The First Story

The names of people and countries have been changed for privacy reasons


I was nine years old when my parents, our dog, and I moved in to the house we had built after a year renting a house. The house we had been renting was unlucky, but that is not what this story is about. This story is about the house we moved in to and the land it is on.

The first day of elementary school (which was a block away from our new house), a girl ran up to me and said “You’re the kid who moved in to the haunted house!”. I thought she was joking, so I didn’t mention it to my parents. The neighbors, however, rarely went near the house. They would walk on the other side of the street when they walked past, and, from what I remember, only two families greeted us. The other neighbors started to be less cautious after a year.

Then, when I was ten years old, we were packing for a one week vacation. My dad had been complaining about seeing litter around the house. He found things like cigarettes, trash, and a lot of paper. There were also homeless cats at first, but they were scared by the dog and left the neighborhood. Anyways, we were packing, and our doorbell rings. One of our neighbors had a piece of paper, and said “I didn’t know you were having an open house!” I should mention that a week prior, my dad had exchanged choice words with a man we did not know who had been taking pictures of our house with a professional camera.

The slip of paper that our neighbor handed to us was a flyer saying that we were having an open house the week that we would be away for vacation. It had directions to our house from public places such as the library and school. It also had a picture that had been edited to take my dad out of the picture from when he was yelling at the guy with the camera.

My dad went to the police, where one of them asked another “Do you think John is out of jail yet?” My dad asked the elderly couple who were one of the only four people who greeted us when we moved in who John was. This is the story they told him.

Over three decades previously, a family of five had lived in a house (that we had torn down to build ours after we bought the land) on the land with a neighboring wooded area. This family had consisted of a mom, dad, two daughters, and the son who was named John. John was a bad apple, as when the dad died and the mother went to a nursing home, John and his sisters had a feud as to what would be done with the property.

The feud went on so long that John decided it was his, and he used the house and land for drugs, parties, etc. John also neglected to pay the bills and taxes, resulting in a sum so large that his sisters fled somewhere else with their husbands, and John stayed with the house. Since no paperwork had been completed and the utilities were shut off, the house was deemed “abandoned”. John continued using the now-crumbling house as a base for homeless people, drugs, and prostitutes. Keep in mind that the Catholic Christian elementary school is a block away.

Then, John is arrested for a disgusting crime. He had molested his mother in the nursing home. The home, with the land, was finally put up for sale ten years later. Then we bought the land and house.

Vacation day arrives, and my dad has convinced the police to patrol near our house very often while we are away. Nothing happens until a year later. One day, we get a check in the mail sent from someone in Germany. It was addressed to “John” for a large amount, and the address on the envelope was our house. Once again, my dad goes to the police, but this time they say that since it was an international package, there is nothing they can do. Once again, we flash forward, to when I was fourteen.

We get a knock at the door, and once again, it is the elderly couple, who simply hand us a newspaper clipping. The clipping says “Sam arrested for Swiss bank account embezzlement!” Our neighbors confirmed that “Sam” was indeed “John”. We would have let it go, but then my dad remembered we have proof of another bank account of his in Germany.

Lately, I have been receiving phone calls from an unknown number on my cellphone and the home phone. They will happen whether I am in school or asleep at two in the morning. I answered once, and I heard heavy breathing before whoever it was hung up.


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