Any way to explain this creepy house?
March 10, 2019 2:32 PM   Subscribe

Inspired by this mefi thread, I'm finally turning to askme to figure out why this house in my hometown is painted in such a strange and frightening way. Occultists, conspiracy theorists, history buffs, please let me know!

This is the house in question [link removed]. As you can see, it's a typical brick ranch/cape cod, except every surface has been painted a glossy bright white, including the rocks that cover the front (and back [link removed]) lawns. On every surface between every window is a giant red cross. The doors, gates, fence, and tree are all covered in wreath-like objects. In random places throughout the yard and driveway are white lawn chairs, some of which are cast iron and very tiny.

I understand this could easily be chalked up to 'cats people are weird', but if theres any basis in occult or religious theory for the colors, or the lack of grass or anything, I'd like to know! I did my own searching and found that red crosses on a door were a sign of an infected house during the plague. This is the kind of thing i'm looking for.
posted by FirstMateKate to Society & Culture (17 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Sorry, not a great idea to publish a personal address in a public question. [google maps links removed] -- taz

St George’s Cross? Seems unlikely but thought I’d throw it out there.
posted by Concordia at 2:40 PM on March 10, 2019

You can always knock on the door and ask. Or are you looking for creative speculation?
posted by 2N2222 at 2:41 PM on March 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ooh! There was a house in the neighborhood where I grew up that looked almost the same, everything shiny white. Their awnings were a lighter pink, and there were not so many crosses. They had super decorative wooden ones with pastel fake flowers all over them, not paint like here. They also had shrines to the virgin Mary and maybe some archangels? I asked my mom and she said they were some type of catholic sect, but I forget the exact one.
posted by ananci at 2:47 PM on March 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

That house wouldn't be out of place in any heavily Catholic and rural area I've lived so I'm also voting for Catholic, but like serious about it.

The red and white might be devotion to the sacred heart or it might just be the standard Catholic taste in bright and contrasting house paint.
posted by fshgrl at 2:51 PM on March 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Note that the person standing in front of the house is wearing a bright red coat and white hat and shoes. I think this goes in the 'people are weird' basket.
posted by zamboni at 2:53 PM on March 10, 2019

Some people go way overboard with paint trying to be tidy, I guess. Painted rocks are popular in some rural and/or low income areas. And I would guess the crosses are Christian zealotry.
posted by theora55 at 2:54 PM on March 10, 2019

Looks like a roadside memorial in front of one of the chairs -- maybe a car came up Avon Road, failed to make a sharp-enough right turn, and crashed? Now the bright-white gloss makes the house super-visible in bad weather and at night.

Crosses for the death or deaths in the accident, and cast-iron chairs in lieu of fencing to impede any other cars. (Those wreaths look like life preservers.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:06 PM on March 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, really big England football fans would be my guess - we did almost win the World Cup.
posted by Middlemarch at 3:17 PM on March 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Has your neighbourhood had a problem with vampires? This looks like the kind of thing that i would do if I were concerned about the undead attempting to break into my property.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 3:28 PM on March 10, 2019 [9 favorites]

I would say they are members of the Cult of Lowering Your Neighbors' Property Values.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 3:32 PM on March 10, 2019 [9 favorites]

>That house wouldn't be out of place in any heavily Catholic and rural area

Not in my experience.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 3:34 PM on March 10, 2019 [11 favorites]

A relative of the owner of the house is an AME pastor. The son, I think.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:35 PM on March 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

It could be a part-time church. They could be very observant Christians. I don’t think the paint job has anything to do with Buffy, English football or is all that creepy.
Googling around, I found that the owner died in 1996, was an engineer at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and member of the St. John’s African Methodist Church and that his wife still lives in the house.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:37 PM on March 10, 2019 [13 favorites]

standard Catholic taste in bright and contrasting house paint.

Now that thread on the blue about the offensive yellow house that lead to fisticuffs makes even more sense. WASPs demand beige!

The red cross house here just looks like a setting for a horror film tbh
posted by The Toad at 3:50 PM on March 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thank you all for participating! I was hoping for some knights-templar-adjacent obscure medieval practice, but I will settle for "(probably) regular-esque folks with weird personal taste"
posted by FirstMateKate at 3:55 PM on March 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Here, have some cultural history about African-American swept gardens and yards.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:05 PM on March 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

It looks a lot like a house in the town where I grew up, owned by this guy who started his own church/commune.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:14 PM on March 10, 2019

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