"I hear noises — strange noises at night that scare me," said a woman who spoke with RadarOnline.com just outside Ledger's former apartment in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood. "I just say to myself that it's the wind or the street noise outside, but it's very scary to me."
The Aussie hunk died on Jan. 22, 2008, from a fatal cocktail of painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety drugs. A masseuse discovered the 28-year-old's nude body on his bed in the $25,000-a-month rental unit after arriving for a scheduled appointment.
At the time, Ledger had just wrapped the The Dark Knight, in which he played the psychopathic clown, The Joker, to Christian Bale's Batman. Sources said Ledger had turned the apartment into a "shrine" to his big-screen character, filling it with Batman comic books, along with books on The Joker and clowns.
Investigators found clown statues, recordings of Ledger practicing his Joker voice and even an ominous Joker journal on which he'd written, "bye bye," on the back of one page. "He was studying up on the origins of clowns, and all of the previous Jokers like Jack Nicholson's character and Cesar Romero's," a source said.
"Heath was a perfectionist who clearly had a lot of respect for the character. All of that stuff was very tidy. He cared a lot about it."
After his death, Ledger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
A woman who lives near his former building, and often walks by while returning from her late-night shift at a restaurant, told RadarOnline.com: "I hear laughing, but it's not the joyful sort. I've seen the movie, and if I told you that the laughing didn't remind me of the way Heath sounded as The Joker, I'd be lying, as crazy as that sounds."
A RadarOnline.com reporter recently checked out the building, originally built in 1873, on two separate occasions with a natural electromagnetic meter, which measures the presence of spirits. As Dom Vinella, a veteran investigator at Paranormal NYC, told RadarOnline.com, "There is a belief spiritual energy is composed of natural electromagnetic fields. A natural EMF detector can detect those fields."
A reading taken at 2:43 a.m. came back more than eight times higher than a reading taken two days earlier at 12:34 p.m.! Adding to the building's Ghostbusters-like aura, other local residents told RadarOnline.com they've seen odd flashes from inside Ledger's loft, which is occupied and now a multimillion-dollar condo.
"I don't go near there," said one man, who declined to give his name for fear of sounding "silly," but added, "It's not something I think about. I just cross the street. The place gives me the chills."
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