Creepy Easter eggs for my new house?
August 15, 2016 12:24 PM   Subscribe

So we're building a new house. What can we do to creep out the next people that own it? It makes perfect sense really, I saw a gif on reddit where some folks replacing carpet took the liberty of painting "get out!" in red paint on the floor below the carpet for the entertainment of the next people to replace the carpet. I would like to do similar things.

We currently have access to the crawl space where the house hasn't been installed yet. Should I leave a bunch of plastic skulls down there? Actual animal skulls? (I can get those easily)? Maybe some sort of Blair Witch doll? Or something funny? An inflatable woman filled with structural foam to keep her from deflating?

We also have access to the floor before our hardwood goes down. Any suggestions for occult symbols or creepy messages to paint before the floor goes down would be great.

Yes, I have an evil sense of humor.

This is free form. Go nuts. No actual cruelty or harm to animals or people is allowed, though.
posted by stet to Home & Garden (92 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: No actual cruelty or harm to animals or people is allowed

Emotional cruelty/harm is still cruelty/harm
posted by supercres at 12:27 PM on August 15, 2016 [119 favorites]

I WOULD LOVE TO FIND THIS!!! I also know a lot of people wouldn't so think about the demo of your house/future homeowners. I'm leaving a dated-looking treasure hunt for the next tenants of my house in the attic with actual easter eggs around the city.
posted by Marinara at 12:31 PM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

Why not something antic rather than scary? If you leave something that's actually scary and little kids find it, that will really make things hard for the next people - picture being the parents and your kids have real, material reason to believe that the house is haunted by a murderous ghost. That wouldn't be fun for anyone!

And why not do it all around a theme...maybe hide something neat and paint things that allude to it, a la Masquerade?

Or create and hide "old" letters and postcards that suggest a gently spooky supernatural thing...maybe the letters and postcards could be correspondence between two witches, or correspondence about a mysterious (but not terrifying) local creature that you invent?
posted by Frowner at 12:33 PM on August 15, 2016 [11 favorites]

Here's your word: "unsafe".

Also: get the worst-looking dolls from the _donation_ bin at the local thrift store (the ones they wouldn't sell). Go nuts.

Also: maybe a clown stencil?

Rusty medical instruments?
posted by amtho at 12:33 PM on August 15, 2016 might as well include something nice too; maybe a couple of poems.
posted by amtho at 12:34 PM on August 15, 2016 [7 favorites]

Or hide some Tarot cards, maybe - pick carefully! Get the Crowley deck - it's spooky but also interesting.

Or what about little animal skeletons dressed in clothes? That would be weird and a little creepy, but not too creepy.
posted by Frowner at 12:35 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

A paper copy of this entire post.
posted by invisible ink at 12:36 PM on August 15, 2016 [27 favorites]

(Also, I live in a house where we found a bunch of fucked-up stuff and where I know for a fact that some fucked-up stuff went down. It took years for me to feel really at home here. I do not recommend investing heavily in "fucked up stuff happened here, probably" messaging for the next people. It isn't fun to find stuff that strongly suggests that there was violence in the house, or that people were locked in their rooms so they could stay safe from the violent family member, for instance.)
posted by Frowner at 12:37 PM on August 15, 2016 [91 favorites]

As someone who is currently in the process of purchasing a home and who has recently seen several uber creepy crawlspaces with dead animal carcasses in them, I will give you some good advice and tell you not to do anything that is going to be seen BEFORE someone purchases your home. An home inspector and potential buyers will see animal skulls in your crawlspace. If you have to do Easter Eggs, do things that are funny and not things that are disturbing or scary. I mean...come on. You have no idea who is going to see this or how triggering it could be. Even plastic skulls look ritualistic and can be frightening. I'm not sure why you think some potential buyer will see animal skulls in your crawl space and think WOW this is awesome and not FUCK get me out of here.

Home Inspectors in my state go through the attic, through the crawl space, and through every room. They will look under area rugs, in appliances, in closets, in cabinets. They will walk around the perimeter of your home, and get up on your roof. Our home inspector even pried up floor vents to look inside.

I love Marinara's idea...clues to go somewhere and find something. SO cool. Also, the best thing ever is this house where the architects left cryptic messages for the buyers, which took them a year to even notice. And then they became obsessed with solving the clues. I would so dearly love to find something like this....swoon.

On preview: I laughed at invisible ink's suggestion (also; possibly eponysterical......)
posted by the webmistress at 12:37 PM on August 15, 2016 [35 favorites]

Leave about 40 empty jars of Vaseline and three rusty spatulas.
posted by bondcliff at 12:40 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also leave four jars of coins around the house, numbered 1,2,3 and 5.
posted by bondcliff at 12:41 PM on August 15, 2016 [72 favorites]

How about taking inspiration from this article? More of a puzzle house feel than the mega-creepster thing you are currently going for.
The blow up doll idea in particular has weird undertones of sexual violence, so yeah... don't do that.
posted by loquacious crouton at 12:41 PM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

PS - I didn't buy any of the homes with the animal skulls in the crawl spaces and all three are still on the market. Caveat Venditor.
posted by the webmistress at 12:42 PM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Please do not do this! It will give you bad karma.
posted by lungtaworld at 12:42 PM on August 15, 2016 [14 favorites]

Please don't do this for about a million reasons, but at the very least consider seriously vast cultural and language differences where your sense of humor is not funny but instead is terrifying.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 12:42 PM on August 15, 2016 [70 favorites]

The first thing that came to mind for me: A safe or a secret compartment for hiding a lock box. This is fairly "normal" though not that common, slightly intriguing and potentially a little creepy without being an ugly thing to do to people. Especially if it is not a mansion or rich neighborhood, it will make people wonder what's the story behind this?

I am in the camp of "don't seriously fuck with people" and I think a safe or hidden compartment would be useful and potentially intriguing with shades of intrigue for the next occupant owners.
posted by Michele in California at 12:46 PM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

Rather than "Get out!", why not the "hi how are you" frog?
posted by Metasyntactic at 12:51 PM on August 15, 2016 [13 favorites]

Do what they did in ye olden days - just leave newspapers everywhere. My neighbour found a hundred+ year old newspaper when he pulled up his floors complete with a Toronto Stock Exchange listing of all 20 stocks that traded there. Or some current event magazines.

