Matthew Gray Gubler appeared on Celebrity Ghost Stories in 2011 and told a story about some supernatural events he experienced in the apartment building where he lived. He is best known for playing Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds.
About 7 years ago, I graduated from film school and, on a whim, I came out to Los Angeles. I was driving around Hollywood, looking for a place to stay when I saw one old building that stuck out.
It was eerily decrepit but oddly beautiful and it had an air of history to it. Immediately, I was enchanted with the place and I signed a lease that day. When I moved into the building, I found it was filled with eccentric older people in their 60s and 70s. They had a surreal air about them.
There was one woman named Connie who was the landlady. While I was auditioning for TV shows, I would hang out in the lobby with her and we became friends. She was the only person I knew in Los Angeles.
She showed me a beautiful scrapbook someone had made about the building. Apparently, it was built in the 1920s by Paramount Studios to house the actors and actresses they had under contract. There were newspaper articles and clippings and lots of other interesting stuff about the building and the people who had lived there.
Then, things progressively started to get strange. Out of the blue, I got cast in a movie that was shooting in Canada. It was sort of last minute, so I packed up and left without telling Connie.
While I was there, I got a text from Connie saying, “Matthew, come downstairs and let’s watch a movie.
I replied, “Sorry, Connie. I’m in Canada right now. I’ll be back soon.”
A moment later, she texted back, “No, seriously, come down and we’ll watch a movie.”
I was like, “No, seriously, I’m in a different country. I can’t come down.”
Then, after a pause, she texted back, “Well then who’s in your apartment?”
I immediately called her and she was like, “Are you sure you’re not in your apartment right now?”
I was like, “No!”
She was like, “You didn’t give your keys to any of your friends?”
I was like, “I don’t know anybody in L.A. Just you!”
Then she said, “Listen to this,” and she held up the phone.
I could hear heavy footsteps, a dragging noise and the sound of something falling over.
I was like, “Connie, call the police. No one should be up there.
She was like, “No, I’m going to go up. I’m the building manager. I have to go up and see.”
I was like, “No, don’t go up there.”
While I was still on the phone with her, she went upstairs and unlocked my apartment door. When she went inside, the lights were off and nothing seemed out of place. The only thing that was odd was that the closet door was open and my desk chair was in there. It had toppled over.
I laughed it off but it was thoroughly disconcerting.
A few days later, shooting on the movie finished and I went back home.
One day, I was in the lobby looking though the scrapbook when I came across a newspaper article from the 1940s. It was about a screenwriter who had lived in the same apartment as me. Apartment 204. His name was Harry Stuart and he had hung himself in the closet.
All of a sudden, I put it all together. The footsteps… the dragging sound… the chair toppling over… All of a sudden there was an explanation for those unexplained noises.
Years went by and I stayed in the apartment. I got to know a lot of the unique older people who lived there. One of them was Richard, a man who lived above me on the 3rd floor.
He was a famous Holywood historian who made it his mission in life to save old Hollywood buildings. We would pass in the hallway and say “Hi”. Sometimes we would have conversations about our favorite old buildings. I never really saw him talking to other people. I think I was his only friend.
One day, I was going to work and as I passed through the lobby, I saw an article pinned to the notice board. It had a picture of Richard on it, but I was busy and I didn’t have a chance to read it.
That night, I was coming home around 3:30 AM and I was going up the staircase. All of a sudden, I looked up and saw Richard coming down the stairs. It was the middle of the night and I didn’t expect to see anyone.
“Oh… sorry Richard,” I said. “I didn’t see you there.”
His face was blank and it was like he didn’t even see me. It was the weirdest thing. He just passed me by and continued down the stairs. It was as if he was sleepwalking.
When I got to my apartment, I thought about it and something didn’t seem right. He was dressed in a shirt and pants. If he was walking in his sleep, why wasn’t he wearing his pyjamas?
The next morning, I woke up early and went downstairs to the lobby. I read the article on the noticeboard. It was Richard’s obituary. He had died 3 days earlier in the building.
It was thoroughly shocking, but also sort of touching. Somehow, it was comforting to know that Richard was still there. I left shortly afterwards.