When I was a kid, I was told ghosts do not exist. Monsters do not exist. Nothing "paranormal" or "strange" existed. When people died they did not return to the world of the living, for any reason. They continued on to a different plane of existence. I have always had reason to question that.
Since I can remember I have had experiences with the unseen and unheard--and even before then.
My mom has told me stories about when I was still very small she would come to find me sitting in some corner, talking to something she could not see. And I was never afraid of anything, or so she said.
When I was very little, we lived in California. My dad was in the Navy, so we moved a lot, and I remember very little of it.
When I was around five, we moved back to Idaho, where I was born. We lived relatively close to my mom's parents, and so therefore we became close with them. They, of course, said the same thing as my parents always had. However, when we moved into our new house, I really began to doubt everything they said about ghosts.
The first few incidents were rather minor. The house that we moved into was by no means brand new, nor was it terribly old, however. It was built sometime in the 70s, 60s at the earliest, and had no horrible history. The family that lived there before us had never completed the construction in the basement of the house however--I believe I soon found out why.
It was always very very cold down there, regardless of the temperature outside, and since it had a really bad habit of being flooded (we still had flood irrigation out where we lived) there was a definite stink of mildew and mold down there. We generally just kept the door to the stairs closed... later on, before we left, we kept it locked. I always took some satisfaction in the fact that my mom was beginning to see something wasn't right in that house either.
At times, you would hear thumping on the floor... or the basement's ceiling. Also, things would generally crash around down there, but there wasn't anything to crash around in it.
We kept the room empty due to the flooding and unfinished concrete flooring/walls. The only furnishings to the place where the frames for the walls around, and they were generally scarred up pretty bad. Anytime we had to go down there, for any reason, the door to the stairs had a nasty habit of closing behind you, and the light would go out.
Our house was also surrounded by trees and brush, right up against the walls, so it was very nearly impossible to get to any of the outside windows without extreme hassle. Now, before I go further, I also think it necessary to point out here that I am an only child, and on top of that, an only grandchild. On my mother's side at least.. and seeing as how my dad never really talked with his family anymore.. my mother's family was all the family I grew up with.
Now, my parents bought me bunk beds because I wanted to sleep high up, on the top bunk. I generally played on the bottom bunk, during the day, but often got the feeling that I was being watched. This started when my parents rearranged my room so that my bed was sitting over the vent in the floor. The top bunk, however, had a great view outside, out of the window, over the bushes, and to the street beyond.
Several nights, for about three months straight, actually, I woke up at about 3:00 AM and looked outside to see a man staring in at me. He was very nondescript, very dark, his facial features hidden under a broad hat. He seemed to have a heavy cloak pulled around him tightly. He never had a menacing air about him, but just seemed very... content to sit and watch. I would often "sense" him in other places as well, but never really interacted with him.
One Easter my parents got me a pet rabbit as a present. The rabbit was white, and lived outside usually. There was a a spot in a bundle of trees behind the house where a shed had once been. We put his cage in the bundle in the nice weather, and in the garage in the bad. It worked well enough.. except for one time, when it was raining outside, we brought his cage in and set it on the garage floor. It wasn't raining all that hard, but was supposed to be doing so for a few hours, so we thought it best to bring him in. About 45 minutes later there was a loud crash from the garage, and we went running out to see what had happened. Now mind you, the rabbit was small. A little kid could hold him easily in one hand. His cage was large enough for a golden retriever.. (we used to have one, and just recycled his cage by lining it with chicken wire around the walls and laying a board in the bottom) so... there was no physical way the rabbit could have moved the cage. No one else was there, and the garage was locked with a padlock. Which was untouched. But when we ran in, the cage looked as if it had been lifted to the ceiling and dropped. The walls were crumpled up and everything broken inside. My rabbit lay in the middle, dead.
After a few other random occurrences in the house (including random power outages, when we KNEW the power was on in houses all around us) and random noises that could not be explained.
Finally, a couple years after my parents had been divorced, my mom met my step dad, and they got together and we decided to move to a bit better house, and town. Right after we did so (I was 9) I had a really bad dream about my grandpa. Now, my grandpa was dying slowly from a brain tumor. It had put him a wheelchair, and limited his speech to the word "too." It was heartbreaking to watch, as my grandpa had been everything to me that my dad never was. He was my hero, and now he was dying... well. Anyway, I had this terrible dream. I was in a hospital room, watching the nurses and doctors run around while my grandma stood next to the bedside crying. I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked up to see my grandpa standing there, watching as well. He said something, I don't remember what, but then he was gone, and I was awake, and I knew his time was coming.
Two weeks later my step dad's dad died from lung cancer. Two weeks after that my grandpa followed him. He slipped into a coma one night, and had to be put on life support. He had been adamant about not wanting to be on life support, and so my mom had the doctors pull the plug. She seemed oddly serene about it. I think she knew that he was going to a better place, that he could leave the pain behind. Two weeks later I was in the hospital with appendicitis. And then finally, we were clear of it. But when I left the hospital I was very much more aware of followers. I came to call them the watchers. There was at least four, sometimes more, and they followed me around, never interfering or doing anything harmful. Just... watching.
As I grew up in our new house, I finally moved out of my small room to the basement. Our new house had previously been a duplex, and the downstairs was it's own house in itself. I took the living room as my room, and loved it. The bedroom, which was back in a corner, became our storage room, and it didn't take me long at all to realize it was very, very, very haunted. Almost right away, only a couple nights after I moved down there, the bedroom door would open and slam on it's own. Now, the door opened into the bedroom, and the room had very thick carpet that made it actually very hard to open the door in the first place. Hearing it slam was beyond frightening.
At other times, I would hear the boxes sliding around in the room, as it was used solely as a storage room. No one in my entire family, however, could bring themselves to even OPEN the closet door. It had such a chill around it, even walking closer to it became creepy, and you just wanted to leave, walk away and never go back. The air around the closet was cold and damp. There were water stains on the wall in the room that seemed to come and go randomly, or move about at the very least. I don't remember ever seeing them in the same place more than once. A couple nights I woke up to my stereo playing, the volume slowly going up and down, up and down, up and down... and about that time I would feel the watchers come closer, and the goings on would stop. The door would open and slam, hard, and all would be quiet. A couple times I woke to feel hands running up my legs over the covers in my bed, but see nothing. Again, the watchers would come closer, and the presence, whatever it was, would retreat.
One time while taking a shower the shower curtain ripped away and pinned itself to the opposite wall. I freaked out and ran upstairs in shorts, and told my mom, and she laughed, saying I had imagined it. Sure enough, when we went down to look, the curtain was hanging normally... but the shower was still going. I had turned it off when I ran. My mom scolded me for wasting hot water, turned off the faucet, and left.
There were other times around the basement there where a friend of mine and I would be standing outside the basement window (the bedroom window was right next to the side door on the house) and my friend would freak out, asking me who was in my house, and claim he had seen a face looking up at him, glaring at him from the window. He always said that the hair was wet, dripping down his face. I never saw the face myself, but I had three or four friends who did. They also enjoyed staying the night at my house to see if the door would slam when they were there. As it was a nightly occurrence, it generally did.
A few years later, I graduated high school and moved to the dormitories at Idaho State. While I never had any strong experiences there, my watchers moved with me, and continued to be with me at all times. I had come to see them as a type of protection, that they wanted to shield me from harm and such. Another friend, who was very into the paranormal, told me that he had felt his own watchers, and understood them to be mentors, of a sort. They they guided you and helped you as your "psychic" powers developed. I'm not sure about psychic powers and all, but they were always around..
The worst occurrence that scared me the worst happened where I now live. Not at my house, per say, but at the place I worked. I worked for the local theatre, and they have several around town. Two drive- ins, and three indoor cinemas. One of the Cinemas, called the Orpheum, is a renovated playhouse from back in the day. They've closed off the balcony in it, but it still has a decent size to it, and is fun to go see a movie at if just for the rustic feel to the place. However, it also happens to be rather haunted.. there's a woman pushing an empty carriage up and down the theatre aisles almost all the time. Customers come out to complain about her rather continuously. In the back, where the dressing rooms used to be, the lights either never turn on, or never turn off. Depending upon the spirits' mood, I assume. The light switch you hit just does nothing, unless they seem to not care, and let you turn them on and off at will.
