Friday, February 27, 2009

The Ghost House

So. My first solo apartment was extremely well-located and cheap, and came complete with a laundry room right next to my (hollow, interior-style) apartment door that included a dryer you could use for free. Being able to warm up my flannel PJs at bedtime was huge compensation for inconveniences like being in the basement of a 100-year-old mansion, in a small damp space that looked out at the parking lot on one side and always smelled a bit of gas.

The gas I put down to the stove being a faulty. After a few weeks, though, the phone started ringing while I was talking on it. That happened a lot and I assumed the wiring was bad. Then one day I came home from work and couldn't find my butter dish. It lived on the table; I lived alone. I looked around, confused, before noticing bits of something sticking to the wall near the phone: it was the butter plate, now in pieces, shards of it clinging to butter that was splattered across that wall.

I looked down and sure enough, there was the rest of the butter plate on the floor. It had been picked up and hurled against the wall, apparently. By the wind? It was a gusty day, but my kitchen window - the sill 12" deep and crammed into a quiet corner - was closed, since I'd never been able to open it. By my landlord, annoyed with me for having given notice six months before my lease was up so I could move to England? He had seemed like such a nice man, and not at all annoyed with me for my change of plans. By the other basement tenant, perhaps sick of my nightly flannel-warming habits? He was across the hall from the laundry room and would never have heard the dryer.

I was across the ocean myself before it occurred to me that instead of renting a firetrap in close proximity to an angry burglar, I might have been rooming with a poltergeist. I'm not sure even now which explanation I prefer!


Kathleen Taylor said...

Our house in town was haunted- several times a month, at mid-afternoon, footsteps could be heard walking down the upstairs hallway. It only happened if you were downstairs. I heard them often enough not to be startled, and my son heard them many times as well (my husband was never home in the afternoons, so he didn't hear them). I never felt any menace or fear- it was sort of comforting.

JMS said...

That's awesome! Guess it's a good thing you didn't figure it out while you were living there, eh?

I'll have to tell you about the crazy things I've experienced sometime!

Thanks for sharing!

JMS :)

Mary Keenan said...

Mostly I think it's a good thing I wasn't poisoned by gas or broken into and attacked (almost zero security in that place) or killed in a fire (ditto viable exits)! Eventually I got more sensible when choosing places to live, but it took a while.