Apartment Fifty-six

I’ve always been a believer in the mysteries of the afterlife. When I was a little girl I always saw shadowy figures glide past windows and eventually stopped reporting them to the grown-ups; who would always dismiss my reports as a very creative imagination. As I grew, my need for knowledge did too. I played with Ouija Boards and Tarot Cards in Jr. and Sr. High School, even venturing out to our local cemetery once to find the grave of a spirit who came to my board. All the while, I never worried about the consequences of my curiosity; nor did I take any measures to protect myself. That would all change after the curiosity had died down.

After High School, all my curiosity had led me down the path of Paganism. I loved the spiritual messages and felt like I had finally met the parents every child deserved in God and Goddess. I still used my tarot cards from time to time. The artwork called to me and I developed my intuitive senses and even found ones I didn’t know I had. It was during a terrible disturbance in my life that I found I was blessed with clairvoyance and clairessentience.

When I was 19, my husband and I moved into our first apartment. It didn’t take us long to realize that something wasn’t quite right. It was mostly anecdotal tapping noises, bumping cabinets and a soda bottle or two tossed off the kitchen counter every now and then. We dismissed our experiences as kind of cool. Shortly after we moved in, I found out I was pregnant. That’s when things took a turn for the ugly. The hormonal shift had left me super sensitive to all things spiritual and things got pretty scary from there on out.

It started with my Ouija Board. It was still packed away from our move and in a walk in closet in my bedroom. I woke one night sweating. I had been dreaming that there was a fire in the closet and that the Ouija Board was screaming at me to help it. I didn’t help it – instead I got out of the house, thus saving my baby. I didn’t like this dream at all and thought it better to be safe than sorry. I called my mother and asked her to get rid of the board. I told her not to tell me what she did with it and to this day, she never has.

After that event, the occurrences around our small apartment got more intense. My husband worked graveyard shift and while he was away, I’d sleep in the living room in front of the window unit air conditioner. I began waking at 3:33 every morning to a blazing fire in my kitchen, which was connected to the living room. At first, I’d be able to snap out of it easily and the fire would disappear as soon as I rubbed my eyes. As my belly grew, however, the fire became more intense and even when I rubbed my eyes it would not disappear. One night it blazed until I actually stood up and went for the phone. When I turned the phone on – the flames disappeared.

When my husband was off on the weekends or home during the day, nothing would really happen that wasn’t out of the norm. Pretty soon… the kitchen fire became a normal occurrence. We installed a smoke detector directly above the area and soon they stopped. That’s when the situation got even scarier while my husband was away. On one of my nightly trips to the bathroom, I shuffled down the hallway and right before I made it to the bathroom door, I smelled the heavy scent of alcohol on hot breath. I stopped, swallowed hard and braced myself for what I somehow knew was coming.

The blow to my head did not come as I had anticipated so I scurried to the bathroom and closed the door behind me. I was sure that that there was someone there before, but nothing happened. I waited and listened intently through the closed door. I heard nothing over the pounding of my own heart but knew that there was no one there. None the less, I stayed in there until I could turn off the light and see daylight under the door. This happened multiple times over the next week or so and I became so terrified to go down the hallway at night that I would “hold it” until my husband got home a few hours later.

Finally, my husband got a promotion and changed his shift and as a result was home with me at night. This was a great relief. Things got back to normal and I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. On one of the days that my mother in law had taken the baby to give me a break, I ran down to the laundry room to do a load. While putting my jeans into the washer an older lady walked in. We exchanged pleasantries and when she noticed the baby jeans in my basket, we started talking about kids. She asked which apartment I lived in and I told her “Number fifty-six”. She asked me whether they ever got the smoke smell out of that apartment after a kitchen fire had damaged the place. I never shared my experience with her, but assured her that there was not a smell in the apartment.

The little old woman then got very serious. “It’s such a shame what happened to that family.” I asked her, “What do you mean?”. She went on to explain that the husband was an alcoholic and that before the fire broke out, his wife had lost her baby after he had badly beaten her. When she didn’t press charges against him a reconciliation attempt was made. He beat her again and killed her. She read a little while later that he had died in jail.

I thanked her for the conversation and quickly left. My husband and I paid the final month rent and gave our notice. We did not stay one more night in that apartment, however and moved in with my in-laws right away. Once I put two and two together, there was no way we were going to stay one more night in that apartment. Fifteen years later, my sister and her boyfriend moved into the same complex. While we were helping her move in, I began to panic when I realized she was leading me straight to Apartment fifty-six. She’s now four months pregnant but hasn’t mentioned anything strange about her apartment.