The Man in the Basement
Shenandoah, New York, USA
Back in my hippie days, a friend of mine rented out his basement to me in an old corner row house in Baltimore. In the back of the basement was a small kitchen and a bathroom. The rest of the basement was completely empty, save for a mattress on the floor which was my sole piece of furniture at the time. There were a couple of small windows on one side of the basement, up by the ceiling, covered in steel mesh, which looked out onto the sidewalk. There was an old wooden door on the adjacent wall which opened up into a stone stairwell that led up to the street.
On the first night I spent there, in the middle of the night, I suddenly awoke for no apparent reason. There, standing at the foot of my mattress, was a man looking down at me. The city light that came in through the two small windows afforded enough light to be able to see. He was sort of a burly lumberjack type with dark, curly hair and a beard. I remember that he was wearing a plaid woolen shirt. There was nothing threatening about him, he just stood there looking at me. As I began to come out of my slumber and to realize where I was, I figured that I must have been half asleep and that this guy was a part of a dream I must have been having. I blinked, looked up again, and he was still there; standing motionless, just looking at me.
I turned away and shook my head a couple of times and was by now becoming fully awake. My first thought before turning back again was to think that, ok, I'm awake now, and that figment of my imagination is now gone. When I turned back to look, he was still there. I decided, then, that there was nothing more to do but to just lay there and look back at him and find out what will happen next. After what seemed to be about a half a minute, the figure began to slowly ascend and to slowly rotate and dissipate. As he did so, he faded from view. I then got up and turned on a light and went into the kitchen for a snack and some milk. I came back and sat down on my mattress and thought about what had happened for awhile, and then I turned off the light and went back to sleep.
I eventually furnished that basement with a hodge podge of odds and ends and lived there for about a year. I never saw that apparition again. When I think about it, I sometimes dismiss the incident as my imagination overacting in a strange environment, but, then again, I remember that I was fully awake and totally aware of my surroundings while laying there looking up at a ghost.