Alright, so I said I was gonna share with you folks the scary story from my family. This happened to my father and grandmother. First off I have to start out with a little background so you can understand the setting.
I am originally from Brazil and my great great grandfather founded the city where I used to live in, in the state of São Paulo (southeast). He was a Count, appointed by Portuguese officials, responsible for a fair share of land in the southeastern part of the country. This is around 1800s. Brazil was colonized by the Portuguese (yea, we don't speak Spanish) and a good amount of development, during colonial times, came from coffee plantations.
My great great grandfather used to have a big coffee plantation in the farm, and he had slaves working for him in the different areas of the process; picking, grounding the coffee...etc. Some of the slaves were abused and whipped, a common thing back then... The slaves used to live in their own tight quarters called "senzalas" in a building separated from the manor, and ones that were in punishment were sometimes in shackles - eventhough my GGgrandfather is said to have treated slaves better than most other Counts, there was obviously a fair share of suffering.
Now... The Count had 14 children, one of them my great grandfather, which in turn had my grandfather, then my father and then me. The city was founded in around 1820, so a lot of the children left for the city, while some remained at the farm, and others left the state or even the country.
Fast forward about 160 years. My father and grandmother are staying at the farm manor for about 2 months visiting the area before they decide to buy a house. Here is where it starts to get odd.
The old "senzalas," where the slaves were kept, were turned into guest rooms (for tourism), so that's where they stayed during those 2 months. The main house, where the "royalty" used to sleep is a fairly accomodating building, but it is very creepy. There's a room with paintings of the family that's just scary, when I was little we used to have family reunions at this place and we'd close all the windows, to make it dark, and have us (the kids) cross the room... That was already scary enough, I can't imagine what would be like at night! I mean this is the sort of place where every single wooden board makes a cracking noise, it's very much a colonial style house - coffee plantation style.
Anyway, in that room there used to be, actually there still is - but we're getting to the good part... sorry if I'm rambling, just wanted to explain the situation... - a painting of the Count, my great great grandfather. It is one of the bigger pictures, and hangs a little above all the other ones, over the fireplace (the manor is in the southeast of Brazil, it gets below zero celsius during winter).
Apparently, when my father and grandmother were staying at the farm, there were strange sounds coming from the "senzalas" every other week...they would be cracking noises, sometimes whispers, or, get this shackles! The first time my father told me this story, I was about 12, it was hard to believe at first. He's not a religious guy, nor does he believe in ghosts or anything... so he said he pretty much tried to ignore all of that, thinking it was all in his mind, my grandmother was the same way.
This is how it goes. He said it was one of those nights where it's just pouring rain, lightning and etc... and he and my grandmother were sleeping. It was around 3 o'clock in the morning when my grandmother woke up with a scream, sweating... She told my dad she had a nightmare: That she was sleeping exactly as they were, and that when she woke up she heard shackles, getting louder and louder coming from the manor. They would get louder and louder with each repeating hit until she said she ran into the house and into the "Picture room" where the Count (now dead for over 145 years) was standing right next to the fireplace - man this is giving me so many chills in the back of my neck and through my spine right now - where he was leaning onto the fireplace.......and thats when she woke up.
She told my Dad the story.....and get this, they hear a huge banging noise coming from the picture room, along with some shackles...but my dad said it wasn't repeating like my grandma's dream, it was more scattered, and eventually stopped with a final bang that sounded like a big thump. Now, I have no clue how he did this, I think partly because he didn't believe in ghosts or anything like that in the first place... but he actually went to the room with all the Paintings, and when he got there the Picture of the Count was smashed into tiny little pieces, right in front of the fireplace....
When I go to Brazil during summer vacations, I always go to the farm just to check it out with the family, sometimes they have reunions there and stuff, and if you go to the room (I'm never going there at night!!) with the pictures, you can see the painting of the Count was glued back together, you can follow all the little cracks in the frame (it was made of wood, with some gold around it).
That's the scariest story within my family.... Now I have a friend who believes in tarot, and he's done a couple of spiritual groups before.... he's got the scariest stories ever, thats why I don't even want to listen to them.....or I'll be scared off my a**...
Edited: found pictures of the farm online! It even has a website... check it out: http://www.fazendapinhal.com.br/home.htm
This is the picture room
View from the outside of the manor
Aerial view: The manor is on the left, the "senzalas" on the right
The big patio is where they dried the coffee beans
My dad walked from the senzalas (on the right) to the Manor, on the background
Here's my great great grandfather:
Modified by Dan-B at 6:18 PM 6-4-2004