Son, I’m trying my best not to lose my temper here, but it’s tough when there’s a hole the size of a Ford Taurus in our roof and no logical explanation for how it got there. So I’ll ask you one more time, and don’t give me any more of that witch crap. What the fuck happened to our house?

As far as your mother and I are concerned, last night was a perfectly normal Halloween night in Salem. The weather was chilly but calm. There were no tornadoes, or blizzards, or even a drop of rain. So imagine our surprise when, after spending the night dancing at that wicked good party at City Hall, we walk back home in the morning only to look up at our humble abode and see a big-ass gap where the crow’s nest used to be.

Admittedly, it was irresponsible to leave you kids unattended all night. But in our defense, after those three ladies sang that bangin’ rendition of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s “I Put a Spell on You,” the party really kicked into high gear, and we couldn’t tear ourselves away no matter how hard we tried. Besides, can you really blame us for wanting to have a night out to ourselves for once?

One tiny parental dereliction of duty is no excuse for whatever behavior led to blowing out the entire top third of the house. Have you been experimenting with improvised explosives in your bedroom? Should we be calling ATF? Max, we didn’t move you from LA to Salem for you to become one of those weird kids who look up how to make pipe bombs “for fun.”

What’s maybe even more bewildering than the possibility that our son might be the next Unabomber is that you seem to have a complete lack of remorse for the destruction you’ve caused. We came home to you and your sister giving us huge hugs, with big smiles on your faces like you were living in some kind of happily-ever-after fantasyland. Meanwhile, I have to find a contractor to put a tarp over the roof before a nor’easter comes through and drops three inches of rain onto the entire goddamn second floor. Which, if you knew anything about finding a contractor in Massachusetts, you’d know is going to be a gigantic and stupidly expensive pain in the ass.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Because guess what? We can’t just do a standard roof repair. Nope. See, you might not be aware of this, but this house is a Second Empire Victorian built in 1870 and is, therefore, part of the Salem Preservation Society. This means every repair has to be true to the original appearance of the house, and done exclusively with building materials that were available at the time. That means no vinyl, no laminates, nothing modern. Just hardwood and good old-fashioned slate shingles, which, again, is going to cost a fucking fortune. Because, Massachusetts.

So you can see why maybe, just maybe, your mother and I are a little miffed when I ask you what the hell happened here, and you give me some cockamamie story about how those three women from the party were actually the infamous Sanderson Sisters, and how they were resurrected because you, a virgin, lit a candle in the old Sanderson Cottage Museum. Although, breaking and entering aside, we are a little relieved to hear that you aren’t sexually active yet.

Still, it’s beyond insulting to suggest that those nice ladies (who are part of what I can only assume is some sort of immersive theater company, improv troupe, or cosplay meetup group) were, in fact, unholy servants of Satan on a quest for eternal life. I’m supposed to believe a couple of local thespians were the ones who put a gaping crater in our Italianate-style cupola? Give me a break, Max.

Look, we get it. You’re a teenage boy. Teenage boys love to lash out at their parents. They love to be cold and distant. And they love to tell made-up stories about evil Wiccans, cats with oddly selective talking abilities, and zombies with moths coming out of their mouths. But we’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars worth of home repairs here. Repairs that, if we want them to be covered by our homeowner’s insurance, are going to require an explanation to the claims adjuster that holds a little more water than “three seventeenth-century sorceresses—with magical powers, bad memories, and a surprisingly deep knowledge of modern pop culture—blasted a hole in our house while doin’ some witchy shit.” Our insurance covers Acts of God. Acts of the Devil, not so much.

So please, for the love of all that is holy, just tell us what actually happened so we can get this house fixed and get our lives back to normal.

And wipe that stupid grin off your face. You and your sister look like you just saved the lives of everyone in Salem instead of looking like two children who are about to be grounded for the rest of the goddamn school year. Also, we have no idea where you got that hideous grimoire with the giant eyeball on it, but it is going straight to Goodwill as soon as they open.

I will say Allison does seem very nice. Maybe you’ll finally lose your virginity!

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This essay appears as part of frequent contributor Carlos Greaves’s hilarious debut book, Spoilers: Essays That Might Ruin Your Favorite Hollywood Movies, which also includes essays based on work originally published in McSweeney’s.