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The Ghost in the Corner

Maryland, USA
October 1999

When I was in law school at the University of Chicago I lived in student housing. I lived in an old apartment building at the edge of campus on South Drexel Street. Just a few blocks south of my building was an old hospital that I believe was at one time affiliated with the University.

At the beginning of my second year I switched apartments. During my first full year in my new apartment, nothing unusual ever happened until one night when I saw something strange.

My bedroom was at one end of the apartment, and my bed was positioned so that I could see down the hall and all the way to the other end of the apartment where I had a large palm tree in the corner. I often wake up throughout the night and would just happen to look that way but would never see anything but moonlight bouncing off the leaves of the plant. One night I woke up and in the corner I saw a man just standing there. He was a black or dark-skinned man, and he looked older, with a bald head and white hair around his temples. He was wearing a brown pinstriped suit.

I was paralyzed with fear, and my first thought was that someone had somehow broken into the apartment. My thoughts raced as I tried to figure out how he could get in-I lived on the seventh floor and neither wall forming that corner was near another building or a fire escape. These thoughts ended quickly when the figure started to slowly move across the living room towards where I was. As he passed the palm tree I clearly saw the leaves of the tree move as they brushed by him. I jumped out of bed and reached for the light switch on the wall. At the exact moment the light came on, the man disappeared. I looked at the alarm clock and noticed it was 3:20 AM.

I told a few friends, and as I talked about it I came to believe that what I had seen was some kind of waking dream. Earlier in my life I had experienced sleep paralysis and lucid dreams, so I eventually believed that this was somehow related to that phenomenon.

I went to bed the next night and honestly was not even thinking about the previous night's events. Sure enough, I woke up again and saw the man standing in the exact same spot, moving towards me again. Something came over me and I was filled with rage like I had never experienced before. I jumped out of bed and charged at the man, screaming "get out of here!" as I entered the living room. The man disappeared in an instant. I turned on the light and thought about what had just happened, and noticed that it was again exactly 3:20 AM.

After that night, the man never came back. Nothing particularly strange happened, although there were several times both before and after these events that I got a strong feeling of "the creeps" in the building, though not in my apartment. As the days went by I felt more and more compelled to learn the history of the building. I spent many hours researching and eventually gave up after learning only that the building was built in 1910. The University acquired the building in the late 1920's and used it as a Nurse's residence for students of the nursing school and later nurses at the hospital. On some older campus maps the building is still labeled as the Midway Nurses Residence. I was never able to find out more. I still think about it all the time and when I do I still get a strong feeling that this is incomplete. I need to find out more.

Maryland, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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