When I was 8 years old my Mom and Dad purchased a home located in Burlingame, California. They got a great deal on the house and were thrilled at its location, and the town.
I recall the first time I entered the house I said to my Mom "It is so dark in here." My Mother reassured me that with a little paint and new drapes it would be bright and sunny. I think that the darkness I noticed wasn't just because of the dark walls and drapes, there was something much darker hidden in the seams of the house. This darkness didn't stay hidden for long.
Before we moved our belongings into the home my Dad, and one of his friends, Dick, went to the house to refinish the hardwood floors. They were in for a challenging set of experiences. When they turned on the sander the radio would blast, when they turned off the radio the light would go on. Then the electricity would shut off. They checked the fuses, but none of them were burned out.
My Dad called the power company, the man who came out said there was nothing wrong with the connection from the power pole to the house. He told my Dad that he needed to call an electrician. The electrician witnessed the strange and inexplicable relation between unrelated switches and the response from remote locations throughout the house. The electrician told my Dad that the entire house needed to be rewired.
To their surprise after this announcement all the electrical appliances and lights worked as expected. All returned to normal operation at that time. This stunt repeated many times over the years. We just had to wait it out because there was nothing wrong with the fuses, fuse box, the connection to the power pole. There was no technical explanation. I will say that being in a totally dark house due to the actions of invisible intruders was quite terrifying. We were at their mercy, and they had little to no mercy.
After we moved into the house we immediately noted that at times it sounded as if someone was walking across the floor, or there would be what sounded like knocking on various doors throughout the house. The back door would open and slam closed, which would be followed by what sounded like footsteps coming up the stairs.
My parents explained to me that these sounds were the sounds of the house settling. Often when I went to bed at night I would hear heavy breathing right by my face. My parents told me this was what the water heater sounded like at night when it was heating the water.
I would hear my Mother call, and when I answered she would say she did not call me, and visa versa.
I often found long auburn hairs in my bedroom. I couldn't figure this out. I didn't know anyone with auburn hair.
My parents became acquainted with the next door neighbors. They commented to Mom and Dad that they hoped that they lived there longer than other people that had moved in. The house had always been sold, never rented, but it was rare for any family to live there more than 3 months. The neighbors had lived next door for over 20 years.
There were times when I woke up with someone holding on to my ankles and pulling me off the end of the bed. This terrified me. When I told my parents they assured me that I was only having a nightmare.
I woke up in the mornings to find pieces clipped from my hair. This left short jagged pieces I couldn't style. My Mom told me this was from the pin curls I used.
One afternoon I was in my bedroom and couldn't shake the feeling that someone was staring at me. This gave me the creeps, so I decided to go out to the living room. In that I felt so uneasy, I stepped down on the first step in front of the door and reached around the corner to turn off the light. When I turned off the light I saw a young woman sitting on the bed right next to where I had been sitting. She had long auburn hair. She was transparent. I didn't believe in ghosts. My parents had told me over and over again there was no such thing. Now I was faced with the terrifying reality of a ghost sitting on my bed.
I ran to the front bathroom, slammed and locked the door. Then it dawned on me that if she was a ghost and what they say about ghosts was true she could walk through the wall and I would be locked inside with her. I unlocked the door and ran to the living room in the front of the house.
In the morning I told my parents about my experience. They exchanged glances and then they told me that they knew that the house was haunted. The ghost I described to them is the one they called "Florence." It took them about 3 years to believe the house was haunted. They didn't believe it until they had exhausted themselves by sneaking through the house trying to find the intruders making all the noises, and never finding anything. Then one night when they had just gotten into bed, turned off the lights, and above the end of their bed were two floating heads staring at them.
They both saw these apparitions, and could not deny what they saw.
This put them on a trek of using an Ouija board to try to communicate with the ghosts. Knowing what I do now about the response to this board by earth bound spirits I am certain this practice only made things worse. There were many ghosts. I only saw two fully manifest apparitions, but my parents saw and experienced many more. I saw "things" but only 2 specific ones.
It was a common experience to see items, such as books, fly across the room. One time my Mom was taking a nap on the couch in the living room. The couch seemed to be shaking. She opened her eyes to discover that the couch was being transported by floating across the room with her on top of it.
One could explain doors opening and closing by themselves being due to not being latched properly and a breeze caused it to open and close. This explanation could not be applied to the sliding door between the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms. This sliding door often slammed open or closed. This was very unsettling.
Quite a few times my parents came into my room in the middle of the night to see why I was screaming. I was not aware of screaming. As far as I knew I was sound asleep. They would describe the screaming as if I had "seen bloody heads rolling across the floor."
There were times my parents acted out of character. They would be much harsher than one would expect.
Shortly before my Mom passed away she told me that the change of life made her "strange." I asked her what she meant and she told me that one time she was chatting across the picket fence with our elderly neighbor. She said that it took all her strength to force herself to go back into our house without attacking and strangling the neighbor. I told her, "Mom, that wasn't the change of life - it was the ghosts. The ghosts made them say and do things that were out of character. I could see "it" in their eyes and their mannerisms - that they were "different", not themselves.
I experienced times when I was attacked, pushed, and man-handled by the ghosts. I told my parents, and they told me that I was letting my imagination run away with me.
Their invalidation of my experiences made life very difficult for me as there was no where to turn for help.
Family and friends that visited were often treated to a ghost experience from simple footsteps and door knocking to having their blankets pulled off of them in the middle of the night by unseen hands.
One time my Aunt was at our house for my birthday party. It was too late for her to drive all the way home, but she didn't want to sleep in the house. She slept out in our travel trailer with my teenage slumber party.
One time we were watching television when Hans Holzer and Sybil Leek were visiting San Francisco. They were ghost hunters. They announced that if anyone thought their house was haunted that they would be glad to come out and get rid of the ghosts. I begged my parents to call them. They didn't want to because they didn't want anyone in the area to know the house was haunted. They said that when they sold the house that such information would prevent them from getting a good price. I was so hopeful and then crestfallen.
When my parents retired and put the house on the market the ghosts became especially active. We had occupied the house for 15 years, and I think the ghosts were pretty happy with the arrangement.
He told my Mom that he wanted to move into the travel trailer so they didn't have to be concerned with constantly cleaning and preparing for the stream of realtors streaming through the house with potential buyers.
Then one morning my Dad announced that he was lowering the price on the house by a considerable amount. We all tried to discourage him from doing so since they were counting on the profit from the sale to buy retirement property and perhaps build a home. He wouldn't listen to our arguments.
The house sold that day.
Mom and I were sitting in the kitchen while Dad walked the new owners out to their car. Mom and I heard the back door open and slam closed. We heard footsteps coming up the back steps. We got up together and looked down the hall to the stairway. We could still hear the footsteps ascending the stairs, but there was no one to be seen.
After they moved all of their things out of the house, handed over the keys, and had left the property for good, Dad confided why he insisted on moving into the trailer and lowering the price on the house.
The night before they moved out into the trailer my Dad was startled awake by a hand over his mouth and nose. He was being suffocated by the man ghost, who we had come to call Dave.
Dad was a strong guy, but he said that it took all the strength he had to wrestle away from the grip of the ghost.
Dad turned to me an apologized for not believing me.
We heard that the first renter in the house was a minister. I was elated thinking that a minister might pray the ghosts out of the house. The minister moved out almost as soon as he had moved in. After a series of short term renters the house was replaced by an apartment building. Neighbors told my parents that the house had been moved. I don't know if the house was moved, and if it was moved I wondered if the ghosts go with the house or haunt the apartment building built on the site.
I know I would never want to go back and find out for myself.