California / Personal Encounters

The Suicide House

This is a house located somewhere in Simi Valley. Naturally, I can’t release details of exactly where this house is but factual background is that the previous owner committed suicide by gunshot and we were handling the sale for the person’s relatives. However, I was not told these details before my first visit to the house.

The house, a two-story, is really lovely and charming and I fell in love with it on my first visit. However, I also learned to fear its invisible resident.

It was my job to visit the house once a week, ALONE, to make sure everything was in order and to collect any business cards left by other real estate agents. On my first day I went to the front door and put the key in the deadbolt lock, turned it, and heard the tumblers disengage. I grabbed the door knob, turned it, NOTHING. The door would not budge, as if it was still locked. I put my shoulder to it. It still wasn’t budging. So, instead, I went around to the side of the attached garage, unlocked the outside door and propped it open with a brick, walked through the garage, unlocked the door that led to the inside of the house, which opened to the small foyer connected with the front door, and entered the foyer, where I found the front door standing WIDE OPEN! I was now kind of freaked out, but tried to rationalize it. I closed and locked it and decided that when I left I would go back out through the garage since the outside door was already propped open.

I wandered in to the kitchen, where I placed my purse, pen and open note folder on the counter top. I checked the kitchen and walked across to the other side of the kitchen to collect the business cards left by other agents. Although still needing repair work done and a professional cleaning, as well as an upcoming estate sale to liquidate the items in the house, we were still allowing agents to come in to take a look without clients. While glancing through the cards I heard a noise behind me. I turned to look and saw that the pen I had placed on the counter top was now sitting on top of my purse! Again, I tried to rationalize it. I stood still and listened. I heard nothing else. So, I wrote a few notes, picked up my purse, note folder and pen and checked out the other rooms on the bottom floor of the house, as well as the backyard. Nothing out of the ordinary happened so by now my nerves have calmed down.

I head upstairs for my final inspection. The carpet has already been removed from the stairs so the sound of my high heels hitting the bare wood echoes through the house, which is kind of creepy. At the top of the stairs I turn to the right and check the bedrooms and bathroom in that section. Nothing out of the ordinary. I next head in the other direction to check the huge master bedroom and master bathroom suite. The door to the master bedroom is closed, which seems odd since all of the other doors in the house have been opened. I open the door and walk inside. The room is large and sunny, but feels kind of heavy. I see a door to the far left, walk over, open it, and find an enormous, and quite creepy, attic space. I quickly close that door and walk back across the room to check out the master bathroom. As soon as I enter this room I feel queasy. There is a terrible, rancid smell and I see gross looking globs of something unidentifiable on two of the walls near the bathtub. Something just does not feel right. Just as I turn to leave the bathroom door slams shut with incredible force, trapping me inside the bathroom. Now I am really, really freaked out. I grab the door knob and try to open the door. The more it refuses to open the more I panic. I reach into my purse for my cell phone and I call an assistant back at the office. Just as I start to explain to him what is happening the bathroom door opens and swings open! I tell the assistant to “never-mind” as I run out of the bathroom and bedroom, down the stairs, and through the garage. How I managed to get out while wearing high heels without breaking my neck is a mystery or a miracle!

I am so shaken up by this time that I quickly get into my car, drive it down the street, and then pull over to just sit for a few minutes. I am shaking and on the verge of tears. While I am sitting there the office assistant calls me back because he is worried. I told him that I was heading back to the office and would explain then, but at that moment I was going to go get a coffee.

When I arrived back at the office the boss was also in, so I told everyone what had happened. The boss kind of laughed because I was so freaked out, but then he filled me in on the fact that the last owner had shot and killed himself in the MASTER BATHROOM!

My boss seems amused by my upset, which kind of pissed me off, but just to be sure he met a locksmith at the house a few hours later to check the front door lock and to change it out if needed. My boss and the locksmith both tried the key numerous times completely without incident. The door unlocked and opened with no problem. The door was checked for other possible explanations, but it was properly sealed, did not have any signs of shrinkage or expansion from damp, and the hinges were properly installed. So great, now I look like an idiot!

