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In the woods behind my house stood an old worn-down barn. Most of the paint had chipped off, and the wood that held up the silo was rotted and busted, with holes everywhere. The people in town always used to say that the barn was haunted, but I never believed any of those old ghost stories. Me and my buddies talked about it a lot whenever we hung out, so after a few weeks of thought, I decided to check the place out, just out of curiosity.

It was a rather damp Friday morning when I first set out for the old barn. Through the remnants of the previous night's thunderstorm, I trotted down the cleared dirt path leading to the old barn. The door wasn't locked, but it was still halted by a thicket of brambles and vines, so I walked around until I found a small opening in the side at about eye level. Apparently someone tried to tear down the barn, but they didn't do a very good job, and I'm pretty sure they quit after the first twelve seconds. I shoved my hand through the opening, pulled a chunk off the board, and kicked, slammed against, and yanked on the old wood until I had enough of an opening for me to climb through. The inside of the barn was astounding. It was in pristine condition, despite being here for at least a hundred years. Old horse-drawn machinery stood rusted on the dirt floor. A tractor stood solemnly in the back of the barn, rusted and rendered silent by the tides of time. Hay bales stood stacked up in an almost perfect staircase, some of it still golden, untouched by the wind and weather. It was a sight to see. So for the next week, I brought all of my friends to see it, and we talked about it for weeks.

One Thursday my friend Max approached me in the hallway inbetween periods. "Mark," he started, "that barn's been there for a hundred something years. Have you ever entertained the thought that it just might be haunted? Just once?"

"It's not haunted," I told him

"And if you're wrong? Then what?" he demanded.

"It's not haunted! For crying out loud, Max, the barn's not frickin' haunted!" I silently scolded him. He gave me a yeah, right look and walked away. But he had me thinking.

I asked around that night. According to the old folks in the town, if you sat in the barn in the midnight hour, you could hear everything that took place in that barn. The next night, I set out with nothing but what I could fit in a pack and made the trek down at about 11:30 that night. I stepped into the barn, made myself a little fire to give me some warmth and sight, and settled in.

At about midnight, I woke up after dozing off to hear the sound of giggling and footsteps. I did a double take, looking for the door to open, but it stayed shut. But I could hear footsteps rustling atop the hay pile. I just stayed in my chair, hoping to catch what was said, but all I heard was the faint sounds of giggling and the echoes of kissing lovers. I sat there in the darkness for almost a half hour, until I heard another sound. It was a gun being chambered. I heard a young man's voice beg for mercy. ",no,no,No,NO!" he cried. His girlfriend pleaded with what I gathered to be her father. "Daddy no!" she pleaded. Suddenly, I heard a gunshot go off. I covered my head with my hands in fear. I heard a faint feminine squeal. Then another gunshot went off. There was a rustling, then a loud slam, like something had fallen on wood. The last sound I heard was the fading footsteps of a man running away from what he had done. My mind was racing as I dozed off again...

I woke up abruptly to the muffled sounds of an angry crowd. They grew louder and louder. I heard the sounds of heavy breathing, and the crowd getting louder and louder. I couldn't quite hear everything, but I heard what I assumed to be the father's voice defending himself, calling the mob a bunch of crazy SOBs, cursing the boy, blaming his daughter's death on the boy, but the crowd only got louder. I heard the father scream. "Get your hands off me!" he cried. But the crowd only got louder. "What are you doing? What the HELL are you doing? NO!!" The man's cries stopped. I heard a pounding against the wall of the barn, but the voices remained silent. Then the footsteps faded away. All I could hear was a strange almost inaudible sound now and then, but after a while, it stopped. I crept up to the door, opening up a crack just big enough for me to see through. Nothing. I bent down and pulled at the vines under the door until I could get enough free to open up the door. I heard nothing except for the chirping of crickets and the single hoot of an owl. I saw something on the ground. I picked it up. It was an old tattered piece of a leather vest. As I stood up, I noticed something move out of my peripherals. I turned. 

In front of me, at the end of an old rotted rope, was a single perfectly tied hanging noose.