No one is going to laugh at creepy dolls.
posted by GuyZero at 12:55 PM on August 15, 2016 [10 favorites]

Oooh, what about this? My grandparents had a house with secrets: they had a built-in bookcase which could pull out of the wall to reveal a small space, what looked like a cabinet in the basement that really opened up into a secret room and a sort of semi-room thing that opened out of a closet. It was a pleasant, well-built mid-century house but not a mansion or anything, and the secret rooms were basically glorified closets, but they added a lot of mystery when I was little. What about a strange little purposeless cabinet really low down in one wall or something? Fill it with...strange but not terrifying things?

Or why not go to thrift stores and get some odd little tchotchkes and hide them? The one nice thing we found in the house was a king piece from one of those weird seventies stone chess sets - we kept that and put it over one of the windows.
posted by Frowner at 12:56 PM on August 15, 2016 [14 favorites]

A home is likely to be this person's single biggest investment. Going out of your way to make them unhappy/uncomfortable in their home isn't cool.

If you want to leave Easter eggs, then maybe a locked box with all the plans for the house and the appliance warranties.
posted by 26.2 at 12:59 PM on August 15, 2016 [43 favorites]

I like the idea of leaving newspapers or other periodicals where future home owners can find them. Especially interesting/timely articles. For example, something with a headline about this year's Olympics. That would be pretty cool to find 20 years from now.
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:01 PM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Joining the "fun, not creepy" bandwagon.

Maybe - a series of messages from a child who used to live in the house in some long-ago past, leaving messages for kids in the future.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:02 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also: Some folks take tarot and voodoo etc extremely seriously. It may be a joke to you to consider hiding animal skulls or plastic skulls or tarot cards, but, for some people, that stuff is quite real. Before you go using something like that as a practical joke, consider the idea of using Christian symbols as devil worship totems "in jest" and see if you still think that's a hoot or not. For some people, ghosts and curses and so on are extremely real.

And if people begin wondering if you were an actual practitioner of the black arts, your joke could potentially lead to a criminal investigation. Better hope no one died mysteriously or disappeared from the neighborhood. They may not think magic is real but it won't stop them from wondering if you killed someone because of your belief in it.

O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive! - Walter Scott

Jokes tend to be funnier if the audience understands it is a joke. So keep that in mind while planning this.

Unless it's a safe. :-)
posted by Michele in California at 1:04 PM on August 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

Going alone with what Frowner said, how cool would it be to unlock the door to the home you just bought, and see a chessboard on the floor, and maybe one chess piece on a window sill and then maybe another in the kitchen sink or something, then slowly realize that there are 32 chess pieces hidden throughout the house and that it might take you years to find all of them?
posted by the webmistress at 1:05 PM on August 15, 2016 [26 favorites]

nthing that this is just a really awful thing to do to someone you don't know, and can't know how it will affect them. If you have a desperate need to be funny, meh, OK, do something funny. But why on earth would you try and do something creepy in someone's home, the one place they need to feel secure?
Or better still, do your funny/creepy-making to people you know, so you know how it'll go down.
posted by penguin pie at 1:05 PM on August 15, 2016 [16 favorites]

Oh, or you could put some stuff in a locked box in an attic or the crawl space, and then leave a code for it somewhere else, like possibly underneath the hardwood floors you're about to put down. So like, in big letters under the floor boards you could write "3-29-6" or whatever, and then they would have to figure out that it's the code for the lock box.

I don't know, maybe no one would put that together. But maybe you could leave a note about it on the lock box.

And then in the lock box, you could have some stuff like old newspapers or periodicals, old pictures of the home, maybe a few random trinkets, or even a note from you guys to the future homeowners.

And yeah, I want to nth so so much not doing anything that would be considered remotely creepy. Some people might think it's a cool thing to find, but that's far outweighed by the number of people who would have their new home essentially ruined for them. Don't underestimate just how differently people perceive this kind of thing, including but not limited to the children who may very well stumble upon anything creepy you chose to leave behind.
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:09 PM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you're dead-set on doing the spooky/scary route, I'd do something straight from a famous movie or tv show, so that people can realize it's all in good fun after they get spooked. Think "DONT BLINK" written in places.
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:09 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

A cache of old dentures would be creepy as hell. There's even two old askmes about how to get them:

Where can I find cheap dentures? Wholesale rejects, dental school models, or used - any would be fine by me.

Where can I find used dentures?

But yeah, you probably shouldn't actually do this for the reasons outlined by other responders.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:09 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

I just bought a house, and when my friends came over to check out my cool new place we noticed that the firepit had a bunch of partially-burned photos in it. They were all photos of children and babies, some still in frames. I do not recommend this, because I am going to have to spend the next ten years listening to jokes about ghost babies.

I think it would be cool to paint a huge ciphered message on the subfloor, instead of something creepy. That would BLOW MY MIND if I found it in my house. And maybe have the solution point to GPS coordinates, or a map, in your backyard where you've buried a box of whiskey or gold dollar coins or something equally awesome.

You should also include a note congratulating them on refinishing the floors.
posted by zoetrope at 1:11 PM on August 15, 2016 [18 favorites]

Yeah, seriously, don't do this. Among other reasons, how are the new owners supposed to know it's a joke?

If you leave easter eggs, make sure they're lighthearted, gentle, and pleasant. Perhaps even leave literal plastic easter eggs with messages or little trinkets inside. We bought a place from a family with school-age kids, and for the first couple months I occasionally found sequins or Thor stickers or tiny smudges of glitter paint that got missed in the cleaning, and it made me smile.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:15 PM on August 15, 2016 [27 favorites]

You should also include a note congratulating them on refinishing the floors.

This! My little sisters and I had a miserable job ripping all the carpet and underlayment out of the house my parents bought when I was 15. Finding something cheerful would have made it much more like fun.

