During our day trip to Benicia, California, last month, our family was inside a book shop that didn’t allow pets, so we cruised around its historic downtown neighborhood. We came across this dilapidated house, overgrown with bushes and flowers.
As we took a picture, two teenage boys walked by, and one of them said to us, “Isn’t that house SO creepy?” Wearing all black, a Slipknot t-shirt and dangling chains from his pants, he didn’t look like the kind of kid who got rattled easily.
Mom said, “A little. It looks like it could use some love.”
He said, with a bit of trepidation in his voice, “We wouldn’t go near it. See that window right there? Sometimes, you’ll walk by and there’s a teddy bear there. Then all of the sudden, it will be gone. Then reappear again.”
Although it appeared too broken down and dangerous for anyone even go inside it, we asked if an owner could have done that.
The kid paused, and then said, “Nobody lives there.” Then both boys picked up their pace and skedaddled away, so we followed their lead.
We came home and researched it, to discover it was built around 1870. At the time it was written up in 2004, it was still in decent shape and was considered a contributing property to the Downtown Benicia Historic District.
Reads the record, “It is very unusual in its siting with the second story abutting the street and the first story at the base of the incline that begins at the edge of the sidewalk. The faux siding impairs the appearance of the house, but covers the original siding which appears to remain intact.”
Clearly, it’s seen better days.