I live in rural Virginia, and my high school, believe it or not, was in between two pastures in a very agrarian1
area. Although I was never much into sports, I had a few friends who were, and several were on the cross-country running team.
The course lay out for the cross-country track took a meandering2
path around the school, then out into the pastures around the school (with the permission of the farmers, of course). One part of the course took the runners past an immense old farmhouse3
, abandoned and dilapidated on the crest4
of a hill overlooking the school. There were, of course, rumors5
that it was haunted, but to my knowledge no one ever saw or heard anything there. It was just a big, old, spooky, abandoned house.
At times, the CC runners did see someone poking6
around there, but it was obviously the owner of the property as they would see his truck parked in front of the place, and they could see that he was using the downstairs rooms to store equipment and surplus hay.
That being said, I shall relate the story of my friend on the CC run, and the subsequent discovery made by myself and some intrepid7
companions one day...
Her name was Candy, and she was on the CC team. She was hardly the star member, and would, unfortunately, often find herself running alone. That never dampened her spirits, however, and she remained on the team doing her part. One day, when as usual the pack had left her far behind, she found herself alone as she trudged8
up the hill towards the old house. Glancing up, she saw someone walk past an upstairs window. She thought nothing of it, of course, assuming it was the farmer. It didn't dawn on her until later that his truck was not in its usual place in front of the house.
She told this to her circle of friends, and some of us decided9
to check the place out the following day (which was, fortunately, a Saturday). So, we met in the field at noon and tromped off to explore. What we found there was the typical old falling-apart farmhouse. Empty rooms (except for the equipment and such), creaky floorboards, and piles of wet shattered plaster, beer bottles, graffiti, and cigarette butts10
. Then we rounded the corner from the old living room to go upstairs, and each of us stopped dead in our tracks....
There were no stairs. Apparently11
, the stairwell had collapsed12
into the cellar long ago, leaving only a yawning opening 10 feet above a tangled13
pile of old timbers on the cellar floor below. And yet, Candy had sworn she had seen someone walk by an upstairs window. We explored the house more completely, now being VERY careful since we knew just how bad off the place really was. We didn’t find any second staircase, and there was no way to reach the second floor. Its a mystery that has remained unsolved, as in the middle of our exploration we heard the truck door slam outside, and we all beat a hasty retreat out the back so we wouldn’t get caught trespassing14
I don't know if it was a ghost she saw, or if it were someone who could climb like an orangutan, but it's all a moot15
point now. That house was demolished16
only one year later, and a nice shiny new modern split-level was erected17
in its place. I wonder if the owners of that house have any late night visitors...