It was earlier this month, in October, that I saw something quite strange and find myself even today wondering what, or even who, it was that I actually saw. Here let me explain:
I'm a self-employed contractor, working mainly in what's oftentimes in the hot sun in the laborious field of construction. That said I consider myself lucky to have landed this otherwise relatively easy job, doing some inside renovation work for a local old folk's home here in the shadowed, peaceful suburbs of nearby San Antonio, Texas.
I had gone to work eager this one morning with a couple of assigned projects awaiting my attention, one of which was some general dry-wall repair in a bathroom in one of the many numbered rooms located along a narrow and dusty corridor in what is best described as a lonely and isolated section of the building. I say lonely and isolated because other than the lady that hired me, I saw no one while walking to this quiet and dimly-lighted work site.
Additionally, another commitment that waited was to remove and replace a section of old and musty and badly stained carpet in yet another room located also along that same hallway.
The kind of things I'm generally pretty good at doing, nothing complicated, and an excellent means of some easy cash as I've said.
Searching the numbered room signs above each door while walking down the hallway, I soon found myself facing the door to where I was to enter and perform the assigned dry-wall repairs. As I always do upon entering a new work area, I knocked briefly on the door before stepping inside.
The wooden door swung easily inwards and while standing there expecting time to allow my eyes to adjust to any changes in light, and while still holding to the door knob, I noticed it being little different from the dimly-lighted hallway. I observed the room was as I expected to find it, nondescript with little furnishings. Standing there longer I took note of how quiet it truly seemed to be here in this section of building.
Turning my head in the other direction it was unavoidable that my eyes could see the old, white-haired woman lying peacefully asleep on a bed there at the far end of the room, her arms held stiff across her chest. Out of reflex, I suppose it was, I apologized, nearly whispering the same, and without expecting answer backed quickly and quietly out the door to the hallway again where I quietly and carefully closed the door behind me. I decided it best not to disturb the sleeping occupant and in so doing went in search of the other room and carpet project. Finding that room to be located a few doors further down the hallway, I entered having every intention of returning later in the day to tackle the dry-wall.
A good hour into the carpet removal and replacement, the lady that hired me approached and asked how things were progressing? She was surprised seeing that I had moved on so quickly to the carpet and asked if all had gone well on the dry-wall project? I told her that I was going to take care of that next, when I was sure that the old lady there on the bed was awake. I didn't want to be a disturbance to her.
The lady standing there went silent. Becoming aware of this, I looked up into a questioning face, one that asked for clarification, saying there's no one living in this part of the building; they were all moved out to other rooms in other hallways months ago in preparation for major construction renovations. This had been deemed necessary for their comfort and safety.
Makes good sense them doing that, I thought to myself, moving the old folks I mean, but who then was that old, white-haired woman I clearly saw there on the bed? She looked asleep -- But as we discussed this matter further, it got me to seriously thinking:
Could it have been something entirely other than that? A woman asleep, I mean. I learned not only was this building an old folk's home, one badly in need of repairs, years earlier its former purpose had been that of a mortuary for the county. Hearing that, the short hairs stood up on the back of my neck.
I did return to the dry-wall project later that day but only after peaking first around the open door, a door I left open thank you very much. No old, white-haired lady lying there on the bed at that time, asleep or otherwise. I did what I had to do to earn my cash and then I got the hell out of that room as fast as I could.
I find myself still wondering what it was I saw that October morning, yet I know damn well there was a person lying there on that bed. All things being considered, I do believe in ghosts; now more so than ever.
Spring Branch, Texas. 78070