The early years of my marriage to my husband Jim we were looking for an apartment that was cheap and close to his work. This was 1971 in Ypsilanti. In the paper we found one that all he had to do was walk across the yard down the field and over the railroad track and he would be at work. The rent is what we liked the best, it was cheap.
We went to see the apartment. It was in the basement of an elderly ladies home. She took us down many steps to the basement and to the left of us was a door she unlocked and we all went in. The kitchen was small and the living room and the bedroom were actually one only with a curtain drawn across from wall to wall to have a bedroom there. In the apartment was two small windows and the whole apartment was not very big and it was quite dark even with the few lights on in there.
I asked where the bathroom was, she took us out of the door to the apartment down this long very dim hallway. To the right of us was another curtain and behind that was a shower stall, then went to another room with a curtain and that was the toilet and the small sink.
Across from the toilet was a door in which she took us in there and it was the utility room where she had a washer and dryer in there and many shelves and some big barrows sitting next to the washer. She told us we could wash our clothes and dry them or hang them up on the line that was hanging there as long as we kept the room clean. I told my husband that room was cold feeling to me, he said that was because it was the basement.
My husband looked at me and said "We will take the apartment". So the next day we packed up our things from our other apartment and took to our new apartment. We got all our things to the new apartment and then my husband, who worked the second shift, had to get ready for work. I told him I would have plenty to do unpacking and putting things away.
For days I would put our things away and we got a lamp for the living room so there would be more light in the apartment as it was to dim for me, that seemed to brighten up all the rooms since the apartment was so small, but we had no children and with the price we could not go wrong. We had no phone while we lived there but our landlady told us we could always come upstairs and use the one she had when we wanted to. We thanked her and went back to our new home in the basement.
One night my husband woke up and woke me up and asked if I heard that noise coming from the utility room? I said "no what you talking about?" He said it sounded like something being dragged across the floor. I said no I didn't hear anything. We stayed awake for a little while and nothing so fell back to sleep.
About a week later one night, I was not feeling well, so went to sleep, pulled the curtain back to let in the heat. I was woke up by a noise, I rolled over to look at the clock it was nearly 3am, it was long past time for my husband to be home. He was a drunk so I figured he was out at the bars. Maybe it was my imagination working that I heard something as I was very tired. I stayed awake waiting for my husband to come home and listening to all sorts of noises. I prayed a lot to the Lord to protect me until my man came home.
Some sounded like dragging, some sounded like banging on the wall next to the head of the bed. I got out of the bed and sat on the sofa pulled the curtain close. I wanted to go upstairs to use the phone, but to frightened to open the door. So I pulled a chair up under the door knob to keep what ever was out there in the hallway and the other room from getting in. I stayed awake until my husband, who was drunk, came in around 4am.
When he banged up against the door, my heart went so fast I could hardly breathe, then I heard him say "Let me in" I went and removed the chair and flung myself into his arms shaking. He didn't notice, he went to bed and I was next to him after the door was locked and the chair under the knob.
The next day we had a talk he said to me "I told you something woke me up one night, now you will listen to what I say right?" I said yes. We looked into the room where the washer and dryer was in the morning and didn't see anything out of place, no scratch marks on the floor, nothing was out of order in that room. We checked the bathroom and the shower room nothing out of order.
One night I was so cold and so frightened I had to go to the bathroom at the other end of the hallway, I held it as long as I could then I finally just had to open the door and go down the long dim hallway to the toilet. Did my business not wanting to look into the laundry room. I hurried back to my apartment and locked the door. I felt like something was watching me while I was in the bathroom.
Everything seem to calm down and so did we. My husband went to bed early, being drunk and all and I had to go to the bathroom and take a shower. I did the shower first and then went to the toilet, the laundry room door was open and the curtain to the toilet was open a bit. As I sat on the toilet and looked into that room my heart nearly stopped. I could see what appeared to be a man hanging from the neck in the laundry room just swinging around limp. I got off that toilet, went to the apartment shaking, too afraid to stay their flung open the door ran up the stairs and outside.
Our landlady came out wanting to know what all the noise was from, I told her that the basement was haunted, she laughed at me. Then she told me this story.
Her husband was a drunk, he spent a lot of time in the basement being drunk as she would not let him be upstairs. I asked if he slept in the little apartment when he was drunk? She said he might have, she did not chase after him. She said one day she went away and came back, had to do some laundry and went down stairs to find he hung himself in the laundry room and yes, I would be able to see the area where he hung himself when I was sitting on the toilet.
I asked her with a shaky voice. "What did he stand on to do this with?" She told me she found one of those old barrows that was next to the washer rolled over near him and so figured he use that to stand on. I told her of all the noises I heard since we lived there. The dragging, banging and like gasping. She told me she has heard all that too when she has been in the basement. I told her I seen him hanging there, he looked human form to me. She said she has seen him down there too and she just tells him to behave himself and goes on with her work. She told me he would not hurt me, he was dead. I told her I was not going to live in a place like this no more.
My husband and I had to live there for a little longer. The tv went out and the only thing I had that would make noise so I could not hear what was going on in the other room was the radio, which I played loud to drown out the other noises. One day I called my Mom and asked if we could stay with them upstairs and pay them the rent we paid here. She asked why and I told her and we moved out of the small apartment and we went to my Mom and Dads home.
Sometime after that I went back to talk to the landlady and asked her why she didn't tell us about that before we took the apartment. She said she should have but she needed the money and if she would have said anything no one would rent it. I never went back after that.