ByMiranda Thompson, writer at

In 2012, my best friend and I moved into an apartment in downtown Bakersfield. It was a cute, two bedroom apartment right in the middle of our historic downtown district. We loved it. The rent was exceptionally cheap for that area so we jumped at the opportunity. Upon moving in we had asked about the townhouse across the street that was abandoned and our landlord said no one had lived there for as long as he could remember. This town home was a four story, plantation looking house. The windows were boarded up on the street level and curtains were always drawn upstairs. Our balcony faced this house so it gave us an interesting view. So after a couple weeks of living across from this house we started noticing things about it. I worked late nights so I always got home between 2-3am and I would go out on the balcony and smoke. One night I noticed one of the curtains was pulled back. I thought maybe someone had broke in and was squatting there so I didn't think much of it outside of it being odd. (There are a bunch of homeless people in downtown Bakersfield and it was the middle of winter). Anyways, the next morning the curtain was pulled closed again and I asked my roommate if she had noticed anyone going in or out of the house and she said no. So every night for the next week I would look and see if the curtains were open or closed. It was hit or miss but for the most part they weren't stationary. After that week my roommate called the number on the house to ask if anyone ever came to check on the house and they said they would send someone out to make sure no one was staying there. After they checked it out, they let us know that there was no forced entry or sign of any one squatting there. Then they said "it must be the wind or something". Obviously that piqued my interest. So the next night my roommate and I drunkly decided to investigate. The window in question was above a terrace so we figured we would climb up and take a look inside. We both managed to get up without injury and when we looked inside nothing was there. Nothing. Not a damn thing. So our next question was "What the fuck is opening and closing these curtains?" Because it's not the damn wind. We returned home and that's when things started to get weird. I don't know if whatever was opening the curtains followed us or what but things started to happen at our apartment. Things we couldn't explain. And the curtains stopped opening and closing across the street. It started when our lights started turning on by themselves. I compulsively turn lights off. I don't leave a room without turning all the lights off and if I walk by an empty room with a light on. I'll turn it off. So this was the first thing we noticed. Because it started a couple arguments between my friend and I. I would be sitting in the living room and out of the corner of my eye I would notice my bedroom light was on. So I would ask my friend if she went into my room and she would say no. I already knew the answer to the question but for the sake of covering my bases I would still ask. One night in particular we had left for a couple minutes to the store and I had turned all the lights off. Like normal. When we got back we looked up at our apartment and our kitchen light was on. We could see it through the window. We thought maybe my brother had stopped by so we ran upstairs and when we got to the kitchen the light was back off. We both questioned our sanity for a minute then agreed the light had been on when we were downstairs. Puzzled, we started wondering what the fuck was going on. Then on top of the light situation our door knobs started giggling. Like someone was trying to get a key into the lock. We first noticed one night when we were both in my room and we thought someone was trying to get into the house late one night. We darted to the front door with weapons in tow and flung the door open to nothing. We walked outside and no it wasn't windy. But we figured maybe we were just hearing things. But then it started happening to all the door knobs in the house. We learned to live with the annoyance. But it still left us questioning what was happening. The scariest thing that happened at our apartment that left us googling deaths in our building or potential burial grounds near us was when I walked by my friends room and saw a dark shadow dart across her room to the closet. I don't scare easily but that had me worried. I turned her light on and looked around and thought maybe I was seeing things...? Dark, shadowy things moving swiftly across my roommates room. My thought at the time was relief that it wasn't my room then decided I wouldn't tell her because I didn't want her to be scared over nothing. In case I was in fact 'seeing things'. So I went outside to sit with my roommate and it got cold pretty quickly so she went to her room to retrieve a jacket. Moments later she came sprinting outside screaming. I asked 'What's wrong?' Hoping she would say there's a spider or something and praying she didn't say there's a boogeyman in her closet. But sure enough, through freightened tears she managed to tell me while she was in her closet getting her cardigan she felt this weird pressure on her then all the sudden she heard someone say in a hushed but stern tone, 'Get out'. I froze and almost panicked then decided to tell her that not even five minutes ago I saw something in her room. She started crying harder. She was convinced we were haunted after that. I love paranormal stuff but I'm always thinking skeptically. But that incident was too coincidental. I mean what're the chances? Anyways the next night after our google searches of death and cemeteries came up short. We decided to do a seance. Minus the Quiji board because fuck those things. So we called my brother over and with our How-To page loaded on my phone, we attempted to contact whatever was bugging us for the last couple weeks. We didn't have any serious contact until my brother said 'If there is someone here show us somehow.' And almost instantly my laptop clicked on. We all three darted out of the apartment. We weren't sure what to do after that. Then after that night one more weird thing happened and it all stopped. I had my boyfriend over to stay the night and it was like 3am and we couldn't sleep. We were just laying there talking then he got up and said he was going to the bathroom. He walked out of the room and I laid there listening. Then I heard the back door to the balcony open. I jumped up pissed because I thought my boyfriend had gone outside to smoke and didn't invite me. (Smokers etiquette). So I flung the bedroom door open and my boyfriend at the same time walked out of the bathroom and simultanteously we said, 'Did you hear that?' We then stalked quietly to the back door and turned the corner to find the door was open and unlocked. The back door was always locked. Always. And before I go to bed I check all the doors in the house to make sure they're closed. So, completely worried that someone had picked the lock and gotten in we searched the apartment but found nothing. I woke up my roommate to once again make sure to cover my bases and ask if she had gone outside and maybe didn't close the door all the way but she hadn't been outside all evening. After that we never had any other incidents. But the curtains started opening again across the street. We will never be sure what was happening to us or why but that house still stands empty to this day. And I bet if you drive by late at night the curtains will be pulled open.


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