Yuputka (n.): the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.
Here’s a great story about a haunted house with some interesting history. This story was one of the winners of Jezebel‘s 2014 scary story contest. The house is pictured above. Enter at your own risk!
My fiancé and I met in the Washington DC area and after being together for about a year, we moved from the city to the nearby suburb of Rockville, MD.
It was a strange-feeling house even if you’re not particularly woo-woo or believe in vibes. It had a tendency to just attract crazy. One of the upstairs tenants was a painfully-shy and awkward man who worked at the library and looked like the caricature idea of a serial killer. He had been living there since before my MIL owned the building and sometimes when he was drinking heavily late at night (which was most nights), he would pace back and forth loudly and yell. He was unwell to say the least.
More than once, a mentally ill homeless person showed up at the front door of the building, insisting that they either lived there or wanted to rent an apartment. The historic district of Rockville was a “nice” part of town in which you almost never saw people living on the street, so it was even stranger.
A lot of creepy shit happened in the building and a number of things in our apartment in particular.
My fiance’s cigarettes were inexplicably hidden from him a number of times, once on top of the fridge.
The radio in our kitchen would frequently get turned on or off, despite having a manual dial that had to be cranked to the side and clicked on order to power it on or off.
A random smiley face that looked like it’d been drawn by a finger showed up once on the medicine cabinet mirror when we were taking a shower.
Fiance woke up in the middle of the night once and asked me why there was a Confederate soldier walking through our bedroom.
A couple of times, the smell of sulfur would come from the non-functioning fireplace in our bedroom. Twice, the smell of sickly sweet perfume that I can only describe as “Eau de Grandma” flooded our bedroom for reasons I can’t fathom. You couldn’t smell it in the hallway outside of our door or anywhere else in the apartment.
While at home along a few times, I heard a distinctive and animalian growling coming from one of the corners of the ceiling in the living room, but saw nothing. My dogs would lose their shit and bark at the area of the noise until they began shaking and curling up with me.
One morning, we woke up and walked into the kitchen to find a drinking glass sitting in the center of the floor. The glass had previously been sitting IN the sink, so it was a bit puzzling. It was sitting upright and as we moved closer to it, we found that it looked as if something had taken a BITE of out of it and then neatly placed the shards INSIDE of the glass. There was not a speck or splinter of glass anywhere on the floor around it. The other side of the glass had 3 long scratches in it. I didn’t want to touch it and didn’t want my fiance to touch it either, so I picked it up with a plastic bag around my hand like it was a pile of dog crap and took it to the outdoor trashcans.
A couple of days later, a branch from a large tree over the carport (where the trashcans were) fell onto the carport and almost nailed one of the building residents.
If we burned candles in our bedroom, for some reason they would burn so high and hot that it made the room unbearable to be in, even if there was no heat on and it was cool outside. This is in a VERY large bedroom with a 14 foot ceiling.
I’ve been prone to issues with depression and anxiety since my childhood years and even though I loved that beautiful building, living in it was NOT good for me. Even when we weren’t stressed about weird stuff happening there, we fought a lot more when living there, we got sick a lot more, and had just plain bad luck. My fiance had to go back on medication for depression for the first time since before we’d moved in.
We learned at some point that the house had once functioned as a halfway house for psychiatric patients transitioning out of a huge sanitarium that had been open nearby from 1910 to 2001. The sanitarium was called Chestnut Lodge.
About 3 months before we moved into that house, the abandoned Chestnut Lodge building burned down and collapsed. A developer ended up buying the land and building very expensive housing on it, calling the development Chestnut Lodge after the facility. Apparently the sanitarium was an inspiration for “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”.
We didn’t find out until we were moving out a couple of years later that the scary upstairs neighbor originally moved in as one of the last halfway house patients.
My MIL sold the house awhile back, but it took over a year on the market to finally get bought out.