This one was strange, and I was never sure exactly how to categorize it; I blogged about it, under a kind of "WT*?" heading.
At 20th and Broadway in Lorain, on the northwest corner, sits a storefront property. Today, it's vacant, and the basement entrance is concreted over. In the 60s, there was a drugstore there, and the basement had an entrance on the south side of the building, a flight of stairs guarded by a cast-iron railing, with a door and a narrow front at the foot of the stairs. Back in the late 60s, the basement space was the headquarters of a cab company, which went out of business in 1970. The door was boarded over, as was the head of the stairway, and dust and debris gradually gathered in the space below.
Over the years, I'd generally pass that spot on foot at least twice a day, particularly as the drugstore had become a newsstand with a paperback exchange, where I'd trade in my old readables for other books or cigarette money. The basement space stayed vacant, dusty, and unused.
One night, in the summer of '75, I was walking home from a movie downtown, about 11:00 or so. As I reached the corner at 20th, I could faintly hear music and noise coming from the general direction of the newsstand. I turned, and could see light coming from the basement entrance.
When I got there, I was pleasantly surprised... The boards at the head of the stairs were gone, the stairs were clear of junk, as was the space below, and the door was open, with light and music spilling out of it. "Cool," I thought, "someone's bought that, and maybe they're going to turn it into something interesting; maybe I can get a job there."
I headed on home, and came back by the spot about nine the next morning, only to receive a shock.
The stairs were boarded over, covered with dust and debris, as was the space at the foot of them. The entrance door was boarded shut, and hung with cobwebs, as it had been for years.