Lots of Twin Cities residents found an angle or hustle to squeeze a few bucks off Super Bowl visitors.
You could drive Uber or Lyft, for example, or pick up an extra shift at the bar. Maybe you just let some delusional fat cat buy you drinks. All's fair in love and short-term profiteering.
One would-be entrepeneur was left hanging, for reasons that probably became obvious the moment you saw that terrifying picture above. "The Hole," as it's nicknamed, was undoubtedly the region's most affordable and most terrifying offering on Airbnb, and the one with the most distinctive description. "The Hole offers a little bit of nothing, for everyone."
Minneapolis resident Emily Heller first listed the room for rent last year on a lark, a joke to amuse her friends. Before welcoming guests, she redecorated the basement room to make it as creepy as possible, largely using objects she found after taking it over from an uncle who'd lived there previously.
Among them: a bunch of old scissors, dentures, a Jesus candle, and an antique book called "The Care and Feeding of Children," which from the looks of it might be missing the phrase "...to Monsters."
Creepiest of all: a whole bunch of dolls, including one large one Heller arranged as if it were lying in the bed.
"Do you like dolls?" the ad asks. "Let them watch you."
The place is "definitely haunted," reads the listing, and whoever stays there will be "visited by at least two ghosts."
Heller's friends liked the joke. Then the weirdest thing happened. Someone booked it. The guest was "super weird and really great," and worked as an electrician, especially interesting to Heller. "I had just been accepted to the Minneapolis Local 15 plumbing apprenticeship program, and I really wanted to talk to another woman working in union construction." "
The woman, who has since become a friend of Heller's, left a positive review -- "the host provided me blankets, a sleeping bag, some pillows, and some wine" -- and soon, others were interested in braving a night inside the creepy locale.
Eventually, Heller's roommates grew wary of the thought of renters coming and going, so she took the ad down... until very recently, when Heller couldn't resist the allure of offering what looks like a horror movie scene to some of the richest and fanciest people in America.
"I thought maybe somebody would bite," Heller says, "but no dice. I guess they're not really the 'looking for a creepy deal' type."
Why, sure, some of them are! Just not this kind of creepy.
Heller hasn't decided if she'll continue offering a night in "The Hole" now that the Super Bowl crowd's come and gone. She'd first have to convince her roommates to let someone stay the night down there.
After all, anyone who takes her up on the offer must be a little strange. If not before their stay, then certainly after.
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