Ask Atticus: Haunted House Hassles


Atticus O’Sullivan is a 2,000 year-old Druid and the star of the Iron Druid Chronicles books, the latest of which is Tricked.When Atticus isn’t battling malevolent gods, goddesses and supernatural beasts, he enjoys dispensing advice to those in need.

Dear Atticus,
Shortly after moving into my new home, a beautifully renovated old tavern, I noticed a dark oily patch on the basement floor vaguely in the shape of a human body. Scrubbing it away is futile. Whenever I do so, it comes back the very next day.I wouldn’t think anything of it except that now there are these mysterious “cold spots” in my home, and something is leaving bloody hand prints all over my mirror.

Do you have any idea about what’s going on and how I can fix it?

Hostile Hostel

Dear Hostile Hostel,
I have several ideas, but chief among them is that you should get the hell out and unload the property as fast as you can. Sometimes real estate is so bad you just have to bail and start all over on the Mongolian steppes, raising a horde from scratch.

If you can’t move out, maybe I can whip up a batch of Corporeali-Tea. If you pour it on the stain you should get a better picture of what’s haunting your tavern. Not a guaranteed fix, though. You really need a shaman for this kind of thing, not a Druid.