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The Old Lady


This story takes place many years ago, where I was born and raised in Spanish Harlem, in New York City. I was a child of about 4-5 when before me, I saw an old lady or hag, she never said say anything to me, she stared at me in a creepy kind of way. According to an older sister who is now deceased, strange things happened, items would disappear from the kitchen, strange lights were seen on the bedroom ceilings. I told my father about the old lady Isaw, and he asked me if she ever said anything to me, I told him no, she just looks at me. I saw her maybe 3 times.

Now, many years later when an older brother passed away, while at his services, my sister just happened to mention that he had seen the old lady too, But of course, he was gone and I had no chance to discuss it with him, and what he had seen, or if she had said anything to him. As best as I remember her, besides being very old, she was very petite and wore her hair in an old fashioned bun. She was wearing a white apron over a long grey dress, she did not look like anyone I knew, but even at that age, I knew what I was seeing was something strange. I have never fogotten this incident, I am now almost in my 60s, so you can see it had a profound effect on me.

It has also made me have a very open mind about the paranormal and supernatural. The apt. building stands to this day, and last Sept. When I visit my family back East, I make it a point to go passed the building. I look up at the window where my family once lived, and know that I had an encounter with something otherworldly. I have retold this story to the best of my recollection, and it is the truth.

Sincerely, J.Borrano

This is kind of a follow-up; for newbies I will brief: When I was about 5, I saw an "old woman" in the NY Apt. I lived in with my parents. She wore her hair in a bun, and was petite, she never said a word to me, but I knew, even at that age, that she was 'otherworldly'

Through the "wonders" of the internet, I was able to track down the company that manages the building. I called and spoke to the manager, a friendly gent by the name of Tony. I explained my reason for the call, and he was gracious, and told me that "no", he had never heard of any "strange" phenomenon at the building, but that he would keep my phone number, and contact me in the future should anything of this nature come to light. I must admit I was surprised, as I know this apt. had spirits, as well as I believe two other apt.

I have to keep in mind, that the building has undergone renovations over the years, the front of the building looks entirely different from the time my family and I lived there, this building is very old, at least 85 or more.

Now, it seems to me that maybe some people may have, and are hesitant to mention it for fear of being "labeled" Maybe some people had the apt. blessed, or maybe no one has ever "really" seen or experienced anything.

I would appreciate some feedback, as I know my family and I did experience phenomenon. Regards.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

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, Astral184, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Astral184 (1 stories) (53 posts)
15 years ago (2008-03-29)
Thanks all for comments, my brother saw her too, as I mentioned, but I learned this, only after he himself was deceased.

I can only say I know I saw something and will believe it, until I leave this world, as the encounter Tonith's friend had, it is 'etched' in one's mind always, I don't plan on visiting the neighborhood when I go back East anymore; too many sad family memories, but this was my 'encounter'with the 'supernatural' and this was the place to share, thanks, regards Astral l84 ❤
Tonith (1136 posts)
15 years ago (2008-03-26)
The old hag has been around for many years as a paranormal phenomenon. My friend lived in a 3d floor apartment the first year she was married and encountered much the same thing when opening up the door to her apartment after work on a bright afternoon day. She said an old woman all dressed in black with crazy gray frizzy hair was in the apartment and screamed at her. Of course she just thought some mentally ill person got in there by mistake and ran down the steps and waited for her husband to come home which was only a few minutes later and they seached the place and of course nothing. Didn't it happen again to her a few days later and she was so freaked out she would always wait at the bottom of the steps for her husband to come home before going up to the apartment. They didn't stay there long after the second episode. This woman is not the type to imagine things. She is very level headed and not subject to being dramatic at all. No one seemed to stay in that place long but she never got to talk to any other tennants who moved in after her. She is now in her late 50's but to her those 2 events are forever etched in her mind. You just don't forget something like that.
Sandy (3 stories) (48 posts)
15 years ago (2008-03-26)
Yeah, any experience you have with the paranormal does stay with you. I do believe that the old lady you saw was proboly dates back to when the building was built. At the tender age of 5 our minds are more open then, than they are now. But thank you for sharing your story! Its nice to know that older people will step up and tell there story without being ashamed of what everyone else will think. So I applaud you for stepping out and sharing your story with us. God Bless, Sandy ❤
Bellissima (12 stories) (792 posts)
15 years ago (2008-03-25)
Well Martin, I got all excited because I was going to say that I have heard of this exact hag. I thought I was going to give Astral some comfort that she really was seeing this woman and someone else had seen her too. Pfffft. That's the sound of my theory deflating.
whitebuffalo (guest)
15 years ago (2008-03-25)
Thanks, Martin, I was just a tad bit in the dark there 😆, Not like it was the first time or anything... Just threw me off a bit. 😊
Martin (602 posts) mod
15 years ago (2008-03-25)
whitebuffalo, yeah it's an old story that just had an update, it didn't warrant a new story on its own, so I just added it at the end and reset the date so it would appear in the new stories list.

