I'd moved to Texas to live with my mom during my first pregnancy, since I had no support system in my hometown.
I lived with her for about a year before the issues started up. It was around nine o'clock at night, and my mom, stepfather, and I were sitting at the dining table, and I had my six-month-old son on my lap. He was refusing to sleep, and I didn't want him to wake my step siblings by fussing loudly in my room (across the hall from the kids' rooms, and he was a very loud child when he was unhappy), so I figured him being with me would help calm him enough to sleep. All of a sudden, he just froze in my lap, stiff as a board, and stared at the corner of the living room. I noticed he wasn't fidgeting any more and followed his gaze, but nothing was there. It was just an empty corner. I got my mom's attention, and she looked at the corner as well, but she didn't see anything there, either.
My son started pointing at the corner, crying quietly; my mom walked across the room, ran her hand around the corner but felt nothing, and came back. Within moments, my son stopped staring and leaned against my chest, falling asleep in a few minutes. I laid him down in his crib, turned on some music, and left him there until I was ready to go to bed myself. I thought nothing of the shadows I saw moving in the hall through the crack between the bottom of my door and the floor, assuming they were just my stepfather checking on his kids.
Only two days later, it happened again, but this time, my son's crying wasn't quiet. My mom checked the corner, my son finally fell asleep still sniffling, and I put him to bed. I went out onto the back deck for a cigarette at ten-thirty before I headed for bed, and when I came back inside, my stepfather (we'll call him Dale) stopped me and said, "He's okay, but... Who's that woman?"
"What woman?" I asked, because I couldn't see anyone near my room, and there were no new photos on the walls.
"The woman there, in front of your door. She's got short curly hair, and she's short and skinny. She's wearing a button-down shirt and long jean skirt.
"Dale, you're drunk. There's no one there," I said, but I knew the description - it was exactly how my grandmother looked when she was younger, and he had never met her; she'd died almost two years before this point. I chalked it up to him, as I said, being drunk and remembering a description my mother might have told him.
The next three nights went much the same. We lost the house within the next month, due to my stepfather not being able to work because of a car accident, so my mom and Dale took the kids an hour and a half away to stay with Dale's parents while my son and I stayed behind to finish packing the house up. It was the easiest for all of us - Mom and Dale could focus on the kids and finding a new place, and I could focus on my son and packing without having to deal with the fuss that comes from three kids all close in age and reaching the point where they rarely got along. The first night was fine; I got the kids' belongings in boxes, and half of my room was organised and ready to be packed up. The second evening is when it started.
I'd just laid my son down in bed, gotten the Disney station started up for him, and shut the door behind me when I heard the whispering. I opened my door again, but all I could hear was Colors of the Wind. The whispering got louder when I reached the living room, and it seemed to come from what was my mom's room. I hurriedly shut the door, turned on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" on the television, and forced myself to focus on packing things up. I eventually fell asleep on the couch around one AM.
The next night, I was smoking before bed and on the phone with my friend we'll call Bryan, talking about nothing in particular. I fell silent as I realised there were four dark figures standing in my backyard, halfway between the deck and the back fence. They didn't move at all but they were there. I took a picture on my phone, but the photo didn't show anything. I went inside, made sure all doors and windows were locked, and broke my own rule of smoking in the house. I didn't go back outside until the sun was up. Once I finally fell asleep, it didn't last long - I woke up to the feeling of someone watching me, the hairs on the back of my neck standing straight up and goosebumps all over my body.
The music came the following night. Big band, 50s style music, crackling and fluctuating in volume and eerily haunting, coming from my mom's room. My son wouldn't sleep in our room, screaming every time I tried to lay him down. So I made him a bed of extra comforters on the living room floor; he was asleep within minutes. I ignored the music as much as I could, but it was difficult. It played for three hours before suddenly cutting off, leaving the house in silence. The figures in the backyard were there again.
The fifth night I stayed in that house alone was also the final night. I'd become accustomed to the haunting strains of old music, the terrifying shadows in the backyard, the faint whispering, even the feeling of something being in the house with my son and me. But nothing could ever have prepared me for what happened that final night. I'd made sure the dishes were washed and put away; laundry run through the machines, folded, and put away in boxes; and trash bagged up and ready to be put in the cans outside. I fell asleep to the sound of Alfred Hitchcock talking on the TV, the 50s music coming from my mom's room, and soft voices speaking too fast and too quietly for me to understand. I woke up in less than two hours, unable to breathe. It felt like I was being strangled, thick fingers around my throat, and a harsh, growling breathing in my ears. I was sobbing, my son was screaming, and I couldn't move. The sensation was gone as suddenly as it came, and I stumbled to my feet, picked up my son to comfort him, and headed into the kitchen for a drink. I know I had put away every single dish and piece of silverware, because I sent my mom a picture when I was done, with the caption of "See, Mom? I'm not being lazy!" But there, on the island counter, was our largest butcher knife, and as I stated at it, it started almost vibrating, wiggling across the countertop before rising about an inch in the air. I screamed and ran back into the living room, stuffing my son rather haphazardly into his car seat before running to my room to gather up clothes and drag his mattress from the crib. I shoved bottles and formula and diapers and wipes into a large duffel bag, the clothes into my book bag, and left it by the door while I ran my son out to the car as a guttural laugh echoed in the house. I nearly wrecked the car trying to reverse out of our driveway. I called my mom as I drove toward where they were staying, asking for directions and crying too hard to explain what happened. My phone died before I was even halfway there.
Dale's mom didn't believe me when I got there, but I know Mom and Dale did - they'd seen the benevolent stuff, the less frightening occurrences, and so it wasn't a far leap from just presences to what I experienced that night. When I went to show them pictures and let them listen to the audio of the music from their room, everything was gone. Not just deleted, or silent audio clips, but the data wasn't there at all.
Last I heard, the people who moved in after us left the house in just as much of a hurry as I did that night, and the neighbour across the street went in to clean it up (and probably take things that were left behind) but couldn't get past the front door before she felt like she was being strangled. Now the land has an enormous crack through it and the house was in ruins for over a year before the city decided to tear it down.