There are many ghost stories and urban legends that teases the intelligence, and I have a personal experience that I think can nicely sit in with all of them.
You will find my story hard to believe, but then again, all mysteries are, right? Since it's hard to proof what you can't see and repeat, I'll leave it to you to believe it or not.
Near where I live, there is an old Tuberculosis Center that is now owned by the state prison. The center is not being used by the prison for anything, it's just there—abandoned.
After World War 1, the building was used as an asylum for the traumatized soldiers. The building, with its walls cracked up and surrounded by creepers, looked really spooky from the outside, so my friends and I often took our girlfriends there to spooked them. We'd tell them fake scary stories and make them squeal. We'd get lots of fun out of it.
One evening, we were all in Jason's car and we drove up to the TB Center. We were quite familiar with the ominous looking building from the outside, but none of us had ever been in. So, Jason made a bet offer.
"I dare any of you to spend a night in there alone." Jason suddenly said.
"Yeah right, as if you'd pay." I said without much thought..
"Yes I will. Are you taking my offer, Jake?"
I was silent. Everyone looked at me, waiting for a reply. Being a macho that I am, I didn't want to lose face, so I agreed.
"You're on, Jason " I said, feeling regret immediately.
It was set for the coming Saturday, so I made sure I was prepared for it. I charged my camcorder batteries, took additional tapes, torchlight, matches, cigarettes, snacks, and a few bottles of water.
Jason picked Julie and me from my house. (Julie is my steady) Mackie and his girl, Marie, were in the car as well. So, there were five of us in total.
"Hmm...Are you sure you wanna go through with it, Jake?" Julie asked me, rubbing her nose against my cheek.
"Hell Yeah." I said, hiding my fear.
We all got out of the car and walked to the building. We had to pass by the prison, so we were careful not be seen by the keeper there. We sneaked pass the sign that said: 'NO ENTRY. TRASPASSERS WILL BE PROCECUTED.'
At the doorway to the TB Center, Julie began to feel weak in the knees and almost collapsed to the ground if my arm had not been around her waist..
"Hey, you okay?"
"I'm feeling dizzy." She said.
I asked Marie to take Julie to the car while we three guys entered the building.
"Wow, it smells in here." Jason said, pinching his nose.
"I sure don't want to be the one staying here the entire night." Jason said with a smirk as he peeked at me from the corner of his eye.
"Yeah go ahead, try and discourage me. I smell nothing but a hundred bucks." I replied, sniggering.
"Well, here's the spot, man—dead center of the building. It's the cleanest spot for you to lay, Jake." Mackie said, kicking some paper boxes away creating an empty enough space to lay down my stuff.
"Whoooo, I'm sure glad to be outta here soon." Jason said, trying to start the video camera up. "Hey, did you charge the batteries, man? It's not turning on."
I snatched the camcorder from him and checked it myself. Jason was right, there was no juice. I swear I had charged all three batteries just the night before; and they were fairly new batteries at that. I could not explain it.
"Okay buddy, good luck with your stay at the Hilton madhouse." Jason laughed and walked toward the exit.
Mackie gave me a pat on my back. "See ya tomorrow," he said, and followed Jason out.
I spun around slowly, checking what the place looked like. "Right...It'll be an easy hundred bucks, Jason my buddy. You sure are the loser." I said to myself, filling the silence with my voice.
I didn't like the spot where I was because it was stinky and dirty, so I grabbed my stuff and walked about. There was nothing frightening about the building, but my mind began to play tricks on me. Every movement that I made, created an exaggerated shadow. At times, my shadow looked like it was moving independently. What I mean was that it made strange shapes: like a bird with wings, or thin and tall, or moving when I wasn't. That was slowly, but surely, building fear into me. Nonetheless, I kept my head straight, and convinced myself it was only my imagination.
I found myself at the mess hall on the forth floor. It was dark, with some light occasionally coming in from the prison's watch tower. It looked fairly clean and there was no smell so I laid my things down and walk around a bit. I learnt, as I walked about, that it was not the best place to settle, as it was the place where the hard-core criminally insane had been housed. Images suddenly started popping up in my head, images that were disturbing. I saw men fighting and brutally beating one another. I couldn't understand why I suddenly began thinking of violent men and bloodied heads. It wasn't something I could control. I realised something was forcing these thoughts onto me. I even felt a sudden urge to scream, and I began to punch the air as though there were people around me. It was insane. I WAS INSANE!
