Friday, July 17, 2009

The Presence in the Attic

In the early years of college (the first time around), I drove over to visit with Mandi at her parents’ house.  For those of you who don’t know, Mandi lived way up in the north end of the county, in an area still heavily wooded and (at times) downright creepy.  True, she lived right off of a U.S. highway, but the house was old and set back off the road.  I’m not sure how old, but it was old enough that at the time there was no indoor plumbing other than the kitchen sink.

When I arrived, it was late afternoon.  I’d never really been in Mandi’s house before; I knew where it was, I had been in the downstairs living room briefly to pick her up for us to head to a dance club in Cincy, but I hadn’t spent any real time there.  Mandi and I headed up to her room to listen to music, chit-chat and the like, when her dad (I think) hollered up the stairs at her that she needed to get down to the kitchen and do the dishes.  I got the feeling from his tone he was a little peeved they hadn’t been done yet.  I could be wrong, though.  Anyway, Mandi told me to go ahead and listen to the radio and paw through her books to see if there was anything I wanted to borrow and then went downstairs to do the dishes.

Mandi’s room was basically a converted attic, with lots of rooms opening up off of what she used as her main room.  The stairs to her room were accessed by a door downstairs, then you climbed up a fairly steep staircase, then the whole upstairs just kind of opened up into several rooms.  The ceiling pitched at steep angles in places (or so I remember), and there were lots of blind corners.  I wandered around a bit upstairs, but stuck mainly to the room where Mandi’s stuff was.  I could occasionally hear the clink of dishes and water running coming from downstairs, but it was mostly muffled because the door at the bottom of the stairs was closed.

After a bit, I got bored and went to listen to the radio.  As I was sitting on the bed fiddling with the radio dial (her stereo was on a shelving unit next to the bed), I heard the door at the bottom of the steps open and close, then footsteps coming up the stairs.  I turned around to ask Mandi what station she wanted to listen to, but there was nobody there – even though I could hear the footsteps approaching me across the floor.  The footsteps stopped right beside the bed, then the mattress next to me sank down a bit, and the radio started flipping up and down through the channels.  I don’t remember exactly what happened next; I remember thinking that I better not freak out too visibly, because obviously that’s what it wanted.  I slowly walked downstairs and asked Mandi if we could go hangout elsewhere.  I think I suggested we go to the movies or something.  I don’t remember what happened after that, if we went to the movies, or Mandi couldn’t leave or what.  My memory is fuzzy (this was, after all, more than a decade ago). However,  I do know I never went upstairs in her house again.

13 comments:

Suze said...

spooooooky!

Jessi said...

this sounds so similar to my story about Missy's house! I can't wait until next week, I'll tell my story and we'll compare notes.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I'd love to compare notes. It must have something to do with S'ville. Seems like many of my creepiest stories took place in or near there. There are also several well-documented ghost stories told about the old city jail, old train depot, and several other places within the "city" (har har) of S'ville.

Becca said...

You're not imagining it.

I went over once to spend the night sometime in middle school. I'd been there many times before, but never overnight--she had always come to my house.

I forget if there was a reason, but it was getting late. I wasn't feeling well. Mandi stayed downstairs to finish dishes and other things and I went up to the room you describe. I was almost asleep--I heard the door downstairs open and close, footsteps comes up, the door to the room open and close, footsteps to the bed, then the bed dipped behind me (I was curled up on my side). I turned to tell Mandi that I was still awake because my tummy was bothering me....

You guessing it. Nothing there.

I zipped downstairs, told Mandi and her mom that I really didn't feel well, called me parents to pick me up, and left. I visited many other times, of course, but never overnight, and only up to her room during the day.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one to experience this! I vaguely think I remember Mandi saying something about there being one certain presence who didn't like strangers. Then again, I could be extrapolating. Were you one of the people at TC who saw "something" on the staircase under the bell in the building where the radio station was? Am I remembering correctly that there's a story about that building on campus?

Anonymous said...

I stayed at Mandi's once, but it was an outdoor sleepover from what I remember and there were so many people there that I don't remember who all was there...Charlie, Andy, probably Becky/Becca, and I remember Patrick was in what was called a "pool" (I don't remember what it was made out of actually, but it was probably 8 by 4 and 1 or 2 feet deep. I pretty much just remember Patrick in the pool because I thought he was Christian Slaterlicious at the time.

Geron said...

I didn't intend to be anonymous...
Lydia

Steph said...

Gaaaah.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Oh, yes, Patrick was sooooooo Slaterlicious! Glad I'm not the only one who could so totally see him as Christian Slater. I had the biggest crush on him at one time! Wonder what he wound up doing in life...

Jamie Roberts said...

Lydia-were you at the bonfire?? The outdoor sleepovers were a blast! the "pool" was probably the big metal washtub out back that was used to bathe in. Mandi's parents finally redid most of the downstairs and turned the kitchen into a bathroom, and the living room was a split kitchen/living room. The house has since been closed because it was getting too unstable. I don't remember the whole story, but most of it was damaged in a fire (I think) and was unable to be used. I remember going into the front foyer once through a door in her parents room and saw the most beautiful staircase that led to nowhere. Mandi lived there for quite a while with her son, but they now live in an apartment in Sadieville off of main street. Patrick is doing well, along with Andy and Charlie. Andy just got married. Andy and Charlie are on facebook-but I don't think Patrick is.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Thanks for the update. I keep abreast of what most people are doing via facebook, but I didn't know anything about Patrick - where he is and how he's doing. Glad to know he's doing okay.

Becca said...

I don't recall a fire. I thought it was general age. IIRC, the house is Civil War era. Mandi's room used to be the front room that connected to the attic room, Mary had the attic room. There was a bedroom at the top of the stairs, but I think it was closed off first. There was a room under it, at the bottom of the stairs, that had storage. Mandi's parents had a bedroom off the living room. I can recall when the staircase area was open and used as the primary way upstairs; it wasn't until that corner of the house got really bad that Mandi switched to the stairs off the kitchen.

In the winter, the door from the living room to the staircase was kept closed so the heat from the wood stove wouldn't be wasted rising up into the space--we're talking old-fashioned two-story foyer. I seem to recall a really cool window above the front door that would illuminate that staircase during the day.

Strangeite said...

I finally got around to adding my own "ghost story.