You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Haunted Places :: The Landlord

Real Ghost Stories

The Landlord


I grew up listening to all these stories about this ghost we had when I was a baby. So now 35 years later I decided to write about it. I interviewed my mother and took notes. I am writing this as if it was my mother telling her story... What you are about to read is very true, I have no reason what's ever to make this up.

My name is Jean. I have three children, ten grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and a husband of 33 years and I also take care of a mentally challenged man seven days a week. This is my true ghost story.

At the time of when this story took place I was 28 years old and just had my third child. I never really believed in spirits or ghosts before this, but after what had happened to me and my family, you bet I believe.

It was 1975 in Dorchester, MA and we had just moved into the top floor of a three Decker apartment, and for the first two months everything seemed to be normal. My husband would get up and go to work, the two older kids would be off to school and the baby and I would stay home, that was the normal routine.

I remember the first time that it all started. It was after midnight and I was lying in bed. My husband was asleep next to me and I was wide awake. As I lay there trying to get back to sleep I heard something that caught my attention. It sounded like people talking. It was very faint, but clear. The voice sounded like a landlord describing an apartment. I didn't think much of it; I thought maybe it was the people down below us. As I turned over to switch positions I looked up and there he was, standing in my bedroom doorway staring right at me. He was as clear as day, holding the door knob he appeared to be peaking in as if he was checking in on a child. He looked like an older gentlemen, heavy set with grey hair and rosy cheeks, he looked to be a jolly man. I wiped my eyes and blinked a few times making sure I was awake and seeing what I thought I was seeing. We didn't say anything to each other; he just stared at me for a moment before I turned over and closed my eyes. When I turned to look back he was gone. I don't know why but I wasn't scared at all. I looked over at my husband and he was sound asleep. I closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep.

The next morning I asked my husband if he had seen or heard anything unusual, and I told him what I had seen that night before. He said no and shrugged it off, as if I must have been dreaming and then headed off to work.

That afternoon I went over to my mother in-laws house for a visit. As we were talking I brought up what had happened the night before. I described the man that I had seen and told her he was standing in my bedroom doorway. My mother in-law was in shock. The look on her face was like she had just seen a ghost herself. She went on to explain that she knew the landlord of the apartment we lived in. His name is Mr. Tate and he just passed away a few months ago, what you described sounded just like him. Older, heavyset with grey hair and rosy cheeks. She said Jean; I think you saw Mr. Tate. Chills ran up and down my body, but I still wasn't afraid.

Later that night I was talking to my husband about what his mother had said to me. He couldn't believe it, Jean your nuts. I said well, that would explain the voices I heard sounding like someone describing an apartment.

A few days have gone by and I haven't heard or seen anything. Maybe I was seeing things? It was a little after two in the morning when I woke up to the baby crying. I got up to get the baby and make him a bottle, and then went back to my bedroom to feed him. I sat down on the edge of my bed facing away from the door, my husband sound asleep next to me. I started feeding the baby and reached for a cigarette. I know holding a baby and smoking real nice right? But it was 1975 who knew. A few minutes had gone by when I heard a voice say, Jean don't smoke between the hours of two and four a.m. This time I was a little scared. I didn't look back to see if there was something behind me or not. I just reached over and put the cigarette out and continued feeding the baby. The rest of the night was quite.

That next morning I told my husband what I had heard. This time I think he believed me. He asked me if I was pulling at his hair or tapping on him in bed last night. I said no, and he went on to tell me that he felt something tugging at his hair and it woke him up. He also thought he heard someone talking about numbers. He said he looked over at me and I was turned the other way sound asleep. Do you believe now? I said.

