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Foolish Mortal
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a rent house that is about 2/3 a mile away from my house. but about 2000 ft. the way the crow flies (straight across through the woods) The other day I was showing this house to a prospective tenant. While walking through the house the woman said "I hope you like Halloween cause my husband and I go all out for Halloween" I told her that I love Halloween and in fact in the woods between that house and mine I have a haunted house that is up all year (closer to my side for electricity). My 18 year old daughter was with me and when the woman left my daughter said "She's our new tenant because she loves Halloween" I told her not neccessarily because it's not wise to mix business with pleasure. After going over her application I realized the lady and her husband probably would not be living there.

Well, the gods decided to test me when they sent the next applicant. It was a woman, her husband and their adopted 10 yr. old son. They were perfect candidates. They were wonderful made plenty of money, sweet, clean and everything they wrote on their application was correct. I told them that they were selected and they came back to the house to measure some things. While they were there the mother told me that her son was having to see a therapist. I asked why what happened?

When the boy was 4 years old he woke up on Halloween morning in the bed with his real mother and she was dead. He stayed there with her all day and into the night and there were kids coming to his door trick or treating. Later that night someone found her and took her away. And he associates his mother's death with Halloween and can in no way see anything Halloween related. She said last Halloween was the first one he made it through without them having to give him something to sedate him.

I can't tell you the miracle it is that I didn't mention my love of Halloween to these people, because alot of my tenants come to my party. And I have never met a child I didn't try to get to go through my haunted house even in June. I turn it on and we go through it. Kids love that thing. He was about 10 min. away from being asked himself.

The other issue is the noise haunted house noises are scary. music, sound fx, etc. and you can hear ours for at least a mile because we put sounds in the woods around our house so it sounds like stuff in the woods. surround sound in the woods.

As the rest of you I am sure, Halloween is one of the great pleasures of my life. I love children and it hurts me to think that something I love will bring pain to this little boy. He is such a cute sweet thing.
My best friend said maybe it was meant to be this way for some reason. I hope she's right.
 

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It could be a tense situation come october, I think when I learned this I would probably have told them about your haunted house and given them a way out of renting the house before they moved in. I don't see this boy ever getting over halloween and further trauma is not what he needs. It's not like you will give up your haunted house for this boy I imagine. Let them live somewhere else.
 

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I agree . I think that was a bad idea really. That boy is gonna crack and he can do damage to himself or others. This is not wise thing to do. You cant change people no matter how much we want to. That boy has went through some serious [email protected]#$! SERIOUS [email protected]#$! You really should of said something when they were signing papers. I mean he needed to be sedate at Halloween.....Its gonna get rough........
 

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Foolish Mortal
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Discussion Starter #4
Well I don't see how that will help since it is Halloween everywhere. He will never SEE my haunted house he will only hear it. These people drove 4 hours just to rent our house because of it's proximity to certain things. there are not alot of other places to rent in this area because of the recent tornadoes. A town about 10 miles from here was almost wiped out and all of those people are displaced leaving nothing available. Like I said it's not wise to mix business with pleasure. I am a good landlord and I genuinely care about my tenants but I will not get rid of a good tenant even if I have to give her a couple of hundred dollars to spend the night away that night. But I can't give up Halloween. Let them live somewhere else? How do I know they will not move right across from some of the people on here who live next to the road and go all out. My house is 1500 foot off the road. No one else in this neighborhood does halloween except me (they all come to my house) It is unlikely that he will see anything but my heart hurts for him.
 

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The main point is you have to warn them, regardless, let them decide. Pull the parents aside and explain. I know finding a good tenant these days is hell itself, but, sometimes what looks good on paper turns out not so good.

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Oh lord, such a terrible thing for a young boy to have to suffer through! I agree, you have to tell the parents what goes on and then let them make the decision. I think even hearing Halloween sounds would be bad for him.

Our neighbors (right next door) are very friendly and very religious, the mom home schools their 4 kids, all under 8yo. They don't celebrate Halloween, and every year they go camping to a cabin in the mountains. I've never asked them about it, but I'm sure it's to get their kids away from halloween influences. Maybe that's something those parents could do with their son.
 

