Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I wrote of this place before, and I promised to tell more about it; with Halloween approaching, I figure this is the time.

I moved into the building in June of '87. The rental space consisted of two single rooms, one at the front and one at the rear of the second floor(I occupied the front one), two three-room apartments, each with a living room, kitchen, and bedroom, and two bathrooms, shared by the tenants; at the time, both of the apartments and the other single room were occupied.

Over the next year, several things happened....the other tenants moved, and the landlord, who also owned (and lived in ) the tv repair shop on the first floor, became ill...he was moved to a nursing home, where he subsequently died, his son taking over the property, although he lived a ways away-he'd had the shop closed and padlocked, and rarely came around.

The strange things began happening about two months after John's death....I didn't have a phone, so John allowed me to give out his number. If I got a call, he'd bang on the ceiling with a broom handle, and I'd knock on the floor with my cane to let him know I was coming down.

Early one evening, about 6:30, I was watching the news when I distinctly heard three sharp raps from the floor. I snatched up my cane, rapped twice, and started out the door-I was halfway down the front stairs before I wondered just who-or what-had made the noise.

Over the next three years, literally hundreds of out-of-the-ordinary things happened at 1444 Broadway, pretty much a daily occurrence. One Friday evening, after I'd moved (with permission) into the larger front apartment, I was sitting in my living room, waiting for my friend Dave and his wife, Buddi, to arrive, to spend the weekend, as they often did. I heard the door at the end of the hall swing open, the bell above it jingle, and the sounds of voices and footsteps coming down the hall. I walked to the door, opened it, and looked down the hall...which was empty, the door still shut.

We captured voices and strange noises on tape, took photos which bore odd images invisible to the eye, candles would light by themselves, Christmas lights which weren't designed to blink would, in time to music, when spoken to, half the string, all of it. My digital clock began to run backwards, something the manufacturer said was impossible. One night, I'd set up my coffeemaker in anticipation of Dave, his wife, and Lisa, one of Buddi's friends coming. they came, and as we were carrying groceries and stuff into the apartment, I heard the Mr. Coffee bubbling, and smelled the coffe brewing- I assumed Dave had turned it on, as there was already water and coffee in it. When I looked, the carafe was empty, bone dry, and the machine still switched off. Dave also heard and smelled this, and assumed I'd turned it on. Buddi and Lisa, neither of whom drank coffee, smelled and heard nothing.

I finally moved out in July of '91. My stuff was at Dave's for the moment, and I was set to move to Cleveland in early September. I locked my apartment, and the back door, and came down the front stairs, and locked the front door. I pushed the keys through the mail slot, hearing them land on the other side, and walked downtown to run some errands.

Coming past 1444 a couple hours later, I noticed the keys lying on the stoop...I'd checked to make sure they'd gone through the mail slot, and they had.
I admit to being relieved when I heard that the place had been torn down. As a Christian, I don't believe that the dead return as ghosts, but I DO believe that demonic forces oftimes cause such phenomena to confuse humans about the afterlife, and their relationship to it. This, I know-strange things went on at 1444 Broadway between October of 1988 and July of 1991, things I'd rather leave alone.

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