Later that day it was just me and the baby. I was in the kitchen and I could see the baby in the living room. Something caught my attention in the living room so I went to investigate. I noticed that the lamp on the end table was off; I thought maybe the bulb blew, so I went over to check it out and turned the switch just to see if it was off or if the bulb did really blow out. I turned the switch and to my surprise, the light turned on. I didn't make a big deal over it. Maybe it was already off and I thought it was on, but, what was it that made me go in there in the first place? Oh well. I went back in to the kitchen to finish what I was doing. A minute or two went by before I looked up to check the baby and when I did, I noticed that the light was off again. I went back out to the lamp and checked it again. I turned the switch and the light turned on again. Ok, now I know something is not right here. You have to physically turn that switch with your fingers to turn it off and on. That's when I started talking to whom or whatever was is in my house. The rest of the day seemed to be ok until that night at dinner.

We were sitting at the kitchen table having dinner talking about the day we all had. In the kitchen were the washer and dryer. Sometime had past when all of a sudden, BANG! We all jumped out of our seats. The noise we heard came from the dryer. It sounded like someone had walked by the dryer and hit it really hard. I looked at my husband and he looked at me with wide open eyes. Ok, we know you are here. You don't have to bang on things, I said. You are scaring the kid's, can you please stop. We didn't hear or see anything the rest of the night; as a matter of fact two weeks had gone by before it started back up again.

It was around four o'clock on a Saturday afternoon. My husband was due home anytime and the two older kids were across the street at the park, the baby was taking a nap in the living room and I was in the bathroom blow drying my hair, when all of a sudden the blow dryer stopped and the light went off. Great, the power went out. I didn't think much of it, until I heard the TV that we kept in the kitchen. I looked around to make sure the power was really out. The TV in the living room was off and all the lights were off. I tried turning on the lamp and it wouldn't turn on, even the refrigerator was out. The only thing that was on was the TV in the kitchen. I walked over to the TV that was on and checked it out. It was plugged in and the switch was on. I walked back in to the living room and picked up the baby. Then I called my husband, he was still at work, great. This time I was really frightened. I mean no power in the whole apartment, except the one TV in the kitchen. My husband told me I should go down stairs and check the circuit breakers. I said what? Are you kidding me? I'm not going down there. He said you need to go check it out or you can wait until I get home. I didn't want to, but I did. I got the baby and a flash light then proceeded down stairs to the circuit breakers. When I got there I opened the lid and shined the light on the breakers. One by one I checked and not one breaker was tripped. I slammed the lid shut then took the baby and headed out side, but, quick!

We sat outside until my husband got home. About twenty minutes have passed, by the time I called the kids home, and just then my husband was pulling up. We walked in the apartment and noticed right away that the power was all back on. We wanted to check all the possibilities of what might have happened to the power. So we turned on everything in the apartment that could be turned on. Every appliance, light, lamp, TV, and radio, even the blow dryer was running and the power stayed on. The breakers took the load of everything being on. We could not find an explanation of why the TV stayed on and the rest of the apartment had no power. Most people would have probably moved out by now, but it didn't frighten us so bad to be there. We kind of had fun with it. Plus, it didn't happen every day. Days or weeks would go by before something else would happen.

Time did pass before the next encounter. I remember my daughter calling me in to the next room. She was trying to open the closet door, but it was stuck and wouldn't budge. It was weird because we never had a problem with that door. The door was an older one that needed a skeleton key to open it. I took the key from my daughter and tried to open it myself, but still it wouldn't budge. I turned the knob back and forth and pulled on the door, nothing; when I pulled on the door it felt like someone was on the other side holding it shut. My daughter and I could not figure it out. We stood there puzzled staring at the door, when all of a sudden it popped open. I looked down at my daughter and she was gone, she took off like a bat out of hell. The door didn't open hard or fast, it just kind of slowly cracked open. I still have no explanation to how that happened. It's just one more thing added to the activities of that apartment. Just like our back door would sometimes be wide open, when it had a chain lock on it, and nobody claimed opening it, or like the plates my aunt had given me. Before we moved in my aunt had gave me two decretive plastic plates. They each had a picture of a man and women on them and they both had mine and my husband's name on them. I had them hanging next to each other on the wall next to the pantry.

