We had scrimped and saved for years, and the day that our dream house went on the market, we made our offer.
I didn’t think that we would honestly get it. It was a 6 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, former plantation house that had been moved from the southern US up to the Great Lakes in Canada. The history surrounding the house alone made it a multimillion dollar home. It has a part of the Underground Railroad. It was the largest house ever moved across the continental US. It now sat on the lake shore of Lake Superior, in its own private cove. There was no way we would get it.
But a phone call late that summer proved me wrong. And my coworkers laughing at me for falling out of my seat reminded me, the impossible sometimes happens.
My wife couldn’t believe the news. They rejected every other offer, insisting that we got the house at a drastically reduced price. What was a $3.2 million home was now ours for $350,000.
The impossible happened. And when I went down into the basement of our new home, I found out the impossible was about to become a regular occurrence.
In the middle of the floor was a hatch. I stopped and stared at it the first time I went into the basement. Was that a door for the Underground Railroad? It couldn’t have been. They couldn’t have moved the basement across a country.
I set the box I had brought onto the floor and walked over to it. Could it be the door for the sump pump or an underground well? These seemed like logical explanations, but when I grabbed the handle, logic fled.
I burst through the basement door, grasping. My wife looked at me like I was crazy.
“What’s going on?”
I had no words. What I had witnessed, what I heard had me so freaked out that I just stared at her and pointed down into the basement. My hard blinks and panicked breathing didn’t help my case. My wife rolled her eyes and carried a box into the living room.
“Sometimes you are a major weirdo.”
It took me a couple of minutes before my heart stopped pounding. What was that thing down there? Under the hatch, how did it get there? Why hadn’t the previous owner told us about that?
Then it occurred to me. That was the reason they sold the house so quickly. And that was why they sold it at such a deal. They didn’t want to deal with that thing anymore. I was about to call my wife again, to properly explain what had happened, when I realized something else.
They had picked us. The previous owners turned down everyone else’s offers on the house. Except ours. They wanted us to have this house. They wanted us to have to deal with that thing in the basement.
“Let us out Bradley,” it had said. “We want to talk to you.”