The Suicidal Man
For a few years, I lived in a building in New Jersey. It’s an old building, built in the late 1800s, so it was always creaky and slightly unsettling. I never thought anything of it until one day my mother and I were sitting outside when an elderly man approached us. He asked if we live in the building, and when we replied with yes, he went on to tell us how he has been living in Swedesboro since he was born. He said that back in the early 1900s there was a heavy man who lived on the top story. It was hard back then to make ends meet. After living there for a little while, the man lost his job, which caused him to fall into a depression. It was impossible for him to find a job and pay his taxes. He couldn’t take it anymore, so one dark night before he was to be evicted, he climbed up to the top of the fire escape. Saying his last goodbyes into the wind, he jumped. The old man said the couple who lived down the street didn’t sleep for weeks because they kept recalling the sound of him hitting the ground from the third story.
We shared this story with the rest of our building, but none of us really thought anything of it, until one night when Jessica, who lived in the apartment upstairs, told us that she was coming home late and saw someone standing on the fire escape stairs. She called out to him, but he didn’t answer. For just a moment, she turned around to get her cell phone and call for help, but when she turned back around, the mysterious figure wasn’t there. After knowing Jessica for years, I was really spooked to hear what she had seen. Next time you’re driving by the Swedes Inn, look across the street. Maybe you’ll see the suicidal man too.
Becca Gomez from Swedesboro, NJ
Built in 1771 and formerly know as the Washington Tavern & Old Ford Hotel, the Old Swedes Inn is on the Gloucester County’s register of historical landmarks. The inn is haunted by 12 yr. old Edith, who died of scarlet fever in the mid 1800’s and has been seen by many employees, psychics and ghost hunters. She moves chairs, emits odd smells and lingers under the tables on the porch.