(This is a continuation of a story about ghosts in my apartment. The year is 1986 and my daughters have just found a gun in some garbage tossed from an apartment next door, the haunted apartment we are about to occupy after being vacated by Joe upon his death. To read the entire first installment go to- http://www.northlibertyleader.com/article.php?id=5265
The gun turned out to be a Colt .45 Naval Service Revolver, circa the 1870s, and appeared to be in working order. To date I have not been able to find any significance to the gun. I assume it belonged to Joe but don’t even know that for sure. I put it on the top shelf in my closet and pretty much forgot about it for the next couple of years.
That fall I moved into Joe’s apartment, now owned by his daughter and rented to me. I kept the gun for a few years but sold it as it made me nervous having it in the apartment with my young children.
I fulminated over what to do with the money. It was mine to sell; finders keepers, losers weepers. But it wasn’t doing right by Joe. In the end, I decided to split the difference by using the money, it brought $400, to add a feature to the apartment which I always thought would be cool: a deck on the roof and a set of stairs to get to it. Solon is built on a slight rise in an otherwise flat area, and I suspected the view would be good from atop our building. It was also about this time we began hearing the unexplained footsteps on the roof so being able to get up there and investigate was an added benefit.
The deck proved to be more spectacular than I ever dreamed.
Except for a small blind spot caused by the Catholic Literary Society building, standing Gothic across the street complete with gargoyles and oversized lighting rods, the view was 30 miles in every direction. I’d often take my coffee up for a sunrise. In the evening I’d invite friends, and we’d sit drinking beer while watching the sunset and the moonrise. A large colony of swallows took up residence in a nearby building, and the swooping birds returning home to roost made dusk extra entertaining. It was life at the top of the world.
The near-flat roof was the size of a tennis court but the deck was only 8 by 10 feet near the front. The brick walls of the building extended two feet above surface and were topped with smooth, gently curved capstones making for a cozy courtyard feel to the whole affair.
Leaning out over the capstones I could see up and down Main Street without anyone seeing me. More than once I listened in on a lover’s spat from my perch, and I also saw a few illicit trysts begin as people left the bars, paired up, smooched passionately and headed home or to a no-tell motel. Once, a local miscreant broke a bottle in the parking lot below, and I hollered with indignant wrath, “Hey, cut that out!” The poor boy looked up to my direction but could not see me as I ducked behind the wall. He begged, “God, is that you?”
“Yes, and go home,” I replied in my best rumbling voice and nary a bottle was broken again on my watch.
During this time the unexplained footsteps on the roof occurred again, always on a moonless night and usually during a storm.
Paranormal investigators have pretty much concluded that ghosts are the remnant energy from a human life. Without a corporeal body it’s hard for them to make their presence known. They can, however, siphon energy from other sources to grow themselves to a point where we can see, hear, feel, smell and even taste them. Some entities can draw power from batteries, and it’s been documented that Evereadies drain quickly in certain haunted areas. Lightning is another powerful source, and it’s more than a coincidence that phantoms appear on dark and stormy nights.
I kept a flashlight by the back door and investigated the unexplained footsteps several times without finding a thing, at least not until shortly before I sold the newspaper and moved away.
It was an unusual storm in that there was a lot of lightning but only a gentle rain. I grabbed my flashlight only to find that it had gone dead even though I had replaced the batteries just days before. I headed up to the roof anyway and took watch. As I stood in the drizzle a bolt of lightning hit the rod atop of the Literary Society, scaring the bee gees out of me. As I recovered from the shock and awe of seeing a zillion volts touch down a few hundred yards away, I became aware of a glowing presence making its way towards me from across the roof.