My experiences were tame compared to many on this site but I'm comfortable sharing them with people who also have an interest in the paranormal. I'm not sensitive to the paranormal and I'm always the first to debunk my own experiences. My interest stems from a desire for definitive proof of an afterlife. I have a hard time with the concept of God, making death a bleak event indeed. I'm a tough customer. Nothing short of a full bodied apparition looking at me and saying "Hi, I'm dead" (or similar obvious event) will suffice. Very few of the things I experienced actually made it into this post because there are possible explanations for most of them. That being said, I couldn't debunk the following.
When I first moved to New Orleans I was lucky enough to find a place in the French Quarter at a great price. A short description of the layout is necessary to understand my experiences. Most of the houses in The Quarter consist of a main house with a separate servants' quarters in the back of the house. I was renting an entire servants' quarter. The main house was being renovated at the time.
Between the main house and the servants' house was a small courtyard with a fountain, table with chairs and a mature magnolia tree. On the side of the main house there was a driveway with a tall, heavy duty, solid metal electronic gate with barbed wire across the top (the barbed wire is a common feature on entryways in The Quarter... Sooo many drunk people). The sides of the courtyard were bordered by the 25 foot tall solid brick sides of the neighboring houses. There were no windows or entrances on these walls. The servants' quarters ran the length of the back of the property. The only entries and windows for this building faced the courtyard. It consisted of a kitchen, living room and small bathroom downstairs; two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. There was an exterior spiral staircase and a gallery (a narrow covered balcony) ran the length of the upstairs. It was classic New Orleans and absolutely beautiful.
My dog hated this house. He is a completely mellow mutt. He never barks, chews my stuff, gets in the garbage, pees in the house, nothing. When we moved in that changed. From the first day he experienced severe separation anxiety. He would have a meltdown every time I left the house. He started and continued to 'go' in the house for the extent of our six month stay even though our walking routine didn't change. I should also mention a move to a new place was not a new experience for him. This was the fourth or fifth move we made together, never with this reaction. If I left anything in reach he would rip it to shreds. Vet didn't have a good explanation for me. Many times I would watch him follow something with his head, as though watching someone walk by. Sometimes this was accompanied by a low, deep growl. Once, he went to one of the closets and just laid down in front of it, waiting for something. I sat with him and listened, thinking it was maybe a mouse, nothing. I opened it and searched, nothing.
My dad came to visit one weekend. On the last day he told me that the previous night, just a few minutes after he lay down, he heard a noise in his room. He turned and saw the carpet being slowly but fluidly bunched and slid across the floor. He said it lasted about thirty seconds but seemed like forever. He was literally petrified. When he could move again he turned on the lamp and read a book for the rest of the night. He told me he most likely wouldn't be staying in the house on his next visit. I can't say I blamed him... As a side note, I mentioned sleep paralysis to him when he told me this story (I said I debunk experiences). He said he experiences sleep paralysis and was very familiar with the feeling associated with it. He said he hadn't fallen asleep yet. He could breathe just fine. It was pure and simple terror that froze him as he watched that carpet moving.
One evening I was in my bedroom getting dressed after a shower when I heard something light and two legged run the length of the gallery, starting at the stairs past my room and fading at the entrance to the second bedroom. It had weight to it but didn't make as much noise as a full grown person. I distinctly remember feeling the vibrations and watching the curtains shake with the movement. My dog started growling and I grabbed the knife I kept behind my bed (single woman, I don't take chances). I got outside and checked everything. Roofs, tree, stairs... Nothing. There was no movement anywhere and it was still daylight. I stood and listened for several minutes for anything going across the roof or through the tree but there wasn't even a breeze. It was one of those heavy, still, late summer afternoons that are common in August and September here.
The final and probably most dramatic experience happened about a month before I moved out. I was sitting in the courtyard with a glass of wine and a book (I was maybe two sips in to the wine, not even feeling it yet). It was late afternoon and my dog was lying at my feet. Out of the silence came three sharp knocks on the window of the living room. I remember hearing the rattle a window pane makes as it moves in its frame. I looked over in time to see the final vibrations in the reflection in the glass. My dog lost his mind. He went absolutely ape * at the window. I immediately got up and went into the living room, wine glass in hand (glass shards make a better weapon than nothing). Of course I checked everywhere and nothing. Remember that there were no back entrances... The only way out was through the gate which took a good minute and a half to fully open and made a racket in the process. I even knocked on the back door of the main house to see if any of the workers stayed late but it was empty. I went back and stood in the doorway of the living room. In a voice loud enough to be heard through the whole building I said something along the lines of understanding that I share the house. I asked it to please not do things like that again as it scares the hell out of my dog and I. We weren't there much longer but nothing happened in that final month.
I look forward to your comments on these events, especially ideas on debunking them. I'm not a full believer and welcome discussion and ideas.