Ghost Stories

My old apartment and questions about research

Hi there! I'm new here and just posted my boring little intro post in the intro forum, if needed.

Anyway, here's my first question/story/whatever. As I mentioned in my first post, I'm definitely very skeptical when it comes to my own experiences with things I'm not sure are explainable, although at the same time I do believe in the paranormal and (now more than in the past) really want to see something. I don't know if I ever have or not.

From about 2001-2004 I lived in a sort of side-by-side duplex apartment. I had a very vivid dream while apartment hunting that I moved to my new place (definitely not this place) and found it was haunted, and I admit I was afraid that it would come true.

Well, I found my mild-mannered apartment and moved in, having forgotten about the dream (but I mention it because maybe it colored my perception). On the 2nd or 3rd day there, my neighbors from the other unit and I were having a beer and getting acquainted, and they asked me if I was aware my apartment was haunted. Of course I panicked and said NO, what do you mean? They said it was haunted by an old man named Paul who had died there around 1991. You could smell him smoking cigars in our common entryway (or maybe outside the front door, I don't remember now). But he'd died in my apartment.

Then the woman of the couple asked, ominously, if the landlady had told me HOW he'd died. The man said yeah, I thought there were disclosure laws about that.

Of course, she hadn't told me anything, and I immediately told them to STOP telling me, I don't want to know, change the subject! I hardly slept for a week, staying on my livingroom floor with the lights and TV on all night, before I finally decided to stop being a baby and went about moving in and forgetting about the alleged ghost.

What's odd is that I lived there for 3 years and never asked the neighbors the rest of the story (and I'm kicking myself now, but I'm sure it was self-preservation then -- even though I was soon OK with it, living where someone had been murdered... don't need to know that). And yes, I'm assuming -- IF this story is even true -- that the man was murdered if they were talking about disclosure laws (which I don't think is required for apartments anyway).

Now, the most obvious explanation is that this could have all been made up by them. I could definitely see them as the types who would do that to someone as a joke. But I also see them as the types who would tell you it was a joke so they could, you know, make fun of you for believing them. We did talk about it once or twice over the years I was there, and I even begged them to admit if they'd made it up, and they were always dead serious and never caved. I just don't see them having that kind of willpower. Plus they never missed a beat or changed their story when it came up much later.

So after my first week of terror (at NOTHING), I decided to have a chat with Paul the ghost, let him know I didn't want to be scared and said that I hoped I pleased him as a roommate and in return he'd leave me alone.

I don't know if it worked, but these are a few things -- yet the ONLY things I can think of -- that ever happened there:

-The bedroom was always MUCH colder than the rest of the house. Enough that I had to use a space heater in the winter when the rest of the place was quite warm or else it was too cold to sleep (and I like to keep the heat down, no more than 60 for sleeping). It was usually pretty comfortably cool in there most of the summer (though never inexplicably cold). Bad insulation (winter), plenty of tree shade (summer)?

-The light in the hallway outside my bedroom would flicker regularly, though I don't recall the lightbulb burning out more than once or twice while I lived there (so this wasn't an impending burnout) and I'd check the bulb and it was always securely screwed in. Bad wiring?

-Once I felt a cold breeze blow across the middle of the livingroom from the direction of the other apartment (so the wind would have had to either go around a corner and through 2 doors, or across their entire apartment and again through 2 doors). Still, it was winter and cold out, and I don't pretend to know what cold air does when it hits warm air...

-One night I had the most vivid dream I've ever had (or was it a dream?), about an out-of-body experience. In fact, I woke up/returned to my body in my bed, fully convinced I had fallen asleep/left my body on the livingroom couch, and I'm still not sure. The entire time I was floating near the ceiling, looking down at myself and trying to find my way back, all I kept thinking was I had to get my body back before HE got it. HE couldn't get it or I'd never get back in. I wasn't thinking about who HE was, just that HE was dangerous. Probably just a dream/hypnagogia, but I've never experienced that before or since. When I woke up in bed I had no idea how I got there or what had happened before bedtime (was I watching TV and dozed off, reading a book in bed, etc.?).

Anyway, I never smelled Paul's cigar smoke (but the neighbors and I all smoked cigarettes, so that could drown it out) and never saw anything I didn't have another explanation for. But you add some things together, and hmmm...

So, this is really long, but if anyone is still there, two questions:

Would you lean toward the logical or paranornal explanations? Anything else you would ask that might give some insight?

And, does anyone know how to research this kind of thing? (OK, that's 3 qusetions.) I've tried to find out if someone really did die or was murdered there, but being so long ago, I can't find anything online. The library seems daunting, since all I have is the address, a possible first name, and MAYBE what year it happened (this is a large city and there's a lot of news to sift through, plus I know half the time this stuff doesn't really get reported).

I know I've been out of there for years, but I still wonder regularly if the place was haunted, or at least if someone did die there like my neighbors said.