Just right off the bat, I’m going to preface this by saying we love our house. It is gorgeous. It has its quirks, but the pros vastly outweigh the cons.
That said … I’ve been thinking of this house as a horror movie set literally since we toured it. Now that we’ve moved in, I’m even more sure. Here’s why:
1.Its idyllic exterior and beautiful gardens
I mean, just look at this place. It is stately. It is peaceful. It is gorgeous. It’s the kind of place that where you’d think, what can go wrong? And that’s exactly the attitude you need going into a horror movie.
This lemon tree is on of several citrus trees in the gardens around the house
Outside, there are plenty of areas perfect for those character-establishing early bits of the movie where romantic pairings are established.
2. This tree
But then, among the gorgeousness that is the gardens there is … THIS TREE. (As well as many other unexpectedly sharp plants to be found around). The spikes are actually even sharper than they look. This tree, right at the entrance, signals to our characters that there is more to this house than what meets the eye …
3. The gate and the fence
This gate is STRONG, and it is the only way in or out of the property since our landlord refuses to give us the key to the only other gate. It also happens to break more frequently that you would think — a seeming throw-away detail that might be mentioned early in our movie, but acquire deadly significance when NO ONE CAN ESCAPE.
This fence may look low in places, by the way, but the drop on the other side is significant.
So, in the context of our movie these gates and fences might lull us into a false sense of security with the idea that no one is getting in … but sorry, guys, no one is getting out either!
4. The security measures on the house
This door is made of iron (I think). It is pretty but it has three different locks on it that make it pretty impenetrable. When the locks are engaged, by the way, you can’t get out without the key either.
The windows also all have iron shutters that make the house very secure — but if the keys to these were to “disappear” you also wouldn’t have a way of getting out any of the windows or doors.
5. So, so many doors
That said, during the day we try not to keep the shutters closed. On the first floor, there are eight different doors that lead outside. On the second floor, there are seven doors that lead to balconies. In the basement, there is one gigantic door (actually intended for the car to drive through as the basement could also be the garage).
The one door back there is blocked by the couch because we thought maybe we could get by with just seven usable ways to get outside.
Like the one on the other side of the room.
Because sometimes after you go to the bathroom, you want to go onto a balcony.
Two doors in the kitchen might seem superfluous, but at least it is a lot of light!
Other view of the kitchen, as long as we are here looking around. Not pictured: dishwasher. It is in a strange little room next door that is too messy to show you.
The study! Pictured: The part of the room that is currently presentable.
Moving upstairs … here’s the balcony at the top of the stairs. Chris and I dream of greeting people Great Gatsby-style from up there someday.
And here’s the guest room …
Owen’s room. The lucky guy gets two balconies.
His view isn’t half bad either …
Fiona’s room with her accidentally-oversized bed. Balcony doors always have to be closed because Fi is a little escape artist.
Luckily she has a window.
And now going downstairs to the basement …
We could open those doors and drive the car in, but I’d probably never get the van around the curve and knowing me, I’d probably knock the house off the foundation trying anyway.
Other parts of the basement. Not pictured: the room covered in boxes we are slowly getting rid of.
All these doors means there are plenty of ways to get out but ALSO … plenty of ways for whoever the bad guy/monster/ghost is to get in!
The house also has a whole series of gorgeous interior doors, all of which lock. This can be really helpful because I can lock them out of the kitchen when they won’t stop rummaging through the fridge or lock them out of the study when I need to do interviews. But my favorite of the locking doors is this one in the basement … please note the enormous opening in the wall immediately to the right.
6. Lights and signals
The lights tend to flicker in our house, and many of the lights are activated by several different switches in the house (sometimes even on the same row of switches). We also tend to have trouble with our cell phone and internet signals (we often have neither in the basement, for example) at time because the entire house is concrete. Just a little added suspense there.
7. The party patio and “hot tub”
Because as far as I can remember, no horror movie can be complete without the unsupervised teenagers throwing a party, right?! And what better place than this patio.
My shadow says hi.
Bonus points: There is a gap between this patio and the other patios that I would assume leads to a scene in which a woman in dangerously high heels attempts to climb between.
And finally …
Ok, it isn’t a hot tub like in your standard horror movie. But it is pretty big, and that’s pretty close, right? Nah? Oh well.
8. The “magic mirror”
As you walk into our house, this painted window (which looks into the basement stairwell) immediately greets you. My kids have dubbed this the “magic mirror.” Naturally, in our horror/ghost flick, the creature appears in the window while you are innocently tying your shoes, thinking deep thoughts or hamming it up for the camera in a witch costume. The Husk children have helpfully offered to act it out for you …
9. This pizza oven
We’re excited to learn how to use this, but I would imagine that our evil villain could put it to more nefarious uses. DUM DUM DUM.
10. The volcano
Because there is no twist ending like a volcanic eruption that takes everyone out, including the murderer/monster/ghost