Oh, but please don't mess up anything like hardwood flooring. My mom's still annoyed at the previous owners for their foolish decisions in this matter.
posted by SMPA at 1:17 PM on August 15, 2016 [7 favorites]

I found a copy of a 1890's ballot in the ceiling of my house.
posted by bdc34 at 1:18 PM on August 15, 2016 [9 favorites]

My previous owner left a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator. Much, much nicer.

(I'm very much on the "don't do this" side. You have no idea who will find what you leave or what kind of reaction that person will have. What if the new owners have a child with schizophrenia or debilitating anxiety? This would utterly destroy my niece - not funny in the least.)
posted by FencingGal at 1:20 PM on August 15, 2016 [39 favorites]

Under carpet/floorboards: a whole family of police chalk outlines. Bonus points for: blood spatters, one with detached head, family dog.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:22 PM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

(But yeah, make bloodstains a bright cartoon red not actual dried blood color so it's clear it's a joke and not real)
posted by sexyrobot at 1:25 PM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

We found the contract of an Atlanta boxer who had rented our basement in the mid 1930's. The box literally fell out of the basement rafters when we were pulling cable. It is so interesting...he couldn't sign his name....he signed an X. Was a huge wake up call for me and has started many conversations with my kids about how lucky we are to have access to education. Do fun, happy stuff. Make time capsules with action figures..... Write a family tome about your life there.....nothing scary or weird.
posted by pearlybob at 1:29 PM on August 15, 2016 [11 favorites]

Best answer: leave four jars of coins around the house, numbered 1,2,3 and 5.

Yeah there are ways to do this that will be awesome and not weirdly problematic (my partners son has schizophrenia, I can't imagine trying to have that conversation, but I am not a concern troll and you are not my partner, so let's answer your question shall we...?)

When I was a kid we moved into a house with a lot of animal skeletons in the wall so I am going to go with "not creepy" there. Anything that's big enough to be creepy is maybe also big enough to get your lawn dug up so that might not have the intended effect. I mean if you totally hate people generally, bury one or two human skeleton bones in the backyard by the wellhead with a newspaper clipping from about the same time as a grizzly unsolved murder. They'll have to get their whole yard dug up. But that's sort of a dick move.

I'd go for something that sent across a few messages

- sentient animals have lived here (small tea parties set up with seeds and tiny hats and monocles)
- there is a secret here (I mean a locked safe or unopeneable box with a bullshit code on the outside? How great!)
- aliens (I am sure you can think of something, mystery rock with old looking typewritten note about it coming from the moon)
- time capsule (everyone loves those, enclose a narrative about all the awful stuff you didn't do)
posted by jessamyn at 1:31 PM on August 15, 2016 [12 favorites]

The New York Times ran an article back in March about new homeowners who received a series of creepy letters from someone who claimed to be "watching over" the house. The entire thing became an intense legal battle and the frightened family never even moved in to the house.

That being said, fun, hidden letters can be great, especially if they're creative. Just remember that the new homeowners and their (possible) children won't know you or your sense of humor. And, when it comes to funny stuff, that makes all the difference.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 1:40 PM on August 15, 2016

We found a trophy from a women's softball team in our wall. It wasn't creepy, but is was weird.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:41 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]



I hope you don't miss any REAL problems that the contractor is trying to sneak past you while you are distracted by this (possibly harmful) nonsense.
posted by intermod at 1:42 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

I don't think this is a good idea, but I feel strangely obligated to refer you to this previous Meta: I hope your head falls off.
posted by effluvia at 2:01 PM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

I really like this impulse!

I, like you, love creepy things. Occasionally I have friends remind me that actually, they find some of the stuff I giggle at extremely upsetting. I forget that other people think that way, because I just don't see it!

So, I would take some of these comments as a friendly reminder that we're lucky to find this stuff funny but that other people don't. But don't lose the concept! Do something down the goofy/funny/"refers to a horror movie so people know it's not real" path.
posted by samthemander at 2:03 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

I find this entire concept extremely upsetting and would urge you not to do it.
posted by delight at 2:07 PM on August 15, 2016 [14 favorites]

To elaborate, if I found one of the things you described, I would probably move because I would no longer feel comfortable in my house. Maybe I'm an extreme case, but that's a shitty thing to do to someone.
posted by delight at 2:13 PM on August 15, 2016 [10 favorites]

TIL some folks on AskMeFi are very well-meaning but a bit unimaginative. I agree you shouldn't do anything that suggests there was violence, real emotional trauma, or mental illness that went down. (Just don't, okay?) I do not agree, however, that those are the only things that can be creepy.
  • Paint a bunch of realistic-looking bugs under the carpet. Or eyes. Eyes, by themselves, are really creepy sometimes.
  • If you or anyone you know is especially arty, find a place you can paint behind and put in a "portal" to another dimension, maybe one that looks eerily dystopian?
  • You're a time traveler from the future. What notes might you leave behind for the poor saps who've bought your home? Will you tell them of the Great Cyborg-Zombie Outbreak of 2198?
  • Me, though? I think I'd hide a treasure map that leads to something weird buried in a time capsule in your backyard, assuming you have enough of one. Nothing too creepy, probably more weird. Like a pirate's flag; a bunch of wonky, knock-off Barbies; and a $5 gift card that will be expired by the time it's found.

posted by iamfantastikate at 2:18 PM on August 15, 2016 [8 favorites]

Your portal to a different dimension could be in a closet, possibly behind wall paper or just behind clothes where it won't be noticed if you are showing the house while still an occupant but will be glaringly obvious the minute they see the house empty.

Watch "Poltergeist" for inspiration? I think they had a portal to elsewhere in the closet.
posted by Michele in California at 2:24 PM on August 15, 2016

Yeah we had an opportunity to do something similar when we converted our unfinished attic into living space. We just laid down until the urge to do it passed. My fun Easter egg will be a three ring binder full of appliance instruction manuals.
posted by fixedgear at 2:29 PM on August 15, 2016 [12 favorites]

oh, my god. If you are that excited about the idea of communicating mysteriously with future owners, leave something nice, like a sealed card saying "you are beautiful" or something like that.

