Nightly Haunting …
Nightly haunting is still reported by some people in parts of the building. The old sanatorium stood empty, abandoned and neglected for many years till Joseph Kingsley bought it twenty years ago. He knew it was rumored to have a nightly haunting, but those kind of things never bothered him.
He paid over four million dollars to have the four story brick building renovated and remodeled for apartments and a more attractive and pleasing facade. He invested another million or so to restore the grounds to their former beauty. He renamed the property Kingsley Hills. The entire top floor consisted of Joseph’s luxurious three-bedroom apartment and several fully-staffed offices for his many business ventures. Joseph moved into his domain in early July. He was about to experience the nightly haunting, for six months later he disappeared and was never seen or heard from again.
The investigation continued for several months. All twenty-one staff members were interviewed, several times each. Their accounts were very consistent and for those who saw Joseph on his last day gave the same details, even though they were interviewed separately. After two years it became a cold-case and closed. There were no wrong doings reported, nothing strange or suspicious, except for a nightly haunting the staff joked about, which was only a rumor according to police. Kingsley just did not come out of his apartment one day after lunch and that was it. Nothing else was out of the ordinary. The only suspect was Joseph’s grandson, Jackson, who was twenty-four at the time and the only living relative. Jackson inherited the entire Kingsley estate. Yet, Jackson lived in California and had a strong alibi and witnesses of his whereabouts at the time of the incident.
There was only one staff member still in the area. She had been a resident of the building since it had been re-opened by Kingsley. Over the years all the others died or moved away.
Jackson Kingsley stood on the terrace of his San Francisco penthouse with a martini in one hand and cigar in the other. “I told you several times, Detective Finney, there is no way I am going back to New York! I haven’t been there since my Grandfather disappeared and I never liked it there anyway. Even when I was a kid I hated that area!” He jabbed his cigar towards Finney with almost each word. He turned away to look out over the bay and shivered. His voice carried faintly to Finney when he said, “And that damn apartment building is haunted. I will never step foot in it again.”
“What about Mrs. Pedderson?” Finney sipped his drink as he watched Jackson closely. Jackson jerked his head around and stared at Finney. “What about her? Have you seen her, Finney?”
Finney hesitated as he studied Jackson’s face. “A few times I have seen her, yes. Three times, actually. Each time it was when I walked down that long hall and turned right to go to your grandfather’s suite,” he paused and glanced out to the bay. “No one else was there and just a few feet from the door she appeared … just appeared from nowhere … then faded.”
Nightly haunting ~
From the time Jackson was two years old till he moved out at the age of twenty-one, he lived with his grandfather. Almost every night he had nightmares. His nanny, Miss Georgia, would rush in from the adjoining room and sit with the child till he calmed down. When she thought Jackson was sleeping again she would harshly whisper, “Mrs. Pedderson, you go back to where you belong and leave this child alone! You are evil and do not belong here!” Then she would take out her rosary and pray till she fell asleep in the winged-back chair. Quite often Jackson was not fully asleep when he heard his nanny talk to Mrs. Pedderson.
Joseph Kingsley had hired Georgia Martin when he took on the care of Jackson. The child was just two when both his parents died in an auto accident. Joseph liked Miss Martin right away, he felt drawn to her and knew she would be a good caregiver to Jackson. There was something mysterious about Georgia, he thought he knew what it was, but not quite sure. Joseph never minced words and always came straight to the point. When he looked down and picked up a pen, Georgia said, “You are wondering, Mr. Kingsley, what it is about me that is strange?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact I am,” he admired her openness. She was forthright and very confident. “Can you satisfy my curiosity about yourself?”
“Of course, Mr. Kingsley,” she did not even hesitate. “I am psychic and a seer. Since I was about ten years old I have been aware of things that most people never see or hear.” She sat straight and poised, knowing he would hire her even after her statement.
Joseph leaned back in his chair and clasped his hands together. “And do you see or hear things in this building that others do not?”
“I do, sir. I came here almost every day to visit my grandmother when she first moved in. After awhile the apartment next to her became available and I moved in to be close to her. Since I moved in last month I have seen several spirits roaming the halls. Most of them are harmless, just lost in time. There are a few, a Mrs. Pedderson in particular, who seem to be angry and want something. She is rather evil and knows I can see and hear her, so disappears quickly when she becomes aware of me.”
Joseph leaned forward, both elbows on the desk. “I am not psychic or clairvoyant, Miss Martin, but my daughter-in-law was. So, this does not bother me at all. And I believe my grandson may have inherited her abilities. As young as he is I can see he is aware of things I am not,” he stood up and held out his hand to her. “I believe you will be the perfect nanny for Jackson.”
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© 2016 Phyllis Doyle Burns
Conclusion to this story can be read at Nightly Haunting on Kingsley Hills, Part Two