When we were first married in 1966, we moved to Eureka for college. Our apartment was on the ground floor, (front 4 rooms) of a Victorian "mansion". I always called it a Victorian tract house because of there being a short row of them, all alike, on F street. The house was stately in its day, and was restored outside but split into 4 apartments. I had always dreamed of living in a Victorian, due to the fact that I grew up in one of the stucco, mid-century modern homes that proliferate Southern California. Newly married, living on the coast in a Victorian, life was good.
The apartment was comfy with nice high ceilings. Our bedroom was in the very front with it's bay window beginning right next to the front porch. Our living room was directly behind the bedroom, with its bay window to the side of the house. Our front door was the only one in the home's original foyer. It was just past the stairway, with the little triangular closet under the stairs at right angles to our front door. It probably was a pocket door once. Now a builder grade wall closed up the space with an ordinary door. The landlord had built a glass block partition in the kitchen to make an "entry hall", so we felt like our doorway was on its own. The kitchen was the biggest room of them all, a short utility hallway (which housed the huge unlovely water heater and some shelves) came off of it. A small bathroom was off of the utility hallway, and that was our apartment. Unfortunately, Green Linoleum must have been on sale, because the entry hall, kitchen, utility hallway and bath all sported the stuff. Short cotton shag rug in dark green was in our living room and bedroom. We were lucky to have a nice original fireplace in the living room, but sadly, there was a heating unit jammed into it. But its deep green tile was original. Bitter with the Sweet! I nestled our belongings in and found homes for all of our wedding presents. We made the usual college bookcase of cinder blocks and wood shelving, put our 19" B&W TV on my cedar chest and made ourselves a home.
Hubby had classes most of the day every day, and had found himself a job at a bowling alley fixing the machines when they stop working during league play. I pounded the streets looking for work, hoping I'd be able to find a job and start taking classes myself.
Being alone in the house creeped me out from the beginning. I put it down to being away from family and friends, and a little lonely being by myself most of the time. I had that feeling of being watched in the living room and there was just something about the utility walkway that bothered me big time. I would rush through trying to avoid whatever there was lurking there. A few months came and went, I soon became acquainted with that old "Disappearing and Reappearing Object" game that goes on. My husbands things were never touched, but my belongings were victims of the game. Usually I would find whatever I missed, right where I left it, a day or two later. You know how it goes.
Spring break rolled around and we decided to make the trek back to So Cal to visit. I was missing my folks, siblings and friends, so this was an extremely good thing. We enjoyed ourselves and were even happy to be back to Eureka when the time came. After we arrived home, I knew something was up. Having long hair, I owned 4 or 5 hair brushes. I took only one with me, and on our return, I discovered they were all missing! We searched all of the rooms but found nothing. A few days later I wanted to bake my husband a Birthday cake. I went to the book shelf, and all of my cookbooks was missing! Hair brushes, now cookbooks? We looked everywhere, but they were gone! (And they remained gone forever). We checked the lock, it looked fine and didn't show signs of a break in. Then we tried all of the windows (all were painted shut). A call to our landlord yielded no leads. He said no one in the house complained of prowlers.
After that it seemed I would hear voices when I was alone in the house, but perhaps they belonged to the neighbors. The walls were not sound proofed, and I could never be sure if the voices were real or not. Then a tapping sound began outside on the stoop in front of the house. It sounded like someone with a cane was tapping the sidewalk and scraping it on the concrete as they walked. I peeped out of the window in the bedroom, and never could see a thing. It would happen about every week or so, but then it started to come up the wooden steps to the house. Each time it happened, it was louder and more scary. Sometimes I heard the cane rap on the front door, with no one there. The back neighbors on the ground floor couldn't hear anything. The upstairs couple never heard a thing either. My Husband thought I was just imagining things. I would get so worried that I would hear it again, I would take a bath, wash and set my hair and fall asleep with my portable hair dryer running, (the kind with a hose and plastic "Bonnet") blocking out all sound but its hum until my hubby came home.
When we moved out at the end of the school year, we took jobs in Redding, Ca. For the summer. Our apartment there was blissfully quiet! At the end of the summer, we moved back to Eureka, guess what house was the ONLY one we could afford! (The rent went down by $20 - A month!)
This is long enough, so I will continue the saga another time for the second year in our creepy Victorian!