10/31/2017

Halloween Scary Story

I was in an older historic neighborhood in Orange County, and wanted to do an impulse preview of a large two-story Victorian home built in the 1890s and located on a corner, with a for sale sign on the front lawn. It really piqued my curiosity.  I called the number on the sign and the front desk person for the company said it was available and I could go direct as it was vacant. 
 
I let myself in on the lockbox on the front door, and started to look around in the living room area when I heard a sound.  It sounded like heavier footsteps upstairs as if someone heard me and got up out of a chair and started walking away.  I immediately thought that there must be someone staying there occasionally and I had walked in on them.  I took a few steps up the stairs and called out "Hello", no one responded.  So I called out "Hello" again.  Then I heard more footsteps going to another part of the second story and the distinct sound of a metal window or door latch, as if it were closed quickly.  Suddenly, I was overcome with a cold chill and, in all the years I have entered vacant properties by myself, I have never ever felt in such a huge panicked rush to exit a property.  I couldn't find the door key fast enough, get outside and slam the key back into the lockbox. I  ran from the front door to the sidewalk, where I became more rational.  I thought there must have been an open window somewhere and I was hearing noises from a neighboring house, or there were unauthorized people sleeping there who heard me and left quickly.  I walked all around looking for outside exit stairs from the top floor, open windows, any sign of someone who could have been inside the house.  There were no stairs, and no sign of any open windows.

Since I wasn't sure what was going on, I decided I should notify the listing agent, so I called the listing office again and requested the agent's phone number.  I got the agent's assistant and said there might be somebody staying in the property.  He said he was coming right away and would be there in less than 15 minutes. I stayed outside in my car and watched the property, too chicken to move.  When he arrived, I let him go in first.  I followed him around downstairs and upstairs to check out everything in every room including closets.  There were no banging doors or open cabinets, no unlocked windows, no sign of anyone having been in the property.  He finally just turned to me and said that, similar to another listing he had one time, this just might be another ghost disclosure property!

(And seriously, if you think the neighbors are going to end up telling a buyer after the close all about the haunted house, it would be a good idea to relate the story to the buyer during escrow!)

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