When I was in my early twenties, I was married with two small children. The four of us- myself, my husband, my 2 year old daughter and our newborn son- were living in an old house that had been converted into apartments. I know that the house was built sometime in the 1920's or 30's, but despite my best efforts, was never able to find out anything more about its history.
We moved into the apartment unit on the left side of the ground floor, and we had a young male college student that lived above us. The apartment to the right of us was being renovated, so it was empty at the time.
We didn't notice anything weird about the place right away. The first odd thing that I remember happening was that the toilet paper holder in the bathroom had a tendency to turn on its own, faster and faster, until the entire roll of toilet paper had unraveled and was lying in a pile on the bathroom floor. It only happened when one of the two of us was around to witness it. This was frustrating, but we didn't attribute it to anything paranormal at first. My husband explained it away as a defective toilet-paper holder, but when we replaced it with a new one and it continued, he had run out of explanations.
Around this same time, my husband and I would be awakened late at night by the sound of children laughing, shrieking and stomping on the floor of the apartment above us. We thought this was strange, since the college student who lived there didn't have children. We eventually concluded that a girlfriend or relative of his must have moved in, along with her children.
After a couple of weeks of being awakened by these brats at all hours of the night, my husband resolved to have a conversation with the neighbor about keeping the kids quiet; but when he knocked on his door the next afternoon, nobody answered. Ditto the next day. About a week later, when he finally did spot the neighbor outside getting his mail, my husband approached him. He explained the situation and politely asked if the guy could maybe put his kids to bed at a reasonable hour because they were keeping us up at night. The guy stares at him like he is crazy. He says he doesn't have any kids. My husband thinks he's just saying it isn't his problem, so he starts to get angry and tells the guy to tell his girlfriend or his sister or whoever is living in the apartment with him to keep their kids quiet then, whatever. The guy suddenly looks very alarmed.
"There's nobody living here but me," he says, "and I haven't even been here for the last month. I just got out of jail for a probation violation."
Well, that kind of freaked us out. It must have freaked the neighbor out worse, because he packed up and moved out a few days later. We stayed, and things got increasingly weirder.
It seemed like whatever it was thrived on attention and was rather mischievous. Objects began disappearing and reappearing in odd places. This happened so often that eventually it didn't even freak me out anymore- it just annoyed me. When I lost my temper and yelled at whatever it was to give the thing back, it would take longer for it to show up again. I learned that the best way to deal with it was to simply ignore it when it happened, and the thing would eventually reappear- sometimes right where it had vanished.
We came to accept that we shared our apartment with at least one entity, but it was child-like and we did not perceive it as threatening. Over time, another entity started to make itself known. This one was not friendly, and it gave me a very bad feeling.
The first time I encountered this being, I was lying on the bed that I shared with my husband with my back to the doorway. My husband and I had been arguing in the kitchen, and he had stormed out of the kitchen and through the back door. I assumed he was going for a drive to blow off steam, so I let him go, and stormed off to the bedroom. I was lying on the bed, staring at the wall when I heard the back door open. I heard footsteps in the kitchen, heading for our bedroom. I assumed it was my husband coming back to tell me sorry. The footsteps paused for a moment at the doorway of our bedroom, then I heard them shuffle across the carpeted floor of our bedroom and over to the bed. Someone sat on the bed next to me.
I waited for my husband to speak, but he said nothing. I finally grew irritated with his silence and rolled over to see what his problem was.
There was no one there.
My husband returned almost an hour later. He had taken that drive after all.
The second and last time I encountered this entity, I was, once again, in our bedroom. It was well past midnight, the children were asleep in their beds, and I was settling into mine. My husband wanted to stay up for a while and play video games, so he was in the living room. I had just turned off my bedside lamp and was laying there with my eyes closed, relishing the silence, when I heard footsteps in the kitchen. Once again, the footsteps stopped at the door of my bedroom, which was standing open.
"Hey, Tara," I heard my husband whisper from the doorway.
I did not open my eyes. I remember feeling annoyed because I had just been drifting off to sleep.
"What?" I snapped.
I opened my eyes. There was a tall, black shape standing in the doorway of my bedroom. It was not my husband. It was easily a foot taller, and I couldn't see its face. As soon as I laid eyes on it, the hair on my arms stood up. I knew this thing was bad news. I could feel it.
"What do you want?" I managed to say.
It didn't say anything. I couldn't see its eyes, but I could feel it looking at me. It appeared to be growing darker and more solid the longer I looked at it. That moment seemed to stretch out into forever.
When I finally could stand it no longer, I shouted "GO AWAY!" and dove under the covers like a little kid.
I don't know how long I huddled under the blankets, but I eventually felt the horrible knot in my stomach loosen and I somehow knew that it was gone. I sat up, pushed the blankets off me, and looked around. The black shape was gone. I jumped out of bed, strode through the kitchen and into the living room, where my husband was busy playing an old NES game. He took one look at my face and wanted to know what was wrong.
"Did you just stand in the doorway of our bedroom and whisper my name?" I demanded.
"No," he said. "I've been in here the whole time."
That was the last straw. I started looking for a new apartment the next day. We moved out a couple of weeks later. Later on, some friends of ours moved into the same apartment. They, too, heard the laughing children on the second floor, but fortunately never encountered the shadowy entity.
The thing that freaks me out the most about the whole thing was that it spoke to me in my husband's voice. It sounded so much like him, I didn't question that it was him until I opened my eyes. I sometimes wonder, if I hadn't opened my eyes, what would it have said to me?
I don't like to think about that.