Haunting in Upstate New York

Posted on August 5, 2009

I guess this story isn�t as impressive as some of the more �dramatic� stories here. I don�t think I�ve ever seen anything supernatural that couldn�t be explained. I would love to truly believe in ghosts and spirits but I guess I�m still on the skeptical side of things. I really would love to see something like that because then maybe it would give me a little more faith in the existence of the human soul or something. Who knows? Anyhow as I have said this story isn�t as �cinematic� or �epic� as some of the tales I have read hear but it�s kind of strange so I will let you be the Judge.

Several years ago my wife and I divorced. Not an ugly divorce with lawyers and fighting. We split very peacefully. I moved into a small apartment house that had three other apartments in it aside from mine. From the road it looked like a normal house but it had been built to be apartment units. There were two upstairs apartments and two downstairs units. I rented the downstairs single bedroom unit in the front and at the time no one else lived in the building except for myself.� For a month or better the other apartments remained vacant. During that time I was still getting established and didn�t have a bed. So I was sleeping on the couch and it was there that I had the first �strange� experience which at first I wrote off as a dream.

One afternoon I was on the couch watching a movie and fell asleep. I woke up and couldn�t move, lift my head, arms or legs, I had a hard time just opening my eyes and it was difficult to breath. I remember opening my eyes just wide enough to see the front door of my apartment and trying to call out or say something but the best I could do was get out a whisper. I remember feeling fear and panic but I still had this strange dream like feeling about what was going on. It seemed very surreal but incredibly scary at the same time. I don�t know how long I was like that or remember much of what happened after. I just know I woke up to the DVD menu later and felt strange for the rest of the afternoon. I would have written this off as a dream if it had only happened once, but this was just the first of many times while I lived in the apartment that this would happen to me.

About two months later someone moved into the apartment above mine. He was a younger guy who lived alone. For a few weeks I didn�t really see much of him but he had a car similar to one that I had owned before my divorce. One afternoon I had returned from the store just as he was heading out. We introduced ourselves talked for a while about his car and random things. After about a half hour of talking he asked if I was unemployed. I thought the question was strange so I told him where I worked and asked him why he thought that. He explained that he worked Midnights from about 10 in the evening till 7 in the morning. During the day he slept and the reason the thought I was home was because he would wake up from time to time and hear voices coming from my apartment. Sometimes he even thought he would hear doors banging. I explained that I worked during the day and that perhaps it was from one of the houses next door. We both went on to a different subject and didn�t think much more of it.

It wasn�t more then a week or two later that I realized what my neighbor was talking about. One evening I was sitting at my computer when I heard what sounded like footsteps in the apartment above mine. They were very heavy like someone wearing boots. At first I just assumed that the guy upstairs was home early. But the footsteps continued on for a long time. In fact it started to get really annoying because it sounded like someone was running around in circles over my head. Then it stopped followed a few seconds later by a loud thud, like something heavy hit the floor.

This got me worried so out the door I went. I ran up the steps and knocked on my neighbor�s door. The apartment was dark and my neighbor�s car wasn�t in the driveway. Not sure what else to do I called the building manager. About a half hour later he showed up and after knocking on the door several times he pulled out his keys and opened it. He stuck his head in and yelled my neighbors name a few times. When no one answered so he closed and locked the door behind him. He told me he didn�t see anything out of the ordinary but he would try to contact my neighbor and let him know what happened.

For the next few months I would randomly hear footsteps from the apartment above when my neighbor wasn�t home. One night in late September I am almost positive that I heard the sound of someone crying. It became so common that I even started joking with my friends that the ghost of Michael Flatley was River Dancing in the upstairs apartment. However aside from the random footsteps nothing really strange happened and I even began to wonder if it was just a plumbing problem or the ductwork clunking around.

It wasn�t until the following spring that I really began to wonder about the strange sounds that I had been hearing. Because of a raccoon I was outside picking up trash that was blowing around from my garbage can. I was chasing down some papers when I met the lady that lived in the apartment house next-door to mine. She introduced herself and we joked about the raccoon getting into the trash. We talked for a little while longer and then she made the comment that she was glad that people were finally living in my building again. When I asked her what she was talking about and she went on to tell me a story that really sent chills up my spine.

It turns out that the apartment house I was living in had sat vacant for almost a year before I moved in. Prior to that however a man who died of a drug overdose had rented the apartment above mine. She went on to tell me that the man had been suffering from depression and had a lot of personal problems in his life. She didn�t have a lot of details but she had been friends� with the young couple that had lived in my apartment. They had told her that one afternoon few weeks before he died the man had knocked on their door in the middle of the afternoon and claimed he was looking for his daughter. When they informed him that they didn�t know what he was talking about he pushed past them and began searching their closets and bedroom yelling her name. The couple called the police and the building manager. My neighbor lady went on to say that the building manager was going to evict the man but he killed himself before anything was made official. The young couple had told her that the night that he killed himself he paced back and forth for hours talking to his self before he finally stopped. Later that night they heard a thud and then it was quiet. The following day no one saw him and the day after that police found his body in the house. He had taken a large quantity of sleeping pills and other prescription medication.

