Louisa couldn’t move as she stood in the middle of the room, looking around at her “new home”. She was sick to her stomach. She couldn’t believe that she had been so stupid. When her eyes landed on the red stain on the floor, a chill ran down her spine.
But that’s when her eyes landed on something in the corner of the room. She jumped in horror, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Now she understood why the house was free. How was she supposed to come back from this?
When Louisa Johnson moved to a small town just south of Louisiana with her three-year-old daughter, she was hoping for a fresh start. It was just what they needed.
So when she came across the most perfect house for her and her daughter to start the new chapter in their lives, she was over the moon. But there was just one catch. And when Louisa found out what it was, she realized she’d made a huge mistake.
After fleeing from her husband one cold dark night, Louisa, armed with a packed suitcase and her daughter in a buggy, jumped into their car and drove to a town 200 miles away.
With her daughter fast asleep, Louisa pulled up to her new town, and straight away she felt like things could only get better. But she was so wrong
Louisa and her daughter were stopping with a friend while Louisa looked for a job and for somewhere to live. A few weeks in, and she managed to get a job at the local diner.
Next on her list? To find the most perfect home for her and her daughter. But Louisa had no idea what was in store for her.
It was a struggle at first to find a suitable house. Some were too expensive and some were too disgusting. Louisa wasn’t asking for much; just a simple, two bedroomed house with a backyard.
But a mysterious stranger was about to come into Louisa’s life and “help” her out. Or so she thought.
Louisa was standing looking at houses for sale outside the town’s estate agency. With each house she looked at, her eyes brows arched and her eyes rolled back.
She let out a sigh of frustration. She didn’t want to keep living at her friend’s house. Her daughter needed stability; she needed a home. And none of these were that. Then suddenly, Louisa felt a tap on her back.
Louisa turned around and saw that the tap came from an old woman. Her face was more wrinkled than a summer shirt blowing in the wind, and her hair was wispy, the color of snow.
“Can I help?” Louisa asked, an uneasy feeling shivering up her spine. “You’re looking for a house?” she replied. Louisa slowly nodded and the woman smiled, showing the few teeth she had. She handed Louise a piece of paper, before walking away. What was on the paper?
Quickly, Louisa opened the piece of paper and to her surprise, she saw a picture of a gorgeous detached house. Then she saw how much this house was going for: zero dollars. This house was free, but why?
Boasting three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large kitchen, and a gigantic backyard, it sounded perfect! But Louisa would soon learn this house was far from perfect.
Underneath the picture was a cellphone number, and for a brief moment, Louisa debated what to do. Was there a reason this house wasn’t at the estate agency? Should she even take advice from a complete stranger?
She dismissed her thoughts and got out her cell phone. She dialed the number, feeling both excited and nervous. But little did Louisa know she was going to regret calling this number.
After nearly a minute of waiting, finally, the number picked up and Louisa heard “hello” in her ear. Louisa quickly introduced herself and explained that she was interested in the house she had seen.
The seller, called Mikey was over the moon to hear Louisa’s interest in the house. He insisted she come over straight away, and Louisa agreed. She had nothing to lose. But she was soon going to realize she did.
Louisa drove to the address of the house and already she could feel butterflies in her stomach. The drive was quite long, this house was further out than she had hoped, but she didn’t care.
She pulled up and Louisa was completely gobsmacked with how huge the house was in real life. Louisa was already sold. “What could be wrong with this?” She quietly muttered to herself. But Louisa was soon going to find out.
As Louisa pulled in she could see a man was stood at the front of the house. Louisa got out and the man came rushing over, a gigantic smile slapped on his face.
“You must be Louisa, I’m Mikey,” the man said. The two introduced each other, and Mikey swiftly kicked off the tour of the house. Louisa set foot inside her potential-new-home, not knowing what was coming to her.
Walking around the house, Louisa reveled in the excitement. She could already picture her daughter playing in the backyard, and herself baking cookies in the stunning Victorian kitchen.
Accompanied by Mikey, Louisa could tell he was enjoying her excitement and optimism for this house. Maybe he was just happy for her? But Louisa had no idea what Mikey’s hidden agenda was.
The house needed some work, but nothing too drastic. A few coats of paint and a tidy up. Louisa saw a dark red stain on the living room floor, but that was nothing a bottle of bleach couldn’t fix.
After seeing every area of the house, Louisa was confident she was making the right decision. But little did she know she was making a huge mistake.
Mikey completed his tour of the house and then started to explain to Louisa about its history. This house was his grandmother’s, and unfortunately, she passed away a few years ago.
Louisa was sad to hear that. She had lost her grandfather a few years ago, so she could sympathize with Mikey. The two then went into the living room to discuss the house over coffee. But she had no idea what was coming.
Sitting in the living room amongst the gorgeous furniture and spacious rooms, Louisa had a feeling this house was too good to be true. Why would a house like this be given away for free? It sounded absurd – there had to be some sort of catch.
And Louisa was right. There was a catch; and when she found out what it was she was left feeling sick to her stomach.
As Louisa and Mikey sipped on their coffees, Mikey said, “oh I forgot to ask, how did you find out about this house?” As Louisa placed her coffee on the crystal table in front of her, she replied, “an old woman showed it to me in town.”
