The Fifth-Floor Mystery

Roberta Beach - Karpathos, Greece
Entered on June 11, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: place

I’ve never believed in ghosts. So why was a ghost haunting my little apartment?

From the day I stacked my moving boxes in the fifth-floor apartment, I felt lucky to have such a balcony view of a wooded area. I couldn‘t have created cheerier bird songs if I‘d used a cassette. But one day something strange happened in paradise. I noticed my couch had been scooted over nearer to the wall.

How could that be? I lived alone and I hadn‘t moved it. It threw me for a loop, but what could I do about it?

Things happen, I decided. Not everything can easily be explained. I’d have to wait and see.

Another afternoon not many weeks later, I came home after a long day at work and saw my house plants on the windowsill had been watered. Not by me. My landlord lived 300 miles away and his new wife had forbidden him to go anywhere near my building, the place he’d lived with his ex-wife. I was certain he hadn’t stopped by my apartment.

The shenanigans continued. One day I found a dirty coffee mug in my kitchen sink, a cup I hated and never used. There was no hidden camera to be found, but somebody must be playing a joke on me! Of course there had to be a logical explanation for all the dirty tricks.

For six years, the haunting never let up. It became part of my routine, although I hadn‘t a clue as to what was going on.

As luck would have it, I located a cheaper apartment right around the corner from my office. I grabbed it, eager to do away with the 50-minute commute. When my landlord, whom I hadn‘t seen for years, stopped by to give back my security deposit, he sheepishly admitted when he’d divided his former condo into one large and one small apartment he’d saved a few bucks and never bothered changing the original locks.

This meant my next-door neighbors had the identical front door lock as I had and could use their key to enter my place whenever the mood struck.

Aha. The fifth-floor mystery was solved and there wasn’t a single ghost at fault!