Those stories by Jerry reminded me of other experiences I've had.
Also, John, there is another option about ghost that you might not have thought of, that is my belief. I do not believe that ghosts are dead people trapped on earth. You know I'm a bible believing person, and the bible says that everyone that dies will sleep until the day of judgement. No going to heaven directly upon death, or hell - but just in a state of not knowing anything, or doing anything - like sleep. SO...... in my belief, and according to what the bible says, the strange activities are being caused usually by demons, and sometimes by angels. Angels don't usually work in "hidden" way though, so if you can't see what's there when you should be able to - or it causes you to be fearful - it would mean it was a demon. The bible has angels going to see people to help them, and they usually came in a form that looked like a man.
Anyway...... that's my belief, you don't have to believe it.
About the stories I remembered. When I was young I lived in two houses that as kids we called haunted. The first one was the most frightening. I often heard voices yelling at me, and when I closed my eyes I would imagine some sort of court room with devils in lawyer robes. They would scream and scream - telling me I was a bad kid or something I can't remember - and I would always run to my mom covering my ears and crying. I was only about 6 or 7. I'd beg my mom to make them stop yelling, and she just didn't understand. She couldn't hear them. One night in that house I woke up and saw two white figures floating above me, with knives, and saying they were going to kill me. I screamed (of course), covered my head with my covers, and closed my eyes. My mom ran in and had a hard time getting me calmed down. She said it was just a dream. I always felt that was a stupid answer. The way I remember it, I had woke up and lay there with my eyes closed for a couple minutes thinking about the fact that I needed to use the bathroom. So I felt that I was totally awake before opening my eyes.
We lived in another house we called haunted when I was about 11. (By the way, we lived in two other homes inbetween the first haunted house and this one. So it wasn't just some phase I went through. Those houses were fine.)
This house had many more things happen - almost daily. The first thing was that one night my sister woke me up because of a noise in the attic. The noise - I heard it too - sounded like someone was moving boxes around that were stored up there. For some silly reason, I decide to try and talk to this "thing". I guess kids have wonderful imaginations, but anyway, I felt that this thing talked to me in my head. It said that his name was Garth, and that he was a little boy that died in that house at the age of 9. He's given me his full name, but can't remember it right now. But his first name was actually Garrett, just that he grew up being called Garth.
I remember I would get scared at night, and my mom and step dad were usually not there those nights. All I had for comfort was the flash light and the dogs. But the dogs weren't much help because they felt something too. They would growl and bark at empty corners - both the dogs - as if they had an actual person cornered and they wanted to kill them.
One time I remember having a feeling that something was in my bedroom closet. So I got the dog for comfort, and brought her in my room. She started to walk towards the closet door, to make her way onto my bed. You had to pass the closet to get on the bed. She suddenly put on the brakes and froze staring at the closet. And then to make things worse, she walked backwards to the bedroom door and would not take her eyes off the closet door. When she got back to the bedroom door, she started whining and scratching at the door to get out - still watching the closet door.
We also had the usual happenings - things missing and then showing up in another room, or lights going on and off on their own. And one night I had something strange happen. I was woken by the sounds of sirens. I opened my eyes and saw the lights coming through my bedroom window as if there were police cars outside. I could also hear police radios and lots of people outside that were upset. I got out of bed to see what was going on outside. When I got to the window, just as I lifted the curtain to look outside, it all stopped at once. I looked out and no one and nothing was there. I went to see if maybe I had some sort of walking dream brought on by the tv in the living room - cause I could hear the tv going. My step dad was just watching some western - so there were no police cars on that! My step dad said he hadn't heard a thing.
I think a demon tried to hurt my husband one night while he was on a ladder hanging up Christmas lights too. Hear he was, on the ladder, and we had one of our dogs tied to the porch corner post on a chain. The dog freaked out all the sudden as if someone had stuck him with a hot poker in the butt. That's just the best way to describe it. And then he ran around the ladder and knocked it over. Chad went flying! But he said as he was falling to the ground he thought "oh no, I'm going to break my ribs". He said though that when he got close to the ground, something caught him and gently put him on the ground. It didn't even hurt he said.
So we felt that was some demon/angel activity. I believe that alot of strange things that happen are from demons trying to scare or hurt us, and that sometimes we're lucky enough to have an angel help us.