This Student Life: The house is haunted but we're not scared - honest

Spring Term, Week 3 at the Manchester Student House: There's a horrible stain on the floor - and it's spreading. But scarier still: who wrote `kill' on the cellar wall? By Cayte Williams

THE STUDENTS' huge grey-brick house in Fallowfield is rambling, dead creepy and gradually falling apart. There's a Dennis Nilsen-style cellar and the front garden shields all kinds of nameless menaces behind its high hedge and brick walls.

Rachel, who shares the top floor with Dani, has discovered an eerie stain on her kitchen floor. Or, rather, what used to be her kitchen floor. You may remember that Rachel had the bright idea of inviting the local environmental health officer to the house because the landlord was dragging his heels over some major repairs. No one else was particularly bothered, but to Rachel it was the principle of the thing.

Unfortunately, her plans backfired horribly when the officer declared her kitchen a health-hazard (there was no fire escape) and promptly arranged for it to be removed.

All that's left now is a few marooned food cupboards above a sea of rubbish, dirty plates and beer cans. Weaving between the debris is the said stain. "It's greasy, and it keeps growing," says a bemused Rachel, pointing to it fearfully with her toe. She hasn't touched, sniffed or investigated any further. "I don't have a clue what it is..."

Dani and Rachel are spending less and less time in the house. While everyone else is happy to live in communal squalor, they have tried to make the best of their little pied-a-terre. And where did it get them? Squalid little quarters with all the atmosphere of the Bates Motel.

It's common knowledge with the rest of the house that they intend to move out, but Rachel is being coy. "I'd rather not say," she says. The relationship between Rachel and Dani and the boys has cooled down considerably, and any queries about the girls are met with "we never see them" or "we just say hello" and a shrug. Their falling out is hardly surprising. If Dani and Rachel move out, what is there left to rent? A couple of rooms leading out to a gutted kitchen.

This is not the first time something inexplicable has happened in the students' gloomy halls. Last year, after watching The Exorcist, Leona went down into the cellar to re-light the boiler, saw "Kill" written in red on the wall, and was so spooked she couldn't sleep.

Ian has his own chilling story. "The guy who comes here to do the maintenance says that a man who once lived here went mad and killed his son," he explains, "and now he haunts this house. When I first moved in here on my own, I used to hear knocking and rattling noises coming from upstairs and I knew no one else lived here. But I'm not scared. I don't think anything's going to harm me."

Rachel is obviously not happy about living in a haunted house, and even Tasha is spooked. "Everyone's scared to go into that cellar," she says with a nervous laugh, "but I genuinely believe it was one of Ian's mates who wrote `Kill' on the wall." The rest of the boys think the whole thing has got out of proportion.

Leona and Tash, however, are making a stand against the broken boiler. Rather than buying little heaters for their rooms, they are planning to hold out against the cold until it's fixed. "It's the principal of the thing," they say. Or is it just that they are simply too scared to go into the cellar?

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices