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11 Rules for Idiots Who Bought a Haunted House

Estimated reading time — 11 minutes

Well you really screwed up this time, didn’t you? You found a gnarly deal on a beautiful home that almost seemed too good to be true, and you jumped at it. And now that you’re all moved in, you’ve started to notice some anomalies.

You know the type: the spooky-dooky anomalies of the supernatural persuasion. Bumps in the night, doors opening and closing by themselves, auditory hallucinations of voices and whispers. It’s more common then you may think, but not everyone realizes the danger.

These signs could be proof that some forsaken lost souls inhabit your property. Maybe the previous grandmother self-immolated in the attic. Maybe dear old dad went suddenly insane and repainted the house with the blood of his children, or mom tried seducing demons in the basement. If this sounds even vaguely familiar to you – and you are looking to the good ole internet for help, then you’ve come to the right place.

You see I have this friend – well, had this friend named Nathan. A couple months back, Nathan found a house for sale in southern Georgia. It was nestled along a remote stretch of woods just outside of Waycross. It was a historical area – an old colonial style home just under 5,000 square feet, six-bed / six-bath with white picket fences and a dozen acres. The quintessential American dream house by all accounts.

The price was unbelievably low, but after Nathan contacted the real-estate agent he found that the price that he had seen listed was indeed the price that was being asked. For most people, I imagine this would’ve raised some pretty big red flags, but Nathan was an idiot. The confident type of idiot that believed machismo is substantial for conquering all of life’s obstacles.

I know it’s not kind to speak ill of the dead like that (spoiler alert), but I’m just trying to give an accurate portrayal of the kind of person Nathan was. Y’know the alpha male who hits on your girlfriend, lives at the gym and probably spanks his meat to his own selfies. For people like Nathan, friend is really just another word for ego-reinforcer.

He was cocky, and often let pride get the better of him. His wife Janelle was actually my ex-girlfriend from awhile back. Bit of a skank, but practically a supermodel. They had two kids; Natalie and Mason who were both spoiled brats. Again, I’m just trying to give an honest perspective of them in hopes that we may all learn something from what happened.

You see what happened to Nathan (which I’ll get into later) was something which I believe could’ve been easily avoided if only he had followed a few simple instructions. After the funeral, I got to pondering on the matter, and realized that what we all really need is a set of rules to follow if you believe your house is haunted. Let’s begin.

Rule #1 – When looking to purchase or rent a house, always ask for the history. Odds are if a house is being offered at way below market value then there is a very good reason for it being that way.

Nathan didn’t do this, and thought that the under-market price was simply the universe handing him something he didn’t really earn as it often seemed to do. Nathan jumped at the offer, and within a few weeks, he and his family were approved to begin moving in. I volunteered to help them move in, and I’ll be honest, the house was absolutely gorgeous.

Things were great for them at first, but Nathan soon started noticing some odd occurrences. It started with this knocking sound, that seemed to reverberate all over the home at odd hours. He said he could never seem to pinpoint where it was coming from, and it never seemed to originate from the same place twice. Eventually, he just chalked it up to the house settling, but that was just the beginning.

Rule #2 – Trust your gut. Your home is the last place you should feel uncomfortable. If you get that inkling of discomfort in the back of your mind that never seems to fully dissipate, pay attention to it. It’s probably your subconscious trying to warn you.

Nathan tried ignoring these sounds, told his wife that it was just normal or the wind and comforted his children when they felt scared. He had two dogs; Rusty and Sailor. Both of them black labs and both seemed to become very anxious after moving in. Nathan did his best to get medication to help the dogs relax, but it didn’t seem to help much.

That brings us to rule number 3; along with your gut, you should also trust your pets. Animals have instincts far greater than humans. It’s been said that man is the only creature who will sense danger and still wander into it. Animals have a sense for the supernatural; dogs and cats in particular. If you find them growling at what appears to be nothing, or constantly staring into specific areas of the house, then pay attention to that. Odds are they can see something you can’t.

Nathan told me that Rusty; the older of the two dogs would pace the hall each night for hours. He said it was like he was standing guard over something. On more than one occasion, Rusty suddenly blurted into a ferocious bout of barking and snarling. Nathan would come out into the hall, but never found anything. He grew concerned for Rusty and took him to the vet, but the vet confirmed he was in good health.

Meanwhile Sailor, the younger dog, slept at the side of Mason’s bed each and every night. The poor boy soon developed crippling nightmares that would torment him relentlessly, and Sailor seemed to sense it. Each time Mason would wake up screaming, Sailor would be there to try and comfort him.

And that segues perfectly into our next rule. Rule #4 – beware the nightmares. Young children are similar to animals in the way that they seem more perceptive to things that adults are not. This one can be difficult, because there are many root causes of nightmares with things like anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. The telltale sign, is whether your child suddenly develops them soon after entering the home.

