It had to be about 2000, 2001 because I was about 12 - 13 give or take. We moved from California to New Hampshire when I was 5 and had lived in the city of Dover. It was calm and nothing strange ever happened there which is why my experiences a few years later when we moved to Rochester were so incredible to me.
We moved into one of those old houses that had been one large old building and then turned into an apartment complex. I don't think any of us really thought about the age of the place so much until we found this really old pantry in the basement.
I have a brother; he's the oldest, and a sister, the middle child. We all had the same feelings about the basement, we always felt watched. My sister and I felt dreadful when we had to go down. It was after we'd lived there for a couple of years when our landlord cleared out a bunch of old junk and lumber from one of the corners of the basement and we found a door behind it all. We, of course, were curious so we got the door open - which wasn't easy- and went in. We were grossed out by all the really old jars we found on cement shelves cause they seemed be full of old fruits, jams, and other such things. The place was obviously one of those old rooms people used before refrigerators. It was gross. So, we cleaned it out a little.
I've read a lot about old things being disturbed or places being entered that hadn't been in a long time bringing about activity and I often wonder if that's what caused the following years to be so... Eventful until we moved out. I remember a number of occurrences.
I can remember talking to my sister briefly about everything and understanding that she felt as much fear of the basement as I did and often felt odd and watched. We didn't go into great detail of anything at that point. I was a kid and so was she and it freaked us out. We didn't want to have an encounter of the paranormal kind at the time.
I remember sitting at the table in the kitchen having a normal conversation with my neighbor and in the middle of talking the sink turned on. We both froze; it was in the middle of the afternoon. I had to get up walk over and turn it back off. It wasn't just a sudden drip or anything; I had to turn the handle back.
I can remember sitting in the living room and having my old toy remote car. I was playing with it and I turned on its headlights so I could turn off the big light. I was young it was summer vacation and I was the only one still up. When I set the remote (buttons up) onto the seat next to me and walked over to the light switch the toy car started driving it's self back and forth. I kicked it and ran into my mother's room. The cars wheels were not moving when we returned and it never 'malfunctioned' in that way before or after that one incident. It had scared me very much.
For the most part the house didn't scare us or me in particular. I would be afraid when I saw the shadows in the corner of my eye or when my sister would shout to empty air to stop whispering her name, but beyond the moment it happened I wouldn't feel threatened really. The only time I did was in the basement. And even then it wasn't consistent. I didn't like to go down, for the most part it would make me feel isolated, watched, and like something was going to happen. Sometimes, however, I will say I'd go down and feel normal about it.
One particular day that made me truly believe and give in to the idea that the place may have been haunted was not one of those sometimes. I had denied it for the most part and when the house came up in conversation I would only say it could be creepy but it was old and leave it at that. I'd talk to my neighbor Nicole sometimes but not in great detail as she experienced similar things herself. On this particular day my friend Ashley had been over. It was late in the day but not close enough to be called evening. I remember clear as day, I was doing laundry I was on the second load and she was telling me about some of the girls in her class. It was your generic middle school drama - who likes who. It was the summer before I went into high school.
I had to switch over the laundry and as I went down she chose to follow me and sat towards the bottom of the stair so that while I was facing the washer I could look forward and to the left and see her. Forward and to my right was the stairs leading out of the basement directly outside and to the left of that stair was the creepy old pantry room. I liked to keep an eye on that door because sometimes I felt like someone was watching me from right there. I also kept an eye straight to my left all the way to the back of the basement it was always very dark and you couldn't see clearly, I hated the idea of something sneaking up on me from there.
She sat down and I started in with the laundry I was just about done and ready to head back up when I heard her take a sharp breath. I tossed the last fistful of clothes into the dryer and looked up just in time to watch her scream and run up the stairs. I didn't feel anything particularly off setting in that moment and when I looked around the room I didn't see anything so I assumed it was a spider and closed the washer before turning to the dryer. That's when the hair on the back of my neck stood on end and I felt the urge to run. I kicked the door shut with my foot, hit the 'start' button hard and fast, turned and got myself up the stairs.
When I got there Ashley locked the door behind me and started apologizing over and over again. I just asked for what, of course I was confused. She finally calmed down enough and said she saw a tall person, she would have said a man but it was just a shadow. It wasn't something solid but at the same time it was there and it was coming up behind me. Of course I realized why she was sorry but I was way too shocked to really say anything about that because I was astonished. I hadn't told Ashley any details about what I had been seeing from time to time. I had never seen it dead on like she described but what she talked about was what I had noticed as well in the brief moments I had seen it.
I went to my sister after this for more details and finally told her everything. When I did she didn't seem anywhere near as shocked as I thought she should. She told me she knew what I was talking about and she felt it too (which I knew she did) but she also heard whispering (which of course I also knew she did). And after she'd finally accepted what glimpses she'd seen and what she heard she SAW things. She said she was sure there was a little girl in that house. She said she thought there was a man, and she felt like there was a woman. She said she didn't really know what was in the basement and she didn't like it.
About a year and a half before we moved out of that apartment, my Dad had an experience.
He woke up feeling like he was being watched and saw a woman standing at the end of his bed. He thought maybe he was still slightly asleep and was seeing things so he said he closed his eyes for a minute and stretched out to wake up then looked again but she was still there. He realized then she was there but she wasn't, she didn't look right. She was dressed in a white dress but it didn't look right either. He said at that point his heart jumped into his throat. She turned calmly and pointed at corner that joined his room to my sisters and mine as well as the neighbor's living room. Like she wanted him to see something but Dad was so startled he screamed and grabbed my mother to wake her up. She of course woke up, and so did the rest of us, but she didn't see anything.
The rest of the occurrences I can't really say for sure if they were. I would wake up like something was touching me, or trying to pull me up and I would startle awake, but I can't say for sure if it's anything, because I was asleep and though I feel startled and disoriented and sure of what I think I felt when I wake up I don't -see- anything and the fact remains I like to be a skeptic before a believe and I can't say it wasn't part of a dream that I just don't remember.
I miss the memories, but I wasn't completely sad to move out. I slept better once we did. I've moved again since then and things are still nice and calm where I am. It was only that one apartment so far that I've had such a thing happen to me. I have felt that same sort of 'I'm being watched' feeling in other places but no experiences that were as extensive or definitive.
Of course I knew what I experienced but I can't prove any of it to anyone that wasn't there. I'm open to hearing anyone's thoughts that think they can rationalize what I experienced. If anyone has seen anything or experienced anything like this please comment. I would love to hear about it.