Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 24, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023. #64. Chances.

Erin and I moved into this simple two-story condo newly built on the slopes of Punchbowl Crater town facing side.

Even though she and I found it on Craigslist, I'd always felt that it found us. It was everything we needed. Living room, kitchen, and office space downstairs. Bedroom, shower, and bathroom upstairs. Most of our time was spent in the living room watching our favorite movies on demand. It was our only moment together because our work schedule was busy. A month transpired, and life was good for the most part, but I couldn't shake this feeling that we were being set up for something. I just remembered that the housewarming party was also a month after we moved in. We invited friends, family, and work people. 

"What's up with this place?" My sister asked me while chewing on some cheese and salami.

"Whatta you mean?" I asked her.

"I dunno," my mom interjected. "It feels like we're being watched. Even with all these people packed into your place, something is watching us."

"You watch too much of that Shudder channel, you two," I scolded them. "There's nothing wrong."

"You, of all people don't feel it, huh? Mister sixth sense?" My sister nudged me.

"I kinda did when we first moved in, but I was working double shifts," I shrugged. "I could've been tired,"

"Go check the history of this place," my mother told me. "Don't get caught with your pants down,"

A couple of days later, at work, some people told me they felt uneasy when they went upstairs to use the bathroom, like fight or flight. So, they left the door open. Even my boss mentioned that he thought only Erin and I lived there. I assured him it was only the two of us. 

"Well, when I walked upstairs, I saw an older Pake-looking man taking a leak in your toilet with the door open. When he was done, he glared at me like what the fuck was I doing there, then he walked into what I assumed was his bedroom, but that's when I noticed there was only one bedroom up there," Clyde said. 

"I wonder who that was?" I thought out loud.

"Coulda been a neighbor who needed to take a piss," Clyde said while putting some files away in his drawer. 

"Can't be," I shook my head. "We're the only condo on that block, and we have high walls surrounding the property," 


I followed up at the state archives and searched for old maps online. I found that before our condo came up, it was a boarding house for wayward transients and those trying to leave behind a past they didn't have to deal with. The neighbors complained about the elements that frequented the boarding house, but the authorities turned a deaf ear, saying nothing wrong had come from the boarding house. Hence, no reason existed to throw out people who paid their rent on time and kept their noses clean. That was needed for the neighborhood. Then, a fire broke out in the boarding house in the early hours before dawn, and everyone perished. I rushed home to give Erin the news and show her the newspaper articles and maps I printed up. Bounding the steps upstairs to our bedroom, at the top, Erin was sitting on the carpeted floor sobbing and surrounded by grey-shaded people wearing burnt clothing.

"The neighbors did it," she looked at me. "They burnt down the boarding house while all these people were sleeping. The fire spread so fast, they never had a chance,"


Erin and I moved in six months later with my mother and sister. The evidence I put together with all the information I collected was submitted to the authorities, who re-examined the incident. It was arson caused by a group of local vigilantes who saw the woman who ran the boarding house and its occupants as less than human. It's dangerous when people without authority assume they have the right to pass judgment on others who are not like them, just like today.

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