Please Stop Tapping and Other Tales
Joanna Blonigen, TX, USA
Way back in 2004 I submitted a couple of stories about some experiences of family and friends, even a few that involved me. Well, four years later, I have collected some more stories, and have a couple of experiences to share.
In West Side Ghost and Angels (Oct. 2004) I discussed some of the strange things that happened around our PK-2 school. Now I have stories about the Intermediate building, one of which I recently remembered from my own past. Much of the same things happened, the sounds of children playing, doors and windows opening on their own, a general feeling of creepiness in the building. The one incident that I remember must have happened to me when i was 7 or 8, I was still at the West Side school, and was staying with my mom after school. It had gotten a little late, and I really REALLY had to go to the restroom. Despite the fact that the nearest bathroom was scary, with no artificial light, and only a small window to let sunlight in, I decided to brave it. It was fairly well lit, the setting sun was
shining directly in the window, and I went about my business. When I was about to leave the stall, I heard a noise. The faucet turned on, someone washed their hands, tore off some paper towels...but never left the bathroom. Once I screwed up what little courage I had, I peeked out-to an empty bathroom. Needless to say, I hauled butt out of there and ran to my mom's room. The school district built a new school a few years ago, and the old Intermediate has been remodeled for the 6th graders. I don't know if strange things still happen, but I know that the new school has its own mysteries. Once, I was sitting at my dad's computer, messing around, when I saw the reflection of someone in the screen. I whirled around to look through the window, but no one was there. I even ran outside to check, but didn't see anything. Also, all doors to the outside are locked, and can only be opened with a key. They could not have reached the front of the building or let themselves in, no matter how quickly they sprinted! I also get bad vibes from an air vent in my dad's room, and can't stand to be seated under it. Any other vent I'm fine with, it's just that one. It seems our Junior High is the only school in the district that doesn't have its own mysteries. Sophomore year, my Spanish teacher told us about sounds in the high school hallways, sounds like someone dragging large boxes across the tile floor.
There have also been odd things happening in my house as of late. I've always heard noises like the TV was on, but just low enough so I couldn't distinguish what the characters were saying. When I was smaller, I could swear something growled at me from under my old bed, in my old bedroom. My new room seemed uneventful, until this spring. I started hearing tapping on my windows at night, and chalked it up to bugs at first. Then, one night, I heard three distinct taps. I ran screaming to my parent's room, convinced someone was outside my window. My daddy got his shotgun and went outside but there was no one we could see. Only later did I realize that I have screens on all my windows. There's no way for ANYTHING to tap on the glass! At one point, I popped all the screens out from the windows slightly, and the tapping seemed to stop. This summer, my dad and I went on our annual trip to Wyoming, but my mom stayed at home since my grandma (her mom) was sick. While we were gone, she would hear the same noises I did, the TV type of noise, and when she woke up in the morning some of the pictures hanging in the hallway would be crooked. She simply straightened them and went on with her life, choosing not to focus on the happenings. As far as I know, my house is fairly normal, built in the 80's along with the rest of the houses on my street, and belonged to an older woman with multiple cats from its completion until we bought in 1995.
Meanwhile, I was having my own experiences at my other grandma's house in Wyoming. We had chosen to stay with her, but the only place we could sleep was the basement; my aunt had already claimed the upstairs guest room. There was also a downstairs guest room, but it creeps me out. Something about the wall of closets at one end just doesn't feel right to me, I get a constant watching feeling. So, I camped out on one of the beds scattered around the big room of the basement, nice and safe in my sleeping bag. When I started hearing taps and rustling outside the windows, I would simply turn up the volume on my headphones and zip myself further in the bag. Creaking noises, and noises like people falling or walking upstairs also dominated my nighttime, and one night they reached the point where I, a college freshman, gathered up my sleeping bag and told my dad to move over, he was going to have to share the king size bed he had claimed for himself! He agreed the next morning that the old house had been making a lot of noise the night before. Many nights, I simply laid in my sleeping bag, totally hidden, music up and eyes shut for hours, finally sleeping when the misty morning light started to show. Of course, I already knew the house was haunted. So did the other female members of my family, with all the men claiming we were silly women. When the upstairs is empty, and you are in the basement, footsteps will walk in the front door, through the dining room and kitchen, and stop at the top of the stairs, before they corner and turn down into the basement. My mother heard them once when I was only a month old and she had me with her while she did laundry downstairs. My dad was gone, taking my grandma to an appointment in Casper, a good two hour drive. I heard them myself when I was probably 10 or so, dad was taking grandma to the doctor again, and mom was outside. I was reading a Harry Potter book on one of the beds when I heard them and screamed bloody murder. My mom came running in, and I spent the rest of the afternoon with her in the garden.
Now for one last story. I also have an uncle who got lost in Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, many years ago when it was being remodeled. He wandered around the floor he was on, which was evidently under construction and empty, but eventually an older man in a white coat guided him to the elevators, not saying a word. My uncle would later recall that he smelled of embalming fluids. Before he got on the elevator, he read the doctor's name tag, and remembered his name. Years later, he ran into a younger man with the same name, and told him his story. To his great surprise, the young doctor burst out laughing and told him that it was his father's ghost, and he roamed the hospital where he had dedicated so much of his life to his patients, along with other buildings nearby where he had worked. I guess he's still helping to this very day.
I hope you enjoyed these stories!