My mother and I returned home on New Years night. My sister arrived just as we did, being dropped off by her friends parents. When we entered the apartment, the Christmas tree once again laid on its side with the lights on. I had turned them off the day before when my mom and sister had left the apartment. There was a chill in the air. Mom went to the thermostat to adjust the temperature. She noted that it was turned up to 70 Fahrenheit, but it was freezing in the apartment still. She turned it up another five degrees and stated she would contact the land lord the next morning.
I was exhausted. I went to the door of my bed room to go in and get ready for bed. All of the sudden I heard my sister scream. I ran out of my room, meeting up with my mom in the hall way right outside of my sister's room. The door was closed. I reached out to turn the door handle and it was freezing to the touch. We entered her room. My sister was standing in the middle of the room with tears streaming down her cheeks, her eyes wide. All of her clothes had been taken out of her dresser and closet and were thrown about the room randomly. Some hung from the mirror, some from the ceiling fan, falling off the bed, on the floor, everywhere. She had two dolls on her bed. Both of them had their plastic heads removed and placed next to them with the faces in the pillow.
At this point, I stood there with my mouth hanging open, mom ran to the door to check for signs of forcible entry. Of course, there were none. I ran back to my room, opened the door to find almost an identical sight. There were no dolls in my room, but all of the clothes were thrown everywhere and every one of my books was on the floor, face down. There were at least one hundred or so paper backs on that shelf and not one of them had managed to land face up on the floor!
We then, all three of us, went to my moms room, opened the door and absolutely nothing was out of place except her pillows. She had two heart shaped pillows that always sat in the middle of her bed. One of the pillows had my name stitched on it; the other had my sister's name. Both pillows were on the floor, upside down, side by side.
At this point my mom began to look a little frantic herself. My mom had been through a lot in her life and at this point, very little seemed to ruffle her, but this did. She told me she was going up stairs to knock on the neighbors doors and see if they had seen any one near or heard any one in our apartment. My sister and I, still in a bit of a daze just shook our heads.
In the apartment we lived in, the only way to get to the neighbors was to go outside and around to the side, up the stairs and knock on their doors.
I heard the front door open and close. I looked down at my sister who was still crying and told her we needed to go in the kitchen, have some hot chocolate and veg out in front of the television. I let her know we would clean up my bed and she could bunk with me for the night as I had a double bed, and we would start cleaning the mess in the morning. She seemed to relax a bit with that suggestion.
We walked down the short corridor to the kitchen. I had just gotten the cocoa and the milk out. I was opening the cabinet to get a pan and the laughing started again. It was just as it had been the night before! It seemed to be coming from everywhere all at once, as if on a speaker system. We just stood there and looked at each other; I did not have to ask if she had heard it, I could tell by the way she was looking at me.
Both my sister and I took off running for the front door at a dead heat. My mom was just coming back up the walk from the side of the house to the door. I could see, behind my mom, about 20 feet away, the gray woman! She appeared to be hovering about seven feet off the ground again and waving at me! I could not see her eyes as it was dark, but I could FEEL the stare! Somehow I also knew she was smiling as before. I stood there for a few moments, finally coming out of my stupor when mom asked me if I would move to let her in. I stepped aside, as I turned back to the window to see if the woman was still there, she was gone.
Mom looked out and asked what I saw. I shook my head and told her it was nothing. My sister was standing there and she had been frightened enough lately. Mom advised us that our direct upstairs neighbors heard some vague movement in the apartment and some laughter, but they thought we were home. Mom told them we had not been home and asked if they saw anyone coming or going. They stated they hadn't and they had been home all day and the night before.
We slept pretty well, at least without incident that night and repaired the damage to the rooms. Mom called the land lord. He came over within an hour. He checked the furnace and advised us it was in working order. He changed the dead bolts on the front door and the back door, although we never used the back door. I stood there thinking that the uninvited visitor that had been in the apartment did not need a key.
Things died down for a few months until spring rolled around. With the thaw, my gray woman friend returned.