The idea of leaving something frightening for people (you don't know what people! Nice old ladies with heart conditions? Little kids? A nervous person who's had a bad day and just wants to be safe in her space?) to find in their home, for your own vague sense of entertainment, is so mind-bogglingly selfish and cruel that I'm literally shaking my head.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:32 PM on August 15, 2016 [31 favorites]

If you do this make it positive - if they find it early, and it's suggestive or scary enough it might be enough for them to void the deal or sue you for non-disclosure. (i.e. if it looked like someone died on site and was not disclosed, you may find a judge either rejects or punishes your pleas that it was just a joke...)
posted by NoDef at 2:34 PM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

A poem, note, newspaper clipping, small broach or amulet, small painting, short story, or old coin would stoke that creepy-cool receptor some of us have without being sexist and unfunny like a blow-up doll and without causing anyone to call an exterminator like an animal skull and without disrespecting anyone's religion or sense of safety.
posted by kapers at 2:47 PM on August 15, 2016

Not only is a home such a huge investment for most people, the whole process is an emotional rollercoaster ride. The new owner will have had enough recent anxiety; they won't be the best audience for anything that could be taken the wrong way.

Also keep in mind that any movie reference is more than likely not be recognized by the time the it's discovered. I didn't know what the "don't blink" referred to above meant.

Also, anything suggesting a crime could have unintended consequences.

But I do like the idea of a something painted under the carpet. How about dance instruction footprints all over the floor? You could come up with some highly improbable layouts, or jokes like "How to dance the foxtrot" with one set of print being a fox's. Or how about evidence of a tipped over can of paint and an unlikely set of animal prints wandering around? (How'd a goose get in here?)
posted by hydrophonic at 2:49 PM on August 15, 2016 [32 favorites]

Another reason to not do this: so the new owner comes in and discovers the dance footsteps or trophies on the wall or the doorway to Narnia or whatever, but it's going to put them on edge for other potential surprises.

They're going to wonder what else they may find and it's really, really creepy and disturbing to know that the previous owner put time and energy into pranking someone they never met.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:03 PM on August 15, 2016 [11 favorites]

Hide a box containing a picture of Michigan J. Frog!
posted by bunji at 3:05 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

What can we do to creep out the next people that own it?

This would bother me enough as a buyer that I would go over the disclosure agreement with a fine toothed comb to see if there was a way I could get out of the purchase, based on misrepresenting the sale.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:06 PM on August 15, 2016 [22 favorites]

When we pulled up our carpets to refinish the floor, we had to deal with a number of mysterious stains. We tried not to think too much about which were dog pee and which the pooled blood of the previous owner who was murdered in the house, because damn.

So yeah, count me with those who think that going with anything that hints at violence or mental illness would probably cause harm, and not be appreciated in the spirit that I think you're intending.
posted by The Shoodoonoof at 3:10 PM on August 15, 2016 [7 favorites]

If you're going to do chalk body outlines, go for weird stuff - a robot, a t-rex, an alien with a lot of tentacles.
posted by bile and syntax at 3:52 PM on August 15, 2016 [13 favorites]

When my parents bought our house it had no septic field (out of town) so they had to dig up like 4 rows of 20-ft trenches. And it turned out that the previous owners of our house were really into burying things in their yard.

Car parts, old christmas trees, random junk like beach balls and brooms and cans and stools. My dad thought it was pretty fun, but he loves junk.

I think this is a fun idea.. I think this could be vaguely creepy without being particularly creepy. I'm sorry to say that because you're building the house, it's not going to be creepy. only old houses are creepy. I would be zero percent creeped out by any easter eggs I found in a 2000s suburb.

Can you paint at all? I would paint like.. tiny little ravens (or just little black bird silhouettes) around in hidden spots. If you can't paint, you could decoupage. Ravens are kind of creepy, but birds are pretty at the same time, and I would love to find little birds in our (actually old creepy) house. like.. on the inside of a switchplate when we changed those out.. maybe on a tag on one of the wires for the thermostat.. next to the battery in the doorbell. Places where someone will probably end up looking during the period of owning a house. I'd be really excited to find something someone else did. Or maybe some kind of cuneiform looking code?

One of my dad's friends renovated a house in the 70s and it turns out the walls were "insulated" with a bunch of old original movie posters from the 20s and 30s. They ended up being worth a pretty penny too, which was neat.
posted by euphoria066 at 4:35 PM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Make a time-capsule filled with the parts of today's history and struggles that are uncomfortable enough that they will likely be glossed over and, if not forgotten by future generations, at least not preserved with the kind of zeal with which people keep the artifacts of positive things.

Random ideas for horrifying contents:
- Current news includes that a US presidential nominee doesn't understand why he can't use nukes, etc. Other nominee is widely hated. (Nominees seem to largely vanish from history if they don't succeed)
- US medical insurance paperwork is nightmare inducing! Hopefully a future healthcare system will be an appropriately terrifying contrast.
- Throw in some bitcoin? It will either be worth more than you paid for it, or a curious artifact of the times.
- A polio vaccination (with luck, by the time the capsule is opened, polio may exist only as a horror story). The discovery of old medical bottle with "polio" on it could be very frightening in that future until confirming that it's just non-live vax, and then it becomes a very cool relic.
- Old drivers insurance forms might be interesting if robot cars become widespread?
- With all this paperwork, something something identity theft? Old credit cards?
- Half-eaten McNuggets; industrialized slaughter pre-dessicated into preservative-preserved mummified remains?
- Newspapers (society decides no-one broke Freddy Grey's spine. Refugee crisis and lashback. Zika. To much to mention. No shortage of horror from our societies right now)

Perhaps better would be things more local, relevant to the neighborhood.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:44 PM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

You could get a bunch of plastic army men. Paint each one distinctively. Take a group photo, then put made-up names on the photo. Now, hide the photo and the men throughout the house in low-traffic areas (top of rafter in attic, crawl space, main water shutoff, etc) You just made your own collect-em-all game.
posted by ctmf at 4:46 PM on August 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

Confess, Fletch, we found old soccer trophies buried in our front yard! Agreed that it was weird...I still wonder what the intended message was, and I don't even live there any more.

