I will preface this story by saying I am very open-minded to the paranormal and do believe ghosts or spirits exist... However, the logical side of me always tries to find an explanation before deeming something "paranormal". Some things cannot be explained. Here are some of them.
Portland, OR in 2008: My then-husband & I had found an adorable house to lease on trendy Alberta Street. The rent was reasonable, and the woman who owned the house worked with my husband - she was easy-going & artsy; her husband was a furniture designer. It seemed like the perfect fit. I instantly fell in love with the large dining room with built-in cabinets & a buffet. We learned that the house was nearly 100 years old, with all original single-pane windows. I love older homes, so this made me happy.
Soon after we signed the lease in August of that year, I lost my job & found myself unemployed for the first time in years. After the initial panic, I thought - "Oh well, this will give me plenty of time to set up house & move in." I even found a set of antique furniture that was period-appropriate for the house: A beautiful, hand-carved wood trim Italian sofa & chair... The rich-looking curved kind, covered in pink damask. The couch was hands down my coolest piece of furniture, and we barely used it at the time for fear of messing it up. The antiques dealer told me the set had belonged to a very wealthy old woman who kept it in her sitting room, oddly enough it looked as though no one had ever used it for actual sitting. I got it at a huge discount, as they had had the set in the display window for many years, and the fabric was sun-faded.
My husband at the time worked a cushy corporate job, and was able to make his own hours - he preferred to go in early and start his day at 6:30am, which meant he had to leave the house by 5:30am. It was between the time that he'd leave & the time I'd get up - generally around 9 or 10am (I'm not an early riser) - that things started to get weird.
It began with what I believe to be sleep paralysis - the house would be completely quiet but it just felt like something came over me... I can't explain it. This would happen several times a week for months, between about 6 & 9am. I started to have terrifying "dreams"... About walking around in the house & being terrorized by an unseen spirit. I'd try & try to wake myself up but couldn't move or open my eyes. Like being forced to sleep somehow, paralyzed with fear. Eventually I'd wake up, shake off the strange experiences & carry on with my day.
I often would go for a long walk mid-morning, then come home to browse jobs & do housework... Not bothering to get myself "presentable" until later in the afternoon. One day, I'd had the television very low in the living room while I took a shower & started to get ready. The bathroom was through the kitchen & around the corner from the living room... I couldn't hear a peep from the TV. The house was mostly silent and I was alone. I was putting on makeup in front of the bathroom mirror when I heard a distinct female voice whisper, "What is that?" It was so clear that it frightened me, and I whipped around to see who was in the house. I walked through the house, checking the doors, which were still locked, and walked into the living room to see if the TV could have carried a sound like that through the house. I came up with nothing.
Days later a similar thing happened to me, but this time it was seen & not heard. I was again putting on makeup in the bathroom around the same time of day. I had the door wide open, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed movement right outside of the door. As I turned to look, I saw what I would describe as a 1900's black dress, showing only the very bottom hem, with ruffles... As if someone were walking by very quickly wearing a long flowy dress... Only you couldn't see anything above the ankles. This of course was very alarming to me, so I set off around the house to see if there was some explanation for it... Again, I came up with nothing.
One night, I had stayed up late & went to bed long after my husband. He was sound asleep and just as I got comfortable, the bed started vibrating. I sat straight up, thinking maybe it was my husband, but he was still as can be. I laid back down & still felt it. I got up, thinking I was losing my mind, got a glass of water & returned to bed. I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, like an appliance running or a truck nearby that might be causing it. Whatever had been vibrating the bed didn't seem to affect the floor or anything else in the house. The vibrating continued, and I tried waking my husband, but he didn't budge (he is a very heavy sleeper). I shut my eyes tight & tried to go to sleep when I felt the distinct pressure of someone sitting on the edge of the bed and then standing up. Too afraid too look or move, I eventually fell asleep that night and it hasn't happened again since.
By October of that year, we had been hearing little noises here & there, but shrugged them off as old house stuff. The house was always freezing cold, and I mean always. Portland is generally very mild in the fall & winter, but we were running our heat around the clock just to keep it 65 degrees inside. Again, I chalked it up to old house stuff, what with the single-pane windows... Though our landlords had put a layer of plastic insulation on them by that time.
My husband & two friends of ours were gearing up for Halloween, and one night we decided to watch a few classic horrors at our house. Of course this adds to the imagination. We were kind of spread out around the living room, all on separate seats. My friend Analise sat on the pink sofa, and I sat next to her in a chaise in the corner, which sat just slightly behind the sofa. A few minutes into one movie, I noticed Analise (who claims she's a sensitive) stroking the arm of the sofa the way one would stroke a cat's back. I didn't think anything of it, and averted my attention back to the film. Then I noticed Analise reach into her handbag, pull out a pen & notebook and write some things down. She went back to stroking the sofa & closed her eyes occasionally. I knew something was up but wasn't sure what.
This went on for maybe twenty minutes or so before she leaned over to me: "I need you to come into the kitchen with me." She looked alarmed, so I quickly went into the kitchen with her & asked if she was okay. She said that yes, she was fine, but there was a woman speaking to her on the sofa. Analise said something like, "You're going to think I'm nuts, but sometimes I hear & feel things. This woman's name is Elizabeth (with a specific last name I'll omit for privacy), and she is attached to the couch. She contacted me to let you know she's here. Have you had any experiences lately?"
My eyes got huge, I said, "YES!" and proceeded to tell her everything that had happened. She said the "What is that?" whisper was likely curiosity about the makeup I was putting on, and that she probably felt intrigued by my "process" and thus made herself known while I was getting ready. She didn't have an explanation for the bed incident, but we agreed that it's all probably connected.
The next day, out of lingering skepticism, I did a lot of digging on the internet. I found death records of an Elizabeth in Portland with the same last name Analise had described. The woman had died in the 1920's. Could be a coincidence, or perhaps Elizabeth's heir was the wealthy woman the antiques dealer bought the set from.
We stayed in the house for another year, but eventually an opportunity we couldn't refuse came up, and we moved. We said goodbye to Elizabeth as if she would stay with the house, and not the sofa. Maybe she did.