I first moved into the old house in October 1995. It was a rather large place, but not all my own. Built in the 1920's, the house was eventually split into two duplex homes. On one side was a studio (where I lived), on the other was a two bedroom town home. The attic to the entire house was sealed off, and was situated directly above my back room, which consisted of a make-shift bedroom, and a dining room. My very first night, I heard creaking above me. It was windy that night, and I figured an attic was an attic, drafty. It sounded as if something was swinging back and forth. I heard the noise on a consistent basis throughout the rest of the fall and winter, so sure that the seasonal elements was the cause of this, at first, disturbing noise, and then later, just annoying.
As spring came into existence, warmer weather and calmer winds began settling in. But the creaking still kept on. Eventually, I asked my neighbor, who lived in the town home part of the duplex, if she knew what the mysterious noise was. She said she had not heard the creaking, and her bedroom wall was connected to the sealed off attic. As the years wore on, I grew accustomed the noise, but other things began to take place. One night, I awoke to scratching on the inside of my chimney. Deemed a fire hazard, my landlady had the chimney seal off from the fireplace years ago, so I was assured that whatever creature had gotten inside the chimney, would not get inside my home. When I reported this to her, she informed me that she had the top of the chimney sealed off with cement to ensure the very thing I suspected would not happen. The scratching eventually stopped, but it gave me an uneasy and eerie feeling.
On several occasions, I woke up with the feeling of two people standing over me. I had convinced myself that I was just letting my imagination run away with me. I lost lots of sleep over it though. I had a storage closet, which was underneath the stairs of the town home, and on several instances when I knew my neighbor was not home, there was constant running up and down the stairs, like that of a child. My neighbor had no children.
I had lived there three years, when one day, I was visiting with my new supervisor at work. She had noticed my address from my employee file, and told me she lived a few houses down twenty five years earlier. She asked me if I lived in the brick house on the corner. When I told her I did, she asked me if I knew the history of the house? This is what she told me.
Back in 1926, a young man built the house for his wife and new born baby boy. Shortly after moving in, his wife died of pneumonia. As the man's son got older, he had become a very adventurous lad. During the Christmas holidays in 1933, the boy's father, and whatever extended family were visiting, awoke to an empty child's bed. Convinced his son had gone looking for Santa Claus in the middle of the night, as he was talking excitedly about him the night before, the family frantically searched the snowy grounds, calling his name. The boy was not found...that day. In the evening, trying to get him to relax, the man's sister started a fire in the fireplace to warm the house up. As the fire blazed larger, brighter, hotter, twigs and small branches and leaves began falling into the fireplace from where that had become trapped inside the chimney. The family, gathered in the dining room, heard a loud crash, and went racing into the parlor. There, in the dark pit of the fireplace, was the body of a young boy. It was the man's son. The forceful elements of the fire had loosened his body from the confines of the chimney. There was no physical evidence that the boy had met with foul play, and was quickly disposed of as such, so his death was ruled accidental. It was determined, that the boy may have attempted to climb the chimney in pursuit of Santa Claus, and simply got stuck and suffocated.
Years would pass since the tragic accident of the boy in the chimney. One fall day in 1962, the local police received a call from a woman, claiming she had not seen her neighbor for nearly two weeks. If he had gone away, he would have told her so she could watch over the house. It worried her that his car was still in the driveway. She explained that he was a lonely old man who lost his wife and son in separate tragedies many years ago. The police arrived to investigate his house. The search found no one home. As the police were leaving, the neighbor asked if they had checked the attic. It was an odd attic, as it was a part of the second floor, and not at the very top of the house, like most attics. It was hard to catch, because the door to the attic was inside one of the bedrooms, and looked like a closet door. When the police found the attic door, they stepped through, and observed the old man the neighbor had been distraught about. There he was, hanging from the rafters of the attic, and lightly swinging in the drafty fall breezes that filled the attic with coldness...and when he swung, there was an eerie chilling creakiness.