(Note: This is true story.)

The Apartment

When I was in my early 20s, I rented a cute, furnished attic apartment downtown. It was just right for a young woman starting out.

When the landlord gave me the tour, the electricity was on, so I was able to see the one room that didn't have any windows-the bathroom. It was the width of the bathtub, and the slanted ceiling met the adjoining wall about 3 feet over the tub. This meant I was going to have to watch my head when I stood up in the tub.

The entire wall between the top of the tub and the beginning of the ceiling was actually a large, rectangular door to the attic. The landlord unlatched it and let me peer in. There was the usual attic stuff, but one thing gave me the willies: an old, tattered dinette chair sat right in the opening, facing the bathroom. Although I'm not paranoid about the para-normal, I got a creepy feeling about that chair. I imagined someone sitting in it peering through the cracks in the doorway seam while I was in the bathroom. (Shiver)

I took the apartment anyway.

Even though I had the keys to my new home, I still hadn't paid the deposit for the electricity. That could wait a few days. In the meantime my lunch hour that first day was spent there in semi-darkness unpacking my few belongings.

Thump! The sudden noise came from the bathroom. I walked slowly to the doorway and cautiously looked in. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, all I could see was that attic door, which was supposed to be latched, slowly opening. I couldn't determine any logical explanation for this, and fear determined my next move.

I got the hell out of there.

Getting the electricity turned on became an immediate priority, and I wouldn't return to the apartment until I could turn on some lights. And I wouldn't go back alone. When I returned (in the company of big, strong friends), we went straight to the bathroom and turned on the light. The attic door was wide open, and that chair sat like a silent sentinel. We all got the creeps.

Must be time for a beer!

Over the next few weeks, there were no other strange happenings. Of course, living next to a cemetery does give a home a certain eery ambiance. All the little noises had a deeper meaning. Doors every now and then would close by themselves, but there were drafts to explain that. That bathroom/attic door stayed securely latched at all times, but I couldn't shake the feeling I was being watched every time I entered the bathroom. (I blamed it on my hyper-active imagination.) And, if I slept with the bedroom windows open, the noises from the cemetery were ... interesting, to say the least, but nothing alarming.

Then one night I had a terrifying dream. Someone with a knife was chasing me in the apartment. He/It wanted to kill me. Everything about the apartment was exactly as it was in real life, except for the walls. Instead of being cream color, they were a bright, robin's egg blue.

I woke from the dream sweating, heart racing, and terrified. I turned on the light and assured myself that it was just a dream. No one was trying to kill me. I was safe. The walls weren't robin's egg blue.

In the meantime my friends were becoming increasingly fascinated with the tales about this apartment. My dream only fueled everyone's imagination. Maybe someone had died there? Maybe it was haunted?

I was working at the Daily Advertiser at the time, and the city editor asked if she could spend the night there and do a story for Halloween. But when I called the landlord, they refused-and were not amused.

One Saturday not long after that, I was changing my sheets when it occurred to me that I should flip and turn the mattress. Sure, it wasn't mine, but why not do it anyway? When I finished my flipping and turning, I stood in shock, staring at that mattress.

Blood. Blood. Blood. It was old. It was dried. But I'd never seen so much blood in my life. I'd been sleeping all this time right over all that blood! Oh my God! I began to panic. This is not good. What the hell happened here?!? This was not just stains from a woman who flooded during her period. Something awful and violent happened here. Someone could have bled to death here!

As word about my latest discovery hit my social grapevine, I was already thinking I needed to move. My intuition and survival instincts were going haywire. Everything about the place was becoming sinister and foreboding. Then I got a phone call.

When a man's first words to you are to remain calm, you know it's not going to be good. It was my friend who was a paramedic for Acadian Ambulance. He'd heard about my latest discovery and had told his partner about it one day while cruising. As he recounted each one of my experiences, the partner became more agitated. He demanded to know where this apartment was, so Jon directed him to it.

According to Jon, they parked the ambulance in front of the apartment, and the partner pointed to the attic apartment and said something like, "Is THAT the apartment your friend lives in? THAT one?"

"Yeah, man. I told you it was."

"Don't f--- with me, man! You sure THAT'S the one!"

Jon, a little taken aback, calmly assured him it was. Then his partner told him that several years before, he'd been called to that apartment to pick up the body of a murder victim. He said it was the grisliest, bloodiest murder scene he'd ever visited.

"Tell your friend to get out of there. If that shit's going on, she isn't safe."

I thought I was going to throw up. I staggered from the phone and wandered from room to room, trying to take it all in. It wasn't my imagination. Something horrible had happened here. And what about my dream? Maybe the person had been stabbed to death? They'd definitely bled to death.

I went back into the kitchen and found something to do to take my mind off of the nightmare. At one point I dropped something on the floor that rolled to the corner near the refrigerator. As I picked it up, something just above the baseboard caught my eye. Some paint had peeled off the wall and the previous color could be seen. When I stooped down to get a better look, my heart stopped.

The walls had been robin's egg blue.