Ghost Story #3: Sounds in the Dark

As I said in my FIRST ghosty-post I’m a cynic who starts from skepticism until I experience something that forces me to accept a different conclusion.  Most of the time I search for other explanations before coming to “it’s ghosts!” or “it’s bigfoot!”  Though I start as a skeptic once unexplainable evidence is presented I am willing to accept the supernatural explanation.

If nothing else just so, in the movie of my own personal ghost story, I’m not the guy everyone hates yelling “It was just the wind!” to the characters you’re supposed to like.

Sounds in the Dark

I work in a creepy building.  Most of it is typical office space, but there are eerie places; “the stacks,” entire floors which consist of rows and rows long dark aisles of books or boxes.  Policy is you turn off the lights when you leave a stack area so I’ve gotten into the habit of only turning on the lights I need so I never accidentally forget and leave lights on.  There are rumors that our second floor, where our manuscript documents are kept, is haunted but I never really believed it.  I couldn’t imagine what ghost would want to spend its ethereal eternity amidst old boxes and books.  I attributed the spooky stories to the fact that the second floor looks the creepiest.  Most of our other stack areas have small castle-turret style windows.  The second floor has none, so it’s just the glow of the exit signs and whatever lights you turn on.

Dark Corridor Stack Two
The main aisle of the second floor with the lights out, how I usually see it.

Over the years I got used to wandering around in the dark up there, counting steps to switches and navigating in the dark.  There used to be one gate I could get into without a key (had to know the trick!) so I would always use that door no matter which end of the floor I was going to.

One afternoon I needed to retrieve something from the second floor so, as usual I went to two, entered the gate I could break into, and started my way down the main corridor in the dark.  I needed to go ALL the way down to the other end, but I didn’t mind the dark and quiet.

I was maybe a third of the way down the corridor when I heard the distinct sound of a box being pulled from a shelf…then replaced.  I stopped to listen, there are many sounds on that floor, machine room sounds, vents, noises from floors above, but none were as easily identifiable (I’ve pulled hundreds of boxes from these metal shelves, I know that sound…) as this…or as close.  I started walking again and heard it again, box sliding off the metal…then sliding back on.  It was coming from the 1st range…the range I was going to.  I heard it at least two more times as I got closer.  I flipped the switch on the 1st range and peered cautiously around the corner.

Nothing there.

I went through the possibilities…  Either another staff member was pulling boxes in the dark, replaced everything, jumped on the ceiling, and skittered away when I arrived…or…it was a ghost.   “Ghost” was actually the most plausible explanation in this case!  And least frightening…

Since then I’ve heard other sounds, including high-heeled shoes trailing along a few feet behind me as I navigated the ranges.  A friend and I also went ghost hunting on the second floor (with my android ghost app once!) and we both heard disembodied shuffling right behind us down a dark corridor we’d just come down. Despite this I never feel unsettled or afraid…more fascinated.

Now I look forward to going to that floor.  You never know what you might find in the strangest places.

Second floor ghost
A coworker walked down the corridor after I opened the shutter. Looks like a ghost to me!

Ghost Story # 2: In the Hall

I’ll keep this simple. I believe in ghosts. Thirty years of living in haunted houses will do that to you. I don’t think I had a choice not to believe. I grew up listening to ghost stories about various houses I lived in, and there were too many unexplained things that happened… and still do.

Submitted for the approval of the RevPub readers, I call this story:

A Stranger in the Hall

My son was four days old. We returned from the hospital the day before, and he was asleep. I desperately wanted a hot shower, so I took advantage of the nap. He hardly slept when he was little.

I was alone with him in the house, so I locked all the doors and left his and the bathroom doors cracked open. I got in the shower, and as I was washing my face I heard footsteps in the hall, which is adjacent to the bathroom. (map)

I poked my head out and heard squeak, squeak, squeak, down the hall again.

I knew better than to say, “hello, is anyone there?” That will get you killed. I left the water on, quietly stepped out, wrapped a towel around me, and poked my head out the door. I assumed I would see my husband, but there was nothing.

Cussing to myself, I checked the doors, and everything was still locked. My son was fine, too. I stepped back in the shower, and as I was washing my hair, I heard footsteps in the hall again. Squeak, squeak, squeak.

I listened longer this time, and heard it again. Back and forth, back and forth. Squeak, squeak, squeak. I rushed out of the shower, grabbed the towel (again) and scissors this time, and slowly crept out of the bathroom.

Nothing. Not a sound, not a movement, and my son was sleeping in the exact spot I left him.

Irritated, I checked the doors and made my way back to the shower. I waited a couple of minutes and didn’t hear anything, so I got back in. As I finished and turned the water off, there were footsteps again. Squeak, squeak, squeak. I got out and dried off. Squeak, squeak, squeak. I got dressed this time, with scissors in hand, and was ready to kill someone.

With hair in towel, I stepped into the hall. Nothing. Every door locked, my son asleep, and not a sound or disruption. My only reaction was to get mad, and I simply said, “I don’t know what or who you are, but you can at least let me take a shower.”

———

Later when I told my husband and mother-in-law about it, they were calm and believed me. They explained my deceased father-in-law’s spirit was still in the house, and he was watching the baby while I took a shower. And to this day, I believe it.

Thankfully, it’s never happened again, or I don’t care enough to notice, but sometimes I still hear footsteps in the hall when no one is there. Sometimes while laying on the couch in the living room, there are footsteps in the same room. Squeak, squeak, squeak.

You can think I’m crazy, and I’m sure some of my friends do, but no one has been able to explain it. And I’m okay thinking it’s a good spirit keeping watch. I hope to do the same one day…

Have you ever heard anything and couldn’t explain it? Tell us about it in the comments section!