So bear with me with the set up, it’s important. My best friend’s father was a funeral director, as was his father and his grandfather. They’ve run the same funeral home for like 100 years. The building itself is comprised of the “old” part, built in the early 1900s and the “new” part, an addition in the 1970s. The funeral parlour itself is downstairs, but upstairs there are two apartments, one in the old part and one in the new part. There’s also an office in the old part. The design goes like this: a set of stairs from the back of the parlour lead you upstairs to the office. You go through the office to the doorway and into a hallway. In front of you is the door to the old apartment, which staff uses for the bathroom/kitchen/breakroom. The kitchen faces the parking lot in the back. The door to the old apartment is always closed because people who work in funeral homes are chain smokers, so they keep the door closed to keep the smoke smell in. To the left is a long hallway with a door to the new apartment on the right. At the back of each apartment there is a door. The doors open to face each other and a landing with a set of steps to the left that lead to the front of the funeral parlour. These doors are always kept locked to prevent any lookieloos in the parlour from accessing either apartment.

I moved away for school, but my best friend, who we’ll call Mary, ended up staying in my hometown and having a baby. She and her boyfriend eventually broke up, so she and her baby moved into the new apartment at the funeral home. She would keep decorations and miscellaneous furniture in the bedrooms of the old apartment, and she’d also wrap presents in there.

I came home for Christmas break and called Mary to see when I could come visit her and the baby. She said she and her brother and gone shopping, but that they’d be home soon, and for me to just come down when I was done with dinner.

As instructed, I drove down after dinner. It was already pretty dark, since it was mid December. I parked next to the garage in the back and came through the garage door, for which I had the code (there was no physical lock, just a code). I strolled through the garage and opened the door to the parlour. This door was immediately next to the back stairs that led to the office, so I casually made my way up the stairs, through the office, down the hallway and to Mary’s apartment. I waltzed in, as one does, and called “Mary!” answer. Thinking she might be giving the baby a bath, I walk through the kitchen and bedroom into the bathroom...No Mary. I walk back out through the living room, starting to feel a little funny, and this time I yell “MARY!” I faintly but distinctly heard 3 knocks on the door in the back of the apartment (the one that opens to the landing and the door to the old apartment). Oh, I figure, she must be in there wrapping presents or something. Because I was already back at the front of the apartment, I walk out and down the hallway to the old apartment, rather than using the door that she knocked on. I swing open the door to the old apartment and am greeted by darkness. All of my hairs start to prickle up, and I give a meek “Mary?” before I hear three LOUD pounds on the wall. A shiver ran from the top of my head down through my toes and I ran, faster than lightning, through the office, down the stairs, through the garage and out to my car. I jump in my car, and I’m shaking. I take several deep breaths as I try to process what had just happened. I look up, and from where I was parked, I could see the kitchen window of the old apartment, which is illuminated by the lights in the parking lot. The curtains are drawn back, and a man is looking at me. It wasn’t Mary’s dad or anybody that worked there. I hightail it back home.

I called Mary and told her about it. She wasn’t particularly freaked out. She’d grown up around that place, and they’d had paranormal investigators come to look at it. They told Mary’s dad that there were numerous presences there, but they were mostly people who were lost and confused, and that there was nothing demonic or angry really. They also said that the strongest presence was Mary’s great grandfather. I asked Mary if there were any pictures of him. Mary’s dad had a framed newspaper clipping from when the funeral home first opened. Sure enough, the man I saw in the window was staring back at me in that photograph. Granted, my fear was running high when I saw the face in the window, and the quality of the photo was not good, but you’ll never convince me that they weren’t the same person. I don’t know if he was angry because he thought I shouldn’t be there or what. I’ve been back there since, never alone, and nothing else has happened. Thankfully, she has since moved, and I never have to go back until it’s time for my own funeral.