As I mentioned before in my stories about my Aunt Melody and Major Marsh, I grew up in a house that my parents built themselves. It was a pretty good house, despite it never being finished. For instance, my bedroom was missing a door until I was 13, and never had a full ceiling - just insulation covered in plastic. The eves weren't closed, either, so we always had random wildlife in the house, from snakes in my room to flying squirrels in the attic. It was a fun place to grow up, though, and I miss it.
Unfortunately, when I was a teenager, we had deep flooding indoors from hurricanes a few summers in a row. There was black mold, and we did what we could to rebuild, but it was impossible to raise the house. Eventually FEMA bought the house and tore it down, and my parents moved. I was in college by this point, and the moving dates corresponded with the beginning of my Christmas vacation. When my parents picked me up at the airport, they announced that I would be spending the night at the new house, but because they hadn't been able to get their bed over to the new place that day, they'd still be at the old place. Can you say "my worst nightmare?" I had never visited their new home before, and now my first time there was going to be a night alone.
Luckily though, I wouldn't be entirely alone - I was traveling with my cat, Matthew. I'd gotten Matthew a year or two before, mostly because I really wanted a furry companion, but also because I wasn't keen on being alone, and wanted an animal companion to help sense if there were any spirits present (and hopefully give me comfort when any otherworldly house guests decided to drop by). It was already past midnight, so my parents helped me bring my bags into the house. They gave me a very short tour that didn't include lightswitch locations, and then beat a quick retreat, leaving Matthew and me there to fend for ourselves. I quickly got us settled in the guest bedroom, shutting the door and locking it, then pulling the covers over my head and trying not to freak out at every new noise.
Without Matty, I don't know if I could have stayed there that night, but when I woke up in the morning, I felt a lot more optimistic. I decided to set up the room a little bit. The mattress was still on the floor, but there was a mattress frame propped up against the wall. It just needed to be unfolded and snapped together, and then I could put the box spring and mattress on it. It was something I'd done a few times before, and knew it was easy. This time, though, when I was snapping the frame hinge into place, it seemed to happen before I'd applied any pressure, and it sliced my finger. It wasn't a deep cut, but the pain and quickness of it shocked me, and I got a little upset. Instead of finishing with putting the bed together, I decided to wait for backup. Luckily, my mom had already brought the medical supplies over, so I found alcohol and a bandaid in the bathroom and patched myself up, then decided to unpack my suitcase.
The guest bedroom closet was large and empty, with some hangers already hanging inside. I unpacked my bag, hanging up one thing at a time until I was out of hangers. It occurred to me that my mom had said she'd already brought most of her clothes over from the old house, so I went into their new bedroom to be naughty. I planned to take her clothes off of hangers, and steal the hangers for myself! I only needed maybe five more hangers, so I didn't feel guilty as much as like I was getting her back a little for leaving me alone at this new place, and I was giggling to myself about my little joke when I walked back into the guest bedroom with a handful of hangers. As I walked in the door, a strong whiff of a musky men's cologne floated by. A really nice scent, but something I hadn't smelled when I was in the room before. Just as it hit me that the smell was new, I got to the closet and looked inside. There were several new hangers now in the closet, still gently swaying on the rack, like someone had just put them there for me. I didn't think twice. I dropped the hangers I was holding, shoved the cat in his carrier (which wasn't hard, because he'd already run back into the carrier - it was like he was waiting for me to leave), and went out to sit on the front porch until my parents showed up.
When my mom and dad finally arrived, I told them what had just happened, and my dad started cracking up laughing. The elderly couple who had owned the house had passed away fairly recently, and my dad had known them both pretty well. They were a very nice couple. She was a straight-laced, houseproud schoolteacher, and he was known to be something of a practical joker. Ha ha. I never did come to a conclusion over whether the bed frame incident was just my dumb luck, or the ghost trying to help and accidentally making me hurt myself. Sometimes I think that maybe he felt bad, and was trying to make up for it with the hangers, only to have that go even worse, lol.
That same vacation, I also had an experience with what I can only assume was the lady of the house, especially given what I know about her being rather prim. The third bedroom of the house, which my mom uses as a sewing room, was originally the master bedroom. Since the house was still getting set up, Mom had put the record player and all of my records in the sewing room, so at one point in the vacation, I was listening to music and blowing off steam, just dancing around the room. I was listening to George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" (which has a background chorus of Hare Krishna singers), very loud. Loud enough that an old lady would get pissed at me, especially if she didn't like my taste in music. There was a mirror on the back of the door, and at one point, as I was dancing and shout-singing along, I happened to glance in the mirror to see an orb of white light at about shoulder height, just behind me. I immediately froze (freaked out), watched it for long enough to realize it had a shape/substance to it, and saw it wink out. I turned the radio down and apologized for being rude.
There's other energy to the house that isn't so welcoming, but these initial visits from the practical joker and his wife felt benign. On subsequent visits home, I've felt like their energy has gradually faded away. For awhile there when they first moved, my mom would ask for help finding things. A couple of times she'd look around for the thing she'd lost, ask the ghost to put it in the dining room if he could find it, and then she'd go to the dining room later to find the item sitting on the table. Whether that's just her being crazy and forgetful is up to you.
I'm not sure if whoever/whatever else is in the house is related to my mom's penny-throwing ghost (who she sometimes wonders about being her dead uncle, who was a practical joker, himself, and would probably find a years-long penny-throwing campaign to be hilarious), or if it's something else that's attached to one of my parents. My mom does have a ton of dolls, and I find them incredibly disturbing - especially one that her grandmother gave her when she was a little girl. But she'll never admit that they're creepy, and I'm not home enough to get any haunting proof, so no stories about the doll collection...yet.