Monday, August 25, 2014
The Double Dare House At The End of The Block
The house was a restorers dream, or challenge, depending on the restorer. It had sat vacant and unclaimed for over a decade though, even after the city offered the house for $1.00 to anyone willing to restore it to it's original state.
The house wasn't a hopeless case, and most people who drove past it wondered why it had not been snapped up by one of those flipper types.
The simple answer was, the house scared people. The reason it had been abandoned for over a decade was well-known. The death of the last resident of the home, Seamus Cassidy, by his own hand had cemented in the minds of every single resident in the small town of Perry, Massachusetts, that the house was haunted and would destroy the very soul of anyone foolish enough to attempt to inhabit it again.
The neighborhood children had taken to calling the weathered old Victorian the double dare house, as it had become the standard for which a person's bravery would be measured. If a kid became too boastful, too much of a braggart, he or she would be double dared to enter the house.
Not one kid had excepted the double dare, not even Tom McKinney, and he had been the first and so far only kid in the entire county who had accepted the Devil's Thumb challenge and successfully scaled the towering rock formation down by the quarry.
The town council had the police board up all the doors and windows a year after the death of Seamus in order to keep vermin and small animals, as well as people out. The town's police force consisted of a police chief and two officers, and all three of them, along with four members of the volunteer fire department, spent a bright sunny July afternoon hammering large sheets of plywood in place.
All of the men who had participated in the detail remarked that the house had been completely free of any signs of animal habitation - no indications of mice or other small vermin were evident in the rooms, not even in the basement or the attic.
All of the men who had participated in the detail also remarked that the house felt remarkably cold and damp, no matter if you were in the basement or on the sunlit porch.
Of course, over the years a number of legends and myths had sprung up regarding the house, and if a child, or even an adult, went missing for more than an hour the house would invariably pop up in every concerned person's conversation.
So it was with not a little surprise that the town tax assessor, Leo Allen, was met at the door to the county courthouse one morning by a young couple who claimed to be the rightful heirs to the home, with the legal documents to prove it.
And when they stated their intention to move into the decrepit building and restore it to its former glory...Mr. Allen's hair stood up on the nape of his neck.