Just Looking

by Jodie Woods
(Pueblo, Colorado, USA)

All my adult life I've wanted to be an interior decorator. For reasons not worth mentioning, that goal was never obtainable for me but it sure didn't stop me from dreaming about it. I'd go boldly spalunking in any and every old building I found that at some time had some sort of residence in it.

On one such occasion, my then daughter in law, Katie, was with me. It was late afternoon but still vivid daylight. I found an old fourplex apartment building that looked in my opinon to have been errected in the 1930's. Katie was uncomfortable the whole time and kept asking me if we could leave. I flatly ignored her and delightfully went on with my spalunking.
There was the same two bedroom, one bath, eat-in kitchen floor plan for each apartment with the exception of the two on the left mirror imaging the two on the right. The two apartments down stairs had entrances from the hallway into the living rooms. Both had signs of squatters in living in them. The feeling was one of survivor mode with dispare because of how the disgarded furniture was arranged and that there was trash only in a certain place in the kitchen and there was urine in the toilet. Also there was a feeling of anger because of the small spots of fresh destruction on the walls and carpet.
A short distance down the hall was a wide stair case that lead to the mirror image apartments upstairs. The upstairs hallway was divided in two with a wall that went straight down the center of it. The entry doors to each of these apartments lead into the kitchens. The apartment on the right was in the same shape as the two downstairs. But the one on the left had no signs of any living thing for a very long time.
This is where the story really begins.
It was old and used but abused. It looked to have been left clean and ready for a new tenant long ago but had never again been occupied. The decore reminded me of the 1950's. In the back bedroom, I found a small toy car and when I picked it up I had a feeling of a child being in our presence. I told Katie that I thought a little boy once lived there and as I told her what I thought, her face turned white. About that moment I felt a child's very cold tiny hands timidly clasp my right hand which was down at my side. For whatever reason, I wasn't afraid, instead I felt pitty for that child. But he was a ghost, something I knew nothing about so what could I do about it? I told Katie that I felt the child and immediatly she became squeemish and irritable and said she'd wait out in the car. That was fine with me because I was seriously enjoying the original vintage decore in that apartment.
She walked through the door from the kitchen and I went into the living room and as I did I felt a cold spot around my knees to my feet. There were french doors leading onto a round stone balcony that overlooked the front entrance to the building and looked across to the balcony of the right side apartment. However, there was absolutely no way down to the ground from the balcony. As I walked through those doors I felt the cold spot again and then again when I went back inside the apartment.
I ignored those cold feelings as much as I could but then Katie came walking into the living room asking me where the front door to the apartment was! I told her it was the door in the kitchen, to which, she answered, "No, that's a closet." I passed through the doorway and the cold spot again into the kitchen and straight through the only kitchen door and to my suprize it was a closet!
In disbelief, I went back through the entire apartment several times with a fine toothed comb searching for the exit into the hallway but it just wasn't there! I went back into the closet searching for a door. I felt the walls and knocked on them but it was truely a closet!
Katie began to get irrashional. I walked back into the living room in "protective mom" mode and just stated in a firm tone with a loud voice, " All right, that's enough! I want to leave and I want to leave now!" Without a second thought I headed for the kitchen door taking Katie by the hand and as soon as we crossed the threshold the hallway was there again. We left and never returned.
Unfortunately, we had left our cell phones in the car so there are no photos, but then, I don't know that I would've thought to try to take some.
I don't know about Katie, but I've never had another ghostly experience so I know the child didn't follow us. What I have had is a nagging sence of guilt that I didn't show that lonesome ghost child the pitty I'd felt for him. What I've been haunted with since the Spring of 2005, has been a desparate need to find a way to help him. No child deserves to be left alone like he is.

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