This happened to me when I was a teenager growing up in the Bronx. My family lived on Campbell Drive in the second floor apartment of a two-family house. Built in 1942, it even still had the original glass doorknobs and other structural furnishings from that era.
From the beginning, Mom and I sensed that the place was haunted. We’d see shadows moving out of the corner of our eyes. The hallway lights that were activated by motion sensors would come on when no one was around. Sometimes late at night, we’d get the feeling that there were people talking in the living room. It was that kind of elevated energy vibe that you experience whenever you are at a party or in a restaurant. The second we stepped into the living room, the atmosphere would return to normal.
One night, I was waiting for my mother to get home from work. I was sitting on the couch deeply engrossed in a book when I suddenly heard piano music. Before that moment, ghosts were the furthest thing from my mind. The neighbors weren’t home, so it wasn’t a radio or someone else’s television. The music was coming from our old, out of tune piano that we almost never played.
Steadying myself, I looked over to my left. Just as I expected, the piano was closed and no one was sitting there. I stared at it as the eerie music continued to flow beneath the invisible musician’s hands. The tune was unfamiliar to me. After another minute, there was a loud jarring sound as if someone had purposely banged on the keys, then the music stopped as quickly as it had begun.
I swallowed once or twice, the oppressive silence roaring in my ears. Nodding, I got up and said, “Well, so much for watching the electric bill!” Then I turned on the television, switched on all of the lights, and waited for mom to get home.