The Perfect Apartment

In February of 2003, while living with my mom in St. Charles (a west suburb of Chicago), I lost my job as a Dental Assistant and up and decided to move to Chicago. I had alot of friends who lived there, and I had lived there previously as well, so right away I packed up all of my stuff and went to stay with a friend on the west-side until I could find a job and get my own place.

Within a month I found a great job working for a dentist on the north-side, so I began looking for apartments. Although my job was well paying (for my standards anyways, I could only afford about $500.00 - $600.00 a month, so the first 2 or 3 apartments I looked at were small studios, a bit run down, and in pretty shady neighborhoods. I spotted a tiny ad in the Chicago Tribune for a one bedroom apartment in WestTown (very close to downtown) for only $535.00 a month. The weird thing was that I had remembered seeing the add previously but didn't call because I had not yet found a job and I assumed it would be rented immediately (for those who are familiar with Chicago, $535 is extremely cheap for a one bedroom that close to down town). Needless to say I called the add immediately, and went to go see it.

The apartment building was on Ohio street, right across the street from a public school and a big park, and the block was quiet and beautiful with alot of trees and a bus stop a half block away (I knew there had to be a catch.)

The building was extremely old, 4 flat, probably built not long after the Chicago fire, I assume. The Landlord was an older guy (probably Ukrainian, I'm not sure) who had an office on the ground level, that sort of resembled and old small bank or something. As he led my friend and I up the stairs to the third floor, my elation began to subside, as I noticed the hallway was very dark and rundown...but when he opened the door, I was amazed. It was beautiful....

It was also huge, and bright. The ceilings were no less than 13 feet high, with a big kitchen and separate living room and bedroom with newish hardwood floors, tall windows in every room and a clear view of the Sears tower from the kitchen and living room. I was in heaven... I told the man I had to have it, but I didn't have all the money up front so unbelievably he offered to let me put down only 200.00 down to hold it, and I could give him the rest on the first of the next month which was two weeks away. I immediately called my mom to ask her to borrow the money until my first paycheck, and upon seeing it (and being in disbelief) she loaned me the money on the spot, and I moved in right away.

I lived in that apartment for a year and a half until my lease was up and I am now living in Northern Michigan going to school. Many strange things happened in that apartment, but it wasn't until a few months ago one night while I was drinking and talking with some girlfriends from work late one night at my moms house that I realized, in retrospect, just how strange they were. We were on the topic of ghosts/paranormal incidents, etc... So we started to share our experiences with each other. I began telling them about things that had happened at my previous apartment....

Now you must understand during the time I lived at this apartment I was a party girl and I partied alot (drinking, etc..) I also worked 40 hours a week and my sleeping patterns were extremely irregular. Needless to say my head was not always clear, so it's a little hard for me to arrange these events with clarity and order. But i'll try...

One of the first things I remember was that (as I mentioned before), the hallway was very dark and eerie. The light bulbs would constantly burn out to the point where the landlord could not keep up with changing them, so 90% of the time the hallway was always almost completely dark (until the property was sold and the new landlord put in exit lights that couldn't go out). The were little rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the hallway that were really creepy, the one on the 3rd floor was locked and the one the 2nd floor had a bunch of old recorded video tapes, like 3 or 4 boxes filled with them, all odd B and other recorded movies, some porn, but never claimed. They just sat there for the whole time I lived there, for the taking. My apartment never really creeped me out, but sometimes my TV would shut off by itself. I often slept in my living room because I had my futon and my TV out there, and not because the bedroom was creepy, but it was just small and dark. A few months after moving in, I came home from work early because I wasn't feeling well and fell asleep on my futon around 5pm or so.. I was awoken by extremely hard pounding on my door (in my kitchen) as if someone was using a metal baseball bat, it pounded at least 10 times or more and then suddenly stopped, with no other sound, no running away that I can recall. I was horrified, and stunned. I didn't know what to do and I was very woozy from the medicine I took earlier that I just sat there for a minute. I think I tried to call someone, but eventually just went back to sleep. I didn't think of it in the morning rushing off to work until I opened the door and saw what must have been 15 or 20 indents in my door, smaller that a baseball bat though, about 2 1/2 in. in diameter. As crazy as it sounds I eventually just got over it, I never even told the landlord, even though the dead bolt on the door was loosened.

The next strange thing that happened occured while I was cleaning my bedroom one day, folding clothes. I was upset over something and I sat on my bed and started to cry.., as I was crying I started to hear crying that was louder and alot more intense than mine, it sounded like a woman crying, but not just crying...wailing, and it went on for over 30 min or so, it was coming from the wall. It was so strange and continuous, and I heard it on more than one occasion.

During the time I lived there I had 3 different people stay with me for a couple months at a time, and they as well had strange experiences. My brothers best friend was the first, and he not only heard the crying, but he also told me he saw a figure in the bedroom when I asked him why he was sleeping on the fold out chair in the living room.

One of the weirdest things of all that happened, happened to my cat, Jack. One day while I was cleaning I let Jack go out in the hallway to play (as I'd done before, because he would always run a jump in my sweep piles). A couple hours later I went to call him in but he didn't come, so I went back to cleaning for a bit, thinking he was just being stubborn or fell asleep somewhere. Eventually, I got worried and went to look for him but he was nowhere! I went back in my kitchen totally confused, thinking someone must have let him outside, suddenly I heard meowing and opened the door, and there was Jack on the stairs and his face was covered in blood.. I freaked and brought him inside to wash him up, then went to look in the hallway to see what he could've gotten in to, but I found nothing, no chemicals, blood spots, nothing.... It was so wierd, like his face was scraped or something, his nose and chin, forehead and all was scabbed for weeks.

Also, one time I remember sleeping on the futon in the living room, and having bad nightmares one night and while in between sleep and reality I heard voices of a man and a young girl. I actually made out what the girl said, something like "so, she is stuck up.." but that might've just been a dream thing, because I've had similar things like that happen on other occasions elsewhere...but nonetheless is was creepy that time, because I remember feeling a presense in the livingroom or kitchen that particular night.

Also, I had become friends with a guy who lived directly below me, he was totally cool and we had hung out a bunch of times, but one day he vanished and I was later told by the new landlord that he went to a mental institution. That struck me as odd, because he was a very normal guy, and I never suspected him to be crazy at all..

Other random things happened like one girl who stayed with me said she saw a very large (like a cougar), odd black cat in the back area of the building, and other things I just can't recall. Sometimes I would feel presences or hear wierd things, or stuff would fall off counters or shelves, but like I said.... it's hard to recall cause I always just brushed it off.

Very strange....

Submitted by Nicole Reaves, IL, USA