|At the end of a country road on the outskirts of WDC village, you will find a small cottage. It stands alone, surrounded by green yards, abandoned one dark stormy night by its owners. For weeks and now many months, it remains empty. The only sound was the constant strong wind blowing off the nearby fields, seeking a way into the house. The search ended with the discovery of unnoticed shoddy weatherproofing around some windows.
To the curious questions by the Realtor when first told of the house being for sale, the owners hemmed and hawed, revealing nothing about their hasty departure the evening before.
“Well,” the Realtor, Robert Brass, said, “I can put it up for sale today. If there is something wrong, though, with the house, you’ll have to tell me. That’s the law, you know. Now, why are you selling such a sweet property?”
Of the elderly couple, only Ruth took his comments seriously. Samuel Wilson refused to say anything, a scowl his only answer.
“Please, Sammy, he has to know. It’s not fair to anyone interested in wanting to buy the cottage.” Ruth pleaded with her stubborn husband to no avail. He kept his lips closed tightly, as if glued together. He turned his back on both Ruth and Mr. Brass to stare out the real estate office’s front window. People walked by as they did on every other ordinary summer day. However, the married couple inside knew today was not ordinary, at least for them.
Ruth finally gave up expecting her husband to help with the explanation. “Mr. Brass, there is nothing wrong with the cottage itself. We replaced the old roof and upgraded throughout the whole place just last month, new copper plumbing, rewiring, and fresh paint inside and out.” She turned towards her husband on hearing his loud snort of disgust.
Without facing her, he said in an angry tone of voice, “Yeah, and we paid a pretty penny for the work. We should make that contractor buy the place since it’s his fault or one of those subcontractors he hired.”
“Now, sweetheart, we do not know that.” His wife walked over to put her hand on his shoulder. “It could just be a coincidence that it happened just now.” When Samuel shrugged off her hand and moved away, Ruth gave a sad sigh.
“Mr. Brass…” Ruth stopped for a moment to gather her thoughts, and then continued quickly before she changed her mind. “Mr. Brass, the cottage is haunted. That’s why we have to sell it.”
The Realtor smiled. “I beg your pardon, Mrs. Wilson. Did I hear you right? The place is haunted?” He realized that old people often had difficulty telling fact from fantasy. This must be why these two are offering to sell their property for a below-market price, he thought. “May I ask why you believe this?” He stood there waiting for a reasonable explanation, but none was forthcoming.
Samuel turned around and said loudly and angrily, “Just sell it!” As he headed out the front door, he calmed down to speak gently to his silent wife, “Come on, Ruth, he doesn’t believe us, but we told the truth. That’s all the law wants.”
Weeks went by with prospective buyers checking out the little cottage. Because of the small size, the Realtor had decided to advertise the property as a perfect starter home for newly married couples. He stressed the potential for growth as the size of their family increased. One after another, however, many young couples decided not to buy it, even as the Realtor kept lowering the purchase price.
Since he had been extremely busy with selling other homes, he sent his assistant out with the various buyers. The young man, Danny Baseheart, reported nothing wrong with the cottage. The roof didn’t leak, the inside and outside showed fresh application of paint, and a well-maintained lawn surrounded the home. All in all, there was no reason this property did not sell the first day it came on the market.
According to Danny, after a quick exploration of the cottage with each couple, he would always go outside to show the husband around the grounds. Meanwhile, the wife stayed inside to check out the home further, always ending on the second floor. This happened without fail with everyone he brought out to the cottage. He would look up and see the light going on and off in one of the upstairs bedrooms, followed by the wife coming outside in a rush. Invariably, the wife would grab the arm of her husband and pull him back to the assistant’s care with no explanation for her panic.
A third and fourth month was also without a buyer. Late one Saturday, Mr. Brass finally decided to go out with Danny to see the property for himself. Driving up the driveway, he saw the cottage for the first time and started smiling.
Rosebushes, colorful and fragrant in the hot summer afternoon, filled the front yard of the two-story brick cottage. Honeysuckle circling the front door added its own sweet scent, and the hum of bees greeted Mr. Brass when he came closer to the cottage. The bright blue door seemed to welcome weary people to “come in and set a spell.” A chimney in the living room and another in a bedroom stood ready to ward off the winter chill with their roaring fires.
A screen porch on one side of the cottage offered shelter during the hot summer days and cool summer evenings. Mr. Brass could almost taste the tart lemonade and feel the icy liquid sliding down his throat as he sat with his wife in that porch. Shaking his head to erase the image, he walked from the car and through the front door.
In the living room on the left side of the home, he saw late afternoon sunshine streaming in through the 20 small windows. He could just picture Ruth Wilson happily cleaning them. The large fireplace, made entirely of river rocks, filled one wall of that room. The kitchen and dining room took up the rest of the first floor, and Mr. Brass could find nothing that would have frightened the elderly couple or the prospective buyers. He followed his assistant up the stairs to the second floor.
Upstairs, Mr. Brass discovered two small bedrooms located over the living room. Between them was a full bathroom. On entering the larger bedroom, Mr. Brass noticed it was starting to get dark outside. “Danny, turn on the overhead light so we can see the room better.”
His assistant answered, “Okay, boss, just let me find the light switch.” Since Danny had always brought prospective buyers to the cottage during the morning, he never had felt it necessary to turn on any lights before. It took him a few minutes to find the light switch. For some reason, a three-drawer bureau partially hid it.
Without warning, the light repeatedly went off then on again in rapid succession startling the two men. A low moan, rising and falling in intensity, echoed down the hallway between the bedrooms causing the men to look at each other, eyes wide in shock. A loud noise from downstairs had them racing down the narrow stairs. In the kitchen, a blender was skittering across the kitchen counter. Finally, the noise stopped when the cord reached its full length and pulled the plug out of the wall socket. The men left without saying a word, at last understanding why people refused to buy this cottage.
Are there any buyers out there who would like to check it for ghosts, or are you afraid? Could there be a reasonable explanation for the mysterious happenings? The Realtor invites you to leave the center of WDC Village and see the cottage for yourself.
To quote a television show, “The Price is Right!”