The Night The House Bled, a true story.

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Minnie Clyde Winston and her husband William live a typical and routine existence. The aging couple has been renting the house at 1114 Fountain Dr. SW, a conventional three-bedroom brick home, for the past twenty-two years.

There have been no problems.

On September 8th, 1987, Minnie fixed herself a cup of hot tea and drew a warm bath. It was quiet on this Tuesday evening, so much so, that she could hear the distant hum-drum of the Atlanta city life, only 3 miles from her home.

Minnie let the pleasant bath water ease her body and mind.

Photo by Emily Powers on Unsplash

Satisfied with her bath, Minnie pulled the drain plug and placed her right foot on the floor, being careful not to slip.

She sensed something wet covering her foot and looked down. A red, gooey substance ran up between her toes. It completely covered the once white tiles on the bathroom floor.

A small and familiar hole in the center of the floor seemed to be the spot that this mysterious substance emerged from. As Minnie later told the police, “like a sprinkler”, the liquid spurted out of the floor, as if there was an endless supply available.

“I didn’t get scared, because I didn’t know where it was coming from. It didn’t look like blood, and it didn’t smell like blood.”

Blood or not, Minnie became concerned over her husband’s safety. At 79, her husband William was on regular dialysis. His bad kidneys meant that he needed to be connected most of the day to a machine. William, “Willie” as Minnie called him, also required help with ordinary tasks, and she was his primary caretaker.

Did William fall and hurt himself? Is this my husband’s blood I’m stepping in?

Minnie called for her husband, “William, come look at all this red stuff coming out of the floors.”

When Willie gave her no response, she rushed into the bedroom. She was relieved to see that William was fine, conscience, and receptive. He simply couldn’t hear his wife call for him over the steady, rhythmic pumping of the dialysis machine.

Minnie cinched her bathrobe and walked into the hall.

And that’s when she saw a horrifying sight.

Tallahassee Democrat September 11, 1987 Source

A Bloody Mess

An immense amount of blood, or what appeared to be blood, covered the living room. Baseboards smeared, walls splattered, floors dripped on; there were even dark-red smudges on the ceiling. Each spot ranged from very large to utterly tiny, some resembling spray bottle spray patterns. In nearly every room in the couple’s home, a reddish liquid covered the walls.

There was blood everywhere.

Minnie quickly dialed the Atlanta Police Department. Moments later and arriving in sync were police, EMTs, homicide detectives, and even a firetruck; its red strobes pulsating the darkness and waking neighbors from their slumbers.

“I’ve been on the force for 10 years”, recalled Detective Cartwright heading the investigation. “and I’ve never seen anything like this. There were no bodies at the scene but we discovered copious amounts of blood splattered on the walls and floors in at least five rooms of the house.”
Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

Detective Cartwright assigned Larry Howard from the Georgia Crime Lab to test the mysterious fluid. Howard, who prided himself on his thoroughness of his work, knew that if there was blood on the walls, his test would give police a definite answer.

“It could be either a homicide, or it could be a hoax,” Howard explained to Detective Cartwright over the phone. “either way, it is definitely human blood. Type O: Positive to be exact.”

Detective Cartwright glanced over at Minnie and William. “What are your blood types?”, he asked.

“We both have Type A.”

Blood Source

Next to arrive in the couple’s home were the property managers, Alfred and A.J. Smith, a father and son team. Police had summoned the duo to check the home for busted pipes, severed lines, or anything else that could explain where this curious red goo was arriving from.

Every inch of the home, from atop kitchen cabinets to the crawlspace under the basement, had been meticulously inspected. But the Smiths found nothing to explain the bleeding walls: no leaks, no busted pipes, and no exploded gas lines.

All they discovered was more and more blood. Police had even overlooked some spots, like behind the television set.

Tallahassee Democrat September 11, 1987 Source

Houses Don’t Bleed.. do they?

Dedicated to solving all his cases, no matter how bizarre, Detective Cartwright informed outside reporters, “we have not stopped looking because we know that houses don’t bleed.”

Feeling pressured and frustrated by no straightforward answers, the detective questioned the Winstons once more.

William “Willie” Winston had been married to his wonderful wife Minnie for the last forty-four years; The last twenty-two of which were spent raising three children. Not once has Minnie or William had to call the police.

“We’ve never had anything like this happen before and this is the first time I’ve had to call the police.”, Minnie recalled.
William chimed in, “I’m not bleeding. My wife’s not bleeding. Nobody else was here.”

William tells Detective Cartwright that he went to bed at 9:30 pm sharp. Before that, he locked the front door and bolted the dead bolt, pulling the knob to confirm the entrance security.

Photo by Perry Merrity II on Unsplash

William entered his pin code for the alarm system and turned off the porch light.

Little did he know, he nor his wife would get much sleep for the next few nights.

Mrs. Winston said, “I don’t know where it came from and I don’t want to have anything to do with it. People are coming out here to see it and troubling us. I haven’t had any sleep today and I probably won’t get any tonight.”

According to Marion Lee, the Atlanta Police Department PR spokeswoman, the investigation was not being investigated as a hoax, but as a potential homicide.

The only problem with the homicide theory is that the police did not have a body. And to the Atlanta Police Department, no body equals no crime.

Within 6 months, the ‘Atlanta Blood House’ case went officially cold, although it is still classified as unsolved today.

Moving On

With the blood mopped up and the Winston’s home back to normal, the world forgot about the strange events that happened at 1114 Fountain Dr.

A few theories have been cropped up, though.

In their book, “Unexplained Mysteries”, authors Janet and Colin Bord attributed the home to a “resident poltergeist”.

Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash

Another paranormal investigator, Curt Rowlett, put in his own theory after he personally interviewed Minnie Wiston years later.

“My own investigation did not uncover any specific evidence that indicated a prior supernatural event preceding the appearance of the blood. But after all things are considered, a paranormal event seems to be as likely an explanation as any other that has been purposed to date.”

Ultimately, the mystery of the bleeding walls remains just that. A mystery.

What do you think? Can walls really bleed?


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By Jonathan Harker on August 18, 2022.

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Exported from Medium on November 6, 2022.