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Wednesday, September 11, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Apartment Life

Haunted Apartment Had Built-In Security System

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OK, apartment dwellers. Here's your chance to sound off about the place where you live. Tell us the good, the bad and the ugly.

What distinguishes an apartment complex? Does it have a fitness room? Tanning salon? Day-care center?

Or is it hard to find a place that will take you and your pet?

What issues are on your mind? What innovations are out there in apartment land? Send your letters and questions to:

APARTMENT LIFE

South Times, 31620 23rd Ave. S., Suite 312, Federal Way, WA 98003. Or call Leon Espinoza at 946-3976.

You won't convince Leon Thompson of Kent there's no such thing as ghosts.

You see, for many years, he lived in a Seattle apartment haunted by them.

He wrote recently to tell me about life in Apt. 206.

"My apartment was haunted so I got it for half price because no one else would live in it for more than a couple of days," Thompson writes matter-of-factly.

Kitchen towels flew across the dining room unassisted. There were late-night parties hosted by unseen guests. There was the sound of furniture being dragged across the floor.

There was the time a visitor was thrown clear across the room from a large chair to the sofa, according to Thompson.

"As I watched the woman become airborne, I looked in disbelief," he said. "As soon as the woman landed, she picked up her glasses, her hat . . . and headed for the door."

Thompson's roommate and longtime friend, Ray Tweedy, insists the stories are true, and that there have been signs of afterlife in the Kent apartment as well.

As you can imagine, I reacted to these spooky tales with great disbelief.

At first, I chuckled in delight. Upon further reflection, I decided to find out more.

I learned that Thompson, a 63-year-old veteran with failing eyesight and hearing, has written frequently to The Seattle Times over the years.

Many of his letters have been published. Some have been fond remembrances of growing up in Wink, Texas. Others have been articulate commentaries on ineffective city leaders, overfishing and the abuse of sea life.

Was Thompson pulling my leg with this latest letter, I wondered?

His insisted he was not.

He told me he didn't believe in ghosts, either, until he lived in the tiny Capitol Hill apartment house from 1966 to 1971.

"It was a very old building, a wooden structure. The apartment had no name. It was an old rooming house," he said.

Word is loggers lived there at the turn of the century, he said.

Thompson said he discovered his apartment was haunted the first night he lived there when the late-night shenanigans of his invisible roommates started up.

He said sometimes ghosts would sit on legs of overnight guests, preventing them from rolling over in bed.

He believes would-be burglars were once spooked away before they could take anything.

"One night while I was gone someone broke into my apartment but I'll never know what happened, except the woman who had the apartment next door told me that there was a lot of screaming and she opened her apartment door . . . just in time to see two big guys running for their lives down the hallway."

Thompson moved to Kent in 1971 after the apartment house was sold and the rents raised.

He says he's heard the apartment was renovated and all the furniture destroyed to get rid of the unwanted spirits.

I couldn't confirm any of this. I'll keep trying and let you know what I uncover.

As for Thompson, he will always remember Apt. 206 fondly.

"I enjoyed those days living with my invisible roommate and his friends," said Thompson. "I never had any problems with the ghosts, but I know they protected me from others."

A check with the Tenants Union, a Seattle-based tenants advocacy group, failed to turn up any other reports of renters having to deal with ghosts.

"I wouldn't know what to tell them," said Jon Gould of the Tenants Union.

Apartment Life appears weekly in South Times. If you have questions or suggestions, please call Leon Espinoza at 946-3976.

Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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