The Hoarder House on Sycamore Lane

📅 Published on April 9, 2021

“The Hoarder House on Sycamore Lane”

Written by Kyle Harrison
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 7.00/10. From 2 votes.
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I could smell the stench of death before I even stepped out of my truck.

In its glory days, this place was the jewel of the neighborhood, the American dream personified.  A sprawling two-story, three-bedroom house only a few miles from the beach.

Looking at it now, you would hardly have guessed that anyone lived there at all.

It was an eyesore even from the driveway, clusters of discarded papers and trash of all variety as far as you can see.

None of the items seemed to have any rhyme or reason, but that was to be expected given who the owner was.

Working for the city for the past ten years the name Miguel Tindalos has come up at least a few times a year.  He was a foreigner, had inherited a large sum of money from family and bought out most of the property in the surrounding neighborhood.  At first, most thought it was a sign of new blood in the area, but it quickly became apparent Miguel was going to be more of a problem than a solution.

He was a hoarder, plain and simple.  Everything he bought he kept, and while he spent a lot of money, most of the items he owned were now sitting in his front yard collecting dust.  And I knew the inside was no better.

Most of the surrounding community constantly complained about the animals, the smell, and the sheer amounts of trash.  But Miguel had deep pockets and could pay any fine that was thrown his way.  Some threatened to get the city to condemn his house, but that fell through, too.  As a result, the hoarder’s house had become a fixture on the end of the lane for as long as I could remember.

As I stepped out to approach the house, I tried to recall the last time I had actually seen Mister Tindalos in person.  It had been a while.

Everyone knew he was a hermit.  The clutter kept him hidden from the world.  I always wondered what it was he felt he was hiding from, and I guess now that I was here to assess the mess and find his body, it was time I found out.

How long had he been dead in this filth before anyone thought to check on him?  I knew he had no family, no friends save maybe a few debt collectors.  His mailbox was stuffed full, possibly with months of suspension notices and other bills.  He could have been rotting away for a year and no one would be the wiser.

It made me dread what was to come.

As much as I wanted to delay the inevitable, I knew that getting this over with would be for the best, so I got my hazmat suit on and headed for the door.

The air felt stiff despite the season.  Not a soul was nearby.  Most of the other people had moved away, to get as far from Miguel as possible.  He had driven down the property values, and if it hadn’t been for the recent storm I doubted anyone would have realized that the house was still here at all.  The water had washed so much of his trash down the road it was imperative that the City clean it, just for the safety and well-being of others in the area.  But now, standing here, about to pry the door open to a living cesspool, I realized that I was likely going to walk into something far worse than I had imagined.

As soon as the latch unlocked, more trash of every sort fell out.  There were wrappers, bottles, discarded food and all sorts of miscellaneous stuff.  It was difficult to even be sure what was worth salvaging, if anything.  And I had hardly even stepped inside.

I had to crawl over the first layer of trash to get into the front room, where more garage and clutter of every sort packed out the entire space.  There were boxes dated as though meant for a move, perhaps from when Miguel first moved in that had never been opened, crammed into corners.  There were also bags of trash, tossed aside to any available space that wasn’t already piled high.  Besides the usual trash, I saw milk jugs that had either fermented or been filled with urine, a clear indication that water hadn’t been used in the house for some time.  And that didn’t even account for the rat feces and other droppings I could easily spot everywhere.  It was horrifying to behold the sheer carnage and chaos of how this man had lived.

I had to push aside cobwebs and trash to crawl toward the kitchen, the roof above me clearly sagging from the weight of more junk in the rooms above.  Every crevice of this place was a pigsty, every alcove taken over by more items.  Some were antiques that clearly could have been sold or canned food that could have gone to charity, but the sheer amount of droppings and mold made it obvious that there wouldn’t be much here to save.

I made it to the kitchen and inspected the food.  Even in the suit, I could tell that the majority of it had gone bad.  Rotting or molding fruit was stuffed into every part of the fridge, and dirty dishes piled high on the counters.

Then I heard a rustling noise from somewhere above me and felt my heart skip a beat.  Could it be that somehow Mister Tindalos had managed to remain alive?  It seemed like an impossibility, but I had to be sure.  I closed the fridge back and made for the stairs.

There was even more debris here, along with larger feces droppings that looked like they either came from a large animal or Miguel himself.  It made me want to vomit as I slowly climbed the stairs and called out his name.  I didn’t want to hold out hope that he was still alive, but if so, I had to at least try to help him out of this nightmare.

As I stood at the top of the stairs my eyes drifted toward the bathroom.  I wasn’t sure I was ready to face how nasty that was, but I knew I needed to check it since it was the closest.

Pushing the door open I was fixated on the pile of human feces that was dredged on the toilet, along with the massive amounts of what looked like shredded skin on the floor.  It was nauseating and disturbing to think that any human would subject themselves to this.

