Added March 3, 2004
Missing Hot Sauce and Candied HeartsRate this encounter: Alice, Brooklyn, New York, 1970, firstname.lastname@example.org
In 1970, my boyfriend Ray and I were living in Brooklyn, New York -- in an Italian neighborhood near Park Slope. We rented a small apartment above a grocery store on 5th Avenue. There were two apartments on the second floor, and we moved into the one facing the street. Just after moving in, I was talking to a shopkeeper who had lived in the neighborhood a long time. She told me that the building we lived in had been owned for many years by a family who ran a printing business. The business was located on the first floor, and the family lived upstairs. When their son grew up and married, they had the upstairs split into two small apartments. The son and his wife lived in the front apartment, where we now lived, and the older couple lived in the back apartment. Just a few months before, the older man had died. After his death, the family had sold the business and moved away -- to Queens, I think. The neighbor I was talking to said, "Don't worry, he died in the hospital." When I looked puzzled, she explained that I probably didn't have to worry about ghosts. The thought had never crossed my mind before, but it returned quite soon.
After getting settled, we went grocery shopping and explored the neighborhood a little. About a week or so after moving in, Ray and I were gone for most of a Saturday. When we returned, some things in the apartment seemed quite strange. There were dark footprints on the living room carpet, where we knew none had been when we left. We had brought dinner home, and Ray wanted to use hot sauce on his, but he but couldn't find it. I couldn't find it either, which was puzzling since I remembered putting a new bottle of Red Devil hot sauce in the upper kitchen cabinet when I put the groceries away. Later, we noticed that all the clocks were set at exactly the same time, which was not the correct time. (When we left the apartment, they had all been set at approximately the correct time, but each had been a couple of minutes different from the others.)
The stove was the kind where you could store pots and pans in one side. The next day, I went to get a pan out and found a strange little bottle right in front on the upper shelf. I knew it hadn't been there before because I would have seen it or knocked it down when I cleaned the shelf and put pots and pans on it. When I examined it, I found it was a little plastic container like the kind you would get prescription pills in. It was very dusty. When I opened it, I found it was full of those red hot candies we used to get when we were kids -- heart shaped, I think. Ray and I were both a little freaked out by that!
After that, there were a couple of instances in which Ray came out of the bedroom at night and found the phone off the hook. Instead of sitting on the cradle as it should, it had been set directly across the cradle.
Finally, I made a little speech to the ghost. I explained to him that we wished him well, but that his family had moved to Queens. There were no further odd occurrences after that.
A year or so later, I was watching a show about ghosts. The host said that ghosts sometimes take things and leave similar things in their place. I immediately thought of the red hot sauce that had disappeared and the red hot candies that had been left in their place!
I hope the elderly gentleman found his family or achieved some peace.