Last week, in honor of October, I asked you all to share your ghost stories. Man, some of you had a few doozies! But, having lived in a haunted apartment across the street from a cemetery for two years in college, I have a few spooky tales of my own. After the jump, I’ll you all about mysteriously appearing dimes, ghostly pranks, and the one thing that’s haunted me forever.
When I was a junior and senior in college, I lived in a duplex that was part of a cluster of apartments all owned by the same woman right across from an old cemetery. It was all college kids who lived in them and most of us knew each other through the theater department. When I first moved in, one of the girls who’d lived there for a year told me her place was haunted and that mine might be, too. I asked her how she knew it was haunted and she said she was always finding dimes around her apartment.
“Dimes?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied. “Piles of dimes, or sometimes just one or two dimes. But I know they’re from a ghost because it’s always dimes — never quarters or pennies or anything — and dimes are supposed to be a sign of ghosts.”
She seemed to know what she was talking about, so I didn’t ask anymore questions and decided to keep an eye out for dimes … or anything else strange. Sure enough, a few months after I moved in, I started noticing dimes in random places — on window sills, in the bathroom sink, on the staircase. A few times, I also found single earrings on top of the desks or coffee tables that didn’t belong to me or my roommate. It turned out this was all kind of a warm-up and it wasn’t long before things got a little spookier.
Soon, appliances began turning themselves on and off. Once, when I was home alone watching “Unsolved Mysteries,” with all the lights turned off, my hair dryer turned itself on in my bedroom upstairs. I hated climbing the stairs to my dark room to turn it off! Sometimes, the outgoing message on the answering machine would just randomly play without anyone touching it. I used to find shaving cream lining the entire bottom of my bathtub in the mornings. Once, when I was putting some Tater Tots in the oven (hey, I was in college, sue me!), I felt something slide down the back of my leg. I looked down and saw a dime drop on the floor and roll across the room. As I was watching that, I felt a Tater Tot hit me in the shoulder. These weren’t even the scariest things.
My roommate and I had a party once and I’d vacuumed my room in preparation, and later that evening, when our friends were over, I heard someone shout, “Oh my God!” from my bedroom. It turns out, they’d been telling ghost stories and the girl who lived next door to us swore up and down that our little cluster of apartments was haunted by a young mother and her little boy (apparently, they’d appeared to her in numerous dreams). As soon as she was done telling the story, someone noticed a hand print on my rug — my freshly vacuumed rug. The size of the hand print was too small to be anyone’s in the apartment. It was the size of a small child’s …
I lost my glasses once. I’m sure I put them on my nightstand as I always did before going to bed, but in the morning they were gone. I looked everywhere. Everywhere! I called my mom and told her I thought the ghost took them. She was the only person I could say something like that to and not get laughed at. She believed in ghostly spirits just like I did, and I suspected she may have even had her own experience with them, though I’d never asked.
“You need to ask for them back,” she told me.
So I did. I said, “This isn’t funny! I need my glasses back! They were expensive and I can’t afford to buy a new pair and I need them!” Suddenly, something compelled me to look under my bed. I lifted the lid off a shoe box and there they were: my glasses. Even that wasn’t the scariest thing.
The scariest thing happened one weekend when my roommate was out of town. These things always happened when she was gone, and in fact, if you were to ask her even now, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d tell you she’s convinced I made everything up. But I didn’t. These things all happened. And the scariest was that weekend when she was gone and I woke up on a Sunday morning in my bedroom and the bedroom furniture had been rearranged during the night and right beside my bed, just inches from where I slept, was the rocking chair, facing me, like someone had been watching me sleep all night. I shot out of bed like a cannon, threw on some clothes and booked over to a friend’s house until my roommate got back to town that night and I didn’t have to be alone in the apartment.
Up until this point, all the ghostly pranks seemed like just that — pranks. Like a little kid playing tricks. But this incident had a more sinister feel to it and I was spooked. Fortunately, it was the last month of school and we graduated a few weeks later and moved out. Since then, I’ve lived in six different apartments and have never experienced anything like I did at that place. Occasionally, I’ll find dimes in weird places (next to the stove or in the shower) or feel what I can only describe as a “presence,” but I’m not convinced it means anything. I’m probably just psyching myself out. But in that apartment a dozen years ago, I know it was more than just my mind playing tricks on me. I’m sure there was something there. I know it.