In general, I agree that this is a bit of a dick move. Do something cute or fun, not something creepy, if you've got to leave Easter eggs for future generations. I wholeheartedly support the idea of a time capsule, though.
posted by the marble index at 4:47 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

A few years ago, I read about some folks who pulled up their living room carpet to find a previous owner'd painted the whole floor with a chessboard and game in progress.

You could also paint a faux oriental carpet, or maybe a map of the neighborhood with the names of your neighbors labeling their houses.

You could also do things like make tiny dioramas --- doll tea parties and that sort of thing --- and leave them between the studs. Or put together boxes of holiday decor and hide those: a Christmas box in one room, Halloween in another, Independence Day elsewhere.
posted by easily confused at 5:03 PM on August 15, 2016 [7 favorites]

Here is a slide of Debbie Reynolds with a larger than life sized marionette that belongs under some floorboards.
posted by ernielundquist at 5:07 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have not read the whole thread here but I must say, OP, you have an obligation to balance your love of the macabre with the "never cruel or cowardly" ethos. Leave a happy mystery, not something that might freak someone out so bad they decide to sell quick at a loss.

I'll read the thread tomorrow. I understand the desire to leave some sort of puzzle.
posted by vrakatar at 5:47 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Okay. Point taken. This is a bad idea. Glad I asked. I guess the rest of the world doesn't share my sense of humor?

I'm going to go with one of the funny suggestions here and not my creepy ones. I am, however, going to scare up some 50-year-old newspapers to put in the time capsule, because that's funny dammit.

None of you are going to dissuade me from putting up standing stones in the pasture though! That's pure gold.
posted by stet at 5:50 PM on August 15, 2016 [12 favorites]

Pet stores sell tiny fake mice in the cat toy department. Get some of the ones that look sort of realistic, and dress them up in tiny outfits. Hide them all over the house. Put one way in the back on the top shelf in a closet. Stick one in the back of the vegetable crisper in the fridge. In a bathroom drawer. In a safe place in the circuit breaker box. Etc.

Hide some Easter Peeps, and put the date on them. Those things will stay in perfect condition for decades. Twinkles would work too, but wouldn't be as funny.

Stash some cheesy old record albums in weird places. Lawrence Welk behind the fridge. Tom Jones under the carpet in the guest room closet. Jim Nabors stashed in the attic. Or go to a thrift shop and buy some of the cheesiest VCR tapes you can find and leave a pile of them in the attic.

Use Justin Beiber posters as shelf paper, and leave it when you move out.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:09 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: However, if you wanted to continue to come up with more ideas of how to easter egg the house in an evil (won't do) or a fun (might do) manner I'd be delighted to hear from you. If I ever build a house again it will be too soon, so this is my last chance at this sort of mischief.

FWIW, when we demoed the seriously uninhabitable house that was on the farm before, we found a bunch of old polaroids in the former crawlspace and other random documents. It was cool.
posted by stet at 6:10 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine once flipped her mattress in the dorm-- and found an amazing, beautiful painting done on the underside, on a sheet-- a very 60's psychedelic landscape, trippy and weird and we have no idea who did it or when... but it was more "wow" and less terrifying. Something like that, that makes you wonder, rather than clearly scary stuff, maybe?
posted by The otter lady at 6:24 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I am, however, going to scare up some 50-year-old newspapers to put in the time capsule, because that's funny dammit.

Let's say for the sake of argument the newspaper you put in happens to be the same date the owner's dad passed away. Or the day their baby died. Or it's her parent's wedding day.

I'm just saying there are SO many ways your prank could be interpreted badly that it's not worth doing, and again, once the new owners find one thing, they'll feel unnerved (in their new home that they paid YOU for) because they have no idea how many other surprises you've left behind.

Let the owner feel secure in their home without any surprises you've left for your own amusement.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 6:27 PM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

When I moved into my house I quickly realized that the oddly placed light switch in the closet didn't seem to do anything. So I started to take it apart to figure out what it was supposed to control when surprise! it was actually a dummy switch with a secret compartment. There wasn't anything actually in it but gosh I was so excited to find a secret! I'm going to leave it for the next owners but I'll put some glitter and a nice card in there. I say do something fun and feel ok about it.
posted by yodelingisfun at 7:49 PM on August 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

I'm surprised by how many people here are anti-fun. I would have loved to find something super creepy in a new-to-me-house, the best I've found is old pornos in the ceiling tile.

I feel like the easiest way to have your creepy cake and eat it too is to leave a note, findable from whatever creepy thing you leave, that says something to the effect of "Hey new owners, my name is XXX and I moved into this house when it was first built in XXX. I thought it would be fun to leave a surprise for the future, and you found it! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed doing it! Please enjoy the house, my family built it with love"

So, blood splatter under the hardwood, but also an envelope with the (weatherproofed...maybe laminated? note). Fake alien x-ray in UV paint on the back wall of a closet (with an arrow pointing to where you put the laminated note before painting over it). 50 year old newspaper with the note inside, etc. etc. Another cool UV paint/subfloor easter egg could be the cover art from the Voyager Golden Records.

Hopefully not-too-spoopy idea: Growing up, I always wished that my house had secret passageways, and the setup of my house right now is kind of perfect for a kid-sized secret passage between one bedroom closet to another. If all goes well, no kids will live in this house before I leave it, but I still kind of want to grab a jigsaw and punch through a couple of walls to make it happen. Because it would be awesome.

If I do it, I think it would be fun to leave a copy of something like the Voynich Manuscript inside (a good excuse to try my hand at some amateur bookbinding as well a the carpentry). Hopefully that would be harmless enough, since it has no known associations with any religious or other ideology besides Weird Mysteries.

On a more fun note (that you might be able to enjoy yourself), what about leaving some kind of cypher/code in plain sight? Like "glitches" in the tile layout in the bathroom that are the morse code or braille for "Love." It would be fun to see which of your houseguests over the years are obsessive enough to work it out.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:33 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you're intent on the inappropriate for your own amusement (and I am a fan of inappropriate amusement) I would recommend doing something that would be impossible to find and enjoy the knowledge that there is a secret in the house that only you know.

