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Apparition On Broadway


I was on my way home at about three one morning, walking north on Broadway in Lorain. It was September of 1987, and still summery warm. I was passing a gas station right at the bend where Broadway meets Elyria Avenue when I decided to call a young lady friend, who'd generally be up. So, I sauntered over to the pay phone at the station, dropped in a quarter, and punched in Sandy's number. Sure enough, she was sitting up watching tv.

We'd been talking for several minutes when I noticed someone across the street, actually on Elyria Avenue, heading north; Elyria and Broadway Avenues both run north and south, and merge at Sixteenth Street, continuing from there as Broadway.

The figure was that of a woman, dressed in clothing from the late fifties... A red beret, capping short, curly black hair, a yellow angora sweater top, v-necked, a yellow and blue plaid wraparound skirt, to a bit below the knee, and red high-heeled sandals.

She, whoever she was, was walking slowly, haltingly, as if injured or exhausted, although I could see no blood. The form, and the outfit, seemed strangely familiar, and unnervingly strange.

I must have fallen silent, for I heard Sandy asking me if something was wrong...

I assured her that I was okay, and began to describe what I was seeing.

Suddenly, as if my vision had somehow become clearer, I saw something that chilled me to the core...

The woman had no face.

There was a gray void where her features should have been, as if they were shrouded in some way. As I was relating this to my friend, the figure vanished. As it vanished, I understood why it looked familiar. I looked down at my watch, at the date...

9 September. Twenty years before, in 1967, my favorite aunt, Mary-Ellen, had committed suicide by drowning herself. My memory flashed back to happier times, and the outfit my aunt liked to wear when she'd go out for the evening...

A red beret, atop her black, curly pageboy, her favorite yellow angora sweater, a wraparound plaid skirt, and red sandals that matched her beret.

I said "goodnight" to Sandy, and hung up the phone.

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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.

DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
12 years ago (2011-07-05)
The way you described the figure you saw really drew me in. It was almost as though I was watching this unfold myself. I am so sorry to hear about your aunt's passing. I hope that she has moved on now and that she is in peace.
alandhopewell (28 stories) (145 posts)
12 years ago (2011-07-05)
My thanks for your condolences... Aunt Mary-Ellen wrestled with depression all her adult life- I recall one afternoon, she, her son, my brother and I were playing catch in the yard... I was about eight, my cousin eleven, my brother six.

Todd (my cousin) had just tossed the ball to me, and I turned and tossed it to my aunt. As the ball crossed the yard, I saw the expression on her smiling face change, as if a black cloud had descended upon her. The ball bounced off her chest, dropping to the ground, as she turned, and walked into the house. She went into the spare bedroom, and didn't come out for three days.

Three years later, she drowned herself in the Oberlin Reservior, 9 Sept 1967.

I believe that my aunt, her troubles notwithstanding, knew the Lord, and resides in Heaven; she does not walk the earth, nor did she that night.

Still, I thank all of you again...forty-four years later, the hole where she was still twinges, at times.
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
12 years ago (2011-07-03)
AlanD--Another vividly told story. Put that outfit on Abby from NICS and I think I'm in love.
You've had a good number of paranormal encounters in your life, Mr. H. Is it intrusive to ask what you make of your abilities? You seem to be an open socket for spirits to plug themselves in. (I'm still wondering about that store below your apt that was broken out of.) All safety to you in these encounters.
Lilady4 (7 stories) (427 posts)
12 years ago (2011-07-02)
What a superbly written story. I want to offer my condolences for your loss. It is amzing that Mary-Ellen made sure that you would see her, well, that's what it sounds like to me.
Love & Light, Rachel ❤
Madyrina (68 posts)
12 years ago (2011-07-02)
What an extremely touching story... It makes me kind of sad.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
12 years ago (2011-07-01)
Whoa! That one gave me chills. Your description was so vivid and distinct, it put me right there on the street with you.
Sorry for your loss Alan.

zzsgranny (18 stories) (3329 posts) mod
12 years ago (2011-07-01)
alan: Very touching 😢...I'm sorry for your loss... I think you were in the right place at the right time... It was no coincidence that you stopped at that particular phone booth...

Another great account, sir... Thank you for posting!

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