News

The Tenant From the Creepy 'Nightmare House' Has Been Revealed

Zillow

Last week, a property listing on Zillow stoked intrigue, because of an unidentified tenant living upstairs. Thanks to Twitter, the otherwise quaint-looking South Carolina house -- boasting a pleasant facade and an enormous hole in the ceiling -- was dubbed the Nightmare House. Adding literal terror to the premise was a little advisory tucked into the listing’s description which has since been deleted:

“Upstairs apartment cannot be shown under any circumstances. Buyer assumes responsibility for the month-to-month tenancy in the upstairs apartment. Occupant has never paid, and no security deposit is being held, but there is a lease in place. (Yes, it does not make sense, please don’t bother asking.)”

The real estate broker agent trying to sell the property was also at a loss, telling the Post and Courier: “[The owner’s] got some mystery tenant up there that apparently he can’t answer many questions about, which is kind of strange.”

Quite.

Naturally, the post went viral, prompting speculation that the tenant was probably Tupac Shakur or an axe-wielding maniac. After gaining a flurry of attention, though, local news outlets dug into the story, revealing the actual identity of the mystery neighbor. According to The State, the upstairs tenant is 70-year-old grandfather Randall McKissick -- a man with a calm demeanor who stands no taller than 5’5”. In a grave letdown to our sneaking suspicions, McKissick lives in tranquility with three cats and his white, flowing beard. He’s actually had quite a career, reports the paper, as his paintings and illustrations have been exhibited throughout the world.

McKissick has reportedly fallen on hard times financially, and so is staying in the house rent-free (he’s friends with the owner). Speaking on the pretty calamitous state of upkeep on the property, he notes that he’s “not a housekeeper or yard keeper." 

The internet owes McKissick an apology, but there’s good news for the man: He’s seen a huge amount of help from the local community in Cayce, South Carolina, since the post went viral, as offers to commission his old paintings and help clean up the house have flooded in.

People can truly do wonderful things when they learn you’re not an axe-murderer.

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.