I have a few stories from various places I've lived. Though I have never seen a ghost first-hand, my gran has been able to see them her entire life and says they're everywhere. Over the years, I've come to realise that she's right.
When I was 15 (1995), my family moved into a beautiful house in Stamford, Conn. It was quite large but very cosy, and was over 250 years old. I remember my mother's friend coming to the house once and saying that there was a wonderful warmth to the house brought on by a warm presence.
At the time my sister and I were attending boarding school in Canada, but we went home for vacations (naturally). One night, my sister, my best friend (who had come up with us for a holiday), and I had snuck outside to smoke cigarettes. As we were quite young, we were being sneaky about it. We used the glass doors off the living room which my parents' upstairs window looked out onto.
I made it out first and ducked around the side of the house when two things happened at once. My sister and friend, still standing in front of the doors, looked up and then called me to come back. "Mom's looking out of her window- we have to get back in the house," she said. At the same time, however, I was convinced I saw a snake crossing my path and was frozen on the spot. I told them this and said that I had to wait for the snake to pass. Since it was very dark, I really couldn't see, so when I was sure it must have passed I hot footed it back to where they were standing. I looked up to my parents' window but didn't see anything.
In the morning, my sister told my mother that they'd seen her looking out the window. The only thing that seemed strange though, was how long her hair was. My mother looked at us and said she hadn't looked out of the window, in fact, it was the first time in a long while that she hadn't even got up once during the night, that she'd had one of the best night's sleep in a long time.
Then she'd told us that when her chiropractor had found out where we lived, he'd told her he had lived there until he'd gotten divorced. He just said completely normally, "Have you seen the ghost yet? She's got really long hair." My mother had told him that no, she hadn't seen her, but she knew she was there for various reasons. The first being that when she was along in the house, sometimes she'd be sitting on her bed and this scent of roses would come in the room. It would get stronger and stronger until it was right there on the bed beside her. The second thing that happened to her frequently was that when she'd be going up the stairs, the hall light on the second floor would turn on and the stair lights would turn off as soon as she reached the landing.
Then at some point in time, my parents were sitting in bed one night and my mother asked my father if the house seemed different to him. He said it did, that the warm feeling was gone, but they didn't put much thought to it until a few weeks later. My mother happened to mention it to my gran who'd been staying there for about a month. To this my gran replied, "Well I told that lady to leave." Flabbergasted, my mother asked her what happened and she said that she'd been sitting in the living room when this little old lady came in. They had a conversation and my grandmother had told her that she no longer belonged there and that it was time to go. Though most people would have been pleased about this, my parents were not. Needless to say, the feeling returned a few months later.
The second story I have happened when I was living with my now ex-boyfriend in 2001. We had found this incredible apartment that had been vacant for a while, and since we'd been searching for 2 months, we decided to take it. My boyfriend initially didn't want to take it because he already lived in that building and wanted a change of scenery. It had 12 foot ceilings, wall to wall windows and was huge. And cheap. This seemed kind of sketchy to me because it had been vacant for so long when there was a housing shortage in our city. For such a nice place, the first thing I thought was that it might be haunted.
Because my boyfriend worked and went to school (I just went to school), I had the house to myself a lot. At least 3-4 times a week, I'd be sitting on the couch doing something and would go to grab my cigarettes or glasses or whatever from the side table, and it wouldn't be there. Frustrated, I'd look all around the immediate area, get up and search the entire apartment. Usually I'd give up within 10-20 minutes and sit back down. Always, whatever it was I was looking for would be exactly where I'd left it- the first place I'd searched. I seriously thought I was going nuts.
Then one night we were eating some cake and ice cream. My boyfriend took his first and went to sit in the living room. After I put mine in a bowl I asked him where he left the ice cream lid and he said he'd left it on the counter. I told him it wasn't there, that there was nothing on the counter. Then I sat down and realised what was happening. I looked at him, smiled and said, "Forget it- it will be there in 15 minutes. This always happens to me- I swear, it's going to be there." He told me I was nuts and went to the kitchen to look for it.
He looked EVERYWHERE. In the fridge, in the cupboards- all over. And then my cat went into the kitchen and started scratching at the bottom drawer that was attached to the counter. My boyfriend had literally being standing staring at the counter completely bewildered. When he saw my cat scratching at the drawer I heard him say, "What? Did I put it in the drawer?" I heard the drawer open and close and then I heard him say, "Oh my God." In the time it had taken him to bend over to open and close the drawer, the lid was back on the counter. I just said, "I told you so." He didn't believe in ghosts until that night.
When we broke up, we both moved to different apartments in that building. The apartment we had left was on the first floor and when the curtains were open, we could see right in. Four different couples moved into that apartment in the first year we had left.
This last story is quite short, but sends shivers up my spine. The apartment I'd moved into after the last had exactly the same layout.
I was sitting with two of my friends in a chair, with my back to the window (the curtains were drawn). They were sitting on the couch facing me when both of their eyes opened wide and my best friend yelled, "Holy crap- did you see that?" My other friend nodded but was too shocked to say anything. Just from the looks on their faces my heart dropped into my stomach and I said, "Please don't tell me, I live here alone, and I can't deal with it."
After I moved out I asked my best friend what she had seen. She said she saw a flash of light formulate in the corner behind me and streak across the room before it disappeared. My other friend had seen the same thing.
I think I've never actually seen anything because they know I wouldn't be able to handle it. Stuff like this scares the daylights out of me.