All my life I have been fascinated with ghosts and the supernatural. I was a huge fan of Ghostbusters when I was a child, and I admit I enjoy Ghost Hunters and shows like that as well. While I do believe that a lot of these shows are fake or scripted, I can’t prove that, so that is just my opinion; however, I do believe that ghosts exist. I believe I’ve seen proof of them in my lifetime, although I don’t have physical proof, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
I’ve always wanted to do a documentary, a series of articles, or something about different places that are rumored to be haunted. I don’t exactly have the video and editing skills to film my own documentary, nor do I even have the materials to do so. What I do have is a passion and a skill for the written word, and I have decided to use that to chronicle different locations that are rumored to be haunted. I live in Youngstown, Ohio, so most of the places I document will be from Ohio, mostly in the Youngstown area. I do hope to one day make enough money to extend my travels and document rumored hauntings in other locations as well.
My first article is about an apartment complex here in Austintown, Ohio, that is rumored to be haunted; in fact, it is the apartment complex where I currently reside and have lived for almost three years now. There is not much online about it; however, there is a little bit about it at The Ohio Exploration Society’s website. They mention that Compass West Apartments may have been built on an old Indian burial ground. I don’t believe this myself as the whole idea of a place being built on an Indian burial ground has been done to death, and add the fact that I can’t find anything else about it in any of my research.
The site references a suicide as well as several murders in these apartments. I don’t know anything about a suicide, but I do know that multiple murders have happened there over the years.
The website also claims that some of the activity that happens at Compass West includes footsteps above apartments that are on the top floor, mysterious children playing at night, and banging sounds coming from unoccupied apartments. If you have ever spent any time at Compass West Apartments, you would notice that while all of these claims can possibly be paranormal, each one also has reasonable explanations as well.
Before I get into any personal experiences, let me first break down the claims made on the website. We will start with the two most direct claims, the fact that Compass West was built on an Indian burial ground and the young man who hanged himself with a chain of a playground swing. Like I said, in all of my research on the subject, I have found nothing to substantiate either of these claims. If anyone has any proof or records of either of these, please let me know.
Okay, now let’s discuss the actual claims of activity. The first claim mentioned is footsteps being heard from above apartments that are on the top floor. The number of squirrels that run around Compass West, making the obvious answer to this that the sound they are hearing is most likely the sound of small animals running around on the roof can easily explain this.
The second claim is the claim of mysterious children roaming the complex at night. Compass West is a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) assisted housing complex. This means that the government pays a portion of a tenant’s rent due to low income or other circumstances. A lot of these people are single mothers or low-income families and children can be seen running around unsupervised at all times of the day. This claim is really no surprise to me.
The final claim states that banging sounds can be heard coming from unoccupied apartments. This is probably the simplest claim for me to counter. The apartment below me was recently empty for an entire month between its last tenant and its current one. During that time period, maintenance worked on that apartment pretty much every day that it was vacant. There were always banging sounds coming from that apartment, sometimes even at night. I highly doubt that it was due to any form of paranormal activity.
Now that I’ve discussed alternatives to the claims of activity at Compass West, let me talk about some personal experiences I’ve had since moving here at the end of July 2011. While living in Compass West, my fiancé and I have both had a few personal experiences that may be described as paranormal in nature. Some of the early experiences I can recall involve:
- A shadowy figure move across the light underneath my bedroom door and briefly block out the light coming from my hallway.
- My fiancé having makeup products disappear only to re-appear in the place where she originally thought it was in the first place a day or two later.
- A glass plate falling out of the sink and shattering on the kitchen floor when the sink was not overflowing with dishes.
- A pitcher of beef grease sitting on top of the stove, while the oven and stove were off, melting on top of the stove and the grease spilling all over the stove.
Some of the more recent experiences we have had include:
- Our upstairs neighbors not being home for about a week; however, their phone rang nonstop for three days straight before I got sick of it and reported it to management. Shortly after that, the ringing stopped; however, I didn’t see our neighbors for another few days.
- A bottle of “True Blood” that I bought from FYE was sitting on top of the TV in our bedroom for the whole time we lived here, and just a few days ago we were talking in the bedroom and the glass bottle just exploded out of nowhere.
- The whole time we’ve lived here, our son, who is now 2 years old, has always stared at a blank spot on his wall and talks to it. Likewise, I have a wedding picture of my parents hanging on the living room wall. My father has been deceased since 2003; however, my son on occasion will talk to the picture.
While I’m fairly certain that there is a reasonable explanation for each one of these events, I have not found one yet. I’m not calling them paranormal, I’m just saying that they were odd experiences and I can’t explain them with absolute certainty.
The bottom line: Is Compass West haunted? I don’t know for sure. In my opinion, it is no more haunted than any other apartment complex. I don’t believe the complex itself is haunted, but I do believe that individual apartments themselves may have activity in them. I don’t see myself moving out of here in the next year, so maybe in that time I will have some more experiences that will change my opinions one way or the other. Until the next time, keep an open mind, people.