First things first. . . those that are seriously interested (including our more skeptical friends) in this topic, should check into a book entitled "The Case for Ghosts" by J Allan Danelek, it is one of the more thought provoking bits I've seen in years in that it offers a more pragmatic perspective in which the believer is sustained on one level, while the more analytical argument is put forward. You can find it at Amazon -- http://www.amazon.com/The-Case-Ghosts-Objective-Paranormal/dp/0738708658/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346940529&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Case+for+Ghosts
When it comes to paranormal experiences well, I have an abundance of them for two key reasons; family ties to things spiritual and the fact that I deliberately seek out such stuff as an investigator and in some cases, challenger. The most surreal experience however centers on a house just outside the city limits in Springfield, Ohio that my adopted family and I moved into in the mid-90s. The place had been empty for over a decade and needed some extensive cleaning before we could all move in so I was there for a good week getting things ready.
About three nights into my stay I was woken up by the sound of piano music and singing. I got up and looked around, even went outside and nothing could be heard (bear in mind, my closest neighbors were more than a 1/4 mile away in all directions . . . we're on 14 acres). I went back to bed and again, the music and singing. I looked around and managed to track the sounds to one specific room in the house . . . this is important but I'll not tip the reason just yet.
Long story short, there were several other manifestations that happened during my time alone in the big 180+ year old house. I didn't mention any of it to Marcy & the kids and yet, within a day or two of their moving in, the confirmations started to flow. . . the first (memory serving) was my step-daughter complaining about the piano music and singing that kept waking her up. Then there was the moving fireplace utensils by the big fireplace (when no fire was burning, no breeze possible). It was all kind of neat but other factors were afoot that we knew absolutely nothing of until Marcy's niece & nephew came to stay with us.
We went a bit north of Springfield to visit the famed Piatt Castles (see: http://www.piattcastles.org/piattcastles/Home.html
) -- two French Chateau replicas that were built in the mid-19th century. It was during this tour that we got into a conversation with the guide about the haunted happenings of the mansions; she being curious as to why Marcy and I would react in certain ways and convey certain very specific stories about "our home". It didn't take long before this learned young guide told us exactly where our house was located, a bit about its history and the fact that it was listed as one of the most haunted residential locations in the state.
Needless to say this peaked my interest and so I began looking into the history of the property;
* About 50 yards north of the house was once a cemetery that was moved when the new highway was installed.
* The site was a lay-over (sub-station) to the Underground Rail Road and at least one major lynching had taken place there, when slave hunters tracked down a particular individual.
* During the big cholera epidemic of the 1830s it was a pediatric clinic treating children with the disease as well as being the home of the state's first female physician.
* A "nanny"/Maid of the house in the mid-19th century was rumored to be skilled in Voodoo; given her known bio there is reason to believe said rumors
* In the 1880s into the 1920's the home was known as a social gathering spot in which much singing and celebration took place.
* There was one "dark" male personality that resided on the property, a noted wife & child beater and less than honorable businessman.
Obviously the first thing that will jump out is the singing and celebration in that it ties directly to the piano music but there is one other key-point here; the room I and others were all lead to when it came to where the music was coming from is, according to witnesses, the same room where the piano had been kept for decades in that it was one of the larger rooms of the house that had french doors opening out to what was once a garden & sitting area.
Needless to say, moving cemeteries is a classic when it comes to the paranormal
The Lynching is something we were not aware of until after a particular event; we were keeping our dog & pet wolf in the barnyard area behind the old barn and they simply threw a fit every night from day one. They did not like it down there.
One night my eldest step-son went down to see what was wrong, when we heard him shouting. . . when I finally got down the hill too him I could see that he was quite shaken. He had seen the bloody body of a very large black man hanging from one of the older trees. From that point forward the dogs stayed in the house at night with few exceptions; we knew what was disturbing them and it disturbed us as well.
During an extended visit by our foster daughter & her husband Marcy happened onto a classic "Pearl Bailey" type black maid in the office (formerly, the living room & study) working with what a learned occultist would recognize as being a "poppet" a.k.a. Voodoo Doll. This entity was very direct, telling Marcy that the father of the kids was bad news and it was her mission (the ghost) to protect the children (our two grandsons + the 3rd one still in the oven).
Lisa's visit was a time in which several "dark" forces seemed to manifest; she was tormented almost nightly by faces & voices in their sleeping area. Marcy was nearly knocked down the large staircase by an ominous and angry male energy we'd never before encountered.
Lisa and her family left for the sake of their own general sanity and as it is understood, her spouse of the time proved to be a problem and that's putting it kindly.
There's much more to this account, I first published it on line a bit over a decade ago (I can't find the link, but it is a site dedicated to personal ghostly encounters). No one that ever stayed in the house for more than 3 nights in a row, didn't hear the piano and singing . . . none of them were ever told about the phenomena. Similarly, others observed the fireplace movements of heavy wrought iron utensils and the rocking chair we'd sat near by. Too, many would talk about hearing children outside the house playing, which is believed to be tied to the days of the cholera clinic.
Like I said, this is one of many ghostly encounters I've known in my life; possibly the most intriguing in fact.