Poor Mason had absolutely horrific dreams and night after night he would be tormented by them. He often spoke of ‘the blurry man’ that came to him while he slept and whispered terrible things. He even said that sometimes he would see the blurry man while he was awake, but never more than a quick glimpse and always in the shadows or outside in the woods.

Nathan and his wife worried that perhaps Mason was Schizophrenic, but multiple doctors confirmed this was not the case. They tried giving Mason sleeping pills, various supplements and burned incense to help him sleep more peacefully. It worked for a while, until Natalie started having them too.

Rule #5 – Try to determine what kind of spirit you’re dealing with. If you see flashes of a small child running through the halls at night, or orbs spiraling in the air, then odds are your ethereal neighbor is rather benign. Some people even discover they rather enjoy life with a spectral roommate, and find their antics to be rather interesting.

Most believe that spirits who pass away before completing what their soul desired will become stuck in a sort of purgatory. Many are scared, confused and angry, but some – primarily young children seem to be almost jubilant at times. Most of these are unnerving but altogether harmless, but then there’s the other spirits.

Rule #6 – If you or any member of your family develop inexplicable bruises, cuts or lesions then do not take them lightly. This should be a massive red flag, and is a very bad sign. If you feel as though you are being attacked as you sleep, and wake up with unexplained scratches or wounds then just get the hell out of the house, honestly.

A malevolent spirit capable of inflicting physical wounds is not something to be trifled with. Odds are it’s a demon, and honestly, that is the best-case scenario. There are other non-Abrahamic related entities that could be responsible as well. They are very rare, but if encountered, well… I’m afraid even my handy set of rules won’t be enough to stop them.

Natalie and Mason suffered multiple scratch marks, wounds and even a few bruises that almost looked like bite marks. Nathan’s wife Janelle was also subjected to these attacks. The children’s teachers at school began to notice, and became quite worried for their safety.

Obviously their first thought was not paranormal, but rather that the children were being abused at home. Only when social services threatened to remove the children from his custody did Nathan finally agree to move them out of the house. Janelle and the kids moved in with her mother a couple of hours away, and Nathan was left all alone with the dogs.

Rule #7 – Let people know what is going on. Yes, I know the thought of admitting to a close friend that you believe your house is haunted may be a daunting one, but it’s usually better than the alternatives.

The modern world rarely takes these claims seriously. We put ghosts in movies and video games, but when someone actually claims to see one, we aren’t so quick to believe them. Technology and science have led us to believe we are safe. That is our folly, but it’s also a topic for a different day.

This is yet another rule that Nathan did not abide by. The worse that things got for him and his family, the more secluded he became. On numerous occasions, he phoned the police saying that he believed someone had broken in, but they never found evidence of it. Eventually, they even put him on a blacklist, and warned that any further contact would result in legal trouble.

Rather than tell his parents or brother or any of his friends what was going on, he retreated into himself. He became fidgety and paranoid, at times refusing to return phone calls and texts from his loved ones. He just broke contact, and things only got worse.


Rules 8 and 9 sort of belong in the same category, although one is a little more extreme than the other. Rule #8 – If you suspect something is up, it doesn’t hurt to perform a cleansing. Like I said earlier, the modern world has little time to entertain the notion of ghosts and the supernatural, but that shouldn’t ward you off.

If you’re unsure about whether your home is being haunted or not, then a routine cleansing can do wonders for you. I’m willing to bet there are mediums and priests in your town that can get the job done. Even if you can’t find anyone local, you can always just go online and find instructions for yourself. It’s not as effective that way, but it’s better than nothing.

Rule #9 – if you’re really feeling as though you are in danger, get someone to perform an exorcism. It’s the step that no one wants to take, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Priests and spiritual leaders are your go-to for these kinds of things. Even if you yourself are not religious, these people honestly do know how to help.

There’s some evidence that Nathan was attempting to do this, but it’s unknown why exactly it didn’t work out. Maybe he second-guessed himself, and thought he could handle it, or maybe his ego took control once again.

Nathan had been collecting evidence for a while, and had amassed quite a stash of clues. He had audio recordings which relayed banging on the walls and footsteps in the attics. He took multiple videos, but none of them really showed anything except for the last one, but by that point, it was too late. In his journal he also wrote that he experienced items in the house levitating on several occasions, but sadly he had no recorded proof of this.

Rule #10 – the big one! Whatever you do, don’t try to antagonize the spirit. This should really go without saying, but angrily challenging the spirit or daring it to manifest is a really bad idea. But as you may have guessed, Nathan and his unlimited stream of testosterone decided to do just that.

He got really drunk one night, and began ruminating on all that had been happening. Nathan was always a skeptic, but even he couldn’t ignore the psychological impact on his family whether it was imagined or not. He realized his relationship with his children and wife were being heavily strained, and his new house had become a place of hostility. This made Nathan very angry.

So Nathan stood up and shouted at his empty house for the spirit to come forth and face him. He was met only with silence, and so he shouted again. Never once did the spirit’s answer his call. After a few more verbose challenges he broke into a bout of laughter, probably believing himself to look ridiculous. Apparently not everyone who was watching felt the same though.

