Positioned closely to the intersection of Wellington Street and Prospect Road is an old, two story home. It is generally known as “The Mannequin's House.” It has not been occupied for over six months, having been deemed unlivable for nearly the same amount of time. Numerous signs stating its condition are placed on the doors, one replacing the next with little attempt to remove the ones underneath. On the exterior, vines crawl their way up the white aluminum, and the large bundles of sticks lay clumped along the grounds, the lawn laying in disarray. Dirt clings to the outside of the house, and the gutters are clogged with leaves.
The homes around it are of great quality, making this place stand out. A great amount of complaining has been done by the locals, attempting to speed up any decisions on the fate of the home. However, the ongoing police investigation, coupled with the extended winter, have prevented action from being taken.
Knowledge about the previous owner is highly limited, though though it is known that the bills and the mortgage on the house were consistently late. After some time of this, along with a extended period in which no payments were made at all, it was decided that the resident could not handle the responsibilities of owning the home, and was removed from the premises. Ownership of the house was handed over to a local real estate agency, who quickly went ahead with plans to make the home open for purchase. However, after a short preliminary investigation into the conditions of the house, it was deemed unlivable, with little movement being made on the property after that point.
Although the man was removed and most of his possessions went with him, there are several objects that remained in the home for no known reason. One of these objects is a black leather couch, which can be seen from the outside of the home, pressed against a large window on the upper floor. However, the most strange and disturbing remnants of the previous owner are around three to six mannequins. The number of these is in debate, though the figure presented is the accepted range. The reason for the uncertainty is that the mannequins seem to move from time to time.
It has been suspected for some time that some person, perhaps the former owner, has been moving them. But with the locks replaced with heavy fixtures, and no real sign of forced entry, it is unknown how someone would manage to accomplish the task. These movements are seemingly random, yet their positions seem to be purposefully arranged to give a lifelike quality. A example of this occurred several months ago, when a observer noticed two mannequins on the couch upstairs, their heads facing the space previously occupied by a television.
I did further investigations into the reasons why it was deemed as unlivable. The real estate agency connected with the place has refused to comment on the case, the woman I spoke to only suggesting disappointment on the project.
Surprisingly, the police were willing to offer some information, although what was offered was selective. They said that the reason why it was deemed unlivable was due to several prominent stains on the carpet. I am aware of the housing codes, and knew that simple stains are not enough to deem a home unlivable. I explained this to them, and was surprised when they relented. What I discovered next, as related to me by the obviously deeply distressed officer, was far from what I would have imagined.
I was allowed to go to the home, under the personal direction of the officer I had spoken to. I was given a mask, and upon entering the house I discovered why. The stains on the carpet were very real, rendered as large pools of brown. There were two, both found on the ground floor. On top of these stains was a heavy layer of mold, which the officer explained was Aspergillus, a mold whose relevance in the situation came from its ability to grow in blood.
The blood was old, though it could not be determined whether it was there before or after the removal of the previous owner. The tests on the blood revealed the foreign element, suggesting that the person who the blood came from was rather ill. At first it was suspected that it might be the previous owner's, but hair and other samples taken from the home were compared, and it was revealed it was the blood of a yet to be identified person.
What happened to the person is unknown, though they may have likely been a squatter who lived there before the new security was put in place. If this is the case, then the person likely either required medical attention or passed away. However, no reports of such an infection, either in a living person or a corpse, has been reported at the local hospital, nor have any other hospitals in the area reported any cases of such a infection that showed any connection with the home.
As this was all being explained to me, I noted one of those strange mannequins positioned by the stairs. It was looking down, its line of sight, if one could say it had one, being directed at me. I did not notice the others, even after a cursory examination of the home. I noted that the mannequin was blank and without defining features, such as the ones one would use to display clothing.
Since my visit, police have reported that they were close to finishing their investigations. There have been more rumors of accelerated levels of movement in the home, occurring sometimes daily. However, these have not been verified by visual evidence. The most recent sighting stated that three of the mannequins were sitting around the kitchen table, viewable from the back porch. Their heads were bowed low, in a fashion similar to prayer.