I was never really a believer in good and bad energy. Then we bought this house. This house is definitely a bad energy house. I mentioned in an earlier entry that it had five different owners in six years. I think there's a reason for that.
I'm not sure exactly what causes it. Is it the way the original floorplan was divided up into a warren of oddly shaped rooms? The way some walls are thicker than others, making doors close at odd angles? The bizarre wiring, with panels of switches that aren't connected to anything, and the light fixtures that were installed but never wired?
The first time we saw the house, it was horrible. The entryway and halls were sponge painted in purple, yellow and orange. The kitchen still had the avocado green, harvest gold, and burnt orange striped wallpaper leftover from the 70's remodel, with the harvest gold stove to match. The living room had industrial brown-flecked textured wallpaper; the middle bedroom had dark fake-wood paneling. Ceiling fans hung so low you had to duck to keep from bumping your head on them. Everything smelled of smoke. The floors were a mess.
It was not without its charms. It had enough bedrooms for everyone. It had a fireplace, albeit one that was so covered in years of soot the hearth was shiny black. It had a huge picture window looking out into the backyard. It had a greenhouse, offering me the opportunity to kill plants more professionally. It had two bathrooms. It had a real entryway. It had an amazing front door. And it was cheap. The current owners, who had been in it for only eighteen months, were getting divorced and needed to unload it quickly as part of the settlement.
So, I went to work. I scrubbed all the walls. I painted until my hands were so stiff I couldn't make a fist. I refinished all the hardwood floors. That's when I discovered the crop circles. In every room, there was a dark circle marked in the wood, as if someone sitting in a swivel chair had spun around, dragging their heels. Only, in some of the rooms the circles weren't anywhere a chair could have been. I shrugged it off.
Middle daughter and I spent an entire day scrubbing the bricks around the fireplace. Under the years of soot, they were a rich deep rusty red. We also scrubbed lime buildup off the bricks to either side of the fireplace. The first time we had a hard rain, I found out how they got there. Following an odd sound into the living room, I discovered that the backyard pond wasn't the only water feature in our new home. Water poured down the walls, pooling on the hearth and spilling over onto the floor. Three visits from the chimney repair company stemmed the tide.
Today, the house doesn't look much like it did when we bought it. Paint, curtains, new light fixtures, a new roof, some new sheetrock in the master bedroom, a new stove, and strategically placed area rugs, and my house looks like a normal house. But it's not. It's still a bad energy house.
It attracts things. Things that like to live in the attic, things that scurry around at night and make odd noises. Careful investigation discovered tiny little skulls in the attic, and more wiring, remnants of an ancient sonic pest control system.. Two years of battle, and the rats were gone, only to be replaced by opossums, which turned out to be even craftier adversaries.
It loses things. Spoons, socks, favorite pieces of clothing, gifts bought in advance, money. Some turn up later, in odd places we never put them. Most don't.
But mostly, it's just a feeling. A kind of malaise. I studied up on feng shui; I moved pictures and hung crystals, but drew the line at bamboo flutes and fans. Friends advised me to burn sage, but knowing my luck that would only start a fire.
I think we've come to a truce with the house; we're not going anywhere, and in less than two years we will have outlasted the previous five owners combined. Our luck hasn't been the best since we've moved here; both my husband and I have lost very good jobs, and there have been other disappointments. But this house also brought us our son, a welcome surprise which more than compensates for minor inconveniences.