It’s a wonderful feeling, when someone finds their forever home. The place that they plan to raise a family, stay, and grow old in. Everyone want’s to find their dream home, and that’s what this couple had thought had happened. Although, a dream can easily turn into a nightmare because a single, minor issue. In this case, that issue turned out to be a particular strange smell.
James And Mandy Find A Home
James and Mandy Fisher had been married for five years and were first time home buyers. They had recently saved up enough for them to finally get their own. They settled down in Pittsburgh with their dog, Scout. The house that they found was like a dream, spacious with a back garden for their future children.
On moving day, the young couple packed up all their belongings from their apartment. They only had a few boxes at the time, but had vowed they’d fill up their new house with plenty of new belongings and love. They stepped in through the front door, but were quickly met with something unusual.
A Spacious Home
The house was two floors, with all the bedrooms being on the second one. The ground floor had a kitchen, living room, and home office. It really was just as spacious as they had hoped. Mandy was excited to have a kitchen big enough to cook all her favorite meals. But then she noticed the strange thing.
There was a floor hatch in the kitchen. Mandy hadn’t seen it when the realtor took them on the tour. There had been a table over it before. Even so, the hatch was locked. She didn’t hesitate to show James and they began to make a plan to get it open.
The house was clearly old and could use a couple touch-ups. Some of the floorboards needed to be sanded down and re-varnished. It had an old Victorian look that Mandy liked, but even so, she knew it still needed work. And one of the things that really needed work was an antique cupboard.
The cupboard had been left behind by the previous owner of the house. The realtor had said it belonged to an old woman who didn’t have any children to pass it on to. The cupboard wasn’t bad looking, but for some reason, Scout wouldn’t stop growling at it. Mandy slightly moved the cupboard, hoping to give it a fresh coat of varnish, but found something mysterious behind it. A door.
Looking For The Key
Over the next couple of weeks, Mandy looked feverishly for the key to the mysterious door. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to find anything. At this point they were completely moved in. Minor renovations for the house had been planned, but because of the colder temperatures, they had been put on hold. And that’s when their dream home turned into a nightmare.
Rest, At Last
Mandy and James were getting ready to rest after a hard day of work, moving and rearranging furniture. It was snowing outside, so it was the perfect time to get comfy and cozy. And when James switched on the heating system, it happened. Just as they were settled in, a disgusting smell wafted into their bedroom.
A Terrible Smell
The smell was so rotten they had to run out of the room. Mandy got air fresheners and sprayed the area. The smell lingered, and they felt as though there was no way they could just sleep in the bedroom. Instead, they relocated to one of the other bedrooms. But just as they turned on the heating system again, the smell returned again. And it seemed even stronger than before. That’s when they realized the problem they had on their hands.
What’s The Problem?
The next day, James knew he had a big task ahead of him. It seemed like the smell was coming every time he switched on the heating system.
It was both in the main bedroom as well as the guest bedroom. He had to figure out whether it was just those rooms or if it was the whole house. James braced himself for what lay ahead.
James needed to test the heating system throughout the entire house. He switched it on in the other bedroom they hadn’t been in.
He also tested the living room and the home office. It seemed like the whole house had a problem with the smell. He felt like he wanted to tear down everything to see what was causing it. But he was sure it was something horrible.
Checking The Vents
They decided to check the vents, as the source of the smell was clearly traveling through them. James moved from bedroom to bedroom, checking each of the vents. And when he was out of bedrooms, he would check the other rooms. But there was no indication of what was causing the smell. Although, he noticed that the living room didn’t have any vents. And that got him wondering.
Help From A Professional
James quickly realized he was out of his element. They needed a professional. It would certainly be a better idea than having James looking around blindly. But just as James was checking the last vent in his home office, he saw something inside. He reached in and pulled out a key.`
The Key To Their Problems
James showed Mandy the key, a silver, vintage-looking one. Mandy realized what the key was for almost immediately. They went to the secret door behind the cupboard and checked to see if the key fit. Sure enough, it did! They were finally able to uncover the secrets of the house. However, they weren’t prepared for what was waiting for them.
