This haunting wasn't really caught until my brothers and I began moving out of our parents' home as we reached college age. The home was built in the 1870's. It began with my dad who worked 3rd shift. He'd complain that when he'd arrive home in the morning (before we awoke) we were leaving dry paper cups in the bathroom beside the sink. After all of us denied doing this every single night, he joked "maybe we have a ghost." The first time I think was caught when we all denied it, closed the door when he left for work and went to bed. He arrived home from work and sure enough there was a cup. My theory was the heat register, etc... Dad was convinced something odd was going on, though. So, one night he pulled out a cup, placed it in "the spot", then shut the door and went to work. In the morning he found his cup flipped upside down with a new cup stacked on top! Okay, so things are getting weird.
Next, he draped a tissue over "the spot". When he arrived home the cup was in its usual place - with his Kleenex draped over top. This ruled out the register to me... Maybe someone in the house playing tricks? This option was ruled out for me when we went to dinner one night. I played a joke on my father by putting a cup in "the spot" trying to trick him. He caught it before we left. We laughed, and then I put the cup away and shut the bathroom door. I also locked the front door on the way to the restaurant. Upon returning home I opened the bathroom door and there was the entire cup dispenser pulled from the wall and sitting in "the spot". My skin literally crawled. I was scared to death, as were the rest of my family. Somebody was reaching out to us and responding to our actions.
It seemed like the more we recognized it, the more actions occurred. My dad eventually left a pencil in the spot. Next morning, there's the cup with his pencil balanced on top. Soon after he began writing small notes... "Who are you?" etc. We'd often get very, very small check marks or x's. The answers seemed to make no sense. Once, even, we got initials "MC". They were very tiny and faint scrawls. Lo and behold, we later discovered a "Mabel Close" had lived in the house in the 1920's. My parents bought the house from her son, who was estranged from her until her death. Eventually the direct communications ended because things just got too weird. It was uncomfortable to live there. My dad charted the cups for years. This has happened for over twenty years. In the beginning they happened 3-4 times per week now, maybe once a month. He still has every calendar and note. We had one actual "sighting". My dad always asked to see her, while I always said "if you're here, I don't want to see you."
One night while my grandmother was visiting my dad awoke to see someone standing at the foot of his bed. He initially thought it was my grandmother, but said he quickly focused to see the outline of a woman. She was wearing a black dress, paisley pattern. Her hair was in a bun. He said she had no face, though just darkness. She faced him for a few seconds then turned and "glided" across the floor and through his bedroom floor. He said where she stood watching was actually in the middle of a cedar chest. I was at college then. He called me out of breath he was so excited.
Other events occurred through the years. One night while my mother was in the hospital after surgery and he was home alone, he heard heavy footsteps. He said he thought I was home from college. He heard footsteps up the stairs, then walking to my bedroom door. He said it sounded as if the door was swollen and I was striking it trying to open it. Then, the steps turned and came to his bedroom door. When I asked how loud he said "like a basketball being dribbled hard." Wow. He was scared senseless that night and asked that whoever it was not scare him again.
Looking back, I can think of some odd occurrences through the years. In the middle of the day our doorbell would ring with no one there, hearing faint voices /conversations virtually every single night while I tried to sleep. These distant conversations were so frequent that I was almost terrified to go home. In the middle of the night with my ear pressed to my pillow I'd always hear the talking. I knew it was English, but I could never decipher a single word. It was odd. My dad later confessed he's heard these conversations for years, too, but was afraid to say anything for fear of terrifying me. There were also small things thrown on occasion, balls rolled, items disappearing and reappearing.
Twenty years after we first became aware of "Mabel" and I'm still terrified to sleep at my parents' house! Maybe she's fading away, or just misses having the house full of boys. I don't know. She was about as formidable as ghosts came, though. She could perform at 3:00 pm as easily as 3:00 am. No problem at all. If I "tested" her in mid-day, she would respond almost immediately. Oddly, though, nobody ever "caught" her in the act. I'd place an item over her spot, leave the bathroom, and within 2 minutes she'd respond... Just very odd and interesting. I always wondered about having a real investigation done. I always sensed she sincerely wanted to communicate something. I began as the ultimate skeptic, but really ruled out every single answer possible. Was someone in the house doing it? Well, the phenomena occurred regardless of who was in the house. My brothers would be gone, it occurred. My parents would be out of town or in the hospital - it occurred. No real explanations but an intelligent haunting in Ohio.