From: "Dawn Jackson" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Ghostly encounter? (sort of long)
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 13:02:20 -0500
Hope everyone is doing well today, I am suffering with an abcessed wisdom tooth (ouch) so if my typing is a little screwy blame it on the pain pills! (they can't pull it til the infection is cleared up so they are keeping me realtively pain free til next Wednesday) Anyway, I have only been on the NG for about a month and have been a lurker of sorts, I have posted replies to some peoples stories and tried to read all of them, well I thought I would share an experience with you (the demerol has bolstered my courage LOL) that happened when I was a child in Ohio.
When I was a child of about 7, my family lived in Cleveland Ohio in an apartment building called Clifton Manor, (I don't know of it even still exists, this was 1968), I, in my youth, called it Spooky Manor because one of the tenants was supposedly the son of Boris Karloff (if any one can verify this for me please do so). Of course his apartment was always the "best" one to go trick-or-treating at since he really did put on quite a show, fog machines, eeerie music and he would show old black & white 8 millimeter (I think 8mm) choppy scratchy versions of old Karloff flicks, He (I don't think I ever knew his name) would be dressed up in very gothic (goth in '68) period clothing and proceed to frighten the candy corn right out of us...but I digress.
The apartment building itself was rather old then or seemed to be at my young age, all those twisting, winding corridors, all those huge dark impenetrable doors with who knew what behind them. I don't recall exactly how many floors there were but I think at least 5 or 6 and each floor had about 15 or 20 apartments on it. This made quite a "candy haul" without ever having to leave the building, which made my Mother feel safer and she could stay at home tending to my new baby sister.
So off I went all by my lonesome to gather up all the "candy loot" that I could. I was pretty much a loner (even at 7) and did not mind going by myself. After hitting a couple of floors on my own and dragging my pillowcase filled with candy behind me I entered the elevator to hit the next floor. I should mention that the elevator was of the older type with the ornate wrought iron doors, that plush dark wine colored faux velvet material covering the walls, intricate buttons, sort of Art Decoie (does that word even exist LOL?) Just as the cage doors opened and I went to enter I saw some one exiting. It was Donald, the son of the present manager of the apartments. Now Donald had ALWAYS been mean to me,He was a grade ahead of me and continually picked on me. ( I know now he must have a crush LOL) I was a small slight child ,even now I barely stand five foot tall, and Donald would push me into a briar or sticker bush every day on my walk home from school. Naturally, I was terrified to see him coming out of the elevator. But an amazing transformation had taken place!, He was actually speaking to me, nicely at that! We chatted about how well our halloween candy hunt had gone so far and compared notes about who was giving out the 'bestest" candy. he had already hit floors that I hadn't and vice versa. After comparing our notes Donald hinted about an apartment on the bottom floor (the basement) that had people giving out whole candy bars, not the bite size ones. Well, my 7 year old greed kicked in and I suggested we both go. Off we went to find the motherlode of candy...
We took the ancient creaking elevator down and down and down until we were basically in the bowels of the building itself. Hissing steam pipes were overhead and the entire place was dark and damp. Moisture oozed out of the cracks in the wall and the lighting was very poor making anything normal down there (old furniture, desks, etc.) take on very menacing forms in the darkness. Donald had taken his father's keys ( as he was the super he had keys to everything) and said that the apartment was further back in this room. We made our way past cobweb covered rafters, appliances draped with white sheets that gave the appearance of great hulking beasts under there until we finally reached a wooden door that was locked from the outside, with a padlock. (this should have been my first clue, but I was dreaming of full size hershey bars..) Donald fished around on his father's key chain and located the correct key to unlock the door. He unhooked the padlock and slowly swung the door open, and with his sudden personality change came some manners with it. 'Ladies first", he said and proceeded to push me headfirst into the totally dark room.
The only sound I could hear was Donald laughing maniacally as he relocked the door and ran away. I have always been terrified of the dark, well not the dark per se, but what lurked in it so this totally unhinged me, the candy was long forgotten as I screamed and beat on the door for someone to please come and save me. I was crying hysterically and was on the verge of literally peeing in my halloween costume. After no one arrived to "save me" and my cries had slowed the that strange hiccup thing that people get, I figured I had better find a way out. It took every single ounce of courage my little seven year old self had to inch my way around feeling the ooky slimy walls for support. Little did I know that I was on a landing and that there were steps leading down to the main floor area. It truly was pitch dark, the kind of darkness where you can't even see your hand in front of your face type.
I of course still gingerly touching the wall for safety, tumbled down into the center of the earthen, damp, smelly floor. Of course, this only caused another wave of terror. I am surprised that folks several floors up did not hear me as loud as I must have been. Well, I sat there in the same spot for hours it seemed, and when my hysteria ebbed, I emptied out my candy pillowcase and climbed inside ( I told you I was a small kid LOL) exhausted from screaming I finally fell asleep. I have no idea how to guage how long I had been there, but something was waking me up. It was a very faint light far across the room. I figured it must be morning by now and that it was sunlight, although still very afraid, I figured I would be less afraid during daylight. But no, the light made its way to me slowly and getting brighter as it came. I curled up tighly in my pillowcase, surrounding by candy (and probably the mice that smelled it too). The closer it got I could tell it was a woman holding a candle, she was dressed in what I thought were odd clothes, a long type dress, boiuffant hairdo etc. certainly not how Mother or her friends dressed. As she came even closer I could tell that she was not walking so much as gliding towards me. She never said a word at all to me, just pointed toward the door, (that I could now see with the glow of her candle). I assumed she was Donald's Mother came to save me and quickly scurried out of my pillowcase, leaving candy helter skelter, I made a beeline for the door only to find it still locked! She quickly glided over and THROUGH the door and unlocked it from the other side! I ran as fast as my little legs would take me, never looking behind, as I made my way back to my family's apt. Of course by that time my Mother was frantic and had called the police who were searching the building and neighborhood. I tried to explain what had happened to my Mother, but when I got to the part about the lady letting me out she quickly got angry and told me to quit making up this foolishness. No one ever believed me, the Police went down and found the door still padlocked, after breaking the padlock the found what was left of my candy (the mice must have an absolute feast!) so they knew that I must have truly been in there but there was no explanation on how I got out. I don't know who the kind lady was but thank her most profusely!!! And as for Donald, you could hear the whipping he got 3 floors away! He never bothered me again, whether from fear of his parents "tarring his hide" or maybe he was afraid that nice lady would come after him! And Donald, where ever you are, I just want you to know that I am now 37 years old and STILL terified of the dark.... The End