Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 35/365 ....13 Days To Halloween or Pots, Pans and Poltergeists

Here it is 13 days till Halloween, surely some sort of cosmic vortex sort of date.

There are dates and places like that - times and locations when and where "stuff" just seems to happen. Sometimes they have circles of standing stones, sometimes they have four story brick apartment buildings, built in the early 1900's.

In this case, it's the apartment building.

Located in St. Paul, Minnesota, I lived in a very similar apartment building to this one,during 1977 and 1978, in a first floor left-hand apartment.

As far as I know, our building had no ghost-creating traumatic events, no murders and certainly no tragic suicides.

It did however have a poltergeist.

Fortunately for me, the poltergeist lived across the hall, in the first floor right-hand apartment,
with the landlord's daughter.

When I first went to look at the apartment, the daughter reviewed our application in her apartment. She was busy putting away pots and pans at the time, straightening up her kitchen.
She yelled: "Hey, I looked at your app, you seem cool, wanna move in?"

Having passed the rental interview, I gave her the first month rent, while she explained that she worked nights, slept mornings, and would be available if needed in the afternoons.

The next day, I moved into the "shotgun" apartment. Just like shotgun houses in Louisiana, this meant that if you came in the front door, all the rooms were arranged to one side, so if you shot a gun, the bullet would go straight through the apartment and out the backdoor. My livingroom was carpeted, and the central hallway was hardwood floor, with my bedroom halfway back on the way to the kitchen. The phone, a heavy old-fashioned black phone with a dial, sat in a little wall niche, at the far end of the hallway, by the kitchen.

The day I moved in, the phone wasn't turned on yet, so I went across the hall to the landlord's daughter, to use her phone. "Yeah, no problem" she said while she pointed down the hall towards her phone, as she carried pots and pans into her kitchen.

After making my call, it occurred to me she seemed to have either an amazing number of pots and pans or else she was very into re-arranging her kitchen, on a daily basis. Upon mentioning it to her, she matter-of-factly said "Oh, I have a poltergeist. He prefers the pots and pans in the livingroom."

Every night, about 10, she trotted off to work, returning around 8 am, finding, without fail, every morning, every pot and pan she owned stacked in a single column, in her livingroom, from floor to ceiling. And every morning, she went directly to bed, getting up around 1 pm or so, and spending the next half hour or so, putting away her pots and pans.

And after living there for a year or so, I can honestly say I never heard a cingle clink or clatter, or banging of pots and pans, but they continued to be stacked, every night, without fail.

Sometimes I think her poltergeist got lonely when she was sleeping.

One morning, I heard my boyfriend walk down the hallway from the kitchen, past our bedroom door, hard-soled shoes resonating on the hardwood floor. I heard the front door deadbolt flip open, the squeak of the hinges, and the slamming of the door as he went off to work.

A few moments later, I heard the front door open again, the steps come down the hall, and the dial on the phone clicking as it turned. The next sound was the one the little pegs on the phone made, the sound of someone tapping on them, to make sure the connection was made. Then there was a ripping sound, and a crash against the front door.

Followed by silence.

Getting out of bed, I was prepared to find him dealing with car problems or something similar. I found nothing and no one. I was completely alone.

The front door was deadbolted and locked. The phone sat in its niche, complete with its cord, and its four-prong, modular plug.

The neighbor's poltergeist never came to visit again, but pots and pans continued to stack themselves, from floor to ceiling, every single night, without fail.


  1. I have heard this story from you before. It still sends chills down my spine. Glad you are writing them down for posterity!

  2. Well, with me being older than dirt, you never know when posterity is around the corner. ;)