Interestingly enough, the last tenants moved after three months claiming the house was haunted. That doesn't surprise me in the least. Not because the house looks creepy or is old, but because people here are superstitious, super religious, and all kinds of adjectives that may or may not end with -ious. Every other mile there is a church or a historic site or a historic church. It would be strange if people didn't think Crowell's Manor was haunted.
Something in the back of our minds wants houses to be haunted, graveyards to have strange mists, or curvy country roads to have tragic car accidents with dead teenage lovers stacked up like cord wood in the ditches. You know the kind, they come back from the dead and thumb a ride in the middle of a rainy night just to terrify some unsuspecting traveler. Our minds need those things. No matter the reason, there seem to be ghosts everywhere. Evidently Crowell's Manor has one or more of its own.
I've lived in a haunted house. Well, one apartment and then a house. Whatever it was decided it wasn't done with us yet and just tagged along from place to place. After a while it gave up and everything went back to normal. That was before I met Dawn. Dawn doesn't believe in ghosts or spooks so she isn't worried. I keep telling her that its fine if she doesn't believe in the supernatural because the supernatural believes in her. Each time I make that comment I'm sure that I loose a few cool points but its really true.
While we were walking through the house I did my best to leave Dawn alone and give her some time to soak in the creepy all by herself. Every once in a while we would pass each other and I'd say, "Well, what are your thoughts?" And each time she would say something like, "Wow, this place would really let us get off the grid if we wanted to. I love those fire places." or "How much wood do you think we would burn if we wanted to heat the house with just the fire places like in the old days." It was obvious that nothing spooked her.
Not even the kitchen.
When I walked in the kitchen I got this spooky feeling. It was actually a spooky feeling that went from spooky to freaky in about two seconds. Sure it could have been my imagination getting the best of me. But why take chances? I left the room and didn't go back. I wanted Dawn to go in and tell me what she felt. So I asked her, "Have you been through the kitchen?"
Her eyes got wide, "Oh my god don't go in there!" she said. I just knew that something scared her. I was giddy! She felt the same thing I did. But I had to play it off.
"Why can't I go in there?" I said while taking a few steps towards the kitchen doorway.
"Mike I'm serious! Don't!"
I stepped into the kitchen, got halfway across the floor and then it hit me. A stink like dead meat, rotten, rancid and reeking. I gagged, puked in my mouth a little bit and ran out of the room.
"See! I told you not to go in there. The fridge was left closed and they didn't wipe it out. I opened it and let all the stink loose. I warned you."
Now, my first thought upon smelling the stink was, "Holy crap! This place has a demonic infestation!" But Dawns rational explanation quickly assuaged my fears. I didn't tell her that in the process she dashed my haunted house fantasy to tiny pieces against the stalwart rocks of reality. She's good like that. It keeps me in line. On the straight and narrow so to speak.
Crowell's Manor is empty, has been for a few months and the yard is overgrown and loaded with wood ticks. The inside is remarkably bug free. We were told that the house was sealed in 2006, whatever that means. But, the ticks outside are TERRIBLE! I had two on me and one in me by the time we got back from checking the place out. If I don't die from Lymes Disease, Hanta, Dengue Fever, SARS, or the Ching-Chang Flu I will be shocked. I have bug bites in places I didn't know were places. At least I'll have a wicked strong immune system!
When we arrived home, Dawn gave me strict orders to march into the shower and prepare for a "tick inspection". Normally I get kinda excited about taking off my clothes for her. But, the look on her face after she saw me pull a tick out of my neck let me know that the inspection was going to be completely utilitarian in nature. "Oh well, the night is young." I thought.
After my inspection I was able to convince Dawn to join me for a shower. Woot!
Just about the time we got the water temp right we heard someone knocking. Not woot!
I grabbed a towel, wrapped myself and went to the door.
Is it the Melaleuca delivery? No, its too late for a delivery.
The Neighbor Lady? Yep.
She had her husband and child with her.
I was so friggen curious about what they could possibly want that I took the chance and cracked the door open a little bit and said, "Taking shower. Soaking wet. Tracking water. All over house."
"Oh yeah we heard the shower running. We brought you some food. Here." In her husbands outstretched hands was a casserole dish filled with small tan balls of something. I got excited! The Neighbor Lady is an excellent cook.
"Cool! What is it?" I stuck my arm out the door and grabbed the dish. It was heavy and sort of smelled like meat.
"Its Italian meatballs! They're really good!"
I looked at the little balls and thought that they didn't look like any kind of meat I've ever seen but I wasn't in a position to argue. I had already tracked a deluge of water into the front room and just wanted to get back in the warm shower.
"Ok, well I'm freezing. I'd love to have you in but my wife is neked in the shower and I'm honestly not thinking about food at the moment. We'll be over to hang out for a while later this evening." I didn't wait to shut the door. I just closed it and set the "Meatballs" down.
"Was that The Neighbor Lady?" Dawn asked.
"Yep, gave me a dish of what she said was meatballs."
"What she SAID was meatballs, why do you not sound sure about that statement Mike?"
"Well, they don't look like the're made of meat at all. They actually look like angry, breaded, dried farts." I smiled and stepped into the shower.
"BWAHAHAHAH! Dump them out right now! I don't want the cats getting into them and getting sick."
"Seriously? You want me to dump out two pounds of whatever it is without even trying it first?"
"Holy crap Mike you just called them "Angry dried farts," would you really eat them? Go dump them out right now so the cats don't get into 'em!"
"Dang, woman! Can't you see I'm standing in the shower with you? Now let me rinse my hair before I get soap in somebody's eyes."
No one got soap in their eyes. I got a peck on the cheek as she jumped out of the shower then heard her laughing when she found the casserole dish. Next came a bit of silence, followed by a spitting sound, and then, "EWWW!" as the lid clanked back down on the dish.
"How in the hell did they get these to taste like breakfast sausages? They don't even look like meat!"
When I got out of the shower I didn't bother asking her where they went. At least she made sure the cats didn't get them.
Later we visited the neighbors and realized that The Neighbor Lady didn't make them. Her husband and 2 year old son made them.....for her.....but she didn't like them.
I wonder why?