GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN:
A TRUE STORY
I first moved into the old house in October 1995.
It was a rather large place, but not all my own. Built in the 1920's, the
house was eventually split into two duplex homes. On one side was a studio
(where I lived), on the other was a two bedroom town home. The attic to the
entire house was sealed off, and was situated directly above my back room,
which consisted of a make-shift bedroom, and a dining room. My very first
night, I heard creaking above me. It was windy that night, and I figured an
attic was an attic, drafty. It sounded as if something was swinging back and
forth. I heard the noise on a consistent basis throughout the rest of the
fall and winter, so sure that the seasonal elements was the cause of this,
at first, disturbing noise, and then later, just annoying.
As spring came into existence, warmer weather and
calmer winds began settling in. But the creaking still kept on. Eventually,
I asked my neighbor, who lived in the town home part of the duplex, if she
knew what the mysterious noise was. She said she had not heard the creaking,
and her bedroom wall was connected to the sealed off attic. As the years
wore on, I grew accustomed the noise, but other things began to take place.
One night, I awoke to scratching on the inside of my chimney. Deemed a fire
hazard, my landlady had the chimney seal off from the fireplace years ago,
so I was assured that whatever creature had gotten inside the chimney, would
not get inside my home. When I reported this to her, she informed me that
she had the top of the chimney sealed off with cement to ensure the very
thing I suspected would not happen. The scratching eventually stopped, but
it gave me an uneasy and eerie feeling.
On several occasions, I woke up with the feeling of
two people standing over me. I had convinced myself that I was just letting
my imagination run away with me. I lost lots of sleep over it though. I had
a storage closet, which was underneath the stairs of the town home, and on
several instances when I knew my neighbor was not home, there was constant
running up and down the stairs, like that of a child. My neighbor had no
I had lived there three years, when one day, I was
visiting with my new supervisor at work. She had noticed my address from my
employee file, and told me she lived a few houses down twenty five years
earlier. She asked me if I lived in the brick house on the corner. When I
told her I did, she asked me if I knew the history of the house? This is
what she told me.
Back in 1926, a young man built the house for his
wife and new born baby boy. Shortly after moving in, his wife died of
pneumonia. As the man's son got older, he had become a very adventurous lad.
During the Christmas holidays in 1933, the boy's father, and whatever
extended family were visiting, awoke to an empty child's bed. Convinced his
son had gone looking for Santa Claus in the middle of the night, as he was
talking excitedly about him the night before, the family frantically
searched the snowy grounds, calling his name. The boy was not found...that
day. In the evening, trying to get him to relax, the man's sister started a
fire in the fireplace to warm the house up. As the fire blazed larger,
brighter, hotter, twigs and small branches and leaves began falling into the
fireplace from where that had become trapped inside the chimney. The family,
gathered in the dining room, heard a loud crash, and went racing into the
parlor. There, in the dark pit of the fireplace, was the body of a young
boy. It was the man's son. The forceful elements of the fire had loosened
his body from the confines of the chimney. There was no physical evidence
that the boy had met with foul play, and was quickly disposed of as such, so
his death was ruled accidental. It was determined, that the boy may have
attempted to climb the chimney in pursuit of Santa Claus, and simply got
stuck and suffocated.
Years would pass since the tragic accident of the
boy in the chimney. One fall day in 1962, the local police received a call
from a woman, claiming she had not seen her neighbor for nearly two weeks.
If he had gone away, he would have told her so she could watch over the
house. It worried her that his car was still in the driveway. She explained
that he was a lonely old man who lost his wife and son in separate tragedies
many years ago. The police arrived to investigate his house. The search
found no one home. As the police were leaving, the neighbor asked if they
had checked the attic. It was an odd attic, as it was a part of the second
floor, and not at the very top of the house, like most attics. It was hard
to catch, because the door to the attic was inside one of the bedrooms, and
looked like a closet door. When the police found the attic door, they
stepped through, and observed the old man the neighbor had been distraught
about. There he was, hanging from the rafters of the attic, and lightly
swinging in the drafty fall breezes that filled the attic with
coldness...and when he swung, there was an eerie chilling creakiness.