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The Man in the Attic

Joshua, West Virginia, USA
July 2000

When I was young, my family and I lived in a small corn farming town. We weren't farmers, but we lived in a small subdivision there none-the- less. We lived in a rather nice house until my dad got ill and we were forced to move. Dad found this old house pretty cheap about four blocks away so we packed up and moved there,but it wasn't long before we realized that we weren't alone in this house.

It was a decent neighborhood that we relocated to and all of our neighbors were great people. Our house was the oldest on the street, it was an old A-frame two-story house with a room added to the back of it in the 70's. This house had been built in the early 1900's so there was a lot of wear and tear on it that we had to repair. The carpet was replaced throughout the house and the attic ladder was replaced with a stair case so that we could put a bedroom up there.

One evening in particular that I recall in this house was one of about a month after we had moved in. My dad, uncle, and aunt were in the living room talking and drinking coffee while I sat in the floor and watched TV. My sister and mother were at the mall, so we were the only ones in the house. I turned off the TV and was getting ready to go to bed when a moment of silence broke (you know when everyone just stops talking and stares blankly at each other for no reason). We all focused on something that we thought was an animal in the attic so we tried to figure out what it was. We heard perfect footsteps walking circles in the attic right at the top of the stairs. The footsteps would walk to the window and back to the middle of the attic over and over. This went on every evening about the same time for about 15 minutes uninterrupted. We thought nothing of it. We had all believed in ghosts and the such so it really wasn't that frightening.

Well one evening a couple of years later, I was home alone packing up the stuff in my room because we were moving out of state to be closer to my mom's side of the family, when I heard the footsteps start. They went through the normal cycle for a while but this time was different. After a few minutes had went by, the footsteps started down the stairs. I got extremely curious and poked my head around the corner to the stair case and this is what I saw:

He was a man in his late twenties about 5'8" or so with a pair of dressy style slacks and a white collared button up shirt. He was wearing a pair of thick soled dress shoes that looked as though they had been bought from an old shoemaker, and worn from years of walking. The man was surrounded by a fuzzy white light that seemed to fill the stairwell. Our eyes met for a short moment,he gave me a confused look (almost terrified) and took off back up the stairs and around the corner into the attic. I chased him up the stairs, not thinking, but when I poked my head around the corner, I saw nothing. There was, however, the scent of a freshly smoked cigarette and a cool feeling in the air.

About a week later, it was moving time and our next door neighbors came over to say goodbye. They were an older couple and some of the nicest people you could ever meet. This is when they told us about the couple who had built that old house. It was a young man and a young woman who had built the house back in the twenties. The young man had the habit of smoking a cigarette after dinner and before going to bed but the woman wouldn't let him smoke in the house. He would always sneak away to the attic and smoke out the window at the top of the stairs. One night he went up there to smoke and didn't come back down. He had had a heart attack on his way back down the attic ladder and died. Ever since then, every resident of that old house had heard the man walking around upstairs having his nightly cigarette.

Joshua, West Virginia, USA
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