Tenant says my house is haunted!

I own a duplex, live in part and rent out an apartment. New tenant moved in the first of the month - female, 24, good job, South American emigrant but fluent English, petite brown-eyed blond, cute as a bug. All is good.

A week later she calls me at work and says, “I saw the man last night” I say “Huh?” She says, “He was in the bedroom.” I say, “Ah., that’s nice.” She says, “He had no legs.” I say “OOO Kay.”

According to her, she woke up in the middle of the night and saw the partial figure of a man outlined against the skylight. Too scared to turn on a light, she stayed awake till morning.

Well, I know it’s an old house (1880’s) and old houses make noises. And, I know she isn’t used to living on her own. I remember being 21 and those first few scared, sleepless nights I spent in my first apartment, so I try to soothe her. I assure her that neither past tenants or I have had any problems and I offer to lend her some nightlights and extra lamps. End of story, or so I think.

But since then she has called every few days with a new problem or incident. “Has anyone every died in the house?” I’m sure they have; a hundred years ago people didn’t go to the hospital to die. “Was the last tenant a devil worshipper?” Hardly. Can she have a priest bless the place? Sure, whatever makes her feel better.

Then she calls and announces, “I found the cross!” Never at a loss, I say “Huh?” She says “A pirate cross, you know, like with a skull and bones on it. It was under the stairs.” I ask, “You mean like a little necklace?” “No, its big and heavy and black.”

Now my BS meter is going off big time. The apartment is beautifully renovated. The last tenant left the place spic and span; I had all the carpets cleaned. There was NO big, black, cross under the stairs. I ask if I can I come up and see it that night. No, because she couldn’t stand to have it near her, so her boyfriend took it away.

I was willing to humor her for a bit but this is getting absurd. I’m not a total skeptic; like Hamlet, I’m willing to believe that “there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” But I know this house isn’t haunted. I’ve lived here for ten years and I’ve always felt safe and secure. I have an active imagination and I’m often too sensitive for my own good, so I know that if there were something wrong in this house I would have sensed it long ago. Besides, this is a really neat house. If houses have personalities, this is a sweet, happy, good-hearted house. Is there an evil spirit in it? Nope, not a chance.

I think today was the last straw. She says the “ghost” came back last night and tried to smother her in her sleep. I can’t stand anymore of this. I’ve left her a message to come see me when she gets home. I’m going to offer to let her out of the lease if she can move as soon as possible. Hell, I’ll even give her the full deposit back just to end everything on a good note. I’ve been really lucky to have great tenants over the years, so I guess I was about due for a nutcase. BOO on me!

Well, she’s either a nut, or she wanted to be let out of the lease and figured this was the easiest way.

People who weave blatant and elaborate lies like that are a little scary . . . you never know if the next tale will be about you.

You’re better off rid of her.

Unless she wants to trade sex for rent.

Then, remodel the joint, in whatever way she wants.

I’ve got a friend who is very smart and halfway through a science degree. She is constantly talking about the ghosts that haunt the house she’s renting, believes John Edwards is for real and has told me that cats understand English.

I think it’s quite possible your tenent believes she’s telling the truth even if she’s setting off every sane person who read that’s bullshit detector.

Is it not possible to just ask her to keep the hauntings to herself?

Cats do understand English, and whatever language their caretaker speaks. :wink:

What Lissa said x 10. Unbalanced fabulists are mostly just annoying, but young, attractive, female fabulists are dangerous on an entirely different level. Anytime you personally interact with her in the future, go with a friend, esp if you are telling her (politely) to hit the bricks.

If not for the mention of her boyfriend, I would be quite pleased to have this problem.

“That ghost again!?!?! OK Hon, I’ll come up for the night & put it to rest.”


I was gonna say “lay the ghost” but that would pave the way for further jocularity :smiley:

You HAVE to see the cross she was referring to, and tell us about it! Post a pic, too, if you can!

If one of my tenants pulled something like this, I’d have to increase the rent for the extra tenant.

Did you ever get to see the cross?

At the beginning of your story, I was completely supportive of your tenant. When I lived in a 100+ yo house, I also swore that it was haunted. Now, all I heard were footsteps in the attic and had that weird someone-else-is-here feeling. And I didn’t expect the landlord to fix it. Actually, his wife was jealous that she didn’t hear anything when she lived there.

But then I got to the cross…your tenant is a wack job. Although another possibility is that her boyfriend is trying to mess with her. Either way, it isn’t your problem to resolve. I vote for giving her an out. If she takes it, good riddance. If she doesn’t, make it clear that any and all hauntings are hers to deal with. and maybe you should add a hauntings clause to your lease?

Tess, we need closure. What happened? Did you see the cross?

Call me cynical, but I have the sneakiest feeling there never WAS a cross…:cool: Anyway, yeah, we do need some closure here!

If there is a cross I’d be willing to bet she put it there. Or maybe an upset boyfriend trying to scare her into moving in with him?

Well, he is for real … Real Solutions for America! :smiley:

I think you mean John Edward, of Sci-fi network fame.

Yeah, extending the “it’s really the boyfriend” theory…I would be concerned about her claim that someone tried to smother her. I mean, what if there really was some crazy intruder (bf or other) that tried to either scare her shitless or cause her real physical harm? And is putting on all the other hijinks?

I’m probably just getting wild with all my mystery-novel fueled theories, but it might be in your best interest to involve the authorities at some point, starting with the report of an illegal intruder who tried to smother your tenant. That way your ass is covered legally, and if she really is faking it to get out of her lease, you’ll know it because she’ll be reluctant to involve the police.

Or she’ll go along with it and just look like an idiot for claiming that a ghost tried to kill her… :smack:

I wonder what would happen if Tess got Ed & Lorraine Warren involved and they say there’s no ghost in the house.

Eh, they’re both nuts.

did you check out the apartment, what were the PKE Valence readings?, perhaps you should go over there with a Positron Collider and a few ghost traps

make sure you check her refrigerator for monsters, especially ones named Zuul :wink:

if you’re lucky it may only be a Focused, Non-Terminal Repeating Phantasm (Class 5 Full Roaming Vapor), hopefully it won’t be too nasty…

I say that if she’s got a ghost, you tell her you’ll be charging her extra because she has an extra tenant.