Apartment of Spirits And Shadows
While trying to save money back in 1987 (I was about 12 years old) my parents had moved our family into an apartment complex in the lower end of Union county, New Jersey.
The apartment complex was very old and although the owners didn’t say anything bad about it, everybody else who lived there had told us that there had been a history of tenants who have died there over the years since it had been built.
Now this may sound like an ordinary kind of setting for any kind of family in the US, but believe it when I say that New Jersey is loaded with weird ghost experiences.My very own experiences were not pleasant ones. Before I continue let me give a little background on the stories I had heard about this complex.Originally it was a larger house of sorts, possibly a mansion but I never investigated what it was originally. As the story goes it was built over 55 years before we had moved into it. The original construction had been burned mostly by a fire in the mid 1960’s and the upper section of the structure was demolished but the foundations were still solid.
The newer apartment styled structure was built on the original foundation and soon after it was opened for rental.
The cause of the original fire was never reported but the electrical wiring was not the cause.Now as for the spooky stuff some of the neighbors that had lived in this area before the fire had claimed that the fire was just a part of all the bad things that would happen around here. There had been murders inside, near and behind the apartment along with many cases of domestic violence. Some of these murders took place years before and after the fire and reconstruction. The fire had also claimed the lives of two people; a lady in her 30’s and a lady in her 70’s who was believed to have been the younger ladies grandmother.
There’s also story of a man that committed suicide by jumping from the roof of the apartment and landing head first on the sidewalk.
Another story was of a young 16 year old boy who was shot at a corner store and ran toward the apartment only to die on the apartment steps.
Another story was of a couple that argued constantly and one day the fights had ceased, a few days later police had entered the apartment and arrested the husband after finding his wife’s body in a dumpster.
As to how many deaths I had heard of I would say at least 14 souls lost their lives in some way or form that connected them to the apartment complex.Now, my experiences in the four years that we lived there just freaked me out enough to believe these stories. One summer night at around 9 pm I was playing with my toys on the fourth floor stairway when this man I had never seen before came walking down the stairs past me. What was weird was that I didn’t hear his foot steps as he walked toward me. When he was a few steps away from me he turned his head towards me and I saw he had a lot of blood on the right side of his head. I didn’t move but just asked him if he was ok, he didn’t reply as he kept walking down the stairs. As soon as he was out of my sight I heard foot steps of a few of the other boys from the second and third floor coming up the stairs with their toys. I asked them where the guy with the cut on his head had gone too and all of them claimed they didn’t see anyone on their way up. I was then scared out of my mind but didn’t say anything to my parents. A few nights later something else happened to me inside our apartment. My parents always kept the apartment pitch black in more efforts to save money on the bills so the only light inside the apartments was either a street lamp or moon light coming in through the windows. It was well past midnight and I had gotten up to get a drink from the kitchen. I had gotten some juice from the fridge and began to drink it when I noticed what I had thought was my mother standing with her back turned to me by the kitchen sink looking out of the window. All I said was ‘mom?’ and she slowly turned her head towards me. Instead of my mom I saw a charred black face. I was frozen still with terror and although I didn’t want to move I caught another figure in the corner of my eye. The second figure was in the shadows to my right and all I could make out was a charred black hand with the bones sticking out of the finger tips. I closed my eyes and wish they were gone, when I re-opened my eyes there was nothing. I told my parents about it but they said I was sleep walking and ghosts didn’t exist.For the months of the summer I kept having similar experiences but nothing that would do anything more than scare me stock still until the end of the summer got closer. About two weeks before school started I was having problems sleeping at night. Things started acting up with more intensity, I would wake up and see the shadows dancing in the corners of my room, whispers in my ears would wake me up at night, the sheets of my bed would be pulled off, things would fall off my shelves during the night, etc. Then it happened quickly and intensively for 4 nights straight.
I was awakened one night by a whisper, and as soon as I opened my eyes I saw one of ‘them’ standing in front of my bed. I do not know what to call these things but they were not like the other things I saw. They were shadow figures or made of shadows, it’s the best way to describe them. They had human shapes but for some reason they moved freely from corners as if a shadow had a body of their own. This one seemed to be wearing some trench coat of sort’s, it was weird like a shadow wearing a shadow. And it gave of this cold feeling as it stood there, it is hard to explain. It walked around my bed and for some reason I was sure I heard a very light foot step as it moved, like an echo of a foot step. It stood beside me and raised its hand towards its ‘face’ and then I heard a slow windy ‘shush’. It turned toward a corner in my room and walk straight through it. I quickly turned on the light and saw it was gone. I looked to where it was standing and I saw that my hot wheel cars had been aligned to form 3 letters ‘N-O-N’. I woke my parents and told them everything but again they said I was sleep walking and there was nothing to be afraid of.
The next night I was awakened again by a pain on my face and found bruises on my lips and jaw as if I had been punched a few times. I went back to sleep after a while and two hours later to be awakened again by ‘giggles’, but not the nice kind of giggles. I looked around my room and counted three more of ‘them’ but these were a lot shorter, about the size of an 8 year old kid. They made sure I saw them when they started to jump around my room knocking everything off my shelves, turning on my electrical toys and giggled as they did it. I was scared for my life but when they stopped I heard 3 shushes this time. Then they ran to the corners of my room and disappeared.
My parents came into my room because of the noise and saw how everything was left. As usual they thought I had done everything to myself and must have done it all in a sleep walk. I kept telling them that it was real but my mother told me that she suffered from sleep walking when she was my age and that I had inherited it from her. On the third night I heard the giggle again and this time I ran to my parents’ room and sneaked in while they were sleeping. I slept beside their bed and nothing happened to me that night. The next day when my parents found me they told me to stop being afraid of the dark and they would lock their room at night from now on. On the fourth night I decided to protect myself so I kept a couple of flash lights under my pillow. When I was awakened again by the whispers and giggles I saw the thing from the first night was with the three shorter giggling shadows and there were two other shadow figures beside them. Out of either fear or instinct I pulled out my flash lights and put the light towards them. They ran to the corners of my room and kept shushing me from the dark but as I kept the lights on them, the 'shushes' were silenced and then nothing. I stead awake for a while then fell asleep again. I was awakened later the same night by the giggles but again I put the light to the corners and they silenced.That was the last night ‘they’ had visited me. Every summer after that I would see the other more human ‘spirits’ again every now and then but ‘they’ never came back.
I never found out what the ‘N-O-N’ meant but I do not care to know.
We moved away to another state a few years later and I can say I do not miss that apartment one bit.
Submitted by Jonuel Negron, NJ, USA