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VOL. 36 | NO. 43 | Friday, October 26, 2012

Medium excels in art of de-haunting houses

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Quite often there are ghoulies or ghosties or things that go bump in the night, or in the day, lurking about houses around our fair city.

Once upon a time in the quiet, sleepy village of Green Hills, Steve Fridrich, of Fridrich and Clark Realty fame, bought a home in order to demolish it and build a new manse in its stead.

One day as he approached the property, a neighbor asked if he intended to have the house exorcised. Fridrich, who is wholly unghostly by nature, did not understand the question. He was deep in thought and misunderstood the question thinking she had asked if he was having the property surveyed.

“You know the house is haunted,” she warned.

Fortunately, Fridrich had recently read an article on ghosts written by Sarabeth Hearon, who knew exactly how to handle the situation. She referred Fridrich to the subject of her story, Pat Morton, an experienced psychic who has cracked a number of murder cases across the county.

Fridrich called Ms. Morton and informed her of the neighbor’s concern. Morton agreed to locate the spirits and hopefully persuade them to leave the premises.

In the meantime, the late Steve Jones, a reputable builder, had contracted with Fridrich to level the haunted house and build the new deghouled structure. Jones had built hundreds of homes in Green Hills but had never dealt with spirit mitigation. At least up until that fateful day.

Fridrich had asked Jones to scour the house in search of any fixtures, appliances or materials that he might be able to utilize. So Jones drove to the house with his golden retriever, Spot. Spot is not the actual name of the dog (oddly enough, Spot is only one in this story who requested anonymity). There, he and Spot met Allan Harrison, Jones’ superintendent.

As they opened the front door, Spot began to bark uncontrollably and refused to enter. Spot was not a barker. Jones forced her into the house, where she continued to bark.

Harrison and Jones left Spot (not his real name) upstairs and went into the basement to remove a chandelier fashioned from a wooden wagon wheel. Neither accepts blame for wanting the fixture.

The electrical service had been disconnected from the house weeks before. When Harrison grabbed the chandelier, the bulbs illuminated. Jones scolded Harrison for his irresponsibility in ensuring that the home was devoid of power and instinctively went to check the breaker box only to find it had, in fact, been removed.

Again, the two approached the fixture. Again it glowed. Spot buried his head in his paws. Jones and Harrison decided they could live without the fixture and departed.

The next day, Fridrich arrived at the house to find Jones, Spot and Harrison sitting on his pickup truck. Jones sat atop his truck hood smiling wisely, as he was prone to do.

“Your ghostbuster is in there,” he mused.

“What to you think of her?” Fridrich inquired.

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long leggeddy beasties
And things that go bump in night,
Good Lord, deliver us

-- Traditional Scottish prayer.

“Not much. She said Spot was pregnant and he’s a male. And she said the house I was building for us to live in was going to flood. Heck, it’s on top of a ridge.”

Fridrich entered the home unimpressed.

Upon entering the house, he wandered into the foyer and noticed there were candles burning everywhere.

“I demand you to leave!” Morton shrieked.

Fridrich continued into the kitchen and saw Pat Morton seemingly demanding the air to leave. But it was not the air. It was a ghost. In all, Morton discovered five spirits living (deading?) in the home, four men and a woman.

Four of the spirits followed Morton’s orders and left. The fifth refused.

“He had promised to oversee the land and intended to do just that,” Morton explained.

Fridrich discovered the last owner was a woman who had died in the home. She was preceded in death by three husbands and a caretaker, all of whom had died on the property.

If you know so much, read my palm and tell me about me, Fridrich said.

“You’re involved in politics and will soon be on national, even international, news announcing your campaign plans. I see romance in Hungary and Mexico.”

Morton then warned Fridrich there was an underground spring beneath them. Fridrich related the message to Jones, who scoffed at the suggestion. Later, when the topsoil was scraped from the site, a spring sprang forth in full force.

The prior month, Fridrich and his girlfriend who lived in Hungary had vacationed in Mexico. And, in the month following, Fridrich’s college roommate called to inform him that his father had decided to run for office and enlisted Fridrich’s help in kicking off the campaign. Fridrich’s college roommate was Ross Perot Jr., by the way, and Steve Fridrich graced every news outlet of the day at the senior Perot’s side.

Jones received a phone call from his wife informing him that a deer had been shot near the construction site of their home. She had called a vet and asked Steve to ride out and assist. Upon his arrival, Jones was met by the vet and told that the deer would make it.

As the doctor left, he added, “Congratulations, your pet is pregnant. Morton had not said Spot was pregnant, she had said, “Your pet is pregnant.”

With all of this newfound information swirling in the air, Jones resurveyed his home and found it to be in the flood plane.

The neighbor next door to the house is prominent Nashville attorney, Atticus Finch (not really but Spot got to him). After the recent appraisal of properties by Metro, a neighbor called Finch and asked for his assistance in reducing his property taxes.

Atticus responded that the values had risen significantly on Hampton Avenue (Oops!) and that the taxes he was being charged were accurate.

The neighbor told Finch the caretaker’s ghost had moved in with him following Morton’s chastisement. Therefore, his property should be devalued due to the spirit’s presence.

Atticus advised him to call someone else. The neighbor was perplexed.

“Who ya gonna call?”

Pat Morton.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com. Pat Morton can be reached by thinking of her and she can contact anyone, living or dead.

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