Tenant Horror Story

By: Blake Osborne

The following is a true story that happened earlier this year.

IMG_0734Rewind. It’s May of my junior year at the University of Montana. I finally got the call saying my four good friends and I were approved for the house we applied for and in a couple weeks, could start moving in. My last two years were spent in a small apartment, miles from campus. Finally, I’ll get to experience what it’s like to live in a college house.

Time went on and we started to get some personal belongings moved in before we all went back to our hometowns for break. Multiple times over the summer we took turns bringing pieces of furniture or personal belongings to the house trying to make it feel like home. On a few different occasions we even came down and spent multiple nights in the house, and for the most part, everything felt… right.

By this time, it was the beginning of August and Kevin, one of the four roommates, decided to move in. This would be Kevin’s first semester at the University of Montana as he had just decided to transfer from Orange County California. Although he still says he is glad he came, I doubt Kevin ever would have moved if he knew what was in store for him. He had just spent the early part of his summer backpacking across Europe by himself and had become very familiar with sleeping in strange places, spending a lot of time reading and journaling, and frankly just being with himself. So the move to Missoula felt very normal for him. At this point he was the only roommate living in the house and barely knew anyone in town. His days consisted of long drives, reading, and trying to stay sane in a house without tv or internet. For the first couple nights everything went great. Then, things started to get weird.

Kevin had never been superstitious and was never one to shy away from a frightening situation so when he started to find lights turned on in the basement, that he couldn’t remember turning on, or items in the house mysteriously being found in new locations, he would convince himself that it was his own doing and force the thoughts out of his mind. He kept doing this until the bizarre happenings got out of control. He started to hear whispers and laughing late at night. One night the sounds were so loud Kevin went room to room, closet to closet, but still found nothing. When he called me and told me about these events, I convinced him that he was going crazy. I would say; “You’ve spent too much time alone” or “You probably had too much to drink,” so once again, Kevin convinced himself the noises where nothing to worry about. Looking back, I feel bad for not believing him.I convinced myself Kevin was crazy and everything was fine! But man was I wrong…

A couple weeks went by and Kevin was still experiencing these strange occurrences but never got to the point of brining it up again. Finally, Kaitlyn (one of the other roommates), and I decided to move down to zoo to get settled in and have some fun before the semester started. Kevin couldn’t have been more relieved that he wouldn’t have to spend another night in that house alone.

The first couple nights with the 3 of us in the house turned in to a non-stop party. Friends were back in town and we had the prime house for a college party. Immediately all the fears that Kevin, and even I had about the house vanished and the semester looked promising. After a few nights of constant partying, Kev decided to take a break and escape to Canada on a photoshoot. Now it was just Kaitlyn and I, and this is where things got interesting.

Kaitlyn and I decided to go out one night and have dinner at a friends. Before leaving we were sure to lock all the doors even though we would only be gone a couple hours. It was around 11pm when we got back home and we were both exhausted. We did one more walk through to check the doors and Kaitlyn went to her room in the basement and I went to mine upstairs. At 3:30am my phone started ringing, it was Kaitlyn. “Hello?”

“You need to come downstairs”

“Is everything okay?!”

“No… Not really… Please get down here!!!”

Immediately I hung up and scrambled to put clothes on. As I ran out of my room Kaitlyn met me in the laundry room at the top of the stairs. “What’s wrong?!” I asked. Her response, “there is somebody in my room” I stared at her in shock.

“What do you mean there is someone in your room!?!”

“I woke up to a girl standing over me staring at me asking where the attic was cause there were people looking for her outside and she needed to hide.”

Immediately I started to think, if there is one person in the house, how many others could there be, and why the hell are people looking for her!? Kaitlyn and I immediately ran outside and called 911. The police showed up and 5 officers rushed inside. After 10 minutes went by, the officers came out but with no one in custody.

“House is clear; no one is in there but the back door was open wide” the officer exclaimed.

