The Twenty-Eleven house

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As cliché and annoying as it is sometimes, I need to start this story with a little preface, a little background and an apology as it may be on the long side for this category compared to similar posts. I’m picking this particular experience out of a timeframe that lasted for a cumulative total of eight years. I say ‘cumulative’ because I actually lived in this house/apartment on two separate occasions, but purely by coincidence. Or at least I thought it was coincidence. I don’t live there any longer and, looking back, I am convinced that the house called me back as if it wasn’t done tormenting me, my family and my friends.  Every week of every year I lived in that house was terrifying, to say the least. This experience takes place during my second stint in the house. Also, a little apology if this story sounds like it’s ripped straight from a horror movie, but I can assure you that it’s all true. This experience, in total, spans roughly a year and involves myself, Jamie – my wife, George and Lilly – our upstairs neighbors and my best friends Travis and his wife, Julie.

The Twenty-Eleven house is a large farmhouse that is one of the oldest structures in town; roughly 120 years old. For the last couple decades, it has been used as two apartments; the first floor and the second floor. It’s in the middle of a bustling town with many popular places to eat, drink and has a nice music scene. It isn’t some backwoods, middle-of-nowhere shack; it’s only a seven minute drive from the downtown area of a major city. I won’t give you a detailed history on the place, but, needless to say, it has had a long, jaded, destructive and violent past that has it infected.

When this experience first started, I was living on the first floor with another good friend, Kevin, and it had been almost a year, and a half-dozen people moving in and out of the second floor apartment before our landlord finally found a nice, married couple that loved the place; George and Lilly. They were sweet enough and kind of kept to themselves whereas Kevin and I were night owls and loved to stay up late drinking, playing video games, etc. For the first six months they lived upstairs, we were convinced they hated us because Lilly was awake before sunrise to leave for work and we weren’t the quietest of drunks. We thought she had OCD because at least a few days every week, she would move all – and I mean ALL – of her furniture around and run the vacuum cleaner across their entire apartment. The house was old and there wasn’t hardly a lick of insulation in the place, especially between our ceilings/their floor, so we could hear everything. She walked very heavily and slid the furniture with determination. It was assumed that she was doing it to pay us back for being so loud at night. This routine went on for the next six months until Kevin moved into his girlfriend’s place. After that, my place wasn’t so loud and neither was theirs.

I lived without a roommate for a while and, in that time, became good friends with Lilly and semi-good friends with George. It wasn’t long before Lilly told me that she loved all things paranormal, she was a Wiccan and she was already having experiences in their place. I told her I wasn’t surprised. My first stint in that house was almost two years in the second floor apartment.

Lilly was a passionate collector of decorative hat-boxes and one of the first experiences that she told me about was that she talked her husband into letting her use their master bedroom closet to store and display the two dozen or more hat boxes she had. At the time she told me this, it had been the third time she came home from work – on a day George actually had to go into the office – and every one of her hat boxes was torn from the closet, lids open and thrown all over the room. But, like I said, it didn’t really bother her. If anything, she enjoyed it. Weird, right?

I hate this term, but “fast-forward” about eight months later. My now-current wife had been living with me for a couple months and one night Travis and Julie were over having some drinks. It was a rare occasion, but Lilly and George both joined us all on the wrap-around front porch for some fun. It was one of the few times we were all together like that. Of course, we got on the subject of the paranormal. We never brought up any specific examples of what happened in the house, just put out the general vibe that it is haunted. George is, well was, a hardcore skeptic and Julie is sort of a scaredy-cat, but we talked for hours about chills and thrills. Travis was so fascinated with the possibility of the house being haunted that a few days later, he did some research online about the place only to find some really good stuff.

Let me state this now: Lilly and George never exchanged contact info with Travis and Julie. They were just two sets of our friends that happened to hang out together very rarely and only with us. They never talked to one another if we weren’t there. I need to say that because the next part sounds like it could easily be made up.

A couple weeks later, I got Travis a job working with me and one Monday, after our weekly meeting, he pulled me aside as we lit a couple cigs and told me of the things he found. The first thing nearly made me want to cry and call bullshit on him, but knowing that he had no idea of what happened, how could it be? Apparently, according to his findings, the first family that lived in that house was very wealthy and the lady of the house used half of the second story to teach school: desks, chalkboard and the whole nine. Also, she was an avid maker and buyer of elegant hats – you know, those big hats that were all the style a hundred years ago? – and had the attic area furnished and used that as her “hat room” as he called it. I literally just got chills typing those words. I could’ve been the only one that told him what happened to Lilly’s hat boxes, but I swear that I never did until after he told me what he found. I relayed Lilly’s hat-box experience to him and his eyes started to water and he got visible goose bumps.

He went on to tell me that the Lady of the house killed herself by dragging a school desk all the way from what is now the second floor living room, down the hall and up into the attic where she hung herself. I instantly made the connection between what Kevin and I thought was Lilly’s obsession with vacuuming to what he just told me, but I had to know for sure.

The next time I caught Lilly outside, we were drinking a bit of wine and just bullshitting when I subtly brought it up by making some joke about how much she hated Kevin because he was always taking her parking spot and then told her how he thought she was OCD because she was constantly moving their furniture and cleaning all the time. She damn near spit out her wine in surprise and guaranteed me that none of that had ever happened. I sort of laughed it off, but she was adamant. So much so that she made me go upstairs with her, right then and there, and showed me the layer of dirt, cat hair and dust that had accumulated under their furniture. It was a half-inch thick; almost two years of dirt. She assured me that all the furniture was in the exact same spot it was the day they moved in. I felt sick.

I still couldn’t totally believe that Travis had simply “found” that info online and that we, in our drunken state, didn’t let it slip out somehow. I was skeptical of his source but that doesn’t change the fact that what Kevin and I were hearing was definitely not what we thought it was.

A few more months go by and Travis tells me something else he found out that eventually made me believe him with all my being.

According to his research, during the 1960’s, I believe, after the house had been transformed into eight individual apartments (somehow), one of the residents committed suicide by running a warm bath in the second floor bath tub and slitting their wrists. I thought that was pretty messed up, a little believable and lot creepy. I thought it was just that though, a story. It was towards the end of the timeline I’m including this story in which Jamie and myself were woken up by a series of text messages from Lilly at around midnight.

The first message said something like, “if you see an ambulance in the driveway soon, everything is under control”

What the hell?! We both said to each other. Did we need to help them somehow? We were freaking out.

The next message said, “I wouldn’t come up here if I were you. Just know I’m okay and George is okay now.”

The final message was a picture text of their bathroom, blood-splattered. It was running down tub drain, peppered on the curtain and smeared on their white, tiled floor. It was sent with the message, “George tried to slit his wrists in the tub tonight. I bandaged him. Cleaning now. Will keep in touch.”

Jamie and I started crying. I had told her what Travis told me not a week or so before and it was smacking us in the face as we sat on our bed together in the dark.

George ended up recovering from that, but has developed some other serious medical ailments. He and Lilly still live in the second floor of that house. Jamie and I moved out almost three years ago, almost six months after that event took place. Lilly is trying to work with the landlord to buy the place for some god-forsaken reason. There literally isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that place and all the crazy shit I’ve seen there. It’s haunted. There’s something evil there and it terrifies me to this day.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’ve never really shared this with anyone. Have a good night.

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