I don't believe in Ghosts, neither as the souls of dead people nor an imprint of their consciousness. I do, however, believe in the Djinn theory for how so many people experience so many different phenomena. That is, that either free/bound Djinn influence the senses of susceptible people to give them hallucinations, or that a free Djinn can alter the environment he calls home. I'm skeptical about the latter. I know this isn't crucial to the stories, but I personally like to know what the storyteller thinks of the world before they describe an event.
The first two could easily have been a dream or a manifestation of sleep paralysis. In College I once awoke at around 11 am to the loud sound of a tiger's growl just behind my head. I sat up quickly and turned around. There was nothing of course. When I turned back I saw a large soap bubble, about the size of my fist, floating in the room just before it popped. I thought it had floated in through the window, but the screen was down. I was definitely awake, but my mind was fuzzy enough that it didn't scare me. It "did" give me a weird elation for the rest of the day, twice that day someone in a crowd shouted phrases I had been thinking. And I mean odd phrases, as I had been writing a fantasy story at the time. So I was thinking "Raven reapers" or "Raven Knights" as I walked down the street, deciding on a name, and I'd pass someone saying "Raven Knights" to someone else.
During summer break I used to enjoy napping on my mother's made bed. Her room didn't have any lights at the time, and it was always cooler and darker than the rest of the house, with more fresh air circulating. To one side a tall heavy drawer/wardrobe thing dwarfed the rest of the furniture, and I'd go looking through it for linen or handtowels or Q-tips. One morning I got out of bed, crossed the hall, and hopped into her (vacant and made) bed, because it's much more comfortable.
I don't remember waking up from sleep, but I must have, because when I opened my eyes I saw movement from the corner of the room, on top of the dresser. I craned my head to get a better look, the rest of my body flaccid as if still asleep. What I saw horrified me, and although I haven't said anything, and I'm sure it was some kind of dream, I don't take naps in her bed anymore.
Sitting on top of that tall dresser/wardrobe thing was one of those wind-up Monkey dolls; the one with the bared teeth, vacant stare, and crashing cymbals. It was perched on the edge of the dresser bashing its cymbals in total, surreal, silence. I was paralyzed for a moment, and then shook my head and it was gone. I don't even think I "woke up" afterwards, but simply got out of bed.
I don't see things, even when afraid, and I don't "feel presences" or anything like that. I'm just afraid of being alone in places that feel abandoned and empty, because it feels like I'm not supposed to be there, even if it's a bedroom in my own house.
The final mini-event occurred outside at a major university. I had been describing a recurring nightmare to one of my friends while visiting him, and the visit went pretty late. I had walked with him across campus to his house, and now my car was half a mile away. I think it was 2 am, and I started on my way.
I crossed the street, walked past some building construction, a football stadium, through a parking lot, and then onto another sidewalk in front of construction. College towns are rowdy at night, but the college campus was utterly devoid of life. The buses weren't moving and there were no dorm buildings around.
I was passing a rather pathetic looking construction site when it happened. A couple low fences, a ribbon, and 30 yards separated me from what looked like a concrete facade and foundation. That is, they'd only finished two sides of this tiny building, leaving the other two open to the elements. I could see workbenches and tools scattered around on the ground from a distance, but as I got closer I could only see the large dark windows on the front wall.
Now remember, it's 2 in the morning and there are no lights on in or around this tiny one-room, half-finished building. I'm the only person on campus. There aren't even cars passing by or lights on in any of the buildings. There was a streetlamp in the distance, and moonlight, and that was it.
Just as I passed in front of the building though, there was the sudden sound of construction! Loud and obnoxious and frantic! The sounds of hammering, as if two people were hammering different surfaces out of sync. And it just. Wouldn't. Stop. I couldn't see inside from the front, but the windows were still pitch-dark, and the building was tiny and quite close. Who would be in there hammering away at 2 am, waiting for the "one" guy on campus to walk by?
It stopped only after I had left it behind, and didn't resume. The sound was loud enough that I'd have known of it continued, but it didn't.