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The Man In The Attic


My story took place in Colmar, Alsace, France. It's a town near Germany. My grandparents were quite young during World War II and told me many stories about that town.

When I was four, my parents and my mother's parents bought a two-story house in Colmar with a beautiful garden. My grandparents lived on the first floor and my parents and me on the second floor. There was a basement, which was separated in three rooms (a storage room, a room for my father and his DIY and a laundry room), an attic and next to the attic, a small storage room at the time.

I loved the basement, I always played there or in the garden. I never was afraid of the basement, but the attic terrified me. I remember, I was 4 and my mother put some boxes in the attic. I followed her and felt very uneasy. It was dark and I felt eyes on me. I looked in every direction, but I never saw anything. I was little and I thought that there was a beast up there, not a monster, a beast. I don't know why.

Fast-forward: I'm 8 - Summer 1991. I played every Saturday with a friend, Mélanie. I had this "genius" idea of searching the house to find a secret passage. I had read a book about a girl finding a secret passage in her house and I was sure there was one, because my house was quite old. We searched the basement, but found nothing, so we eventually went to the attic. It was such a strange place. It was L-shaped, but the left part of that place was totally dark, so we had to bring a flashlight.

What I could never explain was a hole in the wall at the right corner of the attic. It was 3 feet tall and quite narrow, but by looking into it with the flashlight, one could see a room, but there was no entry, just this hole. Nobody could enter in. This room was actually behind the small storage room next to the attic. Ah ah, maybe there was a passageway, but we never found any.

So we were looking through this hole, when I felt uneasy again. I felt something in the attic with us. I kept looking at the far end, where there was no light and was sure that something would come at us. I saw nothing and we went out playing in the garden.

The next Saturday, we went back to the attic. We were fearless young girls. My friend never felt anything, so I thought that I had an overactive imagination... So this time, I was looking through the hole and my friend had the flashlight. She was standing at the far end of the attic and suddenly, she asked me, "Qu'est-ce que c'est?" ("What's that?") I looked in the beam of the flashlight and froze. There was a young man sitting on the floor, his knees against his chest. His arms were crossed on his knees, like he was hugging himself. He turned his head toward us and smiled. We bolted out of the room and went to the storage room. My heart was pounding, I was out of breath. I first thought that it was a real person, but he had no color. It was like a 3D dark shadow. And we never heard any footstep. My friend refused to admit that we saw a ghost and we never talked about it.

I never saw him again, but the storage room became my room when I was a teen and sometimes I heard strange noises. Bangings on the wall, the wall who was connected to the "secret room" and scratching noises.

My grandmother learnt later that our house was a clandestine printing office during World War II. The owners printed slogans against the Germans. But I think that there was something else in that house. I believe that the secret room was used to hide people.

But forever and ever I'm terrified of the attic. We moved out 3 years ago, but I still have nightmares.

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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, saishu_heiki, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Sam222 (8 stories) (461 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-21)
Wow great story, it's really got me wondering what the hidden room was. It was probably blocked off long before you guys moved in for some reason. Perhaps that man had so, etching to do with that room? 😕
Thanks for sharing your story. 😁
Tweed (35 stories) (2494 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-20)
Hi Saishu,

What an experience! Isn't it odd when someone simply won't believe they've encountered a ghost lol. I agree with you that the room was probably used to hide people during the war, as well as for printing. It must have been horrendous for people back then.
What an interesting house! Your story reminded me a bit of the C.S. Lewis novel 'The Magician's Nephew' and I wondered if this was the story which inspired you to look for secret passages. Then to find a hole in the attic, and a ghost, ah the wonder of being a child!
LoveOfAbundance (2 stories) (27 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-20)
Bonne histoire! I, too, had the ghost of a young man up in my attic when I was that age. However, he was a little bit scarier than your ghost. That didn't stop me from playing in the attic. Little girls are indeed more fearless than adults.

The little room does sound like a wartime hiding place. I hope the young man has finally found peace. Merci pour partager!
Trischa_D (guest)
9 years ago (2015-05-20)
I don't doubt it at all. Europe is filled with a rich history of war and many people died over there. At least the young man wasn't a negative spirit, but one has to wonder what happened to him. Did he die in that room waiting to be rescued? Maybe the people who were hiding him got killed or fled out of fear and he got left there- never to be discovered. It's very sad, but at least he meant you no harm. Thanks for sharing your experience! I think it's a good story and I'm sure many other members will enjoy it 😊

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