Written by: Storytrail
Heading home from a weekend of exploring various abandoned locations, Bumblebee and I spotted a tell tale sign of an abandonment: a long overgrown driveway. We exchanged words about it, but assumed it was nothing special and continued on our way. For months, we forgot about the house that we had seen that day. Weeks later, we were driving the backroads with no particular destination in mind when we crossed paths with the same abandoned driveway we had pointed out prior. With nothing to lose, we decided to take the chance and drove up the winding over grown driveway. As we reached the top end of the path, we were faced with a beautiful two toned brick farmhouse. We walked through the shin high grass cautiously before noticing that the front door was wide open. Bumblebee knocked hesitantly before yelling hello. His voice echoed through the house as we waited for any kind of response. After minutes of silence, we made our way inside.
To our surprise, the sad remnants of a husband, wife, and their children were scattered throughout this house that they once called home. Through the front door was the kitchen. Cupboards were open, papers were scattered across countertops, and important phone numbers and reminders were still stuck to the fridge with magnets. After walking from room to room, we discovered the usual signs of abandonment – some furniture had clearly been moved out, but other pieces still remained. Most telling though, was that everything left behind had been thrown every which way, creating a sea of papers and belongings. Bumblebee and I immediately knew that we had misjudged this place at first glance. As we made our way to the front of the house, we spotted a framed photo of the property on the wall by the staircase. The ceiling paint was peeling everywhere (forming puddles of paint chips from where they had fallen). As the house had been exposed to the harsh cold of a Canadian winter and the humidity of summer, early signs of Black mold were beginning to take form on ceilings and wallpaper.
As we searched for some evidence of what had happened here, we found a passport, an old driver’s license, family photos, and other personal items. Through our research, we were able to start putting the puzzle pieces together. The story we uncovered is nothing short of a heartbreaking tale of what unexpected events can do to a family who once lived a happy, normal life.
Simon Mellette* was born on July 28th, 1961 in Ontario, Canada. At a young age, he moved to the United States with his parents, where he was raised. In his late teen years, Simon served for the U.S. Coast Guard. Within the next few years, he moved back to Ontario, where he met Mary-Anne*. They were married, and moved to a farmhouse in the countryside; a place they could call home. These years were likely happy ones – Simon and Mary-Anne had two children, a boy and a girl. They made friends in the area, and held gatherings for friends and family frequently. Simon found a job working at LCBO so that he could support his family. Mary-Anne worked at a detention centre for youth offenders, but her real passion lay with animals. She took a course to become first-aid certified with animals in the late 90’s.
Then, one day while Mary-Anne was at work, her life (and her family’s) changed forever. A youth inmate lashed out at Mary-Anne and beat her badly, leaving her with permanent mental and physical injuries. After 6 weeks in the hospital and many appointments with doctors, Mary-Anne was left with constant pain, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Unipolar Depression, suicidal ideations, severe headaches, short and long term memory loss, and mobility issues due to obesity caused by her new physical limitations. Despite all of this, Mary-Anne tried her best to get back on her feet. She took a job working with animals, as she had always wanted. She joined Curves, hoping to fight off the rapid weight gain she was experiencing. However, finances became an issue quickly, and eventually Mary-Anne lost hope. At this point, life began getting worse and worse for the family. Simon and Mary-Anne filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Mary-Anne soon became house-ridden, constantly fighting the urge to cause self harm. To add insult to injury, the family also had to euthanize their family dog, a particularly heartbreaking task for Mary-Anne. The process of bankruptcy went on for many years, adding stress and tension to an already defeated household. Bumblebee and I believe that the Mellette family left their home sometime in 2013, and that a squatter took residence afterward, leaving in 2014. Paperwork from the Mellette family ends long before 2014, but newspapers throughout the household show this date.
Today, the house sits abandoned, still full of sad memories of the Mellette’s time there. It is unknown where the family went after they left their now abandoned home, as further research has not provided any information.
Disclaimer: *All names in this post have been changed the protect this property and the individuals involved. We follow the urban exploration motto and take nothing but photographs on all of our explores. We do not believe in breaking and entering, vandalism, or theft, nor do we condone it.
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