"We can't. Read the sign." "No Trespassing. Violators Will Be Prosecuted"

No Trespassing

On the street where we grew up, there was this derelict old shack on a heavily wooded lot. My sisters and I spent endless hours wondering about it and trying to get a better look inside. It was a great mystery and remains a mystery to this day. If you happen to know the story behind this little abandoned shack, please do not tell me. I’m sure the stories we invented about it are much better than the truth.

The girls stare at the shack

"I wonder who used to live there?" "I wonder why they left?"

"I wonder why they left all their stuff!" "WOW, Really??"

"Let's break in!" "Let's look for clues!"

"We can't. Read the sign." "No Trespassing. Violators Will Be Prosecuted"

"Prosecuted. What does that mean?" "I don't know. I'll go ask a grown up. Don't do anything until I get back!"

"Mrs. Z! I read a word, but I'm not sure what it means. Can you help?"

"I'll try, Sweetie. What's the word?" "It's, um... pros... pors... persecuted..."

"Oh, dear... hmm... how best to explain...?"

"Well, you know what they did to Jesus, don't you?...Well, that's what that means!"

"Well?" "You guys, we can NOT go in there."

That the punishment for entering this shack was so severe only strengthened my belief that there was something hugely significant about this rotting, broken down little building.





52 responses to “No Trespassing”

  1. Mandy Avatar

    There was a shack like this near my best friend’s house when I was growing up! The wonder was too much for us…we totally broke in! But sadly never discovered to truth behind the abandonment. The stories our imaginations made up were probably way cooler than the truth.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      How funny! I was dying to break into the shack. There were so many interesting things left behind! Alas, the harsh punishment deterred me.

  2. becomingcliche Avatar

    I was afraid the word was going to mutate into “prostitution.”

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      I can’t imagine how much more freaked I would have been. I was horrified for years that the US apparently routinely crucified petty criminals.

      1. butterflybarnes Avatar

        cool story its alittle spooky but i luv it

    2. drewpan Avatar

      Hahah the same thought crossed my mind!

      1. scraptitdesigns Avatar

        Same here :)

  3. riatarded Avatar

    Ok see now I want to know what happened! Please do find out :P

  4. Miranda Gargasz Avatar
    Miranda Gargasz

    Wow! Who knew we lived in a country where you were crucified for trespassing? What do we do to murderers? Great post! I was one of those kids who totally would have thought the same thing!

  5. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer Avatar

    This was the most detailed costuming I’ve seen you do to date. Just delightful! I love the brown boots, frontal image, for the seemingly cut out leather pattern. Wonderful illustrations, and funny dialogue. A favorite!


  6. Naomi Baltuck Avatar

    Again, great art, great story. Looking forward to the next one.

  7. Jim Avatar

    Lol jesus wouldnt want you to break in anyway :) odd how that worked out!

  8. Rae Avatar

    Ha, that’s funny because I actually thought as a kid that the phrase “violators will be prosecuted” meant you would be shot to death. I have no idea where I got that idea, but needless to say I was terrified of most of the houses/properties I came across.

  9. disturbinglynormal Avatar

    Ahahahahaha. Prosecuted, crucified, eh. It all makes sense.


  10. Jen Avatar

    Ha! I used to think the exact same thing about the sign in dressing rooms that read, “Shoplifters will be prosecuted.” That was more than enough to keep me from stealing!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Yeah, after “learning” the definition of prosecuted, I was shocked to read those signs in the dressing rooms, too.

  11.  Avatar

    Cute ….
    Oh I funny we were…are.
    That is what you always remind me; the things we think when we are kids.

  12. Kate Avatar

    Ahh this is awesome :) So glad you didn’t get persecuted, or else who’d be writing this great post?!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thanks, but I always have a tiny twinge of regret that I was never brave enough to enter. My one chance to be Nancy Drew! Thwarted by a lousy sign.

  13. bhbkidstyle Avatar

    I double Kate! Great story!

  14. life is a bowl of kibble Avatar

    Wow, I love this story. We had a similar house a few miles from my home. I just knew it was haunted.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Yes, I was quite certain this one was haunted because when you peeked in the window, you could see a faint green glow. It was only later I realized there was just a hole in the green fiberglass roof.

