CAUTION: “The House on Ashley Avenue” Ending EXPLAINED
The funny thing about this post is that, while it is entitled, “House on Ashley Avenue Ending Explained,” you, the reader, are actually going to end up doing the explaining. That is, it’ll be you, Sam Raimi, and Corin Hardy, to name a few, since they’re the ones currently working on the horror tale’s Netflix adaptation entitled, “Every House is Haunted.”
How do I know that?
Well, while I don’t exactly understand how movie production works, I think it’s safe to say the director and producer get to decide how to interpret the ending of the movie they’re working on. And the ending does seem to be open to interpretation.
Writer Ian Rogers, the mind behind the original short story, was kind enough to answer my question on this topic directly:
By the way, it is so cool that Ian Rogers answered me like this.
The House on Ashley Avenue
In a previous article, I said that Eddie was “a murderous creature who haunts 17 Ashley Avenue.” At the time, I was pretty sure about that, but I’m thinking now that maybe I was wrong.
At the time, I had just finished reading the short story as research for the upcoming film. And to be completely fair to me, I have a day job, so I was just doing my best with the amount of time that I had.
Anyway, my conclusion was based on this passage from the ending:
“[Sally] saw a flash of images. The vanity. The open window. The scratch baseball game taking place outside. Kids hollering and laughing. “Eddie’s OUT, Eddie’s OUT!” The crack of a bat, followed by the crash of broken glass. Then everything turns red.“Ian Rogers, Every House is Haunted
Let me explain.
My original thinking was that a little kid called “Eddie” was playing baseball. Then, kids started teasing him, saying he was “out.” Well, maybe Eddie didn’t think he was out. Maybe he thought he was safe. In the world of little kids playing baseball, there are no umpires. And where there are no umpires, things aren’t so clear cut.
My thinking was, maybe little Eddie got mad at all the other kids who were teasing him. Maybe the crack of the bat is the sound of his Louisville Slugger breaking open some poor neighborhood kid’s skull. Maybe it was that neighborhood boy’s vision which went red.
Or maybe it was little Eddie’s. Maybe he got so mad that he saw red.
As I say, that was what I thought. But I’m not so sure I think that anymore.
Because that doesn’t explain the crash of broken glass. Nor does it explain the shards of glass which chase Sally Wakefield down the hall.
Is There One Entity at 17 Ashley Avenue, or Two?
Maybe there is only one entity haunting 17 Ashley Avenue — that of the woman who got killed by the mirror.
Let me explain.
Glass from the bathroom mirror is what killed Mr. Weston; the sight of that same glass is what killed Mrs. Weston – especially if she was chased down the stairs, as Sally suspects.
Finally, the mirror in the master bedroom is what Sally uses “psychometry” on when it comes to life; it is also the material that the entity uses to take humanoid form when it scares Charles and Sally.
“Sometimes she could pick up impressions from inanimate objects. It was called psychometry, and the Group held it in very high regard.”Ian Rogers, The House on Ashley Avenue
Well, fine, but if that’s the case, and there is only one entity, where does the baseball come in?
In the end, I have changed my mind about the meaning of the baseball.
The House on Ashley Avenue Ending
Maybe Eddie is Not an Entity!
Let me explain.
I think Eddie is the one who killed the beautiful woman behind the mirror. The one who will never be beautiful ever again. The only one, maybe, who is really haunting the house on Ashley Avenue.
[Jimmy] thought [the baseball] might be an “apport”—a solid object which seemingly appears out of nowhere. Its significance, if it had one, was unknown.Ian Rogers, The House on Ashley Avenue
Charles uses the baseball to stop the entity from attacking Sally (and himself). So maybe the baseball is a “paranormal artefact” of power because it is the only thing that makes the Ashley House entity come face-to-face with her own trauma of never being beautiful again.
In other words, maybe it is not possessed of its own power.
If that’s right, I think that dynamic is just like real life. You might say it mirrors reality, if you’ll pardon the pun. After all, it is said that when real people come face-to-face with our own trauma – when we stop lying to ourselves about whatever went wrong in our lives – we can finally put our nastiest demons to rest.
For the entity haunting the house at 17 Ashley Avenue, the brutal reality that the entity has to face is all inside that baseball.
Maybe there are two entities after all.
Let me explain.
When they first pull up to the house, Charles and Sally notice an abandoned lot next door. An abandoned lot that may once have been a park.
Then, later, Sally goes upstairs. And this is what she sees out the window:
“From this vantage point the diamond shape of the old baseball diamond was even more apparent.”Ian Rogers, The House on Ashley Avenue
Now, why would the baseball diamond be dead (as far as locations can die — abandoned, overgrown, etc.) if it wasn’t haunted? Writers don’t put these details into their short stories for no reason.
This is where we come full circle.
House on Ashley Avenue Ending Explained
The ending is up to your own interpretation. I have given a few interpretations that all contradict each other. But they are all reasonable explanations. And I am sure Sam Raimi is going to do an amazing job with this story. I know he is not directing, but I still hope a few face closeups and screaming women make it into the final cut.
And as far as author Ian Rogers’ explanation goes, I actually think the best interpretation is that the only entity here is the house itself. That answer checks both the boxes.
One entity in multiple forms or guises –> check!
Multiple entities if you wanna look at it that way –> check!
Anyway, that’s my best guess. It is always a pleasure when you have a good story to chew over. This one left a great aftertaste in my mouth. I am looking forward to reading his other work.
House on Ashley Avenue Sequel!
By the way, Go Fish, The sequel to The House on Ashley Avenue, is already out and free to read here. As of this writing, I haven’t read it yet. You know. Sometimes life gets in the way. But it’s in my bookmarks, you should put it in yours, too.