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Booby-trap For A Spirit


One Saturday evening, Dave, Buddi and I were sitting in my living room, discussing a common topic of conversation, i.e. The evident haunting of the building I lived in. At that time, there were no other tenants, and we three were the only people in the building. Over that year, so many different things had happened, sights, sounds, even smells. We'd all had strange encounters before but 1444 Broadway was in a class by itself.

Dave got this idea- since one of the regular manifestations was footsteps coming down the hall, we'd rig a noisemaker, to see if whatever was causing the footsteps would trigger it. We got some fishing line, and strung it across the hallway, about ankle height. Then, we took an old coffee can, and put a handful of nails, nuts, and bolts in it, and hung it on the line, midway, the idea being that, if something struck the line, the can would make some noise.

The hallway light was burnt out, so we worked by flashlight, Dave with his Mini-MagLite, me with one of those long, four-cell jobs that RadioShack used to give away.

We got everything set up, and went back to my apartment, and had dinner.

About eight-thirty or so, as we were sitting watching TV, the three of us heard the rattling of the can in the hall. Dave and I grabbed our lights, flung open the door, and dashed into the hall.

There was nothing in sight, just the can jangling back and forth on the line. Suddenly, the entire front of my flashlight flew off, spilling the collar, lens, reflector, bulb, and all four batteries onto the floor. The front of the light wasn't loose-indeed, the light wouldn't work unless screwed down tight- but it happened, none the- less.

Dave and I just looked at each other, and went back into the apartment, closing the door.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, alandhopewell, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

alandhopewell (28 stories) (145 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-08)
This happened about twenty years ago; the building has since been torn down.

We never thought of dusting the floor... Wish we had.

As to the building's history, as I mentioned with another story, the building was erected in 1927-there had been a house on the property, that was demolished in the tornado of 1924. During the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, the house was used as a temporary morgue.

Of other tenants I talked to, some experienced nothing, while some did... By and large, the bulk of the manifestations began after the building was vacant but for me.
cosmogal926 (9 stories) (1223 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-08)
Great story! I guess whoever is walking the halls didn't appreciate tripping over the wire and knocked the flashlight out of your hand. LOL! I like Javelina's idea too about the flour or powder. Let's just hope this spirit doesn't slip and go flying down the hallway. 😉
Pjod (3 stories) (978 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-08)
I often wonder... Was watching " a Haunting" recently, and a guy was describing this smokey like form of a person that would often appear near his bed while he and his wife were trying to sleep. I think I would have kept a heavy duty shop vaccuum plugged in- clicked it on when that ghost appeared, just to see if I could suck that smokey entity in the bag, ghostbuster style... Most likely, it would not have worked. Maybe it would have been enough to keep smokey away for a good nights sleep?
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-08)
Follow Javelina's suggestion... Since this happens so frequently, and there is currently no one other than you guys using the building, it is a great opportunity. You would not have to leave the flour down for very long, and could clean it up after you document it.
It would allow you to rule out animals or any other possibilities, as well.

Good luck!
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-08)
Have you ever attempted the old tried and true booby trap of sprinkling flour or talcum powder on the floor? Sawdust would work too. That may give you a better idea of it's direction, or it's gender in the off chance it would be wearimg heels. Let us know if you try it and what your findings are.
blue_raven80 (13 stories) (338 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-07)
i agree that the building is haunted. So much for that night eh? ❤
lynrinth (guest)
11 years ago (2011-04-07)
And that sounds like that ended the doubt whether that building was haunted or not. Yeah, I would've gone back to the apartment and closed the door, too.
redphx (4 stories) (827 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-07)
LOL that is awesome! I bet that ghost was so pissed you guys played that trick on it. I love this!
510mot (3 stories) (262 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-07)
Apparently,past tenants came to the same conclusion as you and your friends with the empty units. Have you been able to interview past tenants? If so, did anyone have knowlege of the building's history? Is there any pattern? Sorry for all the questions but I am entirely interested and totally jealous.
alandhopewell (28 stories) (145 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-07)
Just the odd creak...sometimes, footsteps would be heard. They seemed to come, generally, just to my door, and stop. A couple times, a moving shadow could be seen under the door.
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3327 posts) mod
11 years ago (2011-04-07)
alan: I think you forgot to mention painstakingly cleaning your pants at the end! 😆...That's what I would have had to do!...

Pretty cool idea about the booby trap... Did you or your friend hear anything prior to the sound of the can?...

Thanks for posting! 😊

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