At the back of the door, on a hook, I saw what looked like some kind of costume, wrinkled and completely yellowed by mold and time itself.  In a previous age, it might have even looked like a bodysuit of some kind, I thought as I pulled back the shower curtain to see more caked mold and feces covering every part of the tub. There was also blood and what looked like a woman’s head fused to the shower where the water would pour out of her eye sockets.

I quickly backed out and slammed the door, my own head dizzy as I tried to come to terms with what I had just seen.  This was beyond revolting.  I had seen a lot of terrible things in my day, but nothing like this.

I wanted to leave immediately, call the cops, maybe even throw up.  Miguel Tindalos was some kind of serial killer.  It all made sense to me as I stumbled down the hall, trying not to trip over the other debris.  All the reports of people going missing in the area.  They had become part of his horde.  I was now looking at the shredded and flaky skin on the floor, and wondering how many victims were actually buried under this filth.

Somehow, instead of finding a way out, I was in a different room, and I was immediately confused.  Had this room been here before?  The hallways and clutter made the house feel confusing and labyrinthine.  As the door pushed open, I saw to my utter bewilderment that inside it was pristine.  As though a line had been drawn in the sand to distinguish that this area was different than the rest of the house.

As my vision recovered, I realized there were candles neatly arranged around a draped piece of furniture at the end of the room.  The setup reminded me of how an altar might appear at a shrine, unsettling me even more.

I felt compelled to pull back the cloth and see what was underneath.  It was a large vanity mirror, the kind of which might normally hang in a master bedroom.  Yet instead of being made of normal clear glass, the material of the mirror was the darkest shade I had ever seen.  I tried to think of the name for it, and I think the closest description is Vantablack.

It was uncanny to behold.  As long as you might stare into it, nothing would ever reflect back.

I reached out instinctively to touch the mirror, mesmerized by its presence.  Then I felt a chill in the air.  Had the candles been lit when I entered the room?

The mirror seemed to move of its own accord.  And then I realized it was the glass sliding out of the frame the way that sludge might from a broken pipe.  It was a living slime that was moving toward me.  And from that sludge, I saw what looked like fingers protruding.

I fell backward, out of the room and toward the hallway, pushing clutter aside.  I think I literally shouted out, “Fuck this shit!” as I began to run.

But the hoard was all around me.  I knew that a creature with no bones would find it far easier to traverse the area than me.  I could hardly catch my breath.  And then, in my shattered brain, I thought of the window in the bathroom.  I could climb out.

I pushed open the door, climbing atop the feces-covered toilet as my heart pounded faster.  The slime was right behind me.

It swirled and moved toward the tub, as though attracted by the body parts.

I couldn’t help but be paralyzed in fear as I pushed the window latch to the roof open and watched the slime consume the costume on the wall.  As it took the form of the bodysuit, I realized that the entire thing was, in fact, made of peeled and wrinkled human skin, worn out from age and extensive wear and tear.  It was mortifying to watch, but I couldn’t look away as it picked up the severed head, pulsing and oozing in and out of the empty sockets and holes as it seemed to take it as a mask on its misshapen body.

Then I heard this ghastly scream.  It sounded like it was trying to imitate the woman that it had taken as a body as I pushed onto the roof.  I’m not quite sure.

I couldn’t stop from running as I fell out onto the hard tiling and looked toward the backyard.  There looked to be literally hundreds of bags of trash filled with leftover food, discarded items and possibly even more disgusting stuff, but I didn’t care.  My life depended on the fact that I needed to keep moving.

I leaped into the trash below and swam through the putrid clutter, pushing my way to safety to avoid the ungodly creature that followed.

I made it to my truck and drove away as fast as I could, not even bothering to stop and unzip my hazmat suit.

I stopped and took a few breaths to clear my head.

The house needed to be demolished immediately, destroyed before any other poor souls became a part of that clusterfuck.

I had a few spare packs of cigarettes in the truck and a gallon of gas.

Turning around, I forced myself to return, hands gripping the wheel of my vehicle as I came up to the house.

I got out and started to douse the trash with the gasoline, determined to end this nightmare before anyone else had to come across it.

I could hear the creature scream as I lit a cigarette and tossed it into the pile, shielding my eyes as the inferno began to rise.

I felt the heat swarm around my body as I stepped away, my feet feeling heavy as I felt the flames lick my skin.  Something sparked from the trash heap, colliding with my eye and I screamed, desperate to see again.  I ran from the house and called 911 as the fire kept consuming the hoard.

Later that day, I had to have emergency surgery, my eye removed due to retinal scarring.

I returned to the hoarder house the day I was discharged, to be sure the inferno had done its job.

But it felt like the trash heap had doubled in size and spread even farther.

As I looked at the desolate structure I wondered to myself if part of me was now left behind in this place, to become part of the hoard.

I have recommended to the City that we simply leave the property alone.

I hope they listen.

Rating: 7.00/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Kyle Harrison
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Kyle Harrison

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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