Halloween is approaching! And I just watched IT in theatres so I’m feeling the spooky vibe (when aren’t I, honestly?)
This will be my last batch of ghost stories for a while. I have a few more topics in mind that I just need to get out of my head and spill onto the screen. And I promise I will throw in some recipes here and there.
Perhaps there is a darkness that used to follow me. But I know by now it’s gone. Now I have a new entity that’s been following me for the last six years, my father. Mediums have approached me to inform me that they sense a “presence” that surrounds me. Only one has been able to pinpoint the presence as my father.
For those of you who don’t know, he passed away tragically 6 ½ years ago. I won’t get into the devastating details, but it was drawn out and heart wrenching. I was lost. Completely shattered. On his deathbed he expressed that he was worried about my wellbeing. He feared I’d never recover. Perhaps this is why he decided to stick around after passing over.
I know for a fact that the presence in this first story was my father. The second one, I’m not so sure. And this last one, definitely not. What all of these stories do have in common is they all took place in various apartments that I’ve lived in.
No crying over shelves thrown.
Five years ago, I moved into a one bedroom apartment in a quaint little complex in Barrington, Rhode Island. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s somewhere in between Providence and Newport. I didn’t move in alone. I rented out the space with my incredibly abusive ex boyfriend (who never paid a penny for rent or utilities. Just saying.) Using some of the money I’d come into from my inheritance, I furnished the apartment, always feeling guilty that I was spending what I considered to be blood money. In the corner of the living room I installed corner shelves, one of them was a sort of shrine to my father. Pictures, trinkets, notes, little reminders so I could feel like he was somehow still with me.
When we finally finished furnishing and decorating, we decided to christen the apartment by eating a quarter ounce of magic mushrooms. Mushrooms always take me to a very spiritual place. Without fail, I always cry due to the overwhelming beauty that’s provided by the Earth. I do believe that it helps to break down your perceptions of reality, and transcends you to a different plane where you can interact with the supernatural. More so than I already do.
I was floored by an overwhelming sadness. I didn’t want any of this stuff. I wanted my dad back. I’d give it all back, the money, the stuff, everything. Just to have him in my life again. To have his guidance and support.
I expressed this to my dickhead boyfriend who responded with, “look at that butt!” Slapping me on the ass. The moment he touched me, the shelf flew across the room. It went up and over, sending the trinkets and notes in every which direction, the shelf flying in the direction of my boyfriend. It did not simply fall. It looked like someone smacked it across the room. I imagine it was his way of saying, “cut the shit! She’s having a fucking moment!”
Stuff like this happened often in our apartment. I mentioned that my ex was abusive. After we would fight, shelves would collapse on him, heavy objects would fall or knock into him. I knew it was him defending my honor. My boyfriend thought so too.
Daddy’s girl for life. Even in the after life.
Don’t turn off the lights.
This story involves another ex. But more of an ex lover than an ex boyfriend. Not that that really has any bearing on the story but I think it needs to be said. I have terrible taste in guys, clearly. And the spiritual entities surrounding me seem to think so too.
At the time I was living on the East Side of Providence, Rhode Island. In a post-Victorian colonial home built sometimes in the early 1800s. Just looking at the place from the outside you would assume that it was haunted. Most of these houses in the area were.
We were hanging out one night in my living room, watching a movie or whatever series I was addicted to at the time. In the corner of the living room I had this rain stick. To be honest, I have no idea where it came from. I think my dad picked it up from a garage sale one day and I decided to take it after I moved on (after he’d passed away.)
Sometimes I would hear the rain stick trickling, but only slightly. I wrote it off as the vibrations of a passing car, or the from a neighbor returning home, slamming the door as they came in.
But there was no explanation this time. The rain stick broke our robotic trance with a loud rush of falling needles, as if someone had flipped it over. We both jumped, looking to the rain stick and then at each other.
“No fucking way!” he screamed.
