• Michael Mendoza

The Truth About Sinister House


Whats the true story behind this place?


Our cycle season culminates in our annual 'Tour De France Start to Finish' ride. It's a tradition we have held for around six or seven years now.

The idea is to saddle up and get our bikes to the start line of the official Tour, regardless of location and then cycle to Paris to witness the last day. Obviously our route is somewhat more leisurely and direct but an adventure all the same. These unsupported rides are usually in the region of 600 to 900 miles. It’s the highlight of the season and we have entered Paris from all directions, including the hills, the training is essential.


For years we have used this house as a stop off point on one of our regular training rides. The ride in question we call 'Sinister House', guess why?

The house is conveniently situated around ten miles into our route and is quite remote, the perfect spot to grab some water and a snack.

In the winter I do this route alone and in the dark, on those occasions there's no stopping and no snack. On those nights I keep my eyes to the front and pedal hard, the air drops a degree and the hairs on the back of my neck bristle.



The house looks like someone simply walked away and left. After stopping here a number of times I started noticing odd things about the place. In the driveway theres a hi-ab truck. It clearly hasn’t moved in years and yet the headlights were always polished clean, regardless of the weather. This is still the case, maybe you can see that in the photograph. I put this down to some local kids having fun, but writing this down makes me realise how ridiculous that sounds.

“Hey guys, why don’t we freak people out by cleaning the truck lights in the spooky house?” Silence and weird looks from Cheshire’s answer to the Goonies.

On the front corner of the building you can probably see a large outside light. This light was always on, 24 hours a day for as long as we can remember. My partner claims years and I’d agree, but yet again this makes no sense when written down.

A sodium light lasting years without replacement?

Also there’s the electricity, we had no idea who paid the bill but the house must have been live.

Could someone actually die or disappear whilst the electricity company continues to take the direct debit?


Peering through the grubby windows it looks like furniture has been stacked in various rooms, the garden is overgrown and trees are leaning on the building. I see nothing when I take photo’s through the window, convinced I’ll later make out a figure standing inside.

But this isn’t a movie or youtube video.


So this is ‘Sinister House’ as we call it, the place we stop for a drink and a snack.

It was about six months ago that my girlfriend suggested, “Hey you should write a story or book about this place.”

So I did.

Since I wrote this yarn we’ve spoken to some locals who told us the unofficial story.

Some years ago the husband had left after learning about his wife’s affair. She stayed at the house alone for a while but after some time she too disappeared. I’d always felt the owners were old and old people having affairs didn’t sit well but it happens I suppose? Well, thats the story and you know as much as me, that is unless you know more?

I know what you’re thinking by now, and I was thinking the same thing but someone, anyone will probably have checked that out, wouldn’t they?

I’m glad to say however that the story I wrote never went near these ideas.

I’m not sure where my story came from but it included myself and my partner, on our bikes in some small way at at the end.

It’s an exploration of a child’s mind, brought about by the kind of things I hear parents say to children, and my parents said to me.

“If you don’t behave, that policeman will come and lock you up.” or “That man will take you away.”

I became fascinated by the construct of a child to believe these things, in some way I did myself as a kid.

If my mother was telling me the truth then its entirely feasible I could be jailed for climbing on a bus shelter.


Imagine if I’d tried to steal a car?


In the end, the story became 'The Daylight Room', I hope you like it.



© 2020 Michael J Dawson michael@michaeljdawson.com