Welcome to Our Extremely Tasteful, Dangerously Haunted Dream Home, by Lillian Stone and Topher Cusumano

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You are cordially invited to an elegant housewarming function at the home of Colette and Tad Newman this Saturday.

Address: 666 Hemlock Craven Point

Attire: Cocktail (crucifix accessories recommended)

Note: In lieu of a traditional housewarming gift, please bring a small offering of tatted lace or blackberry brandy for Rebecca, the spirit of a maudlin servant girl who took her own life after being accused of witchcraft in 1816. Local legend suggests that she cursed this land with her dying breath. Can’t wait to show you what we’ve done with the place!

See you Saturday. 

Colette & Tad Newman 

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Betty, Bastian! So glad you could make it. I see you’re admiring that intricately carved turn-of-the-century hope chest. It belongs to Chrysanthemum, who died from arsenic poisoning on her wedding night in this very room. When the moon is full, you can hear her blood-curdling screams over the quiet hum of our solid gold phonograph. It’s fabulous.

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Isn’t this sitting room a delight? Fun fact: The home’s earliest residents used this room to display their dead before funeral homes came into fashion. Personally, I’m in love with these leaded glass windows. The design is actually an ancient glyph representing the Canaanite god Molech. He’s associated with child sacrifice. We found that out the hard way when Tad’s nephew came to visit. Messy, wasn’t it, Tad?

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Rufus, Chiquita—let’s take a turn around the library as we finish our cocktails. I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes: Those books are, indeed, bound with the skin of the victims of the Spanish Inquisition. Here, feel it. Luxurious, no?

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Oh, how fun! Our poltergeist has rearranged the manchego on the charcuterie board to spell “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE.” Tad, take a picture!

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Come, let me show you the master bedroom. The swarm of black flies that congregates on the ceiling is so relaxing. Tad hasn’t had to use his white noise machine in weeks. Me? I’ve never slept better. This room has such a calming energy. It feels like…well, the sensation of icy hands pressing into my chest as I drift off to sleep.

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That Persian rug hanging on the wall is exquisite, isn’t it? Go ahead, peek at what’s behind it. That’s right: It’s a gaping chasm in which we discovered the corpse of Henry, a young boy who was walled up alive for pestering his sadistic nanny. Tad and I like to say that this house has good bones—in more ways than one!

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The restroom? Just walk down the main hallway until your head fills with the sound of foreboding whispers. Three or four doors down. If you enter a state of perennial madness, you’ve gone one door too far.

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Shall we retire to the backyard for a long-handled cigarette and a brandy? We just installed a tennis court atop the site of a cursed Saxon burial ground. In fact, we were playing doubles with our neighbors, Braxton and Marsala, last weekend, when a gnarled hand reached through the surface of the court and dragged Marsala underground. Such a shame—she had a spectacular serve.

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See that hunched figure coming through the fog? That’s our groundskeeper, Button, who has been with the house for decades. His flaky, diseased skin may be unsightly, but it makes perfect compost for our organic garden.

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Tad, show the other gentlemen your man cave. I usually think things like that are tacky, but this happens to be a literal cave filled with unidentified male human bones. Isn’t that special? Tad uses it as a humidor for his cigars.

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It’s true, this old house is a lot of space for just Tad and me—especially since the rooms have a habit of reconfiguring themselves in the middle of the night. It’s like the walls are trying to cage us in, slowly turning us against one another until we’re just another pair of lost spirits confined to these malevolent walls for eternity! I’m going to die in this house. I can feel it.

Another brandy, anyone?

Lillian Stone is a humor writer based in the Midwest. She eats mainly corn-based foods and rarely leaves her home. Follow her @lstone94

Topher Cusumano is a full-time writer and part-time teen witch from Brooklyn. His work has been seen on Pink Canoe, Robot Butt, Hornet, and in Next Magazine. Follow him @tophcus

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