I am posting this story in 2 parts since there were so many strange and occurrences at our old place. In this posting I'll start with the earliest things that happened, and finish in Part 2 with the later events, and suggest some theories we had for the hauntings. I hope you enjoy these accounts, and please comment--especially if you have experienced similar things, or have ideas about what this haunting may have been about...*
My wife and I lived in an apartment in the northeast Baltimore suburbs for 7 years (February 2007-June 2013). Our space was half the second floor of a brick duplex built in 1966. We had just moved from our first apartment about a mile away, which was an old house built in 1895--we thought for sure THAT place might be haunted, being so old and creepy-looking from the outside--but we never had any strange events occur there at all. So when we moved into this newer, nicer brick house in 2007, ghosts were the last thing we expected to find there. We were wrong.
After we moved in, our downstairs neighbor Carlos told us that the guy who lived in our apartment a couple years before us (Jimmy Marshall) was in trouble with the law, and became a fugitive and apparently moved out of state. The neighbor said that Jimmy had lived in our apartment upstairs for years with his parents and brother, but was desperate to make ends meet after his parents died (he was in his 40s and still living off his elderly parents). So get this--Jimmy actually propositioned his elderly neighbor (who was his mother's sister--his aunt!) who owned the house next door, to MARRY HIM, obviously just so the slug could inherit her house when she died. The woman may have been old but was not stupid or senile, and she refused.
My wife and I thought, eh, that's pretty weird--but we felt safe knowing Jimmy had moved on and would not have any reason to come back, especially since we discovered that all his unpaid/overdue medical bills from--yes that's right, ALASKA--were being forwarded to our address. Despite the useless extra mail we were now getting every few weeks, we really grew to enjoy our little apartment.
But that summer, my wife and I were sitting on the couch, watching TV one night in the living room when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I looked to my left and saw what looked like an oval-shaped mass of dark-gray smoke, about the size and shape of a football but more rounded. It seemed to be moving down the main hallway, from left to right, along the wall and towards the open doorway to the kitchen right in front of us. I sat up and squinted at it, and noticed that it wasn't quite smoke but it wasn't a solid object: it looked like a big ball of steel wool, with curly strands like wires of smoke that were swirling around each other like a cloud, and I could see through it somewhat. When the thing reached the door opening to the kitchen, it just disappeared. I was shocked; it had only lasted a few seconds, and my wife (who was falling asleep at the time) didn't notice it.
I was really shaken by the experience, so I started to wonder if it might have been a ghost. One day I was home alone on an off-day from work, and decided to leave a tape recorder in the various rooms to see if I picked up anything strange on tape when I wasn't there. I also used a microphone on a stand. When I played the recordings later, I heard some sounds that I could explain as something else. But the recording I made in the spare bedroom had a weird "PFFFF - PFFFF" sound on it randomly. I tried making different sounds with the recorder and microphone to see if I could replicate the sound, and finally I found out what it was: the sound that was recorded was the exact same sound made when I would tap the head of the microphone twice quickly. So something in that room clearly tapped the microphone during the recording session. The only natural explanation I could think of was that a flying insect may have bumped into the microphone a couple times.
About a month or so later, I got up late one night and went into the kitchen to get a snack. I'd do this all the time, but when I walked into the kitchen I suddenly froze in my tracks. A strange feeling of panic started to come over me. It was August, and very hot and humid in the apartment (our bedroom was the only room that had a window AC unit). I collected myself and went over to the pantry and reached in to grab a box of crackers or something, and all the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Suddenly I was absolutely sure that someone was standing behind me in the kitchen, watching me. I looked back to make sure my wife hadn't come in, but no one was there. My heart was racing--I stood there for awhile, dumbfounded, looking back toward the refrigerator and felt like I was staring at someone that I couldn't see. I was terrified! I high-tailed it back to bed in a hurry. When I jumped back into bed, my wife woke up and felt my skin and said I felt very cold and had goose-bumps. I have to admit, the last time I had been afraid in the dark was when I was about 7 years old.
And then a few months later--around November 2007--my wife and I had just come home from work and we were in the kitchen getting dinner ready. We were both standing in front of the microwave when my wife suddenly jumped back and screamed. She said that a metal spoon on the counter near us had moved by itself--in a half-circle motion across the counter, as if someone was moving it around in a wavy pattern. I didn't see it, but I heard it sliding on the counter and I know that she couldn't have moved it from where she was standing, as both her hands were up in the cabinet above. By this point we were both weirded out by the unexplained things that had happened, but we had no answers for what it could be.
At least until the next spring (May/June 2008). One of our downstairs neighbors, Rick, was moving out of his apartment and offered to give us his TV, because it was too bulky for him to move. I declined, but sat down and had a beer with him and he started talking about the neighborhood, how long he lived there and the like. He said, "Now I don't want you guys to think you'll start seeing ghosts or anything like that. But your apartment up there? I thought I'd let you know, an old lady died in there a few years ago. Mrs. Marshall was her name. In the kitchen, they found her lying on the floor in a pool of blood, bleeding out her nose. Was a real bad mess in there, is what they said. She was just sitting at the table, drinking her morning coffee I guess, and she just keeled over."
*Stay tuned for Part 2, your comments are welcome and appreciated!*