There are ghoulish tales told around a campfire, but the stories about real-life encounters with ghosts can be just as scary. Here are a few encounters from different places where I lived.

The neighborhood I live in now was a camp during the Civil War. Most of the people in the neighborhood have at least one story about odd happenings to tell. A psychic told me that there are ghosts coming and going all the time in my house. I have heard voices when I know that no one else is home. Lights and the television sometimes turn on or off, and the last dog we had would lie on my bed, staring at space, and growl. One of our cats often stares at the pantry as if something is there. The only scary thing I have had happen in this house is when I woke up one night and couldn’t move for a minute. I felt as if my body was frozen in place, and then I was fine. It was a very strange feeling. We once had someone spend the night to dog sit, and he told us he did not sleep at all because he heard noises all night.

Our neighbors across the street have the most stories to tell. When Paul and Beth were looking at the house, the owners explained one of the pictures to them. Tricia told Paul it was a picture of her uncle who was a soldier. Paul was walking by the picture when it slammed down. Paul picked it up and turned away and the photo slammed down again. When they were moving in, the television turned on, so Paul turned it off, but it turned on again. He unplugged it and told Beth if it turned on now, they were leaving. My daughter recently slept there to babysit the dog, and the next day, she said, “Mom, there were weird noises all night!” I said, “Oh, I forgot to tell you the house is haunted.”

The most haunted house I ever lived in was in North Georgia in the Appalachian Mountains. I worked at a boarding school where the teacher’s housing were former farmers’ houses. In one house, there was an upstairs apartment where my daughter Jess stayed. She didn’t spend any more time than she needed to up there because she said the ghost didn’t want her there. There was an eerie feeling up there. When I had to go up to clean, I used to say, “I’m sorry to disturb you. I’m only going to clean, and then I’ll leave. There were a series of cupboard doors near the floor, and one night when Jess had a friend over, the doors all opened. One morning, I had gotten up and as I walked to the stairs leading to Jessica’s room, I saw the light on, suddenly, there was a loud bang on the floor as if someone had jumped, so I thought Jess was practicing a dance routine. When I went in to wake up her brother, Jess was asleep on his floor. I said, “Jess, did you just come back down from your room?” She said, “No, I slept here all night.” “Did you leave your light on?” “No.”

My colleague’s house was even more haunted. The third floor was so bad that they boarded it up. One day, her daughter came home from school and heard people talking in the kitchen. Sara yelled, “Mom, I’m home.” The talking stopped and when Sara walked into the kitchen, no one was there.

My oldest sister had a strange incident in her house. Her husband of thirty years had recently told her that he wanted a divorce, and he had never loved her. (There was a younger woman) My mother had passed the year before. She loved my brother-in-law like a son, and the divorce would have devastated her. My sister was folding some clothes. Several were my mother’s blouses. She picked up one and there was a large blood stain over the heart. She thought maybe her husband had cut his hand and then touched the blouse, but he said he had not gone near the clothes. The same day, I noticed the glass on a picture of my sister had broken in half, and there were water marks that looked like tears.

At my sister’s funeral, one of her friends came over to me and said, “I went over to Pat’s house and took a picture. When I looked at it later, I saw this in the window. When you expand the photo, it looks like a picture of my sister before she became ill.

Have you had any strange experiences in your house?

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