As soon as Louisa said that, she saw Mikey’s face go as white as a ghost. As if he had just heard something truly terrifying.
Confused, Louisa asked what was wrong. But then suddenly, she saw something in the corner of the room. It was a picture hung up on the wall; a portrait of an old woman.
It was Mikey’s grandmother. Mikey’s dead grandmother. It was the same old woman who showed Louisa this house, a few hours ago. Louisa sat frozen in her tracks and a terrible feeling hit the pit of her stomach.
“Your grandmother,” Louisa said, her voice trembling, “she’s the old woman who showed me the house this morning.” Mikey’s mouth dropped open and he put his hands over his face.
Louisa didn’t know what to do; she wanted to run out of this house and get as far away as possible. But she also wanted answers. “Mikey, what’s going on?” She asked. Mikey looked at her and started to reveal the truth.
You see, the reason that this house was free was due to the fact that many people have claimed it’s haunted. Many people have said the ghost to Mikey’s grandmother Adele haunts the halls.
Mikey himself had never seen anything unordinary but he also made sure to stay far away from this house as he could. What about Louisa? Knowing all of this, was this house still the house of her dreams?
When Louisa heard the truth, she decided to not go ahead with living there. Normally she didn’t believe in the paranormal, but after the encounter with the old woman aka Adele, she felt different.
Instead, she managed to find a smaller two bedroomed house. But Louisa didn’t mind. After all, wouldn’t you rather have one less bedroom than a ghost lodger?
A few days later, at the real estate agency, Louisa was checking out all the paperwork for her new home. There was another old lady working as the receptionist. She looked over 80 years of age and she wanted to ask her something.
Although it had been a few days since her visit to the haunted house, she still wondered if it really was a true story. Perhaps this old lady knew something. It wouldn’t hurt to ask.
Louisa approached the receptionist. “Madam, I was wondering if you could help me with something?” she sweetly asked. “Hi deary, sure, are you having problems with your forms?” she said with a tired smile” “No, actually it’s an off-topic question about the old haunted house”. The old lady looked directly at her with stone-cold eyes.
The old receptionist looked as though she was bout to tell Louisa off very badly. Louisa watched her take a deep breath in as if she was about to reply, but she just exhaled and continued staring at Louisa. Louisa realized that she had hit a nerve and said “I’m sorry I asked, it’s not my business anyway.”
Louisa turned to walk away when the old lady cleared her throat. She stopped and looked back at her. The old receptionist was teary-eyed and said “Its Ok”, I’ll tell you.
Louisa was shocked. So there was more. She knew there must be a real reason for the house’s dilapidation. It cant be haunted she thought.’
“It all happened a few ago the old receptionist started. The family that was living in the house was a normal family. They were a friendly bunch, always playing games in the park, always outside. But one day something happened to the owners.” Louisa listened intently.
“What happened?”’ Louisa asked. “They disappeared dear,” she said, her eyes staring off into the distance. “Gone” “Poof” the old lady wiggled her bony finger in the air. Louisa didn’t understand but she didn’t want to seem rude by asking more questions.
There was a moment of silence. Louisa wondered whether the old lady had forgotten she was standing there. She seemed to be in a world of her own. Perhaps Louisa had taken her back in the past and she was reminiscing about the good old days.
Louisa turned around to sit back down but then the old lady screamed “Gone!” Louisa turned back startled. What was wrong with the people In this town she thought as she stared at the old lady waiting to see what she did next. The old lady continued to speak.
“Some people thought that they just stuck themselves in the house,” she said, pointing toward the direction of the house. “But I knew, I kne-eeww, she told me, ” the old lady muttered as she walked outside. Louisa started to think that it wasn’t such a good idea to have started a conversation with this old lady.
“Then some people so that they saw them in the house at night” she continued with her eyes wide like an owl. “Some people said they saw shadows dancing in the night” Louis looked confused. “She loved to dance all night ” the old finished in a weary tone, her eyes drifting off again.
Louisa was wondering whether the old lady really knew what she was talking about. “It’s just a shocking story, do you have a bathroom around here? she said, trying to change the subject.” The old receptionist just smiled and said “You think I’m taking hogwash dear?”
Louisa was a bit embarrassed. Not it’s just that I was … she cut her off “…going to buy that house right? Or take it rather? Yeah, there is a reason why nobody wants to live innit dear, I saw it with my own two eyes.”
“What?” Louisa shouted in a shocked tone, “You believe in ghosts madam? You really think that place was haunted” The old lady said, “Dear Ima old, but I am not dead. My eyes have seen more than they would have wished to, but I can’t deny it.”
“Well I don’t believe in ghosts Madam,” she said with distinction. “That’s fair enough but you still went to view the property because you thought it was free. It’s funny what people choose to believe if it fits in their budget,” she said with a smirk. Loisa did not know where to look.
She couldn’t believe that the old lady had said that. “Sometimes when we really need help, the universe sends us messages to remind us that we are not alone. Like the lady that came to tell you about the house right?” the old lady shattered on. Louisa was confused because nobody was around that day. How did this old receptionist know?
“That’s odd, I didn’t mention speaking to anyone. How did you know about her? Did you see her?” Louisa asked curiously. ”Well yes and no dear, you see…Because dear, how can I explain, she is my sister, and that is her house” said the old woman with a pleasant look on her face. Louisa was scared frozen.