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Foolish Mortal
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Discussion Starter #7
You are right it is hell finding a good tenant. Out of every 10 applicants you get a couple that you might consider out of every 25-30 you get one you know you would. I choose very carefully and I have never had to evict anyone. No one has ever damaged any of my properties and some still call me just to see how I am. (knock on wood). If the Halloween party were not mine but one of the neighbors I don't think I would have even thought to warn them since I feel as though Halloween images are everywhere. But since it was mine is why I was a little sad. Eccentually what I will be to these people is their neighbor so to be honest I felt like bringing up something that happens only once a year might be mean. I figured I just wouldn't mention anything Halloween. Of course I will mention it to her before the day but I am sure she's already on alert before then with things being in the stores and such that he can see. There is no way he will see my things unless he comes here. I hope no one thought that I meant I was going to get him over it by shoving Halloween down his throat. I would never hurt a kid plus I'm too busy doing that to my family.
 

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Creepy, I feel you are being very thoughtful and considerate of the boys past, and looking out for his best interest. I hope it works out for both of you.
 

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Hauntless
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I agree with Warrant about perhaps they could just go away for the night to a relatives house or something. If you warn them way ahead of time, they will be able to make plans. I'm sure it's something they could arrange fairly easily. Your offer of paying them for a hotel room is more than generous and could be a last resort.
 

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Going bump in the night..
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chm - it's apparent you do care about the welfare of this child, and admittedly, he's been through what would certainly be considered a hellish situation that's now associated itself in his mind with Halloween...probably indelibly.

I have zero idea about the laws regarding tenants rights in Tennessee, however, I think you may be in a situation (as a landlord) that could conceivably be leveraged against you if you put on your regular haunt, now that you are aware of this boys' condition, and did in fact enter into a legal contract with the family.

I know I'm very likely being paranoid, but if I were in your shoes at this point, I'd check up on what kind of legal limits you might need to operate within, given this situation.
 

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Funeral Crasher
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I would think something can be worked out if you give them 5 months to prepare for it. That is nice of you to offer them a hotel room for them for the night. What more can you do? I don't think any other landlord they could have would make a generous offer like that.

On a side note--that is a CREEPY story. Almost sounds like a plot for a horror movie.
 

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You are right it is hell finding a good tenant. Out of every 10 applicants you get a couple that you might consider out of every 25-30 you get one you know you would. I choose very carefully and I have never had to evict anyone. No one has ever damaged any of my properties and some still call me just to see how I am. (knock on wood). If the Halloween party were not mine but one of the neighbors I don't think I would have even thought to warn them since I feel as though Halloween images are everywhere. But since it was mine is why I was a little sad. Eccentually what I will be to these people is their neighbor so to be honest I felt like bringing up something that happens only once a year might be mean. I figured I just wouldn't mention anything Halloween. Of course I will mention it to her before the day but I am sure she's already on alert before then with things being in the stores and such that he can see. There is no way he will see my things unless he comes here. I hope no one thought that I meant I was going to get him over it by shoving Halloween down his throat. I would never hurt a kid plus I'm too busy doing that to my family.
I'm just looking at it from having a foster son once myself, we had to have him removed from his mother, also my sister in law, a heroin addict, so it was very traumatic, and when you have something like that happen, you tend to be very cautious, you have child welfare agents, and pyscologists and to deal with on top of everything else. My main thoughts are for the boy, and his foster parents, I know there is no escaping halloween, but I can tell you if It was me, I would want to know, and would have wanted to know from the beginning. Moving is expensive, and if it comes to the boy not being able to deal with the noises from your haunt, well just imagine.
 

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Reaper
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How horrible:( Poor litle guy... I agree it would have been a good opportunity to bring up the fact that you're an avid enthusiast and run your own haunt when the mother mentioned him being in therapy. Sure, anywhere they live will have some sort of Halloween association, but it probably will not be just through the woods. I think you should still tell the parents, and if they need to allow them out of their lease. While offering to pay for them to have Halloween night in a hotel is very generous of you, your haunt will probably be up for more than one night, especially if you start sending kids through in the summer... It would be best for both parties that way they have a heads up and you can cover your own.
 

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Terrible!

OOh Creepy, my jaw dropped when I read that story! How absolutely horrifying. My boyfriend lost both of his parents at an early age due to illness, and he suffered mental and physical repercussions because of it, some that he was not able to control or fully comprehend at the time.

This child's foster mom did a brave thing by telling you about their family situation. Unfortunately, there is no way to keep the child in a controlled environment in the real world. There will always be something that will remind him of his trauma, overtly Halloween related, or not. I don't believe it's 100% your responsibility as their landlord to inform them that you host a Halloween event, but it might just be the respectful thing to do. Like some people have already stated, give them an option. You don't have to tone it down, it's a calendared event and they should be well aware that Halloween occurs in every town. But why not be a friendly neighbor and give them the heads up.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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That truly is awful for that little boy, but I do think that the family should be told before they move in, away from the boy's hearing, that you do a yard haunt and have a big Halloween party.

If it was me and I was the parent with no prior knowledge of you, I'd feel like you weren't actually looking out for the child's welfare but just trying to get good tenants and telling them even the first of October would really be frustrating and would feel like it was deliberately hidden and might even seem malicious.

I KNOW that isn't the reasoning behind your not telling them - you aren't the sort of person to do that - but keeping the knowledge from them after they told you how the boy had a very tramatic experience involving Halloween would seem at best very odd to some people.

If it was me in the same situation, I would tell them and let them decide before moving there and getting that poor child settled into the neighborhood. That way, they can decide to move there or not, and if they do move there, then at least they can make plans well in advance for the boy's well-being.

Good luck!
 

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Foolish Mortal
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Discussion Starter #18
There are no laws concerning this. My home is my home and this home is not even on the same property. I know everyone must have in their minds that we are next door neighbors. This is the country we are not that close. They live down the road but the way the road goes around there is about 20 acres of woods seperating my house and that one. And in those woods is my haunted house. (on my side. but not all of the woods are mine)They would not even know we were neighbors if I hadn't told them. That is the only house I own that the tenants even know where I live. This is a very weird situation.

Based on things that the woman said she basically said she just has to deal with Halloween because it is everywhere. And I figured that was probably true. But no other landlord would have told her about the crazy neighbors who go nuts at Halloween. And basically that is what the situation is. I (the landlord) did not tell them about the weirdos down the road who have a Halloween party. I am not the only person (obviously by this forum) who celebrates Halloween. And I am probably not the only weirdo down the road. I really don't know how this child can avoid everything Halloween.

All of the things that we all say remind us of Halloween and of the season probably remind him as well. I decided to wait to say anything until the time I figured she would be dealing with it anyway. I just didn't feel like bring up my eccentricities to her. Being that he will not have to deal any more with me than with the rest of the world.

your haunt will probably be up for more than one night, especially if you start sending kids through in the summer
Just so everyone is clear. I am not standing by the road in the summer like John Wayne Gacy handing out balloons. My haunt is in the woods. So no one can see it unless they drive up my 1/4 mile drive way. And walk into the woods. It cannot be seen from the road or from this boys house. or anyone's house including mine if the trees have leaves. No one knows it's there except for the people who have been in it or know of someone who has. This is not a drive by haunt. The only children that go into it are either my children when they want to scare their friends or kids of people who come to visit. I will turn everything on and take them in. But I will not take him in. For the most part he probably will never know. He will hear the sounds because people who lived there before we bought it (when we were only neighbors) complained. But if he is not there he will not hear.
 

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Foolish Mortal
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Discussion Starter #19
ok here's an aerial map of my house and the the other property. keep in mind that my house is about 2700 square feet. and the clear square it is sitting right in the middle of is 5 acres.


I didn't feel they were close enough to say anything and I still don't. As you can see my haunted house is in the woods. I wanted it farther in the woods but I couldn't get electricity any farther away. that red line is my drive way. It is private. no traffic. At the bottom of that red line is the road. That is the closest anyone can see anything which is nothing. Even looking at the picture you can't see my haunt and it is there. The only other place that you can see Halloween is in my front yard a few days before my Halloween party and inside of my house. . Besides concrete gargoyles that sit on brick columns on either side of driveway about where haunted house is. None of which can be seen driving by. So you see to mention it didn't feel right either. Plus there were other circumstances. Such as she drove 4 hours back just to give me a deposit to hold it for her because she wanted to live there. I figured we could all figure something out for one night. I just don't feel as though I was dishonest. It isn't black mold and I didn't know how to bring it up.
 

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Hauntingly Addicting
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When starting to read this thread the first thing I thought was you really should have warned them and given them the out. The fact you may not find another qualified tenant as quickly as you would like is not nearly as important as the boys well being. However, after reading Terra's suggestion I have to say I think she may just have the sollution you are looking for. I think telling them as it approaches and maybe suggesting to them they may want to take the boy somewhere for the evening is a great option. This way you still get to do what you love withouth hurting a boy you are clearly concerned about. It is wonderful that you are putting so much thought into this and are really trying to consider the boys and the families feelings. It is fortunate for them that they moved next to such a warm and caring individual. Please keep us posted on how this all turns out and Good luck.
 
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