Charleston, S.C. – Sources reported Thursday that the physical apparition of the spirit of a deceased, well-liked Charleston woman now haunting her former Trentwood Avenue home seems unable to scare the house’s newest tenant to nearly the same degree that the psycho ex-Navy seal’s unorthodox day-to-day behavior scares her.
Gale Roberts, an unmarried 37-year-old woman with no children who was very active in her community and highly regarded by her neighbors, died mysteriously in her sleep Aug. 14. Because Roberts had lived alone and never formally generated a will, the house she had bought and lived in for nearly two decades was sold at a public auction to Neil Quinn, a psychologically unstable loner who immediately stripped the home of all of Roberts’ possessions, redecorated to suit his personal taste and moved into the house on Oct. 15.
“Gale’s soul has been in a state of unrest ever since she crossed over to the other side,” said Valerie Fitoussi, a neighbor and professional medium who claimed to have been able to communicate with Roberts’ spirit ever since her death. “It is not uncommon for a person’s spirit to ‘haunt’ the home to which their mortal body was so attached. It is believed that spirits often show themselves or somehow make their presence felt in order to try to scare new residents and persuade them to leave so the spirit can have the house all to itself. However, in this case it seems that Gale’s spirit is actually more scared of the person living in her house than he is of the ghost.”
Added Fitoussi: “And let me tell you, after living near the guy for the last few months, I can totally understand why.”
According to Fitoussi, although Roberts will occasionally perform minor supernatural acts in attempts to unnerve Quinn – acts such as flicking the porch light on and off, turning on the kitchen sink faucet or oven, or stomping the upstairs floor when it is otherwise unoccupied – the 52-year-old seems completely unalarmed by the specter’s continuous presence.
In describing some of the abnormal behavior exhibited by Quinn, neighbor Bernard Ross offered some insight as to why even the supernatural incantation of Roberts could feel frightened sharing living space with Quinn.
“Sometimes at night I can see [Quinn] through the window, sitting in his chair in almost complete darkness, staring off into space, mumbling something to himself while he rubs a huge hunting knife against a sharpening stone over and over until dawn,” said Ross. “Now I’m no psychiatrist, but to me that’s a sign that something just ain’t right with the guy’s wiring, if you know what I mean. It makes me feel sorry for the ghost of Gale, that she has to haunt the same house that [Quinn] lives in. Only God knows what crazy shit he does in there all day. I’d be scared to live in the same house with the guy, too.”
Other neighbors confirmed that on more than one occasion local police have come to Quinn’s house in response to a neighbor’s call about loud screaming in the middle of the night, only to find Quinn locked in his bathroom and calling out military commands to imaginary recruits at the top of his lungs.
Neighbors agreed that, considering the disturbing behavior exhibited by Quinn – such as his Saturday afternoon ritual of cleaning his sniper rifle collection while sitting atop his roof, his placing armed bear traps at various locations in his front yard or his tendency to don camouflage fatigues and deploy smoke grenades for cover when venturing across the street to retrieve his mail – they would be more afraid to live with the dishonorably discharged veteran than with the supernatural apparition of the spirit of the pleasant, well-mannered neighbor they had in Roberts.
“I can sense that Gale’s spirit is growing more and more frustrated – and scared,” said Fitoussi. “During a recent séance she said she fears that she’ll never be able to generate anything nearly as scary as whatever is already going on in Neil’s mind, so the odds of him moving out and her maybe getting the house all to herself, or even sharing it with a nice, quiet family, are slim. And Gale says she’s afraid to go to sleep, fearing that Neil will kill himself just so that his ghost can come and kill her ghost. Who knew ghosts could be so paranoid?”–Cliff Frantz