The Real Story Behind That “Creepy” House Listing on Zillow

The “mysterious” tenant has been revealed.

cayce-house-exterior
Photo by Zillow Porchlight

A real estate listing for a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house in Cayce, South Carolina, went viral last week due to its unusual description and interesting photos. It was so popular that it quickly became Zillow’s most-shared listing of 2017.

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Photos of the house featured holes in the ceiling, missing cabinet fronts, outdated appliances, and much more—you’d consider it a fixer upper. But the listing’s description was the most intriguing, with these details: “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 mysterious description left people wondering who the tenant really was—and many started referring to the home as the “creepy house” or “nightmare house.”

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Now, we know who the resident is—and it’s not sinister or spooky at all. According to South Carolina newspaper The State, the man upstairs is once-renowned artist and illustrator Randall McKissick who has simply fallen on hard times and suffers from anxiety. The father of two and grandfather has been friends with the homeowner, Michael Schumpert Sr., since junior high. Schumpert himself was in a car accident last December and is still recovering.

The home consists of three apartments: the upstairs one, downstairs, and garage. McKissick has lived in the upstairs apartment for almost 10 years. Schumpert’s son tried to rent out the downstairs unit, but the family can’t afford to make repairs, so they have to sell the house. The viral ad was posted, but the house was taken off the market a few days later. Schumpert’s family is trying to figure out next steps, while McKissick’s daughter is trying to find other housing for her father.