A week goes by and it is time for me to go back to check on the house and collect business cards. I am NOT happy about this, but am determined to just get in and do my job. As soon as I leave the office and get in to my car I change out of my high heels and put on a pair of high-top sneakers. I am ready to run if I have to.

I pull up in the driveway, go to the front door, turn the key in the lock, and the damn door will NOT open! I jiggle the key, insert it only partially, lift up on the door knob. Nothing! This door is NOT going to open! I re-engage the lock and head for the door on the side of the garage.

I unlock the side door, place a brick in front of it because there is no light switch near this door, and start walking across the garage towards the door that leads inside. Just as I get to the middle of the garage the damn door BEHIND me slams shut, in-spite of the brick I placed to hold it. I am standing there in complete, black darkness with no idea of exactly where the light switch is. Man, I am scared, like, ready to piss yourself scared! At this time I only had an old flip type cell phone and had no idea how to activate the light on it. I start walking FAST towards where I believe the door should be. Once I ran into the bench I knew I just needed to move to the left to find the door. I was shaking, which made it even harder to put the key in the lock, in the dark, but I finally got the damn door open.

I enter into the foyer and automatically look at the front door. This time it isn’t open, but the damn lock is turned to the unlocked position! I walk over, turn the door knob, and it opens nice and smooth. I quickly prop it open with my purse, step outside, and grab a huge rock out of the front garden, and prop the door open with it. No way am I going back through the garage!

I pick up my purse and, still shaking and freaked out, I walk in to the kitchen and quickly gather up any business cards and flyers left on the counter top. I make a very quick and cursory inspection of the lower rooms. Everything seems fine.

Now, I have to go upstairs and I am not looking forward to it. At least walking up the stairs doesn’t sound as creepy since I am wearing sneakers, but I really, really do NOT want to go up there. I practically run up the stairs, and this time I go to the left first, wanting to just quickly peek into the master bedroom and then get the hell away from it. Again, the door is closed, and it shouldn’t be. I take a deep breath, turn the knob, and open the door. A quick look tells me that the door to the creepy attic is open and I am NOT going to go all the way across the room to close it. No way! Instead, I turn away, leaving the door open, and head to the other bedrooms and bathroom in the other direction. Just as I enter the last bedroom I hear footsteps! I do not want to look, but I have to. I peek around the corner, but see nothing. Then, while I am standing there partially hidden by the door frame, I hear a god-awful *SLAM!* I run out in to the hallway and see that the master bedroom door is now CLOSED! That’s it, I am OUTTA here! I ran so fast down those stairs that I doubt my feet even touched wood! Down the stairs I went, turn a quick right at the bottom, reach the front door, push the rock out of the way, close the door, put key in lock, turn it, and then RUN to the car. I get in my car and realize that I still need to go to the side of the garage to lock the other door, and I was seriously tempted to not bother. Just about two months before this I had managed to quit smoking. That was the day when I started again. I had three “emergency” smokes in the glove box. They were dried out, but I did not care. I had to sit there in the car drinking water and smoking for about 20 minutes before I could get up the courage to go lock that other door.

I left and headed right for Starbucks, and from there back to work. As soon as I walked in the door one of the other office workers asked me if I was okay. I just told them that I did not want to talk about it. My boss made a joke about the ghost, and I looked up at him and told him in no uncertain terms to F Off! Yes, I could get away with talking to my boss like this, LOL!

