4 Years In an Attic: The Strange Exile of David Lim
Posted in the Columbus Forum
#1 Feb 20, 2013
Four Years In an Attic: The Strange Exile of David Lim
The First Methodist Church of Ann Arbor had a ghost.
David Lim, circa 1950.
At least that's what some people thought. Those less inclined to fancy thought it might be a prowler. Late at night the faint sound of footsteps seemed to come from the building's upper levels. In the early morning hours doors could be heard softly closing. Food went missing from the kitchen. In the library, books were disturbed and magazines and newspapers disappeared.
The mysterious incidents continued off and on for nearly two years until one morning the church secretary came in early to catch up on work and was surprised by a strange man. She screamed and ran. So did he. A thorough search of the building by six police officers found nothing.
A security guard soon joined the church staff. About three months later, while making his rounds in the early morning hours of Aug. 30, 1959, the guard heard footsteps. Police were again summoned.
This time they found something.
"I opened up a closet doorit was a mop closet where they stored buckets and mops and so forthand I looked up, and there was a trapdoor at the top," remembers Norm Olmstead, one of the patrolmen who responded to the call. "I could see a hand closing the trapdoor."
Olmstead and his partner, Ritchie Davis, climbed the ladder and pushed through the trapdoor into the cool night air, then crossed a flat section of the roof to an A-frame loft built over the student lounge. After sending for a janitor to unlock the door, the officers advanced cautiously into the inky darkness of the windowless attic, the stark beams of their flashlights revealing the strangest scene the two ever would encounter in their long careers in law enforcement.
An attic hideaway above Ann Arbor's First Methodist Church served as the secret home of a troubled U-M student who disappeared in 1955. Rev. Eugene Ransom was shocked to learn the young man had been living there all along.
One corner of the room had been converted into a primitive living spacea bed made of seat cushions, a lamp, a radio, books, magazines, some jars, and food containers.
To the other side, crouched fearfully in a recess under the framework, was the attic's occupant. Not a ghost, but a mana wild mandirty and dressed only in a tattered pair of shorts, his long, matted hair sticking out like straw from beneath a brimless skull cap. He surrendered without resistance and was taken away in handcuffs for questioning.
That's when things really started to get weird.
#2 Feb 20, 2013
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