Three weeks fresh out of college and on the job as a auditor I found my self in a very interesting situation. Auditing small governments was the staple for my first few months, and small governments (townships, villages, etc) have some unique office buildings. In Ohio a township is the smallest form of “community” government you can have and is the least restrictive in regulating it’s residents. This is perfect for places like farmlands or low population areas. I was auditing a township and their township hall was a very old building. All the doors creaked when you opened them, paint was falling off the wall, there was very little lighting and if you plugged more than three things in you popped a fuse. If you didn’t know better you might think the place was haunted.
Three days into the audit, a third auditor stopped to drop off some work papers for my supervisor to review. Faintly from the door on the first floor we could hear her calling for us. When I got to the door she looked freaked out, and told me there was no way she was coming into this place. I couldn’t blame her, had I not been so focused on getting my work done and making a good impression I probably would have noticed how creepy the place seemed. My supervisor came out to the parking lot to get the work papers and we all had a laugh about this haunted town hall.
Fast forward three years. I was assigned a township which rented an old school building for a dollar a year as it’s town hall. I sat alone in the old cafeteria, and though it seemed slightly creepy I didn’t think much of it. Just two weeks and I would be on to larger projects. The first week went along normally, and the weekend came. When I got back to the audit site on Monday part of the building had been transformed into a haunted house as it is every October. This would not have bothered me as it was a fairly large building except the restrooms were smack dab in the middle of the haunted house.
Being 25 at the time I should not have been as nervous as I was to find the restroom. Being that it was an old school house, the floors were made of wood and creaked with every step. I looked for a light switch, but there were none I could find. I also forgot to mention that on the first day it was a dreary rainy day making it that much darker in the building. It was silly that a grown man couldn’t just walk right in to the haunted house, but it just didn’t feel right. I gathered my courage and walked in. At first it was easy, the set up actually seemed pretty basic. As I got closer to where I knew the restroom were though I realized I was in complete darkness and I could feel things that didn’t seem natural. When I reached the restroom door I quickly rushed through it and was happy to see the window had not been covered up. My heart was racing and as I turned to make the return trip I was moving a bit faster. Irrational as it may seem I was completely alone in the building and the creepy factor was off the charts.
Just before I reached the exit my pager went off. I would like to say I kept my calm, but I ran like a little boy trying to find his mom and dad’s bedroom door in the middle of a lightning storm. That’s right, I am not afraid to admit that I was scared beyond sanity at the age of 25. My wife and I had a good laugh that night over the tale, and my co-workers ribbed me for weeks. Just goes to show the auditor sitting across from you may put fear in your heart, but they are human and have fears of their own.