A few years ago I lived in a small college town in the mountains. Me and a few friends had this nice set up where we all lived in the same house, not like a rental or anything, but a house one of us had in our family. It was a new house, built around 2004 or so, but I think I remember hearing that there were some tenants renting out the place before we moved in, a fraternity or something. In random places throughout the house, you could still find their Greek letters drawn into the rafters or in some small obscure place under the sink. In a way I appreciated that they had left those small letters around. A kind of a way to mark that they had been there, that the house held importance to them as well as it would to us.
When we moved in in the summer of 2009, it was barren. No furniture to speak of, no food or shampoo bottles, the little things that over time make a house a home. We were able to wrangle together a small couch, beds for each of us, and stocked the place with some summer provisions to hold us over until our financial aid refund dispersed in the fall.
As we explored the house, we found that one of the previous tenants had left a light bulb in one of the upstairs bedrooms. We flicked the light switch and the room was flooded with this red light. My friend, I’ll call her Olivia, made a grimace at the light and I followed in suit, then we both started to laugh. It was creepy and unsettling, but nothing horrifying. It was kind of funny, actually, that the only thing left there for us was this red light bulb in the bedroom. We joked, and for a few months we called it the Murder Room.