Another week goes by, and it is THAT time again. I have other properties to check so I take it slow, just kind of dragging out the time. Since it was a windy day I had the excuse that I had to fix sign boards and pick up paper and trash that had blown into the yards, plus I was re-filling the flyer boxes that day with fresh flyers and business cards. I finish the last property before I have to head to that damned house, so I go to Coffee Bean, sit outside for a few minutes, and gather my courage. Finally, I get in my car and head to THE HOUSE. I pull up in the driveway and see that the signboard is half way off the post, so I put it in place and then open the flyer box to put more flyers in. I feel something or someone watching me. You know that feeling of the hairs standing up on the back of your neck? Yep, that feeling. I look up at the master bedroom. I forgot to mention that this room has double French doors and a balcony. I see what looks like someone standing at the French doors looking out at me. I try to rationalize that it is just the curtains, but the curtains are light cream, and the figure I see is dark. Screw this! I get in my car and call the office assistant. I know he is also out in the field putting up signs at newly listed properties. I ask him where he is and he tells me he is about 5 minutes away from me. He agrees to come to the house, but we are not telling the boss because he would have a shit-fit about it. That is just how he is, kind of anal like that. My work-mate arrives. We try to unlock and open the front door. It will not work. I get annoyed and walk away. He tries it again, and this time it works! Bastard ghost! We go inside, and while we are standing there my work mate actually HEARS something. We both stop to listen. Footsteps UPSTAIRS, crossing the wooden floor in the master bedroom just above our heads. My work mate runs up the stairs, and just as quickly runs back down. He doesn’t SEE anybody or anything, but he hears the noise coming from behind the CLOSED master bedroom door. Now he is scared, too. Good. I am not insane. I am not imaging this. We agree to leave without checking the house out any further, and now we are going to let the boss know that he came to the house to help me, because he is my witness. We both get back to work, and since we arrive back at the same time the boss asks us “what’s up.” We tell him what happened. Surprisingly, he isn’t yelling and being a d#%k. Now he is taking this a little bit more seriously.

So, the next week I need to go back, as usual, but this time I have someone meeting me there, the woman who is going to conduct the estate sale, as well as arrange for workers to come in to do the cleaning and repairs. Remember that all of the deceased owner’s stuff is still in the house, but I have never bothered to open any drawers or closets to check things out. So, when I arrive at the house the estate sale woman is waiting for me, and she is standing in the yard looking UP at the master bedroom. Great! Guess who is acting up again inside??? Anyway, this woman is also a friend of mine, but I have not told her about the suicide. Not my place to do so, and all that. So, I get out of the car and she asks if someone is in the house. I tell her “No, the house is empty.” She is already getting “vibes” from the house. I try to unlock the front door. Doesn’t work. Screw this game. I have her follow me to the side door at the garage and ask her to hold the door open so I can cross the garage and turn on the light. May as well start the cursory inventory while we are in here. She closes the door and follows me in. The door opens, and then slams shut. We are both freaked but laugh it off. I am not about to fill her in yet. I walk across the garage and lock the door. I walk back across the room and place myself right next to the door that leads inside. I am not getting trapped in the middle of the garage if the ghost decided to turn off the light. We finish up in the garage and I unlock the door to go inside. The front door is open. My friend says to me, “Must be a sticky door.” I say NOTHING! We begin taking inventory of the downstairs rooms, including a large family room that had been converted into a large guest bedroom. We start opening drawers and closets and just inventorying only what we can see without digging around, since this is just for a basic idea of what we have to sell. We go to a beautiful antique high-boy dresser and open the top drawer. Sitting there is a hand gun with bullets. I kind of step back quickly and so does she. She says she feels really uneasy. I tell her to not touch the gun and to just close the drawer. We finish up downstairs and head upstairs. As we are walking up the stairs she tells me she has a really bad feeling, that something feels “bad” and “heavy.” I am still staying quiet. While doing inventory in the other rooms upstairs we keep hearing various, unidentifiable noises. We ignore them. Finally, we head to the master bedroom and we both feel really wary and uncomfortable. She notices the attic door is opened and asks me what it is. I tell her it is a large walk-in attic. She asks me to go in it with her. As soon as we both put out heads through the door to look we hear a scuffing sound on the floor, and something like a whispering noise. We quickly back out and shut the door. She looks at me with this look that says “What the hell was that?” I tell her that I would love to say more, but can’t right now. She heads to the master bathroom and comes right back out again. The smell is too much for her and she says it will have to wait until after the cleaning team have been in. We see a huge walk-in closet with a closed door. We try to open it, but it is locked. I decide to try the house key and it works. Inside are loads of filing cabinets and it is obvious someone has been rifling through them. On the floor we see a torn page and I pick it up. It is a Last Will, torn in half. Weird! We do a cursory inventory here because there is too much to go through. We are finally ready to leave and as we are walking down the stairs we hear the sound of footsteps walking BEHIND us on the landing! We hurried OUT of the house, I locked the door, and we both kind of laughed nervously. She told me she would phone me in a few days with more details about when the cleaning crew would be in and when we would do a deeper inventory.

