Where to start... My wife and I bought an early 1800's farmhouse for the purpose of starting our business. After selling our business plan to a lender, purchasing the property, and several months of renovations, we were finally ready to open our doors for business. It was not long after this that we began to realize the building did not belong to just us.
At first, the encounters were just mine. Having experienced paranormal behavior in the past, I assumed that my experiences would remain just that. The property had been many things in its lifetime, from a family farm to various businesses... All of which had been unsuccessful. We did not know it at the time, but our plans to open the property to the public, was just the energy needed to turn a quiet country property into a stopping place for wayward, curious, and sometimes malevolent spirits.
In my past experiences, I have seen shadow people, transparent figures, orbs, and experienced poltergeist activity; but for the most part, I see people. They look like you. They look like me. They look just like they did when they were alive... But they are not. I have little to no ability to predict what I experience, and I have virtually no communication skills with spirits beyond those of the average person. Sometimes there will be months between experiences, and sometimes they happen in bunches... But when they occur, they appear as solid-mass, full bodied apparitions.
My first encounter on this property occurred when I was entering what was the old kitchen of the original farmhouse. I simply walked into the kitchen and saw a small boy of about three or four, exit through a doorway around a corner into the next room of the house. Fearing a customer had lost track of their child, I pursued the boy who had only been about ten feet ahead of me, but he was gone. He could have only entered two rooms, and upon searching I realized he was in neither. An employee of ours also saw and sensed a woman that I had encountered in the old kitchen area as well. She said she saw her sitting in a chair we had in the room, and simply vanished when she turned to speak to her. I would feel the woman's presence when I was working in the room. I could see a figure out of the corner of my eye, and see what appeared to be the material of a long skirt or dress moving behind me. Whenever I would turn to face her she would be gone.
Over the course of the next several months, multiple employees reported hearing noises, being touched, poltergeist activity, and hearing their names being called. We also had a few customers mention that they felt uneasy in the building. One employee, who was working in the kitchen, was sweeping up one day. She bent over and swept some dirt into a dust pan, stood up and turned to cross the room to the waste basket, when she saw a man in a modern military uniform in the next room, walking with his head down, approaching the door to the kitchen. She crossed the room, deposited the contents of the dustpan into the trash and turned to greet the man. She waited several seconds, and no one entered the kitchen. She peeked around the corner and the man was gone. She walked her way through the entire building, encountering co-workers as she went, but no one had seen a man in a uniform.
One night, I was working late, installing vinyl flooring in a section of the building that we were hoping to expand into. An employee and her boyfriend showed up to help with some other work we were trying to get done in another section of the building. I was kneeling down working on the floor and out of the corner of my eye, saw someone wearing an orange shirt or coat, walk past an open doorway of another unfinished room where we kept supplies. I continued working, expecting the employee or her boyfriend to walk back past the doorway as they exited the room because there is no other way out. After about ten minutes, I stood up and walked to the doorway, there was no one in the room. I went immediately to the area where our employee was supposed to be working and she and her boyfriend were there. When I asked if they had been in my part of the building, they said they had not; and neither of them was wearing orange.
A couple days later, a customer who frequented our business showed up accompanied by his three-year old son. He and his son were standing in a section of our L-shaped building talking to my wife, when his son looked out the window toward the other section of our building and asked, "What is he doing in there?" When my wife asked him what he was talking about, he pointed out the window to a window on the other section of the building where I had been doing the flooring two nights before and said, "The man in the orange shirt. What is he doing in there?" My wife and the boy's father saw no one and when they went to that section of the building to investigate, found no one... With or without an orange shirt.
Fearing that word would get around that our business was haunted, we began looking into having someone investigate our property. We enlisted a paranormal investigative group, who provided us with a factual history of the property... Some of which was extremely dark. The leader of the group was clairvoyant and clairaudient. She provided us with a lot of insight and stories of who had lived and died there, and was haunting our property. I truly feel the woman is talented and gifted; but for reasons unknown to me, she also provided fraudulent evidence after the investigation; which destroyed the credibility of the group.
So now, we are left to our own devices. Our building is like a spiritual train station... Spirits come, hang out for a while, and then move on. Some stay for extended periods, some are only encountered once. Some are mischievous, and some are downright nasty. Some keep their distance, and some follow us home. We have welcomed some, asked some to leave, and in one case; forcibly removed one. Our home sits on what was once part of the farm the business is located on. Even though the properties are nearly two miles apart, they both are busy... With the business seemingly the hub of the wheel. I see visitors in the building and outside. Although we have a few instances of residual occurrences, like the man in heavy boots that still runs down the stairway in the back of the old barn... A stairway which was removed three years ago; most are intelligent. Some seemed lost, some seem bound, but most just appear to be curious. Curious and drawn to the increased energy brought on by the renovations and the increase in human habitation of a once quiet and lonely property.
So, I guess we will just continue to coexist... It is hard to object when they know where you live...literally.