Leaving your haunted apartment behind and moving into your first haunted home is a momentous, life-changing transition. It's also a big investment, not only in terms of money but in the years and possibly decades that you will spend in the new house. Approach this decision the right way. As you shop for the perfect haunted house, remember these important tips.
Be thorough while inspecting a house! Don't settle for a quick guided tour. Open every single cabinet and look inside. If at least one contains a hissing cat that gives you a jump scare, you're on the right track.
If you have a teenage son or daughter, when they first arrive at the house they should look up from their phone or mp3 player or video game and make a snide comment that equates the appearance of the building to something like the Addams Family. Teenagers have an innate ability to become sarcastic dicks when they get close to a haunted house and also when they are nowhere near one.
Your first stop should be the attic. Is it dingy? Full of cobwebs? Are there a lot of human-sized objects with white sheets draped over them? Is there a ghost? Are there several ghosts? These are all great indicators of a haunted house.
There should be a lot of slow, drawn out creaking noises coming from every corner of the house. Doors should creak. Floors should creak. The grass in the yard should creak. Your body should not creak. Not even a little. If it does, get to a doctor.
The house MUST have a small pane of glass either built into the front door or into the wall directly next to the door, where an indistinct face can press against it at night. This can double as a perfect location for a bloody hand to slap against the window and slide down, leaving a trail of gore. It's also great for looking outside.
If it's at all possible, try to find a house that's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. This has nothing to do with the paranormal. It's just a really good idea to get more square footage for your dollar.
When approaching any closed door within the house, you should feel compelled to creep forward slowly, your outstretched hand shaking. Every hallway should give you the urge to look over your shoulder, cautiously calling out the name of a loved one. When you step into the shower and close the curtain you should feel certain that something is standing just inches away on the other side of the fabric. When you squeeze the house it should feel firm.
What about the basement? Is there an unreliable light bulb on a chain that seems to swing for no reason? How about an old iron furnace with a grill that seems to pull you into its smoldering embrace with a terrible magnetism? Are there glass jars full of strange liquids and stranger solids? Is there water damage, or any sign of faulty insulation that would need to be replaced?
Look in the backyard. Make sure that there is a rusted swing set and a long abandoned toy in the too-tall grass, and that as you turn to go back inside you hear the echoed whispers of a child singing and laughing.
Someone died in the house, right? Forgive me for coming across as patronizing, but are you positive? Do your research. Be absolutely sure. Real estate agents might stretch the truth to sell a home, glossing over the fact that the previous owner was fatally injured in the house but actually died in a hospital.
Check all the mirrors. In at least one of them, you should see something unsettling right behind you. When you turn around, nothing should be there. When you turn back to the mirror, it should just be a wall, with no mirror at all. Something should tap you on the shoulder now. When you turn around, there should be a mirror on that wall (the one that was originally behind you) and in its reflection you should see the first mirror. When you turn around, there should still not be a mirror on the wall, but a note. On this note, a simple message: "Mirror."
If a ball doesn't mysteriously bounce down some stairs or roll out of an empty room within the first ten minutes of your tour, the house is a dud.
Host an impromptu seance or Ouija Board session. Ask if there are any ghosts. Ignore messages from ghosts that threaten you or ask for help, as these are just ways that ghosts deflect the question and hide the fact that there are no ghosts at all.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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