Kaitlyn gave a formal statement about the description of the girl and any other facts we could remember. The officer and I then went door to door to make sure everything was sealed tight. At this point Kaitlyn and I knew we weren’t getting any sleep and I told her to come stay with me til the morning. Understandably, Kaitlyn was terrified, and called her mom for some motherly comfort. After explaining the story, her mom advised us to go back down to the room to check for all her personal belongings and to be sure nothing was stolen. So we did… I’m still not sure if that was a mistake or if it was a good thing but either way… we did.

As we were walking though the laundry room I noticed a shower curtain rod that we had taken down and grabbed it more as a joke and to comfort Kaitlyn then as a serious choice for a weapon. I looked at Kaitlyn and said, “just in case anyone pops out at me,” and gave a smirk. We got to her room and started to check for her belongings, at this point Kaitlyn was on the phone with her mom and I got down to check under the bed, then… Kaitlyn screamed.

I looked up to see a girl emerging from the sheets just a couple feet away from me. She was covered in bruises and scabs, her eyes were sunken in, and her shirt was covered in dirt and blood. When people ask what she looked like, the best explanation I can give is, “you know the meth billboards? Yeah like that, but 10 times worse.” As she came out from the sheets she was violently waving her arms scratching and clawing at me. Immediately I jumped back and pushed her away with the shower curtain rod I was now not joking about having. She continued to attack me and used Kaitlyn’s laptop as her weapon of choice throwing it at me and hitting me with it repeatedly. As this confrontation was unfolding, Kaitlyn hung up on her mom and called the police. We joke now that it would be hilarious to hear that 911 call. You know when you get really scared and your voice drops to levels you didn’t know possible? Well that is what happened to me. On top of that I probably confused the hell out of the intruder. At first I would scream and tell her to get **** out of our house, then I would realize I didn’t want her to leave cause I wanted the cops to catch her so I would scream telling her to get on the ground… in her tweaked out mind she was doing nothing wrong, all she could probably think is, “what do you want me to do?!?” Any ways the confrontation went on and the girl jumped to the window opened it and kicked out the screen. I then tried to hold her back from escaping out the egress but was hesitant to touch her since she had visible open sores and scabs. She kept making the motion as if she was about to jump on me and it created enough space that she was able to climb out the window and escape.

Kaitlyn and I sprinted upstairs to try and catch her but she was long gone. The cops then came racing up and advised me to put the shower curtain rod down as I stormed up to them furious they missed the trespasser in plain sight. At this point we went back into the house with an officer to find the back door unlocked and open again, leading us to realize there was more than one intruder in the house. The cops advised us to stay somewhere else that night until we could figure out what was going on, so we packed bags and got the hell out of there.

The next morning mine and Kaitlyn’s parents came down to help us figure out the situation. We made contact with the landlord and informed him of the events from the previous night, however, he was very standoffish and aggressive towards us about the situation. That day we started to go through the house and discovered some peculiar items. The utility room had holes drilled into the air ducts that pumped outside, a trashcan hidden in the same room contained respirators and soldering tools, there was a red substance that had the smell of sulfur, and there were many signs pointing towards us living in a meth lab. With all of this information we decided to have the house tested for meth, within an hour of the testing service showing up, they told us with complete certainty that someone had used this house as a meth lab very recently.

Now Kevins’ stories didn’t seem so crazy, the girl that broke in told Kaitlyn she was looking for the attic and said multiple times, “I know there’s an attic in here.” All those nights Kevin heard voices and laughing but never could find anyone, and found doors unlocked and lights on. He wasn’t crazy, there were people in the house but they were hidden in the attic. The neighbors behind us confirmed this when they said they saw groups of people coming and going from the back door all summer long and at all times of the day. Big groups, small groups sometimes just one or two people… but just about every day… all summer long. It was at this point we knew we had to get out of there, so, we moved. The Friday before school started we found a great house walking distance from the U and signed the papers.

Although the whole situation was terrifying and has been something we all have had to deal with, we ended up in a better spot because of it and we can’t help but thank God it wasn’t someone who was trying to hurt us in the house that night. The situation could have been so much worse. Instead of having a complete horror/tragedy story, now we have a crazy, pretty scary, and at times hilarious tale to tell.

