The following story really happened, and it solidified my belief in ghosts.
I was eighteen in 1986; it was also the year I moved in with my boyfriend, Gary. The house we lived in was a faded green Victorian on 5th Street, in Downtown San Jose. It was surrounded by trees, which was nice in the heat of the day but at night the trees, and a very weak porch light, lent it a sinister appearance. The house, itself, had a bit of character. There were deadbolt locks on every upstairs door but the bathroom, the floor of which slanted downward, south to north. Railroad tracks ran behind the yard, and when a train came, the entire house shook.
We shared the second story with two other housemates, Veronica and Tanya (plus a few felines). Veronica and Tanya were heavy into the club scene, Gary worked nights, I worked days, so oftentimes I found myself alone in the evenings.
I don't remember when the noises started. I seem to recall it still being winter because I was getting home from work at 7pm and it was dark already. So here I am, little more than a kid, by myself with only my books, a kitty and the T.V. for company. Usually around 9pm the activity would start. Sounds of things being picked up, put down, cupboards opening and shuting and the occasional water running. It sounded very much like people making dinner. At first I thought it was the neighbors downstairs. I hadn't seen anyone coming or going, but I checked with the landlady anyway: No neighbors had come and gone because there were no neighbors to come and go. EEK!
Same senario continued to occur, but now 'they' added the muffeled sounds of conversation to the mix. One morning I shouted 'goodbye' to Tanya as I was going downstairs, heading off to work. She asked me the following morning if I came back upstairs for anything. 'No,' I replied, 'Why do you ask?' She said after I went down and out the main door, she thought she heard my footsteps coming back up, but when she poked her head out of her room, there was no one on the landing.
We called a house meeting. We agreed the person or persons who were lurking about seemed relitively harmless, if a bit noisy. The decision was made to treat he/she/they as though they(?) 'lived' with us. It worked out quite well. One night shortly thereafter, I was trying to get to sleep and 'they' were still banging around. I gathered my courage and stepped out into the kitchen and said 'Hey! Some of us have to get up tomorrow, so could you _please_ tone it down!' Imagine my relief and suprise when 'they' did. It took me a while to get to sleep.
I believe the house was inhabited by more than just the 'dinner people'. We all had strange and scary dreams and Gary did a lot of sleepwalking. I caught him once on the landing, about to take the stairs. As I steered him back to bed I asked him what he was doing, 'I had to check the car' was his response. One night Gary woke me with the sound of his heavy breathing. When I asked him what was wrong, he said he woke up in a cold sweat, overcome with a feeling of terror. Upon opening his eyes, he said he saw a figure, like a shadow, hovering over him and when I spoke it shrank in size as it went back up into the ceiling. Gary was shaking all over while trying to logically analyze what happened. No such luck. (Even now, a decade later when I write this, I'm getting that creepy you-better-look-over-your-shoulder feeling.)
The disturbances continued on into the summer and fall, though the 'shadow guy' never did come back. We moved in October of '87 - it took a month for the sleepwalking and the dreams to stop. In our new appartment, all we had to contend with was a real, live, upstairs neighbor we nick-named Clodfoot Thunderheel for obvious reasons.
Thus endeth the saga of the House on 5th Street.