I retiled both bathrooms in my first house. By the time I had the first one done and new backer board up on the walls of the second, I was pretty tired and punchy. So before I smeared the mastic on the walls to hang the new tile, I quick grabbed one of those giant sharpies and wrote I LOVE TITTIES down the wall in huge scrawl. Six feet of I LOVE TITTIES. Then I smeared mastic over it, troweled lines in it, and hung the tile.

Now, that's juvenile as hell and not at all clever. Far from my best work. But it was a good morale boost. I was tired and frustrated enough that it seemed hilarious at the time. And I finished the job, and it looked great.

That tile will hang there for decades, may be there after I'm dead, and when it does get ripped out and everything is scraped off, there's a 0.247% chance my message will be legible. Only my wife and I know about it.

But when I am 80, I am going to think about the generations that shat and showered and brushed their teeth within spitting distance of an I LOVE TITTIES they did not know exists, and I'm enough of an idiot that it will amuse me all over again.

We sold the house a couple of weeks ago.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:39 PM on August 15, 2016 [9 favorites]

Borrowers! Get tiny dollhouse furniture and make tiny Borrower caches and hideyholes in some small spaces. Add tiny homemade scraps as needed - leaves and local matchboxes, tiny knitted blankets etc - and make some future child imagine a home full of fairies or tiny people in every corner, just out of sight.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:51 PM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Yeah, old photos would be cool. I mean, if people don't discover this for 20 years or 40 years, just the generic stuff that doesn't seem old-timey to you will seem old-timey and nostalgic to them.

I think the coolest thing would be to print out some three-dimensional-looking image and somehow put that under the floor. Here are a bunch of images -- what about something like this (minus the alcohol bottle) that says "gateway to a beautiful world?" Thing is, if it's a hardwood floor, when are they going to remove it? (Ever?) And could they remove the floor without damaging your cool underlayment? But if you have money and time to spend, it'd be neat.
posted by salvia at 8:54 PM on August 15, 2016

If you're going to take the high road here, what I would do is take pictures of yourself and your family as you're building the house. Take fun and silly shots, as well as detailed and useful shots of important parts of the house like where wires and pipes are.

Hide a small handful of boxes or jars in the new walls, and put neat stuff in them. Take pictures of them in their locations while you still have access to open walls, and yourself in the picture holding a sign that says 'Secret!' with an arrow pointing to the container.

If you have to put something somewhat macabre, make a fun series of photos where you're digging the foundation and there's a giant fake dinosaur skull (and some fake t-rex skeleton hands) coming out of the foundation, with the person digging having a surprised, terrified look on their face. If you have the means, use a real dinosaur costume, take those photos, then make it into a story with a happy ending with a photo of a tea party with the beast in your new kitchen.

Put all these photos (along with any other interesting stories, tidbits about the house, etc.) on a DVD, SD card, and/or USB drive, and hide somewhere that won't be found immediately, but won't go unseen for decades. On the back of the furnace, water heater or other 'permanent appliance', the attic side of an attic door if it'll be used occasionally, the underside of the bottom shelf in a closet or cupboard. Affix it with bright tape so when someone does eventually look in these locations it's obvious that it's there, and write a note on the tape so they know to take and enjoy it.

Not only do you have a fun record of your house building for your own enjoyment, you're letting someone else in on the fun.
posted by SquidLips at 9:31 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best things we found in the walls of our 100+ year old house: A letter from a woman in the midwest who was so envious of the sister she was writing to because she was so plump. She was working with her family day and night on the farm and they didn't have enough to eat and she could not put on any weight.. Newspaper clippings telling the horrible tale of a mixed-race couple who was drummed out of Oregon and on the road hoping they could find a place further North to settle in that would accept them.

Worst thing: A small puddle of mercury.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 9:50 PM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

As a person who's walled up the occasional clown doll under an attic staircase, I take the opposite tack of most of these dreary responses and set expectations clearly from the get-go. So: all the mannequin parts you can cram into every nook and cranny, BUT your rec room must be a glow-in-the-dark-plastic bones ossuary already, and you've got glass eyes very clearly cemented in the mortar of the front steps, and so on. Make your place a proper roadside curiosity with an established reputation, and your audience will self-select.
posted by Fantods at 3:29 AM on August 16, 2016 [4 favorites]

Let's say for the sake of argument the newspaper you put in happens to be the same date the owner's dad passed away. Or the day their baby died. Or it's her parent's wedding day.

If they're that sensitive to the mere mention of a date in the past they belong in a hospital and not in a house. I understand the concern trolling about painting occult symbols and a summoning circle in red (probably should be brown as blood turns brown after time) under the carpets because you might get an unhinged person who would take it seriously, but leaving some impossibly old newspapers in a hidden space would really only be quite funny. Imagine finding 1960's newspapers in a house built in the 1990's.

How about just painting "Stet was here" in random spots under the floors and in the various crawlspaces. Extra points for really hard to get to spots.
posted by koolkat at 3:41 AM on August 16, 2016 [9 favorites]

A series of love letters between you and your partner. You sit down and write them together of a variety of paper and set them during different times in your relationship from first meeting up to moving in to the new house. You then put them in numbered envelopes and hide them through the house.

This anoints the new house in love and would be a nice thing to find 30 years down the road.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:00 AM on August 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

for creepy things not to do, containers with hard candy in them marked biohazard.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:38 AM on August 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I just wanted to post a little more about finding creepy stuff in a house you've bought, since it's actually happened to me. Things we found that were creepy ranged from "stuff you are obviously not going to do" to "stuff you might think is cool" and almost none of it was great.

We bought an "as is" house with a lot of stuff in it and a lot of things wrong with it (and if we'd had a better home inspection we wouldn't have bought it, actually).