“It’s…it’s just vibrations. Someone slammed a door downstairs,” I tried to rationalize.
“No dude. No. That’s some phantom shit.” I could tell he was clearly shaken.
But somehow I still convinced him to stay the night. “You can’t leave me here if there’s a ghost!” I tried to guilt him. I’m sure he decided to stay to satisfy his libido rather than protect me but hey, at least he stayed.
We were able to eventually shake off the jitters from the rain stick experience. It wasn’t a huge deal after all. Just the ghosts way of saying, “hey! I’m here!”
Eventually things moved to the bedroom. We had just started getting into it when the lights turned back on.
Just to clarify, this was a pull-chain light. Not a switch. It’s very unlikely that the fuse was on the cusp of turning off or on. Someone turned it on. The chain itself was waving, but since the whole room was shaking we couldn’t tie any correlations to it.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” he said, half laughing, his voice nearly strangled with fear.
We sat there for a few minutes starting at the light, waiting for it to turn back off. Eventually I reached up and pulled the chain, turning it off myself. We waited once more for it to turn on again. It didn’t.
Until we started having sex again. As soon as our minds were off the light they turned back on again. I immediately flopped on my back, covering myself. This was creepy on so many levels.
We had a decision to make. Clearly the ghost wanted us to stop, or it wanted to watch. I assumed ghosts have night vision but I never had the opportunity to ask one.
So we finished with the lights on.
Keep it in the family.
As always, I’ve kept the best for last. After leaving that apartment on the East Side, I moved back to New Jersey to live with my best friend. (I drove down with a 21’ trailer, towing my car behind it without incident. Go me!)
This home was similar to my own in the fact that it had been in this family for generations. Our landlords parents came over from Italy when they were very young. They bought this house, raised a family, and when their children grew up, they raised their family there too.
I hadn’t caught on to this fact right away though. After the first night I knew this place was haunted. My bedroom was the largest, with an adjoining half-bathroom that led to another bedroom that we used as a spare. When I finally settled into bed on that first night, beginning to drift off to sleep, the bathroom door swung wide open abruptly. It didn’t creak open. And it didn’t swing, slamming into the wall as it would if pushed open by a gust of air. It swing open, and stopped. As if someone had pulled it open, and was holding the door. Watching me.
I tried to rationalize and tell myself it was the air pressure. It was the wind. Since all of the windows were closed I knew it couldn’t be true. But to appease myself, I tried to believe it. I pulled the door shut and locked it, shaking it to make sure it wouldn’t budge. I did the same to my bedroom door and returned to my bed, staring at the door.
An hour went by without disturbance, validating my air pressure theory. I rolled over and began to drift when I heard a knock at the door.
Whap! Whap! Whap!
I shot up. It was coming from the bathroom door.
“Hello?” I croaked. I waited for a response. Nothing. I sank back into my sheets as if that would save me, not daring to take my eyes off of the door. But exhaustion was taking over. My eyelids began to droop. I started to drift off into sleep-
Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap!
More aggressive this time. My blood went cold. I was frozen solid. I wanted to call my roommate, but I was too scared to speak, too scared to move.
It went on all night in random successions. I don’t know how but eventually I managed to fall asleep. In the morning I told my roommate about the incident.
“It was probably the air conditioning kicking on!” she told me, eluding to the fact that I must be crazy. She hadn’t had any supernatural experiences thus far. She didn’t know any better.
Apparently neither did I. I’d heard that sage smudging was an effective way to rid yourself of unwanted spirits. Which is true, if you’re experienced and know what you’re doing. I did not. Not even a little. But still naïve to this fact, I tried to take matters into my own hands.
I walked around the house with my smoky stalk of sage, chanting some bullshit along the lines of, “this is my home! You are not welcome here!”
It was all going fine until I entered the back room, the one that connected to mine through the half-bath. As soon as I entered the threshold, I saw black. My vision completely spotted out and I was overcome with intense dread.
