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My Haunted Apartment

With all of this snow and ice and dark, I almost forgot to tell you … for a few hours I thought my apartment was haunted. It happened on Wednesday night, when the temperature outside was at its coldest and I’d been locked inside for about 36 hours.

I got up to go to the bathroom, but on the way I was distracted by a faint clinking sound coming from my bedroom. Peering in, I saw that the plastic, slatted blinds were swaying side to side, like someone or something had brushed past them. But, of course, there was no one around to have done so.

“What the hell?” I thought. “A mouse? A crack in the molding letting a breeze in?” That last possibility actually scared me the most, since I was trying to keep the apartment nice and toasty during my time being housebound.

But as I examined it, there didn’t seem to be any breeze coming from the window. But neither did the blinds seem to stop their swaying, as they would if something had brushed them. They just kept swinging in a slight, regular rhythm, as if constantly guided by an invisible hand. It was more than a little creepy, and I was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery … but there was another matter I had to take care of first.

I continued my trip to the bathroom, turned on the light, and eimmediately stopped in my tracks.

The previous day, I’d put in a new toilet freshener — y’know, one of those cistern disks that turns the water blue for 8 million flushes? Yeah, one of those. Anyway, it had been doing its job spectacularly the last time I checked. But now, as I stepped into the bathroom I was treated not to a bowl of unnaturally blue water … but to a toilet filled with bright RED liquid.


Quickly, I realized that it WASN’T … it was just red water. I figured I’d gotten some kind of defective toilet cleaner that only had the blue coloring on the outer skin of the disk, and that I’d have red water from now on until I flushed 8 million times. But when I flushed the toilet, it filled with the expected unnatural blue water.


I went back to the bedroom, where the blinds were STILL swaying to that same gentle, unheard rhythm. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find ANY reason for it, but it didn’t seem to be hurting anything, so I just left it and went back to my computer.

Later that night, when I went to bed, the toilet water was still blue and the blinds were still swaying. And, when I woke up in the morning, the blinds were still at it … but the toilet water was now BLACK!

Flush the toilet — blue water again.


I kinda thought about calling my buddies, Monte and Jen, who even now are Kickstarting a new web show called Geek Seekers, where they investigate the supernatural …  y’know to see if they wanted to make their first show about my apartment. But then my phone rang on its own.


It wasn’t Monte or Jen … it was a neighbor calling to see how I was doing in the wake of the snowstorm. Fine, I told her, but I was beginning to think that my apartment was haunted. As we were talking, a truck pulled up outside my window and just sat there idling, so I closed my bedroom door.

As I told my friend about my experiences, she laughed and said that the pipes in our building were very old and sometimes ran with slightly (or even very) rusty water. We both realized that enough rust in the water could certainly cause my toilet water to change colors, but she had no idea about my “dancing shades.”

As the subject switched, I opened the bedroom door to look at them and I saw that the shades had STOPPED their swaying.


I went over to the computer to look up a phone number of a mutual friend, and we finished our conversation. Then, just curious, I went back to the bedroom … and the shades were SWINGING again. Curious, I went into the bedroom and closed the door behind me. The shades stopped swinging almost immediately. So I opened the door and stared straight out at … the apartment’s fan-driven heater!

The breeze hadn’t been coming from the window, it had been from the heater AND from the convection of the cooling air near the window!

So in less than a day, science had proven (or rationalized, really … because I didn’t do any controlled experiments or anything) that my apartment wasn’t haunted … it was just OLD!

I thought about it and, in the end, that realization really was more a disappointment than a relief.

It would have been cool to have a haunted apartment.

And maybe to get on Geek Seekers.

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