My Landlord Experience: The Exorcism

Being a landlord comes with a lot of grief. Writer Tammy Stoner tells about the time ghost-fearing, beer-drinking artists moved into her historic home.

A few years ago, we bought a beautiful fixer-upper in Los Angeles and proceeded to restore it to its early 20th-century splendor. We stripped the floors, restructured the master bedroom, removed the ugly drop ceilings and turned it into a showplace. The home was our labor of love, filled with innumerable personal touches and flair.

Then, due to a job change, we were forced to move. Hoping we could return someday, we decided to rent.

Six months later, our renters called to tell us the house was haunted. They had eerie pictures of floating white orbs and documented occurrences involving spinning microwave clocks. A woman they’d invited over to release the “trapped spirits” had instead gone into ranting convulsions. Needless to say, they were moving out.

Three weeks later, we drove down to clean up the house before selling it and found that in addition to seances, our renters had also held beer busts and art exhibits at the house, using the exterior wood siding of our lovely home to hang paintings -- very heavy paintings, judging from the size of some of the holes.

In a mere six months, our home had become a pockmarked brew pub with piles of salt in the corners to ward off evil spirits and an empty planter out back that looked like it had been put to use by some of the lazier male beer drinkers.

The lesson we learned: Renters might not take care of your property as if it's their home, much less yours.

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