Something Bothering Scout
However, before they even had the chance to go into what they were now realizing was the basement, Mandy and James heard Scout barking. James rushed over to quiet him down, but he just wouldn’t stop barking at the corner of the room. He was just growling and barking at something unseen.
What’s In The Basement?
They decided to leave Scout alone in the meantime and just figure out what was up with the basement. They couldn’t find any light switches, so they took a flashlight. Scout categorically refused to go down there, showing obvious signs of fear. But it didn’t seem as though there was anything bad in the room. Some antique furniture, wooden chests, and lots of framed pictures. All of the chests were empty, but Mandy wonder what the previous owner had kept inside of them.
What’s In The Floor Hatch
They hadn’t found anything of interest in the basement, but then Mandy remembered the other secret of their house: the floor hatch. They didn’t have a key for that, however, so they broke the lock and lifted the latch. There were strange jars inside that looked like some kind of preserved food. They also found a box. They opened it up and were amazed by what was inside.
The Hidden Scroll
The hatch was small, seemingly only for storage purposes, but the box contained a bunch of old recipes. There was also a rolled up piece of parchment. James unrolled it and was completely dumbfounded. It was the original blueprints of the house, dated to 1887. James couldn’t believe it. Yet, at the same time, Scout was still barking, and they just couldn’t explain his behavior.
They were surprised that the hatch was so small. It seemed like it was just for storage purposes. The box contained old recipes. Scout had started growling again and they couldn’t understand his behavior.
There was also a rolled-up parchment and when James unrolled it, he was amazed to find that he was looking at the original blueprints of the house. It was dated 1887. James couldn’t believe what they had just found.
Filled With Doubts
They packed everything back into the box and took it out of the hatch. It was getting late and they had a lot to do. They figured it would be best to continue looking through it after dinner. But as Mandy was cooking, she just couldn’t shake a strange feeling. They were discovering so much that the realtor just never told them. Or perhaps they never even knew about it. And it made them wonder if they had even made the right decision to buy it in the first place.
Just as James was about to set the table for dinner, Scout let out a piercing howl once again. They’d never heard him freak out like this before. But Scout’s bark marked the return of the rotten smell, coming from the kitchen. Mandy asked James if he had turned on the heating system, but his answer left her completely confused.
Return Of The Smell
This time, James hadn’t turned on the heating system. The smell had just come from nowhere. They called the realtor to ask some questions, but she assured them that the heating system was new and the house was cleaned. They checked the invoices in the cupboard in the kitchen and that proved what the realtor was saying was true. But that didn’t solve their mystery. They were unsettled, their dog was unsettled, and they didn’t know what to do. All they could really do was their best to mitigate the problem and spray the house with air fresheners. Surely they could handle this for at least one night.
Checking The Blueprints
James and Mandy were certainly worked up, so they decided to take a minute and actually relax. James lit the fireplace and they decided to look at the box they had gotten from the hatch. They took a look at the blueprints and compared it to the ones the realtor gave them. There were notable differences, but before they could get into it, Scout started to bark again.
Completely Losing It
Scout was barking at the same corner in the living room as they had before. This was becoming too much for the couple to handle, so James decided to at least examine what Scout had been barking at. He lifted the carpet in the area and, sure enough, there was another vent. This vent wasn’t in the new blueprint, but it was in the old one.
Professionals On The Way
The next morning, James called in some professionals. They needed to check if there wasn’t anything in the vent. He couldn’t open it after all. And there could have been an infestation or dead rodent inside. When they got there, the pros pried open the vent, making a rather gruesome discovery.
They had found jars filled with putrid liquids. But the worst part was the animal carcasses and bones inside of them. This was what Scout had been barking at. And this was what had been causing the smell! But what was this for? Had the previous owner used these for rituals and sacrifices of some kind? But the maintenance man told them that there was nothing to worry about.
An Old Ritual
He told the Fishers that he and his team found things like this all the time in houses of this kind. It was an old Pennsylvanian tradition of ritual healing known as a powwow. They used animal carcasses to combine elements of religion and belief with health and healing. So, perhaps the previous owner needed some healing, herself. James and Mandy disposed of the jars and the smell was finally gone. They could finally return to their normal lives in their dream home. And Scout could finally calm down.