I know it’s not Halloween, but I’m going to tell you a ghost story. It’s 100% mostly true.
Last Wednesday was a little crazy around the Garrison’s PAO office.
You may have heard, but if not, the Air Force chose Redstone as the preferred site for Space Command.
It was a long day. After everything settled down everyone in the office called it a day. I had just a couple more things to finish up, then I was planning to be out the door right on their heels.
If you’ve ever been in the Garrison’s headquarters, building 4488, after everyone has left and it gets real quiet then you know there are a handful of noises that you hear, but you’re not really sure who or what made them.
Ever since I started at the Rocket people had told me the building was haunted.
I’m not new to haunted buildings. At the last paper I worked we had a guy named Roger, who worked at the paper his entire life. He died before we shut the press down at that location and moved our printing offsite. One night I was working late and taking a walk through the building, and I came across a pair of Roger’s shoes. I didn’t think anything of it and kept on strolling. A few weeks later I came across the shoes again, but they were not where I saw them the first time. I guess Roger liked to walk around the building, too.
All horror movies start with the main character doing something questionable, either morally, ethically or what have you.
I can’t say my experience started that way. For the life of me, I can’t think of anything I’ve done that falls into one of those categories, but I’ll defer to Anna. She keeps a list.
I got sidetracked. To recap, everyone had left, and I was finishing up a couple things. Before I packed everything up to leave, I decided to take a quick trip down to the restroom.
The hallway on the second floor can be a little creepy anyway. Nobody ever bothers to turn on all the ceiling lights, so it looks like a hallway from a 1960s mental hospital that’s fallen into disrepair. I’ve worked in the building for over a year and I just learned how to turn all the lights on.
As I make my way down this hallway I hear a shuffling noise accompanied by what sounds like someone talking. I casually turn my head and look back just to see if someone else was in the building with me. I didn’t see anyone. They weren’t scary noises, so I didn’t think anything of it and went on about my business.
I made my stop at the restroom and went back into my office to collect my things. I saw a coffee cup on my desk and remembered that I had left a dirty cup out at home earlier that morning (See Anna’s list, No. 5.)
I throw my backpack on and make my way to the door. I flipped the switch to kill the lights, and plain as day I heard: “Turn the lights on please.”
I’m not a screamer, and it probably wouldn’t have mattered because I was alone. So I did what any rational person would do. I flipped the lights back on.
You know the part in all the scary movies where the people run in the wrong direction? I get it now.
First, I don’t maintain this perfectly round figure by running and I wasn’t about to start.
Second, even though I was 99% sure I was alone, I had to know where the noise came from. So I hesitantly started to check all of the cubicles in our office.
And there was the source of the mysterious voice. It was just Skip Vaughn sitting at his computer writing a story.