In 1982 I was 14 years old. My Dad had just purchased an old apartment building that was built in the very early 1900s. There wasn't a significant amount of history to this building but I do know that it was built at another location and then moved to the current neighborhood it sits in by an old fashioned horse-drawn trailer.
Once papers were passed, my Dad went about the building making repairs and renovating rooms. One evening I had gone over to check out the building. Both my parents were there cleaning in one of the vacant first floor apartments. My Dad asked me if I would finish cleaning the kitchen cabinets while he walked around and introduced my Mom to the current tenants. I agreed and started scrubbing the cabinets with a sponge. They were coated by many layers of dirt and grease. I was thinking to myself that whoever had lived there really left a little to be desired in the cleaning department.
I continued to scrub away and then I got this feeling that I was being watched. I kept looking behind me. Nothing. The hairs on the back of my neck were starting to stand up. I continued to scrub the dirty cabinets. There was a small pantry behind me. All of the sudden I heard a creaking sound. I looked and the pantry door had opened by itself. I was starting to get a bit spooked and was really hoping my parents would get back there. The wind outside started to pick up as well and was shaking the storm windows. This effect was only fueling my growing fear of the place.
Suddenly I couldn't take the feeling of being watched anymore. I felt like someone was standing behind me, just glaring at me. I didn't feel welcome. I dropped the sponge into the bucket, climbed off the step stool I was on, and went out into the backyard. How was I going to explain this one to my parents?
Eventually my parents returned to the first floor apartment. They called to me to come back in. They of course wanted to know why I hadn't finished cleaning. I was trying to explain and then burst into tears. They both stared at me puzzled. "Come here..." my Dad said concerned. "Tell us what the matter is..."
I could not force myself to cross that threshold if my life depended on it. "I can't!" I cried. I would take a step forward and I just could not make myself go in there. Finally I returned to the backyard with my parents following me. When asked to explain, all I could say was, "something doesn't feel right..." I had no other explanation than that. I hadn't really seen anything besides the pantry door open but that could have been explained away by the wind causing a draft, right? My 14 year old mind was having a very hard time rationalizing all this.
When I had calmed down a bit, my Mom drove me home. A few days later my Dad and I talked about what had happened. He told me that the apartment I had been in had been occupied by the previous owner. The woman had died in that very apartment, and the apartment building went up for sale. She had also gone blind, which accounted for the apartment having many years worth of dirt and grease coating the cabinets. My Dad felt that maybe this woman was still in her apartment and did not realize she had passed. She maybe sensed/saw (I'm guessing) me in her apartment and thought I was intruding. I don't really know. I felt like whoever was there did not want me there.
While my Dad finished the renovations of the other apartments, he would sometimes feel like he was also being watched. A few times he would hear what sounded like coins dropping behind him only to find nothing of the sort there.
My Dad sold this building a year or two ago. As far as I know, nothing else has happened since that day almost 26 years ago. My sister lived there for a little while in the earlier part of this decade and I would sometimes stay with her when visiting back east. Neither she nor I ever experienced anything again there.
Perhaps in the beginning it was indeed the old lady watching us. I would like to think that once she realized that my Dad was there up keeping her old home that she was able to find peace and cross over. I will most likely never know.