Nathan managed to stumble into bed not long after, and was out cold within a couple minutes. Nathan had kept a security camera in his room in hopes of capturing proof, and that night he found something.

At around 2:13 am, Nathan is seen beginning to stir in his sleep in the security video. He grunts and speaks briefly, but the words were unintelligible. Suddenly his eyes sprung wide open in the bed, and began glancing around the room.

Nathan appeared to be struggling, but his body didn’t move. It is believed he was suffering an episode of sleep paralysis which left him temporarily paralyzed. His eyes continued to dart rapidly around the room. Then something happened that no one who saw the video could explain.

The bedroom door slowly rolled open, but the darkness of the hallway was all-consuming. Nathan’s chest began frantically pumping up and down, and his eyes stretched wide-open.

Something was then seen moving in the hall. It could’ve been chalked up to a trick of the light at first, but then a hand was seen reaching through. It was gnarled and spindly, like the wretched malformed appendage from some abyssal denizen.

The figure slowly sauntered through the doorway; it’s tall, dark silhouette nearly grazing the top of the door frame. It had no definite features, appearing only as a hooded, humanoid individual. No eyes or face, just a shadow made corporeal from Nathan’s deepest nightmares.


Poor Nathan was heard mumbling and whimpering frantically, but in his paralyzed state he was unable to fight back or flee. He could do nothing but watch in absolute horror as the thing approached him. It stopped at the foot of his bed, and just stared at him for about a minute.

Nathan continued to hyperventilate and didn’t appear blink once during the entire ordeal. The thing then finally moved closer. It then leaned down only a couple inches away from his face and appeared to whisper something. It was too quiet for the mic on the camera to pick up, but needless to say it did not make Nathan feel any better about the situation.

Suddenly the thing lashed out with its twisted hands, constricting like pythons around Nathan’s throat. In his paralyzed state, he couldn’t even struggle against his shrouded attacker. Within a minute Nathan’s chest stopped moving, and his eyes fell still.

The entity retracted its hands and just stared at him for about a minute. Then – as if taunting those who would see the footage, it looked directly into the camera. It whispered something again, but again it was too quiet to discern what it was. Then as quickly as it had appeared, it waltzed out of the room and vanished back into the darkness.

Nathan was found by his wife Janelle a few days later, and she called the police. After an autopsy Nathan was determined to have died via strangulation much as what was shown in the video. Cops scoured the premises and found footprints from the intruder. However, the footprints were soon matched to a pair of Nathan’s own boots.

The police, of course, were not so quick to believe that Nathan was simply killed by supernatural forces. They conducted interviews with neighbors, friends and family members, but none of them seemed capable or motivated enough to have done it. There were no signs of breaking and entering, and nothing had been stolen from the home.

They came to me and conducted an interview as well, but of course, that was a futile effort. I mean sure; the fact that Janelle was my ex-girlfriend was reason enough to suspect me, but I quickly dissuaded their accusations. Nathan was my friend, despite him not really being a good friend. What kind of friend bones your girlfriend behind your back anyway? I’m not bitter about it though, at least… not as far as the police are concerned. My alibis were solid, and that’s good enough for them.

This brings us to my final rule; rule number 11. Make sure you exhaust all other options before coming to the conclusion that your house is in fact haunted.

If only Nathan had taken a little more time to investigate his home and himself more thoroughly then maybe he’d still be alive today. Maybe he would’ve found the mini wireless speakers hidden in his attic to play the sounds of knocking. Maybe he would’ve found the patches in his air ducts that leaked mild doses of hallucinogenic drugs into his home. Maybe he would’ve detected the dog whistle alarm that caused his dogs to react so strangely.

If he bothered to check himself, he may have found trace amounts of Suxamethonium, a paralyzing toxin that, once ingested, will leave the person immobile yet conscious to all pain. It would’ve been difficult to find, as even coroners do not normally test for the substance unless specifically requested.

No matter how you really slice it, this entire ordeal really comes back to Nathan himself. If only he had been a better person and not constantly demeaned his peers at every turn. If only he hadn’t been so stubborn and proud. If only he hadn’t gone behind my back and boned my ex-girlfriend thus ruining our future and sending me into the spiraling depths of crippling depression, then maybe I would’ve helped him.

So, you may be wondering; is this my confession? No, of course not. This is only my list of suggestions and rules for how things may have turned out differently for Nathan and his family. These are all hypothetical explanations, and are in no way to be considered incriminating evidence to be used in court against me or anyone else for that matter.

Besides, if this really was a confession, then that would make anyone who read it an accessory to murder, and we certainly wouldn’t want that. I hope you can understand that, and I do hope that we can trust each other in this regard. After all, I have really good software for tracing IPs, and the modern web makes it incredibly easy to access them. We wouldn’t want your house to suddenly become haunted, now would we?

Credit: Zacharius Frost

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