A few days later the woman putting together the estate sale calls me and we arrange to go back to the house. She wants to look closer at a few items that she couldn’t quite see in the closet of one of the bedrooms, plus, we still need to go into the master bathroom to see if anything in there needs to be included in the sale. We meet at the house and this time the front door unlocks and opens when I try it. Not sure if this is a good thing or not, LOL! We head first for the upstairs bedroom with the closet that we want to check through, and find a bunch of expensive scuba diving gear hidden under other stuff. Since this stuff is indeed expensive we talk about removing it from the house and storing it somewhere safe. I told her I would phone the office and ask the boss after we finished up. So, we now head for the dreaded master bathroom. Again, the bedroom door is closed to the master bedroom. As soon as we opened it we were overwhelmed with this horrible smell. It was just so bad that it brought us close to vomiting. We covered our mouths and noses and took shallow breaths and headed for the bathroom, where the smell was even worse. Some of the bath accessories were expensive antiques so we had to get pretty close to the bathtub / shower wall, where those globs of something were at. My friend looked closer and shouts, “Oh my God! I think that is flesh or brain or something!” At this point I tell her that we are leaving the room. We are both grossed out. We go back downstairs for a breather and I step outside to call my boss about the scuba equipment. He agrees to having it removed. Then I tell him what we saw on the bathroom wall, and I told him that since this woman was arranging for the cleaning she needed to be told what had happened because we are going to need a special cleaning crew in for this type of thing. While we are talking I hear this incredibly loud “BANG!* and she comes running out of the house, shaking like crazy. She told me she thought she was hearing walking upstairs but ignored it as a trick of her imagination, and then the BANG happened. It took a lot to convince her to go back in with me, but we needed to get the scuba gear. We went back upstairs and found the door to the master bedroom closed. This was the source of the loud bang. We gathered up the scuba gear and left the house. It was while we were standing outside that I told her what had happened in the house, and she was freaked out. I also mentioned that she would probably want a cleaning crew used to dealing with crime scene cleanup, and she agreed.

About four or five days later my friend who was dealing with the estate sale phoned me and arranged to go in to the house with a cleaning and repair crew over the weekend, as well as some of her staff to do a more in-depth inventory. I met with her to provide her with an extra key to get in and out of the house because I was NOT dealing with that place on my days off! LOL! Saturday night I get a phone call from her telling me that all of the downstairs was thoroughly cleaned and any repairs needing to be done were finished. She said that nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but since there were so many people in the house and a radio was playing they wouldn’t have noticed anything any way. Then, on Sunday morning I got a call about 9:00 am. My friend asked me if I had been in the house, or anyone else. I told her “no, nobody was going in to the house while cleaning and inventory were being done.” She then tells me that the cleaning supplies that had been left in the kitchen were found scattered throughout the house! Her cleaning crew were kind of scared but she convinced them to stay. While working upstairs one of the cleaning crew mentioned seeing a man watching them. She said he would peek around the corner at them and then disappear. My friend told them to just ignore it, that maybe it was one of the guys doing the repairs (even though she KNEW it wasn’t!). Finally, the crew go in to clean the bathroom, and I am so grateful that I was not there. They kept trying to clean the tiles and the grout on the floor and wall, but a dark fluid kept coming through and staining. My friend went and asked the repair crew if they could remove the tiles and then re-apply and re-grout them after they were cleaned underneath. They said they would do that. So, the tiles directly behind the bathtub were removed, as were the ones on the floor next to the bath. Underneath was pooled blood, body fluid, bits of bone, and flesh or brain matter. I swear to you this is true! Everyone was so disgusted that they left the property for a few hours to get a break.

