This story starts 20 years after my parent's return from Italy. They had recently divorced, and I was living with my mom in our old house in Brazil. The mood at home was not great, as we mourned the death of our old family life. My mom did her best to keep us entertained, and things seemed to slowly be getting better.
It all started one day when we were both in her room, discussing how much quieter the house was, now that we were the only two people living there. Suddenly, we heard a crash in the living room. We stood up to take a look, thinking the cat had broken something. We couldn't find the source of the noise, so we just started walking back to her bedroom, only to see our black cat crawling out from under her pillow as we got in.
In the next weeks, other little weird occurrences got our attention. Every time I was watching TV late at night, I would see a silhouette walking up the stairs through the frosted glass wall that separated the TV room from the rest of the house, and minutes later I would be scared to realize no one had actually walked in.
I would sometimes hear our heavy wooden windows opening and closing downstairs, and later discover I was alone at home. Little objects were being moved, like keys turning up in weird places or rings, pens. I didn't think much of it then, because these are things that we used every day and misplacing them wasn't such an absurd concept. My mom didn't really tell me her opinion about any of those incidents either, since she knew how strongly I felt about all things paranormal.
One day, my mom and I were on the internet picking a movie to see, and a really loud crash startled both of us. We went in the next room to see our pink marble center table was split in half. A two inch thick piece of stone had just broken, and we were the only living things in the house, other than a tiny cat that had been with us all along. That's when my mom decided to take action.
Being the experienced medium she was, she had a small session in our living room to try to "talk" any of the spirits that seemed to be trying to get our attention into leaving the house. I didn't want to get involved in any of it, so I went to see the movie alone and came back later to ask how it went. Apparently, these spirits didn't really care much about conversation.
Things seemed to stop for a little while, until one day my mom got really sick. The cat and she were throwing up constantly; they were both showing signs of exhaustion even after a whole night's sleep. The once loud and playful kitty would stay in bed all day long, and my mom would only leave for work, just to come back and rest some more. Needless to say, they were sleeping on the same bed and showing very similar symptoms. Electronic appliances we owned started to malfunction regularly, but when we took them to any technicians to get them fixed, they would show no signs of having ever been broken. The TV, my computer, the DVD, it happened to all of them at least twice.
After two weeks of this, Mom decided her bed was the problem. It was just one of those things that happen when you live with an experienced medium: she woke up, and KNEW she had to get rid of the bed. I tried to convince her of how irrational that all sounded, but she would hear none of it. We went shopping for a new one right away, and were happy to find out it would be delivered that same afternoon.
When the delivery team started disassembling my mom's huge wooden bed, a little surprise startled us... There was a huge, 70-pound piece of coal inside her bed's structure.
My mom looked at it, and got very quiet. She asked the movers to wrap it in plastic and not touch it directly, and put it in her car. It seemed like the rock was made to fit her bed, it was shaped perfectly like the complicated set of columns that would hold the mattress in place. And it was pretty big.
We had moved in the house 2 years prior to the incident, so we were pretty sure it wasn't there when we assembled the bed. We had done it ourselves, and no one had been in her room long enough to dismantle the bed and put it in since. We took the stone to the spiritualist center she usually went to, and they got rid of it for us. There, we learned that coal sometimes appeared near people that were victims of "spells" and rituals of some African religions still very common in Brazil, such as Candomblé (I will post some interesting experiences with shamans from this religion later) or as manifestation of really strong entities.
After we got rid of it, both mom and the cat were in great shape, like they had never been sick in the first place. Our appliances were all working just fine, the noises and weird incidents didn't ever happen again, and we went back to our normal lives.
Two weeks later, I met the woman my dad had been going out with. She seemed ok, although a little bit jealous of my dad's old family, and seemed to have asked my father a lot about my mother and I. Guess what religion did she practice?