Nana Bradley’s Apartment Building
When I was a very young boy in New England, I would sometimes spend the day at my grandmother’s apartment. My father was a fire chief in Boston and would occasionally take me to work with him and other times he would drop me, sometimes with my sister at his mother’s residence and pick us up after work. As any young boy, I was inquisitive and loved to explore. I would go off on my own many times, even if my sister was there for the day, I would leave her in the house playing with dolls and such. I was fascinated by the old building in which my grandmother’s apartment was located. As you enter the building, in the foyer there is a long, wide, winding staircase that leads to the upper floors. It was wooden and painted white with a magnificent banister and ugly green carpet. I would explore this staircase on many occasions, slowly making my way up, stopping at landings, playing with my Matchbox cars or G.I. Joe, sometimes without toys. I made many attempts to make it further than a few landings but always stopped short due to a feeling of being watched, which would more often than not be followed by a feeling of impending doom. I took it as a warning. Somehow I knew that if I continued up, something bad would happen. There seemed to be a presence in that stairwell that forbid me to continue my exploration. Several times the intense feeling of dread was so powerful that I would run back down the stairs, risking my limbs from a fall, looking back over my shoulder as I was sure that at any moment I would be grabbed from behind and pulled back up the stairs, never to be seen or heard from again. I never did make it to the top of those stairs. Today, I regret not completing my exploration. And I wonder if I went back there today and attempted the climb, would I have the same feelings or would I be able to overcome them? Was there something paranormal or simply a child’s imagination getting the better of him? I do not know. But it is one of the earliest memories I have of the feeling of an unexplained force or entity, what I perceived to be an almost unimaginable evil. The sensation was powerful and with little pre-conceived notions in my very limited experience at that age. I do have my doubts today as to this being any kind of a supernatural experience. I can only say that at that time, I just knew something wasn’t right. And when you just know, it’s difficult to be dissuaded otherwise.