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ArlingtonCommentary: Empty gyms can by spooky

Commentary: Empty gyms can by spooky

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High-school gymnasiums are so often fun places to hang out because, when open, there usually is so very much going on inside those big busy and noisy rooms, along with many people being around.

But when empty, those spacious rooms can be kind of spooky and uncomfortable to individuals who might be inside for some reason.

A photo published recently on the Sun Gazette’s Website was of the empty Madison High School gymnasium in Vienna, taken about an hour following a recent girls varsity basketball game that was played there on a school night. The lights were still on in the picture, but there is no one inside. The bleachers on both sides of the gym floor were pushed back, making the space appear bigger and look even more abandoned.

Making those gyms even scarier is when they are dark and empty. At some point, the lights in that Madison gym were turned off that night. Then, empty, dark gyms aren’t much fun to be inside whatsoever. Walking through a dark, empty gym also can be an unsettling experience, in addition to being left alone inside.


A high-school basketball coach admitted – in confidence – a few years ago that he is so spooked, as well as superstitious, by dark and empty gymnasiums, he avoids walking through them at anytime. Instead, the coach opts to take the longer route by walking through the school hallways, which most always have some type of lighting turned on no matter the time of day or evening.

That coach revealed that some of his peers over the years have acknowledge they feel the same.

Mostly, those gyms are fully lit and plenty active the majority of the time when schools are in session for whatever sporting event, classes or assembly that might be taking place. When that’s the case, high-school gyms are a happening, welcome venue.

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