Eight years ago I was setting up showings for a couple I was working with in SE Portland. It was about 4 days before Halloween and nasty weather. There was one house that was owner occupied but it said to call the Listing Agent. That almost always means there is some problem with something.
I got him on the line and asked what was up with the property. He said that two sisters lived there and one would be out of the house but the other would stay during the showing. She had agoraphobia and was afraid of everyone. He said it was fine to show it but that the sister would be hiding somewhere in the house.
Somewhere hiding? What the…??
“She would be hiding somewhere in the house but most likely behind the hot water heater,” he said while I shivered a bit. “Just don’t approach her if you see her.” Alrighty then. I told him that I would leave it up to my clients but to go ahead and set an appointment for 6:30.
My clients decided it was fine and we met at the house. Deciding to do this at 3 in the afternoon was different than standing outside in the dark and rain. We hesitated a bit but curiousity won out I guess and we walked up to the door.
I knocked on the door and jiggled the handle to give the sister time to hide. I really wasn’t looking forward to this. I love scary movies but always jumped more when I knew something was coming. I had neglected to ask the agent where the hot water heater was located. In the back of my mind I imagined eyes peering at me from the darkness.
I knew that would make me jump so I kept my gaze low. As we walked inside I announced, “Realtor!” I paused but heard nothing. As we turned to the left I raised my voice a bit and said, “This is a den here on the left.” “Let’s go into the Living room now.” I wanted it to be clear where we were going.
As we walked into the Living room we heard her scamper somewhere through the house quickly. We froze looking at each other to see if we all heard the same thing. We did. Lucky me, I lead the way. I wasn’t really worried about seeing her but I knew I would jump if I did.
We slowly went through the house and I am not sure if they were interested but we kept going. Each door was like a horror movie. I would only look at the floor when I opened a door or closet so as not to see something freaky like in the movie “The Ring”
We heard her scamper again but couldn’t locate from where. Now it was time to go to the basement. I opened that door slow and looked down the steps. Unfathomably, or teasingly, the basement stairs had drapes on either side of the stairs and at the bottom of the stairs, and I couldn’t see anything of the basement.
We walked down there and I slid the drape to the side but wouldn’t look at anything taller than 2 feet. At this point I knew I was going to see her eyes floating behind the hot water heater if I looked up anywhere.
We stood in the middle of the basement and then glanced at each other, my client’s eyes big and looked startled. I said, “Ready to go?” They turned quickly and we left.
We hurried outside and I glanced over my shoulder as we left. (I’ve watched too many horror movies in my life.) Outside I asked if they saw her. They hadn’t but thought I saw her! We had inadvertently scared ourselves. We laughed at ourselves for a few moments but then thought about how hard it might be to get that poor woman out of the house. I meant to follow up on the house but after a while I lost track so I don’t know how it ended up.
We felt bad her phobia but it made for an interesting Halloween.