This past winter, something extremely odd happened to me that left me more than a little startled. It was mid-December, my college classes had finally let out for Christmas break, and my roommate, “Ellen”, and I were down in our mutual hometown to spend the holidays with our families. “Ellen” needed to stop by the county courthouse to give something to her mother, who works in one of the offices there. Since the courthouse is only two blocks away from where I was staying for Christmas, I went with her.
This particular courthouse is a relatively new brick building with several sets of windows at the front. The entrance itself has two sets of glass double doors and above these doors, there are several large, heavily-tinted rectangular windows that are angled slightly downward so that they give any person walking into the building a bird’s-eye view of about one hundred yards of the courthouse’s massive front lawn. This allows the employees inside the building to see each person enter and leave establishment, but it also enables the people entering the building to spy on any people behind them.
As “Ellen” and I approached this main entrance, I happened to look up into the windows above the doors and caught a split-second glimpse of an elderly man in a baseball cap reflected in one of the windows. Since I couldn’t hear any footsteps following us, I quickly turned my head and glanced backwards, but my quick survey of the courthouse lawn came up empty. When I turned back to the windows, the image of the man was gone.
This surprised me, mostly because I know: a) The windows are so heavily tinted that it is only possible to see through them from the inside, which means that it is very unlikely that I could have seen a man who was inside the building, b) The image was not caused by a TV screen or some such thing because the windows do not have any kind of TV or screen behind them and c) Since the view that those windows give covers such a vast percentage of the lawn, there is little to no chance that the man could have left without my noticing at least SOME movement. I did not see him leave; he was literally there one minute and gone the next.
I’m not the sort of person who frequently has “run-ins with ghosts” or other such experiences, but this DID creep me out quite a bit. I don’t know that the courthouse has any history of being haunted; I believe that the current building was constructed sometime during the late seventies and I haven’t heard of anything unusual happening there before or after it was built. One of my relatives jokingly suggested that it was a great-grandfather or granduncle or something, dropping in to check on me. I can’t really imagine one of my long-dead male relatives visiting me in a baseball cap, but if he did so, I appreciate it.