No Prank

By: Audrey Sparschu

It was right before Halloween, my senior year of high school, and I was working at a local pizza place with one of my best friends, Diane.  When we got out of work one Friday night it was dark and rainy, and I had no plans so she invited me to her house to eat brownies.  When we got there, her mom started talking about Diane’s older sister Grace, who was living in Arkansas at the time and going to law school.  She asked if I wanted to hear the story about Grace’s haunted apartment.  The house was decorated for Halloween, the night was rainy, and the atmosphere was perfect to hear a scary story, so I said I would love to.

When Grace moved to Arkansas, she got a single apartment and soon met a guy who she started to date.  After she had been living there for only a few months, she noticed that a few unusual things started to happen.  First of all, the plug for one of her lamps had fallen out of the outlet on several different occasions; she would leave the apartment with it in the wall, and come home to it on the floor.  In addition, the thermostat, which was not digital but had to be manually moved back and forth, would change the temperature on its own.  Grace called the landlord and mentioned these two things, so he had a repairman come to tighten the wall outlets and replace the thermostat.

Once these things were fixed, some even stranger things began to occur.  Grace would leave the kitchen with the cabinets shut, and walk back in to them ajar.  It was as if they were opening of their own accord.  When she called her parents and told them this, they shrugged it off and attributed it to her boyfriend playing a trick on her.  So she Skyped them to prove it; Grace’s mom got all serious at this point in the story and said that the look on her husband’s face when he saw that this was no prank showed that he was truly scared.  And as everyone knows, most dads don’t get scared very often at all.

The next few days brought a few more weird occurrences.  Since it was right around Halloween, Grace had decorated her apartment for the holiday.  One thing she decorated with was window clings, those rubbery stickers that go on your windows.  One of these was a red, bloody handprint.  Grace came home from school one day to find the red handprint removed from the window and sitting spread out in the middle of the kitchen floor next to a red oven mitt which had come out of one of her kitchen drawers.  The next day it was a Halloween-themed skull bracelet that originated upstairs and made its way to the center of the kitchen floor by the time Grace got home.

Needless to say, Grace did not stay too long in this apartment.  And once she had begun to move out, she got wind that that particular apartment turned over tenants unusually fast; she apparently was not the only one who had experienced the hauntings.

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8 thoughts on “No Prank

  1. A lot of these occurrences could be explained simply (eg. the handprint sticker thing was loose and simply fell off, or the cabinet hinge was probably new and stronger than the stopper that held it in place). I noticed that as I read this story, I formulated these physical explanations to downplay the likelihood of a supernatural power at play. However, when I read the part about the skull appearing downstairs, I was at a loss. And it couldn’t have been Grace’s boyfriend playing pranks on her since other tenants experienced similar things. If it IS some kind of supernatural entity, it seems like just a minor disturbance, not harmful at all.

  2. As Ryan said above, when I began the story, I explained things such as the fallen out plug with normal explanations; my plugs slip out of loose sockets all the time. Even the mitt and the fallen sticky hand print could be explained. Perhaps there was a strong gust of wind, and as the sticker was not very sticky, the rattling of the window caused it to fall. It is difficult to tell the difference between a series of odd events and a supernatural power. However, I am not sure the examples here are strong enough to warrant a definitive case of the supernatural. That being said, well-written post and definitely engaging!

  3. What is most interesting about this story is that the landlord continues to allow people to move in time and time again. You mentioned that several tenants have experienced the hauntings, yet Grace was not told why they have moved out nor was she warned about this scary presence. The landlord must know that if people knew the apartment was haunted then they wouldn’t move in. However, as Ryan mentioned the ghost seems to be a minor disturbance and not harmful, but many people would still not consider moving in. Humans are scared primarily of the unknown, and not just simply of danger.

  4. I agree with what Ryan said above, it seems like whatever it haunting the apartment is not harmful, but rather playful in a way. Like a child that enjoys stirring trouble, this is interesting because as I try to imagine myself in a situation such as this I am unsure as to how I would respond. My mind may try to attribute explanations for these occurrences or I may have ran at first sight of anything paranormal. I would never want to mess with or even be around the supernatural so props to Grace for sticking it out as long as she did!

  5. I would love to learn more about the apartment to see if there was a cause for the disturbances in the history of the previous tenants. Maybe there’s a spirit of a child that lingers there, and that’s why these disturbances seem child-like and playful. I definitely think it would be interesting to live in a place that has these types of occurrences, but I think once I had actually lived with it, I wouldn’t like the idea of it anymore.

  6. This kind of reminded me of the Paranormal Activity movie scene, where the cabinets open and they freak out. That is so creepy. I think what makes it worse is that an outsider hearing the story would just pretend its a story, it’s not until you experience something like this that you begin to question the most normal things in the world. I found it interesting how that apartment has turned people away before, but they still have it up for rent, crazy!

  7. Wow. There are some very interesting encounters in this apartment. I wonder if there is any way to make the apartment not haunted or if it will stay that way until it gets knocked down. Also, I wonder if anyone else in the complex have had similar encounters or if it is just her place. There is no explanation for any of this and unlike Ryan and Grace, I thought from the beginning there were supernatural beings living in the apartment. It is also very interesting that the only way to avoid it is moving.

  8. I could never live through that many haunting encounters. I would have moved at as soon as I started noticing how abnormal all the situations were. What is interesting though, is this ghosts, or whatever paranormal thing, does not to be doing anything harmful. So, I wonder what its reasoning for trying to communicate with the apartment’s residents. It sad to think maybe this is just someone who couldn’t move on to the next part of life, but is not harming anyone in this world.

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