This particular story happened quite some time ago, when I was no older than 9, which puts it about 12 years behind me. At the time, my family and I lived in a Cleveland suburb on a busy block in a relatively new community (I would place the build-date of the houses sometime in the 1960s/1970s). My room was on the second floor, directly across from the stairs, and I often slept with the door open (I've always been a little afraid of the dark), and from my bed I could easily see down to the first landing.
I had just gotten into bed one night and was looking out into the hall where I could see the light from downstairs bouncing up the staircase. I don't remember thinking of anything in particular, and I got tired enough to turn away and face the wall. Just as I was turning, I caught a flash of shadow out of the corner of my eye and turned back to see what it was. Even though the light on the stairs made the figures dark, it looked like my dad was carrying my younger sister downstairs on his shoulders. The male figure was a little different from my father's shape, but the little girl had the same bobbed hair my sister had and looked to be about as tall and have the same figure, so I attributed my father's appearance to the lighting and turned over to fall back asleep. I assumed my sister didn't feel well, as she was struggling with lactose intolerance and acid reflux back then, and that dad was carrying her downstairs to rock her or give her some medicine.
The next morning I asked my mom if my sister was OK and she just sort of looked at me and said, "Yes, why?" When I said I thought I'd seen dad carry her downstairs she shook her head and said, "No, she slept all night."
Now it sounds cliché but I know what I saw. The figures on the stairs were very distinct: so much so that I could make out the edges of the girl's nightgown and the cut of her hair, and the stoop of the man's shoulders.
My experienced was backed up some time later, though I couldn't have been older than 11 because we had moved by then. My bedroom was still much the same, and I was lounging in bed one night, not particularly sleepy, just relaxing. I was staring at the ceiling, looking for shapes in the plaster, when I saw a foot kick up by the side of my bed. It were as if someone was laying down on the floor right next to my bed and had kicked up their leg. Again, I have a little sister and I assumed she had just snuck in while I wasn't looking. The foot was clad in a cowboy boot, but with the menagerie of costumes we had as kids I just assumed she had slipped them on. I rolled over to hang off the side of the bed so that I could see her, and I was very surprised when all I saw was my carpet. Again, the shape was very distinct: I could see tassels shaking and studs holding the boot together.
I never felt threatened at any time in the house, so I just kept my thoughts to myself. I was always the eccentric child, and I was pretty sure my family would chalk it up to a very active imagination. Imagine my surprise then, when many years later, in a new house and a new neighborhood, my mother confirmed my ideas.
I was probably 19 or so and she, my sister and I were all talking about ghosts. I brought up that I was pretty sure the old house was haunted and she said, "Wait, what did you see?" I explained my experiences, only to have her say that she often got the feeling that she wasn't alone, and that our dog often stared up at one corner of the living room so intently there had to be something there.
All in all I loved that old house, and I was certainly never frightened of the ghosts in it. Looking back now I feel sorry for the little girl and the man I assume to be her father and I wish I could have helped them.