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Estimated reading time — 2 minutes
In Finland, there is an old but still inhabited yellow apartment, situated in a small city near an important railroad. Almost all of the people living there are over 70 years old, and in fact it seems that younger people simply won’t stay there for longer than a year.
If you live there you will soon notice several unusual things. In the basement the text “TURN ON THE LIGHT. TURN OFF THE LIGHT WHEN YOU LEAVE.” is written next to every light switch. It’s unusual to remind somebody of something so obvious, but here it is of critical importance.
People who forget something in the basement never return to pick it up. If you offer to go and retrieve it for them they will stop you from doing so.
There is one door there, between some storage doors that has no numbers on it. Instead the door has a worn-out nameplate on it. The people in the flat will tell you to leave that door alone. It is said that people who have peeked in the keyhole have seen very unsettling things.
The wires and pipes in the basement look amazingly old, yet still the house has perfectly functioning water, electricity and phone lines.
The laundry room, which is in the basement, must be reserved if you want to use it. If you go there without reserving a time first you will at first get weird looks and some scolding. Then people will more ominously and angrily warn you.
These things may seem minor but those, usually the young ones, who have got too curious or failed to follow the rules have ended up either dead, crippled or insane. Usually people say that these incidents were the result of drug use or alcoholism, but some of the freak accidents cannot be explained by anything.
How do I know this? I used to go and help my grandmother who lived in that apartment and I have seen several times how ambulance has dragged away young people who have missed an arm, sometimes some other parts also. The worst case was when I found a corpse that looked like an explosion victim in the laundry room. His guts were spattered all around the room and his left arm was sitting on top of the washing machine.
Before her death my grandmother told that she knows what’s behind these incidents. After the second World War, there was a shortage of apartments, and one war veteran who had lost his left arm was given a rudimentary room in the basement for no cost if he would help people to do laundry and help the janitor. He did, but eventually someone insulted him one way or another. The veteran killed that youngster and himself. Ever since his spirit has been there, harshly punishing those who fail to follow the rules of his home. After telling this she told me that I should never ever return to the apartment as I knew too much.
As I left the apartment for the last time, I could see the figure of an old, old man missing his left arm staring at me, reflected on the large glass panel on the door to the stairway…