So overall, the moral of the story is to be leery of landlords, always check under the sheets for possible intruders, and keep a shower curtain rod handy. If you do those three things, life as a tenant should be easy.

Montana Art Galleries:

The Ultimate Art Gallery Map for Montana Art Galleries

This map of Montana shows all the art galleries and museums by town. First, just search or find the town you are in, and then click on the red dots to find there location and contact information.

Healthy Snacks for the College Budget

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Is there even such a thing as a healthy snack that isn’t bland, actually satisfies hunger, and doesn’t break your almost laughable college budget? The answer is YES! As an experienced waster of time on Pinterest, I have tried to make just about every recipe I’ve posted to my “College Food” board, and as many other Pinterest frequenters know, absolutely nothing turns out the way it looks on a pin…perhaps one of the more frustrating things in life. I would like to take a few seconds to inform you all that the following five recipes do, in fact, turn out just as beautifully simple as they appear in the pictures and won’t make you feel as though you’ve lost an arm or leg. A true blessing indeed.

ATTENTION DORM LIFE: these recipes are entirely attainable with painless modifications. Try them, I dare you.

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Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

This recipe is protein and nutrient packed and can be stored in the fridge/freezer for a convenient breakfast or on the go snack. My favorite use for these little bliss balls is as a pre-workout pick-me-up or as a cure for the infamous “hangry” hour. (serves about 16)

Prep Time: 5 min   Cook Time: 10 min   Total Time: 15 min

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 1/3 c. almonds (or nut of choice), chopped
  • 1/3 c. shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 1/2 c. nut butter (peanut or almond are great)
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Bake oats, nuts, and coconut in oven for 5 minutes. Stir and let cool. (If you do not have an oven, this step can be skipped)
  2. In a mixing bowl microwave nut butter for 20-30 seconds, or until runny, and add the baked mixture, honey, cranberries, and flaxseed (if desired). Form 1.5-2″ balls and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. TIP: wet hands after every 3-4 balls to help formation.

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Tuna and Avocado Bowl

This is by far the least expensive and easiest recipe consisting of only two main ingredients. Depending on the portion size, this can be used as a great protein packed, low carb lunch or snack at any time of the day. The ease of this snack makes it one of the best for on the go meal prep.

Prep Time: 5 min   Cook Time: 2 min   Total Time: 7 min

  • 1 can light chunk Tuna in water
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 chopped stalk of celery
  • 1 Tbsp. light mayo
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Strain tuna of the water, chop avocado into bite sized cubes, and finely chop celery.
  2. Combine all ingredients into a tupperware or serving bowl and enjoy.

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Chickpea Kale Salad

This simple recipe is full of great and unexpected flavor. It is easy to package and take on the go and satisfies mid morning, afternoon, and late night hunger pangs. The chickpea kale salad is another snack that takes little to no time to toss together and the cost of the ingredients is very minimal. Plate it with a full lunch or pop open that tupperware for an on-the-go treat. This snack will never disappoint!

Prep Time: 7 min   Cook Time: 1 min   Total Time: 8 min

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and strained
  • 3-4 leaves of kale, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped (optional)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine chickpeas, kale, parsley and garlic in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl combine lemon juice and olive oil and stir.
  3. Pour lemon juice and olive oil over the chickpea mixture and top with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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Cucumber, Avocado and Feta Salad

Quite possibly my favorite recipe to have on hand at all times is this salad. Great for pairing with a main dish or just a spoonful from the fridge on your way out the door. This is a salad that refreshes any time of year and keeps those jeans fitting the way they were meant to fit.

Prep Time: 5 min   Cook Time: 2 min   Total Time: 7 min

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 3 large avocados
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 c. crumbled feta
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Quarter the cucumber and chop into bite sized pieces. Slice avocados into bite sized cubes and juice lemon.
  2. Combine cucumber, avocado, feta, dill, salt and pepper and lemon juice. Serve and enjoy.

