I am going to start with my childhood encounters. When I was young, I used to go to my dad's house on the weekends. He lived way out in the middle of nowhere, outside of a small town (Sheridan, Oregon). The road out to the house was a skinny curvy road. Much of it had no shoulder on one side, just a drop off down a hill into a creek, and many, many pines. I could easily see how there could be many accidents on this road. I mention this because I feel one of the spirits I seen as a child may be a victim of this road.
On occasion, my dad would work late and I would stay at my grandparent's house, which was a couple fields away, I guess about three or four city blocks. My Grandparents had a large living room, you walk in the front door, which had a bell on it, and there was a couch against that wall with a coffee table in front of it. I would sleep on the other side of the room on a couch facing that couch. My grandparents went to bed a lot earlier then I would have liked to, so they were in their room snoring away while I was laying on the couch, unable to sleep and bored. I was facing the back of the couch, away from the front door, and I heard the bell above the door. I turned around and there was a woman who had come in and was squeezing between the couch and the coffee table on the other side of the room, you know how you walk when you are walking between two things like that, she was carrying some bags of some sort and breathing heavy. It felt like she had just had a long trip trying to get home from the grocery store. The first person I thought of was my sister, she had similar body type and hair to her, but across the dark room I couldn't see a face. I sat up on one elbow, she sat down in a huff, seemingly exhausted, I said my sisters name, "Shanette?" No response. I said it again a little louder, still no response. The last time I said it I got the most chilling, "SHHHHHHH" from her. I quickly turned back around towards the back of the couch, and pulled the covers over my head. I was petrified. This was definitely not my sister, but who was it? This person didn't seem to want to kill me in my sleep or anything she just wanted to sit down and rest in peace. On the other hand I wasn't comfortable sleeping in the same room with a stranger. There was no way I would have woken my grandparents, they had a strict, "children should be seen and not heard policy." Waking them wasn't an option unless the house was burning down. So, I eventually just went to sleep hoping that it was one of my grandmas children who I had never met, I guess that would be an Aunt?
The next morning the person was gone. I told my grandparents and my dad about the person and tried to figure out who it could have been. I went through every possibility I could think of: a family member, a friend, a vagrant passing by. They were all shot down as being impossible. The door was locked, nobody else had a key to the house, there wasn't a key outside, if a family member had come by and had to leave before morning they would have called and or left a note. I was told nobody came in and it was just my imagination. That person came in and was as real to me as any other person. (I don't remember seeing the person closing the door, I didn't think about it at the time but they should have been still shutting the door after coming in when I turned around.)
The other story I have was at my dad's house. At the end of his gravel driveway was the road I spoke of earlier, and on the other side of the road is a little clearing with a big boulder on one side, and a small river or creek running through, the rest of the area is very dense pines. My dad took me fishing in the clearing which was about fifteen to twenty feet long and ten feet or so wide. My dad had taken over the fishing pole because I wasn't doing it right, I turned and saw a little girl on top of the boulder. I was so ecstatic to see another kid, I immediately wanted to play. She was wearing an old blue dress and was very cut and bruised up, she was covered head to toe in grime. I would describe it now as road rash, like she was dragged down the road by a car, but at the time I didn't know what that was. I am used to being cut, bruised, and covered in muck, growing up in the country and a tom boy, I spent most of my time that way, but this was definitely worse than I had seen before. I asked her if she was okay, she didn't know, so I said I'll get my dad, he'll help her, No she said and seemed edgy. Then I barraged her with other questions:
Do you want to play tag? No
Do you want to play hide and seek? No
Where did you come from? Over there (pointing off into the pines)
How did you get all cut up? I don't remember
How come you can't remember, I remember mine, (then pointing out a few scars and explaining my adventure)
I asked her other questions too, I don't remember them all but most of her answers were I don't know or no. I am not 100% what her name was but I am thinking it was Sarah. After a while my dad called me over, he was upset and said we were leaving. I protested asking why, he said I hadn't paid any mind to fishing, I was just over there talking to myself. I was flabbergasted saying, No, I was talking to my new friend. I looked back over about to point her out and she was gone. I called out to her, but nothing. Then my mind went to finding her, she must live close by and we could play together. I told my dad her description and pointed to where she pointed when she told me where she came from. I was asking about finding her again so we could play together. My dad said that there wasn't a girl and to get a hold of my imagination. I was adamant about it and explained how she was cut up really bad and gave a brief recap of our encounter. He paused just before we crossed the road and starred off in the direction I had pointed. He had a look I had never seen before on his face. It was a mixture of confusion and maybe a little shock, I couldn't figure out why he looked that way and after a second I asked why he looked that way. He said maybe it was one of farmer Someone's (I can't remember his last name) daughters. I started asking if we could go to their house. Before we reached the house, I was told to quit, and drop the subject and none of my questions were answered.
I have no way to say these were spirits, but I really don't have a good explanation as to where these people came from or where they went. The little girl would have had a hard time disappearing the way she did, the only thing I could think of is her heading through the pines and finding a way up stream to cross. I really don't feel there would have been time to completely vanish like she did, but it is a possibility. I am leaning more towards spirit because of the immediate appearance and disappearance, her physical appearance, her inability to answer a lot of my questions, and the look on my dad's face. His look is probably more shocking to me then actually seeing a ghost. I feel like he knew something he wasn't telling me. Right after the look the subject was shut down so abruptly. That side of my family did not believe in ghosts and any such talk was a product of wild imagination. As for the person at my grandparent's house, I have no other explanation except paranormal.