Tag Archives: zampanò

house of leaves

3 Jan


this is just a summary of the Navidson Record, I’ll get into Johnny Truant’s shindig later because that takes more brainpower to figure out at the moment.

Navidson. You need to know his name. He is a retired photojournalist who won the Pulitzer for his picture of an emaciated African girl about to die/be eaten by a vulture. He has a wife named Karen and two kids (Daisy and Chad) and they are nice and wholesome and slightly disfunctional, but that’s pretty normal for most families anyway.

So they buy a house in Virginia, everything’s goin’ swell and stuff, and so they go up to a wedding in Seattle. Everything’s cool up there, they fly down, and suddenly there is a doorway in the master bedroom and the kids’ bedroom.


They open the doors, and there’s a ten-foot hallway connecting them. The walls are black, the tempurature inside is freezing, there is no light.  The freaky thing is, the rooms are connected by just a wall…and the wall’s not ten feet thick.

This freaks Navidson (or Navy) out, quite appropriately, so he decides to do some reconnaisance and measures the inside and outside of the house. Um, but the measurements differ by a quarter inch. The inside of the house is a quarter inch bigger than the outside.

Uh, Navy? Your house is seriously screwed up.

Well, he decides to call his twin brother Tom, who is fat and a pothead and a carpenter, and they use some of his high-tech stuff to measure the house again. This time the difference is 5/16 of an inch.

So Navy finally calls an acquaintance of his, the professor of mechanical engineering at the nearby college. I think his name’s Billy Reston, I can’t remember at the moment. He is paralyzed from the waist down, very intelligent, can carry himself up stairs with just his arms. Beast.

Well, Reston’s got even more high-tech stuff than Tom does, so they measure the house again with a laser beam and the difference has disappeared. Okay, so that’s alright, but it’s still bugging Navy, so he asks his two friends to stay at a hotel nearby so they can make some conjectures.

The next morning he wakes up and there is a door in the middle of the living room wall.

He opens it, and it is a forty-foot corridor made out of the same black stuff as the one in his bedroom. You’d think that you’d see it from the outside, since it appears to be sticking out into the backyard, but the kicker is that there’s nothing there. Nada. Zip. This house apparently defies all laws of physics. Heck, all laws in general.

So of course Navy has to go in there and snoop around. He gets a flashlight and a camera, scoots on in, and finds that it ends about forty feet in. Whoopwoop. He turns around, is walking towards the door out, when he notices hey, another door on the side of  the corridor.

Of course he goes in.

It’s another hallway, leading to another door, leading to a huge room that finally leads to a bigger room- so big that Navidson can’t find the roof or the walls with his flashlight. He carries on walking, and finally finds a huge spiral staircase in the center of the room, seemingly descending forever into an abyss. He drops a quarter down, listening for an echo, and can’t hear one. 

So he figures he’s done here for now, turns around, starts walkin’, gets through the “Great Hall” and goes into the “Antechamber” and suddenly hears a growl- the house has changed around him. He is lost. He starts walking the way he thinks is right, gets to a dead end, walks back, puts a penny on the ground, walks the other way for what seems like three hundred feet and suddenly the penny is right in front of him. He’s more than a little confused, so he starts walking again, finds a door, goes through it, starts yelling-

and he hears his daughter Daisy screaming back at him, he follows the noise and is led to safety. Phew, Navy, you worried us.

So. With all that done, Navidson figures he should get someone a little more experienced with exploring matters to do some srs exploration.

So he calls this MOUNTAIN EXPLORER (haha, Ryan) named Holloway (can’t remember his first name) and his crew to come do some house navigating. They are appropriately skeptical about the whole thing, but when Navy and Tom open the door to the hallway they suddenly are rendered silent.

They embark on three explorations. The first two are less than a day long, and they find their way back using fishing line and neon markers. They report that the house is still grey-black and really cold, but hasn’t changed its layout for the two days they’ve been exploring, as well as the fact that compasses don’t work inside the house and radio signals decay extremely rapidly. Finally, for the third exploration, they pack up five day’s worth of food and water and set out to go down the staircase. It takes them three days.

Days pass.

Navidson frets.

And finally, one day, Karen hears tapping in the living room- someone is tapping out S-O-S in morse code repeatedly. It’s coming from the wall the hallway is in. Ohhhh shit.

So Navy and his carpenter buddies pack a bunch o’ stuff and go in. Tom chickens out by the staircase, and instead elects to sit by it and keep radio communications going (or at least try to) whilst smoking pot. Alright Tom! Go for it!

So Navy and cripple-dude (SORRY) Reston start down the staircase. Y’know, the one that the other party took three days to get down? For Navy and Reston, it only takes ten minutes.

Yup. House is messin’ with everything at this point.

