We have something living with us, although if you asked me a few months ago I would have denied it. While I've always enjoyed a good ghost story, I was never much of a believer and if you're looking for a scary story, mine isn't one.
It started out small, things would be moved out of place and such. I live with my father and we joked that he was just going senile or sleep walking. Things got weirder though.
Lights left on would be turned off, closet doors normally closed would be found open. Never anything that couldn't be explained by something simple, someone forgetting, one the pets accidentally moving something, a draft even. The house is only a few years old and we are both logical people and tried not to think of it.
I remember once waking up and calling my boyfriend at the time. After the call I set my phone down on my bed and proceeded to get dressed. When I returned from the closet, the phone wasn't there. Thinking it had ended up under a sheet I tore apart my bed, nowhere to be found. I had my father call but it was off despite being on merely minutes ago. I tore apart my room, knowing it had to be in there and I had just used it. I searched for an hour but couldn't find it. Finally frustrated and hungry, I resolved to go cook myself some breakfast and carry on my search after my stomach stopped growling. Despite not entering the kitchen yet that day, I walked down to find my phone sitting on the stove. We chalked to just forgetfulness.
But it continued. Things would be lost and returned regularly, missing keys and remotes would end up on the kitchen counter. It became sort of a joke, that we had a spirit helping us find our lost belongings but we didn't honestly believe it.
The spirit didn't get a name until I came home one afternoon to find an outfit neatly folded and set out on my bed. I had an interview that morning, maybe I had left it out, but I didn't remember trying that one on. I called my father, confused and upset. Why had he gone into my closet? He said he hadn't. We both laughed it off, blaming my anxiety that morning and the "spirit". The nickname Francis was born. Gender diplomatic, as it had a fashion sense and we didn't want to offend.
Little things would happen, nothing bad or completely terrifying, just enough to make you question your own sanity. I'd fall asleep on the couch with the windows open, to awake to find them shut except one. It had cooled off by then and assumed it been my father making sure I didn't catch a draft. When I asked him later why he closed them but left one open, he looked confused and refused credit. That one happened often, if we retired for the evening we'd check the locks, assuming that the other had locked it before us when in reality they hadn't. We laughed it off too, Francis was looking out for us.
Without undeniable proof though, I didn't believe. Until the day the lock moved under my hand. I had gone out with a friend, she drove and I left my keys at home thinking I didn't need them. We are one of those families that uses the inner garage door mostly, the garage has a keypad and the door inside is always unlocked. I returned home, opened the garage inviting my friend in. When I got to the door it was locked. I tried the knob a few more times to no avail, it turned just slightly. I was pissed. My father's car was gone and he knew I wasn't home, he had to see my keys when he left, why would he lock me out? I called him as my friend tried the knob herself, spitting venom over the the phone for locking me out, he was quiet until he said it, "I didn't lock the door". While that was common phrase I heard from his lips, this was different... The joke was shattered, this time it wasn't a kind action or something simple, I had been locked out of my home.
I dropped the phone and jiggled the knob furiously, frustrated as tears welled in my eyes. I sighed, let my forehead bang against door and released the doorknob, giving up. I turned to my friend to apologize, for what I don't know, the fact that she couldn't come in or maybe the fact that she had to see me so upset and with my back to the door there was a small knock. I jumped, turned around to hear a faint *click*. I put my hand on the doorknob and sure enough, it turned completely. While the handle lock was now free, the deadbolt still remained latched.
The friend freaked, she had tested the doorknob herself and it was locked... She pulled out her phone to call 911, assuming someone was inside. I stopped her. I knew no one was. I could no longer deny its existence. She looked pale as I told her it was okay, and I hushed her questions. I turned back to the door, knocked lightly and asked as nicely as I could, "Will you PLEASE let me in, Francis?" I'm not sure how long I stood there with my hand on the doorknob and tears running down my cheeks, but sure enough the sound the deadbolt moving cut threw the silence. It wasn't smooth, it struggled, then silence. I gently turned the knob and opened the door, my friend screamed expecting someone to be standing there, she screamed louder when she realized there was no-one.
I like to think "Francis" made a simple mistake that day and didn't mean to lock me out. It hasn't happened since, although the little stuff still occurs. Tonight it was the windows again, the weather was beautiful and I had them open this afternoon, now that is dark and cool again they are closed, I'm the only one home and I didn't close them.
I had a few people suggest that I should cleanse the house or make an effort to communicate with whatever Francis is. I don't see the point, I'm well aware this isn't my line of expertise and don't think it's something I want to play with, nor do I feel a need to make it feel unwelcome as it has never made me feel so.
Nothing has happened that honestly doesn't seem rather well intentioned besides that fateful day when I was locked out. Sometimes I wonder if it happened so I would believe, if Francis was tired of being a joke. We don't laugh about it anymore. When someone finds their lost keys on the counter, we just say, "Thank you, Francis".