A Different Kind of Haunting

Some time ago, when we were deciding between this apartment and another, I told you the apartment we didn’t take was haunted. Well, so is this one, but in a way that is just as explainable as the first.

When my grandma had a stroke I briefly returned to Canada and stayed at my brother’s apartment. What struck me right away about his place was how much parts of it reminded me of our old home in Oshawa, namely the front door and doorknobs.

Now, as much as I prided myself on arranging everything here and making this apartment our own, a lot of the original remains. Doors, ceiling light covers, light switches, all of them look the same as the house I grew up in. That’s hardly surprising, of course, since this apartment was built in the same era. But it’s funny how little things like that stick out in your memory. Even parts that were made in the same era stir those nostalgic feelings, like our stove. It’s smaller, the wrong colour, and older than the one I grew up with (if that’s possible) but it’s close enough to remind me of home. Of course the spiral elements on top are enough to do that… we never had those in Japan or England.

One other trigger isn’t visually based, and it isn’t even in the apartment. The pharmacy across the street is also a health food store, and has a very specific smell as a result. I’ve only ever encountered that smell in one other place, a tiny health food store on Simcoe Street, near where the old public library branch and Sunnybrook supermarket used to be. They look nothing alike, but the smell… I can’t even remember what it was that Grandma used to get in there, I just remembered that they made their own peanut butter in a big machine on site, and I think that’s where I was first introduced to Sesame Snaps.

But if the “haunting” of the apartment we didn’t take had to do with ill omens of a path not taken and was a warning about the dangers of becoming complacent, then the “haunting” here is a friendly one. It reminds me of a warm house, a grandmother who loved me, and the simple joys just going to the local mini-mall could bring. That’s a haunting I can live with.

However, it doesn’t help that the house creaks. Like, a lot. Not just the floorboards, which are perfect for ninja detection, but something here creeks every twenty minutes. You can only hear it in the bedroom, right by where my head is. It sounds like a creaky door slowly opening and then closing, only it sounds wrong somehow. What’s more, it comes from inside the wall. The opening sound always takes five seconds, the closing sound four. For the life of me I can’t find an explanation for it. It doesn’t seem to correlate to people coming into the building, I can faintly hear people upstairs or in the hall, but it doesn’t tie in with their movements, either. I wonder if it might have to do with the building’s heating system.

Or maybe I just need to build myself a proton pack and particle accelerator and go to town on some Class 5 Free-Roaming Vapour ass.

I dreamed a dream of YEAAAAAAAUGH!

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