Nothing escapes you 😉
whitebuffalo (guest)
15 years ago (2008-03-24)
Hmmm, I have the date of this story as being posted on 2008-03-18, and the comments started on 2007-06-10. Is this a resubmitted story?
Hello Astral184,
Often times, people are reluctant to share stories about the paranormal as they are trying o avoid the ridicule of others. So it is likely that no one had ever contacted anyone in that building and shared the stories of what had occurred to them. As YOUR encounter happened upwards fifty years ago (just assuming here, you mentioned that you are almost 60 and that you saw this woman when you were about 5), I would say that people were a bit more guarded about their experiences as they are now.
Here lately, all around, there is an increase of curiosity on the Unknown. We have appeared to be turning around and have become more aware of our world and it's attributes, and therefore have become, on a whole, more concerned about naturalistic things. In that, we have become more aware of the things that happen around us and the beings that are still with us.
What would be interesting is if you could get in contact with some of the children that you shared the living conditions with. I, too, would still be interested in knowing who this visiting woman was. I would think if any of the other children or teenagers had experienced her they would still recall the experience.
Thank you.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
15 years ago (2008-03-24)
Astral184 welcome back. If I were you, I would attempt to contact previous tenants and inquire further into any possible experiences. The reason I'm suggesting this is that I believe the managing company wouldn't give you any info even if they had previously heard of the old lady. I mean it's not in their best interest to stir things up and label the building as "haunted". I'm currently inquiring into the history of a bar-restaurant I have rented some time ago since my staff as well as me have experienced "strange things".My mistake was that after, failing to get any information from the previous owners, I decided to approach the original owners and now, not only are they angry at me, but I'm convinced they're covering something up.

I wouldn't though suggest you go back there and attempt to "communicate" with this lady, who I feel is still there, as you don't know what that would bring. Just be cautious.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
15 years ago (2008-02-10)
I trully enjoyed your story Astral. I would have to agree with everyone else that the old lady must have been an old tenant. I don't know why but I was saddened by your description of her. It gave me the impression of a volnerable, lonely old lady who is entrapped either because she has,somehow, lost her way or simply because she refused to leave from the only place she considered "home".Also, I think that she must have spoken to someone in your family or they wouldn't be asking you too.
Wish to hear more from you and thanks for replying to my story (it's true, the greatest lessons are learnt the hardest way).
Astral184 (1 stories) (53 posts)
16 years ago (2007-06-25)
Thanks for all of your comments, yes I
believe she may have been the former
occupant of the apt. All I know is that I
"saw" her and will remember until I leave
this world 😉
Abby (710 posts)
16 years ago (2007-06-13)
Dear Janet,

Every event is imprinted within our spirit memory of who we are. As humans we remember those events that are most emotional to us, unfortunately the traumatic ones stand out the most. We as humans are capable of recalling the highly energized loving events, but many, myself included have been so conditioned to focus our recall on the negative events first. Thus, the age of a human does not matter, but the greater the energetic imprint the greater the recall of that memory.

The woman was most likely the prior tenant of your apartment before you and your family resided there. If not, she may have resided in an apartment within the same rental building complex. Since she seems so connected to and within your past apartment of residence, I would say she lived in your apartment before you. She passed away and continues to haunt her familiar grounds. You may want to check with the building's owner or other residents past or present who lived there or even the tenant or tenants who now live in your old apartment. If the current tenants are having the same haunting, you can be rest assured the lady is most likely a ghost who has yet to rest. Speaking of rest, I am past due. Janet, thank you for your story, and I hope this has helped you.

Good-night, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite, Blessings, Abby over and out
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
16 years ago (2007-06-10)
Oh believe you me, I will never forget the incidents that I have been through. I think that sometimes certain events get imprinted upon the mind and for better or worse they follow us for the rest of our lives. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Peace, Love, and Luck be with you.
Janice (7 stories) (248 posts)
16 years ago (2007-06-10)
Hey Janet, I understand and you must have a really good memory to remember something from so long ago, but then when things happen that you don't expect them, like having encounters with spirits, it's not easy to forget them. Well, did the old lady seem nice or something else? Of course she probably lived there in her past and stayed there after death. Well, good luck.

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