So they keep walkin’. They’re walkin’. They’re looking out for distressed peeps. Aaaand eventually, they hear a taptaptap TAP TAP TAP taptaptap that seems like it’s coming from the wall in front of them. They start opening doors, and lo and behold one of them is locked. So Navy breaks it down, naturally. Behind the door are two of Holloway’s mountain explorer peeps, one of which is suffering from a gun wound to the shoulder, the other of which is still okay though very dehydrated. Okay dude gets up and hands over wounded dude, but suddenly behind him a door opens

and Holloway shoots him in the jaw, killing him instantly.


Reston takes out a pistol from nowhere and shoots back, but Holloway has already backed into the shadows and suddenly there is the sound of slamming doors from behind him. All the doors are slamming shut. Suddenly the door in front of Navy and Reston and dead guy and wounded guy shuts and locks, so they get the hell outta there.

They get to the Spiral Staircase and yell up to Tom, who drops down a rope. They tie Wounded Guy (his name is Wax) to it, haul him up, Tom drops a quarter down. They tie dead guy (Jed), haul ‘im, quarter drops. They tie Reston, are hauling him up, and all of a sudden the b0ttom of the staircase drops.

Let me draw a picture, it’s easier to get the idea.

Alright. So Navy’s stuck on the bottom of this staircase.

Days pass.

More days pass.

And one night, about a week later, he suddenly emerges from the door and says hi to his wife. She is appropriately freaked out, and they start packing to leave the house. Quickly.

Karen is packing her stuff when suddenly Navy grabs her just as the ceiling of the room crashes down onto the floor, squashing everything and creating another room of that black emptiness. They run. The living room floor disappears. They manage to get out, but Tom and Daisy are still inside- Tom throws her through the kitchen window and is about to follow her when the house squashes him- there is a description of his hands without any flesh on them (EUADFRLAKJFDJAWE I HATE HAND GORE SO MUCH IT SCARES MEEEE) before he falls backwards into the abyss.

So he’s dead.

The family gets a hotel room and stay there for the next week or so, they suffer nightmares and other effects from the house. So what does Navy do?

He becomes the big damn hero and goes back to it.

So, he goes through the door, this time with a bike, and starts riding. Eventually he finds that no matter which direction he goes, it’s downhill. (IM-POOOOOSIBLLLLLE!) And all of a sudden, ridin’ along- he has a Spidey Sense moment and stops just in time- his legs are hanging over the edge of an abyss. Whaaaaooahha. He gets up, grabs his stuff, and there just happens to be a house inside the house next to the cliff. Cool! There is a sideways spiral staircase sticking out of the wall, but he figures he should sleep and does so.

When he wakes up it’s sticking out of the roof. He throws his pack up onto it, climbs up after it, and reaches down to get his bike/other supplies….aaaand the floor suddenly is about three hundred feet down. He sighs and begins to climb up the staircase.

Once he gets up it, he starts walkin’ down a corridor…and walking…and suddenly the corridor starts getting smaller and smaller and smallllllleerr until he’s army-crawling through it….

then finally, after five/six days of walking/biking/climbing, he finds himself surrounded by nothingness. He gives up. He knows he’s gonna die.

and then he starts falling. For how long, we don’t know, but long enough for him to make a video-journal entry about it.

Cut to Karen, who has been worried sick and finally has gone to the house and found that the door to the hallway is no longer there. She goes into the kids’ bedroom (one thing about the kids which I forgot to mention- when the hallway appeared, they started drawing  just black black sheets of paper. That’s all. And then stuck them on the walls of their room.) and a wall disappears…

She goes in and finds Navidson, who is suffering from frostbite and a shattered hip, and she is about to go look for a way out when the house suddenly dissolves around them. They’re left on the front lawn, she calls the ambulance…

and it actually all works out in a happy ending.



there is more to the book, of course, but that’s all I would like to write right now. Thanks for reading.


arguments over small rodents

25 Dec

House Of Leaves has mind-raped me to within a few inches of my sanity. I suppose I should attempt to take breaks between chapters, but dang this book sucks you in and doesn’t let go. It is very well written, but mindfucks in the worst way. I will never look at mysterious doors the same way.
Not that I see many mysterious doors, but-
What most freaked me out wasn’t the sheer size of the chambers inside the house, but how they randomly grow and shrink and trap you and drive you to madness. Also, when they’re escaping the house and Tom dies- the description of his hands, crushed and skinned to the bone- terrified me. I do not like hand-related gore. Other gore, fine. Hand-or-face related gore, oh god almighty.
I guess I’m gonna have to finish this book soon, but daaamn terrifying.

Especially some of the footnotes, after a while, when Johnny’s starting to lose it. He’s scary to me because he reminds me of myself- same sort of apathetic attitude (and no, I am not a tattoo apprentice who smokes weed and does ecstasy on a regular basis. Nor do I participate in one-night stands.)

So, besides House Of Leaves, my momma is sick and has taken Sudafed. I warned her she’d be drowsy. She is. Extremely so.

Also, I am planning on doing cool and awesome things over the next few days. Like putting my new journal to use as a bedside dreamcompanion/midnight drabble journal.

Goodnight all. Have a terrific boxing day. I hope you have less nightmares than I will tonight.