Do you believe in ghosts? I do. Have you ever felt a cold spot in a room? Heard a strange noise or seen something from the corner of your eye that just should not have been there? Have you ever seen a ghost? I thought I would create this thread in honor of horror month (my favorite genre!) to see if anyone has ever experienced really real paranormal activity. For some strange reason, I seem to experience a lot of it and thought it would be fun to swap spooky stories! So without further ado... The first time: My first experience came when I was about 6 or 7 years old. My very best friend at the time, Sara and I would play together all the time and trade clothes, climb trees and do various other little girl things. Sara was a lot more of a daredevil than I was, skirting around rules and things. I wished that I could have been more like her, what I thought of as brave and daring. One of the things she did was to not wear her seat belt; nothing exactly daring but when you're that age and mom tells you to put it on, to just not wear it was a pretty big act of defiance. And it turned out to be a dangerous one. We had traded coats that day at school. I remember that detail really well and I'm almost certain that her jacket- the one she lent me- with the zebras on it still hangs in a closet at my parent's house. Sara and her mother were rounding a large curve in the road when a coal truck veered out if its lane into theirs and struck them head on. Sara wasn't wearing a seat belt and was ejected. She was wearing my coat. She lingered in the hospital for a few days before passing on and I remember my mom said I couldn't go to see her. She was apparently in really bad shape. It was a closed-casket funeral for her, and I wasn't allowed to go to say goodbye. But Sara came to say goodbye to me. I was lying in bed, not sleeping and just staring into the dark, when these strange shapes began to take form. None of them looked like her, but there was a presence- the feel of her- in them. And I knew that she was alright. That she was saying goodbye and that she loved me. And I'll never forget that. The second time: The second experience was a brief one and very unexplained. It has no big lead-up and no real conclusion. I was just asleep one night when my eyes opened and there was a man at the foot of my bed. He was dressed in the uniform of a civil war soldier and just looking at me. And then he turned and walked into nothingness and was gone. The third time: My third experience came during a family gathering at the old family home in Green Creek, WV. When my mother's mother was a young girl, her father shot himself in that house while my grandmother was coloring a picture. She was so frightened, so terrified about it that she just kept coloring until the entire page was blue. A few years later her mother did the same, in the same house, piling coats and blankets upon herself to muffle the shot. We were at the house on a gorgeous summer day, taking pictures and visiting family and having a wonderful time. Everyone wanted copies of the pictures so my great aunt had them developed at one of those 1-hour places. Remember, they had them when cameras still used film? At any rate, by the time the gathering was winding down she had the pictures in hand and we were all looking at them when we noticed something strange. In one wide photo of the house, there was a fuzzy figure of a man in a hat in one of the windows. No one there was wearing anything like that. In another photo, one of the flowers by one of the front windows, a woman's ghostly hand was seen as if it meant to pull back the lace curtain. The fourth, fifth, and sixth times: My most recent experiences I'm going to lump together to keep you guys from getting tired of reading! They are fairly recent, maybe six years ago? I was working in a resort back home in WV as a cook, and fairly liked my job. There had been a few stories the veteran line cooks told about ghosts, but you take things like that with a grain of salt. Even with the things I had seen up to that point, you just know that they like to mess with the new blood. Late one night after my shift, as my then-boyfriend at the time and I were driving off property I got a terrible nosebleed. I'm sort of prone to them when the air is dry, and after about 15 minutes of it not stopping we decided to go back to Chef's office for ice and gauze. When we got there, the kitchen was shut down, dark and quiet, but Chef was still in her office. We got my bleeding to stop at last and made small talk and there was a lull in the conversation. During that period of quiet, we heard children's laughter and a ball bouncing from the hallway leading to storage. It was late and the kitchen was locked. There were no guests and the hallway was a dead end. At the same place, New Years Eve. It was probably around 3AM when we were shutting the kitchen down after the festivities. The particular place where the party was held, the rotunda, only had two exits. The front guest entrance, and the doors to the kitchen. The guests were long gone, the rotunda cleaned and locked and not a person left in the place besides myself, my boyfriend, two other cooks and a dishwasher. We had just finished cleaning and were standing around talking (maybe milking the clock a little; holidays paid time and a half!), when a heavy pounding came from the door to the rotunda. It was one of those that had a cross bar to open it from the kitchen side and wouldn't open from the guest side. It sounded like someone was trapped in the rotunda, although we knew the place had been cleared. We decided it was another cook who said he was leaving and chose to play a prank instead. Joe, the lead cook, decided to scare the guy and so we all crept over to the door. It was being slammed violently from the other side, like someone was kicking it. So, Joe decided to kick back. He slammed his foot hard against the cross bar that opened the door, causing it to fly open into the rotunda and presumably into whoever was making the racket. But there wasn't anyone there. Again, same resort. Different building this time, this story takes place in the clubhouse where the restaurant (rather than the catering kitchen of my other stories) was housed. The kitchen and restaurant were on the upper floor, with a small spiral staircase leading down to the food storage areas, locker rooms, and employee rest rooms as well as the golf shop. During a lull in service I jumped off line to use the restroom quickly. The ladies' employee restroom was very very small: one toilet in one stall and a single sink with a mirror. That way servers could still do hair and makeup (though I don't know how they fit) while someone used the facilities. It was close enough to the golf shop that sometimes guests would come in by accident. I came out of the stall and over to the sink to wash my hands, head bowed as I did, when from the corner of my eye I saw an elderly woman in the mirror behind me. Apologizing for not seeing her there and blocking the way to the stall, I turned to move out of the way. There wasn't anyone there behind me. The door had never opened, no one had ever come in, and there was certainly no older woman in a white linen suit waiting to use the restroom. I could smell her perfume, though. And those are my scary real-life ghost stories. I swear that every single word is absolutely true. I can't wait to hear yours!