Since moving out of the flat when I was going through my divorce, I have made a point of not going back in there unless it was really necessary. When we had tenants renting the place I had no need really, but the tenants left and my mom decided to move in there. Suddenly I had to go there quite often. The atmosphere in the place always felt thick to me. It was like the air was harder to breathe.
On one specific night in April 2015, my mom sent me a message and told me strange things were going on in the flat. Not one to leave my mom alone when she was far less open than I was, I ran to the flat. She was sitting in the lounge when I came in and she asked me to step in to her room and tell me if I smelled anything. As I took the one step in to her room and came to the closet (on my left, bed to my right) there was the very distinct smell of cigarette smoke hanging in the air. I walked toward the bed and the smell decreased, towards the closet and the smell was stronger. No one in the yard smokes, so the chances that it could have been carried in from outside are zero. The closet is also not close to any windows, so the fact that the smoke was centralized to that spot was enough to get my hair standing on end.
I went back to my mom and asked her if this was all she had been experiencing. She said no. The whole week she could feel someone take hold of her ankles as she lay in bed. Until one night where not only did something take hold of her legs, it pulled her half way out until she got panicked and started kicking. By then her legs were completely off of the bed. She swore to me for a second it felt like she had kicked a solid human being. But no one was there to be seen, although she clearly smelled the smoke.
The weekend I had Tim and Elaine over and explained the story to them. Tim went in to the flat alone, leaving us by the pool, and after about 5 minutes he came out. He said that the "person" in the flat is a man. Middle aged. He gave features to this man that had my mom and I looking at each other. For my South African compatriots, the man looked like a thinner version of Eugene Terre'blanche. I asked Tim if he could see the man's right arm, and Tim told me that the man made an effort of staying in silhouette, with his left arm towards him. I went in to Adam's room and fetched my mom's wedding album. I found a picture of my paternal grandfather and showed it to Tim. Tim nodded, the man in the flat was my mom's father, Johnny. Johnny had lost his right arm in a car accident. Considering he had been instrumental in the abuse I suffered in the flat, not to mention that he was responsible for the death of my gran when she was 32 years old (my mom was 5 at the time), neither my mom nor I were very happy about the fact that he was in her home.
My mom told me to take every picture of him out of the album. She took the pictures, gave them to Tim and told him to burn them. After he had destroyed every picture, Tim told us what he needed to cleanse the flat and he went in, alone. He was busy for close to two hours. By then it was late afternoon. He told us that he wished we could have seen how Charlie and both of my grandmothers all were part of driving Johnny out.
As night came around my mom went in to the flat. For some odd reason the main switch of the electricity was off. Strange. She switched the power on and went to her bedroom. My son, T, came in to the flat and told her he smelled smoke. Since they are both asthmatics, very bad thing. My mom ran out of her room and saw the box that she had set down on the stove catch fire. Yes, not the smartest move putting flammable materials on a stove. Curious though, my mom never cooks in the flat, so the stove mains are always switched off on the circuit. Yet, every plate on the stove was glowing red, turned up to full heat and the box and its contents were on fire.
Mom yelled and grabbed T, rushing to get out. Tim rushed in, grabbed the box, dropped it in the sink and doused the flames. Outside both my mom and my son were having full on asthma attacks. When Elaine and I were able to get my mom and my son calmed down and breathing we speculated as to why the stove would have been turned on when it is never used.
Tim stated very simply "You burned my pictures, I will burn you."
A sick parting gift from a bad old soul.