Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Old Gypsy Curse

Posted on March 23, 2011

When I first got cursed by the old Gypsy woman in apartment 3C, I told her, "Listen, old Gypsy woman, I'm not the one stealing your New York Times. I have an electronic subscription." Then, I brought down my Kindle from upstairs to prove it.

But, I can tell she's stubborn and doesn't admit to making mistakes. So, she refused to remove the curse. Plus, I'm not sure she quite understood what a Kindle was.

In the beginning I just ignored the hex, because I'm not superstitious. I mean, aside from holding my breath when I pass cemeteries and avoiding walking under ladders. And, the salt over the shoulder thing and a couple of others. But, I mostly don't believe in curses for the most part, mostly.

That's when weird stuff started happening in my apartment. Like whenever I'd play music, I'd hear this eerie, ghostlike thump thump thump from the floorboards. As if a restless spirit were dancing along with me. Arrhythmic, creepy dancing.

I went downstairs to ask the old Gypsy woman if she had heard the same noise coming from her ceiling, but she just slammed the door in my face. She must’ve gone back to her sweeping.

Then, the shower thing started. Whenever I’d take a shower, the water would turn ice cold. Like the coldness of death. Normally, I’d assume someone had coincidentally flushed a toilet in an adjacent apartment. But, it was happening every time I got in the shower. It had to be the curse!

More eerie things: On my lobby mailbox, a spectral mailing label appeared over my name with the word JERK in otherwordly, trembling scrawl. My front door wreath went missing. During one of my many parties, my guests found that shoes they had left in the hallway now had their laces tied in a jumble. Creeeepy.

I pleaded with the old Gypsy woman to lift the curse. “Please, old and scraggly Gypsy woman,” I pleaded, “Please remove this wretched hex!”

Well, it turns out that the old Gypsy lady is named Mr. Sol Hersheim. He’s one of those older men who, as they age, look more and more like an elderly Gypsy lady. Have you ever seen what Jackie Mason looks like now? If so, you’ll understand my confusion.

Once I figured all this out, the curse suddenly lifted. I brought Mr. Hersheim some cookies my wife had made, and I carry up his UPS packages from the stoop. The phantom icy showers stopped completely and my door wreath showed back up.

Every now and then, the ghostly thumping still occurs during my dance parties, but I’ve come to understand that that’s what you get when you live in an old building. I’d much rather have some mild haunting than a full-on curse.