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He Used To Live Here


This took place about a week before the events in "This Scared Me Silly... Not Sure Why".

As was my habit, I'd stopped up at my mother's apartment to have dinner, and visit with her for a while-she lived in a government-owned highrise in downtown Lorain. The residents were mainly elderly people, with a recent smattering of younger folks on some sort of disability.

Ma and I sat watching tv and talking until about 12:30, when she decided to go to bed. For me, the night was still young, and I planned to stop off at the bar across the street from my building, and have a beer or two. I signaled the elevator, and got on when it arrived.

The car reached the lobby, and the doors opened. The office was closed, and the lobby empty, the lights dimmed, the tv off, and no one to be seen.

I'd crossed half the distance to the door when I got the strong sensation of being watched... I turned to look behind me, and there, standing between me and the elevators, was a tall, elderly man, white-haired, wearing steel-rimmed glasses, a white shirt with a blue sweater, and tan slacks. I knew many of the residents by name, others by sight, but he was a stranger to me. There was no way he'd come down in the elevator, as it ran rather noisily, and I would have been aware of its arrival.

He stood there eerily still, like a hologram, his expression neutral, eyes locked upon me, piercing, but at the same time, empty, as if there were no life in them. That sense of not-rightness hung in the air between us, and out of nervousness more than anything else, I spoke to him. "Hello", I said.

"Hello", he replied, and the uneasy silence got even more intense, as the seconds ticked by. He did not move, or change expression.

"Do-do you live here?"

"I used to..."

Still with no change, save the uneasiness, which got stronger. I stammered out a goodbye, mustered all my fortitude, and turned toward the exit, briskly stepping out through the double doors.

As I started down the walk, something struck me... Had his lips moved when he talked?

I began to turn, to go peek back through lhe window, but decided I should leave well enough alone, and kept walking.

The next time I was at the highrise, I described the man to Ma and to other tenants-no one recognized him.

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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.

reddysteady (5 stories) (95 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-23)
Ohhhhman... Homes of the elderly, as in "mature apartment housing", assisted living, etc. Have always - always - made me weary due to an experience similar to this when my Grandmother Grace went into a nursing home. She had, had a stroke and aside from the mental handicap it caused, she was physically as healthy as a horse, so there really wasn't anything to do but keep her happy and occupied. She was on the same floor as a lot of "terminal" (whether seriously ill or permanently incapacitated, like my Oma) patients, both men and women. She'd been there a few months and Mum and I were visiting; I was about thirteen and had gone to get some juice in the little cafeteria they had on that floor. The cafeteria was empty when I entered it - swear up and down, the place was dead quiet (zing) and empty. I got my juice, and then felt that "watched feeling" as I was headed back to the door - when I looked at the window, I saw this little old man in an Irish bowler hat, argyle sweater vest of green and blue, and grey slacks that looked nicely pressed. I mean, he was clean, and he was vivid, and if I saw him in a crowd today, I'd recognize him at once. I said, "Oh, hello!" and he said, "Hello dear" in this really tired voice and then, "You best go back to your Grace." I described him later to my Mum and when she shrugged, to the nurse, who told me it sounded like a gentleman named Thomas W. And then nothing more. I got it from my aunt Liz that Thomas W. Was Oma's 'neighbor' when she first came to the nursing home but he had died pretty early into her living there - they had also taught at the High School together for a long time.
Sorry to bomb your story with another story - old people spirits make me a little sad:-\ Thank you for sharing!
alandhopewell (28 stories) (145 posts)
12 years ago (2012-05-05)
Actually, I'd had enough conversation with this being for one night, TYVM.

DEE2285- I don't waste people's time with fiction. While I could probably write at least passable fiction, that is not the purpose of this site.
Dee2285 (3 posts)
12 years ago (2012-05-03)
[at] snowhite... I thought this was suppose to be "real" events... Not fiction...:-/
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
12 years ago (2012-05-03)
Ooooo a lil freaky Alan but intriguing, I bet your thinking you wished you talked a little longer to this stranger am I correct?
I assume people have passed in this complex that your mother lives in, would it be possible to look into a bit of it's history at all? Seems rather interesting! 😊

Thanks for sharing again.

snowhite (203 posts)
12 years ago (2012-05-02)
It would be a better story if you walked to him and had a friendly conversation and then? We may find out more about this man or this ghost.

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