Game The Whole Family Can Play).
They had what had once been a nice wooden floor throughout the house but it was now completely wrecked with strange burn marks all over it. There were fist sized holes in the doors and the main bedroom was one of the only rooms that had a carpet, but when the dad opened the door to the room we were hit with the stench of too much air freshener and dog piss. I kid you not, there was not one spot of that carpet that hadn’t been widdled on by something that must have been the size of a small horse. Ants coughed a bit and then walked straight out again. The dad was completely oblivious.
We stood in the kitchen talking and I had my hand on the worktop until I saw the state of the cooker (oh, there are no words available to describe the state of that cooker…) and then I had an overwhelming urge to run home and scrub myself all over with a brillo pad and bleach. It really was that horrible. The dad wouldn’t even let us look in the downstairs loo – Ants and I are assuming this is where they keep their other son chained to the toilet:
Apparently (somehow) they had already sold the house once but the buyer had seen sense at the last minute and had pulled out, so there were packed up boxes everywhere. In one bedroom there was a hammer sitting on the side. I tried not to look too closely at it in case I saw blood and hair stuck to the end of it. I was trapped in the bedroom because the dad was blocking the door and Ants was on the other side of him. I considered making frantic signs at Ants that it was time for us to leave, but I couldn’t tell where the dad’s eyes were pointing. He could have been looking at me or… he could have been looking at the back garden, it was hard to tell.
“What’s that vent up there for?” Ants asked, pointing up at the ceiling. “Part of the old heating system?” The dad looked up at the vent for ages. And I mean ages.
“Huh,” he said, “never noticed that before… don’t know what that might be…” Images of something nasty dripping out of the vent began to manifest in my mind so I didn’t feel too rude when I practically barged the dad out of the way to get out of the Room of Death.
Finally, we were marched out to the back garden so Ants could have a look at the garage. There were a lot of dog toys about but strangely… no dog.
“Uh… is there a dog buried out here somewhere?” Ants asked. The dad looked at him. “Sorry, I meant do you have a dog?” he corrected. I had to turn away, I was beginning to giggle uncontrollably. “It’s just that there are a lot of dog toys all over the place but…”
“Dog’s in the car,” the dad grunted meaningfully and carried on to the garage. In the car… right. Where else would you keep your dog?
“This is the garage,” the dad said. “We thought about turning it into a little house but… well, we started to put some plumbing in but…”
It’s a prison, my brain shouted at me. It’s a prison! He’s been building somewhere to lock up people he’s kidnapped for strange and nasty rituals…
“We used to foster kids, you see…” he muttered.
I WAS RIGHT!! IT’S A PRISON FOR KIDS! WE ARE LEAVING NOW!!!!
“You…uh… wanna come back inside the house again?” the dad asked, grinning again, one eye seemingly on me and the other on Ants. Clever that.
“What?” Ants looked as worried as I did by now. “Uh… no, actually, if you could just let us out the side gate, we won’t walk mud back through your house…” Like it would even notice.
We made it back to the car and there may have even been a little bit of wheel spin involved as we drove away from that place. I was so glad when we got home, I had to restrain myself from kissing the hallway floor.
I’m just trying to remember why on earth we decided it would be a good idea to look for a new house now…
©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2010