OLYMPIA, Wash. – As you drive through Olympia, you might notice more than a dozen black houses. Most are rental properties, and all owned by the same person.

Over the years, the black houses have raised questions and fueled speculation.

Jenny Carter said she rented a room in one of the black houses a couple of years ago.

“I'm not sure why he's painted them black," said Carter. “I heard he’s got a coffin in one of the houses.”

Another man said, "I don't know the whole story, but it is more of a protest of being able to do what a property owner wants to do."

“There's a rumor that if you look at them on a map, they will like make a pentagram or something. I don't think it is actually true,” said one neighbor.

When it comes to the black houses, the rumor mill continues to churn. And it’s not just houses. He also owns Cryptatropa Bar, where there’s a vintage embalming table out front.

Sean Boyd works there as a bartender. He said his boss is a private person. He also said people have wild imaginations when it comes to the bar and the black houses.

"We definitely don't put blood in our cocktails. There's no satanic cult here, there's no vampires, there's nothing weird other than just what people have in their mind," said Boyd. "To me human society was built on stories. People love their stories. They have to have their stories one way or another."

Even if those stories belong in the fiction aisle.

The owner of the black houses did not return our messages for comment.