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The House on Union Street

February 2001

My husband and I got our first apartment while my husband was still in college. It was a cute little attic apartment with crawl spaces behind the slant of the ceiling. The apartment had lots of character and was a huge Victorian built around the 1880's. It had two rooms: a main living/sleeping room and a kitchen and dinning area. We lived there for about a year but had to move to a larger apartment on the second floor of the house because we needed another bedroom for our baby son.

Ever since I was a kid I did this quirky little thing whenever we would move. I would find a really good hiding place in a wall or basement and put a small object that belonged to me with a note saying who I was and when I lived there, just so that the house and future occupants wouldn't forget me. (Yeah, I know I'm a weirdo.) Well anyway I still do this little habit even though I'm grown up now. So, this was no exception. I had decided on the hiding place: it was in back of the closet in the kitchen where the crawl space met the closet wall. I choose a music box my mother had given me. It was a porcelain angel, but the wings had broken off. So instead of throwing it away I wrapped the note about me with the date around the body of the angel and crawled way back into the crawl space behind the closet. When I got so far into the crawl space that I couldn't fit anymore I kind of threw the angel and note as gently as I could and as far as I could into the crawl space. Life went on and we settled into our new apartment on the second floor. The house had 5 apartments but we were the only tenets at the time. As soon as we moved in strange things started to happen.

My son's room had a closet and we would always find it open when we came home and we knew we had closed earlier.
The stereo would physically turn it's self off while playing one particular song off one of my favourite albums. (I actually saw the stop button being depressed.)
The tape played all other songs except that one and the tape worked fine whenever we took it out of the room and played somewhere else.
The oven would turn it's self up really high and burn what ever I was cooking in the oven.
My son started to babble like someone was in his room with him and point and giggle at nothing.

Our house being ancient had those big old cast iron heating grates that were really ornate and pretty. But the heating ducts were as large as the grates and you could hear things going on in other apartments in other parts of the house.

We began to hear nightly sounds coming from the heating ducts like: people walking around, doing dishes, taking showers, and basically "living" in the apartments below. Now remember at this time no one was living in the house but us. We called the police and the landlord, but no one ever found any evidence of intruders.

My son had this big giant green ball he liked to play with. Every single time we would leave the house, this ball would be in a different room than were we had left it. It was like a game. We would leave it in my son's closet and find it in the kitchen when we got home. Or we would leave it in the kitchen and find it living room. It was like clock work; we could count on it moving while we were gone.

At Christmas time we bought our son one of those dinosaurs that roared when you squeezed it. I put all the presents in the closet in the bathroom. Every night until Christmas we would hear that dinosaur roaring in the closet.

The next fall college students began renting the apartments. The first apartment to be rented was the other second story apartment right across the hall from ours. The person who rented it was single mom with a son a little older than our son. After she moved in we became friends. Well one day I asked her if anything strange happened to her in the house. She said yes that she kept finding her favourite pair of scissors missing only to find the repeatedly being balanced on the door frame outside her apartment. She couldn't figure out how they would get there. Also she started to hear music and humming coming from the back hall between our apartments. I told her how I too heard music but it was twinkly and tiny and fair away sounding, but I had simply passed it off because I thought it was the angel music box in the attic crawl space and it was slowing unwinding it's self like music boxes do on occasion when they are wound to tight. After hearing my little tale about the music box and how I had hide were it was hard to find (in an apartment unoccupied I might add) her face turned chalk white and motioned for me to come into her apartment. She pointed to a shelf above her sofa. There on the shelf was my angel music box. She said she found it the day she moved in, tucked in the back of her bathroom closet. Now there is no way the music box could have ended up in the bathroom closet. Plus I put it in a spot where the landlord would have to tear the roof off to find it.

Soon the house was full and all five apartments were rented. The guy who lived in the second apartment on the first floor was constantly calling the police because he would come home to find all his doors wide open and hear people walking around his rooms. But the police never found anyone. Then there were the smells. We all had experiences with different smells. We had this horrible smell of vomit in the back hallway. We would mop and scrub and disinfect and put air fresheners down. But the smell would never go away and it was strong and very yucky. The neighbour across the hall had a rancid smell of rotting meat; she called the landlord because it made her sick. He could find nothing to account for it. And the people below us came up to complain one night because they thought we had piles of trash in our kitchen that we never cleaned up, because the smell of garbage was filtering down through the ceiling to their apartment. We showed them our kitchen was clean and everything. We never found anything to account for that smell either. After a couple of months the smells went away. Then one night while my husband was working, my son suddenly refused to crawl into our bedroom. I noticed he was looked very frightened and avoided the door completely. So I picked him up and took him into the room. I sat on the bed and put him on my lap. I thought I would be the good mom and teach my son not to be afraid of things, that it was okay and I was here to protect him. I calmly sat on the bed talking to my son about being scared and how there was nothing to be afraid of and how I was always here and all the other babble parents tell their kids when they are scared. This went on for a few minutes and it seemed to be working. My son stopped fussing and sat calmly on my lap. Well all of sudden I felt something hit my leg. I ignored it and a few minutes later it happened again, but this time it hurt. I looked up to see rocks (I had a dish of small pretty coloured rocks on my dresser) being pelted at me from across the room. It was like the ghost was saying, "Yes there is something to be afraid of in here and your son saw me, why can't you?" I picked my son up and sat in the living room until my husband got home.

One night my son was his usual fussy self not wanting to go to bed. After about an hour of trying fruitlessly to calm and comfort and rock him to sleep, I decided just to let him cry himself to sleep in his crib. (As a back note: remember the giant ball that moved around on it's own, well my husband & I decided to lock it up in my son's closet and shut the door to the closet so it couldn't get out any more.) Well my son cried for a while and slowly cried himself out. I went in to check on him and he was still awake, but getting sleepy. So I tiptoed out to the living room with my husband. As soon as I got out the living room, my son started to cry again. My husband scolded me for having to go check on him and now it's started all over again. He told me not to go back in there until we heard him snoring this time. So we sat there all tense listen to him cry. But suddenly his cried turned to screams and all of my motherly instincts kicked in. This was no sleepy cry but an all out wale and something was wrong. So I ignored my husband and ran into my son's room. He was standing up in his crib and pointing at the middle of the floor. In the middle of the floor was that big green ball and the closet was still shut. It was bouncing as if someone were playing with it. So I picked my son up and he slept with us that night.

More things happened in the house to us and the other tenants while we lived there. Like our vacuum would turn itself on in the middle of the night and things would disappear only to return in a highly unlikely place.

One night I saw a cat in our living room, I woke my husband up to say "There is a cat in our living room!!" only to have it disappear right before my eyes before I could get him awake. Later we found out from an old tenant that they too had strange experiences. He said he found out from the landlord who owned it at the time that it was built originally as a brothel in Victorian times and in the 1970's it was used as a funeral parlor. No wander the house had ghosts!

Spooky things happened to us all the way up until we moved. Even on moving day things were still happening. We had brought a few boxes into the kitchen to pack things up. We would pack a box and then carried it out to the van. When we came back into the kitchen I found all my tea tins balanced very neatly on top of the cabinets. I yelled at my husband for being silly and trying to scare me. He swore it wasn't him and that I was the one trying to scare him. So we took the tea tins down and packed them away.

We both headed out the door with boxes and returned to the kitchen to find our packing boxes neatly stacked up on top of the cabinets just like the tea tins. This time we both knew we weren't to blame. It was a very scary place indeed!

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