The Ghost of Jonquil Terrace
I saw a ghost
When I was in my early 20s, back in the mid-1970s, I lived with my husband in an old apartment in a part of Chicago that had once been a lovely neighborhood. The building was old, beautiful and solid, but the neighborhood had changed for the worse. Drug dealing was the 'crime du jour'.
One day I came down with strep throat. I went to a doctor, got some antibiotics, then went home to take a nap. It was a week day, my husband was at work, our only neighbors on the same floor were not at home, either; I was all alone in my apartment.
My strep infection was pretty bad, and I had a fairly high fever. I lay on my bed and fell asleep, even though it was around noon and my bedroom was bright from the sunlight. In the midst of my fitful sleep, 'something' made me open my eyes and look to my right. Standing beside the bed was a man I did not recognize.
He was staring right at me with dark brown eyes. I could see him quite clearly. He looked to be about 25 or so, average height and slender. He had darkish skin, Hispanic facial features, with black hair to his ears in a 'page boy' hairdo that curled over his ears. I clearly saw his shirt, which was coarsely woven white linen with an colorful embroidered flower and leaf pattern across his chest on both sides. His shirt sleeves were rolled up just below his elbows, and his hands were in the front pockets of his blue jeans. The cut of his jeans was slim and came down over the instep of dark gray 'cowboy boots' that looked to be made of crocodile or snakeskin patterned leather, with pointed toes. His outfit was very stylish for that era.
I was frightened at first to see him, his presence startled me. I knew the neighborhood was not the best, it was possible he had broken into my apartment. This was no dream, I was now awake, and I raised my head and asked him, "Who are you?". He didn't answer, he just stared at me with sympathy in his eyes. However, I was feeling weak, I could barely roll over in bed. I closed, then reopened my eyes, but he was still there. I got a real good look at him. I suddenly got the impression he was a ghost who had not been dead very long, but banished that thought from my mind; he was too real to be a ghost. Then, weary from my illness, I closed my eyes again and mentally surrendered to whatever reason he was there; I couldn't defend myself, stop him, or even chase him from my room.
I awoke a while later, and my visitor was gone. It was still daylight, though not as bright. I was feeling better, and very curious to know what that man had been doing in my apartment, how he'd gotten in. I had locked myself inside before I'd gone to sleep.
I got up from my bed and walked to the front door. It was closed, locked and the security chain was in place. Then I went to the kitchen at the back of the apartment. There was a door that led to a back stairway down to the backyard. That door was also locked and had a security bar in place. There was no window access, unless you put a ladder against the building, which would have to be pretty tall to reach the second floor. No windows were broken or open, there was no way anyone could've entered the apartment, even if they had a key. Nothing was taken or disturbed.
I had very distinctly seen that man in my bedroom. When I explained his appearance to my neighbor across the hall, she told me a man who had lived on the floor below me had been found dead in his apartment before I'd moved in. The police thought he'd been killed for drug dealing-related reasons. Perhaps he was a ghost haunting our apartment building?
I believe I did see a ghost that day, or rather, a ghost saw me.
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