Things we found that were not fun:
1. Doors whose lower panels had obviously been kicked in and repaired in a half-assed way; the remains of serious locks on the inside of bedroom doors.
2. A closet that wouldn't open - we pried it open eventually and it had old porn, old beer cans, all kinds of yuck. We still refer to it as "the scary closet", because by the time we'd dealt with all the other weird stuff in the house, we were genuinely worried about finding something awful there.
3. Weird spiritual stuff here and there - old, dirty crystals; bits of painting on the ceiling; filthy flocked bird hanging from a ceiling fan; some other stuff - the squick wasn't in the fact of the crystals but that it had all been abandoned and all was filthy even though people had been living there until we bought the place. It wasn't "abandoned"; people had just lived there while everything got filthier.
4. Random writing on the walls in odd places.
5. Amateur, vaguely "satanic" painting on the attic wall

We also found, over time, a number of documents that told a very unhappy story about physical and mental illness, family separation and other bad stuff.

Taken together, it all gave us a feeling that people in the house had been miserable and unwell in various ways.

This is why I don't like the "leave weird writing and creepy 'joke' painting" idea. We never thought "oh, our house is haunted by SATAN"....we just thought "the people who lived here were messed up and had a messed up approach to the world" and it was really depressing.

If I found that someone had painted, like, fake blood and murder scene stuff on the floor under the carpet, it wouldn't make me think "oooh, so scary I'm so scared now"; it would make me think "jesus god, what kind of person bothers with all this just to freak out strangers in the future, a messed-up and mean-spirited person, that's who". Just like when I still find occasional weird stuff in my house, I don't think "these people had spooooooooky supernatural powers", I think "this is another reminder that people were very, very unhappy in this house".

My point isn't that you are messed-up and mean-spirited - that's obviously not the case. It's just that if you do fake-horror-movie stuff, the people who find it are probably going to feel weird about the kind of person who would put all that effort into freaking out strangers, and that itself is going to taint their feeling about the house. This will be based on a false understanding of your intent, but you won't be there to correct them.
posted by Frowner at 7:08 AM on August 16, 2016 [15 favorites]

Our first house had these kinds of Easter eggs throughout. It was unintentional as the house was a foreclosure and whoever emptied the place didn't do a great job. Items included plaster casts of Nosferatu skulls and shrunken heads in the basement, tiny goth faces and skull and crossbones drawn in random places. A dungeon door in the basement that appeared to only lock from the outside (but didn't). That room was filled with sound proof drywall and mirrors. In a basement crawl space there was a random empty box that listed candelabras and whips, among other things. The front screen door had an NRA and a Mark of the Devil sticker along with a pet rescue sticker. A well rounded selection, really.

After some Google stalking it turns out the previous owners were running a vampy boudoir pinup photo business out of the house. Lots of fun photo shoots were done in our dining and living room. They also sold shunken head figurines and home made Ouija boards on the side and ran a painting business using the house to showcase their faux wood painting skills and other unusual paint techniques. And apparently the dungeon room was used for band practice. My guess is the market ran out on faux shrunken heads when the housing economy went bust.

I thought all of this was pretty funny and fun, so I can totally see where you're coming from with this instinct, but its clear others wouldn't be amused by this kind of thing. I will say the more innocuous items (alien figurine perched on the water heater, old gothic comic posters in basement recesses) were fun too, so maybe there is a balance you can achieve without losing the light creep factor.

That house is no longer in our possession, but I lovingly left behind the Nosferatu skull for the next owners. It belongs with the house now.
posted by clarvorce at 11:07 AM on August 16, 2016 [5 favorites]

My comment apparently got deleted so I will rephrase it. I'm in the minority of people who would be SUPER HAPPY to find creepy messages/Easter eggs/etc. So I don't think you are an asshole for wanting to do this.
posted by a strong female character at 11:09 AM on August 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

I would like handwritten in the cement foundation something like "stet + stetpartner 2016" in a heart or something totally cheesy like that. Handprints in the cement of all the people (and pets) that lived in the house when it was built. Maybe a time capsule with the fun stuff you found from the previous house that was there, and some of your own stuff.
posted by jillithd at 11:48 AM on August 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, here's a thing if you have wet cement: little glyphs drawing the story of a favorite TV show or novel (that isn't all blood and death, of course) or something. I was thinking about this because I was amusing myself by telling China Mieville's novel The Scar to someone in emoji and seeing how long before they recognized the plot. But the point is, you could make a quite eerie and weird little puzzle that would suggest meaning even if they couldn't solve it. (Which they probably couldn't.)
posted by Frowner at 12:11 PM on August 16, 2016

Building on jillithd and handprints: if you have access to a floor or sidewalk when the cement is laid, how about a photo of the whole family (all standing in front of your car, which would help date it), laid in the cement and permanently embedded under a disc of clear glass? Perhaps embed it off in some less-traveled corner of the basement, and you could add "the stet family 2016" and/or everyone's handprints/pawprints. You could even go further and add small bits of tile for a mosaic surround.
posted by easily confused at 12:26 PM on August 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Back in the mid 80's, I found a cardboard box on my parent's back deck. Someone had doodled in it, then wrote this:

"Stephen King murdered Stacy McGill at the Seattle Center. If found call Gwen at xxx-xxxx. Urgent."

We did some investigation through a friend in the Sheriff's Dept. The mystery remains unsolved, but I kept the box.
posted by trinity8-director at 2:45 PM on August 16, 2016

I think it would be pretty funny to leave a $100 bill in the compost bin for the next owners when we sell. Because then they'd tear apart the bin looking for more money...and maybe the raised beds...possibly the house! And then they'd wonder at the circumstances for a $100 bill ending up in the compost bin and ponder whether they should return it to us. It would just be a nagging mystery...but also? $100! The best kind of mystery.
posted by amanda at 4:01 PM on August 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

When I was a kid my parents found a broken dish when they were remodeling the house. We all wrote stories about how it got between the walls and read them to each other. Reading Faulkner years later, I realized that was probably my dad's inspiration for his story - I remembered the tone really well.
posted by momus_window at 4:43 PM on August 16, 2016

I'm feeling misanthropic today, so I thought I'd take a stab at answering your original question, OP. Mainly because I think it might be funny to do something similar when we install hardwood at Chez Sparks.

