The Previous Resident

My friend once told me about his dad experiencing some spooky stuff when he was just out of college. He was in his early 20s. He didn’t have too much money at the time. I forget which town he lived in, but he was desperately trying to find a place to rent. Eventually, he realized that it would be financially wise to rent just one room in a house. So he found a location that allowed him to pay for just a bedroom. The seller though had to disclose information that the previous resident who rented the room was a criminal. In fact, this guy apparently was a brutal murderer. I don’t know if he did it in the house, the room, or whatever. But supposedly no one was renting out the other rooms at the time. This guy had the entire house to himself when he lived there. Well, my friend’s dad was pretty curious and would often meander around the house looking for history or clues as to what exactly happened. I guess he started lifting up the carpets and found some sort of satanic markings on the floorboards. After that, my friend’s dad said he always felt some sort of presence in the house. Especially when walking up the staircase. He always felt like someone or something was accompanying him from the first to last step.


I heard this story in a USC cafeteria around 3:30pm during a late lunch. The informant is a good friend of mine. He heard this story from a friend of his, who heard it from their father. The father directly experienced this event. My friend thinks it’s creepy, “especially the satanic markings part.”

I found a multitude of ghostly motifs in my informant’s tale. These motifs include satanic markings, murder, and the renting of property with abnormal history. Though the motif that stands out to me most would be the staircase. Ghosts are liminal beings and tie themselves to liminal times, events, and locations. Staircases are arguably liminal locations because they are neither the bottom or top floor of a house. I find it interesting then, that my informant explicitly states that his friend’s father felt the most discomfort on the staircase than in any other part of the house.