Just before midnight on September 8th, 1987, Minnie Winston stepped out of her bath and into the strangest night of her life.
The seventy seven year-old noticed a strange, red spill on the bathroom floor. As she was about to inspect the unusual puddle she noticed that the walls in her bathroom also had the same reddish stain mysteriously oozing from its surface. She stepped outside and saw that the hallway floor also had pools of the reddish substance blotted across the tiles.
“Will,” she called out. “Come look at all this red stuff coming out of the floors.” For a split second Minnie panicked when her husband didn’t reply.
At seventy nine years of age, Minnie’s husband’s health was fragile and needed professional medical care. William Winston had to be hooked up to a dialysis machine everyday to have his blood cleansed and the process would leave him exhausted each day.
Minnie’s fear turned into a wild confusion when her husband appeared at the other end of the hallway. He was in clean clothes with no visible signs of blood anywhere on his body. He stood looking at the red blobs between them both. The expression on his wife’s face mimicked his own.
Whose blood was it?
The Winstons were confused and understandably terrified. Not knowing what to do, they placed a call to the police station, asking them to come and check out their home and the mysterious appearance of blood. Detective Steve Cartwright investigated the six bedroom brick house on the south side of Atlanta. The police searched the premises but were unable to find any signs of a break-in or someone hiding in the property. Given the amount of blood at the property, there were two things that Detective Cartwright was sure about that night: That what they were looking at was in fact blood and that it didn’t come from the Winstons.
In over 22 years of residence in 1114 Fountain Drive both Minnie and William had never experienced anything like they had that Tuesday night in 1987. Pools of blood were found in their kitchen, as well as in their living room. It was on the floor of their bedroom, on the walls, and under appliances. Given the amount of blood they found, it appeared to have been placed, or dripped, on the spot from a very lively source. In other words, someone inside their home had been bleeding profusely.
However there was no one inside the house besides the septuagenarian couple, who neither had blood or cuts visibly on their bodies. Even when questioned about her husband’s recent blood work, Minnie assured the officers that all aspects of the treatment were done at a medical facility, not inside their home.
Dumbfounded, the police collected samples of the blood and submitted it to their lab for further analysis. It was now a waiting game for Minnie and her husband as they went to bed every night wondering whose blood had been smeared on the floors and walls of their home. A few days after their initial discovery, Detective Cartwright visited the residence to deliver news that neither he nor the Winstons would come to understand.
The lab results concluded that it was human blood what was collected inside the Winston’s home. Furthermore, it was from someone with Type O blood. When the detective asked, Minnie stated that it wasn’t hers, as hers was not that same type. She then went on to tell him that her husband’s blood type was A.
Which was confirmed by the medical facility that treated Mr. Winston. They were back where they had started. The blood type didn’t match the residents of the house and given the amount of blood that oozed through the floors and walls, Detective Cartwright could only surmise that the blood did not come from the Winstons. So the the question still remained. Whose blood was it?
When the story broke through small headlines in 1987, Minnie and William received a lot of unwanted attention from the press and independent investigators. There were unwanted phone calls and knocks to their house at all hours of the day. The elderly couple kept to their word and stated over and over again that the blood did not belong to them and that it was in no way a hoax.
“I still don’t know where the blood came from,” Minnie said in an interview a few days after the lab results were revealed. “and I’m tired of all these people asking me all these questions. If anybody comes here today, I’m not going to open my door.”
The Atlanta police never figured out where the blood came from and who it came out of. Minnie and William Winston never experienced any further spontaneous blood incidents in the house that came to be known as the Bleeding House.
This story was based on the real events reported by The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. 1987