How I survived The Castle — a party house with eight other roommates

Guestpost by Megan on Jun 24th

My sophomore year I lived with my boyfriend and seven of our friends in a party house. We'd convinced a landlord to move out of his 4,000 square foot historic mansion we'd dubbed "The Castle" — and to allow nine rowdy college students to move in. Let's just say this man — the landlord — was the equivalent of 100 college students, and had really had his way with this house. This guy partied HARD and it showed: there were missing floorboards, broken windows, bullet holes in the ceiling, and about 35 years of grime. And the number to Pizza Hut had been written in sharpie on the wall next to the antique telephone.

It.
was.
PERFECT!

The nine of us moved in and attempted to bring our home up to code. We managed to get some FREE linoleum and lime shag carpet from someone's grandparents' shed. It really tied the rooms together. We jammed nine people into three bedrooms. Well — actually — one of my friends lived in a closet off the kitchen, and another lived in an open space.

This house became a party house like none other. It was the stuff of legend. Years later, people still speak of The Castle in hushed and reverent tones. A party guest once drunkenly called a taxi service, stated her location as "The Castle" — and lo and behold, the driver knew where it was. I didn't realize how famous this party house became until I was at the grocery store on Halloween buying beer for the party and people I didn't know in line asked if I was going out. They said that they were too, and asked if I had ever heard of "The Castle." I booked it out of the grocery store and zipped back home. This was about to get OUT. OF. HAND.

Halloween brought 300 to our home at once — the person watching the door counted. Four kegs gone in an hour, one trip to the ER for a spurting arm wound… and this is how parties typically went.

You can imagine I have advice on living with a bajillion roommates who throw massive parties:

  • Label your food — I never tasted a drop of many of the cartons of milk I bought! Once we agreed to label food we still shared many items, but this way you got to eat your food!
  • Organize a weekly cleaning session and lost and found swap — If most of us were able to do a "strike team" cleaning, we could get that whole place cleaned up after a rager in about an hour. We also started a lost and found box in our living room.
  • Make a shower schedule
  • Assign someone to stay at the door during large parties — This way we had a bouncer. People who had broken windows, tried to start fights, or were underaged could be turned away. We could also manage the noise level outside.
  • Rejoice in the fact that you live with many wonderful people and learn from them! We didn't have a TV — but we did all play pool, cook food, think up ideas for and plan parties, and generally hang out.
  • Invest in an escape cove — When parties were thumping until 4:00, it was nice to know I could crash at a friend's or go to the school and study in the library if need be.

So, I'm betting you want to take a look at this place? We don't have a measly Flickr set, we have a virtual tour of The Castle. Enjoy!

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About Megan

Megan is a nursing student, food hooker, and bon vivant. She enjoys her poodle, who constantly steals her food.