After talking with my neighbor lady I began to wonder about what I had been experiencing. Were the sounds my upstairs neighbor hearing the spirit of this man searching my apartment? Were the endless footsteps the pacing of a ghost reliving his last day on earth? Was the thud a phantom body hitting the floor? Was I experiencing his death first hand with my strange dreamlike paralysis? After talking to my neighbor a lot of puzzle pieces fell into place but I was left with many more questions.

Unfortunately that is the end of my story. Not long after this I moved out of the small one bedroom apartment and into a house with my girlfriend whom is now my wife. Since moving I haven�t had another dream like that or experienced anything even remotely paranormal. So I will let you be the judge. Maybe it was just dreams and loud plumbing and ductwork or maybe it was the emotions and sound of a depressed and lonely man who was reaching out from beyond the grave. It’s not the most exciting story but it was very strange. And real which is more then I can say for some of these tales.

Sent in by Dominic Burnley, Copyright 2009

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13 Responses to “Haunting in Upstate New York”
  1. HAF says:

    From one person who has seen a ghost to one that hasn’t.
    Believe me you do not want to see a ghost. It is not an experience that you can prepare yourself for no matter how much you think that you can. Because you will always have that little part of your brain that knows that you are seeing something that shouldn’t be there and that is the part that will win and scare the living H*ll out of you. Trust me….It took me 20 years to be able to sleep with out a ligh on after seeing one.

  2. trolldoll1681 says:

    poor man i do hope he is at peace now thanks for a sad but real story that happens way to often.

  3. Maggie says:

    Hello my friend! Remember the part were you said you woke up and you couldn’t move at all? Well what you had just expeirenced is a pressure ghost.They are harmless but quite frightful.They hold you down so you cannot move at all.You usally wake up very VERY scared.It’s nothing to be afraid of though.But,its kinda of strange,you cannot talk about it baddley or it will come back.To quickly finish this expeirence kick your feet with all your might.It should realease you.I hope i helped!

  4. vanessa87 says:

    Interesting story.. Im curious though.. Did you ever tell your neighbor the story the lady told you??

  5. vanessa says:


  6. Stefan says:

    Well that story sure was spooky too me and send shivers all over my body. I have experienced similar hauntings as you have. My old hause was haunted by someone. And I have had those strange dreams you were talking about, which arent dreams though.

  7. nix says:

    this is really interesting..the footsteps & the thud u heard sound lik residual hauntings..i jus wan2 know if the pressure ghost that maggie talks bout is possible in residual hauntings? oz as far as i know residual spirits arent aware o ppl existing around them..

  8. Karen M. says:

    Where in upstate NY did this happen?

  9. Pat says:

    This tale is just as interesting and scary as the others… maybe moreso because you came at it from a skeptics point of view… Thank you for telling your story. I for one do believe this is what is known as a residule haunt and will continue… that poor man was in such a sad state when he left this earth… I pray he has found peace.

  10. Joe says:

    That part when he said that he could not move, I have the same problem but I experience it everyday if I let it. I thought it was called sleep paralysis? This is when you’re awake but it seems as if you cant move. It feels as if something is holding you down and you cant speak. It is a terrifying experience if you dont know what it is. It use to happen to me everyday but only if I lay on my stomach. Now I always lay on my back because I have a bad case of it and it is scarry! I’ve never heard of a pressure ghost though.

  11. Nicole says:

    Such a great, interesting experience! Its wonderful to have a skeptics point of view. Naturally ever since I can remember I have always believed in ghost, spirits, afterlife, ect. My first experience was when I was 5 years old. When I was younger I would see and hear stuff ALL the time. Things would constantly happen when I was younger and through my teenage years. I have so many experiences that I could write a book! I have always had a weird understanding of the afterlife and have always been extremely interested with the paranormal. Now that I am 25 things don’t happen nearly as much as they did when I was younger. I still hear, see and pick up on things but I have some control over it because I tend to block it. I block most of it now because it has always caused me lots and lots of anxiety and trouble sleeping. Honestly I can’t sleep without having the covers over my head LOL. When I was little I would constantly hear and see things and putting the covers over my head acted like a shield or a form of protection. Often I find that when I do sleep without the covers over my head I tend to wake up and find a ghost or spirit at my side of the bed looking at me as if they are waiting to say something. I live in Upstate NY and I am always interested in hearing people’s stories and experiences. Since you are a skeptic the best show for you to watch would be TAPS on SCIFI.

  12. Nicole says:

    Oh forgot to add that the experience you had while you were sleeping is called Astral Projection. Its very common.

  13. Justus says:

    actually seeing a ghost is a unique experiance you’ll never forget, it is true it’s difficult to sleep after seeing your first, but i don’t know about 20 years… nah im 14 and it took me like 2 days to be able to go back to sleep without lights on or without someone else in the room… but anyways i hope u see one bcuz after ur done being scared ull be happy u did

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