Flip a Switch

Flip a Switch-1Another early morning appointment in Manly got me off to the office all the sooner than normal.  On my way up there, I had to smile while noticing ten turkeys close to the highwayout in a harvested corn field pecking away at the ground in search of kernels of corn for breakfast.  I was surprised to see they were all hens and not a gobbler in sight.  When for years only getting a glimpse of them at a distance, seeing them now up close sheds a whole new light on their perceived size.  It seems the turkey population is increasing while the pheasants are decreasing.  Even in Nature, there’s no such thing as the peaceable kingdom, but rather the survival of the fittest.

While showing the home up in Manly, we somehow got on the subject of haunted houses.  I felt compelled to tell the story about a home here in Mason City which stood vacant for a number of years simply because the owner who lived out of State refused to sell it because it was her childhood home.  I remember having called her about twenty years ago, and was given an abrupt “No” when asking if she was interested in selling it.

Reeling forward in time, the home did finally come on the market and yours truly was called by a buyer asking to see it.  I scheduled the appointment and drove there about ten minutes early just to familiarize myself with the place since I’d never before been within.  The moment I walked in the front door that’s all I can distinctly remember was its creepiness.   If someone were to ask me to put a name on my first impression, I would freely say, “A great sadness was alive there.”  When the buyers showed up, I couldn’t seem to mask my real feelings because the husband walked up to me and said, “I’m getting the impression you really don’t like this house.”  All I could say was, “There’ve been only a few homes in Mason City that I can sense there being something out of sync, and this one fits the bill.”  Then of course the ten thousand questions started regarding it being “out of sync”.

Since I couldn’t seem to convince them how many thousands of dollars would be needed to bring the home up to speed, I finally said, “This would be the last house I would buy because I can sense some sort of invisible entity, and it’s not at all happy we’re here.”  Of course then came the, “Where in here do you feel it the most?”  Trying to get them off my back I finally said, “It’s all over in here, but the real “bitch slap” I got was when I opened the attic door.”  Thank goodness they finally decided enough was enough about a home they really weren’t interested in.

Did the house sell?  Yes, it sold.  Did the new owners get it fixed up?  Yes they did.  Was I ever in it since?  No I wasn’t.  Did I hear rumors about strange things happening at that address years later? Yes I did.  Do I believe it’s still there?  Yes, I believe it’s still lurking in the shadows beyond that attic door.  While writing about my experience in that house tonight, I’ve now resurrected those very same goosebumps.  Don’t we all wish we could flip a switch on those unpleasant memories from our past?

Joe Chodur

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