Finding the Perfect House Part 2: The House on Silent Hill

In honor of Tax Day, since the lady and I just received our promised First Time Homeowner Tax Credit, I will share with you some of the horrors of the time I spent before I ended up in the house I am in currently.

And like all good trilogies, I’m going to start in the middle.

Since my mother had found renters who would actually pay the rent at the house I had been living in, I was booted. My sister was also starting college and she wanted to live less than an hour away from it. To kill two college kids with one house, my  soon-to-be-ex-stepfather-guy started looking around to find a place to throw us into. He also wanted to try the whole “owning property to make extra money by charging rent” thing.

After an entire summer of looking (and getting outbid), we found what is now referred to as The House on Silent Hill. While we should have realized what we were getting ourselves into, the college semester was starting and we had grown tired of rejection. My soon-to-be-ex-stepfather-guy snatched up the house and we quickly moved in. By quickly, I mean of course overnight and without much thought.

The outside of the house appeared like something straight out of a Tim Burton fairy tale. The outside was painted a candy apple red and resembled a gingerbread house.  It’s long front yard was full of weeds and was surrounded by trees. In the center of the yard were two long dead trees, with only the twelve-foot-high trunks remained standing like some ancient pagan site. The whole lot seemed to stand out from the normal neighborhood that surrounded it.

But inside is where things got weird.

The inside of the house could best be described as something extremely Lovecraftian. However, if you’re not a giant nerd like I am, I’ll continue to explain. Whoever lived in the house long before us kept building extensions onto extensions. The originally one-bedroom house seemed to continue growing, but like a plant that had to twist it’s way to get sunlight. When you walked into each room, you would find that none of them were level with each other. In fact, even the doorways weren’t straight; they came in at weird angles, leaning to one side or another. The molding around the doors only made it more obvious. People who had visited often said it reminded them of something out of Alice in Wonderland (but not the crappy remake). Nothing was straight in that house; everything seemed to lean and wane. When we visited other people, we became disoriented by the straight and parallel lines of their homes and doorways. The house seemed to be casting a strange spell on us.

Yeah, it was kinda like this.

The room that my fiancee (girl friend at the time) and I lived in was the old garage. No, I’m not kidding-beneath the carpet was concrete, no padding. We lived there during the fall and winter seasons, so the room quickly became very, very cold. The only heat vent was right next to the door, inside of the closet. (Let me explain: the closet had been built around the heat vent.)

The first two nights we slept there, we did anything but. Not only was the room freezing, our asthma kicked in so bad that we nearly stopped breathing. I coughed up strange colored flem and only slept by popping benadryl pills. On the first night, I thought that maybe it use due to the blinds that were black with dust and hadn’t gotten to cleaning yet. Well, not only had they been full of dust but they were also covered in a strange grime. I ripped them off the wall and created makeshift curtains out of some fabric we had lying around. On the third day, I decided to clean out one of the drawers by the window. I had looked in it before and saw enough spiderwebs to create a thick winter coat, but after using the shopvac to clean them out, I saw what they were hiding. Black mold. Tons of it. Coming off at least an inch from the wall, I found out what was killing us in our sleep. We ran to the store and grabbed two gallons of bleach to clean it out.

We slept better that night, but still not as good as we’d have liked. All of us wondered and worried that there was more black mold that we hadn’t found yet. (If you would like to know more about the horrors of black mold, click here.)

The house had many residents. Not only did my sister, my fiancee, this other girl who kinda moved in on her own, and myself live there (and let me remind you this was originally a one bedroom house), but so did hundreds of creatures with hundreds of tiny, whirling legs. Not a day went by where one of the girls screamed because some large centipede was crawling by. I once awoke to the scream of my fiance who spotted a large one crawling on the ceiling above our bed. Thing was, they were all large. The smallest one ever spotted there was 6 inches long. Once when I grabbed a box of cereal, one poked it’s head out from the box. Normally, I’m an advocate of gently placing insects outside letting them roam free (like a Buddhist), but this was an act of war. The action taken by the creature broke every imaginary insect-human treaty that I had in my head. I quickly killed it and didn’t tell anyone about the incident until I had moved out.

The most frightening part of this house was the basement. You could tell by way the room was set up that it was once an outside cellar. The room consisted of a series of long steps and two small half walls preventing us from falling into the large whole on the other side. This large hole was actually the entrance to the basement, and when you walked down it you have to bend your knees funny not to hit your head on a few wooden beams.  The ceiling was only about five and a half feet tall so one usually had to remain bent down to get around. The ground itself was a weird mix of dirt and broken down tile. I remember trying to wash the tile with a mix of water and bleach to sanitize the floor, but it only broke down the tiles further. Even the cleverly placed carpet couldn’t hide the filth. On one wall was some flimsy type of drywall and a quick knock made it seem like it was hollow. The other wall was brick, painted some strange color that had faded and now was reminiscent of vomit. In that brick wall, there were some holes leading to what I think were duct work. The area was only a foot and a half big, so one had to crawl amongst the caked dirt and garbage that had been thrown back there over time. (My one friend did once. He discovered another room that was blocked off behind the wall.) I quickly pushed the idea of finding the room out of my mind, because I didn’t want to have to deal with whatever was inside.

Further down the basement, there was a small corridor. You had to duck even lower to walk down it. As you walked down, there was the brick wall with holes in it to your right, and another stone wall to your left-until you walked to the end of the corridor. There we found a wooden door with two small circles cut through; like eye holes but a bit far apart or where you’d insert a feeding bottle. There was even a hinge where a lock had once gone, and it showed signs of frequent use.

The room itself was tiny, barely enough room for someone to move around in. There were no broken tile here, only dirt. Wires hung from it’s ceiling and thick cobwebs were in it’s corners; long abandoned even by the spiders who made them. None of us ever wanted to walk into the room, it was like there was something strange about it that kept us out. Just placing one foot in the room gave us chills and a strange sense of dread. We often joked about how the original owner must have kept helpless victims in there, but underneath the jokes we all seemed to think it was true. We’d often sit there discussing what we thought it was used for, but could only come up with images of crying children covered in mud as someone on the other end of the door screamed and yelled at them, occasionally sticking a feeding bottle in one of the holes. After awhile, we stopped trying to think about it.

There were many other strange things about the house, like the light switch that flicked on some strange red light or the attic that could only be accessed from the outside. But after thinking too much about the room in the basement, we stopped trying to figure out the mysteries of the house; we were afraid we were going to find a corpse.

After a few months, my fiancee and I moved out. We moved in with her brother. He had a nice modern condo with right angles and straight lines. Amazingly, our asthma got better the day we moved. Our cats weren’t hiding under the blankets in our room anymore either. We knew we were going to have to find another place to live after awhile- a place of our own- but we knew that we were never ever going to settle for another house that reminded us of the House on Silent Hill.

(SPOILER: We now live a few streets over from it.)


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