The Daily Gamecock

The Ghost of Granby

Most ghost stories start on a dark and stormy night or in an old, abandoned house. Mine began in a Mattress Firm in Northeast Columbia. It was the summer before my sophomore year, and I was buying a bed for my first ever apartment. My mom and I had picked out a mattress, but I wasn’t moving for a few weeks, so the man helping us was standing at his computer, working on getting it shipped to my apartment. He asked for my address, but for some reason, I couldn’t remember. He kindly offered to look it up for me.

“What’s the name of your apartment building?” he asked.

“Granby Mill,” I replied.

He hit a few buttons, and his eyes widened.

“Look what came up when I Googled your apartment,” he said, turning the computer to face me.

On the screen was the address of Granby and a Yelp review or two. But under that was line after line of ghost stories about my new apartment. I laughed it off — it was an old mill building, of course there were a few spooky tales.

I moved into Granby in August and completely forgot about the Mattress Firm incident. A few months passed, and I loved the apartment life. No rules, pretty hardwood floors and a pool — what more could I want?

This attitude quickly changed. It was a Wednesday night, and I was home alone, except for my roommate’s dog, Ollie. Ollie and I were sitting in my room on the first floor of my apartment, doing homework and minding our own business. I was playing music quietly and having a nice, calm evening.

All of a sudden, I heard footsteps. Someone was in my apartment. I sat up straight, paralyzed.

“Hello?” I called out. No answer.

The feet stomped around my living room and then to the front of my apartment. I heard the front door open and slam shut. Ollie ran out of my room, following the intruder, barked at the front door for a split second and then quickly darted back to my bedroom where he hid in the back of my closet.

“It’s okay, Ollie,” I said, unconvincingly. He stayed in my closet.

I took a deep breath, tentatively poked my head out of my room and looked around. When it appeared that the coast was clear, I sprinted around my apartment turning on every single light while simultaneously texting my roommates.

“Is anybody home?” I typed, thinking that maybe someone was playing a prank on me, but they all answered no. I was alone.

I was terrified. Someone had just broken into my apartment, I thought, but I realized that I hadn’t heard anyone open the front door to come inside, so it was strange that someone had to open it to leave. And then I made an even more startling realization. The front door was locked from the inside. I was positive I’d just heard whoever was stomping around my apartment leave and slam the door behind them, but that was impossible if the door was still locked from the inside.

My stomach dropped and the hair on my arms stood up as I recalled the man from Mattress Firm. I had laughed at the idea of a ghost in my apartment, but now I wasn’t so sure.

Maybe it was the wind I heard slamming things around that night. Maybe I heard a door in someone else’s apartment slam shut. Maybe it was the air conditioning turning on, or the foundation settling, or a car outside. Maybe I just have an overactive imagination. There are a million explanations for what happened, but I will never forget how unnerved I felt on that spooky evening.