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Erasmus Tales: "I Lived With a Ghost for Three Days"

Marta Vieira

This is the story of how I lived with a ghost for three days. Yes. A ghost.

Last semester I parted for my new adventure. I arrived on February 21 in Rome, one week before the beginning of my classes. There I was in a new city, with two travel bags and one backpack, all bigger than myself, ready to conquer the world… as soon as I could move with all that weight.

Rome

When I went to get the key to my new place, I was told none of my housemates were in the apartment, as they were still home, studying for the exams.

The first day I left my bags in the room, made my bed, and went to explore the city. Partly because I was excited, and partly because I didn’t want to be alone in an empty house. Or so I thought. Over the next few days, I spent most of my time out of the house; with no internet (no, I’m not joking…), there wasn’t much for me to do at home.

Rome

So far, all normal. The first occurrence of my tale was when I noticed a slamming door. I thought it was coming from the floor below; after all, the building was old. Then, during the evening, I’d hear the floorboards creaking. Could someone be outside my bedroom door? Yet every time I opened it, nothing. There was nothing there and all the other bedroom doors were, as always, closed.

My friends were the first to say it: “You’re living with a ghost”. I’m not one to believe in ghosts, but at the end of my second day, things were getting weird, but I wasn’t hearing more than a few noises. “It can’t be one of my roommates,” I thought, “they’re not home.” Besides, there was no evidence of a person living there: no dishes in the sink, no bathroom towel, nothing.

Vatican

By the third day, I was talking on the phone with a friend and I heard a pan falling on the kitchen floor. I told her, “I think I have someone home; if not, I’m truly living with a ghost!”. I hung up the phone and tried to make as little noise as possible so not to scare whoever — or whatever — it was. I quickly opened the bedroom door and I found my ghost.

My ghost was a slipper-wearing Italian girl and she was very much alive. Turns out my housemate spent three days hiding from me because she didn’t speak any English, so she didn’t know how to interact with me. As I spoke a little bit of Italian by that time (enough to ask for food and say my home address), I told her she could speak in Italian. 

After this we would sometimes speak in English so she could practice, and other times in Italian so I could improve my language skills. Turns out my ghost was only an Italian-speaking ghost afraid of English speakers.


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