Get the fuck out! Is all I could think. I quickly slammed the door shut and ran to the living room, never taking my eyes off the door. Waiting for it to swing open or shake. Waiting for the frantic knocking to begin. But it didn’t.
I went out to run errands, mostly to get out of the house and wait for my roommate to get home. I was beginning to fear being there alone.
When I returned, the door to the downstairs apartment was open (it was a two-family home.) An older woman who I imagine was in her 60’s was standing in the hallway.
“You must be the new tenant!” She beamed.
I confirmed and we exchanged names, what her name actually was now escapes me. It turns out that she was the hospice nurse for our landlord’s mother.
“She can’t know that you’re living here. She’s very territorial of her home. I’ll tell her you’re a friend of the family. Her husband just passed away a few months ago. She doesn’t have much time left.”
AH-HAH! That must be who is haunting us. It made so much sense. I was staying in his bedroom, where he now doesn’t feel welcome. And I tried to smudge him out of his own home. It had to be him.
To try and appease our late landlord, I included him on the decisions of home alterations. We had planned on repainting the apartment, so I told him our plans and which colors we were using. I gave him the option to knock if he didn’t agree. But he stayed silent.
After that day I didn’t have any more experiences in that home. Sometimes I would see a shadow out of the corner of my eye, but nothing direct.
Unfortunately for my roommate and a few of our guests, our undead roommate had turned his attention to them.
One night my friend and her boyfriend came over for a nightcap and a few joints, accidentally falling asleep on my insanely comfortable couch. (May it rest in peace, wherever it is.) I threw a blanket over them to tuck them in and went to bed.
In the morning they appeared to be a bit shaken.
“What time did your roommate come home?” The boyfriend asked. (These are the same friends I saw the phantom on the balcony in Italy with.)
Confused by the question, “she didn’t come home last night.” I replied.
All color drained from his face. They shot each other a disturbing look. What the fuck.
“And…you definitely don’t have a dog?” he questioned, already knowing the answer.
“No…what happened?” expecting the worst.
He let out a long breath.
“I heard someone come home last night. They walked up the stairs, opened and closed that door” he pointed to the front door. “And walked up behind the couch, standing over us for a few minutes before walking into the kitchen. I just thought it was your roommate checking to see who was here. But then I got woken up again by the sound of running. Something small. Like a child or a dog. It was running around the couch in circles. It went on for a while. And then it ran into the kitchen and the noises stopped. I figured your roommate had a pet and that’s why it was all happening.”
Every part of me was on edge as he spoke. Now there were phantom children? Dogs? That I could not deal with.
But unfortunately due to later occurrences, his story became more and more believable.
One morning my roommate was hanging in her room with her boyfriend after they’d just woken up. They both thought that they saw me walk passed the bedroom door, and followed me out into the living room to ask me something. But no one was there.
“Jenn?!” She called out.
“Yes?” I groggily responded from my bed. She burst into my room, clearly distraught.
“Did you just walk into the living room?” she asked a bit frantically.
I just stared at her for a moment. “No. I’m in bed.” I answered dryly.
“I just saw you. I saw someone. They just walked passed my room! We both saw it!” She was nearly hyperventilating.
“I told you.” I stated. I could tell she was clearly shaken. She finally believed me.
A few nights later she was drifting off to sleep with her boyfriend, who despite seeing the apparition in the kitchen was still having a hard time accepting that ghosts are real. They were almost completely asleep when they both heard what was clearly a child’s laughter coming from the kitchen. They both laid silently, not wanting to acknowledge what they’d heard until he finally asked, “did you just hear that?”
Confirming her fears, they realized that this was real. Something was watching them and it wanted them to know.
Since then my roommate recounted hearing footsteps coming up the stairs, stopping in front of the door, but never entering the apartment. When she’d call out a name or open the door, no one was there.
It got to be too much for her and eventually she stopped coming home. For whatever reason the spirits still never bothered me.
I guess they appreciated my taste in decorating.