This particular incident requires a little family back story, so please stay with me and my apologies for any missing details.
My mother's family suffered a great loss during the civil war in El Salvador. Many have heard of the death squads that targeted civilians. My grandfather was a victim. It's hard to talk about with my mom or her siblings. And asking my grandmother is a no-no - I would never bring myself to ask her; I doubt any of cousins would dare to either. From what I have been able to piece together it seems that somehow one of these squads thought my grandfather had been passing information to the Salvadoran government/military. One night they banged on the front door of the family home, demanded he come out, accused him of passing information, and murdered him in front of the whole family. My mother and her siblings were all various ages (toddler to teenager). This is the one defining event for my mother's side of the family, and none have ever sought out any kind of counseling for what they saw and experienced. All the siblings have a portrait of my grandfather in their homes and a necklace with a pendant of his picture. My mom has his picture in her bedroom - it is something I've seen my whole life and my now wife has seen since we started dating.
I believe it was summer of 2005 or 2006. My parents bought a house in Elizabeth, NJ. A two family home with 4 floors. At the time a family of three was renting the first floor. The 2nd floor had our bathroom, living room, kitchen, and my mother's room. There was a narrow staircase in my mom's room that led to the attic where my room and my sister's room were located.
It must have been passed 11pm on a Saturday night when my now wife and I got home. My sister and mother were out Lord knows where. My dad was working the graveyard shift at his factory job that weekend. The family on the first floor had already turned in for the night. My now wife hit the restroom first and then it was my turn.
I was brushing my teeth when she came back to the bathroom. She was shaking bad and she was scared real bad. I asked her what was wrong and she said that she saw someone at the top of the stairs when she was going up to my bedroom. I rinsed my mouth out and went to the staircase to take a look myself. She was right behind me clinging to my shoulder, still visibly shaken. There was nothing to see when I got there. I asked her to describe who she saw and even now, 10+ years later, it gives me the chills and a bad case of goosebumps. She said that the male at the top of the stairs had a white elongated face with black eyes. And then she hit me with a bombshell - she said it looked like the man in the framed portrait by my mom's bed. It looked like my long deceased Abuelito Abraham.
We didn't see or hear anything else that night, but I was uneasy. There was a lot of emotional turmoil those days and there were a lot more experiences at that house. I never told my mother what we saw - I didn't think and still don't think it would be wise.