  15. Charlotte Belanger III Avatar

    I still think about that shack! I remember peeking through the boards and seeing a bar of soap on the counter, it was the biggest discovery I ever made…

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      I remember the tea cup and saucer left on the table as though someone had been just about to sit down for a spell when Something made them get up…. and never return. The tea evaporated in time and the cup was left to gather dust. If only tea cups could talk!

  16. JSD Avatar

    Great story…and the illustrations are priceless!

  17. booksnob Avatar

    I totally snuck into an an ‘abandoned’ house, only to find out later that the family was only wintering elsewhere. Oops.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Oh my god. I would have been paranoid for ages that I was going to be arrested any second, haha!

  18. Angie Z. Avatar

    I absolutely remember an intriguing abandoned house like this. Near my grandparents’ home. My brother and I took it upon ourselves to take notes about the scary things we spotted. We wrote down that we saw a black cat walk by it, a tree branch next to it shaped like a monster, and then we ran out of scary things and started writing things like “paint is chipped”. We were less detectives and more home inspectors.

    Sorry for the cheese but I don’t think any blog brings me as much joy as yours! It’s perfect!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Home inspectors- I love it!

  19. whatimeant2say Avatar

    I really hope I don’t say this every time – but even if I do, I really mean it – this is your best one yet! The perfect combination of creativity, humor, and childlike innocence! Awesome job!

  20. Tin Roof Press Avatar

    Thats so cute. We had a similar shack.
    People said it was haunted and a drunk saw a ghost one night.
    Altho the real story was it was a double homicide of an elderly couple… the lot is still vacant.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Ohh, now that’s creepy!

      1. Tin Roof Press Avatar

        Isn’t it? I think there is a ghost or some mystery.
        Why would it still be vacant? It’s prime real estate on the beach front!

  21. MegansBeadedDesigns Avatar

    Your posts are always so stinkin’ adorable!

    When I was growing up we had no trespassing signs all over our property. It’s because my father grew and sold drugs for a living (bad!) X-) glad no little kids ever stumbled upon his “stash”

  22. publikworks Avatar

    I want one of those hats : )

  23. drewpan Avatar

    There was an old abandoned mansion near my friend’s place, and we shot a music video there. I only dared to go there during the day though, and even then it freaked us out! Old abandoned places are creeeeeepy!

  24. Emily Thibeault Avatar
    Emily Thibeault

    That shack totally creeped me out! I love reliving our childhood through this though, you do such a great job!

  25. Connie B. Dowell Avatar
    Connie B. Dowell

    Ha! I love the malapropism. In a similar vein, I’ll never forget when my sister said she was afraid of a “poultrygeist!”

  26. jell jell @ I'll Sleep When They're Grown Avatar

    You did such a great job on the door, the spider webs, the concrete blocks…I just love your style so much. And so funny!

  27. Jacob Spire Avatar

    Did Jesus trespass?

  28. Russ Nickel Avatar

    This was awesome!

  29. metan Avatar

    There was a house like that in my neighbourhood too. I always wished I had the guts to sneak in, there wasn’t even any signs warning against it, we just knew we would have our butts kicked if we were caught. I don’t live anywhere near there anymore but drove past it a couple of years ago to find it was gone and there was a group of units there instead. I felt so cheated! I wonder if the new residents are haunted by the ghost we were convinced lived in the house?

  30. thoughtsontheatre Avatar

    You are fantastically creative! Loved this little memory.

  31. Cheoy Lee Avatar

    This was hilarious!

  32. Searching for the Light Avatar
    Searching for the Light

    Just to let you know I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award, for more information see here http://choccat.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/versatile-blogger-award/

  33. adollyciousirony Avatar

    Awesome illustration… so brilliant! :)

  34. tita buds Avatar

    Hahaha! No, you can’t go in there with that kind of threat hanging over you. :)
    I love how your illustrations are getting more and more detailed. Perfect choice of materials, too, especially for the tree trunks and moss.

  35. thecurvyspine Avatar

    haha I love it ♥

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