Craigslist mostly functions as a chill local marketplace for moving boxes, BILLY bookcases, blowjobs, and strip clubs — yet it sometimes gets a pretty bad rap. If New York is our nation’s weirdness capital (sorry, Austin), then Craigslist is its unofficial online clubhouse. Here are a handful of ads that sound like the beginning of a terrible B movie (or porn, depending on what you’re into).
This living situation is almost assuredly a deathtrap. In addition to your own spacious furnished room, you get premium cable, doorman (cough, henchman), an elevator, and “abundant custom-built storage.” All in exchange for “taking care of” the poster’s two-bedroom apartment. He or she specifically encourages “students or international visitors,” which is clearly code for “people who won’t be missed right away.” But yeah, you could also score some really sweet digs for free. Just swing by and tell him/her exactly how much stuff you have. Bonus: It’s 420-friendly!
Still jealous of your Bennington friends’ post-collegiate poverty tourism WWOOFing adventures? Set fire to your cumbersome belongings and move to this “off-grid homestead in Alaska.” Whether or not the post is legit, when you uproot your life to live on Kodiak Island, you’re pretty much asking for something terrible to happen. Of the approximately 200 photos provided, the only one that doesn’t look like stock photography is the one with jars of unidentified floating gristle. Hanks of human flesh? Probably. But they’re in mason jars, so you should totes pin that.
Nothing screams legitimacy quite like offering a gender-specific “participant” $150 to give her a massage. Specifically a one- to two-hour rubdown consisting of “swedish oils with various other techniques,” services that are definitely not on the menu at Bliss. In case you were still on the fence about whether or not this is creepy, the poster requests a photo along with your available times. You know, standard stuff.
This $200/month Bronx apartment roommate request starts off on a weird but not completely unheard-of note and then takes a sharp and committed turn into DEFCON 7 levels of insanity. In addition to affordable housing, a free tablet and cellphone, and a jacuzzi bathtub, you get to live with a “BIG TALKING BIRD” who can say “UP TO THIRTY WORDS CLEARLY.” You’re only required to speak two of the four languages that “Tyra” speaks, and to be “FOREVER DRUG-FREE” and “NOT AT ALL LAZY.” Your new roomie is a board-certified plastic surgeon/medical doctor with two brand-new luxury vehicles and a “CUTE ATV MOTORCYCLE.” This almost has to be next-level trolling but could be worth exploring if you’re into cool free stuff and a laid-back palatial environment.
Don’t worry, no one forgot about the classic “free place for nude lady” post. This guy is at least a little self-aware — he’s titled his post “Desperate? Female? Not too crazy/no sex/share my bed.” Although this is a short-term arrangement, he thoughtfully closes with “Relax
Because the only thing more relaxing than a three-day Vinyasa retreat is showering with a strange man who writes his ads like bad freeform poetry.
And finally, the ultimate murder invite: this Florida native who wants to help a homeless female between the ages of 25 and 40 start a new life. Although he says he wants nothing in return, he does ask that you provide a photo. You know, so he can prepare your room to your exact specifications or whatever. Per his post, he has “helped out four in the past,” which doesn’t sound ominous at all. Physically attractive without friends, family, or resources? Consider a fresh start in the Sunshine State!
Pinky Guest is the author of eBay Shop of Horrors and is obsessed with things that New Yorkers sell online. She spends hours perusing the shelves of Craigslist and eBay so you don’t have to. Read her Village Voice columns here.