One night we heard a crash in the other room. We got up to go see what it was. When we walked in the room I noticed one of the plates my aunt had given me was on the floor. It didn't shatter, but it had a crack right through the neck of the picture. The strange thing is the plate was about five feet from the wall. I thought if something fell of the wall, wouldn't it just fall straight down? We went back to the living room saying great, here we go again. About five minutes passed before we heard another crash. We went back in to the other room to find that the other plate had fallen too. Again the plate was about five feet from the wall, but this time the plate was cracked in a v shape on the forehead of the picture. I don't believe the cracks on the plates meant anything. It's just where they happened to crack, but the distance of the plates from the wall was very strange. I guess Mr. Tate didn't like my plates.

When we moved in to the apartment it looked like someone was in the middle of fixing it up. For instance, the wallpaper in the kitchen, and hallway looked new but, unfinished. So, my husband and I decided we were going to change some of it, because I didn't like the way it looked. I have always heard that when; some people have remodelled or started moving things around in their home, it would awaken any spirits that might be there. Don't ask me why, it's just what I have heard. I can tell you this though. After we changed the wall paper, something very strange accrued.

We woke up one morning a couple days after doing the wallpaper, and what we saw, I still have no explanation for. The wall behind our couch had deep scratches, about a foot higher than the couch, and all the way down to the baseboard. The wallpaper we just put up a couple days before was ruined. The scratches went from behind the couch all the way down the hallway. I'm going to kill that cat, shouted my husband. I don't think it was the cat, I said. Maybe we should get the cat and see if he is even capable of doing that. My husband found the cat, and we brought him into the hallway. I held my cats back paws, and my husband took hold of the cat's front legs. We then stretched the cat up the wall next to the scratches. We stretched that cat as far as he would let us, and still the scratches were at least six inches higher than what the cat could stretch. I guess Mr. Tate didn't like our choice of wallpaper. Come to find out later, Mr. Tate was in the middle of doing our wallpaper when he passed away from a heart attack.

I remember we had an old fashion pencil sharpener. It was one of those that looked like an old telephone. We had it screwed in to the wall in the kitchen across from the washer and dryer. It was the following Sunday night when my brother and sister in-law stopped by for a visit. During their stay, we had a discussion about all the activity that was going on in our apartment. Of course my brother in-law, just like my husband was being sceptical. I told him about all the stuff that had been going on, and he just shook his head in disbelieve. He said I don't believe it. I was in the middle of telling him about the scratches on the wall, when all of a sudden the pencil sharpener flew off the wall and slammed in to the washing machine. Nobody could believe it. My brother in-law looked at his wife, and said let's go! My husband picked up the sharpener, and walked back over to look at the wall. The screws were still in the wall, and the washing machine was at least six feet away. It was like someone ripped the sharpener right of the wall and threw it against the washing machine. There was absolutely no explanation for what just happened.

We lived in that apartment for two years before we moved. Even though, we encountered more activity in that two year span. We moved because we had to, not because of the spirit that lived with us. I never did see a picture of Mr. Tate. But, I do believe that it was him in our apartment. I never asked the landlady about her husband, I guess I didn't want to frighten her.

It's been over thirty years since we lived in that apartment, and I still think about it all the time. I wonder if the people that live there now are having any of the experiences that we had.

What you just read is the honest to god's truth. I have no reason to make any of this up. It's been a long time since I have experienced anything like that again, and I know before moving in to that house in Dorchester, I was sceptical, but after living there for two years with what I think was a ghost; I will always believe.

