Hi everyone, I'm new to this site, and thought I'd share a few of my experiences with the supernatural here.
I grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota in an extremely large old house. The house had 16 rooms in all. I'll try my best to describe the layout of the house, as it comes in important in relation to the sightings there. The houses main feature in my eyes were the two large staircasses, one at the front and one at the rear of the house. The stair casses had solid oak banisters running the entire length, and a railing encircling the upper portion for safety. For such a large house, it struck me as a little odd that there were only 2 bathrooms, one upstairs, one down.
It also had a large dine-in Kithcen, formal dining room, family room, Library, "Pantry" ( which was a large room just off of the kitchen), laundry room, Foyer, sun room and little bar room on the main floor. Hidden sliding wooden doors were used to seperate the library from the rest of the house, and there was also another set seperating the dining room and living room, and were often closed when we had company over to keep from "loosing the guests" as my mother often said.
On the upper floor there was a sewing room (modified bedroom) at the rear of the house, right next to the pull-down trap door to the attic. Off of that room was my sisters bedroom, which I will describe more later and 3 other bedrooms were also on that floor, the smallest of which is aprox. 8'x12', largest was 18'x22'.
I believe the house was built in the early 1800's. according to my Father, the house was originally two houses that were brought together to make one larger house, altho I am not too sure about that, as I really havent done any research into the home's origins.
Okay... now on to the good stuff.....
My family consisted of mom, dad, my older brother and sister, and me (the baby of the family) My parents often had foster children living with us at different times of my childhood, after all, what else is there to do with such a big house. None of the forter kids were ever told that the house was haunted when they came in to live with us, because my parents felt that might make them make up stories about seeing or hearing things. Only after one of the foster kids mentioned something strange happening, were they told that "Yes, there are ghosts here, but they wont bug you too much."
A majority of the sightings or strange occurances happened in my sisters bedroom. Her bedroom was located between the staircasses basically. It has three doors to that room, one leading to the back stairway and sewing room/foster kids bedroom, one leading directly into the upper bathroom, and one leading into my brothers bedroom. The door that lead to the back stairway was always kept double locked on both sides to afford the foster kids a little privacy. This door would be opened in the middle of the night on many occasions, freaking my sister out the first few times it happened. It was after the door started opening at night that my dad had the extra lock put on the my sisters side of the door, thinking that the foster kids might be opening it up on mistake. Well, the door continued to open unexplainedly so my sister would try leaving it open some noghts, only to find that in the morning the door was shut and locked from both sides.
Also, my sisters room had an unusuall amount of "Earthly" visitors; squirrels, birds, bats and a rat or two were all found in this room. My bedroom had a couple bats get into, but that was explained because the chimney for one of the fireplaces was attached to my room. Dad found the hole and patched it up... no more critters in there. My sisters room, however was searched for ways that the critters were getting in on several times and there was never a way found, but every couple months there would be "Something" in there.
Then there were the "Knocks", generally waived off as the sounds that an old house just makes. During the night, if you sit in the living room there are distinct knocking sounds coming from a little cubby beneath the main stairwell. The cubby was used for storage, christmas decorations and such. the water and sewer pipes did not run through this area, so that could not be attributed to the sounds, and the house was heatted by two large fireplaces, one on the opposite wall in the living room, and one in the library, so there was no electri heating system to blame either. The cubby was emptied of all the stuff stored there thinking that maybe there was wind getting in there thru cracks or whatever and blowing something up against the wall, but the noises continued.... some times you could hear the knocks quite loudly, other times there was nothing, it seemed that the noises would only last a day or two at most and then not be heard again for several months.
Another thing that this house had was "The ghost on the stairway".. basically it was a luminescent foot-shape that was seen going up the stairs by everyone in the family other than me. To see it, you had to be sitting on the end of the couch closest to the doorway, there you had a plain view of the stairs from the corner of your eye. The apparition would be spotted from the corner of the persons eye, and when they turned to get a clearer view of it, it would be gone. I never saw it, because I refused to sit there after the first person saw it. what can I say, I was very afraid of these things when I was younger.
I could keep going on about this house, but I think I will end it here for now.