Growing up, I lived in a house I'm sure was haunted by at least one benevolent ghost. I know such things aren't the norm, and I can't explain them, but I do know hauntings are quite real. It was not uncommon for things to vanish one day only to turn up in an obvious location a few days later.
On one occasion, when I was 13, I came across my mother's wedding ring, which she had lost while going to yard sales when I was a toddler. It was laying under the edge of a TV on an old steamer trunk we used to store blankets during the summer. There was no way it had lain there all that time, in full view of anyone passing by.
On another occasion, I was under the weather and had stayed home from school. Around 3:30, my mother had gotten home from sub teaching. I remember laying there listening to her working on things in the kitchen, kind of in la-la land, when an unseen force pushed me down in the bed. I remember vividly feeling myself pushed, seeing my visual perspective change as my body moved downward slightly, and hearing the bed springs squeak. That brought me fully alert, laying there thinking, "What the *bleep* just happened?" The next thing I knew, the smoke alarm outside my bedroom door went off. I jumped up and went running out into the hall to find the upstairs of the house filled with smoke. I hurried downstairs, since that seemed to be where the smoke was coming from, only to find that my mother had burned something rather spectacularly while cooking. Still, something or someone was apparently trying to warn me of danger.
When I bought my house, where I currently reside, I thought that was all behind me. Not so, but in a much less pleasant way.
One night, back when I was a bachelor, I was happily snoozing away in my bedroom when I was suddenly awakened around 3 AM by a feeling of malevolence. I opened my eyes to see a pure black figure, human shaped, that reached from the floor to the ceiling nine feet up. The figure was strangely blocky, almost pixelated in appearance. (Pixelation is what you see when you zoom in too far on a digital picture.) I don't know how long it had been watching me, if that is even the right word, because there were no discernible eyes.
I'm a paramedic and a firefighter, and not the sort to scare easily. This time though, I had an instinctual, primal terror. My only thought was "OH SHIT! DEFEND YOURSELF IF YOU WANT TO LIVE!" What they use to call a "Katie bar the door" reaction.
At the time, I kept a loaded 9mm Beretta pistol on my nightstand. (Some of the nightlife around here ain't the greatest.) I instantly lunged for it. Before my hand had made it even halfway across my body, the figure departed at high speed through the outside wall of the house. The feeling was such that there is no doubt in my mind that, had the figure still been there when I brought the gun up, I would not have hesitated to open fire on it just as fast as I could sweep the safety and pull the trigger.
I have not seen the figure again. In the years since that day, I met my wife, the love of my life, and I now have two kids. The gun is now locked up in the gun cabinet, of course, and I have not seen the figure since. Maybe I scared it as much as it scared me?
Whatever the case may be, I can't get one thought out of my mind- Suppose I had actually fired on the figure. And suppose I fired, say, seven times... But only found five bullet holes in the wall?