1. The Helping (?) Hand
When my sister was about 3, my parents were just completing building the house I grew up in. My dad was working late one night and my mom was reading my sister a bedtime story when my sister asked, “Who was that?”

My mom immediately stopped and asked her what she meant, and my sister clarified, “Who was that who went into the room?”

“What did he look like?” asked my mom.

“He was black.”

“Like a black man?”

“No, like a shadow man.”

My mom plopped my sister by the phone and told her to call the police if something happened. She went and checked the rooms upstairs, and no one was there. My mom chalked it up to shadows or something, but called my dad, who immediately came home.

That night, my mom had a dream from which she woke up because she thought my dad was folding newspapers at the end of their bed. When she told him to stop, her eyes cleared and she saw a woman crinkling her hospital gown, staring back at her.

The next day, my dad called my mom at lunch, and he started telling her a dream he had the night before that spooked him. It was the exact same dream my mom had had.
During this call, my sister was playing upstairs by herself and my mom was in the kitchen. Suddenly, my mom heard my sister crash down the stairs. Our stairs were particularly steep and, at that time, unfinished, so it would’ve hurt anyone, especially a 3-year-old. My mom ran over and my sister was just sitting there, not crying, without a scratch on her. My mom asked if she was OK, to which my sister responded, “I’m fine. He pushed me but then he caught me.”

After that, the ghosts seemed to disappear.

—Chelsea Marshall