During the walk through though, I started noticing some odd things. It was a second story apartment and the man who owned it was apparently affected by arson phobia, for there was a fire ladder in the bedroom closet and I was sure the jump from the balcony couldn’t be more than 12 or 15 feet. It didn’t take long for me to pick up on why the owner feared fire though. Under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, it looked as though the cabinet bottoms had been torched, while never blackening the pipework. And the cabinets throughout the entire place had strange burn marks on the spaces between the cabinet door and the shelves… almost like someone had held a cigarette to the flat surfaces. I chalked it all up to the age of the building or past tenants that might have partied too much or might have just been nasty.
We moved in on a snowy day. Everything was wet and soppy, and cold as hell. By the time we got everything in we were exhausted. It was just my husband and I moving all of our crap. The first night there it seemed a little darker than I remembered it being the day before.
About a week into our stay there, I had gotten most of our belongings unpacked and put into their proper places. The entertainment center was set up; the bathroom put together, the dishes unpacked, and the clothes hung up. We were starting to feel at home. I even went out to buy a lamp for the front room that seemed so doomingly dark. That night there was an awesome thunderstorm. Blasting lightning across the sky. It was a ferocious storm, and I decided to fall asleep on the couch with the T.V. playing softly in the background.
I was awakening by a popping sound, like a light bulb when it goes out. The light was off but when I got up and turned the switch it came on nice and bright and for a while I was perplexed. I was sure that something had woken me up but I couldn’t for life of me, figure where a popping sound would come from. I noticed that the T.V. was off so I reached for the remote and went to turn it on. The screen stayed blank and so I got up to turn it on. It stayed blank. I realized that the popping sound must’ve come from the T.V. blowing itself out. Maybe the building was struck by lightning? I figured that it must have been it. My set was new and nothing else seemed affected by this surge of electricity, so I was bummed I would have to get the set fixed but thankful nothing else had been damaged.
It took a few weeks for Circuit City to own up to my warranty and in the meantime our place seemed to grow colder and darker with each day.
Life continued on. Work, kiddo, school.
But… things kept changing in our home. I would be doing laundry and the dryer’s heat would shut off but continue to run. I called the management company and they sent out their Mr. Fix-it handyman to look at it. The dryer seemed to be tripping a fuse, but I was sure that if the fuse was flipped off, that the dryer shouldn’t have been running at all. Was it bad wiring? Maybe. I knew that the condos had been built in the 70’s and I was sure that the wiring was all original. I was afraid that the motor in the dryer would overheat while we were sleeping or not at home, and possibly cause it to catch fire. I got in the habit of making sure it was off anytime I couldn’t keep track of how long it had been running. I blamed the owner for having a shitty dryer and the management company for not being able to fix it. Damn them!
Next to go was the kitchen light. It would flicker out, only to come on in the middle of the night by itself. I tried replacing the expensive ass fluorescent bulb, but to no avail. I again called the Mr. Fix-it handyman. He came out with a new fixture and replaced the whole thing. It still wouldn’t work with any consistency, so I took the lamp I had bought for the dark ass living room and put it near the kitchen so I could see while I was cooking. I was starting to feel as if we weren’t alone.
Little things started to add up. My daughter was still very young and had just started walking. She would run down the hallway laughing and chasing someone or something that wasn’t there. My husband was thoroughly freaked out by this. He would bring her back into the living room only to have her laugh at the wall, or the corner of the ceiling. He was totally unnerved and said he felt chicken-skin all over.
Since we had moved into a two bedroom, the point was for my daughter to have her own space and us ours. But still, we all slept in the same room. And then I started noticing shadows. They mostly lingered in doorways, sometimes shifting across the hall in front of me, like someone trying to trip me. I saw them mostly out of my peripheral vision at first, and then I saw them full on, with substance.
I’ve always thought of myself as an in-tune person. I’ve had one premonition, I’ve been known to sense auras, I am open-minded, and believe for the most part, that there is some truth to most beliefs. But I wasn’t sure what was in our house. Was it something trying to warn us? Were we not welcome? Should I be in fear for my life or my sanity? I was getting a little creeped out.
