(That sounds like a good movie title, right? The tagline I’m thinking for it when I sell my idea is, “This year, Halloween comes one day late.”)

On Thursday I moved into my new place, and I must say I have a bit of skepticism about this decision. The neighborhood is fine; a bit dirty, a bit crowded, a bit dark at night, but it’s New York. The apartment itself is very nice, and my room is so large I could play Twister in it without moving the bed — now I just need to find Twister buddies!

No, my anxiety comes from the building. See, there’s this little problem called


The first time I saw the building a week before moving into it, it felt… Strange. The inside is old and dilapidated, with many stains on the wall, grimy floor tiles, and even an elevator that’s straight from the 50’s but doesn’t seem to work.

The interior of the building is very spacious — which is not usual for an apartment building in New York City, where generally you can barely have two people walk abreast down an entry hall. Clearly, this used to be a hotel or maybe a dorm building that for some reason (my guess is mysterious murder) was shut down and turned into an apartment complex.

Oh, this place used to be so grand until that virgin ballerina Indian died 50-odd years ago…

The inside of this building, besides being huge, is very poorly lit. The light bulbs are all what is generally called “day glow” orange but what ends up looking more like “dude, get into your apartment, there’s something behind you, ahhhh!” orange. In this weak light, the old white of the walls looks like the faint yellow of a moon in haze, and the tan stains that streak the walls look like haphazardly washed blood stains.

I wouldn’t want to meet any psychotic, carnivorous, alien clowns here.

As I was walking out of the apartment that first night, I even heard yelling and crying echoing down the halls from somewhere on the second floor.

The first night I was there I noticed something spooky, too; as I stepped through those ancient, onyx doors my cell reception went from five bars to three almost instantly. When I entered my apartment it went down to one bar.

Enter at your own peril

On Friday, the day after I got settled, two other eerie things occurred to help reinforce my worries that this place where I am to live is the place where I will die. The first was this:

This phone — this old, well used phone — appeared on the kitchen table sometime during the night. Where did it come from? I don’t know. Truth be told, I didn’t even notice it until it started ring melodiously while I was in the shower.

“Hello? Hello? Who is this?” “(Heavy breathing)”

Secondly, my phone started dying that night. That is, it shut off three times without warning. It’s never done that before.

One of my friend’s is famous for saying in high school, “Let’s stay at a haunted hotel!” Well Cate, it looks like I might be living your dream. But it’s my nightmare.

The good news is the day I mentioned this to my BRF (Best Rival Forever), Maryann, she informed me she knew a very good paranormal detective who could help. Cross your fingers!

You’ll be hearing from me soon, Richie.