When it comes to professions that can be downright creepy, it’s hard to beat replacement contracting. After all, contractors must come into stranger’s homes and root around in places that haven’t seen the light of day for years. Sometimes, they literally find the skeletons in the closet. But the unsettling things they find can pale in comparison to the eeriness of the people they have to deal with. Let’s face it, customers can be weird, ranging anywhere from the spooky to the macabre.
So if you’ve ever been wigged out at a job by things that go bump in the night, you’re not alone. To prove it, take a look at some of these spooky stories contractors shared in honor of Halloween.
- Creepy Cat Lady. Eric Caspersen got a scary start to his career when he went to give an estimate to a customer with more than 30 cats in her two-bedroom home. In addition to the screaming cats swarming around him, Caspersen saw spider webs covering practically every surface of the house. “I’m pretty sure she was a witch,” said Caspersen, president of the A. Caspersen Company Inc. His suspicions only grew stronger when he stepped into the basement and was hit with a foul odor. “Sure enough, I look up and there, trapped in the ceiling joist, is a dead rotting cat! I guess when you have 30 cats, you just can’t keep track of them all. … At least I got the job!” Caspersen said.
- Beware the Bathtub: Sometimes, contractors need to use customer’s bathrooms on the job. A Lifetime Aluminum professional might still think twice about it today after what happened to him. While going about his business, the contractor heard a long hiss coming from the bathtub. When he looked at where the sound was coming from he saw a giant 5-foot-long monitor lizard staring right back at him. “He promptly stopped what he was doing, hugged the opposite side of the bathroom and rejoined the crew, white as a ghost,” said Michael Sullivan of Lifetime Aluminum.
- The Doll From Hell: Ever hear of the horror movie “Chuckie” about an evil marauding puppet? Robert Criner’s crews found their own version in the walls of a home that looked like Chuckie’s twin sister from hell, complete with a sewn up mouth and dead eyes. “It really freaked a few of our employees out,” said Criner, president of Criner Remodeling.
- The Customer is Always Right: Brad Beldon got a taste for how violent customers can get when his father sent him and a co-worker to collect a check from a surly past due customer who didn’t take kindly to their request. “She said, ‘I'm not paying.’ Then she pulled out a gun and pointed it at me and asked if I had any questions. We left and never collected the money,” recalled Beldon, CEO of Beldon Roofing Company.
- Sleeping Vampire: A regular second story window job turned into a vampire encounter when an Abby Windows Inc. worker took off a shutter to trim a window and found a bat sleeping under it. “It woke up and started flying at his face,” said Abby Binder, company owner and president. “The problem was he was on a ladder and it almost knocked him off it because he was trying to swat at it!”
- Mystery Bones. On a routine basement-waterproofing job, A. Eric Tullio’s crew was breaking up the floor when one of the crew discovered bones. Most creepy? It was immediately apparent whether the bones were human or animal. “We had to stop the job and have the police come in,” said Tullio, Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing National Operations Director. “The bones were sent to a lab and luckily, they turned out to be animal bones instead of human bones!”
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