Any suggestions for occult symbols or creepy messages to paint before the floor goes down would be great.

Some of these are good for hidden paintings on floor/wall/ceiling. Some are better as "items" or "book" stashed away in "secret" places. Some of these would be obvious jokes to those with a passing knowledge of 20th-21st century pop culture, and others would be revealed as jokes with a tiny bit of research (therefore, only "harming" the willfully ignorant). Others are less obviously "fake" and some are legit creepy, even for me, because of the reference to actual horrible things that have occurred.
  • I...I'm so sorry!
  • It has begun.
  • And so it ends.
  • So many dreams...
  • A conversation between two people (two personalities?) one urging the other to do something, the other trying to avoid it. Maybe get two different people to paint it (or do one with your non-dominant hand)?: does it have to be all of them? YES YOU KNOW IT MUST. but the young ones are nice to me. THEY LIE ONLY I AM NICE TO YOU. etc. (channel the Gollum/Smeagol thing from LOTR).
  • A log that makes it seem like you were stalking the neighbors (don't use the actual names of any neighbors) -- this might be better as a notebook hidden behind the drywall. Mrs. Johnson thinks she's so great with that prize winning clematis of hers but I know the true price of those blooms...
  • A log of "paranormal" events: "I heard the screaming again last night..." "THEY TOOK MARTY" "Marty came back, but something is so different now"
  • If you, or your house's future owners are my people (or they know how to google) fragments from the diary in Sub Rosa would be more hilarious than scary.
  • Rough schematics for an antikythera mechanism
  • Rough reproductions of some of Da Vinci's anatomical drawings.
  • Dried and pressed flowers (I don't know how they would hold up between a subfloor and a floor)
  • Single teeth. Or a bagful.
  • Chick Tracts, ideally Dark Dungeons.
  • Rough sketch of Slenderman
  • A print of the portrait of Vigo the Carpathian
  • candymancandymancandyman (preferably scratched in the paint behind the bathroom mirror)
  • A chesire cat grin
  • A photo of JonBenĂ©t Ramsay (this might actually be legitimately disturbing so be careful with it)
  • A photo of Jeffrey Dahmer and/or a photo of Christopher Scarver (same)
  • A bunch of nonsense spell words from Harry Potter (avadakedvrawingariumleviosA)
  • Love and Peace written in circular gallifreyan (handy generator)
  • I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like Time to die. (bonus points if you write it in old-timey looking calligraphy and age the paper some)
  • If you are white, and your house is in a predominately white area: Kill whitey
  • The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.
  • if you live in a non-temperate climate: Winter is Coming
  • 100 digits of pi starting at your house's street number.
  • a bunch of prime numbers -- and one even one.
  • a Menger sponge
  • a calendar with your birthday scratched out (bonus if you can get one from your actual birth year)
  • keys. they should look like they'd actually open something, but not actually open anything. some could maybe have a fake bloody thumbprint on them.
  • an elaborate looking box. it should be well hidden, locked, and empty. bonus if you also do the keys (double bonus if you do the keys AND you put a single key inside (triple bonus if the key in the box only unlocks that actual box (quadruple bonus if as well as the key the box contains a note reading "Are you the Key Master?" in elaborate calligraphy))).
  • random scratches on the subfloor
  • scratches that look like they could be claw marks on the sub floor
  • - community weblog

posted by sparklemotion at 5:46 PM on August 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here's my idea:

* A safe hidden in a wall somewhere that is not likely to be renovated. Inside said safe is pictures and videos of you and your family living and enjoying the house and yard as well as periodicals of the time.

* A note hidden in a place that homeowners are sure to find but inspectors and potential buyers are not. Perhaps taped to the top of a ceiling fan blade or behind the toilet.

* Said note leads to other notes -- basically a treasure hunt to other locations. These secondary, tertiary, and further steps (go as long as you'd like) get more tricky and difficult. Perhaps they have to do with contemporary issues so they require the new owners to research the current events of the time you lived in the house.

* Each note is numbered (#1, #2, #3) and each clue "Post Step #1" contains _an additional_ clue (along with the one that leads to the _next_ clue) that will lead the owners to Step #1. This ensures if any of the mid-search clues are found first, the owners can back track to Step #1. This "Post Step #1" clue should also be placed with the safe itself so if they stumble on it before finding any clues, they can start the search from Step #1. Perhaps this "Post Step #1" clue is very opaque: "Look on the top of the blades of the ceiling fan in room X" or "Look behind the toilet tank in bathroom Y" to entice the owners to 'backtrack' to Step #1 instead of just continuing on with the _next_ step as that _next_ step would be much more difficult to figure out.

* Finally, the last step either (a) leads to a traditional treasure map that will lead the owners to the safe or (b) leads directly to the safe. The treasure chest has one last puzzle on it which will reveal the combination to said chest.

* Put a note on the chest which will lead the owner to Step #1 note. This way, if they happen to find the safe first, they'll be able to start the search as designed.

Make sure your clues, safe, and map are durable materials or durable in some way and will withstand environmental changes for many many years. Make sure the safe is not reliant on batteries that may die after 20 years.
posted by TimBridge at 7:33 PM on August 16, 2016

A conversation between two people (two personalities?) one urging the other to do something, the other trying to avoid it.

I am going to improve on my "creepy" suggestion by pointing you to this GIF I just found. Seriously... what if your how was haunted by an old married couple? Or like the Odd Couple? And they just bickered about meaningless things all the time because that is how they expressed their love for each other.

It would be great.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:37 PM on August 16, 2016

If you do a time capsule thing, which I think is a great idea, another amusing thing you could throw in there is if you had a really old flip phone or any other outdated technological devices that you'll never use again but have yet to throw out, like a floppy disc or an old VHS tape (although just in case, I'd probably go with something blank or an old movie or something; nothing personal).

Another fun idea, especially if you have kids, is to let them go crazy painting things on the floor before you put on the hardwood. Or you guys could do it yourselves. Or for something a bit more subtle, you could do hand prints and your initials.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:51 PM on August 16, 2016

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