Part two of horror through the decades is slightly delayed, because my life has been turned upside down lately. I started a new job (teaching English as a second language) and had to move from Limerick to Cork very quickly. Thus, I’ve had zero time to watch old horror movies, so instead, I’m going to tell you about the apartment I just moved out of.
Welcome to…the Murder Attic.
For privacy reasons, I won’t give the name, but the house I lived in from 2021 to 2022 was built in 1880 and was recognized by the Irish authorities as A Significant Property or whatever. There was a plaque.
Living in an old house wasn’t a new experience for me—I grew up in an American farmhouse built around the same time. I found the history pretty cool—a famous Irish author and playwright grew up in the place. I lived in the attic, which, according to the cartoonishly evil landlord, had once been the servants’ quarters.
It was located across the street from a (still-functioning) mental hospital and the city jail. Just a little ways down the road was an absolutely gigantic graveyard.
Here are some spooky looking black-and-white newspaper photos of the house (from articles about how terrible it was that the place was abandoned containing demands for Someone To Do Something). [Photos from The Limerick Leader]
The place was derelict for a lot of years and at one point, there was a fire that caused a fair bit of damage. Then, in 2015, said evil landlord purchased it on an 80,000 euro “whim.” He then filled it with more apartments than it was zoned for. Mine, when I checked the tenancy board, did not legally exist. Unsurprisingly, he demanded rent in cash. He said he preferred international tenants because it was easier to kill them and get away with it….I mean “because Irish people ‘party too much.'”
When I got the place, it was filthy. Moldy water and spoiled milk in the fridge, a thick layer of dust…and a dead bird on the floor that was not in any way ominous.
My partner and I cleaned it, and I made it into a damn cozy place, if I say so myself. There was no oven provided, so I bought a large one. It did not fit into the kitchen, so it lived in my bedroom/living area.
Here are some more cool and fun things I discovered in the place:
A calendar someone had written on the wall in pencil, leading me to believe they may have been confined there against their will. I put a chair in front of it.
Back stairs to nowhere (well, to my downstairs neighbor’s apartment, but they were blocked up). They’d once been the servants’ stairs.
A pretty significant dark and cobwebby area under the eaves that I never entered.
An abandoned building out back that I’m pretty sure was once a stable but looks like something out of a bad ghost movie.
I want to emphasize that I did not have a single paranormal experience in this place (though to be fair, I’m not very sensitive to any other worlds that there may be). I slept great, with no more nightmares than normal. My cat loved the skylights and never seemed perturbed by anything I couldn’t see.
I watched plenty of horror movies, read scary stories, and never really got scared. I guess I habitually burn a fair amount of sage, which might have helped?
The landlord was predictably a jerk about giving me my deposit back (read the entire lease in front of me after he said I had violated it, trying to find something he could get me on. Spoiler: he did not.), but I never got locked away in the eaves and forced to scratch my own calendar on the wall. No one ever bothered me, nothing came up missing, and my neighbors were nice enough. It was the first time I’d gotten to live alone, and I loved it.
I will miss the murder attic.