This experience dates back 20 years ago to when I was only 8 years old. Still I can remember it better than I remember the hike I took with my dog yesterday. First to help paint a mental picture, this occured on an old farm in Iowa. Just outside of Sioux Center, if anyone knows where that is. My older brother and I had gone over to spend the night at a friends' farm. They have 4 kids total. One brother my age, one brother my brother's age, one younger sister and another older brother that wasn't at the house often. Specifically he wasn't at the house this night.
Fast forward to the night time. My friend and I had gone upstairs and my brother and his friend stayed downstairs in the living room with sleeping bags. The sister and their parents in their own rooms on the main level of the house as well. It was almost 1 a.m., my friend and I still hadn't gone to sleep. We were just staying up late talking, being kids. Then things got creepy, real fast. We both stopped talking and started listening to the hallway at the same time. Someone was pacing up and down the hallway, with some very heavy footsteps. We were kids and I'd never experienced anything supernatural at the time, so that thought never crossed my mind. I asked my friend if it could be his oldest brother for any reason. He assured me he wasn't home. So I sat by the door and waited until the footsteps were walking away from our room. I creaked the door open to see nothing in the hallway. The footsteps also stopped.
We were both understandably spooked, but I wasn't happy with just closing the door and calling it a night. Even though there was no way someone could have hid in time for me to not see them, I had to be sure. So I convinced my friend to go check it out with me. We left the room and down the hall toward where we last heard the footsteps going. There were maybe 5 steps down until the staircase took a 90 degree turn down to the main floor. As you went down the first few steps there was a window facing you. Most farms and acreages have one main yard light, and theirs was throwing enough light through this window to be able to see our way down the steps.
Of course I had to go first, even though my friend was a good sized farm boy and I was skin and bones. We crept down the stairs slowly and quietly, having no idea what we were in for. As soon as my foot touched the last step something significantly taller than me ran right in front of us, knocking me back into my friend on the stairs. It's footsteps were loud, like it was at a dead sprint. Even though it was only inches from us, neither one of us saw anything. It came from the left and ran to our right. The only thing to our left was the living room where my brother and his friend were sleeping. Whatever it was, it was standing over top of them while they slept.
My buddy had enough, he ran back upstairs to his room. I wanted one last look before I followed him. I grabbed the hand railing and leaned out to let my eyes adjust to the dark a bit more. I saw my brother and his friend sleeping in their sleeping bags to my left, but when I looked to my right where the thing ran off to... I saw something else in the yard. Through the windows I could see a man walking. He was walking underneath the main yard light so I could see him clearly. He had tattered clothes on, a baseball cap and a big sack slung over his shoulder that was full of whatever your imagination can think of. Other than the fact that it was 1:00 in the morning, this man seemed strange because his clothes, skin and even the bag over his shoulder were all a glowing gray color.
That's when I decided I'd seen enough and ran back to my friends room. First thing I did was look out his window, which faced the same direction that I'd seen this man outside. He was in the middle of the most open part of their yard when I saw him downstairs, however from the upstairs window there was no one outside. This homeless looking man with a giant sack over his shoulder either set a sprinting record across the yard to hide, or simply vanished underneath the yard light.
I've since experienced my fair share of paranormal events, sometimes going out looking for them. But I'll never forget the first encounter I had out at that farm house.