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Spinach and Banana Smoothie

The simplicity of this smoothie makes it a no-brainer when in need of an in between meal snack. It is packed with greens, protein and potassium, making it the perfect filler. Store this smoothie in the fridge and shake it up when in need of an energy boost.

Prep Time: 3 min   Cook Time: 2 min   Total Time: 5 min

  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 3 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 banana

Instructions

  1. Place ingredients in a personal sized or large blender and blend to desired consistency or until spinach chunks are not visible. Serve in a to-go cup or enjoy at home.

LET’S GET COOKIN!

Not only are these recipes affordable and quick, the modifications for personal preferences are endless. As a frequent sufferer of the “hangry”, I swear by these simple fixes and can say from experience that they actually look like their pictures.

DISCLAIMER: failure of recipe presentation that matches these images is probably due to user error 🙂

 

 

18 Confessions of Customer Service Reps

18 Confessions of Customer Service Reps
By Christy Gliko

Working in customer service can really test your tolerance for patience.  The struggle is REAL when dealing with other people.  I’ve asked for anonymous stories and struggles about working in customer service.  If you’ve ever worked in customer service, chances are you’ll relate to these fellow customer service workers:

  1. “I had a customer try to pick up an online order for her mom. She didn’t know the order number, the phone number it was ordered under (which is the only way to look it up), or have her ID on her. Her mom came in a couple minutes later. She was yelling and cursing at me the whole time, stabbed the signature capture pad with the pen, and then threw it at me.”

Mug toss

2.  “We have chicken or beef teriyaki”
Customer: “Whats the difference?”

Oh My God

3. Me (as a server): soup or salad? Customer: super salad? What’s in it?

Baseball reaction

4. My Aunt worked in St. Mary’s, outside of Glacier National Park. She was asked how many trees were in the Park! Also, when the next glacier would be coming by.

Science
5. Lol when I ask “do you want soup, salad, or fries with that?” And a lot of times I get “sure” …. Which one!!!!

Frustration

6. “What’s a grilled cheese sandwich?”

Idiot sandwich

Continue reading “18 Confessions of Customer Service Reps”

Top 5 Things You Miss About Home

College is great, don’t get me wrong, you have freedom to do as you please but you take for granted the little things from home. As a senior in college there are definitely a bunch of things that I miss about being home and you really learn to appreciate all the things your parents did for you!

5. Your Pets

pugYour dog is just something you can’t take with you to school. Sometimes you might miss your pet more than some family members (shhh.) It’s like leaving your best friend behind and you’re not able to talk to them at all! Your mom lets you “facetime” the dog, but come on, that dog has no idea what’s going on.

4. LAUNDRY

laundry

I absolutely despise doing laundry. I’ll put it off for as long as humanly possible and there are clothes all over my floor. Being home your parents will just throw it in for you and you have no worries about it. (side note: laundry detergent isn’t free and we have much more important things to buy!)

 

3. Home Cooked Meals

food

Being someone who, frankly, sucks at cooking, one of the biggest things you miss is mom’s cooking and dad’s barbecuing. After a while you just get tired of ramen noodles and Taco Bell (crazy concept right?) and you just want a substantial meal. Not to mention, mom isn’t going to make you pay her for the meal, thanks mom!

 

2. Your High School Friends

friends

Chances are, if you don’t go to school with a bunch of your high school friends you’re going to drift apart. Everyone gets busy with either school or starting their careers and everyone seems to go different ways. You reminisce about fun and crazy times you had with the people you grew up with!

 

  1. Your Family

family

No matter how old you are you always miss your mom and dad when you leave home! It doesn’t get easier leaving and you’re always counting the days til the next time you get to see them. They’re your main supporters and have helped you throughout your whole life so it’s scary when you get out into the world by yourself! You might not admit it, but you even miss your annoying siblings! Leaving home really makes you appreciate the time spent with your family, so to my family: thank you for everything!

 

Post by Shane Monsen, Senior at the University of Montana.