As Halloween quickly approaches and we turn our minds to horrific possibilities, it seems fitting for a home improvement blog to deconstruct iconic horror settings according to their home improvement issues. But beware, the messes ahead may throw you out of your DIY-loving wits! So to be safe, Red Devil will not be held liable for nightmares, paranoia, or soiled pants.

Hill House (The Haunting, 1963)

 (image owned by Argyle Enterprises Production Company and MGM Studios)

 Aside from its history of tragic death and psychological torment, the hill house featured in The Haunting is relatively attractive and well kept. The true terror for the unfortunate guest or home owner is the utter lack of sound proofing. This characteristic is most prominent in the climactic scene where Eleanor and Theodora are bombarded with loud, incessant, resonating knocks from what they believe to be ghosts. This terrifying moment might have been prevented if the caretakers of the house had either added some sound absorbing furniture or drapes, weather-stripped the windows and doors, added doubled paned windows, blow-insulated the walls (especially that evil attic!), or added a vinyl or foam barrier to the flooring.




House on Haunted Hill (1959)


(Image owned by William Castle Productions and Allied Artists)


A peculiar millionaire promises $10,000 dollars to five guests if they can stay the whole night in a haunted house. There just one thing he forgot to mention….the cobwebs and dust! It’s no wonder that such incentive had to be made. Who would want to sleep in that mess of fluffy filth? Mr. Moneybags needs to get a hold of a decent vacuum cleaner attachment or a long end duster and get to work. He might also want to replace the carpeting with wood flooring and the replace the upholstered furniture with vinyl, leather, or wood to prevent future dust accumulation.




The Amityville Horror (1979)


(Image owned by American International Pictures, Cinema 77, and Professional Films)


The Lutz family purchases a new house on Ocean Avenue only to find out that it’s haunted by bad plumbing and wall damages- oh, and malicious ghosts.  That bubbling, black toilet water of evil could be eliminated by adding a composting toilet and cutting off the water valve to the current system for repairs. The eerie, oozing nail holes could be tamed with some good ole wall repair spackling. It also might be a good idea to avoid houses built on indian burial grounds.



House (1986)

(Image owned by New World Pictures)


Roger Cobb is really in over his head. Moving into a creepy house after suffering numerous personal and family tragedies isn’t the best strategy for healing. There’s also the rodent problem. You can call the first monster  a gremlin or a goblin, but to this blogger, it was a giant insect. Preventing nature’s creepy crawlies is as simple as sealing your doors, adding a door sweep, adding door screens, draining pooled water in the yard, repairing wall cracks, sealing pipe penetrations, storing trash properly, or keeping foundation joints and gaps filled.




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2 thoughts on “Home Improvement Nightmares Part 1: Dilapidated Haunted Houses

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