Hide and Seek

Reading through these ghost stories brings to mind a weird experience I had about twelve years ago when I was an art student living in New Jersey. I was renting a room from a grouchy old man whose house was just around the corner from the school. I had been there for a few weeks when the incident began. The events of that week could suggest that if there is an afterlife, some of the souls that lurk there have WAY too much free time on their hands.

Here's what happened.

I was upstairs lying awake in bed one night around 2:00am. As usual, the old man was snoring loudly in the next room which accounted for my frequent inability to get a decent night's sleep around there. On this particular night, I became aware of another sound coming from the hallway separate from the chainsaw in the next bedroom. It was, well...sort of a...bumping noise, I guess you could call it and it sounded like it was coming from down at the end of the hallway by the bathroom. I'd never heard it before so, puzzled, I got up to investigate. I walked down the hall to the bathroom but when I got there the sound had moved and was now coming from the opposite end of the hallway back down by my bedroom. "Okay." I thought. I walked back to my bedroom only to hear the sound now coming from the bottom of the steps next to my room that led downstairs. "Okay." I thought again. So I walked downstairs and when I got there the sound was now coming from the kitchen! Alright, into the kitchen I went and, sure enough, the damn noise was now coming from the living room! Now, I was getting annoyed but having nothing better to do at 2:00am than chase an inexplicable sound around the house all night, I RAN into the room to try to get the jump on it. No such luck. From the living room I could clearly hear the noise was now back upstairs! Grrrrrrrr... I'd had enough of this ridiculous "Hide & Seek" so I went back upstairs, climbed into bed and that smart aleck sound was now coming from the end of the hallway down by the bathroom - exactly where the chase had begun! I muttered something to myself about where the maker of the sound could put it and ignored the teasing noise until I finally managed to drift off after the old man mercifully lowered the volume on his snoring.

But that wasn't quite the end of it.

The next night, the whole thing started up ALL OVER AGAIN. This time, I followed the sound through only two rooms before feeling like a moron for chasing it around again so I said "Forget it." and went back to bed. It happened a couple of more times over the next week but by the third time I had wised up and didn't even bother getting out of bed. By the next week, it stopped altogether.

Did the "Ghost" give up? Did he become frustrated with me for not playing the game any more? Who cares, as long as it finally stopped. All in all, I found the whole experience to be more than a little irritating. Whether this episode constitutes some lame form of a haunting, or the house just had a prankish sense of humor, or I was hearing things, (which I wasn't) it DID happen and I've never forgotten it. Whatever the source or reason for the noise, whether supernatural or something more prosaic, I honestly felt like I was being toyed with.

I don't know what it was, or where it came from, or why it stopped as abruptly as it started but, over the years, I've formulated a possible hypothesis to explain the incident;...the old man's snoring WAS loud enough to wake the dead.

Submitted by Scott, Florida, USA