Hauntings with similar titles

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from Massachusetts

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, bsk36, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Casper_the_ghost (9 stories) (180 posts)
12 years ago (2012-03-09)
You used fine detail in your story, I can believe everything it was incredibly creepy especially the first part where Mr. Tate peeked in at you at the doorway 😨. Made me laugh at your nonbelieving brother-in-law wanting to get out at the first bang 😆 but that for me, was the most frightening thing to have happen when the pencil sharpener was screwed into the wall! 😲 I'm thinking the pencil sharpener looked a bit like the one in the remake House on Haunted Hill? Something hard and heavy? I think I would of probably fainted!
About the electricity going, would it have anything to do with the apartments below you using all the power? Are the wires all connected? Maybe the tv that was on had a different source of power? Or maybe all the other appliances were overused?
The scratches on the wall- I was thinking maybe the cat was sitting up on the couch and might of fell causing it to hang on to the wall/ the cat could of seen a fly above it and leapt to catch it but instead met the wall? Think Tom & Jerry.
As someone already said about the dryer it could of been on without you remembering to turn it off?
As for the closet door not being able to open, was there a coat or something maybe stuck in the hinges causing it to not open or perhaps a draft from somewhere?
Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading it-reminded me of Amityville Horror only true.
Janellexx89 (5 stories) (9 posts)
12 years ago (2012-03-09)
What a great story, I loved reading about you mother's encounter, Thank You for sharing it! 😊
shandi (9 stories) (86 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-28)
Thank you for sharing your mom's story, I had fun reading it!
textbud13 (19 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-28)
far out your mum must have a great meomery because I have had strange things happen to me and most of them I can't remember which is good because the things I do remeber are scary enough 😨
ChristineNicole (16 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-28)
Great story! I especially loved the part about the power going out and your mum not wanting to go to the power box! My power goes off at the drop of a hat and usually late at night. There is nothing I hate more than having to brave the darkness down the side of the house (where all the spiders like to hang out) to flick the switches back on! Probably because the power always going out in horror movies just before someone gets killed!
Moongrim (2 stories) (871 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-25)
Or perhaps Mr. Tate was frustrated at the circumstances? Imagine it if you will- you keel over whilst you're doing up some wall paper, and you end staying in the apartment- as opposed to going to the 'other side'.
Once in a while you make some kind of contact with the living, but naturally, no one believes it.

It's as if they're doubting your very existence- so in a very human fashion- you lash out.

Granted, the lashing out isn't very logical, but if you were in the same circumstances you'd probably less than logical as well.

You give a fine accounting.
princessLotus (2 stories) (555 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-25)
Maybe it wasn't Mr. Tate. Maybe it was whatever gave him his heart attack because it didn't like his wallpaper either. LOL! But for real. Thank you for sharing. This story is creepy to me. I had to stop reading it twice & come back to it. It's not all that terrifying but it creeped me out none the less for some reason.

aiafaith1 (guest)
13 years ago (2011-11-25)
Woah, what a long story! Mr. Tate sounds like someone who might have gotten a kick out of scaring people- even after death! Everything sounded paranormal to me, except one thing. The banging with the dryer. Do you know if it was on? If it wasn't on, then I can't explain it. The only way I could think of a way to figure out the dryer is if it was on and drying clothes, dryers tend to bang and clang when they're on. I know this because my dryer does the same thing.

Thanks for sharing!

AF1 ❤
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3329 posts) mod
13 years ago (2011-11-25)
bsk36: Wow, that's a lot of activity!...I had to laugh when your Mom mentioned how skeptical your Dad was; my hubby's the same way 😆, even though he's witnessed a few strange things...

I think we can all relate to the lapses in time between events... Some of us on the site think our ghosties go on vacation, because it could be months before anything starts up again... Maybe during the time he wasn't in your apartment, he was in the other ones, making his rounds LOL!...

I'm glad your family never felt threatened by Mr. Tate... Thank you for posting, I really enjoyed this! 😊
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-25)
Absolutely wonderful telling of your mother's experiences! Mr Tate certainly sounds like a crusty old guy, eh? What I enjoyed most was your mother's attitude about things Even the instance where she ended up waiting outside until your father arrived. She may have given in to the fear momentarily, but I'll bet she never let him chase her out again.
Thank you for sharing your mother's experience with us bsk36. And welcome to YGS. 😊


To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: