Steve, Stoud, UK
Before I start I would like to say that although this happened not so long ago, my memory is not what it should be and some details are a little cloudy.
I live in a small house in Nailsworth, near Stroud, with the downstairs area literally just split into 2 rooms, as is the deal for council houses in the area. You can go in the front door to a small hallway and the stairs, through a door to your right is the sitting room, and a door at the other side of the room leads to the kitchen, and through that, the garden. It is a very basic layout.
I have had the honour of occupying all the bedrooms in the house at some time or another. My first room was directly above the kitchen- where most of this story centres.
I begin somewhere around 1993/4.
One night, as I was trying to get to sleep (ignoring the "monsters" as best a seven year old can) I thought I heard the sound of laughter coming from downstairs. Thinking it was my dad (who would usually be quite loud, despite the time of night) I got up to ask him to be quiet.
However, as I walked out onto the landing, I stopped. I could still hear the faint laughter from downstairs- but I could also hear my dad snoring in my parents' room. Now- seeing as my brother was only one at the time, and my dad was asleep- who was making the laughter?
Purging notions of ghosts and demons from my mind, I decided he must have left the TV on, so I started downstairs to turn it off. But when I reached the living room, all I could see was darkness. No TV at all. I was starting to get a bit scared (alright, a LOT scared) and I opened the door to the kitchen- in the darkness in front of me I could see the faint figure of a fat, laughing man- I am sure he wasn't an intruder, because he had no legs!
Well, whatever the hell it was, I legged it back upstairs to sleep on my parent's bedroom floor! After that, I never saw or heard from the apparition again, but was loathe to be alone at any time in the house until I was about 10.
Fast-forwarding to a couple of years ago...
My sister had started playing with Sox, one of the cats belonging to our next door nieghbour, and despite my dad's ardent dislike of animals, she was allowed to come into the garden and eventually into the house.
When our neighbour's other cat gave birth, we sort of adopted Sox, our first pet. (Well, I say first- we did have a snail and a fish.) But the first one that counts. While she was allowed into any of the downstairs rooms my mum told us not to let her go upstairs. So, the door to the hallway was kept firmly closed.
Being a private kind of person, whenever I used the computer in the sitting room I always liked to have the door to the kitchen closed as well. If I was in there with Sox, and she wanted to go out she would run to the door and begin scratching it, as cats do.
One day while I was in the living room I was sitting at the computer with sox on my lap. She jumped down, and ran toward the door, so I got up to open it for her. The door open, she bolted through- and then suddenly stopped. She stood in the doorway- where I had seen the laughing dude, and just stared straight ahead. She arched her back and began to hiss. I couldn't see anything. To me it was just an empty kitchen. But Sox was having none of it. She backed round behind me, I closed the door, and she calmed down. I resumed my work on the computer- and about ten minutes later she wanted out again. So I opened the door- and she began to hiss and her fur stood on end once more. I closed the door again, and let her out the front way.
To keep myself company I put the TV on as well, just to give some background noise. A few minutes later I had to use the toilet. When I came back down the kitchen door was open, and the TV had been turned off. I looked into the kitchen, but nobody was there. There were no cars on the drive, so my parents must have still been at work. As far as I knew, I was alone.
So, what was it that opened the door? And who turned the TV off? Remember- I was the only person in the house at the time.
The final section of my story is set just a few months back.
My mum had bought Sox a flea collar, because she had fleas (duh) And she was coping with it fine until about three days later she went missing. We put up some posters (which some freak thought it would be funny to remove) and phoned the local Vet, but to no avail. It was another three days before my dad found her, dead in the local football club next door. She died after becoming caught up in a goal-net by her flea collar. Naturally, mum felt responsible for Sox's death.
On a couple of occasions after her death, when I was alone in the house I started to hear a faint scratching coming from the kitchen door. I ignored it a few times, but one day I decided to open it, and I swear I felt something quickly brush past my shins. I sat down on the computer chair and felt what seemed to be a cat pressing down onto me. Needless to say, there was no cat, and I carried on regardless, I like to think it was Sox coming back.
We are now in the process of "stealing" another of next door's cats (heehee) Her name is Nala- one of the kittens. Since Nala has been coming in the house I haven't encountered Sox any more. Perhaps she has moved on to somebody else's house, eh?
Thanx for reading. STU (aka STEVE)