I like to consider myself a skeptical believer when it comes to ghosts. I have always had an interest in the paranormal, and have had a few experiences that I have an open mind on. I am always looking for a scientific, rational, or even common sense explanation. Through the careers I have had, and through my hobbies, I have had the opportunity to live, sleep, stay, camp etc in some very old, historical, and sometimes reportedly haunted buildings in the U.S. While I have never had the obvious "Ok there is a ghost, and now its walking away, and now it disappeared" experience where there is no other explanation, I have had some unexplained things happen to me. This is one of them.
This experience happened to me about this time of year in October 2011. Being on this site for a few weeks now has made me more open to sharing my few experiences.
I had moved to a suburb of Pittsburgh a couple years ago for a career change. I was renting a house in an old steel mill town that while not a dangerous neighborhood, had sadly seen better days. Nearly every night after work, I go for a run along the same route down the main street, up one of the side streets a few blocks, and take a parallel street home. On the side street on my route was an old schoolhouse that had probably been abandoned for about 30 years. This was one of your typical "they don't build them like they used to" type school houses, built anywhere from the 1920's to the 1950's in my estimate; a stately yellow brick building two stories tall shaped like a "T" with the top of the T facing the street and a long wing in the back. The first floor of the building was boarded up, covered in graffiti, and the second story windows were all broken out by vandals.
I remember very well that this happened in October, as it was getting dark at about 7:00 PM when I would go on my runs, there was a chill in the air, and the leaves had changed. As I was passing the school on my run, I noticed that the first floor on the main front wing was all lit up. It appeared that there was some type of open house going on, with a group of people in one of the rooms standing around, enjoying refreshments. I remember very vividly seeing a guy with an ugly sweater visible through one of the windows looking out, a clock on the wall, and bulletin board on the wall was decorated for Thanksgiving, which was strange because it was still over a month away. I was on my run, getting tired, and it was getting dark, so I was booking it to make it home, and really didn't pay much attention to what was going on at the school.
That is, until I made it about a block down the street. I stopped dead in my tracks and had a "HOLY $#* () @" revelation... The school is abandoned! I turned around and ran back, and the building was dark, gloomy, and boarded up just as it always is... No lights on, nobody inside the building, no Thanksgiving themed bulletin board... Just broken windows, plywood, and graffiti.
I think about this experience every time I'm out on a run this time of year after the sun sets. I since have moved, but every once in a while my job will take me to that town again. Sadly, the school was torn down. There had been rumors about it turning into apartments, or a brewery, but apparently it was too far gone and the owner was holding out thinking someone would pay him big bucks for the building. Instead, the town condemned it. No worries though, there is a boring modern school built not too far away.
This experience drives me crazy, though. I could have been daydreaming on my run, but it was so vivid. I am a healthy guy in my early 30's, in shape, no drugs, not a drinker... If I have that over active of am imagination, I've never realized it before. Nothing like this has happened since either. I will never know!