At this point, we've now lived in the Victorian house for approximately a year and a half. Cosmetic repairs and electrical work on the interior have been largely completed. If you would like more information on what happened during these repairs and what we experienced see my previous three stories. Up to this point, most of what we had experienced here were a series of sounds. Whether footsteps, water rushing through pipes or old music playing over a radio that didn't exist. One person, my grandmother, claimed to have actually seen a ghost in the house although at the time she had thought it to be a friend of mine.
The house had become our home, mom had made it warm and inviting and we had celebrated our first Christmas there. Very few actually visited us however, regardless of how warm or inviting mom could make it. Friends from school found the place disturbing or "wrong" as one friend put it. Most family had by now heard of the strange occurrences with electrical failures when visitors came around and didn't want any part of it. Reactions from everyone seemed really odd to both my mother and I as we had never felt anything but peace and warmth in our home. The first person to see an apparition after my grandmother was not a person we would have expected... He was a newspaper boy named Nicky from the neighborhood and he saw something at the house that he says he just couldn't deal with:
It was about 5:30am when he came to our front steps. It was January and very cold so his mother was helping him on his route by driving him from house to house. He left the car with the newspaper and walked up the stairs to our entrance. The double doors on the house are tall and narrow as many doors of the era were. At the bottom center of the left door, is a brass mail slot with a door flap and the upper part of both doors are dominated by beveled, leaded glass windows. Although the patterned panels were hand-made glass, they were clear enough to be able to see easily into the front hall and parlor if you were standing close to the door. Nicky stooped down to open the mail drop slot and slid the paper in, then stood, at which time his face was very close to the glass of the window. Inside the hallway he saw a woman, standing as if she were reading something she had picked up from a table mid-way between the doorways of the parlor and living room. Although it was rather dark inside, he could make her out clearly as if lit by a hidden light source. The woman was average height and appeared to be wearing "old time clothes" as Nicky described it.
For a moment, regardless of the clothing she wore, he assumed it was my mother and he called out a "good morning" to her. As if she heard this she turned, looked directly at him, and began to walk down the hall toward the door. Her mouth was moving as she walked, but Nicky couldn't make out what she was trying to say. As she passed by the doorway of the parlor he noticed that he could see THROUGH her body and dress to the doorway trim behind her. Upon seeing this he became so frightened that he jumped down off the stairs and ran back to his mom in the car. His mother confirmed that he was very pale when he returned and shaking in fear. She asked him what was wrong but he refused to tell her until they were a good distance away from the house. From that point on, Nicky simply tossed the paper up onto the front landing, he refused to walk to the door again.
The next morning when we got the call from Nicky's mom, we immediately went to check-out the hallway. There was a table between the two doorways as he described, but there was nothing on it. The newspaper had been pushed through the mail slot and was sitting on the floor beneath the doors, so he had been there. Although we had both experienced a "presence" in the house before, there was no feeling of one there at the moment, so we shrugged it off as a plausible story and moved on. The next case of someone observing an actual "ghost" came several months later when more family came to visit.
They were my uncle, aunt and their two children. Coming from Nevada, they were not privy to the family gossip about the house (or they would never have come). They had trekked to the coast for a visit to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and needed a place to stay. Although Mom and I did love them, we were well aware of how cheap they were and the fact that they imposed on us rather than renting a hotel room closer to their destination was just more proof. My aunt and uncle took the guest room across the hall from me, while their daughter took the living room couch, and their son was given a sleeping bag on the floor of my room. Due to the distance of their home, and the infrequency of their visits to California, I had only met my cousin once years ago and we knew very little about each other.
That night, we played video games until about 11:00pm and went to bed. After initially dozing off, he tossed and turned, unable to fall back asleep. He kept looking over at the clock next to my bed to see what time it was until about 1:30am when he heard the sound of footsteps in the hall. The steps walked from the far end near the stairwell and up to my bedroom door. When he looked at the doorway he noticed that the door which had been closed was now open, which wasn't necessarily strange. Although it had been closed when we went to sleep, the doors in this house had a tendency to pop open (as described in my first story). From where the footsteps stopped at the threshold he observed the outline of a tall figure, probably a man, moving from the door toward my bed where I slept. It paused next to my bed and as near as my cousin could tell, he appeared to stand and watch me before turning and retreating through the door again. There was so little light entering through my windows that it was impossible to make out more than a silhouette so my cousin simply assumed it was my "father" coming to check up on me.
The next morning he relayed to me how creepy it was to have my "father" come in and check on me in the dark like that. I had to inform him that my father had died years before. My door was wide open, however my cousin didn't remember it making any noise when it had opened. The doors were anything but quiet when opening or closing so that did strike me as a bit odd. This was the first time that the walking sounds in the hallway were associated with the physical appearance of something, so I pressed him for details. Upon learning that the only man in the house was his father, who was rather short and couldn't have been the figure he had seen, my cousin became very upset. They packed and left later that day for their visit to the Boardwalk and didn't come back afterward as they had planned. They told us afterward that their son had seemed sick and got very pale during the day so they had decided to end their vacation and returned home.
Weeks later, after the departure of our extended family, mom and I spent an evening alone watching television movies in the converted living room. During a commercial she stood and went to the kitchen to fix herself a snack. While standing, bent forward, with the refrigerator door open and obscuring her view of the doorway, she heard what sounded like approaching footsteps. She continued looking through the shelves actively deciding on a snack when she very clearly heard "mother" whispered from the opposite side of the fridge's door. This was a little strange to her as I always referred to her as "mom" and I was the only other person in the house. She called out to what she had believed to be "me" and asked if I wanted anything while she was in the fridge... There was no reply. Turning her head, she saw the silhouette of two distinct shadows, protruding from under the bottom of the refrigerator door. They looked like they were caused by the legs of someone standing between the light coming from the hallway and where my mom stood. She asked the question again, now certain that I must be standing there. When there was no reply, she grabbed the door and slammed it shut suddenly, expecting to startle me. She was the one startled when the place from which the shadows had been coming was empty. There was no one in the room with her, at least no one she could see.