Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Something wicked this way comes: Scary tales 2

The Manchaca house.

Shortly after I left for college my parents decided to pursue a business venture and dream, which was owning a driving range. The range was just the start to reaching some long term dreams including a little restaurant for my mom. They looked around and found a perfect property in a great location in south Austin. Making the property even better was the fact that there was an 8 bedroom 3 bath house and a barn sized garage on the back of the property. The house was valued at $0 because it was in poor shape, but it was not so bad that it couldn't be fairly easily made livable.

My parents found out in short order that the aesthetic maladies of the house were not the biggest problems that they would face in living there.

The property had an intriguing history. In the beginning the land belonged to Stephen F Austin (considered the founding father of Texas). At one point he freed his slaves and this portion of his land was given to one of the slaves families. We were later informed that there was most likely an old slave cemetery somewhere on the property. Much later the house was built, originally 4 bedrooms and a bath with an office. Later the office was converted to a bedroom and an addition was put on the house with three more bedrooms and a bath. The last legitimate tenants of the house had been crack whores. No really, they were running a psuedo brothel/crack house out of the residence. They also had children in the house as the nursery, if you could call it that, was still intact. After those tenants were all thrown in jail or died of ODs, the house remained empty for the most part. Some of the old tenants clientele squatted there for a period of time, but no other actual residents.

Now the house was in terrible shape. Structurally it was sound, but that was about it. The shag carpeting had been ruined when they locked two mastiffs inside for days on end, all of the interior doors had been kicked or punched in, the toilets had to be replaced, the ceiling in the living room had to be replaced from a flood upstairs, and all the walls and cabinets had to be repainted and repaired from holes. There was no end of disgusting things found in the house including feces (both animal and human), used condoms, used feminine hygiene products, used needles, and drugs.

Sadly that is not the scary part of this story.

It took about 6 months of work for my parents and siblings to make the house livable, but they managed to do it. It was actually a really nice house once it was done, even if it seemed a little quirky at times. Then the strange things began. During the time in the house three ghosts were identified, though we are certain there were more.

The first was in the master bedroom. My dad has a sweet tooth. His particular weakness is Hershey Nuggets with almonds in them. He always has a bag in his bedside table and all of the children are well aware that you never touch dad's chocolate. The drawer is very secure considering they had two dogs that got left locked in the bedroom a lot of the time.

One day my parents came home and in the bedroom they found on the bed the empty chocolate bag. The bag had been turned inside out (corners pulled neatly so the bag looked perfect) and all of the wrappers were neatly folded in a stack next to the bag. It was obvious the dogs had not done this, in fact the dogs were hiding in the  bathroom. If any of the kids living in the house had been dumb enough to steal some chocolate they certainly would have not eaten it all or left any evidence.

My mom also reported sightings of a large man or bear looming at the windows late at night. She said she might have been dreaming, but she wasn't for sure. She said she didn't think it was someone trespassing as she could see their eyes glow.

The next trouble spot was my sisters room upstairs. At night when you slept you could hear a child giggling, and when she would leave and come back small objects were moved around the room. I slept in there when I visited and I heard the child clear as day. While the laughter sounded like a little girl we think it was actually a very little boy. Every time someone would call the ghost a girl something would be very violently tossed at a wall.

The final trouble spot was the upstairs bathroom, and by far this was the most disturbing of all of the ghosts in the house. The upstairs bathroom was a bizarre design. When you walked in the door (which actually was a curtain because the door had been kicked in and the frame busted) the sink and mirror were immediately to the right. To the left was a door way that led into a small room that had shelves and a vanity table to the right. Opposite the entrance door into the vanity area was another door which led into a dark room. From the main bathroom door, directly opposite was the door into the tub and toilet area. The tub was just to the right of the door and just to the left was a small linen shelf. Here was where the design got really weird. After the linen shelf there was a hard left turn and then a 8ft shotgun hallway with a toilet at the very end. Also the wall was covered in full sized windows. The space was just barely wide enough for the toilet to fit down there.

The bathroom was always a bit creepy because of all the large windows and weird shape, but there was much more to it. The first person to find this out was my brothers girlfriend. Now we really hated this girl, I mean seriously hated her, but my brother loved her and we couldn't get rid of her. One day she was taking a shower and suddenly started screaming. She came running downstairs in her towel and swore that there had been a man in the bathroom by the toilet when she got out of the shower. A thorough search showed that no one was in the house. After that point she saw the man nearly every time she showered. He was almost always advancing on her when she spotted him.

I saw him only once. I was taking a bath with the shower curtain closed (because there were big windows and no doors), and I leaned my head back and just could see through the small opening between the curtain and the wall. He was standing on the back of the toilet. His pants were dark and it looked like he was wearing a black hoodie with the hood up. His face was in shadows, but I am fairly certain there was no face there to be seen. I was terrified remembering the stories my brothers girlfriend had told and how malicious the ghost had been towards her, but after a moment I realized he was just standing there. He didn't even seem to be watching me in some sort of perverted way, he was just there. Like that was just his place. Still having a ghost watch you bathe is weird.

I never saw him again after that day, and I never felt ill at ease in that bathroom again. I honestly think he knew how much we hated the girlfriend and was acting out on our misgivings for her, and just leaving the rest of us alone.

My parents ended up losing the property after some personal issues arose. The house and land was bought by a real estate developer and it was turned into a pretty little suburban neighborhood. All I can think is that there are houses with some very angry displaced spirits roaming around haunting their toilets, eating their chocolate, and giggling at them in their sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh, you are freaking me out! The dude on the toilet would scare the hell out of me. I don't care if he was just standing there.