So, the house if finally repaired and all cleaned up and the estate sale is set for the following weekend. I don’t need to go to the house that week since the estate sale crew will be in and out that week setting things up. Works for me! LOL! After the estate sale was concluded the items left over were either donated to charity or taken to a local store to be sold on consignment. Everything was removed. So, now my boss says… “Photography is your specialty, so I need you to photograph the house so we can officially list it in the MLS. I was not happy about this at all. This meant that I was going to have to go inside and spend a lot of time in there, taking detailed photos of all the rooms and best features. The next day I arrive at work with my camera, my large camera bag and my tripod. Normally I just hold the camera, but I was already feeling shaky and knew I would need the tripod. So, off I go to Hell House. I unlock the door. Naturally, it won’t open. Off to the side door at the garage. Same routine, place brick to hold door, RUN across the garage, and open the other door. Next, I open the front door from inside and place that big ass rock in front of it so I can go unload my gear from my car. While I am at it I lock the side door to the garage. I get in the house, take out my camera, attach it to the tripod, and go back outside to get some shots of the outside of the house, front and back. I am NOT going to look up at the balcony, just in case Mr. Spooky Pants is watching me. After I finish the outside shots I go back inside, set up the tripod, and start to photograph the kitchen and dining area. I THINK I hear a noise near the stairs, but try to ignore it. I just want to get done and get the hell out! Next, I move to the living room and set up near the fireplace. Okay, now I KNOW I have just heard what sounded like someone walking down the stairs! I stop, take a deep breath, and grab my remote control out of my bag, because now I am shaking so much that even touching the shutter release button on the camera is causing me to go out of focus. I quickly take some shots and as I am moving with the tripod in my hand to turn and take shots of the fireplace I can FEEL something near me! I am now a wreck. I just grab everything, camera bag, my purse, the camera still on the tripod, and I run the hell out of there. I take just barely enough time to kick away the rock and pull the front door closed. I don’t even bother to lock it. I throw my stuff in the backseat of my car and get out of there. I go get a coffee and sit in my car, near tears. I am well and truly a wreck. This house has gotten under my skin like no other, and I have been in some creepy ass old castles, prisons and manor houses. After about 30 minutes I am still shaken up, badly. I go back to the office, and this time I looked so scared, so white in the face, that my boss actually ran over to me and helped me to sit in my chair. I told him what had happened, and I finally started crying like a baby. It was awful.

But, photos were still needed and I had the rep for taking the best photos. So, I agreed to go back with my office mate, the assistant, who was also a good friend. We grab my camera gear and load it into his car. No way I can drive at this point. Before we head to THE HOUSE, we stop at a park so I can gather my wits and just chill out in the fresh air for a bit. He jokes around, trying to make me laugh and break some of the fear. It is NOT working, but bless his heart, he meant well. So, we finally leave the park and go to THE HOUSE. My work-mate tells me to just hang out in the car while he unlocks the front door. I tell him it is unlocked still. He walks up to the door, turns the knob. It won’t open. It is LOCKED! It’s a deadbolt, and it is LOCKED! I’m like “I don’t believe this!” So he says he is going to go in through the garage side door. I decide to go along and hold it open while he walks through the garage to the other door. As he is walking through he suddenly stops and turns to look at this little room in the back of the garage. He SWEARS he saw something shadowy move. Now he is freaked out! He runs the rest of the way to the other door, turns on the light and unlocks the door. I close the outside door behind me and lock it. We both check out that little room. Nothing. Empty. We go in to the house and to the front door, which is now UNLOCKED! He opens it and grabs my big ass rock to place in front of it. We both go out to the car to get my gear. I am still scared witless but at least I have another LIVING human being with me. I quickly finish shooting photos of the remaining downstairs areas and before heading upstairs I set up at the bottom of the stairs to get a shot upwards. As I am looking through the viewfinder and focusing my workmate is watching up the stairs. Next thing you know we hear this “Clack, clack, clack, clack!” and through my eyepiece I can see something rolling down the stairs! At this point I could have easily pissed my pants, and I think my workmate could have, too! He bends down and picks up this white octagonal shaped dice, kind of like the ones used in the old Dungeons & Dragons game. We just look at each other, speechless. He then puts it in his pocket to take back to the office. He says, “lets get this shit done so we can get OUT of here!” I grab my tripod and camera and he picks up my camera bag and purse and we make our way upstairs. We stand there dithering for a few minutes, trying to decide if we should do the master bedroom suite first, and get it over with, or save it for last, hoping that it will less antagonize the ghost. We decide to do all the other upstairs rooms first. I photograph the other bedrooms and the bathroom directly at the top of the stairs without incident. We are breathing a sigh of relief, thinking maybe things will be fine now. We head for the master bedroom, where we again find the door CLOSED. We open it and walk inside. I ask my workmate to take photos of the attic for me because I can’t bear to go in it. He agrees, but is not thrilled about it. As soon as he steps through the attic door he hears a dragging noise. He backs out, waits a minute or so, and then goes back in. He thinks he hears another noise, but I don’t hear anything. I take his word for it though. He quickly snaps off a few shots. At this point I don’t care if they look crappy. He comes out and closes that door. My camera bag is in the middle of the floor, so I walk over to the open bedroom door and place my bag in front of it. I set the camera back on the tripod and set up for a few shots. Now we BOTH hear something, like someone walking UP the stairs. He goes out of the room to check and right as he gets away from the door and to the top of the stairs my big, heavy camera bag is PUSHED or KICKED from the door and the door slams shut!

