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Last night, I was derailed from seeing a movie by a pal of mine 'J,' who needed a ride to a barbeque, with an invite as barter. Drat right I could see the movie another time!
We arrive at Lindsey's house, where her roommates were all running about, organizing the contents of eleven empty grocery bags; meat here, condiments there, booze here, etc…
I'd noted to Lindsey that I liked her new home, it's much bigger, roomier, and safer than her previous one, to which she looked a little puzzled.
"You… you must be referring to the house on 'Nashville St,' because you never saw…"
"…the other one," Lindsey's roommate Emily finished.
"So… you don't know the story of the place in between the place you knew us to live in and this one, right?" Lindsey asked.
I just stood there, curious of all of the wide-eyed, uneasy looks, making myself wordlessly obvious that I'd not a clue. They called in the third roommate, Brianne, followed by J.
They took turns adding in their 'two-cents,' confirming little details, adding others, to which they all agreed upon as the story progressed. Rather than make this a back-and-forth story of four people interjecting, I'll tell it to you third-person.
On Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans, Lindsey had parted with her previous roommate, and got together with two girls from school she didn't know so well, Brianne and Emily, and got a decent place. The place in question was rather roomy, in a good location, and, above all, a hell of a bargain. This house, like most in the neighborhood, is nearly one hundred years old.
When Emily and Lindsey arrived to move their belongings in, they saw a note on the door of the furthest room from the front door, there was a note by Brianne, saying that she'd already claimed it, which annoyed the other two girls.
A blessing in disguise.
Within the first week or two, Brianne and the girls were all in the house together, Lindsey and Emily supposedly asleep, and Brianne up all night, determined to finish the book she was reading. At somewhere between 2-4am, she reached the last page of her text, closing the book, and settling into bed to see if she was tired enough to sleep, just yet. Note that the book was NOT a mystery/horror book, and that she had an elated feeling about what she'd just read.
She was replacing the book back on the shelf, and general before-bed tidying up, when the light above her started flickering, then went out. Brianne then turned off all of the lamps around the room, leaving the one near her desk on.
She soon found out she couldn't sleep, so she sat up again, and turned on the television, putting in a cartoon DVD, in the hope it'd tire her out before the sun came up.
She heard a rapping on the wall, and stood, not knowing if it came from her door or her wall. Brianne lowered the volume on the TV, fearing it woke up a roommate, and approached the corner of the room where the noise was coming from. It wasn't the door, it wasn't the wall, it was coming from the closet.
What Brianne didn't know at the time was that her deep closet shared a wall with Emily's equally deep closet, not Emily's wall.
Brianne assumed it was Emily who was knocking, and crept back to bed, in silence. Again, the rapping coursed through the room, so Brianne got up, exited the room, only to find Emily fast asleep in her own room, her body splayed nowhere near the wall in question. She checked on Lindsey, who was also fully asunder, her room too far for her to have knocked on the wall, to do so loud enough to gain Brianne's attention would have woken up the whole house!
Confused, and a little weirded-out, Brianne returned to her room, closed the door, and turned off the TV and remaining lamps, and reached for the desk lamp, which turned off before she could hit the switch. She retreated her hand in surprise, and the light flickered on; she then reached forward again, and she successfully managed to turn it off, the desk lamp having given up on a life of its own.
Suddenly, light flooded the room, the overhead light blasted into life; perhaps it wasn't the bulb that broke, but simply a loose socket?
Brianne, in the few seconds it took for her to turn around, and head towards the light switch, became uneasy. Sure, it was scary, and the visual impact of the overhead light flickering like crazy was intimidating enough, but it wasn't without the realm of reason that this old house had loose bulbs, sockets, even wiring, to which she'd have a chat with the landlord about investigating before a inner-wall fire could occur.
Brianne consoled herself with such thoughts, as she approached the light switch in the strobed room, to finally turn it off, and put an end to this ordeal for the night. However, she began to believe the strobing effect of the light flickering on and off maniacally was making her see things… or not, for once she got to the light switch…
The light switch was been frantically flipping up and down on its own.
She jumped back in panic, as the strobing continued for a full few seconds, then suddenly stopped. Following a few moments later, in the darkness, was the knocking making a re-appearance, but much, much louder than before.
Brianne grabbed what she could, and got the gently caress out of there around 5am, not only not looking back, but too scared to even inform the other girls of what went on.
It took a long time for Brianne to be coaxed back into the house, since no strange events had occurred since, yet Brianne wasn't going anywhere NEAR that room, so, she slept elsewhere in the house. It was suggested that Brianne sleep on the second floor, since the weather was good, and the only reason it wasn't used was that the landlord had yet to repair the AC/Heating units up there. Brianne refused. As tall-tale hauntings go, Brianne reasoned, she was going to stay away from an attic as far as possible, despite the fact that all of the happenings occurred in the back bedroom that she once claimed.
