I believe you can learn from anything. I mean even the pulpiest piece of trash fiction can teach you, if not anything else, that even the worst writers can get themselves published – so not to despair.
Similarly, as I am a martyr to my husband’s taste for scary movies, I decided I should turn this into an opportunity to grow as a person. And by that I do not only mean the weight I put on from sheer fright.
So here they are, things you would’ve had to learn the hard way, if I hadn’t just handed them to you on a plate.
1. One basic rule is, if you’re out house hunting do not, I repeat do NOT fall for the whole rickety old house for a throwaway price racket. All these real estate brokers are on the take from shady old ghosts who give good money to have their houses filled with brand new inhabitants to scare shitless. So if your spouse hasn’t read my blog and sighs ‘I have fallen in love with this grand old house, I don’t know why…and look how cheap it is!” just scoop him or her up and run all the way to a spanking new, one bedroom flat over a very noisy bar – preferably at a very bad bargain.
2. If you have ignored my first rule and happen to have taken a big old rambling house in a deserted part of town with coyotes/wolves howling and owls hooting aggressively in the background – do not fear (yet) there are several other rules that can save you. Do NOT make friends with your neighbours. Throw their cake-bringing, ‘welcome to the neighbourhood’ asses out the door the minute they try to step into your house—they are devil worshippers feeding you up for their bi-weekly sacrifice, or worse – totally innocent people who will come to your rescue just a couple of minutes too late; therefore useless.
3. On the first night in your new house, if you’re suddenly woken up by a weird noise downstairs, I beg of you, just curl up into a foetal position, draw the blanket over your head and cry yourself to sleep again. Nothing good has ever come from an excruciating trip down the creaky stairs.
4. If you MUST go down the stairs at the dead of night to investigate doors banging and growling noises; at LEAST switch all the lights on first. I mean, DUH.
5. If the lights inexplicably do not work please don’t go down to the basement to check the fuse box thingummy. Please. Which is why I say, stay in bed – that way you won’t NEED lights.
6. If however, you are so monumentally stupid that you have done the above, atleast heave something heavy against the door so that it doesn’t slam closed after you --leaving you in the pitch dark.
7. If the lights start flickering on and off, don’t feel relieved. You were better off not being able to see what’s crawling towards you in a white nightdress.
8. “Hello, is anybody there?” is not the appropriate conversation opener in such a case. I would advise something like “Eeeeeeaaaaagh…get off me get off me get off meeee” or, if you pride yourself on your negotiation skills “ I’m new here. I was not the one who locked you in this basement 40 years ago, and honestly, I don’t see the sense of such an action, I totally understand if you’re frustrated.”
9. IF that works, which I doubt, but sometimes it does – and the door swings open and the lights turn on and you get up to bed alright – do not waste time researching the history of the house and trying to convince your spouse/psychiatrist/devil-worshipping neighbor of what you saw. They will all behave like they disbelieve you and lock you up in the loony bin, or even worse -- the basement. All the while, holding secret ‘Sacrifice that stupid cow’ meetings over cake and coffee.
10. If you survive all of the above, I repeat, run all the way to a spanking new, one bedroom flat over a very noisy bar – preferably at a very bad bargain. Better late than never.