I can hear my workmate yell “Holy Shit!,” while I am yelling and crying for him to get the door open because I am too afraid to move! I had this horrible image in my head of the door refusing to open while I was trapped in that bedroom, right next to the bathroom where the suicide happened. I was like jelly by the time he opened the door and came in to get me. We had both had it. I couldn’t shoot anymore so he took my camera off the tripod, shot a few photos of the master bedroom and bathroom, and we got the hell out of there. When we got back to the office and told our boss what had happened he was speechless. My workmate convinced him to not send me back there, and my boss agreed, FINALLY! Then my workmate took out that strange dice but none of us could identify it. It wasn’t for a Dungeons & Dragons game. I called my friend who did the estate sale and she said there had been no games of any kind. So we did some Googling and found it. It is called a Gypsy dice, which I had never heard of. Apparently they are used for occult practices, and this bit of information sent chills up my spine. I just wish we had paid attention to which symbol it had landed on when it came to rest at the bottom of the stairs.

Within two days of uploading the property listing and photos to the MLS we got a strong offer from a nice couple. Their English wasn’t that great but they understood about the death and all that. We were going for a 30 day escrow and my boss promised not to send me back to check on the place or collect business cards during this time. I was so happy! I couldn’t even just drive past that house without wanting to vomit from fear. The loan is approved and escrow goes through, all of the paperwork is signed. The house is SOLD!!! YEAH!!! But…

Now that the escrow is closed someone has to go back to the house to remove the plastic flyer box from the sign post, collect the key box from the door, and go inside to remove the plastic flyer and business card display unit. Yep, you guessed it, I was the one who had to do it! My workmate couldn’t do it because he was out of state visiting family and the boss had a full day of showing properties in Ventura and Camarillo. The other person in the office had to stay there to answer phones and deal with walk-in clients.

I go back to the house. I remove the flyer box from the sign post. I go to the door and remove the lock box. I put my own copy of the key in to the lock, and this time the door opens with no problem. Thank goodness for small miracles. I am almost done and out of here FOREVER! I walk in to the kitchen where the plastic display unit is, or at least is supposed to be. Someone (or something!) has moved the damn thing! I start looking inside cupboards, but can’t find it. I head towards the living room, and at this point I hear THREE doors slam shut upstairs all at once. I about jump out of my skin and get that awful feeling that I am going to need to run to the toilet as my stomach starts to turn, but I do NOT want to be using a toilet in this house. No way in hell! I am frantically looking around and spot the plastic display unit sitting on the fireplace hearth. I run over and grab it and as I am turning to head towards the front door I hear footsteps on the stairs, stairs that I have to get past to get to the door! Screw this! I double back and go towards the dining area instead and into the kitchen. I spot some business cards and decide to quickly grab them, do this job right before I leave. While standing there I hear this *SIGH* right next to my head, but not a sad one. This is a mocking sound, and then I swear I hear a very faint laugh, followed by words that to this day I cannot be sure about. I either heard “Love me,” “Give Me,” or “Forgive me,” but I was not going to stand there and ask him to repeat himself. I ran out the door and almost didn’t lock it behind me. I jumped in my car, and have never gone back anywhere NEAR it since!

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