Welcome to Gravid With Decay, a short, occasional newsletter by John Tolva about all things horror.
When I was a tyke my family would vacation in a tiny town in Wisconsin called Montello. We’d sleep and eat on the floor of an unfurnished apartment (because, I think, my dad partially owned the building for some reason). But mostly we’d fish on the lake. It’s where my grandmother taught me to thread a worm on a hook, not get stung by a catfish, and tolerate stretches of intense boredom. It’s also where I learned that certain dogs cannot distinguish between a grassy lawn and a water surface covered in algae, leading inevitably to hilarious wet doggo pratfalls.
What I remember most about Montello, however, is that the lake was manmade, a flooded depression backing up to a dam, and that there was a submerged house in the middle of the lake just sitting on the bottom. Montello was formerly a granite mining town, so when the dam was built there was a ready source of material to fill it. Apparently it was also cheaper to fill the lone house-to-be-flooded with granite than move or raze it, so the engineers anchored it with rock and let the water flow.