So I started asking around. My thoughts were that maybe there had already been a fire. So I called the management company, only to be told that “no, no fires were on record”. I tried to look into the history of the land but was stumped as to how I would define fact from fiction, our lovely history books being so full of half-truths, and records only providing births and deaths. No real detailed history of what had been there existed. So I abandoned that route.
Then one night, while sitting on the balcony I got to talking with the neighbors. Not one but two other neighbors had been experiencing the same trouble with their kitchen fixtures and had yet to find a resolution. What made it strange was that all of the units had their own wiring, fuse boxes and the like. None of our units were connected in any other way than the walls.
I decided it was time to take action! Me and a girlfriend got together some sage and burnt it, walking around reciting prayers and cleansing the house. By the time we were done I was so drained that I was nauseous. She left and I proceeded to get violently sick. I felt like I was the one who had been cleansed. This was weird. I passed out exhausted and woke the next day in a fog.
For a while things seemed to quiet down. The kitchen light and dryer had resumed working and I thought that perhaps I had literally purged the presence out of my home.
I was sure that whatever was there had gone. But when I crawled into bed at night, I could still feel something or someone watching me. I would turn my back to the bedroom door so that I would not notice the shadows blocking the hall light.
One night after we had eaten dinner, and were watching the boob tube, I noticed that my daughter had fallen fast asleep on the couch beside me. I picked her up careful not to wake her, walked down the hall and laid her in our bed. I kissed her goodnight and went to hang with my hubby.
We were ten minutes into the evening news when my little girl let out a blood curdling scream! I rushed into the bedroom and tried my best to console her. She was still too little to explain to me why she was so scared and upset; but I knew better and decided to lay with her and protect her. Slowly she calmed down, doing the "catch your breath" sobs here and there. And I was almost asleep myself, when suddenly I was pushed with great force on my shoulder. Like someone had grabbed a hold of me to shake me awake. Terrified, I started repeating the Lord’s Prayer over and over. Eventually I drifted off to sleep with the power of prayer on my side.
At about three in the morning my husband came rushing in the bedroom. Yelling at me, “That’s NOT funny!” “What are you doing? Huh?” “That’s NOT funny!”
Mind you I am fast asleep in bed and I have no idea what he’s talking about. But there he was, all 6ft. 225lbs. shaking in like a leaf screaming at me “That’s NOT funny!!!!!!”
“What are you talking about Ellis?” I asked him.
“You think that’s funny huh? Sitting behind the counter whispering like that…” He looked at me with venom, like I had betrayed him.
“Honey, we are asleep!” I told him. “We are sleeping, we are here. What are you talking about?”
Again the look of betrayal…
“No you’re not!” He spat at me. “You are sitting behind the counter going “EEEELLLLIIIISSSS” “EEEELLLLLIIISSSS”
Now it was my turn for chicken-skin.
“Come here honey,” I said. “Climb in bed with us, we’ll protect you”.
And so my grown ass husband climbed in the bed with us like a scared little kid. I wrapped my arms around him AND my daughter and swore I would figure a way to get rid of whatever it was that was haunting us.
The next day, I took the kiddo to my Mom’s and stopped by the local Catholic church for a little dip of holy water. I am not Catholic by any means but figured it was worth a shot. My husband and I started blessing the house telling the entity that it had to leave. It was not welcome anymore.
The bathroom closet door slammed shut in defiance. But still we prayed and splashed holy water on every wall, every window, and every door. The one Jesus picture I own… rattled itself off the wall and onto the dresser face down. Still we prayed. When the water was gone and our tongues were tired and twisted, it was time to take a shower.
After 20 minutes in hot water, we both felt better. Nothing else fell off the walls. No more slamming doors.
The shadows lightened but never did fully retract themselves from view.
My daughter still laughed at things that weren’t there, but the malice seemed to be largely gone and I could live with what traces were left. At least for a few months.
When the time came to renew the lease we were out of there so fast it made our own heads spin.
A few months later I came in contact with a clairvoyant. I asked her if she could tell me what it was that had taunted us so. She replied that it was only spirits playing tricks, and wanting company. I guess I believe her to a certain point. But I don’t think that I will ever be able to shake the feeling, that whatever it was that was there in that condo, wanted us gone.
And I was only too happy to oblige.