Four years ago I made the decision to return to the Billings area. I had literally left all my furniture and personal belongings, my clothing and computer at my previous residence out of state, with my former roommates, until such time that I would be able to find a new home and haul everything. I had spent months couch surfing, while trying to find a rental that would suit my needs with enough room for my belongings.
In a strange twist of fate I happened to be visiting a friend at her place of employment, when a fella came in complaining about tenants of his that had abandoned his rental property in the middle of the night with no notice or reason given. The house happened to be only a few blocks up from my friend's employment facing south on one of Billings busiest streets. I immediately made an appointment to see the house after learning the size and rental rate. (Which was a bargain)
I found the house to be very interesting and charming. What struck me most was the contrast between this house and the neighbouring homes. The houses on either side were small ranch style homes probably dating in the sixties. This house was a small Dutch colonial style house with one storey and many details adorning the facade. I got the impression that someone had put forth a lot of time and effort to personalize this home. It also seemed apparent that this house was probably one of the oldest existing homes on the block. The interior was amazingly in great shape, much of the original fixtures were in tact along with all the original doors and windows the fireplace was original and unchanged. The only real change had been to the kitchen where a very damaged and rundown carpet had been installed, the previous tenants had done an extremely sloppy job painting stencil designs on the original breakfast nook benches.
I was impressed and immediately took the rental. Sorry about the back-story but after the odd experiences that have happened in this house I feel that it's all relevant. The house consists of three bedrooms, two on the main floor and one in the basement, living room, formal dinning room, large kitchen and one bathroom.
The first months in the house were uneventful, my furniture was hauled I began repainting the interior and exterior. I decided to put a vinyl floor in the kitchen and tear up the carpeting as well as paint the breakfast nook a solid colour. When I was putting the finishing touches on the paint job and cleaning up the mess from the flooring, was the first time I smelt what I can only describe as a very floral smelling perfume. The smell was disgustingly sweet and overwhelming but not necessarily bad. This smell would occur frequently sometimes very strong sometimes only a pale scent, and always while I seem to be doing some sort of household chore such as dusting, cleaning windows, and even on a couple occasions while mowing the front lawn.
The strange scent of which I could find no explanation seemed harmless enough and never lasted more than a few seconds so I in time learned to ignore it.
I had been in the house for about four months when due to a mutually beneficial decision a friend of mine became my roommate. In the chaos that usually follows a move the living room and kitchen were filled with boxes and various items stacked until it could be organized. I had gone to bed leaving my roommate in the living room by herself. I was awakened by a knock on my bedroom door and when I answered it no one was there. I walked down the hallway and looked into the living room finding my roommate sitting on the corner of the couch looking kind of stunned. I asked her what she wanted and why she knocked on my door and she explained that she had just seen a dark shadow that seemed to leave the kitchen and go down the hallway towards our bedrooms. She then told me that not only had she not knocked on my bedroom door but she was feeling creeped out about walking down that hallway to go to her own room at the moment.
Several other guests in the house had claimed to see a shadowy figure in that hallway. Usually it was a friend staying the night and sleeping on the couch who would claim to see this after everyone else went to bed. One had reported smelling the perfume and feeling as if being watched while in the bathroom. On several occasions items that had been left sitting on tables such as car keys or wrappers would be mysteriously missing or moved. Once a full bottle of soda that had been left on the kitchen counter had been moved to the dinning room table. The dinning room seems to be a room of interest for whatever is happening in this house. It is a room that is seldom used and it is off to one side of the living room. There is really no reason to go into that room, as access to the kitchen is through an archway that leads to the hall then straight into the kitchen. I had salvaged an antique chandelier and hung it above the dinning table. The chandelier always seems to turn itself on at night. I had originally questioned if I had wired it correctly or perhaps the dimmer switch was faulty. However the wiring was checked and the switched replaced twice, still it seems the moment you leave the living room and return, the chandelier is on in the dinning room. Also anytime we have set the table to use that room, the drapes, which are generally left open, are always found closed.
The closet doors in my roommate's room are always found open even after closing them minutes before. The drapes in my bedroom are also found open on occasion. The basement bedroom is usually used as storage. Twice I have allowed friends who needed a place to stay utilize the room. Both friends one male, one female, have told me they have not slept well in that room and both experienced various medical problems during their stay at my house.
Some people who have been to my house say they feel strange here while others think it's homey and comfortable. My dogs never go into the dinning room or down the basement stairs. I have never felt afraid here. I have been unable to find out much about the history of the house.
I just rationalize it myself by assuming that someone who lived here once loved this house and did put forth a lot of effort into making it a home. I refer to her as our housekeeper, we only get bothered if things are out of place or she is curious. Giving the formal nature of the house perhaps she leaves the dinning room light on in the evenings because she thinks we should eat our dinners in there. I have decided that I won't use the storage room as a bedroom anymore. I don't feel afraid of whatever is going on here, and I often half expect to see our housekeeper one of these days.