Here's a personal experience I had just before my freshman year in college. I'd almost forgotten about it, and because it was so long ago (I'm a retired great-grandma now) I may have forgotten some details.
I took my parents' explanation for this incident as the truth, and never did research to prove or disprove what they told me. Both of my parents passed away years ago.
When I was a junior in high school, my father lost his job in Flint, Michigan. He was unemployed for close to a year. Finally he found a job near Detroit, and as a result my family moved from Flint to Ferndale, a suburb of Detroit. I chose not to move with them, so I began my independent life at 17, with $10 and a rented room. I earned my living expenses by working as a waitress in downtown Flint.
It was easier back then to finance your college education in the US. Tuition was much lower then than it is today and scholarships were more plentiful. Getting a college education had always been the driving goal in my life, so I'd been applying for scholarships and grants that unfortunately aren't available any more. I was able to start college the following fall because of those funds and because I continued working part-time.
It wasn't until late summer in 1967 that I spent a couple of weeks with my parents and brother at their new home in Ferndale. Since I'd spent the summer working in Flint, I'd never lived in or visited the Ferndale house before. I brought Baron, my German Shepherd/Malamute mix, along for the visit.
Their home was a small white Arts and Crafts-style house located in the middle of a family-oriented neighborhood. Entering through the glassed-in front porch, I found myself in a combination living room/dining room area. The kitchen was straight ahead. A single bathroom and two bedrooms were also on the first floor. The second floor was just an open and unfinished attic, accessed by a narrow flight of stairs that ended inside the back bedroom. I was supposed to sleep on a cot in that attic.
There was something about the attic that made me feel uneasy, but I couldn't figure out what it was. There was very little to see, because the room was practically empty - I noticed there were only a few boxes that held Christmas tree ornaments, household items my parents didn't use often, etc. My father's dilapidated old desk stood near the window. Other than that there was no debris, no closet, no place for a self-respecting boogeyman to hide!
Baron was used to sleeping on my bed, but he couldn't fit on the narrow cot; so on the first night of our visit he settled down on a blanket folded and placed on the floor next to me. I read for a while, then turned out the only light in the attic and drifted off to sleep.
I couldn't have been asleep for more than half an hour or so before Baron's rumbling growl woke me up. The attic was too dark for me to see much of anything, but I did hear heavy footsteps and a male voice. From the sound, the speaker seemed to be crossing the room walking toward my cot.
Suddenly I "saw" in my mind an older white man (maybe in his fifties) wearing the kind of work clothes a handyman or plumber might need. His face was bright red and contorted with anger. While I couldn't make out much of what he was shouting, I did pick up a stream of creative swear words, along with a statement something like, "This is my place! Get the #&!* out!"
At this point Baron was on his feet, barking furiously. I fumbled for the string that turned on a bare bulb overhead, but when the light came on there was nothing to see or hear. Baron and I spent the rest of that night on the living room sofa.
YGS readers know that some people just can't pick up on the paranormal. That was true in my family. My mother and brother wouldn't have noticed if a dozen ghosts were square dancing around them. On the other hand, my father and I knew instantly whenever we were in the presence of a spirit. This is a bit ironic, because it was the only thing we had in common. My father and I had such a bad relationship that we couldn't even talk to each other.
The next morning my mother told me that my father was already aware of an unfriendly presence in the attic, which is why he no longer used his desk upstairs. (Thanks for putting my cot upstairs, Dad!)
The back bedroom where the attic stairs were belonged to my middle school-aged brother, who always slept there peacefully. After that first night my mother decided to move him to the living room sofa for the duration of my visit and let me use the run-down double bed in my bro's room.
That evening Baron settled on the end of the bed while I read for a while. I was nervous as I turned out the light, because I could still feel something nearby that made my skin prickle, but eventually I started drifting off. That's when Baron and I heard footsteps thudding down the attic stairs.
Baron sprang to his feet. Still on the bed, he began barking viciously at something invisible. I couldn't physically see whatever it was, but I heard the same voice I'd heard the previous night. Another mental snapshot of the red-faced man wearing coveralls popped into my head. He was shouting the same type of words he'd shouted before, along with loud orders to get out of his house. He must have walked around the bed and headed for the hallway door, because Baron kept shifting his position as if he were watching the presence take that route. Naturally everybody woke up because of the ruckus. Baron and I ended up sleeping in the utility room for the rest of the visit.
Eventually my mother filled me in on the complete story. When my father had started having run-ins with the angry ghost in the attic, he and my mother did some research and talked to neighbors. They discovered their house had once been owned by a man who worked as a custodian at an area school. He was divorced, according to the neighbors, and was a loner who insisted on keeping to himself. The neighbors said he was very protective of his property, warning would-be trespassers away by yelling profanities at them.
One day this man was trying to repair the school's boiler, and something went wrong. The boiler exploded. The custodian was killed.
My father and I were able to actually discuss the ghost a bit in spite of our relational problems.
He decided to test my psychic abilities, first by asking me if there were other spirits in the house. (There was one: a middle-aged woman, friendly but a bit shy. She was standing right behind my chair, with one hand resting on the chair near my head.) Then my father handed me a cigarette lighter and told me to describe what I saw when I concentrated on the object. That's when I withdrew from the "game," because I saw who had given him the lighter and where they'd been. I didn't think it was appropriate to discuss the information I was getting.
From that point on, though, we were sometimes able to discuss paranormal subjects - but not much else.