The shower felt wrong.
Derika Lawrence and Jaclyn Kunkel, both 22, moved into the ground floor of a two-story house converted into apartments, and realized quickly something shared their Maryville, Mo., apartment with them.
“I’ve been here at least two years, maybe two and a half, three,” Lawrence said. “Time goes by so fast.”
On the first days of the move in, Lawrence being the first to arrive noticed something odd whenever she’d take a shower. The water would get cold.
“I understand the water randomly gets cold and I disregarded it the first two times it happened,” she said, but the third time, she looked at the faucet knob. “The handle had moved to someplace I didn’t put it.”
Kunkel soon moved in and noticed odd things in the apartment as well.
“She experiences stuff when I’m gone,” Lawrence said. “She’s called me when I’ve been gone and said, ‘stay on the phone while I check out the house.’ My roommate and I like to joke about it. We named the ghost Loraine.”
When the women are alone in the house, they hear loud banging on the second floor, although their upstairs neighbors are gone. Then there are the doors.
“It just happens randomly every so often,” Lawrence said. “We have a room that’s on the side of the house. Nobody lives in there.”
The roommates avoid the room because the door won’t stay shut.
“We have to tie the door shut because it randomly comes open,” Lawrence said; although the door drags on the thick carpet and it’s tough for the women to pull it open. “We just store the Christmas tree and stuff in there. We tied it shut because it creeped us out.”
Moving doors aren’t limited to the storage room.
“I’ve been laying here in bed before and I’ll hear the door to my bedroom being pushed open,” Lawrence said. “I’d think it was (Kunkel’s) cat, but her cat’s laying in the living room when I go and look. I also feel like there’s somebody in the bathroom trying to get my door open, but I haven’t seen any (ghost).”
Although Kunkel hasn’t seen Loraine either, she’s experienced things moving on their own.
“I was sitting in the living room and I heard a noise like it sounded like someone threw something,” she said. “I go in the kitchen and check it out.”
She knew the only unwashed dishes in the sink were a pan with a wooden spoon resting inside; she’d put them there.
“When I got up to look the spoon wasn’t in the pan anymore. It was a lot of noise like someone had thrown it into the sink,” she said. “I stood there and tied to figure out how it happened. I picked up the spoon and threw it back in the sink and that’s what it sounded like.”
Another noise that frightened Kunkel was the sound of a door opening, however no doors in their apartment sound like that.
“I was again sitting in the living room,” she said. “I had my laptop on my lap. I heard a noise from the kitchen again. It sounded like an old creaky door opening and closing really fast. None of our doors creak at all.”
The noise came from the adjacent kitchen.
“I jumped up and I went into the kitchen but nothing was different at all,” Kunkel said.
She’s heard a disembodied sneeze in the same room; something she attributed to her cat until she saw it was not in the room.
Lawrence and Kunkel aren’t the only two residents of their apartment who know they have an unseen, unwelcome visitor – the cat reacts to it.
“Sometimes it’s like she’s playing with someone; chasing something,” Kunkel said. “She’s kind of old and pretty fat and lazy. She’s not that playful kitten, but sometimes it’s like she’s playing with something.”
The cat will stare at a spot in the room for “a long time,” Kunkel said. “She seems to go a little crazy about midnight and one. She’ll have a spaz attack and run through the house.”
Can the cat see Loraine?
Lawrence and Kunkel hope the cat stays the only one. Especially Lawrence – she’s seen a ghost before, in the home where she grew up.
“I was five years old. I would see this old guy. I could describe him to a tee,” she said. “My dad asked the neighbor and he said it was the man who died there.”
Copyright 2011 by Jason Offutt
Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.