The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Prophet of God or The Adventures of a Rural Slumlord

Not much was done at the Devil Queen last weekend. Scarlet and I began sifting through the mountain of crap from the storage room and cleaning house. A good bit of Sunday was devoted to this, and, while I think we made good progress, we barely put a dent in our mountain of detritus.

We went out to eat Sunday night. When we made it back home we had a message on our answering machine from our renter.

"Hey guys, this J----. Our oven just exploded. Call us."

Great. So, Ms. Scarlet called a local repairman and arranged for him to go over Monday morning to fix the oven. Then she called J----- back. After they'd talked about the oven she mentioned that we were planning to sell the house and that we'd already listed it.

"Really? You're selling it? I want to buy it. How much do you want for it?"

Now, we were surprised. He'd told us that he was planning to move this summer to be closer to the college he's attending. We figured that the commute was an issue for him, so he probably would not be interested in it. We were wrong.

Scarlet told him that we'd talk about it and give him a call the next day.

Monday, I'm on my way home from work when Scarlet calls me. "J----- just called. He's very excited about the house and wants to talk to you about it. And the repairman didn't show either."

Great. I told her that I'd just swing by his house when I got to Atkins to look at the stove and talk about selling the house.

I arrive at Mr. Blue, grab my black Moleskin notebook, and walk up to the front door. The screen door opens as I approach and J----- says, "Come on in - Oh, you're not who I was expecting." He gives me an odd look. "Jehovah Witnesses are not welcome in my home."

J----- is a bit odd by Arkansas standards, heavily pierced, tattooed, and Californian. I look at him. I decide that maybe he is joking. "I can understand that."

He stares at me. "You still haven't answered my question, are you a Jehovah Witness? Because, if you are, you need to leave."

Okay, not joking. "J-----, I'm here because Scarlet said that the repairman didn't come today. May I look at the oven?"

His eyes go wide, his jaw drops a little and then snaps shut. "John?! Shit, I didn't recognize you in the suit - and the black book - I'm so sorry."

In the kitchen, his girl friend is feeding a infant in a high chair. The corner of her mouth curls up in smirk of a grin. I smile and say, "It's okay. Most people don't recognize me in a suit. Usually they think I'm a lawyer. Don't worry though, this is far from the strangest thing that has ever happened to me."

Anyhow, I look and at the stove (probably just a burned out element) and we talk about the house. If everything goes as planned, we'll probably be selling it to him. Until then, it is all about the details. Wish us luck.



Anonymous Julia said...

Oooh how sweet would that be if your renter bought Mr. Blue? Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

1:26 PM  
Blogger EGE said...

A burned-out element and he says "the stove exploded"? Let me tell him about exploding stoves...

4:22 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

*rofl* John, thanks for making my day!!

Maybe I should adopt J's strategy, just the opposite way. I'll call in the next Jehovah Witnesses standing in front of our door and show them the leaking shower, the missing guttering or whatever I want to have fixed...

:) :)

10:52 PM  
Blogger said...

a friend of my fiance's was getting visits EVERY weekend from the JW's. So, he started answering the door COMPLETELY naked. They stopped coming around...

8:36 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

The way I learned to get JWs to leave you alone was to stand and look at the pamphlet they hand you and exclaim things like "Shit!" and "Phuck me, I never knew that!" Oh and "Jeeeesus Chriiiist! Is this for real?"

Need I go on?

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Brenda from Flatbush said...

My JW response (we get a lot of them here in Brooklyn, their HQ)does not involve nudity, but is always effective at delivering Shock and Awe: I get a demented perky look and tell them that, as a Roman Catholic, I would love to tell them all about the magisterial teachings of the Pope, although it will take several hours and they'll have to listen VERY carefully. That usually does it. (Plus now we just hide when we see them at the door.)

9:41 PM  
Blogger Old House Gazette said...

Best method I've heard of for getting rid of JWs:

Draw a chalk outline of a body near your front door and scatter some bloody Watchtowers next to it.

Failing that, I just tell them that I'm pagan (true) and am about to sacrifice a cat if they'd like to join in (not true).

3:42 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I think we need some pictures of you in a suit :) Good luck on the house sale.

6:33 PM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks for all the JW begone tips. It's funny how everyone has a story; it's like they're termites or mice.

If I ever get my camera back, I'll post a suit picture Erin.

4:57 PM  

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