A Ghostly Roommate

Thanks to Mariann for this story!

Mariann once shared an apartment with the ghost of an elderly man whom she called “Howard.”  Howard was a friendly spirit.  He enjoyed haunting the area by the front door and the kitchen, and also playing harmless pranks on Mariann.  One of Howard’s favorite tricks involved messing with Mariann while she watched TV at night.

Mariann liked to watch TV in the dark.  She had her phone in the living room, but the answering machine was set up in the bedroom.  Sometimes Howard would turn the ringer off on her phone, so that Mariann would not know when she was receiving a call.  Then her message machine would start up seemingly on its own accord and startle Mariann into shrieking.  She always got a mental image of the ghost bowled over with laughter in her kitchen whenever she did that.

“Very funny, Howard,” she’d say once she recovered.  He apparently enjoyed spooking her occasionally, but since it was all in innocent fun, Mariann didn’t really mind.  She and Howard had an agreeable living arrangement with one another.  There was only one time that she accidentally crossed a personal boundary and he made it abundantly clear that she had pissed him off.

A male psychic once visited her apartment and revealed Howard’s actual name to Mariann.  Mariann decided to try addressing the spirit by that name.  Immediately after speaking the new name, a horrible sound tore through the apartment.  Mariann headed in the direction of the terrible noise.  Upon entering her bathroom, she saw that every single ceiling tile had been broken in half, but turned upward.  The resulting clamor had been the sound of them cracking simultaneously.  Frightened by this volatile reaction from a usually tranquil spirit, Mariann apologized and swore never to speak that name again.

While she lived there, Howard was protective of Mariann.  At one point, she was dating someone who turned out to be abusive.  Howard knew the guy was scared of ghosts, so one night he decided to appear to him.  This was enough to send the fellow running out of the apartment.  Mariann ended the relationship soon afterward.  She attributes Howard with having saved her life.

Mariann grew so fond of Howard that when she moved, she asked if he would like to come along to her next apartment.  Howard was touched, but decided to stay behind.  Mariann heard from one of her former neighbors that the new tenant reported seeing the ghost of an elderly man.  The neighbor told the newcomer not to worry.

“That’s just Howard saying hello.”

Author’s Note: Mariann did not reveal the ghost’s other name to me for the purpose of the blog.  Knowing how Howard feels about it, I don’t even want to know.  I respect his wishes.

 

Keep the Light On

Thanks to Stephanie from Massachusetts for this story!

Whenever I think of haunted states, the ones that come immediately to mind are New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts.  Maybe it’s because they are all from the original thirteen colonies and have so much history, but it’s not surprising to hear of ghost stories.  From houses to colleges to battlefields, almost everything is haunted.

Stephanie works the night shift in a residential home for children with extreme developmental issues.  Part of her job is to check on the children routinely throughout the night.  She does this about every five to ten minutes.  The house that she works in has four bedrooms, a kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and a living room that functions as a common area.

Stephanie sits watch in the hallway.  The living room is behind her.  Two bedrooms are at the front of the house.  In order to get to the second bedroom, she had to walk around the staircase and pass through the living room.

Last October, it was a normal night like any other when things suddenly became strange.  It was about two or three in the morning.  The area by the craft table in the living room was dimmer than usual.  For some reason, Stephanie had forgotten to turn the light on in the room that night.

As she turned into the living room, the figure of a man materialized.  He had short hair, was muscular in stature, and looked to be anywhere from his twenties to mid-thirties.  It happened so quickly that Stephanie didn’t even have time to react.  One second he was walking beside her and the next, he had passed through the wall by the craft table and disappeared.  She only caught the side profile of his face and didn’t notice any particular details about his clothes.

Stephanie is a no-nonsense person.  She had a better reaction than most other people would have had in her situation.  Once the man was gone, she resumed her nightly duties.  Since that night, Stephanie always remembers to keep the light on in the living room.  The mysterious man is yet to make another appearance.

The House that Never Sleeps

Thanks to Renee for contributing this story!

On Englewood Avenue in Teaneck, New Jersey there is an old, white house with high levels of paranormal activity.  Renee states that her family has known very little peace since buying the house in 1960.  The spirits are particularly disturbing at night.  After everyone has gone to bed, you can hear doors opening and closing and sounds of a loud party going on downstairs.  However, if you brave your fears and check below, the noise stops.  Family members have reported seeing dark shadows walking around and incidents of waking to find ghostly figures standing by their beds.

Built in 1917, the house was part of Dr. Gaylord’s extensive property.  The original house included six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a powder room, and a kitchen.  Renee’s family built on additional rooms.  Most of the negative activity takes place in the newer parts of the house.

One account that Renee shared with me happened when she was a child.  She and her siblings were playing outside.  A little boy appeared and asked if he could join in their game.  After a while, Renee’s mother went into the yard and called for her kids to come inside.  They turned to say goodbye to their new friend, only to see him vanish.  They never saw him again.

A man resembling President Ulysses S. Grant has been said to appear inside of the house or on the grounds.  The scariest part is all that you see is his head floating by as if he is walking, but there is no body attached.  The family has found flags and bullets on the property.  While the former president could not have been in the house being it was built after his death, there is evidence that he knew the Gaylord family and perhaps had visited their estate before.

Big bursts of activity usually occur around the holidays.  One Thanksgiving, Renee’s sister saw the face of a red-headed man and she screamed.  Later on that same night, she was carrying a bowl of gravy when a portrait suddenly fell off the mantel, causing her to drop the platter she was carrying and scald herself.  Renee’s aunt was visiting and mentioned that she wanted to see a ghost.  The red-headed man must have taken this as a challenge because she woke up to see his face leering above her bed.  Unable to get back to sleep, she went to stay in a hotel.

Unlike other places where the spiritual phenomena fluctuate, this house continues to have a high level of activity.  It would seem that both the living and the dead residents are constantly vying for space.  Thankfully, most hauntings are not as intrusive as this one.