Western Civilization's First Documented Haunted House Story

How far back do you have to go to find a haunted house story? Probably further than the written word, but Pliny the Younger wrote about one in the Roman Empire, during the first century AD. The story wasn't first hand, but it was well-known enough that he could get details. It pertains to a certain Greek fellow named Athenodorus Cananites. He was quite wealthy in his old age, but when he was a young man, he went to work in Athens and didn't have much money. Looking for a place to live, Athenodorus was astonished at the expensive rent. But there was a house that was cheaper than any other.

There was a reason for the low rent. Locals wouldn't go near the place because of its reputation, described as "pestilential." Ghosts would raise a racket at night like clanging iron, and it was impossible to get sleep there due to both the noise and the fear. Athenodorus moved in anyway, because it was affordable and he wasn't superstitious. It wasn't long before the nighttime shenanigans began.

Whatever was haunting the house was enraged that Athenodorus stayed through the noise. The spirit haunting the home eventually revealed itself to Athenodorus, and even pointed out the reason for the haunting. Is the story true? Does it matter, as long as it's a good story? Find out where the story goes at Creative History.  -via Strange Company ā€‹

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