There's a mischievous girl in the lobby/foyer that loves to take small items, and only after you've torn the place apart looking for them, will you find them RIGHT where you placed it in the first place. I've seen her, actually, standing on the balcony and looking down at me, smiling pleasantly. She's a good-natured spirit as far as I can tell. But at the drive-in, on one of my first days there, I was closing and up front by myself. I glanced up at a figure that had caught the corner of my eye in the glass doorway and saw what appeared to be a man, with his hat pulled low over his face, in a heavy trench coat. He was standing outside, looking in, and I felt the familiar weight of the watchers' presence. I moved away, and heard a tapping on the glass. I looked back up, and he had not moved, still sitting there, staring at me. I nodded, unsure of what really to do, and turned back to finish closing. A moment later, BANG!! the popcorn bin covers crashed to the ground. Thinking I had set them precariously on the edge of the counter, I shook my head, walked over and picked them up, setting them back in the bin and closing and latching the doors. A moment later... BANG!! they hit the floor again. I turned around and stared. Both were lying back on the floor, the doors to the bin wide open. Feeling a little nervous I went and picked them back up again and replaced them. The watcher was still outside, staring at me. I looked over at him, wondering if this was some sort of test. I re latched the bin doors, walked away, and BANG!! for a third time. I froze and turned slowly. They were back on the ground. Walking back, I replaced them for a third time and then looked back at the watcher... who was suddenly inside, and much closer, standing on the other side of the counter. I just stood and stared, he looked so real, like a real man, as solid as any other human. I swallowed hard and asked in what had to be a very small voice, "Are you here to protect me?" And I swear to this very day the watcher gave a very slight nod, and then turned. I turned to follow his gaze, and when I looked back, for i didn't see anything, he was gone.
Very unnerved, I finished cleaning in a hurry and ran out of there. In my car on the interstate on the way home, a semi truck was catching up to me, the lights blindingly bright in my rear-view mirror. I reached up to hit the darkener on it, and for a brief instant, two red, glowing eyes were staring at me from the backseat. I yelled and swerved on the road dangerously, letting go of the mirror as the semi finished going around me. I raced home as fast as I could and got out, looking in the backseat for any sign of anything. Nothing was there. I walked up to my door and it was locked.. my mom NEVER locked the front door while I was at work. Thinking she might have forgot and done it out of habit I went to unlock it and could not. I stepped back, looking around, trying to decide what to do, when I saw them again. Four watchers, this time, all around me, in a semi-circle. I turned and looked at each in turn, not sure what to do or say. They just stared back, impassive, identical in their wide-brimmed hats and trench coats, though each seemingly had a very different feel to it. The next thing I remember is waking up the next morning in my bed. I have no recollection about what happened next at all.. but ever since that night the watchers come and go, and are never with me continuously anymore.
They also feel much stronger and I can feel them much more vividly. Enough to the point where if one is around me, I can raise my hand and point to them. I can also see other people, and know if they have watchers of their own. I feel drawn to these people, like they're family of some sort. I feel a natural desire to protect them, to help them. I can't help but think of my one friend's opinion that these are "mentors" and perhaps I came into my "psychic" powers.. if there are such things. I have dreams very commonly now that always seem to come true, and see things that others can't. I guess it's a very strong affinity for something beyond my comprehending, but I'm not sure.
The last time I saw my watchers, I was on a road trip, and ran out of gas in Memphis, Tennessee. I was stranded in a parking lot with no cell phone and no gas money, trying to get to a bank so that I could get some money from my parents. Standing in Kroger parking lot, having NO idea where anything was and no car to get there, i was about to give up hope and just sit and cry when I saw a man coming towards me with the classic wide-brimmed hat and trench coat. He came right up to me, held out his hand to me, and pressed a bill into my palm, whispering. "You are in need." I looked at my hand when he was gone... I was holding fifty dollars. I got gas, filled up my car, and found the bank just fine after that.
They truly are protectors. Also, a new idea I've just come across suggests that these Watchers are the spirits of people who have come before, people like me. Perhaps, when I die, I will become a Watcher... I don't really know.