I had a rather harrowing experience two years ago while I was living in my grandparent’s 19th century brownstone.
My grandparents had lived in this house since the 1930s and my mother grew up there. I moved into the second floor of the house in the spring of 1996. Shortly after moving in I became aware that between the hours of 2am and 5am the sounds of someone could be heard walking around empty third floor apartment.
The footsteps would start up in the room right over my living room and slowly make their way down the steps to the second floor hallway and stop at my living room doors. You should note that the floors are uncarpeted up to this point and the steps seem to end right where the living room’s oriental rug begins.
The first time that I experienced this phenomena was during a sleepless night where I decided to sit up in my living room reading a book. I sat frozen as the footsteps came down from the darkened third floor. All I can remember thinking was, "This isn't happening, this can't be what I think it is, I've got to be imagining this…" The steps stopped at the living room door and the room temperature dropped. It felt like someone had left the door open in winter but, on that hot summer night, the blast of cold air was inexplicable and terrifying. Whoever the mysterious night walker was he was in the room with me and I could do nothing but sit in shocked silence. Then the rocking chair in the corner began to slowly come to life. This visible manifestation must have triggered something in me because I shot out of my seat and bolted for my bedroom. I shut the door and remained awake for the rest of the night.
This manifestation never occurred in my bedroom or anyplace else other than the hall and that living room late at night so I was able to deal with it by avoiding those places at those times. However, I often made it a habit to keep the French doors that lead from the hall into my living room shut at night.
My brother, being a skeptic upon hearing my story, agreed to spend the night with me in that living room. After many protests he allowed me to keep the French doors leading to the hall shut. These French doors had glass panes in them and were covered with drapes that allowed the light to come in while maintaining privacy. There was no way I would sit there all night with them open. We hung out all night playing cards, talking, etc… until around 2:30am. That is when the night walker showed up. As the steps made their way down to my living room doors I saw my brothers face grow pale and felt my hair stand on end. When they reached the shut doors there was a pause. Then I heard a faint moan in the hall. Then, suddenly, the doors started to move like someone in the hall was trying to push them in. As they rattled my brother, convinced I was now had a friend in the house and was playing a prank on him pulled the curtains away from the glass panels of one door saying, "All right, you don't fool m….." I ran to his side and saw why he had stopped talking. The doors continued to be pushed on from the hallway but, as we clearly saw through the window, nobody was in the hall. I pulled my paralyzed brother out of the room and made our way out through the room’s other door and into the bedroom. We spent the rest of the night there.
I lived in that house for another year before moving out and I made peace with the ghost by sharing my living room with it. At night I simply left the doors to the hall open and the light on. All it needed was a little hospitality.