by | Marketing

Listing Horror Stories From Wow Vidtographers

Our Vidtographers have toured countless homes, capturing their fun features and some of their not-so-fun features, too. In honor of spooky season, we sat down with some of our employees to hear about their most memorable shoots. (The vidtographers and listing agents have been kept anonymous for privacy.)

Worst Twelve Minutes of My Life

One unseasonably warm winter day, avidtographer pulled up to an appointment at an ancient row house. The property was marked ‘vacant’, and according to  the boarded-up windows, it was. 

“I started by circling the brick building with my camera and started clicking away. I heard commotion down the street andquickly made my way inside the house, locking the door behind me (which I don’t normally do). I was met by darkness and decay. 

Water dripped from somewhere above andpiles of debris and garbage littered the floor. I turned on my phone’s flashlight and ventured deeper. The walls in the front room and stairwell had been stripped down to bare lath board. 

I muttered to myself on finding there was no power and started photographing the place the best as I could. The dripping sound became more pronounced and an unpleasant smell made itself known as I proceeded up the once-grand wooden stairs. This level too had been stripped down to bare lath; holes in the walls gaped where demo work had ceased. I creaked around each room and started to fear the structural integrity as I took pictures. 

Then, I found another set of stairs. ‘Ah, jeez.’ 

The stairs  groaned as I crept up, and the smell became more apparent with each step. For fear of crashing through the water-weakened floor, I worked as fast as I could so I could flee the place. After a series of small rooms, I found a sleeping bag, a pile of clothes, and a pile of other small belongings.

This was someone – or something’s – nest. 

‘NOPE!’ I  snapped a final picture, and with less care than was wise, I flew down the stairs and out of the house. I locked the door, snapped the lockbox shut, and retreated to my vehicle, breathing hard. Safe in my car, my heart still thumping, I checked the clock. It felt like I had been in there for an eternity. Turns out, I had only been in that house of horrors for twelve minutes!”

Lakehouse Horror

Who knew that this Vidtographer would receive a phone call and end up in a weird place? 

“I was working in my area when I received a call from an unknown number. I decided to answer, as it may have been a new client looking for a listing shoot. Upon answering, I spoke with the listing agent about the home and the location. It was a quick and short conversation, but as we neared the end of the conversation the listing agent ended the call by saying “Just a heads up the previous owner did pass away in the house and was not found for a few months…there were cats, but they did cut out the floor and removed most of the smell – so when will you be here…”. It took me a minute to process what exactly he said, and by the time I did, I had already responded that I could be there in an hour. 

I was quite hesitant to enter the house upon arrival. Once inside, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. He was correct that they did indeed remove the smell, but the thought stayed with me during the entire appointment.”

Creepy Crawlers

You may accept that your beloved pet shares your house and overlook the small detail that they indeed bring more friends home unknowingly. These tiny friends can cause quite a scare to unexpecting visitors.

“I was at an appointment, where the previous homeowner had multiple pets living inside the home. The house had been vacant for a few months, which led me to believe it would be a quick and painless appointment. Everything went well, I completed the photos and video almost effortlessly and I headed out the door. But as I stepped outside, I noticed something tickling my leg. I looked down slowly, and confirmed my absolute worst fear…a school of fleas playing hopscotch from my ankle to my knee! 

I immediately started hopping around, violently slapping my legs, and running around the front yard to try and escape these invaders. After about 20 minutes of vigorously attempting to rid myself of these pests, I quickly took off my shoes and socks and grabbed the garden hose to rinse off my tattered legs. I jumped in my car, drove home, and ran straight for the shower to cleanse myself of their creepy crawly feeling.”

One Word…Clowns

Just your everyday all-American ranch-style home…or at least from the outside looking in. Now, this isn’t something that you see every day, and by no means does it match up to hearing floorboards creek in an empty building, but it is its own kind of terrifying vibe for this Vidtographer, and it now lives rent-free in his head.  

“I was at an appointment for a ranch-style one-story home, close to a neighborhood I grew up in. I didn’t know the elderly couple who lived there too well, but I had seen them in passing. Once inside the home, I was very impressed to see it all clean and tidy. Everything seemed to have a place. I finished photographing the exterior as well as the main living interior, and only had two more small rooms to finish. These two rooms were located at the end of a long hallway, the doors directly across from each other. I first opened the room on the right, just an empty space with a few boxes. I then moved to the final room, and as I opened the door an uneasy feeling set in. To my surprise, I was greeted by what seemed to be over 1,000 clown dolls, clown memorabilia, and even clown accessories. The room had extravagant circus wallpaper, and bright red carpet. The room itself wasn’t scary, but for someone who has clown phobia, it was my worst nightmare. I instantly closed the door and thought about heading home. After standing outside the closed door for what seemed like an hour I took a deep breath and decided it had to be done. I opened the door slowly, walked in, and began taking pictures. 

I promise you some of those dolls moved between opening the door the first to the second time, but that could just be my traumatizing fear talking. I finished the appointment, walked straight to my car, and had another employee edit the photos. I could not relive that situation twice on the same day.”

Unexpected Tenants

Our Vidtographers spend a great deal of time alone in homes, but this is not always the case. On special occasions, we find that even though there are no living tenants there may be a few other(s) hanging around. 

