From the top of the stairs, we could hear Kat's voice whispering from her room. As she sometimes talked in her sleep, we were not concerned. I shone my light down the hall toward her door, and caught just the briefest glimpse of movement at the edge of the light toward the left hand turn in the hall way (Kat's door was to the right), and the whispering stopped. Then I noticed what was lying on the floor at the end of the hall - two wooden croquette balls, and a mallet. My ex and I just looked at each other, because we were thinking the same thing - 'How did that get in here from the barn?'
Not knowing what to think, but assuming that Kat was awake, we went down the hall and pushed open her door. The light was off, but there she was sitting up cross-legged in a nest of blankets. I flipped the bedroom light on, and saw that she had an angry scowl on her face (we used to call her 'Katie-Thunder-Cloud'). When her dad asked what was going on, she looked him right in the eye and said 'I told him he had to go away and let me sleep. I said I'd get in trouble. He was making so much noise.'
'Who?' my ex asked.
Kat pointed out the bedroom door. 'Him. He's keeps waking me up, and then I can't get back to sleep.'
My ex glanced out the door, then assured her that there was nobody there, and she must have been dreaming. But I looked too, and just for a second I could have sworn I saw the form of a young boy outlined in the light from the window in the tiny room at the end of the hall, not as young as Kat, maybe around 9 or 10 by the height. I didn't say anything, and we tucked Kat back into bed. When questioned at breakfast, she stubbornly maintained that she had nothing to do with the croquette pieces in the hall that night. After my ex left for work Kat looked at me and said ''Lizbeth, you saw him too, didn't you?' I admitted that I did. We had a long talk about the fact that her dad couldn't see him, that he was probably a spirit, but that she shouldn't be afraid. As the very young often do, she took it in stride. I told her that there were probably other 'spirit people' in the house, but that they wouldn't hurt her. Kat continued to encounter the boy until she began to enter puberty, but as far as I know nobody else ever saw him besides us and one friend of hers that demanded to be taken home in the middle of the night after the sighting. Kat still remembers him, and will occasionally bring the subject up.
Research later showed that the boy was probably Nathaniel Cobb, who had died at not quite 10 years of age in the Spanish Flu epidemic. A very elderly lady who lived across the street actually remembered him from her own early childhood. She was very helpful on the history of the house, and the family that had owned it for most of its existence (not the most recent owners before us). She confirmed that Nathaniel and his infant sister both died of the flu while his father was away at sea, and that his mother was never quite right afterward. Upon Nathaniel's parents deaths, the house passed to a side branch of the family, and then was sold in the early 70's, which was when it fell upon hard times.
I had many further 'interactions' with the spirits in that house, but those are stories for another time.