Just some information about me for contextual purposes: I am a college student in Virginia and I regularly work odd locations during the summers to pay for tuition. Last summer, the summer of 2017, I was living in Danville, VA but working in Richmond, VA (about 3 hours driving distance between the two). When I would be working in Richmond, VA, I would stay with my aunt and her family in their house. Just for context: my aunt lives in a brand new house (they are the first ones living there) in the suburbs with her husband, toddler, and Boston Terrier. My house is a small, also new two-story rental that shares no walls with any other building, and I live alone. There were about 6 (2 at my aunt's house, 4 at home) experiences total that I had that summer, although I'm still not sure which ones were paranormal, and which were coincidental and could have been caused by something else.
My first experience:
Early on in the summer, I was sleeping in my aunt's finished attic space (typically used as an entertainment area/man cave). She has a guest bedroom that I normally would use, but my grandma and grandpa were visiting her on this occasion as well, so I slept on the couch in the attic room. I don't consider myself an extremely light sleeper, but it's not unusual for louder sounds to wake me up. I was falling asleep on the couch, laying on my stomach. But, just as I was falling asleep (I think it must've been around 11:30 am), I heard a deep, heavy breathing. Because I was just on the cusp of waking up, it took my a few seconds to realize that it wasn't a part of my dream. I laid on the couch with my eyes closed, holding my breath, just listening for about 20 seconds. When I realized that I couldn't come up with a good explanation, I opened my eyes, and immediately it stopped. I was a bit freaked out, but since it stopped when I opened my eyes, I convinced myself that it must've been a weird dream state I was in. I went back to sleep, thought about it for a bit the next morning and then forgot about it.
My second experience:
Like I said, I had completely forgotten about the first incident at my aunt's house, it wasn't until this next incident that I was truly suspicious. It was much later in the summer, several weeks had passed, and several uneventful nights had gone by at my aunt's house. This particular night, I went to bed in the guest room as usual around 12:30, and there was nothing odd about the room or the conditions besides the fact that there were songbirds singing outside my window as they had been for the past couple nights (I looked into this, and I believe it was as a result of mating?). I fell asleep soundly soon after the songbirds stopped singing. At around 4 am (guessing because there was some time between when I woke up and when I checked my clock), I was woken up to that same sound of deep, heavy breathing. I instantly recognized it. So, I did the same thing. I kept my eyes shut, held my breath, and listened. I listened quietly for about 60 seconds, long enough to have located the area that I thought the noise was coming from. During this time, I also ticked off all of the possible things that could be causing it. After knowing it wasn't me breathing, I cracked my eyes open the smallest amount (I have this weird, childish idea that scary things won't try to hurt me if they don't know I've seen them), but when I looked around and saw absolutely nothing except for the empty space from which the breathing was still coming, it terrified me. After that, my eyes shot wide open, and the breathing instantly stopped. It's like whatever was making that noise didn't want me to hear, so it only stopped when it saw I was awake. After that, I turned my lamp on, checked the time, and watched The Office on my phone until I felt comfortable enough to fall asleep. I did sleep with the lights on for the rest of the summer while I stayed at my aunt's house.
I think it's important to mention here that these were the only two experiences that happened at my aunt's house, and while there was a decent time gap between the first two experiences, the events that happened in my own home happened almost all right after the second experience and at least once a week following.
The TV at my house:
This one is less exciting, and falls more under the category of "things that could be coincidental and explained away." At my house, the setup is bedroom and bathroom downstairs, living room and kitchen on the main floor, and a lofted area on top. The set up is that of a townhouse, but only an individual townhouse, my building does not share any walls and is not near any neighbors. This is a smaller event that went on for several weeks. I do watch TV quite a bit as I live alone, so that's why this one may be easier to explain away, but there were always some things that didn't sit quite right, timing being the primary thing. Once a week for about 4 or 5 weeks, the TV would turn on by itself, at about 3 times the volume that I would ever have put it on, enough to startle me away from the floor below. It was always this loud, it always occurred around 3 am, but never occurred on the same day of the week. I talked to my stepdad about this, and he suggested that maybe I was setting my TV to turn on at a certain time on accident, by sitting on the remote or something. That was good enough for me at first, but then after I was conscientious about not sitting on the remote, it still continued to happen. Not to mention, I had been living in this house with the same couch, TV, and remote for over a year, and this had never happened. The first time it happened, American Psycho was playing on TV which honestly scared the absolute crap out of me, but every other time it was just like a Mucinex ad or something random, so I'm very glad it wasn't a horror movie every time.
This was truthfully, the most terrifying paranormal experience I've had. To many of you, it may not seem wildly scary, but as a young college girl living alone in a city, it was truly terrifying. I was at my house, asleep in my bed when I slowly began to wake up. My first thought was "Great, what is it this time? Breathing or TV?" (this occurred right after the TV-turning-on-by-itself debacle). But as I came to, I realized that it was neither. It was heavy footsteps, running back and forth, on the floor above my head. So, let me give you some further context into the setup on my house. The floor plan is pretty perfectly square, and the stairs are all the way on the left side of the house, attached to the outer wall. The head of my bed is centered right against the outer right wall, and on the floor above me, the couch is centered right against the same wall. So, the area that the running came from was absolutely occupied by a piece of heavy furniture. I sat aware for at least an hour, just listening to the running go back and forth. I refused to investigate. Sometimes I wish I had gone to investigate just to see, maybe there'd be some good explanation that could ease my mind. But instead, I sat up in my bed, with all the lights on, curled up in all of my bedsheets. I thought it was maybe an animal, but there's just no way. It's a newly developed house, and I've never found so much as a mouse in there. And there's no way that sound was coming from anything less than something the size of a fully grown man. I eventually laid back down, terrified, and tried to clock it out until I successfully went to sleep. The next morning, I set a glue trap under the couch. If an animal was having that much fun running around last night, surely it'd come back. The glue trap is still there, and still hasn't moved an inch.
The footsteps were the last straw for me. I ran to my nearest health food store, grabbed a bundle of sage, and brought it home. I openly said that whatever it was needed to move on and stop scaring me, or I would burn the sage. Not sure if this was the right thing to do, but its over a year later, and nothing more has happened. Interested to hear what you guys think. Thanks!