Since it is Halloween, I thought I would dabble in the unknown and share one of the true, weird stories that has happened to me.
It was a dark and stormy night...
Nah, it wasn't, but isn't that how they should all start?
Anywho, I used to live in one side of this old German style brick double. It had two livable floors, an attic and the scariest basement you have ever seen. The attic was actually one floor, so both apartments were combined in that section of the house. I had two roomates and there were two guys next door. The guys next door where genuinely nice guys, so we never worried about them.
One day, when I was in my house all by myself and the guys next door were out of town, I heard a sound in my basement. Unfortunately, this house was 150 years old and had mice, so I thought I just heard vermin scurrying about. This didn't make me feel great, but I could accept it. But the sound got louder. Whatever was making the sound was bigger than a mouse.
I was kind of getting scared in this big old house all by myself now. We didn't live in a bad neighborhood, but it wasn't the best. My car had been damaged a few days before by vandals and people had been mugged in the grocery store across the street, so I was afraid someone was breaking in through the basement windows, although I thought it would have had to be the world's skinniest robber to fit through those teeny, tiny windows.
I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep that night if I didn't go check it out, so I mustered my courage and very cautiously opened the basement door. I switched on the light, the one swinging overhead light bulb that lit the dirt floor and hand hewn brick walls. Walking into our basement was like walking back into time 150 years ago. It was used for cold storage when the house was first built and showed the age of the house. I slowly walked down the wood stairs, hoping no hand was going to reach between the gaps and grab my ankles. When I got to the basement, I took a good look around and it was then I saw him.
And it was a him. It was a very thin, very weary looking, very tall and lanky Civil War soldier leaning against the wall, breathing heavily as if he couldn't walk another step. He was holding a matted and dirty piece of fabric against his side where he appeared wounded and looked at me with the most lost and pained eyes I had ever seen. I felt this immense sadness just flood my soul. Surpisingly I wasn't scared. But in just a moment's breath he was gone and I was just left with this overwhelming feeling of loss. I later learned that the house I lived in was part of the Underground Railroad. I'm not sure, but I think I saw a Southern soldier trying to escape. Whoever he was, I am sure that I saw him and I feel positive that he saw me.
And whoever he was... I hope he finished his journey.