This is a story I always tell people when asked if I ever had a paranormal experience. I will tell you the first part - about how it started, with my mom.
First I need to clarify, my mom is sensitive. She does not see or hear spirits; it is more of a feeling thing. She always knows when something is about to happen, or if something's wrong. Since she was raised catholic, the priests and nuns always told her there was no such thing as ghosts and she was just imagining things.
In the late 70's, she was living in Milan, Italy, with my dad, in a house that was built around 1700 and was used as shelter for the wounded during both World Wars. Well, that has to be enough of an explanation for everything that happened there.
It all started with feelings of being watched. She was never alone in a room, even when she WAS alone in a room. She would feel touched, an overflow of thoughts in her mind that didn't seem like her own. After a while, my dad started showing signs of depression. He would stay home, catatonic, instead of showing up at work. He would be desperate, feeling empty and lost, although he was living what was supposed to be a happy life with the woman he loved.
After my dad started getting unusually irritated and withdrawn, my mom took shelter in prayer. She would stay home and pray, trying to restore peace. That is when it started escalating. Every night, their shoes would be moved from where they were left, shoe laces would be nowhere to be found, and would turn up in the most unlikely places: they were even found hanging from a chandelier once.
The house had a shower, which is an unusual addition in very Old Italian buildings. It was old and rusty, so they needed to use a wrench every time they wanted to shower. The spirits of the house, however, didn't need any help and would start the water every night. My mom would wake up, scared to death but praying silently, while walking to the bathroom with her tools to stop the heavy flow of water.
When she started getting used to it, the spirits turned it up a notch. My parents had a red chaise sofa in their living room that came with the house. When mom would walk to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, there would be long strains of white hair all over the red cushions. She would clean it up daily and, most certainly, they would be back every morning. I have to add: my dad is bald and my mom has black hair. By then, dad would hardly leave the house and much less talk, not to mention he still denies and changes the subject when we imply anything different was taking place in the house.
After a few weeks, mom had enough. She confronted the spirits, by saying they would stop harming my father and her, and that either they would leave the house for good, or she would make them leave.
That same morning, my mom was in a car accident. Her boss was driving, and she suddenly lost control and hit a parked truck. Although all the other people in the car left the scene without a scratch, my mom's legs were shattered in several places and she needed immediate surgery, but the hospital my father worked in was unable to provide her with proper care. He then made arrangements for surgery back in Brazil where he used to work, and they flew back home the same night. Since the confrontation, my mom has never again been able to set foot in that house.