Q: My daughter lives in a downtown loft, and she swears that she hears voices and water running in the bathroom at night. I stayed there one night while she was out of town. I was spooked out of my wits when I heard footsteps upstairs coming toward my bed. I tried to rationalize that the building is old, and old buildings creak. It didn’t work. Once, the “footsteps” got too close, and I rushed downstairs and turned on the lights, which stayed on until day broke.
I didn’t tell my daughter because I didn’t want to scare her. She has mentioned several incidents, but for the most part, I try to overlook them, and she does, too. I hate going over there because I always come away depressed. The building is an old flour mill, and supposedly dead bodies were found during renovation. Is there any truth to this story? Can “ghosts” make you feel bad?
A: Huy cucui, senora, your story gives me goose pimples and brings back many ghostly childhood experiences. You have certainly come to the right place, as I am the official resident consejero cucui expert. I believe the spirits live among us, trying to communicate with us or trying to find help getting out of their purgatory. I never had a brush with an espanto that made me feel bad; I just felt afraid as a youngster, then uncertain and dismissive as I got older.
I remember the many unexplained noises and occurrences at my house every time a close family member died (perdóname mamá, as I let out our little secret). I’m talking about the sound of crashing dishes when no actual dishes hit the floor when a tia died. The falling of pictures and wall clocks when my dear Dedi (term of endearment for my maternal grandfather) passed. Dry dogs in wet rain, flying holy water, bultos … I can go on and on. My mother and tias always told us to pray and order the presence to leave.
So, if the energy is bad where your daughter lives, have her retain the services of a priest. If this goes against your beliefs, then I suggest you encourage her to move. And for the rest of you, if you hear the demonic whisper, “Get out,” I suggest you do so.
A: Enter the Ghostbusters theme. If I could only get my husband to “see” the ghost in our house! Unlike you, he dismisses my fears. Bad husband! OK, back to you. If it creeps you out, then do as Danny said and LEAVE. I have left apartments when all-night party people have disrupted my sleep, when kids vandalized my husband’s bike and when we needed more room. I would also have left if I had heard voices.
I searched the Internet and didn’t find any history on the mill your daughter lives in. Can ghosts make you feel bad? I think the mind is a powerful force that can convince you of just about anything. People will tell you to face your fears. I recommend doing what makes you feel at ease.
A: The issue is not whether ghosts exist or whether this place is haunted. The issue is that your daughter feels scared in her own home.
In any loft or apartment, you are going to hear every word of your neighbor’s conversation. You will hear every flushing toilet and every running shower. The noises are probably nothing, but the point is that your daughter is scared.
There are too many other places to live in this world to feel trapped in a creepy apartment. So say goodbye to those creaky noises, and say hello to a place you and your daughter can call home.