Just after I left university, I rented a room in a house with others that had just left, or were still at, university. The house stood on Blackheath in London, England. (I believe Blackheath is so called because it was used as a mass burial ground for victims of the Bubonic Plague - that has nothing to do with my story, I just thought you might be interested). It was a very large property and had three floors - ground, first and second. The stairwell went right down the middle, so that if you looked over the banisters at the top, you could see down to the hallway without interruption.
My room was one of two right at the top. Nothing really happened until I'd been there a month or so. My then boyfriend came over to stay for the weekend. We had been out for the evening and got back to the house probably between midnight and one o'clock. I went to the kitchen to make coffee, he went upstairs to take his bag to the room. He'd been gone no more than a few minutes when I heard a commotion on the stairs.
I ran out to the hall just in time to see him clattering down the last bend in the stairs. He was as white as a sheet and shaking. Two people came out of their rooms to see what the noise was about, but he just ran into the kitchen, the three of us following and once we were in, he slammed the door shut.
He stood there with his back to the door, panting. When he eventually got his breath back, he sat down at the kitchen table and told us that after he had put his bag in my room, he came down the stairs and just as he got halfway between the second and first floors he had the sensation that something awful was coming down behind him really fast. It was like a blast of ice cold air, and his instincts told him to get down the stairs before it caught him up.
He scared me and I could tell the others were a bit spooked just by his fear, but we couldn't spend the night in the kitchen, so all of us went up the stairs together. When we reached the top, it was so cold on the landing our breath came out as mist. None of us spoke. We were listening to a creaking sound. A bit like when the wind blows a creaky tree. All four heard it and later we all agreed that it had come from the stairwell.
We spent the night downstairs after all. I lived in the house until the following spring and nothing else occurred. A couple of friends, independently, have suggested that perhaps someone hanged themselves in the stairwell and the creaking noise we heard was the creaking of the rope with its dead weight on the end.
I have no explanation. All I know is, it really freaked us out and even now, quite a few years later, I can be walking down the stairs of my present home when suddenly that night will come zipping into my head. I get spooked and go speeding down the stairs, much to the astonishment of my husband!