A Ghostly Love Tale
Part II: The Trouble Begins
The trouble started a couple of weeks after I had moved in, although to be honest with all
the excitement and activity of the move it may have started as soon as I moved in and I just
didn’t notice. At first it was just random odd noises here and there, little creaks and
scratches, sometimes something heavier like a thud. It was nothing I wasn’t used to
from my apartment living days and I cast it off as the natural noises of an old house settling
or squirrels playing in the attic and truthfully that’s probably exactly what is was. A
few times I did hear what I could have sworn was one of the bedroom doors opening and a
scurrying in the storage room under the stairs, but nothing was ever out of place so I just as
quickly forgot about it.

One thing that I did notice immediately that really bothered me was how that small
bedroom always seemed to be cold, very cold. Even in the blazing heat of Houston’s
summer that room had a chill that seemed to penetrate down to the bones and anytime I
would go in there the hairs on the back of my neck would prickle. Like I said, there was no
way to explain it; even if there had been no window at all let alone that smaller one, there
is no way a room could have been that cold. I didn’t bother to explain it to myself, I
just cast it off as an old house oddity and let it go. I unconsciously began to avoid going in
there and I always kept the door shut. If I had to go in there to get something from one of
my moving boxes, I went in, got it and got out. I never hung around. I wouldn’t say
that I felt like I was being watched exactly, but there was definitely a feeling that I wasnâ
€™t alone and I felt like I had to constantly look over my shoulder. I never went in there at
night, but I never bother to tell myself why. I just didn’t.

The same went for the storage closet under the stairs. In addition to the scratches I
sometimes heard, which truthfully could have been rodents although I never saw any
evidence, it was always cold, very cold like that third bedroom. I didn’t get around to
seeing through my dream of turning the storage closet into my awesome home bar. I
managed to convince myself that there were other more important places in the house for
my money and my bar ended up being bottles haphazardly strewn upon a kitchen counter
and glasses thrown into a cupboard just like in my apartments. Quite frankly, I was terrified
of that storage room, and it wasn’t subconscious feeling. I flat out knew I didn’t
like it. I never wanted to go all the way inside because I felt like the door would slam shut
behind me. It always felt like something was in there, hiding in the shadows that the light
from the fixture just couldn’t seem to reach. I tried to laugh at myself and admitted that
I was being stupid, but I just couldn’t shake the unsettling feelings that room gave me.
It didn’t help that it was under the stairs, the classic home of the boogeyman.

A month and a half after I moved it was when I found out that I was not alone in my new
house. I woke up late at night about two-ish to a very odd sound, not like anything I had
heard before. It was a muffled gurgle or whistle, kind of like someone blowing over the
mouth of an empty bottle. I told myself it was the wind and went back to sleep. It
happened again the next night, which was as still as a night could be so it couldn’t have
been wind. I decided it was the air-conditioner and again went back to sleep. This
happened for two weeks; I would wake up in the middle of the night around two or three in
the morning and I would hear this wheezing sound like someone having trouble breathing.
Several checks of the air-conditioner and other appliances in the morning had turned up
nothing, so one night when I couldn’t get back to sleep I decided to roll out of bed and
trace the source. Once out in the hallway I could hear the sound clearly and realized that it
was very similar to sobbing. It wasn’t the wind, it wasn’t the house settling, and it
sure as hell wasn’t a squirrel rooting through my boxes. It was someone crying, and it
was coming from the small bedroom I had been avoiding.

You know how in horror movies the actor hears a strange noise and you think they’re
so stupid to actually check it out. You might say to yourself ‘screw that noise, if that
were me I’d just run away, no way I’d be checking out spooky noises’. Funny
thing is when you’re faced with a similar situation in real life you turn into that moron
horror movie cliché. Maybe it’s a person’s natural curiosity, maybe it’s even
only certain people and I happen to be one of those people. Hell, maybe it was even
because it was three in the freaking morning and I wasn’t exactly in the right state of
mind. Whatever the case, I heard the noise and I immediately knew that it was not coming
from anything natural. I knew if I opened that door that what I would be faced with would
scare the hell out of me. But still I had to open it, I had to see with my own eyes what was
in that room. I had to solve the mystery.
Ever so slowly, ever so quietly I turned the knob and eased the door open just enough for
me to look through the crack. The moon was close to full that night and was at just the right
angle in the sky to fill the room with a ghostly pale light. There right in front of the window
was a shadow; not a shadow exactly, it wasn’t painted on the floor but was more like a
physical blob of darkness slumped at the window. It was difficult to distinguish what it was
exactly, but it had a vague human shape and was completely three dimensional. Really, it
could have just been a pile of clothes or a stack of boxes, except that it was moving. I
clearly heard the sound of a girl crying as the shaped bobbed up and down in the same
rhythm of the sobbing. It was odd, though, the sound; it was as if it was coming out of a
bad speaker or something, like it was distorted just slightly enough to be noticeable.

I didn’t scream, I did cry out or even gasp. I just stood there in shock while my hair
stood on end and my skin turned as rough as sandpaper. I don’t know how long I stood
there watching the shadow cry at the window; five seconds, ten, half an hour, I really have
no idea. I slowly closed the door, turned around and went down the stairs, dragging my
body like a drunken zombie. I went into the living room and collapsed onto the couch.
When I say I collapsed, I mean it; as soon as I was there my muscles just gave out on me
and I fell. Again, I don’t know how long I sat there shivering even though it was a
warm summer night, my mind as numb as my body.

Eventually I found the strength to get back to my feet, mostly by trying to convince myself
that I had simply imagined the whole episode, that it had been some sort of freak sleep-
walking dream. I looked up the staircase but it was too dark to see anything. It took me
another little bit to work up the nerve to mount the steps, but as I got within sight of the
room I could see that the door was slightly open, just a crack but it was clearly open and I
distinctly remembered closing it. Again that numb feeling began to overtake my body while
a horrible fear chill swept over me.

I went back to the living room and passed out on the couch.