I have two significant personal stories to tell, one of which I have told already as "A woman who wasn't there". And that story is absolutely true, unlike far too many of the others I have seen posted here which are either pure fiction or somewhere between wishful thinking and/or just without having considered earthly explanations. But because some of the others have been so less clearly of "paranormal", for want of a better word, origin, I will tell this story too, although I hadn't been intending to. This isn't really my story, either, although I was involved and I will obviously tell it from my perspective. But I didn't actually see anything myself.
This happened when I was a teenager, 2 or 3 days after my mother had died, and I was lying in bed in the middle of the night, but not able to sleep. And as I lay there, I was aware of the door creaking wider into the next bedroom that was accessible from mine only by a crawl space under a big beam between the two. It was my father. I heard him softly call my name in the dark, although that wasn't my room, and I was then conscious of his hesitation before he crossed the room to crouch and peer through the crawl door. I could barely see him, but he would have been able to see me better as I was facing him in a bit of moonlight from the window. And he was obviously quite shocked to see me there. "You're in bed!", he said, as if that was extraordinary.
And he then continued "Are you alright, love? Have you just been up?" I think I probably croaked a bit in answering, but I said I was fine and that, no, I hadn't been up. And he then said, rather oddly "Are you sure?" "Of course I am sure", I replied. He was then quiet for a long moment before telling me, "Everything will be alright, love. Time to go to sleep now", before he got to his feet and went back to his room. I was aware that there was something very odd about how he had spoken. He sounded quite shaken. But I did then get to go to sleep.
In the morning, I remember that my father was in the kitchen making breakfast when I came down. And I immediately asked him about the night before, because I knew something had been very odd about it. And he then told me that he had been jolted out of sleep rather suddenly, and as he had turned over to see what it was that had disturbed him, he said that there had been a figure standing in the dark at the end of the bed (moonlight would be on the other side of the house). Rather sadly, he said that he had at first momentarily forgotten that my mother had died and that in the fog of the moment, and without his glasses on, he had automatically presumed that it was her and had even spoken to her. Then, as no one replied and as realisation dawned, my father had then assumed that it had to be me instead, and presumed I was sleepwalking. So as I (as he thought) walked out of the room and down the landing, he got up to guide a sleepwalking me back to bed. He said he both saw and heard me (as he thought) move along the landing and into the room next to mine, which was where he expected to find me a few seconds later. But I was already in bed in the further room, and that was why he was so surprised to see me there.
We had a long talk about it then, discussing whether it could have been my mother coming back to make sure we were alright. Both of us would have given anything for it to have been her. But my father hadn't slept for a couple of days, and that can do odd things to your head. And I didn't see or hear anything before my father creaked the door as he entered that room. So neither of us was sure what to think about it. There is no question that he saw something that he presumed was me, that he had initially thought was my mother. But if it had really been my mother, my father thought she would have tried to communicate.
Years later, then, he did actually once say that he had really believed that she would come back if that was possible, and that he had watched for her for a long time. It pretty much destroyed his belief that it is possible at all, when she didn't. In retrospect, even though it was against his wishful thinking, he wasn't able to count this experience as the visitation he had so wanted.
Maybe it was a bit too soon, and he was too much in shock, but it was still very odd.