One of our friends moved house during university, so we made up some excuse and barged in to have a look around. The apartment was okay, what you’d expect to find a university student in, and wasn’t terribly new, but not that old, either.
It was a three-story building. There were narrow stairs at teh entrance, and a hallway at the end leading to the rooms on the first floor. Past that was a parking lot. Our friend’s apartment was in the corner in the second floor.
A light rain fell that day, and we made our way to his apartment with booze and snacks from the nearby supermarket. We put our stuff down at the bottom of the stairs for a moment to put our umbrellas away when suddenly someone screamed.
“What, what is it? What’s wrong?”
“…Oh, nothing, something just scared me.”
I followed my friend’s gaze, passed the stairs and down the hall to the car park… ‘Ah,’ I thought. A lone woman was standing beneath the light at the end of the hall. She looked to be in her 30s or 40s with long hair. Her whole body was covered in black. With her back to the darkness of the car park, it was like a white face floating in midair.
She stood there, stock still, watching us. No, her face and eyes were facing us, but she wasn’t looking at us. It was like she was staring off into space.
‘Yeah, that is indeed scary,’ I thought, but we bowed our heads slightly in apology and then went upstairs. The moment we got inside, we told him all about the woman.
“There’s a creepy woman down there!”
“Seriously, what the hell was she doing there?”
“Eh, maybe she doesn’t even live here?”
If she lived here, then why wouldn’t she go inside? We kept going, but then our buddy interrupted us.
“I just moved here, so quit it with the scary stories already.”
We started drinking and played video games, entirely forgetting about the woman downstairs. The night grew late and eventually we finished everything we’d brought. Two of the other guys decided to go hit up the convenience store for more, while I’d stay back with the friend who owned the apartment.
Not even five minutes had past when the two of them suddenly came running back.
“We really should all go together.”
“That woman’s still down there… she’s scaring me.”
Seriously…? Our buddy was slightly creeped out, but also kinda drunk, so he agreed to go as a kind of test of courage.
When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I turned to look down the hall and the woman really was still there. She looked just the same as when we first arrived, staring off into the distance. How much time had passed since we first arrived? She must have been standing there like that the whole time. That wasn’t normal.
“What the hell is up with her?” We chatted as we walked to the convenience store. I suggested we say hello to her on our way back. I was full of alcohol, so I wanted to act big and tough.
But when we returned, the woman was gone. How strange, we remarked, but inside I was secretly glad. We slept over that night and in the morning safely returned home.
A short while after that, our buddy told us he was thinking of moving again.
“Again? But you just moved in!”
“…That woman is still here.”
According to him, whenever it rained, that woman would be there, standing at the end of the hall. When it stopped raining, she disappeared, but he found it too creepy. Remembering what she looked like, I sympathised, but moving out simply because of that seemed a little too much.
He said that he tried speaking to her. He was braver than I thought.
“I went up to her and said, ‘Hi, I’ve moved in up stairs, I’m sorry my friends were so noisy the other day.’ But she didn’t say anything. She didn’t even look at me. She was just staring at the roof or something the whole time and wasn’t even listening to me.”
He questioned the real estate about it, but it was useless. It didn’t matter if it was morning, noon, or night, if it rained, that woman was there. Staring into the distance. Either way, it scared him, so our friend wanted to move as soon as possible.
“I don’t think she’s a ghost. I think she’s a real person. But doesn’t that make it even more scary? She just stands there all alone when it rains. I wonder why…”
In the end, he ended up moving out about six months later. He never found out who that woman really was. Maybe she’s still standing there even now, beneath that light at the end of the hall when it rains…