My ears pricked up when I heard several people around me talking about a ghost in the elevator. I immediately turned toward them. Usually, I’m reticent about eavesdropping on other people’s conversations, because I’m big on respecting someone’s privacy. But chatter about ghosts and a haunted elevator around a psychic medium – my radar switched on like a tracking station picking up an incoming missile.
The four of us were, in fact, standing before said elevator, waiting for the doors to open. I was visiting friends in a condo complex in Burlington, Ontario, thinking about everything and nothing, random thoughts zipping through my mind, watching the numbers coming down, when I heard the word “ghost,” and there I was.
“You mean to say, that’s never happened to you?” said one woman, an incredulous look on her face. “It’s happened to me twice already.”
“I’ve heard about it,” chuckled a spry, elderly gentleman. He turned to the other lady, who had a befuddled expression. “Sometimes, the elevator is known to stop on the sixth floor, and the sixth floor button has not been pushed. Then the doors open, but no one’s there.”
“The elevator might be haunted,” the first woman said, and the gentleman chuckled again.
Then the elevator doors yawned open before us, and everyone stopped. We looked at each other, then quietly filed into the little faux wood-panelled booth. We pushed various buttons for our floors – no one pushed six – and the doors slid shut with the sound of a librarian’s shhhhhh…
As the elevator began its slow ascent, I imagined Zak Bagans from Ghost Adventures getting on, waving his Ovilus and shouting Show yourself! Press the button! Do it!!!
The doors opened on the third floor. The fellow turned to the two ladies, wished them a good afternoon, then walked out into the hall. The doors closed behind him and the women looked at each other, then me. The elevator began to rise.
Fourth floor… fifth floor…
As we approached six, I centred myself and in my mind asked if anyone was there. Do you want to talk with me? But I sensed no presence as we passed the sixth floor and headed heavenward. But I did feel the first lady seem to relax, relieved that the ghost of residents past would rattle no chains today.
I stepped off at eight and had a lovely visit with my friend. Over tea, we caught up on each other’s lives and when she brought out a small plate of gluten-free cookies, I asked her if she had heard any stories about the sixth floor button on the elevator. When she said no, I filled her in on what I’d heard and her eyes opened in surprise. She’d only been there a year, she said, and this story was new to her.
After the visit, riding back down in the elevator, I again tuned in to any spirit vibrations associated with the sixth floor. Nope, nothing. But I also realized that my little test was inconclusive – spirit doesn’t always hang around the same place all the time, just as someone doesn’t stay in their house every moment of the day. And being a condo complex with several hundred units that has been open for more than 30 years, surely people have passed away in their units. And I’m sure many of those folk loved their apartments and, even in the afterlife, still liked to visit their former spaces.
For a brief moment, as the elevator crawled past the third floor, I felt the presence of an elderly couple standing behind me. They were very happy, and I sensed they had celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary together. The feeling of love was very strong. Then the doors opened onto the lobby. I walked out and heard the doors close behind me.
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