Why I’m selling the house? I’ll tell you why. It’s a bad place—it’s a malicious thing, the house. You knew Amy, didn’t you? A lovely, hardy woman. She had only once in her life gotten sick. Before we moved in, that was.
Hell, I’ll tell you the whole story of our wholly unpleasant stay here. I’d bet you’d sell this place too if you were in my place.
I saw the house on listing as a nice, old-timey place; a former summer home of some noble back in the 19th century, if I’m not wrong. It was remarkably cheap. It went for roughly the same amount as I’m selling it for now, to be honest.
Amy and I, we both wanted a place to call our own. We’d just gotten married three months before, although we knew each other for roughly four years before that.
We bought the house, but when we met the former owners they seemed all too enthusiastic to get rid of it. That should have been the first warning. They were two lovely middle aged folks—I think in their mid 40s? But both of them didn’t look well. Now, I’m not expecting everybody to look as if they’re at the prime of their health, but they just looked… sickly. Normally, 45-year-old people don’t look like that: at least 40 years older. And their faces… sunken, pale, sallow, somewhat like wax or clay. They seemed really pleasant, and I’m sure they were, it’s just that the house took its toll on them.
I brushed that off as just them being naturally predisposed to illness, as, you know, some people are. We moved in later that day. It had three floors—the ground floor, the first floor, and the attic. The layout was pretty standard, with the living room and the kitchen on the ground floor, and the master bedroom and the children’s bedroom on the first floor along with a bathroom, and a guest room in the attic.
The inside of the house, well, we loved it. At least in the beginning. It felt quaint and old, with floral wallpaper, and the furniture antiques. I still remember the wallpaper in our room—red and vertically striped with roses.
Amy loved the house as much––if not more––than I did. She’d wake up early—well, earlier than usual—to water the plants, clean, the like. I honestly wasn’t alarmed. She normally didn’t mind housekeeping, so I chalked up her additional zeal to her love of the house.
When the holiday ended and we had to return to work I assumed she would have toned it down. I was wrong. She would wake up even earlier to tend to the garden, dust the mantle tops, clean the floor. It was roughly around this time I began to get nervous and a bit concerned. It wasn’t her sleeping patterns that concerned me—she would go to bed earlier so as to accommodate for her early rising. Rather, other than work and cleaning the house, she rarely did anything else. I once asked her if she wanted to go out for dinner. She refused. I asked again a few days later. Same answer.
Soon, it blossomed into a sort of obsession with the house. She would meticulously arrange the furniture and vases, and frantically dust behind everything, as if she was allergic and had to ensure that the house wouldn’t kill her. Come to think about it, perhaps that was what she was trying to do all along. Although, as you can see, her efforts were futile.
Around mid-April, one of Amy’s brothers was in the area and needed a place to stay. I happily obliged and we let him use the attic. It frankly was quite nice up there, seeing as Amy dedicated all her free time to cleaning up the house. He was supposed to stay for three weeks, but sometime through the second, he had an accident.
Well, it wasn’t so much an accident as it was an incident. We came home to him ranting, raving, and punching holes in the walls. As soon as Amy saw that, she went completely white, as if he were the ghost of some minor lord haunting his former summer house. And that was the end of that. He claimed he was sleepwalking, but Amy was absolutely terrified of him. Not even mad, just flat out terrified. So he went to stay with a friend.
Given that there were holes in the walls, Amy didn’t really want to stay in the bedroom anymore, at least not until it got fixed. We opted for the guest room instead. And then that’s when things went from bad to worse.
Now I myself never encountered or felt anything beyond the usual bad dream, but Amy was growing madder every passing day we stayed in that room. How do I describe it? She seemed as if she was always on edge, not relaxing for the slightest moment, not even in bed. The smallest sound would set her off. She'd still try to clean the house as much as she could though, which I found rather strange.
The repairman finally came and fixed the holes in the walls, but it seemed to have no effect on Amy whatsoever. We moved back into the master bedroom.
The first real occurrence was around early June. For the past few months, she would barely acknowledge my presence, let alone speak to me. This changed in June. It was around 10, we were going to bed, and then she gestured towards the door. “Can you do something about him, Tom? I’m sick of him staring at me all the time.” There was nothing there. I asked her what she saw. She described something along the lines of a tall, black, shrouded figure with the face of a child. I didn’t see him at all. “That’s alright. He sees you.”
I couldn’t sleep that night. It made me extremely uncomfortable. The next day, I asked her if she wanted to switch rooms so that the shrouded man wouldn’t see her. She told me that the shrouded man followed us from the guest room. Around this point, Amy was growing more and more sickly; she was paler and thinner than I’d ever seen her.
The next few weeks passed without incident. Luckily, Amy had taken back to speaking to me, although she continued with the odd ritual of cleaning the house.
The second occurrence was around early July. It was a month since I last heard of the “shrouded man,” although I doubt it had been that long since Amy last saw him. Around midnight, I was awoken to the sound of Amy screaming and pounding the wall. She wasn’t in bed. I got up and found her furiously attacking the dividing wall between the bedroom and the bathroom.
I reached out and grabbed her—and just like that she stopped. She asked me what I was doing. I asked her why she was pounding on the walls, repeating the same mantra, “it’s in the walls, it’s in the walls” the whole time. Then all the blood drained from her face.
She finally spilled everything she knew. If she didn’t keep the house immaculate, the shrouded man would crawl out of the wall and glare at her, and only stop when the entire house was completely clean.
At this time, I decided, for both our sakes, that it would be best to take a break from the house. We stayed at my mother’s house, and did so for two weeks without incident.
And then I made a fatal mistake—I decided to return. This time, Amy and I would be staying in the children’s bedroom. I thought this would make things easier before I could put it up for sale.
That’s where the third occurrence happened. I woke up in the middle of the night, this time to Amy clutching me like a drowned man clings to land. With what breath she had left, she told me that this time, the shrouded man climbed out of the headboard and got on top of her, before removing his shroud, revealing pure musculature, like a human body, but with the skin stripped away, and with diamond-shaped eyes carved into its flesh.
Right then and there, I decided to sell the house and get out of there as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I was too late. Amy’s condition steadily grew worse, even as we were away from the house, and she passed away.
Just two days ago, I decided to revisit the house out of morbid curiosity. It was covered in cobwebs and mold, and I slept in the children’s bedroom. I awoke to the very face of death itself—all muscle and sinew, with diamond eyes and a maw full of shark teeth, staring down on me.
That is my story. And that’s why I’m glad to see that house go. It killed my wife.
Three days after the events stated above, Tom Geller sold the house to a young family. However, out of his concern for them he told them his story. He urged them to knock down the building and build a new one. They agreed.
The demolition team found something particularly disturbing among the ruins, though. The second floor was slightly smaller than the first in area. This was due to the inclusion of a tiny walled off compartment in the children’s room. Inside the compartment was a skeletal corpse, later traced to be the original owner’s wife, stuck inside. The interior bricks bore scratch marks, as if she was buried and tried to claw her way out.