“While inside a very memorable vacant property, I felt this sense that someone was watching me or following me around. I did a quick scan of the house to check if there were any cameras, but I came up short. According to the listing manager, the property had been vacant for a few months, and he assured me no one would be there…little did he know. As I walked around taking photos, I also noticed a few spots inside the home that felt a bit colder than other parts of the house. Looking around for air conditioning vents or something that would cause a draft was not the case either, as I could not find a potential cause for each occurrence. I took my photos and decided I should probably be moving on out the door soon. I went home and started the editing process of the images and found a surprise that gave me chills all over again. While looking through the photos, I noticed something that appeared to have little specs of light where no light would be entering the house. Also, with the shutter speed, I knew it could not have been from odd exposure or even floating dust particles. After sharing with a co-worker, we both concluded I may have caught an orb on camera. It was quite an odd experience and something I will never forget.”

Photogenic Pets

When you are scheduled for a listing shoot, it is just good practice to find a pet sitter for the day. We had one Vidtographer share their experience of a very involved and photogenic pet. 

 “When I first arrived, I had a quick moment to look around the house. It seemed as if there was no one home, which was perfect to get all the pictures taken quickly and be on my way. I started in the living room to ensure the lighting was perfect for the time, then decided to move on into the kitchen and bedrooms. As I opened the first bedroom door, out ran this cute little cat. I tried for a few minutes to try wrangling him back up inside the room but had no success. I figured I could just avoid him for a while and get my pictures taken. Little did I know this photogenic little fella decided to photo bomb almost every single photo! He was so sneaky that I didn’t even realize he was in the majority of my photos. After getting home I could see just a paw reaching out from the hallway, or a tail poking out from under the chair. It gave me a laugh, but I ended up calling the homeowner to schedule a reshoot and their comment back had me in tears they stated, “That’s Max, and yes he is a pro photobomber – you should see our family pictures! He somehow managed to make it into every single one”. In the end, they were happy with the pictures taken and said, “This is Max’s home, it is fitting that he be in the pictures”.

Trail of Webs

We all know there is nothing worse than walking through a hidden spiderweb. Needless to say, it is some of our worst fears to walk through a dark space, turn on the lights and see the jungle of webs your body has broken through. 

“I love when I get the chance to take photos of older homes! They have such beautiful architecture and unique home features. The one thing that gives me chills though, is when they tell me that there is an unfinished basement they would like added to the appointment. It takes every amount of courage in my body to muster up the mental strength to walk down into the unknown. Now don’t get me wrong, some of the homes have well-lit paths that allow me to navigate my way around rather painlessly. This particular home did not have a single light to assist in my journey to the abyss. As I walked down what seemed to be an endless flight of stairs to the basement, I finally made my way to the main section. I found the pull light in the center of the room, turned it on and this is where I found myself unable to move. Frozen, one hand in the air the other trembling by my side. The light revealed my worst fear,… a quarter-sized spider had made his mansion of a spider web right along the light bulb. This spider looked as if it had been living down there for 100 years eating all the bugs and unexpecting victims it encountered. I quickly realized I may be next, and my flight or fight response kicked in. I pulled my arm back and started dusting my body off as fast as humanly possible, checking to ensure no hairy spider friends were hitching a ride with me. 

There were plenty of webs illuminated in the light, making my skin crawl. I took the photos at lightning speed, and with every ounce of courage left. Turned the light off and headed for the dark staircase to return upstairs. As I closed the door behind me I felt a little tickle on my hand.  I told myself it was my spider friends bidding me adieu. I rushed up the stairs, straight out the door, and violently shook every article of clothing off. It took me a few days to overcome every little tickle, and ensure myself that I was alone and no little friends came with me.”

Future Haunted House

October, aka spooky season, is the perfect time to venture through haunted houses for the thrill and spirit of Halloween! But would you say this Vidtographer witnessed the beginnings of a haunted house? 

“Back in the heat of summer, I had my last appointment of the day. This house really made my skin crawl. A vacant old house that sat at the very bottom of a steep hill underneath the shady canopy of trees was overgrown by shrubbery. When I walked up to enter the home, I had to sweep away the cobwebs with a large stick and knock down several spiders, just so I could get in the front door. The door slowly opened with a loud eerie creek, and at that moment, I was hit with the pungent odor of a stale, vacant dusty house, with lingering smells of what used to be. As I started to make my way through this house, I felt more and more uncomfortable. Flipping on each light in all the main rooms, this house was in horrible condition, to say the least. The floors were sloping and felt unsteady, the dining room didn’t have flooring at all, pieces of the walls were missing, layers of paint and wallpaper were peeling, and the ceiling was sagging…

As I was walking through the kitchen and dining area, I noticed some faint red fingerprints on the door frame leading out to the garage, as well as some red droplets on the floor. I kept moving through the house, one room at a time. I got to the primary bedroom, flipped the light on and there were faint red stains on the walls as well as a 5-foot long, 2-foot wide, huge dark red stain on the carpet, that looked like someone had tried to scrub out but just smeared everywhere. This didn’t look or feel right to me at all. My hair was standing up, my hands tingling, and everything inside of me telling me I needed to get out of there. But I continued on to the other bedrooms, just to find more red spots on the walls and carpets. I kept telling myself, “maybe it’s just paint, maybe it’s rust.” Surely they wouldn’t send me to a murder house to take photos. I always do the best of my abilities, but I can most definitely say that was probably the worst set of photos I have ever taken and delivered without a doubt. I’ll always remember this as the “Murder House”, but I’ll never actually know what really happened in there.”