About three years ago, I was asked to move into a different apartment in the same building so the one in which I had been living could be renovated. While doing the initial walk-through of the new space, I noticed a strange stain on the bedroom carpet. The best I could come up with at the time was that the previous occupant had probably been burning a red or maroon candle and knocked it over, spilling wax that did not come up completely.
About a week later (I was given an extended move-out window, since I was doing management a favor), I started spending the night in the new apartment. From Day One, I had some of the most violent and disturbing dreams I'd ever had, and I've had some jaw-droppers! The strange thing about these dreams, though, was that they were thematic: They always involved me protecting a woman and her children from the mother's abusive husband or boyfriend.
One night, after awaking from one of these dreams, I was wandering around the apartment trying to calm myself down, when one of my arms went cold. The odd thing was that, as I paced, it was always the arm facing the interior wall of the apartment that was cold. At the time, I had no truck with gods, but would not let go of my quasi-belief in the supernatural. I point this out by way of explaining my wording when I turned to face the cold spot and said, low and firm, "I am I, and in my name I command you to begone."
In less time than the snap of fingers, the chill disappeared.
As time went on, I began discovering odd things about the apartment. A similar stain to the one in the bedroom was "pooled" (that's the only fitting word) around the base of one of the doorjambs. There were strange dents and holes in the walls, that had been badly-patched. I began to wonder if something unsavory hadn't happened in this apartment.
All went fairly well until something--or multiple somethings--began trying to manifest in my dreams. During this time, the sightings occurred.
On the 13th of one month (I don't really think that's significant, but it adds nice flavor)--I was dreaming of tracking a serial killer when something in the back of my mind began "screaming" at me to wake up.
Suddenly, I was fighting my way from sleeping to waking, in a panic. I seem to remember a presence from which I tried to shield myself, but when I did so it just laughed. I became aware that I was in my bed: I could feel my hands, arms, and legs; feel the sheet covering them; feel the pillows under my head; feel my eyelids straining to open; hear myself breathing hard with effort, and trying to make any kind of vocalization come from my paralyzed throat; but I could not move.
At a point when I was gaining a little physical control, I was able to hold my eyes half-open and move them slightly. I looked over toward the right, to the extent that I could. What I saw there was a vaguely anthropomorphic shadow hanging cruciform in the corner where the two walls meet the ceiling. I was most of the way to believing it to be just a trick of shadowó-I was still immobilized, but my brain was starting to functionó-when I saw it detach itself from the corner and float swiftly across the roomó-whether to the closet or out the door, I cannot say with any certainty.
I remained paralyzed for what must have been a few more seconds. I was able then to turn my head to the left, and on the closet door saw something black, a face/mask reminiscent in shape of a skull, grinning at me. One part of my mind labeled this, too, as a trick of shadows, but the other, greater, part of my mind found in the terror of seeing it the strength to move my arms and switch on the light.
Thirteen days later (again, of dubious significance, but good for flavor) I had another encounter with this. This time, the dream was of actually confronting some sort of enemy on the astral. Since this site is about ghosts and not dreams, I won't go into details. Suffice it to say I was fighting and losing. Again, instinct forced me awake.
I could hear a noise in my ears the way one does when closing one’s eyes too tightly. I could feel myself squeezing my eyes shut. Like last time, I could hear my breathing. I was breathing short and fast, and knew I was coming awake. I couldn't move again, but this time I fought it hard. I desperately tried to get every muscle in my body working; had I been awake and able to move, I would have been thrashing about. I tried to sit up, but it didn't work. I forced my eyes open and looked up into the corner next to the windows, hoping I wouldn't see It.
The shape was there, but this time seemed to be looking out the window.
I've tried ever since to determine what this thing I felt and later saw was. Was it a psychic impression left by mayhem done in this apartment? The vengeful spirit of a victim? A spirit entity of some sort come to protect me from one of the above? Or just an hallucination brought on because I awoke from REM too quickly? I may never know, because I've not seen it since.