Then, suddenly, a loud BANG!
I was startled, but not afraid. I walked over to the next room to see what it was. I saw nothing, just some old mattresses and metal bed frames tucked against the badly dilapidated walls.
"Woooh, this must be the isolation hall that the TB patients were left to die in," I thought. I don't know why I thought that, but that was the first thing that came to mind. The room gave plenty of evidence to support my theory. I saw a box containing some bottles with labels on them. There were even names on the labels, but I couldn't read them—they were too faded. I assumed they were medicine bottles. There were many rusty spoons and other metal things, like bed pans, and bolts and nuts and all. The bolts and nuts could have come from the dismantled beds.
I was done investigating my surrounding. I rolled out my sleeping bag and slipped into it. I waited curiously for footsteps or something, but heard nothing. There was just a soft humming sound that came from the prison. Soon, I was asleep.
Crack, crack, Creeeeeeeeech. SLAM!
I was awoken suddenly, and felt a sharp pain on my forehead. I felt something mushy and warm where the pain was. There was not enough light so I staggered to the window. The mushy thing on my fingers was blood. I was oozing blood from my forehead! I went over to my sleeping bag and saw a small thumb-size stone by the side. The stone was a part of the ceiling that had broken off and fallen down.
Pressing on my forehead, I went upstairs to see what had caused the sound. I walked into the room that was directly above the one I was sleeping in and saw that it was almost empty. There was only one thing in the room—a radiator. The radiator was lying face down on the floor. As I looked carefully, I saw that there were a scratch marks on the floor—the grooves were clean, as if made very recently, like seconds ago! I followed the scratch marks to the wall the radiator had been attached to, and saw some bolts on the floor. I picked one up and to my horror, it was clean and warm.
"How the F@#K...?"
The radiator must have been detached, dragged across the floor, and slammed down hard. The impact on the floor must have broken a piece of the ceiling downstairs, which hit my head.
Suddenly, the air turned freezing cold. I needed nothing more to tell me to get the hell out of there. I rushed down the stairs. I ran into hallways after hallways. I just couldn't find the exit. I couldn't think anymore and began to panic. I screamed out.
"HEY! LET ME OUT! I'M SORRY FOR COMING HERE! PLEASE LET ME OUT!"
It felt like forever. I ran and ran desperately. I even tripped down the stairs and sprained my wrist. I didn't feel any pain then. Finally, I found myself in the kitchen and slammed myself against the back door. It crashed open and I tumbled onto the ground outside. I picked myself up and ran and didn't turn back.
"HEY YOU! STOP!" I heard someone shouting behind me.
I didn't stop. I kept on running. I ran pass a horse stable, and even heard horses stomping and making almost human-like laughter. Then, about a hundred feet ahead, I saw a car. There were two guys standing beside it. They were smoking.
Thank god, it's Jason and Mackie. Thank god they stayed, I thought. I shouted their names and ran toward them.
"Hey it's Jacob!" Mackie said.
Jason turned to look. Marie came out of the car. They looked at me and laughed. I didn't understand why they were laughing. Mackie caught me as I tripped. I was shivering in fright. It was only then that they realised what I had been through.
"Hey Jake, buddy. What's wrong?" Mackie asked.
By this time, Julie had also rushed out to embraced me. I rushed into the car and urged them to leave quickly.
"What's wrong Jake? What did you see?" Jason asked, tickled.
"It's not funny man! Look at my head." I yelled out.
They all looked at me, puzzled.
"What's wrong with your head?" Julie asked.
I touched my forehead and there was nothing. I had no injury and there was no blood!
"Are you okay, man?" Jason asked. "What the hell happened in there?"
I looked at everyone and gaped in disbelieve.
"Thank god you guys stayed through the night." I said finally.
"What are you talking about Jake? It hasn't been ten minutes since we left you?" Mackie and Jason said almost immediately in unison.
There was nothing else I could say or think. I stared at them in total stupor.
Jacob McFerrin, 23
Insurance Salesman , USA