They're renovating the building I work in, so they've asked all of us to go upstairs to the fourth floor and gather any equipment we might need from the store rooms before it all gets cleared out for the new construction. Today I went up there in search of graduated cylinders and 500 mL beakers for my Earth Science Lab class and got lost (metaphorically, though getting physically lost up there would not be impossible and it might be another sixty years before someone actually went up there to look for you) poking around in all of the weird smelling, dusty Cold War-era glassware and chemistry equipment.
I scored an awesome globe, complete with art deco globe stand and 1950s political boundaries. I found an adding machine that should provide my kids with hours of fight-o-tainment during Christmas break. I found about fourteen hundred graduated cylinders of all shapes, sizes, and colors. And at last, I found a box labeled "500 mL beakers" with two dozen brand new beakers perfect for my lab.
It took multiple trips to get everything back downstairs and while I had someone else from my department with me for the first trip upstairs, I was alone for the subsequent trips.
Alone. On the fourth floor. The deserted, dark, windowless fourth floor. Just me and all the creepy-looking nineteen sixties science equipment. And the dust. Just like on the Frankenstein movie. It was a lot spooky.
But I really wanted that globe, so I took my chances and went up there on the (also nineteen sixties vintage) elevator that has been known to get stuck and trap people for hours at a time.
While I was up there I needed to use the bathroom, so I found it and went in there. It was an ordinary bathroom and looked like it had been recently cleaned. Nothing too scary in there. I stood up, adjusted my skirt, and examined my teeth in the mirror in the greenish glow of the institutional light fixture.
And then I pushed the flushing lever and instead of flushing the toilet shuddered and made a loud hissing noise like the hugest, scariest porcelain cockroach you have ever seen.
And then water came shooting out of it.
ALL OVER MY LEGS.
The contents of the actual toilet bowl were undisturbed.
But I was very, very disturbed. I may have shrieked. And jumped about four feet in the air.
For some reason, I felt like I had to complete the flushing process. Even though no one would know it was me and the chances of this toilet killing me were very, very high.
I stood as far away as I possibly could in the stall and sort of, reached out with my toe and tapped the handle very gingerly. HISSSSSSSPRAY!!!!!!! Now I was just angry so I forcefully tapped the lever with my toe over and over until the stupid thing started to flush and then I RAN out of there and didn't stop running until I was downstairs with my globe.
I washed my hands in my nice, safe, not-haunted first floor bathroom. Not enough glassware in the world to get me back up those stairs.