Curbed Horror Stories are firsthand reader reports about terrible NYC apartment experiences past and present. This week, in honor of Renters Week, we're having a rental horror story showdown. We'll post one or two horror stories each day with a vote for the best on Thursday. The winner will advance to the national round of our network-wide contest. Horror stories to firstname.lastname@example.org, if you please.
"In retrospect, I should have known something was off about her, but borne of desperation I chalked every red flag up to my being paranoid over finding a place off Craigslist. When I asked her what she did for a living, she giggled, paused, and said, "I wait tables when I have to." My compulsory naïveté forced me to assume, “I guess her parents pay her rent.” She added, “Sometimes I'll go out to a bar and make a friend and then bring them home.” I thought to myself “Doesn't everybody do that?”
I moved in late on a Wednesday night. I was already a couple weeks into my semester when I found the place and I had a big presentation due the following day that I had not even begun. A friend helped me move all of my stuff in around 10 p.m. and the only thing I set up was my computer so I could get working on my school project. At about 11:30 I heard a knock on the door. When I opened it, my new roommate was standing there in a bra and panties. I thought to myself, "ok, she's really comfortable," and she asked if I needed anything. Somehow temporarily relieved, I relaxed, said no and thanked her. Then she said, "Ok, I know you're stressed out, so if you need anything in like five minutes, I'll be in my room." A little confused, I thanked her again before she added, "I can be anything you want me to be, so just use your imagination with that."
I closed the door, now terribly uncomfortable, and tried to focus on the computer screen, wondering, "What the fuck just happened?!" I calmed down enough to write a paragraph or two before thirty minutes later I heard another knock at my door. Opened the door to find my new roomie standing there with one hand not carefully clasping an oriental silk robe, which was obviously the only clothing she was now wearing. She handed me a single rose and said, "Put your nose in this and breathe deeply." I humored her by passing the flower under my nose. She corrected me, "No, really put your nose in there and breathe deeply." I said, "I'm not going to do that." And she asked, "Do you want any cocaine?" Now completely uncomfortable and terrified, I closed the door and somehow finished my presentation. I didn't take the plastic off my new Ikea mattress that night and I didn't close my eyes even to blink.
The next day I went to class, gave my presentation, returned to the apartment to get my things and put all of my stuff in storage. I spent the next month and a half on the couches of saintly friends, sleeping, doing homework, and reluctantly searching for bedrooms on Craigslist. Hey, the scam only cost me first and last month’s rent."
· Curbed Horror Stories archive [Curbed]
· Renters Week 2011 coverage [Curbed]