I know you dedicated DIYers and professionals are probably still recovering from the shocking part one of the Home Improvement Nightmares article, but the dark truth of those ramshackle living conditions must be told. The dilapidated haunted houses were bad enough with their lack of sound proofing, bad plumbing, and major bug problems, but the run down apartments of horrific pop culture  are truly something to behold.



Rosemary’s Baby (1968)


(image owned by Paramount Pictures and William Castle Productions)


You gotta feel for Rosemary. In addition to her husband selling out her baby’s soul and the future of humanity for a bit in a broadway play, the lack of significant wall insulation is maddening. Having to hear every footstep, argument, cough, or satanic chant of your neighbor would make anyone a bit paranoid.  Paper thin walls should be insulated with three and a half inch fiberglass or rock wool batts, which absorb traveling sound.


The Tenant (1976)

(image owned by Marianne Productions)

 I realize the apartment complex owner in this film was a bit lax on the tact and caution to begin with, but after the tragic death of the previous apartment tenant, you would think greater window security would be in order.  Some simple tweaks like a keyed turnbuckle to replace the latch or a key track stop/locking stop attached to the window track can make a big difference in internal and external apartment window safety and security.


[Rec] (2007)

(image owned by Castelao Producciones)

 You may assume there’s nothing worse than an apartment infested with demon-possessed, flesh-eating tenants, but you would be wrong. The horrible lighting and sickening, mildewy conditions are what really stay with you long after the film has ended. Installing some extra light fixtures, using higher intensity bulbs, or installing some sky lights/ solar tubes could serve to brighten up the place. And venting moisture-producing appliances or cleaning and replacing existing vents, using a bathroom fan or open window when showering, and responding to spills and leaks within twenty four hours, and maintaining building drainage integrity overall can prevent further mold, moist, and mildew conditions.


The Ring (2002)

(image owned by DreamWorks SKG)

It’s difficult to distance ones self from the anxiety of a paranormal entity that travels by way of video or television, but that is no excuse for maintaining a disorganized, messy apartment. Throwing out or selling old, useless, or low value items, doing an overall de-cluttering once a year, installing new shelves, closet rods, and bins, and keeping items organized by their category, use, or context will increase the efficiency and comfort of your apartment immensely.


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