Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Living in the Shadow of Evil: Living in the Homes of Serial Killers and Murders

I ran across a story about Jeffrey Dahmer's house in  The Paranormal Daily News.  It was a copy of an interview on NPR with the current owner of the home.  It was an interesting story and it got me thinking about a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks ago.  My friend's relative had moved from California to Huntsville, Alabama and purchased a house that was a wonderful value.  The realtor told her a murder had occured in the house, but since the woman wasn't superstisious she ignored it and paid the very small ticket price for a house that had been on the market for ten years.

Of course, the family all knew why the house had been on the market for ten years.  Jeffrey Franklin had  axed his mother, father, baby brother, and two sisters  in this home.  No one wanted to live in a house where something like this had occured.  It was too late to stop the purchase, so the family all quietly ignored the house's history and my friend got to have Thanksgiving dinner standing over the very rug that had once been saturated in the blood of small children.  She describes the experience as surreal and disturbing, but saw no ghosts.  She felt something dark there, but couldn't say what and was very glad she didn't have to spend the night in the house.  She still avoids the house when possible and says that she rarely visits anymore.  She describes the house as if an emotional impression was left that can never be removed.  The house is stained.

In his interview with NPR Chris Butler is much more lighthearted, however even this nonbeliever reports feeling a bad vibe in the house.

“I bought Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home in Bath, Ohio – Let that sink in for a second,” writes owner Chris Butler for NPR. “If your first reaction is “eeewwwww,” that’s perfectly understandable.” “Dahmer was one of America’s most notorious serial killers; his rampage lasted from 1978 to 1991. He confessed to killing at least 17 young men – Many of these murders involved torture and cannibalism,” reports Butler.


“I bought the house, though, not for some kind of perverse, Goth thrill, but because I needed a place in woodsy-suburby Northeastern Ohio where I could make a loud musical racket and not bug my neighbors,” reports Butler. “I was instantly charmed the first time I pulled in the driveway… Charmed turned to creeped-out when 24 hours after I first saw the place with my real estate agent, Greg Greco, he told me of the house’s grisly provenance.”

“Dahmer did commit his first murder here — a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks whom he lured back to the house with promises of drugs and alcohol, and then clubbed with a barbell after Hicks said he wanted to leave – Dahmer later dismembered Hicks’ corpse in the house’s crawlspace,” reports Butler.

“The vibe here is fantastic – The house didn’t kill anybody, and I didn’t see any ghosts. I’m not superstitious or a believer in the paranormal, but after months of people freaking out about where I was living, I did begin to wonder if there might be some leftover bad business in the place,” reports Butler.

Both of these accounts describe the same feeling.  There are no ghosts, but there is an emotional residue that can't be erased.  The evil that happened in these houses lingers leaving a feeling of darkness and bad business.  Locations can't let go of the evil that has lived in them. 

2 comments:

Courtney Mroch said...

EXCELLENT POST, Jessica! I'm not sure how I would truly feel about buying a place where something notorious or infamous happened. I've thought about that though. This house we're in now had some bad mojo. But with a lot of patience and TLC we've slowly infused it with our vibe. Still are. It's feeling more like ours now and less like theirs. (No murders or anything here. Just a couple who got in over their heads and it took a toll on their family in the ways those things do.)

Very neat post.

Jessica Penot said...

I avoid the bad vibe in houses. I don't mind sleeping in a haunted hotel, but I want my house to feel warm and inviting. A house is a major investment and I don't want to regret it later. You are much braver than I am. I usually buy new construction.