Ellen Booraem, author of TEXTING THE UNDERWORLD :
Years ago, an acquaintance of mine (I’ll call her Ann) lived with her husband and young daughter in an old house in coastal Massachusetts. They had several near-spooky experiences: Creaking floorboards, something out of the corner of an eye that wasn’t there when you looked straight, that kind of thing. At one point all the glassware on the dish-drainer started to ring in unison. But they managed to explain everything away somehow.
One bath-time, when Ann’s daughter was just learning to talk, Ann held up a rubber duck and said, “duck.”
“Duck,” her daughter repeated.
“Duck,” said a voice outside in the hall.
Ann, figuring her husband had come home and was messing with her head, ignored the voice. “Duck,” she said to her daughter.
“Duck,” her daughter said.
“Duck,” said the voice.
At which point, Ann’s husband’s car pulled up to the front of the house. She rushed out into the hallway. No one there, but there was a creak on the stairs. No one there either.
Katherine Catmull, author of SUMMER AND BIRD :
I always call this my kidnapped-by-aliens story. I was in my twenties, and after rehearsal for a play I had a glass of wine with the cast and director. I was carless, so one of the other actors was my ride home that night. We drove down a boulevard that curves along a greenbelt and went through the green light at 29th Street. I was looking dreamily out the passenger window, watching the greenbelt curving by, when a few moments later we . . . drove through the light at 29th Street again.It was the strangest feeling, this absolutely eerie, chilling sensation, like being plunged into cold, dank water. And of course my first thought was: WE'VE BEEN KIDNAPPED BY ALIENS.No, not really: my first thought was Holy smokes! What was in that wine!So I turned to tell my friend, and his face was ash-white, and he said: "Am I crazy? Or did we just pass 29th Street twice?"I KNOW.We drove the rest of the way home in total, freaked-out silence, and I still have no idea what exactly happened that night.
Ellen Oh, author of THE DRAGON KING CHRONICLES:
I come from a family who claim to be very sensitive to the spiritual world. When I was younger, whenever we'd go traveling, my parents, and my younger sister would all make comments like "there's definitely an unhappy spirit here" or "this place has very bad energy" or "we can't stay in this hotel, too many ghosts." Now I'm about as sensitive as a yak rolling in the mud but I'm apparently easily persuadable. So whenever they would say these things, I would immediately get goosebumps and become unreasonably anxious until we left. I'll never forget my second apartment that I lived in after getting married. I had an extra bedroom so my parents came and slept there for the night. In the morning, both my parents complained that they couldn't sleep at all because there were too many restless, unhappy ghosts in my apartment. I had to live there for another year before my lease ran out scared witless! I would actually persuade myself that I could feel them, even though I knew it was probably all psychological. To be honest, I just never ever on my own felt a spiritual presence. Until one day, I was meeting a friend in NYC who lived in one of those really old warehouse buildings that had been renovated into apartments. I entered the building and immediately felt a tightness in my throat. As I rode the elevator, I became incredibly anxious but I don't know why. I also felt the hair rise on the back of my neck. By the time I got to his apartment, I was really spooked. I knocked on his door and he invited me in, saying he wasn't quite ready yet. But by this time, there wasn't a part of my skin that wasn't covered in gooseflesh and I almost felt I couldn't breathe. I told him I'd wait for him outside (January in NYC is really cold) and ran for it. I didn't want to take the elevator so I ran down the stairs and bolted out the door. I actually felt warmer outside in the frigid cold than I had in that building. For the first time in my life, I knew I had experienced a negative spiritual energy, and it was the most frightening experience of my life. Twenty years later I can still feel the horror I felt that day. My friend laughed at me all throughout dinner but it turns out that many gruesome and grisly murders had been committed in that building at the turn of the century. And after only a year, my friend moved out, claiming that he just never felt quite comfortable in his apartment. And that's my one and only ghost story.
There's a ghost living in the old building where my husband works. Years ago, he was identified by a coworker who claimed he could hear them. He said the man was an African-American named Charles who had been an attendant in the early 1900s at the nearby train station. We checked the station's records, and sure enough, they did have an attendant fitting that exact description. Charles seems friendly and generally keeps to himself, although everyone who has worked in the building late at night describes odd occurrences. And the exception is hard rock music - Charles doesn't like it at all. If someone is playing it loud in their office, their phone will get a ring. But when they pick it up, nobody will be there and the extension it came from will be an unoccupied room. A paranormal investigator was there late one night, and described seeing a man dressed in older clothes standing in an office. She got up off the couch and went in to see him, but when she got in there, the office was empty. I'd never been a believer before, but I've heard enough stories that now I'm convinced.
Okay - I don't think of these as really spooky - but I did go through a slight phase where every time I went past a bicycle locked to a railing or anything it would fall over - I know, not weird but at the same time I had this thing with street lights were they'd go off as I walked by. Not every single time - but enough for my boy friend (now husband) who is completely a science guy, not at all superstitious to think something strange was going on!I think it was something to do with being 15/16 that's when most poltergeist activity occurs around teens!
Lena Goldfinch, author of HAUNTING JOY:
I grew up going to yard sales, thrift stores, Goodwill, and The Salvation Army with my mom. She still sends us boxes of her finds from yard sales and thrift stores. One morning a soft, sliding sort of sigh woke me up. It was really sort of creepy sounding. Maybe even otherworldly. At first I told myself it must have been my dog making a noise. Except...it didn’t really sound like him. It sounded more human. Plus, he was nowhere near the corner of the room where the sound came from. There was, however, a box of clothes from my mom. And so Haunting Joy was born (the story of a girl, Joy, who receives a haunted thrift-shop dress from her grandmother).
Alas, I’ve never really been haunted.
My own story? Okay...
Lisa Gail Green, author of THE BINDING STONE:
When my son was an infant I was used to feeding him at all hours of the night. But one four AM feeding I was particularly sleepy and started to nod off while he sucked away at his bottle. On the floor a little distance from me was his play mat - you know the ones with the dangling toys that they bat at before they can crawl around? - anyway, just as I began to doze, the toys on the playmat starting swinging like crazy, the bell in them dinging away like someone pushed them all really hard. There was no air on. No windows open. Nothing else near the toys. At least it was someone watching over the baby because it woke me right up!