The Little Curly-Haired Boy
I have seen ghosts twice in my life. This story is, unbelievably, about 22 years old; it is the first, and most dramatic of my experiences, and occurred when I was a college student living in Woodside, California, at my uncle's home.
One of his neighbors, Connie, asked if I would like to house-sit for her one Friday and Saturday. She was willing to pay me, and as she had a then-15-year-old son, who would be spending time at a friend's, I think the idea was to have a slightly-older and responsible person sleeping in the house to keep him from having a party during her absence! I was told I could bring a friend, and I did - my best girlfriend at the time, Michelle.
Our Friday night was fairly uneventful. The house is in an upscale, wooded part of Northern California, so Michelle and I enjoyed eating "chick food" and drinking wine, looking out over the lovely view from the wraparound deck of the home. Two odd things happened: I noticed that, whenever I went outside, I would close a gate that led from the driveway - which was relatively steep - to the house. But every time I saw it, it was open again. Connie had mentioned there might be workmen around the house, so I assumed that they were somehow leaving the gate open - although I never saw anyone work on the house. (This gate, I'll add, led around to the lower part of the house, the room in which Michelle and I were staying. More later.)
Also, we were drinking iced white wine (we were 20, what can I say) and Michelle's glass just exploded in her hand, basically. But we were sure that it had something to do with the ice cubes. Maybe we were right.
Saturday night, or early Sunday morning, we were sleeping in the "guest room" downstairs from the living room. It was actually a sort of games room/TV room with a wet bar and a stone fireplace that ran upstairs into the living room. We were awakened by the glasses in the wet bar tinkling together. Now, this is Northern California, mind you - land of the earthquake - and we were sure it was just a small tremor, because when we turned on the light the clinking stopped. Examination of the bar showed nothing broken or out of place. So we turned out the lights.
A moment later, not only did the glasses begin to make much more violent tinkling - there was a waist-high soccer game in the room (you know, the pre-electronic sort of game that is operated manually by flipping the soccer players) and the players were spinning around! Well, we were scared to death and decided to run upstairs. My friend Michelle claims she felt a "whoosh" go UP THE FIREPLACE to the main floor living room. Which is where we decided to turn on every single light and wait until dawn.
There was an L-shape couch in the living room and Michelle and I each claimed a different "leg" of the couch. I decided to make coffee, came back from the kitchen, sat down on the right-hand (from the seated person's perspective) leg of the couch; Michelle sat on the left leg, so there was a 90-degree angle between us, on my left side and her right side. Out of the corner of my left eye I saw, laying next to me on the couch - my side of it - a little curly-haired boy. He had dark curly hair and was about 4 or 5 years old. I decided I was mad, it was peripheral vision after all and we'd certainly had an out-of-the-ordinary experience and were hyper-vigilant, I reasoned.
A few minutes later, I had to ask: "Listen, I just saw..." I was interrupted by Michelle, who said "..a little boy on the couch?"
We saw the same thing.
A few hours later, after dawn but still quite early, the teenage son of the house came home. We told him about our experience. Was there any little boy who had been around the house? This was odd, because he didn't seem surprised that we'd asked. And he told us he had had a brother, who would have actually been slightly older than he; as a young child, he had been struck and killed by a mail truck while he rode his bicycle down the steep driveway. I also asked Connie about it at the time: Anything odd about the house (I didn't mention the child, fearing it would upset her). She declined, but there was something odd about it - she didn't really want to talk about it.
My opinion now is that the son was afraid to stay in the house alone and that Connie was well aware that there was potential for some sort of paranormal activity.
This story comes from Woodside, California, where it occured c. 1980.