Weeks passed, and Emily had some visitors come over on one occasion, and Lindsey had some of her own on another; neither group of visitors slept more than one night in that house, citing that they had 'strange dreams' that they refused to discuss, and they had an unnatural apprehension from going down the hall past Emily's room.
Lindsey decided to investigate a bit, and entered Brianne's room during the day, finding nothing out of order. However, upon inspecting the closet where Brianne heard pounding noises, she discovered that not only did the back of the closet share a wall with the back of Emily's closet, there was a sizable hole cut out of it, enough for a child to pass back and forth. Upon even closer inspection, the wall was shared, yes, but was hollowed, there was three feet or more difference between the two panels in the back of the two closets. Lindsey shined a light on the little space, and found a large spool of 'industrial' wire. She turned the light upward, toward the ceiling, and discovered this little 'hollow' went straight through the second floor, and into the attic, she could see a large beam stretching across, far above.
Lindsey kept this discovery to herself for a few days.
A night or two later, Emily was looking rather haggard, and explained that it was due to lack of sleep, since recurring nightmares kept jolting her out of slumber. The other two girls pressed on the contents of the dreams, the result of which much to their shock.
All three girls (and one overnight guest) had the same dream, as did the two previous guests, when contacted and insisted upon the details:
A very old, bald man was suspended above them, from wires somehow attached to his back, reaching up into the blackness; his arms were slung down, locked at the elbow, as to reach as far down as he possibly could; his arms began as skin, muscle, and sinew, but gradually terminated into a cluster of wires. The Wireman dangled above the dreamer, waving/scissoring his arms back and forth at locked length, as if trying to wipe past the faces of the startled dreamer. Finally, the man would buckle, as if a few inches of slack was granted from above, and the Wireman would immediately and eagerly grasp the sleeper's throats with its wire-hands, and choke them vigorously. They could hear him smiling. The dreamer would suffer and die in the dreams, before awaking.
The vast majority of these factors were shared with the dreamers, without deviance.
The profusely apologetic landlord didn't question the girls' fright (obviously there's something he knew they didn't,) and offered to send in an exorcist. Apparently, Exorcists are few and far between, so the girls popped down to some of the (very few) reputable psychics that were marvelously expensive; she got three to come on half-pay, half-favor. Remember, this is New Orleans, even I know of one thousand 'Psychics,' but I only believe three or four of them.
It should be noted that Lindsey was smart about this, she didn't mention anything about the room, dreams, or actual location of the house, and should the psychics wish to investigate before they come to the site. Lindsey convinced them to accept the job with as very little info as possible, and all of the girls were there when the Psychics showed up, offering them nothing, but listening to everything.
The Psychics entered the house and all of its rooms, feeling nothing, until they got to the last room of the hall, where all three of them looked at each other in discomfort. One began crying. They backed out of the room. Lindsey took them into Emily's room, and showed them the 'little room' between the closets (obviously from the 'safe' side,) and directed their attention upward. Soon after, the band of explorers would find themselves in the dreaded attic, and had found the crossbeam in question.
It had a deeply-etched groove of wear from a once-taut wire, and was indeed centered directly above that little hole.
The Psychics soon joined the girls in the living room, and discussed what they felt.
Apparently, a long time ago, a woman had run off from her husband, and little boy. The husband refused to let the child go outside, thinking that he'd run off, and the only way the mother would return was if the child was there, she'd surely not come back if it were just the father.
One day, tired of the wait, the father locked his son in his bedroom, and hung himself (with wire, we're not 100% certain, in the little room? Not 100% certain) until, of course, he died, assuming that the mother would soon come for the son. She didn't. The little boy died of dehydration in his room.
While this didn't explain a good half of what went on, the Psychic went on to say…
"Well, there was some sort of torture… perhaps self-torture, but I don't know if the preceded the man and his boy, or if it involved the man and his boy… we threw down many tarot cards, and, despite the meaning of 'The Hanged Man' that we all accept, it came up every drat hand… we use 108 cards, it came up EVERY three cards after a thorough re-shuffle. I think it's demanding a new meaning, perhaps an obvious one? We don't know, we don't normally do this, but certain impressions are undeniable."
The Landlord offered a second property, bigger, better, and cheaper, to which the girls took, and presently live.
The girls, when they think of it, did a little investigating, and here's what they came up with:
Neighbors had seen six sets of tenants come and go in the last two years alone.
Their pal, Brian, who had several nervous breakdowns (including crying in class, and walking around bug-eyed) in the year previous turned out having lived in that very house, in that very room for six months. Brian was mortified when the girls admitted they stayed there. He even recalled the 'Wireman' dream with eerie clarity and description. Apparently his state has improved in the time he's been out of that house.
The house is currently unoccupied.
Credited to a ghost on the Something Awful Forums