In honor of Halloween...
I was probably eleven, maybe twelve. We lived in a speck of a town in Iowa, in an old stucco house that had a lot of very cool stuff - like a laundry chute and a counter in the kitchen you could move around to suit your needs/wants. I was in sixth grade and had found a friend that lived a few blocks away. (though I could be wrong about that, we didn't live there long and my sense of direction is whacked.) It had to be early spring since we moved in May and the only other weather I remember is snow. (A lot of snow)
Anyway. This friend and I were having a sleepover at her house. They lived in a cute little house with two bedrooms on the second floor. My friend in one room and her older sister in the other. Except my friend never slept in her room. Ever. She then went into a long tale about a ghost and how when she was sick she woke to find him beside her bed, how the ghost would play the piano in the middle of the night and touch her mother's pottery projects, leaving impressions but no fingerprints. And that he was a nice ghost - a soldier who had passed away that grew up in the house, but he didn't like it when she had visitors and he didn't like her sisters room, which is why she slept in there most of the time.
Yeah, whatever. Even my eleven or twelve year old self was a bit skeptical. But she, and her sister, insisted they were telling the truth. I don't remember feeling afraid at all, even when I did hear the piano playing in the middle of the night. I figured it was effect or her mother, or whatever.
Fast-forward to the next morning. They had field work to do and my family had things going on as well. Everyone from her family had gathered outside to begin their day. I was standing by the old well pump waiting for my mom when I remembered something I'd forgotten. I have no idea what it was. I went upstairs, feeling a little strange when I got to the top of the stairs, but not remembering the ghost stories or even thinking along those lines. It was cold up there, colder than it had been all night. I grabbed my stuff and headed down the stairs when I heard knocking coming from below me. I stopped at the window and looked out, thinking someone was messing around and had come in to try to scare me, but everyone was still outside.
I rushed down the stairs, the knocks still audible, and opened the pantry door (located right under the stairs) expecting to at least see someone inside, but there was no one. I, of course, hurried outside and told my friend. She laughed and said that had to be their ghost saying hello to me.
To this day, I don't know what to believe. I could very well have been tricked - the whole ghost story thing some scam they all ran when they had visitors. Or, they could have been telling the truth. There's no way for me to know, and there's no way to know if what happened on the stairs was really paranormal or some trick designed to scare me.
So there you have it. Make of it what you will. I'm still trying to decide.