These incidents occurred in the later summer of 1985, while I was looking after an apartment belonging to some friends of mine, which was located in the basement of a house on Keewatin Street, close to the Mt.Hope Cemetery. They went on vacation for a few weeks, and as they owned two cats which needed attention I would go to the apartment and stay there in the evenings.
During the time I was there, I noticed several odd occurrences. When I would return to the apartment at night, things would be different - objects moved, lights turned on, doors ajar that had been shut, and similar small discrepancies.
On one occasion I found the sliding glass door to the backyard open, and I'm positive I had checked it that morning.
None of the incidents could be attributed to my feline charges. I assumed that my hosts had given a key to someone else, so that they could check in on the cats during the daytime. It was so blatantly obvious that someone else was in the apartment during the daytime that I never gave it a second thought. I even began to mentally scroll through the possible identity of the secondary housesitter.
A few days after my friends returned from their vacation, I was visiting them at the apartment. I casually asked them who else had a key to the apartment. They told me that only the landlord had another key. I then asked them if the landlord normally came into their apartment during the day.
I told them about the various small details of the past few weeks.
They paused, and then my friend Greg laughed and said "Oh, you've met the Colonel".
In the time in which they lived at this location, they had become accustomed to similar small-scale paranormal activity. They had dubbed the guest "The Colonel" in deference to a previous tenant, and old military man who may in fact have died in the apartment.
They considered the Colonel fairly harmless, although on one occasion he destroyed some of my friends writings that had been left on the living room table. They had never told me about their unseen guest because they had become so used to ignoring him.
What I found unusual about the whole incident was how banal it was. I had always assumed poltergeist activity to be more direct and destructive, whereas my experience was of a thoroughly mild sort.
Perhaps this is unfair, but since then I've wondered if more people who experience this sort of phenomena end up embellishing their stories, in order to make them more interesting. A ghost who shifts dishes around the kitchen counter doesn't exactly chill one to the bone.