I used to work night shift Security on a college campus. 11PM-7AM, usually by myself. If I was lucky I'd have a work-study student officer with me until 2.
The campus had been around in one form or another since the Revolutionary War. Started as a wood fort, then stone, then finally a concrete fortress with dozens of brick buildings until the end of WWII, when they decommissioned the fort and turned it into a college.
There's one building on campus that used to be an officer's quarters, a really fancy, rather upscale three story house. The place has all the classic ghost stories: Lady in white, shadows moving on their own, footsteps, etc. I never believed them.
Until I experienced them.
My first experience in there I was still on second shift, during the day. It was maybe 4pm; I remember the sun was still out. It was also in the 80s outside. I was crossing the main lobby, a large room in front of the double staircase, when I realized something.
It was suddenly way too quiet, like the air was heavy and pressing down on me. I stopped walking for some reason. Then it got cold. Really cold, it must have dropped about twenty degrees. Needless to say, I booked it before I heard or saw anything. I've seen horror movies, fuck this!
Another experience with this place: Screaming. I was escorting a couple of new officers to show them how to lock the building.
We were standing in the lobby (everything seems to be focused there...) talking to the last guy in the building. Four of us, standing in a group, when all but one of us heard it.
Shuffling. Like something being dragged in short spurts across the floor directly above us.
scrunch scrunch SCRUNCH ****AIEEEeeeeee!!!****
A woman screamed! But there was nobody up there! I wanted to check it out, but the female officer I was next to was too creeped out... \^(cough)
The Child Laughing:
It must have been a few months after the scream incident. I hadn't gone through there much since then. I was escorting another new guy, and had just finished telling him the story about the scream.
We were standing next to the back door (once again, this room was directly connected to the lobby, with a rather large arch connecting them instead of a door). As we started walking into the lobby, a familiar feeling crept over me.
It was quiet... and heavy...
That's when we heard it. I'm pretty sure I heard the pitter-patter of little footsteps, but we both heard it.
A little girl. Giggling. On the floor above us.
The building was empty and already locked up; We were doing second checks. There was no way somebody else was in there, the previous patrols would have found them.
We looked at each other... "WELP." Booked it out the door.
The woman in black heels:
This one is the last thing I experienced in that building. In fact, it's the only thing I saw outright.
I was working alone that night. There were still two staff members in the building; one in the basement, one at the front desk. As I was locking the doors, they were finishing their tasks and getting ready to leave.
I double checked the building, turned off some lights, and started crossing the lobby when I looked up the staircase. The staircase runs parallel to the lobby, it goes up half a floor to the landing then the rest of the way in a switchback setup ([like this, but with another set of stairs on the other side of the landing too]).
There was a woman up there on the second floor! All I could see was the bottom of a black skirt, her legs, and black heels. Walking from the right to left.
She was wearing heels, but there was no sound. And even though she was walking at a regular pace, I blinked... and she was gone.
TL;DR: I didn't believe in ghosts until I became a Security officer on the night shift. I've experienced some shit, and most of it with witnesses.
Then there's the stuff you really wouldn't believe, where there was nobody with me to confirm it (once again, night shift without coworkers). Like the face in the bushes. Or the shadow of a soldier on top of the old fort. But I'll keep those stories for another day.
[like this, but with another set of stairs on the other side of the landing too]: http://www.acadiastairs.com/images/Modernstairrender03.jpg