It singed the inside of his nostrils and crawled down his throat. Maybe burning everything to the ground and starting over would be a better solution?
Whatever this was had to be dealt with immediately before someone got hurt. Every part of him prayed the cops wouldn’t have to show up.
While everyone else was looking into 3-bedroom condos in gated communities, Tony Markems felt himself drawn to a simpler, quieter country life.
So, when the cozy Ohio cottage came onto the market for an absolute steal, he couldn’t resist. There was just one weird thing he couldn’t wrap his head around.
The wooden structure sat on a gorgeous 30-acre plot – complete with independent water source and old apple trees.
With a bit of elbow grease, Tony could turn it into a self-sustaining paradise. But the old saying “If it’s too good to be true…” lingered in the back of his mind. Why was it being sold at next to nothing?
Tony quickly learned the previous owner was a recent widower who wanted to dump the property quickly so he could retire in a warmer climate.
But Tony wasn’t going to let it end there. The first thing was to check the building’s old bones. An access door lay right in the middle of the kitchen – but this was just the first obstacle.
For some reason, the tiny door was not only sealed shut with an excessive number of thick, rusted nails, but it had been glued with industrial adhesive.
Even the repairman he had called in was stunned. After a lot of chipping and swearing, they finally broke it open. Then, came the smell.
It was enough to make them both fall back and gag. Whatever it was made Tony wanted to empty his guts all over the floor.
What was down there that could smell so horrendous? It almost smelled like … No. It couldn’t be. His thoughts immediately went to the old owner and the fact he had recently lost his wife.
The two of them slowly poked their flashlights and heads into the hole. Suddenly, he heard a loud gasp.
The repairman grabbed him by the collar and heaved him back hard. “Stay out of there!” The man’s face had turned pale, like he had seen a ghost. Tony held his breath as two little legs appeared.
Then, six more crawled out. It was a spider. But it wasn’t just any old arachnid. Just below the old hole was an enormous nest of venomous funnel-weavers.
These little guys could rot the skin off wherever they bit. The two scrambled to stomp on whatever tried to escape, then slammed the trap door shut. But this was just the beginning.
Even after they disposed of the nest, and it was finally “safe” to look in further, there was still the problem of the vile stench that still seeped out.
They carefully took each rung of the crumbling, rusted ladder to the hidden room under the cottage. There, in the corner was the answer. And it was oozing.
Long ruddy tendrils grew along a cement enclosure – like a cistern or rock bathtub.
Inside was slick and gleaming with a suspicious rainbow sheen across the goopy mixture. It took everything for Tony not to be sick. It was disgusting. Then, he saw something poking out of the nightmare mixture. It was a bone.
The repairman sighed. “Stupid raccoons,” he grumbled. For Tony, however, he was finally able to relax.
It might have been the worst stench that had ever infiltrated his nose, but at least he didn’t have to call the cops. But what was the hidden room for? It was unlike anything he had ever seen before.
As the icky clean-up commenced, the two men traded theories. Maybe it was an old-fashioned storage room?
Perhaps a bunker or space for cleaning hunting game? What made it even weirder was a small hole in the wall filled with ash and decaying wood. But there was no chimney or place for the smoke to escape. Then, they discovered something even weirder.
Back up in the house, the handyman happened to notice that the house had a gigantic A-frame that was higher on one side of the roof, but the low-ceilinged rooms inside didn’t account for all that extra space.
Thinking that there must be some sort of storage space up there, he inspected the ceiling until he discovered a trap door. With a light pull on a small metal ring, an old ladder tumbled out — raining pink insulation and dust everywhere. And when he and Tony tooka peek inside, they couldn’t fathom what they were seeing.
About halfway down the attic, sitting weirdly amid the fiberglass insulation, was a wall with a door. But what was even more bizarre was that there was a roof as well, but it was completely enclosed by the attic.
Tony’s heart could take no more. What other strangeness would they find inside his home?
There was no working electricity up in the attic, so Tony had to rely solely on his flashlight once more. With the smell of decades’ worth of dust in their nostrils, they carefully stepped onto the floor.
The hairs on Tony’s neck began to rise and the heat and dense darkness hung over him like a cloak. What he’d found was straight out of a horror movie.
Why hadn’t the previous owner told him about any of this? And who lived here? They took one shaky step after the other to find out. Another thought niggled Tony in the back of his mind: Who still lived here?
Kicking the door open gently with his foot, he was greeted with a sight in the beam of his flashlight that he’ll never forget.
Peeling wallpaper in outdated hues of pea green and pastel pink sloughed eerily off the walls — as if the apartment in the attic was shedding its skin.
Smells of mold, dust, and rat’s nests wafted up from the floor with every step they took. They pulled their t-shirts up over their faces. They had to be careful not to inhale fragments of insulation, let alone what dangerous mold spores were lurking there.
Tony and the handyman gathered that there were three rooms in the strange, self-contained apartment. No furniture remained except for an old cabinet.
Other evidence that these rooms were living quarters were sparsely scattered throughout — an old hat and a tire, abandoned and forgotten, left to rot for who knows how long. There was also a bathroom…
There was a bathroom that housed a toilet and sink. It appeared to be plumbed into the main water and sewerage lines of the main house.
But why was there a creepy house inside his house? With more questions than answers, Tony decided to turn to Reddit once more. But some of the answers did little to put him at ease about what he’d found.
Reddit users who saw the photos were understandably creeped out. “House For Sale. Reduced price due to big nope in the attic,” one quipped.
“I didn’t want to be the first to say this,” another user wrote, “but it reminds me of the terrifying stories of where people keep family members locked up.” Another observant user had a theory.
“How does something like this happen? I looked through all his pictures and it looks like the floor is covered in insulation…” he wrote, “So does that mean all of the insulation you see is actually just his ceiling with the insulation sitting on top? Did OP crawl around on rafters to walk around up there?”
“It does look like they added a roof and an addition. Almost like they built an entire shell, (roof and walls) around the original house and decided to just keep going and make it bigger.” But Tony needed more definitive answers.
Tony even went as far as to ask the previous owner about the cellar and the attic. But all he said was “they’ve always been there.”
The strange rooms were beyond frustrating. But he was hopeful someone on the internet could enlighten him. The answers flooded in, but they ended up being more entertaining than useful.
The subspace underneath the house was officially deemed the “hell room” and Tony promised to keep everyone updated with his plans to convert it into something useful.
A cold-storage room for winter vegetables seemed like the winner. But there was one thing he needed to do first before a single potato went down there.
Aside from bathing the entire space in spider-killing spray, he stocked up on bleach and other cleaning materials.
If food was going to go down there, he had to get out the sticky layer of rotting roots and years of watery rust first. But what about the matter of the entire house inside the attic?
Aside from the obvious creep factor, a few Reddit users suggested that Tony convert the space into something livable – his own personal “speakeasy.”
“It would be fun to fix up. I’d have to see if the walls are moldy and I’m sure all the plumbing and wiring need to be redone,” Tony wrote on Reddit.