Encyclopaedia of the Impossible: The House on Ash Tree Lane

The House on Ash Tree LanePreviously: The Slender Man.

Type: UB (Unknowable Building)

Period/location of origin: Subject is located in the southeast Virginia countryside, somewhere in the vicinity of Richmond. It is unclear when subject may have been built; although real estate records date the house to 1720, a journal found in the library of Lord De la Warr circa the founding of the Jamestown colony indicates that the property and its extraordinary characteristics have existed at least since 1610 (see: The Journal of Lord De la Warr, entry dated 23 January, 1610: “Ftaires! We haue found ftaires!”).

Appearance: Subject appears to be an old-style heritage “house.” Unremarkable from the outside, it consists of two stories; among its rooms are a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, a study, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. It has a lengthy driveway and a sizeable backyard. Due to its questionable suitability as an actual dwelling, the term “house”—with quotation marks—is preferable when referring to subject as the object it resembles.

Modus operandi: Subject will at first appear to be the perfect home for a family of four. After a period of time, a closet with a plain, white door and a glass knob will appear in the master bedroom; residents will attribute the closet’s sudden arrival with simply failing to notice it in the first place. After the appearance of the closet, it will become apparent that the measurements of the interior of the “house” exceed those of the exterior by one-quarter of an inch. No known measurement technique will reconcile this discrepancy.

Shortly thereafter, a dark, doorless hallway will appear in the west wall of subject’s living room. This hallway will vary in length; at its shallowest, it will appear as a closet-like space only a few feet deep. No expedition into the hallway has successfully determined how far it goes at its longest. Its walls are an ashy charcoal color, and the absence of light within is complete. Arctic temperatures cause breath expelled within the hallway to freeze immediately.

Exploration of the hallway has discovered, among other features, additional hallways branching off of the main one, arched doorways, and a large room commonly referred to as the Great Room. Straying too far away from the walls of the Great Room renders it nearly impossible to retain a sense of direction. At any given time, the Great Room may or may not contain a massive Spiral Staircase in its center. The Staircase may extend downwards such that it requires several days of travel before reaching the bottom; or, it may stretch only a few hundred feet. Sufficient exploration will reveal that subject’s dimensions and spatial arrangement may change or adjust suddenly and without warning.

Cellular telephones and two-radios do not function within the hallway or its environs; neither do compasses or other mapping devices.

A loud, ominous growl will occasionally echo through the hallways, Great Room, and Spiral Staircase. Food, water, tools, and other items left within any of these spaces will be found destroyed upon attempts to retrieve them, seemingly torn or clawed apart by an unknown force.

Prolonged exposure to subject produces effects which may be ranked from zero to 10 on the Haven-Slocum Anxiety Scale as follows:

  • 0 – 1: Sudden migraines.
  • 0 – 2: Mild anxiety.
  • 2 – 3: Insomnia.
  • 3 – 4: Nausea; development of ulcers despite having no previous history of stomach ailments.
  • 4 – 5: Enduring sensation of cold.
  • 5 – 6: Excitement; intermittent fever; scratches, echolalia.
  • 6 – 7: Stupor; enduring impotence.
  • 7 – 8: Tangentiality; rising aggression; persistent wandering.
  • 9: Prolonged insomnia; frequent unmotivated panic attacks; deep melancholia; persistent cough.
  • 10: Obsessive behavior; weight loss; night terrors; vivid dreams accompanied by increased mutism.

Containment: “House” is currently retained by the owners who purchased it in 1990. They do not live in it; it is kept boarded up and vacant. Although this method may work as a temporary solution, it is not recommended for long-term containment.

Additional notes: According to real estate agent Alicia Rosenbaum, no owner has stayed in the “house” for longer than a few years. Records show that it had four different owners in the eleven years between 1979 and 1990; it has had no fewer than 20 in the half-decade prior 1990. The turnover is so great that approximately .37 owners take up residence in the “house” every year. In spite of its history, Rosenbaum notes, “It always sells.”

It is unclear whether the growl and destruction of goods left within the hallway and its adjacent spaces are the result of a beast prowling the area. An alternate theory posits that the growl is an effect of the “house” rearranging its hallways and spaces; in this theory, items left within the hallway are somehow absorbed or broken down by the “house,” rather than destroyed by an outside force.

Subject has been directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of at least three people within the past several decades. It is unknown how many others may have met a similar fate over the course of the “house’s” existence.

Recommendation: Do not, under any circumstances, move into the “house” on Ash Tree Lane.


House of Leaves.

House of Leaves Timeline.

Literature: House of Leaves Tropes.

Z Forums: House of Leaves.

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