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New Homeowner Stunned After Being Accused Of ‘Ruining’ Neighborhood With Her ‘Witchy’ House

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Whenever we decide to renovate our home, whether we’ve lived in it for years or just moved into it, there are more than likely going to be unsolicited comments and advice.

Some of these comments can be petty and hard to deal with, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor WitchHouseAITA recently discovered this for herself when she was approached and criticized by her new neighbor.

When she felt less than welcomed into the community, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had gone too far with her redecorating.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for having a ‘witchy house’?”

The OP recently found a house that she loved.

“I ([female] 31) recently bought my first home all on my own! I’m super happy about it, but an encounter with a new neighbor earlier today kind of threw me off my groove, and now I’m wondering if I’ve been an a**hole.”

“Basically, while I wouldn’t call myself goth, my style is similar. Corporate goth, I guess you could say? Lots of black, and when I use color in my personal life, it tends to be very dark shades.”

“When I was house hunting I didn’t pay too much attention to paint color or anything, and just searched for a house that fit my needs, budget, etc.”

“And I found it, with a good commute to work in a quiet neighborhood.”

She decided to make it match her aesthetic. 

“It was bright yellow with blue shutters and doors and bright flowers in the yard, but I knew I could paint it.”

“I had a bit left on my lease, so before I moved in, I had the house painted a pale, warm shade of gray with black trim and white shutters and doors.”

“I also had the flowers replaced with ones that better fit my color scheme, and added a dark leaf plum tree to the front yard.”

Then the OP met one of her neighbors. 

“Anyway, it’s been a few days since I moved in and I was out in my yard when this older woman came up to me and started asking if I was the one who did this, and why did I need to make my house so ‘witchy’ and dark.”

“She said I ruined the look of the whole neighborhood and it was going to bring down property values.”

“I told her to get away from my property, because she was starting to yell, then I went inside.”

The OP had mixed feelings after that. 

“Later I started to wonder. It’s my house and looks nice to me, but the other houses are very colorful and mine stands out a lot.”

“I don’t think it will sink property values, but it does clash a lot.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some reassured the OP that she made a lovely choice. 

“Gray houses with white/black accents are very very popular in my neighborhood/area. This house doesn’t even sound unusual to me—I was expecting like, a weirdly done house, not just a normal gray house with white shutters.”

“I mean giving OP the benefit of knowing her house better than us and she says it fits her ‘goth ish’ aesthetic, it at most sounds like interior-decorator goth. That old lady is on crack.”

“Also even if she’d had the roof thatched in some dark color and made the windows look a little wonky and had given it a medieval plank-style door with ivy all over it, she would still be well within her right, and not the a**hole. But at least then I could see where the old lady was coming from!”SaveTheLadyBugs

“A grey and black nicely painted & landscaped house is not going to bring anyone’s property values down. Warm grey is considered neutral, plus it doesn’t show dirt as much.”

“Sounds like you have a neighbor that feels entitled to demand everything be to their liking. Glad you shoo-ed them off.”


“While I think the yellow and blue aesthetic sounds darling, what OP has done sounds perfectly appropriate. It’s not a solid unbroken wall of black: it’s just monochromatic. And edgy, well-kept houses don’t affect property values: only trashed yards do that.”etds3

“I just painted mine similar, dark gray with white trim and a blood-red door. I told the painter my style is ‘Addams Family but a little cheerier.’ He helped me pick the colors and said dark gray is really popular right now so tell your neighbor to kick rocks.”WithoutDennisNedry

“I also painted my house when I moved in, it was bright baby blue and I painted it dark deep midnight blue (almost black) and white trim. Every other house on my block is bright and ‘fun’ and mine is dark and brooding, and my neighbors have given me SO many compliments on it! That lady just sucks, lol (laughing out loud).”waveytype

Given the season, others recommended the OP embrace Halloween. 

“If I were OP, I’d be upping my goth wardrobe and makeup and moon-bathing on my front porch. Lean into it if you’re going to be judged for a neutral color scheme.”

“I’d also double-down on the garden and only plant goth veggies (eggplant, black Krim tomatoes, black corn, black bok choy, etc) and dark flowers (black calla lilies, black petunia, modo grass). You get the picture.”

“The veggies are really because I mostly like eating them, and the flowers are just to increase the tutting from the old woman.”


“Not only that, but incorporate the ‘witchy’ theme. Do a cauldron with smokes coming out of it, dress up like a really old witch, get a ‘book of spells,’ etc.”twobit694200

“This is going to be THE house to visit on Halloween If OP wants to really rub in how cool they are, get the good candy or sodas, Halloween theme it up, and make it the coolest spot.”

“We had one of those houses in my neighborhood that of course some whined about and they retaliated with epic Halloween decor and beers for the parents (genuinely the coolest adults a kid me ever met).”

“They made everyone feel welcome and that house was seen as the HIGHLIGHT of the year and the hot spot when it was featured in the local newspaper twice for both Halloween and being the latest trend…”S3xySouthernB

“I fully support this! be the COOL witch in the neighborhood! but also yeah, OP have you met the other neighbors yet? like they probably aren’t all batty like this nosy old crone is and maybe being welcoming to the other neighbors might reveal she’s the neighborhood crazy and everyone is chill with the grey house. A perfect reason to go all out on Halloween.”geenersaurus

“I would literally move across the globe to move into a community like that if I could afford it, no joke.”

“I got cats, and I was a costumer in my past life, so you know I can dress us all up and have a big old masquerade ball seasonally, I’d just need help investing in the materials. And my husband is an amazing storyteller, so we can have great bonfire nights.”chicken-nanban

A few pointed out how it could be a little more complicated. 

“It depends. An old village with colorful houses can be very beautiful (and anyone ruining a protected or historical landscape is an AH imho (in my honest opinion), happens in Europe and really sucks).”villikekkonen

“NTA. Your house, your style! As long as the HOA (if you have one) hasn’t said anything to you then you’re in the clear! She started to yell at you and you did the mature thing in response.”Jjstayton

“No city ordinances about colors either?”

“I’m asking because we (from the Netherlands) typically only have HOA’s for apartment buildings, but we do have some cities that have rules on what you are allowed to do to the outside of your house in certain areas, to keep all the houses looking roughly the same.”

“(It’s called ‘welstandsregels’ here, and it is keeping me from repainting my baby puke yellow-greenish front door to a different colour.)”

“If you don’t have that, you are of course NTA.”GeekItRealGood

Though the OP felt discouraged by this woman’s feedback and demeanor, the subReddit didn’t see a cause for concern. Choosing the appearance of your home is a very personal choice, and contrary to popular belief, the paint color isn’t going to impact the community’s value that much.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit