When I first wrote this story's headline, it read "sleeping" instead of "staying". But I corrected myself, as there was not much of the former.
I was a sceptic when I entered the creepy-looking Monte Cristo Homestead in Junee, about 220 kilometres north-west of Canberra.
And while I can't say I left "Australia's most haunted house" keen to ditch my journalism career for ghost hunting, I definitely had a more open mind.
A baby thrown down the stairs, a maid pushed from the balcony and a stable boy burned alive. A caretaker murdered, a mentally disabled man tied up for 30 years and the home's owner killed by an infection caused by a starched collar.
These are the horrors believed to have occurred in the double-story late-Victorian manor built in 1884, and their victims are said to haunt its halls.
Lawrence Ryan grew up in the mansion, which has featured in horror movies and television shows, and runs the 2.5hr weekly ghost tours with his wife, Sophia.
The Ryan family bought the house about 50 years after the death of the original owners, Christopher and Elizabeth Crawley, in 1910 and 1933.
I was there with Canberra Times photographer Jamila, who believes in the paranormal.
The candle-lit rooms were packed with antique ornaments and freaky dolls. I didn't have the physical reactions Mr Ryan claimed people experience, such as dizziness, nauseousness or difficulty breathing.
Mrs Ryan said she could communicate with the spirits, which were apparently releasing different energies in each room. Some were angry, others were sad. She then pointed to a fiercely flickering candle surrounded by still ones, and said it was a spirit passing through. There were no windows open, but I was still cynical. However, at one point thought I saw a white light move across a mirror, when Jamila was not photographing, and I started to feel a bit uncomfortable.
After the tour, we went up to our accommodation room, which was connected to the ghost-tour section. Mr Ryan pointed out the escape route, noting he left the lights on because visitors often fled in the middle of the night. I figured they'd be pretty frightening spirits for someone to throw away the $195 it cost for the tour, bed and breakfast.
Attempting to sleep in an old, creaky, empty house would not be an enjoyable experience for anyone, even sceptics. But after hours of staring at the ceiling, desperately hoping not to hear an imaginary baby cry from the creepy cot in the corner, we fell asleep.
I'd been snoozing for less than 30 minutes when I woke up and thought I felt a gush of air on my feet. Thinking my frightened mind was playing tricks on me, I drifted back off to a happier place. But that didn't last.
At 5am, I awoke to Jamila making a distressed noise, as if she was having a nightmare. I shook her awake and she said she felt a weight on her body that was heaviest in her chest. It lasted about 10 seconds. Neither of us knew what to think, but I knew I was not letting myself fall back asleep and risk having a similar feeling.
Later in the morning, Ms Ryan told us the dead maids played with my feet and an evil spirit frightened Jamila. She had even me convinced for a moment.
But as we left the house, I suspected all the stories we'd been fed about visitors hearing footsteps and feeling hands on their shoulders had influenced our perception of our surroundings. Maybe the human mind seeks patterns to make sense of ambiguous information. Studies have shown people are more likely to interpret events as paranormal when they are told a place is haunted, which is amplified when they hear spooky stories.
But how can we ever really know?
That question lingered in my mind after meeting Ms and Mr Ryan, who seemed so certain in the existence of the paranormal that they had dedicated their lives attempting to share it with others.
If you enjoy being scared for fun, I'd advise you to check out the Monte Cristo Homestead. You can decide for yourself if that fear is of real or imaginary ghosts.
As I prefer hanging out with humans, I'm unlikely to return.
On our way out, Mr Ryan explained how many people who visit the house later contact them to say they believe they'd brought a spirit home.
"Now that you've had this experience, you might go home and notice things you didn't before - maybe a photo that keeps falling," he said.
"But don't worry, when people call us and say they brought one home, I say 'send it back to us in the mail, we need it for business'."
Hopefully I won't find myself writing "return to sender" any time soon.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.