"The Burns Street Disturbance"
A few years ago, my father and step-mother bought a row house in Forest Hills Gardens in Queens, NY. It's a beautiful neighborhood with lots of history -- actually designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. Lots of tudor-style houses and buildings... nearly a century old.
The house my parents bought is four stories tall -- a living room, dining room and kitchen on the first floor, two bedrooms and a bath on the second, two more beds and another bath on the third, and below it all, a large basement. Before they moved in, they did many renovations. During construction, I went to see the place for the first time. As I made my way to the top floor, I felt strange, that we weren't alone up there. It was the way I used to feel in our house in New Jersey-the haunted one- like someone was watching me. I said nothing to my father. I didn't want to frighten him in his new house.
Yet, as I stood there, my father exclaimed, "The neighbors' kids say this place is haunted."
I got chills. I nodded. "I can feel it."
"This room in particular," my father continued, pointing at one of the top-floor bedrooms. He smiled, amused.
"Guess we'll see what happens," I finished.
A few months later, my father called me. "You'll never believe what happened," he said. "Or actually, maybe you will..."
This is his story.
One night, my father was in the attic of his new house, working on the air vents. The light had grown dim, and he had no flashlight to see by. He managed to crawl toward the hatch which led to the ladder. He climbed down the ladder, which brought him to the closet in the front bedroom on the top floor. The electricity had been turned off on this floor, and the only light to see by shone from the stairwell.
My father passed through the room, went through the door, out into the hallway and had started down the stairs to work on a separate project, when he realized that his measuring tape was not on his tool belt. Thinking that he'd left it up in the attic, he crossed back through the bedroom, entered the closet, and climbed the ladder into the darkness again. But as he floundered blindly in the attic for the tape, he quickly realized that he wouldn't have been able to find his own nose if it hadn't been attached to his face. So he gave up the search.
He climbed back down the ladder and was about to cross through the bedroom for the third time in less than five minutes when he realized something was now blocking his path. An object that had not been there moments earlier... Stretched out across the floor, in front of the bedroom door, was the measuring tape.
Surprised, my father picked up the tape, attached it to his belt and called out for the house to hear, "Thank you!"
If it had been me, I'm pretty sure I would have shouted something else...
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