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Sorenson On the west side of a friendly sleepy town, Los Gatos, California, resided my familyâ€™s plumbing shop amid Los Gatos' only surviving concentration of reasonably intact historic commercial buildings. The district includes the town's earliest commercial intersection and half of the 19th century commercial center. Important businesses, institutions and civic leaders were all located here. It continues to be a lively commercial center, and an important component of the town. Architecture: Styles from Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque, through most of the intervening modes, to Art Deco, all in typical commercial versions with large display windows. Bulk and scale continuity are good; nothing exceeds twostories, and many buildings are single-story. Most buildings front directly on the sidewalk. SIGNIFICANT STRUCTURES: Sorenson Plumbing - 21-23 West Main Street Readers who have an appreciation of folklore, the paranormal or of Gothic literature, will enjoy knowing that in the plumbing shop, family owned for sixty-three years, numerous historical legends tell of eerie ghosts seen in the window after the shop was locked up for the night. Even though the shop was sold and remodeled, the eerie inhabitants are back, in a fury, and wonâ€™t leave the new owners alone. To me, as a child growing up there, I knew these specters as my friends. Other old shops throughout town have otherworldly residents, too; many are non-speaking. One red-eyed demon-like ghost is usually viewed as the Hangman. What horror he must have gone through in his time, as the town built and used gallows right next to the shop under the old bridge. The hanged victimâ€™s soul had no other place to go but to the old shop next door. The ghost of the Hangman must have stayed and others who died by his hand crawled back to the shop for safe refuge. I remember nights of blazing light from eerie ghosts streaming down the shadowy hallways to touch everything and everyone with an ethereal glow. Even the marble floor gleamed as if covered with a sheet of ice after one or two had happened across. Iâ€™ve stood near the doorway, my young wide eyes riveted on the tall, dark stranger who wore a sleek, black evening suit from my grandfatherâ€™s time. His dark, wavy hair fell richly to his broad shoulders, and his features were hard, yet handsome, perfectly proportioned upon a long, angular, face. Y beyond his physical appeal, something about him â€” some kind of charisma, et perhaps â€” thoroughly fascinated and aroused my interest. He cast a similar spell on the many ghost ladies in the room as well. The gathering would take place on a full moon. I watched with excitement while they circled him like hungry vultures, their eyes glazed with unadulterated passion. He chuckled at their softly uttered quips and struggled to give them each an equal amount of attention. I saw one ladyâ€™s face distorted from a gunshot wound to her right temple, some poor forgotten murdered victim of time gone past. I would have turned away, trying to focus my attention on something else...anything else. The tight corset beneath her nineteenth century green velvet dress made her all the more aware of her femininity. Her breasts were cupped so tight and held so high by the garment, it almost seemed as if the palms of tiny hands held them erect. Moreover, the lace around the rims of the cups continually tickled her sensitive nipples, stirring a passion that sizzled through her entire body. She wasnâ€™t the only one who had gone to such lengths in choosing her attire for a night of freedom away from the dead. I wanted to travel back in time, to know what life she led before her death or, better yet, murder. Nothing turned her on more than seeing men dressed in the debonair styles of old, yet the stranger stood out among all the rest. I couldn't fall asleep and, after that night, Iâ€™m still haunted by nightmares to this very day. However, eventually I did sleep, only to wake up in the middle of a nightmare. A shadow floated over me, hissing and trying to touch me. I don't know if I was half asleep or not, but it seemed too real to be a dream. It had no face, long arms that took shape, and blacker than oil. It was like the angel of death taking my very soul and turning it upside down. (Of course, I'm being melodramatic.) I thought it was a dream, so I just closed my eyes, hoping it would go away. Luckily, it only stayed for about 3 minutes each time it came by for a visit. I was wide awake after that. I still heard the hissing sound though. It was not gone at all. Typing this gives me chills, because what I'm about to tell you is personal. There are so many true-life stories, where does one begin? I remember this figure when I was a child. It was a demon, maybe, or just a rude spirit. Either way, heâ€™s unkind to me at times but, in needing a living soul to haunt, I am his guy. I wrote about him in my story "Tapping." Now hearing the tapping on my wall, heâ€™s back, along with some of the others from that time as a child and young teen. I know Iâ€™ve brought them into many new homes because they are still connected to me. One stands at my bedroom doorway or in the darker parts of my garage. He stood in the hallway, staring at me and giving me a huge grin. I know him and will not say his given name. I told him to go away in my mind, then pleaded for him to come back. (Didn't want to wake up my family on those ghost encountered nights.) That pathetic demon left for now. It knows what's in my mind, but it doesn't know my heart. I kept saying that all night! I never wanted him to return, after that. I have to wait until tonight, I guess. I hate falling asleep, and try to stay awake. Spooky thing is now my new cat sees them, too. These are difficult stories to tell. For years I thought it was just my wild imagination leading them on or I was going crazy, on the brink of madness. Y maybe, but it all started when I was three years old. My playfulness of my childhood soul died es, when I was a child in the nineteen sixties. The next night while in my room watching TV as a teen, I felt something touch my hand. I looked over and saw my older ghostly friend reach out for comfort, dressed the same way when he was killed or buried in his best clothes. He had put his hand in mine. As I looked away, then glanced back at him standing in the corner of my room, he vanished. The old women who appeared with a quick glimpse of my eyes took him back. It was hard for me to tell my mother about these two experiences in our little home next to the high school. I never knew them but I drew pictures and showed my schoolteacher. I know they told of me seeing ghosts. However, the ghosts sought me out to be very different than the rest. Children with normal lives would fear me after they laughed. I didnâ€™t want to worry anyone. I eventually did tell close friends who would finally see one and agree I had ghosts that followed me. After my big brother died, he tried to communicate with me many times to tell his side of his story. It was the scariest thing I have had to deal with. I could hear him and see him, and sometimes he would throw things at me or just simply stand by me. For years, I have had experiences with not only my dead family members, but also with other unfortunates. Believe it or not, my experiences are real. I know they are. Ask the cat. Sheâ€™d tell you if she could. End.