He answered an advertisement for apartments. While the contact obviously wasn’t only in “real estate”, and the place was a mess, Chris wasn’t overflowing with options. Even though someone had painted the windows black, he took the place.
Chris’s brother, who worked in security for the Mexican government, helped him move. His brother was worried about him living in downtown Juarez, Mexico, but Chris convinced him it might be able to work after all.
Chris quickly settled into a routine. He came home from work; put his keys on the same hook; grabbed a bite to eat; sat and watched some TV; and then went to bed a little early. One night, he was awakened by the ringing of the little bell on his keychain. There wasn’t any wind, so what was making it ring?
The next morning, Chris went through his usual routine, but when he got to the hook with his keys? They were gone. He tore through the apartment hunting for those keys. When he finally found them, they looked to have been thrown under the living room couch.
One night, Chris hadn’t been able to find anything appetizing in the fridge, and decided to go out. No sooner did he get his coat on than he heard the fridge door open. He went in, closed it, and headed back out, but didn’t get two steps before the thing opened again. Chris reached into the kitchen to turn the light on, but jerked his hand back when something touched him. What was going on?
Chris’s friend, Guillermo, moved in. Chris told him everything that had gone on, but Guillermo had chalked it up to Chris’ stress. Right up until Guillermo found his wallet in the kitchen’s silverware drawer only a few minutes after he’d left it on the hall table with his keys. Black moths (a symbol of death in their culture) swarming only by their apartment’s external light were no salve on Guillermo’s fear.
Kitchen pranks and swarms of black moths were only the beginning. When Chris’s sister, Erika, decided to drop by and check on him on a night when both roommates were at work, she couldn’t shake the feeling she was being watched. As she walked back to her car, she turned back to their apartment, where she saw a shape in the window. Thinking her brother was playing a joke, she called him again. Nobody was in the apartment.
Chris’ cousin sent him to a friend who was a curandera (something of a Mexican faith healer). The curandera performed an egg cleansing, and told him to search the apartment for something that was out of place. She said it would be something ritualistic, and he would feel the darkness coming from it.
Chris scoured the apartment, finally finding a loose board in the floor of the closet. Underneath that, he found a ritualistic box. Inside the box? The card of a Santa Muerte, “a renegade Catholic saint worshipped by murders and criminals.” He called the curandera, who told him to bring it to her. He did, and she performed the rituals to dispose of it.
As Chris’ son visited one weekend, a bizarre dance began. Chris heard a banging on the door as though someone were trying to break into the place. It alternated with the TV turning itself back on after Chris turned it off. Even after Chris unplugged it, the TV turned on. When a dark shadow began to crawl across the floor toward him, Chris grabbed his son and got out of the apartment.
Chris’s brother deduced that Chris was living in what used to be a drugs safe house. Chris and Guillermo took a blacklight with them as they went back to get some of their things. They were looking for any signs of blood that might have been covered up. What they found looked like a bloodbath. Whoever’s blood was on the walls must have been the soul or souls haunting the apartment. Chris and Guillermo left, and never went back.