Across my life - as well as across 2 countries, the US and Canada - I or people in my family have had some minor run-ins with what I like to think of as ghosts. I apologize for the fact I don't have one wildly interesting cohesive story, but just a scattering of things. The first is one, I didn't personally experience but my parents did. When I was four we moved into an old house in Pennsylvania that had previously been a funeral home. I'm so happy I was too young too appreciate this!
Although the house was mostly quiet, both of my parents experienced separate occurrences on our first day there. My mother at one point heard an older-sounding man talking to what seemed like a young girl on the back staircase, but there was no one there. That night my dad woke up to see a young girl walk past their bedroom door. As I said, I was 4 and my sister was 6. As this was our first night in the new house and our rooms were upstairs, Dad was worried that we would mistakenly turn the wrong way in the dark and fall down one of the two staircases, so he got up and followed the girl who he thought was one of us. He said she was very young, in a white nightgown, and he walked so close behind her, he could have reached out and touched her. He followed her all the way down the hall and into the bathroom, but when he flipped on the light she was gone. He was so sure she was real, he went and checked the adjacent rooms, thinking she had somehow gotten away from him. Dad being Dad, he always found this to be amusing but was not in the least disturbed, and we never had any more experiences there.
A few years later (I was 8) we moved to Canada, about an hour outside of Vancouver, where Dad worked as a farmhand in exchange for a trailer to live in on the property. There had been several different farmhands over the years, and one had been run over in the driveway while working on his truck several years before. He had a wife and I believe a daughter at the time. The trailer was fairly small - maybe 35 feet long. Dad slept on a fold-out couch in the living room, my sister was in the first room, and I was in the back bedroom. One summer night around maybe 10:30 not long after everyone else had fallen asleep, I heard the screen door open. Now, we never locked the door on the porch but this thing was the loudest door on earth I think - it screeched when it was opened and slammed shut as soon as it was let go. Dad, who was the sort to wake up if you tip-toed out and just stood quietly near his bed, was of course on the couch, and the living room and porch were adjacent.
So I waited for him to jump up, but no. Then I heard very distinct foot steps come plodding through the house. The sound made me think very much of work boots - and like the person wasn't trying to be quiet, just walking through like they owned the place. I was entirely freaked out at this point, hardly even breathing curled up under my covers. I listened as the foot steps walked from the porch to the mudroom, across the edge of the living room carpet, onto the hardwood kitchen floor and across. At the end of the kitchen was our refrigerator to the right of where the hallway to the rooms began and to the left was an old wood stove. Dad had put foil on the side of the fridge to help reflect heat and I heard it ripple as if someone was walking past. The footsteps stopped right at the entrance to my sister's room, and that was it.
I heard that exact sequence repeat 2 more times across the few years we lived there, I believe about once a year, always in the summer. After the first time it didn't bother me, and in fact I found it almost comforting - I had a sense it was the old farmhand coming in at night and checking in on his family as they slept.
Here in North Carolina at my sister's house, about 10 years later, several of us who lived there had either odd experiences or feelings. The back half of the house had burned down at some point in the past and that half always just "felt" weird, like there were people watching you. My sister used to hear the kitchen cupboards open and close at night and her boyfriend laughed about it until he stayed over one night and heard it too.
I never did, but one day I was sitting in the living room reading a Sylvia Brown book until I got myself thoroughly creeped out. I won't say I necessarily believe she's for real or not - how do you ever really know? - but I still was worked up, so I went outside to the back porch, standing just outside the big living room window. The cordless phone was on it's charger sitting in the window sill, and as I stood with my back to it, suddenly it turned on - I don't know how to describe it exactly; it was as if it was on speakerphone (a function it didn't have) but it was just dial tone. After about 15 seconds it turned itself off. I had had enough weird feelings about the house by then, so that did it for me - though I did actually go in, pick up the phone and say "Hello?" (I have no idea what I was expecting, although there have been occasions all through my life when I have heard very soft voices coming from phones even when they're hung up). But since I got no response, I grabbed my stuff and fairly well ran for the door, where I stopped and said "Look, I am moving in 2 weeks, could you PLEASE leave me alone until then?"
I never had another problem at the house, even when I moved back in several years later. However a month or so after moving, I talked to my sister and we found we had the same odd feelings in the same places in the house and on our own had taken to calling our "roommate" by virtually the same name - I called her Eleanor, she called her Ellen - while also having the sense there was a man as well (we believed it was her husband) that we had never seen, yet had a similar mental image of what he looked like. A later roommate also, without prodding, claimed the same areas of the house bothered him.
(On a side note, about Sylvia Brown - like I said earlier, I have no firm opinion, but it has always struck me as strange that any time I see her on TV/read her book things act up. She always makes my TV go on the fritz. Every time I've seen her the reception will either go fuzzy or lose the channel entirely and those kinds of things, along with of course the phone acting up after the book got to me.)
Lastly, (sorry this is getting long) I have what my family affectionately refers to as my Bathroom Ghost. Granted I am notoriously absent-minded, but there are times things can't be all my fault - I don't think. She (I don't know if it's female, but that's what I have always thought) has a fondness for temporarily stealing my things. And she follows me, even on vacation. My sister and I stayed with friends for a few days in Canada and upon leaving I couldn't find my brush. All of my stuff was kept in one backpack, so it's not like there was a lot of searching to be done. I went all through their house as this is a brush I've had since I was 5 and it's sentimental by now.
Finally we left, telling them to just hang onto it if they found it. We left and about an hour down the road I reached in my backpack for something and there it was, right in plain sight. This summer I got sunburned and went hunting a bottle of aloe gel that I was pretty sure was under the bathroom sink. I live alone now in a small trailer and the cabinet under the sink is maybe one and a half square feet, and not all that crammed - plus this stuff is almost fluorescent green and hard to miss. I drug everything out but couldn't find it.
A few weeks later while getting out some liquid soap to refill the dispenser... There it was. I don't recall any times other stuff in other parts of the house have gone missing, but maybe a few times a year random items - cough syrup, tweezers, etc - will disappear for a short period of time. Although somewhat annoying, it makes me laugh. I've wondered if maybe she's what people call my "guide" and just likes to say hi from time to time.
Well, I think that's finally about it. Any thoughts on cross-country bathroom thieves or anything else?