Love spooky stories? See what Curbed readers have to offer with truly unforgettable stories about awful landlords, roommates, and rental apartments. You will be able to vote on which Horror Story beats all the rest on Thursday, June 4. The poll will begin at 12 p.m. EST and will stay open until midnight EST. The victor of Curbed DC's Renter Horror Story contest will face off against other Curbed sites' Renter Horror Story victors to get the chance to claim a two-night staycation at a local boutique hotel. If interested in submitting your own Renter Horror Story or seeing all of the official rules, go here. For now, see what one Curbed reader has to offer with the following Horror Story:
Immediately after my new roommate moved into my historic, three-story rowhouse in Baltimore, I had an uneasy feeling about it. Sure, he was slightly strange but didn't come across as dangerous. When he'd cross paths with my friends visiting, they'd ask me why on earth I chose him to which I never had a great answer. Fast forward about three months, I'm on the first floor of the house doing some ironing, which was right beneath his bedroom. I did witness him leave for his night job, and I was under the impression that I was home alone. As I was trying to complete the mundane task of ironing work shirts, I heard footsteps above my head coming from the second floor. I ignored it at first, but minutes later I heard movement again. I ran up the stairs and through the door, asking if anyone was home. No answer.
I went back downstairs to resume laundry, and the movement and footsteps began. At this point, I felt uneasy. I ran upstairs again and begged whoever was behind the door to announce themselves. I reassured the mystery person that I wouldn't be mad if they were guests of my roommate, but that I strongly wanted them to identify themselves. After careful thought, I decided to invade my roommates privacy and open the door.
The room was fairly large, so I was immediately concerned when I tried to swing the door open only to feel unknown objects blocking it. I make my way into the room only to be hit by a moist, scorching cloud of hot air as it was the dead of summer, and the windows were sealed shut, and the window AC unit hadn't even been installed. The room normally had dark, historic wood floors with two tall windows, but it is not an exaggeration to say that the entire floor was covered with various piles of organized garbage. There was one mountain with crumpled up fast food bags, and there was one neatly organized pile of my dishes that were stacked according to size, but they were covered with dry, rotting food. I noticed my one favorite T-shirt missing earlier in the month, but not only did I spot it, but I also saw dozens of other articles of my clothing in a pile. The blanket of garbage was so high that it blended right into his bed, essentially burying his mattress, forcing him to sleep on garbage.
Needless to say, my jaw was on the floor as I nearly had to pole vault from one end of the room to the other as there was not one inch of floor visible. As I was trying to absorb what I'm seeing, I did notice one particularly large pile in the center of the room. I shined my flashlight on it and figured out that it was a cage, a large one. I got closer to the cage to inspect what could possibly be living in it when all of a sudden, there was a large shuffling sound behind me. I jumped in the air six feet and shined my flashlight in that direction, revealing a rabbit the size of a small child! I freaked out and left the room, shaking in disbelief at my newfound bad situation.
The next morning, I requested a meeting with my roommate and he gladly and happily sat down on the couch, totally unaware of what was coming. I explained to him that I heard footsteps in his room, that I became concerned and that I had opened his door. I didn't elaborate, but his facial expression told me that he knew what I was talking about. I told him that I didn't want an explanation for why he had organized piles of rotting dishes in his room, I didn't want to hear why he had a pile of my clothes that had been turned into a bathroom for his rabbit, and I didn't want to hear why he was living in a bedroom with the windows closed in 90 degree heat. I told him that I didn't feel safe in my own home, and that I was giving him seven days to vacate. This young man was not the smartest person in the world, so I told a little white lie. I said that I felt so unsafe with him in the house that I contacted the police just in case I should go missing. That was the only time he seemed to show any emotion. He explained that he'd never hurt anyone.
Several uncomfortable days passed and as the deadline neared, I asked him if he had found a place. He said he had, but that he'd be moving at the end of the month. I asked him where he planned on living until then, and he replied, "You're legally obligated to give me 30 days notice, so I'll be staying right here." Naturally, I flipped my lid, but this insane person is right. Had I actually called the cops like I said I had, that would have given me the option to have removed him. So the month comes and goes, and he naturally skips out on paying rent. I decided to take him to court after a friend told me that she saw him frequently walking outside her place of employment. We served him with legal papers and several months later before our trial date, I was organizing my evidence against him when I received a letter from the city. It stated that I had served my roommate improperly and that the case was thrown out of court. There was nothing I could do. The end. I couldn't believe that this was how the story would end, but I was also shocked that a guy that was capable of destroying a room in my home would be smart enough to know how to work the legal system to get a case thrown out of court.
I took comfort in knowing that this guy was a creep and would never see the places I've traveled or experience the fruit of hard work like I had. I just kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't destroy me financially to restore the room that he trashed with garbage and rabbit feces. In the end, I was able to fix the damage he had caused, and I chalked this up to being able to tell people that I had the worst roommate story ever.
· Got a Renter Horror Story? You Could Win a Staycation! [Curbed DC]
· Renters Week 2015 coverage [Curbed DC]