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Pen Your Pride

The McCarter House

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The McCarter House in Greenburg, TN is fairly well-known by now, but at the time that my wife and I were looking to buy it, it was only infamous to the locals and we knew nothing about it. It is a pale, white farmhouse on a bald hill just off Baden’s Road in the Walnut Creek area of town. It might still be there, but hopefully it had been torn down by now. If you decide to go there, listen to this story as your word of warning first, and do not go

there during a full moon.

The house had been the scene of a horrific battle during the Zombie Apocalypse. Jim McCarter, his family and some of his neighbors had holed up there when the zombies rose up from the Walnut Creek cemetery. The attack was brutal. The McCarter clan were quickly surrounded by the living dead, and somehow the zombies were able to break open a door and get in. No one survived. The story behind this was particularly scandalous as there was a

church nearby where everyone else in the community was able to hide and successfully defend themselves from the zombies. Jim McCarter’s clan was banned from the church due to accusations made by Pastor Tom Olson claiming Jim had impregnated both of his twin daughters. Later, when everyone else was driving stakes through the brains of the dead in every graveyard they could find, Olson famously refused to do so, on the grounds that the

rising dead was part of God’s divine plan. God gave these men and women new life, and taking that away was nothing short of murder. That was the last straw for those who sided with Jim during the feud and they broke away from the church to fight at the McCarter house. They likely regretted that decision.

No one had been in the house since, except for a government cleanup crew that sanitized the property and fixed the broken door that lead to the massacre. It had stagnated in real estate listings until my wife and I decided to buy it. We were dirt poor, as the economy after the Apocalypse was still in the dumps, and the only thing we could afford was to either take this house or keep sneaking into motels at night. The real estate company was so desperate to get rid of it that they waived the down payment and processing fees. We were very thankful, because this house was considerably cheaper than our apartment back in Marron City. My wife was 6 months pregnant with twins, and this meant more money and space to raise our kids.

While the real estate company promised lightning speed processing to get us the deed, we made arrangements to stay with a neighbor, a retiree named Charlie Bunyon, until we got our house. We paid him a little money for room and board, and to borrow his truck and hands to get the furniture everyone was throwing out onto their curbs. He was happy to do it, and happy to see new people in the neighborhood here, but he warned us that the community was

still very superstitious and set in their ways, even after the Apocalypse. Taking that house might create some problems with them.

At the time, I noticed he seemed nervous about something else too, but he never told us what it was, and I paid it no attention.

While I was getting my new job set up at Ogle’s Lumberyard across town, my wife and Charlie went out to collect furniture from the curbs. The economy here was so bad that trash pickup was MONTHLY, but the residents around Walnut Creek were quite friendly to my wife and let her take what she wanted. Once they learned where she was moving into, though, like Charlie

said, their reactions ranged from restraint to religious paranoia. One lady even closed the door on my wife and had to explain herself through the mail slot, saying, “I’m sorry, but I was loyal to Pastor Olson and I still am today. I don’t care if he’s dead, I want nothin’ to do with Jim McCarter.”

Later in the day, the real estate company called her to pick up the deed and keys. By the time I got done from work, I had a new house to come home to and a bunch of crappy furniture all stacked up in my living room. My wife told me about how our neighbors reacted and proselytized, and even though we knew to expect it, I found it weird because my new co-workers did the same thing to me. This house had a wider reputation than we expected. We nearly forgot all about it as we got to work putting furniture in place and cleaning up the couch to sleep in… until we found a note under a couch cushion that Charlie had slipped in there.

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