Paris Achen, Vancouver
It’s actually quite sad and relatively recent.
I didn’t know anyone had been murdered in the apartment building when I moved in, until I started chatting with some veterans at The Columbian, who remembered the murder. Since then, I think of Hazel “Sis” Stephens whenever I walk into my building’s hallway.
She was stabbed to death in the hallway by a mentally insane neighbor she had tried to help and comfort.
A couple of months ago, a mysterious spot appeared on the carpet in the hallway. I couldn’t imagine who or what would have caused such a large stain on the carpet.
One day when I called the apartment manager to fix my broken door lock, he noticed the spot and seemed shaken by it.
“What’s that?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I replied.
I wondered if we were thinking of the same thing. For me, the pool of whatever it was served as a haunting reminder of the building’s past.
Paris Achen is a reporter for The Columbian.