I really stay away from “ghost stories” because I don’t really know if I believe in ghosts at all. However, I’ve had about 3 experiences in my life that make me question whether they are real in some way... which makes me feel like a nut. I’m a 100% rational atheist, so...the contradiction bothers me.

Anyway, I just got done reading the scary stories on the main page and I wanted to share my main “ghost” story. It still makes me feel so fucked up.

When I was around 10 or 11, I often would stay over at my neighbors house because my mom was not always the greatest and my dad had just moved out. Our houses were these row homes usually occupied by low income families...it was widely known as a neighbor for people that wanted to live in the “county” of Baltimore, but couldn’t afford to move to one of the fancy suburbs.

My neighbor’s house consisted of their mom, their dad, and four daughters. One of the daughters was exactly my age and we were best friends. She had two older sisters who were around 15 and 17, and then a little sister who was around 6 at this time.

Their house was extremely messy and dirty all of the time...one of those places where everything was sticky and you had no idea what could have caused the stickiness. Because of this, even though I was hanging out with my best friend when I was there, I was not thrilled about being there.

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When I would sleep there, her mom would set up comforters/sheets/blankets all over the living room floor and me, my best friend, and her little sister would just lay there huddled up. It was always too cold and I had trouble sleeping there. Many times I would beg to go home but my mom usually had a dude at home so she had told the neighbors to make sure I stay there. My mom bought me a tiny reading light so if I couldn’t sleep at the neighbor’s house, I could read quietly until I fall asleep or until the sun rose, which would usually be the case.

Anyway, one night I woke up at around 2 a.m. and started fumbling around for my reading light so I could read my little book. I turned on my light on my copy of Jane Eyre and I looked up at the door to the basement that was visible from the living room. A tall and thin woman with red hair was at the door and she looked back at me and looked very surprised and concerned. She then just started walking down the dark stairs into the basement.

It was real enough feeling that I woke up my friend and her poor six year old sister and they were pretty unconcerned. Their mother had red hair and my friend assured me that her mother probably went downstairs to get laundry or something. But this woman did not look like their mother, who was short and curvy.

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I convinced them to keep the lights on in the living room the entire night and I just sat up awake until around 7, when everyone finally woke up. I again told them what I saw and my best friend said “Oh. I wonder if it could be my older sisters’ mom.” She went and retrieved a photo album filled with photos and pointed of the woman I had seen. She explained that her two older sisters were not actually her sisters, but her cousins. Both of their parents were killed in a car accident when they were fairly young, and they came to live with their aunt and uncle, my friend’s parents.

My best friend told her mom later that day and no one seemed surprised at all. Everyone in the house was like “Well, sure, I’m sure she hangs around.”

My mom thankfully did not make me stay over there again.

Is anyone else a skeptic with a ghost story?