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This is a long story, but it's what happened. The hard part I have about telling this story is the possibility I may have known the ghosts when they were alive.

Small town in Illinois, I had a friend who lived there in a remodeled farm house with his mom. They weren't weird people, they were really nice. On the handful of occasions when I'd drop through to catch up with him, he and his mom would have me over for dinner. The house was a beautiful home and walking through the front door you could tell that there was a lot of love there.

His mom was a business leader in town, she owned several businesses but was a partner with her son. He still lived at home because he had depression, and during his really dark moments she had to stay close to help him through it. He wasn't a failure to launch, he had a lot of money and they were partners in the businesses, he needed special care.

One weekend his mom went to her office for some reason, next thing everyone knew the building where she worked was burning down. Her body was pulled from the fire, and her son broke down. He vanished for four days, but when he was found it was after he killed himself. Everyone knew how severe his depression was and that she was the one who kept him stable. The sudden loss of his mother was too much for him, and he finally gave in.

A year after their deaths, I got a call from a guy who said he was a paranormal investigator. He found out I was a friend of the family and asked if I could come to their home with a few other people and look around. The word going around was that the house they lived in was haunted. It was tough to sell, and the one time it was sold, the owners changed their mind about moving in and sold it back to the Real Estate company.

I had never believed in ghosts, I spend a lot of my time in /r/atheism so I thought this trip was stupid. I did want to visit their grave and leave flowers, so I thought I could at least be a voice of reason. The house was empty, but the instant I walked through the front door I felt something strange. I can't describe how it felt, physically I felt like I had been chain smoking with a 40lb weight on my chest. There was a tension in the place, no doubt about that.

A couple of the others who were brought in consisted of a couple of psychics and another friend of the family, and a guy with a camera recording everything. The psychics both said there was a definite presence, but I don't think they were actually psychic. The line of bullshit that came from them sounded like the kind of thing you'd hear from television psychics. I think the psychics were theatrical, meant to stir a reaction from the rest of us by creating a scene. I told the investigator as much, I told him he was setting up a scene to sell to some kind of television show or something, but I wouldn't help him.

I searched around the house on my own, the tension was strong, especially on the second floor. It didn't lift until the investigator and his team were outside, and I was alone on the second floor. I had a strange tingling sensation all through my arms and back. I wondered if they were there, did they recognize me? Was the tension because there were people they didn't like in the house, but it lifted because they left and they remembered me in life.

I got a little emotional, this house belonged to a friend of mine and his mom, they lived in that house and did good things for people. I missed them and was scared because they were still in that house. I hoped that they could take care of one another and left. I stopped at the cemetery and put flowers on their graves before I headed home.

That investigator was trying to get some kind of reality show going, and my disruption probably didn't help him out. The Realtor didn't like having to bring people into the house all of the time so he could record a scene and pitch his show so they stopped allowing him access to the place.

The house did change hands a few times, the last time was in May of 2013 when a young couple moved into the house. Friends from around the area have told me that they haven't noticed anything strange, and the home was beautiful and perfect. They've heard the stories about the house, but said that there was nothing to indicate there were ghosts in the house. They've made it a home and have had a child since moving in.

I don't know what to make of what I experienced. I've always been a hardened skeptic, but I still can't get over the idea that two people I thought of as friends were dead and their spirits were stuck in that house. That they knew me when I came in, but didn't want the other visitors. I wondered why the new family didn't have any problems in the house, maybe the spirits liked them and didn't mind sharing the space, or maybe they moved on away from it. I haven't been there to find out. I just hope that if there is an afterlife that mother and son are taking care of each other and they'll be okay.