have you ever had a spooky experience at work?

Did you ever work somewhere haunted? Feel the ghost of your predecessor marooned in your office? Encounter an evil spirit lurking in the copier?

A couple of years ago for Halloween, I asked people to share stories of spooky moments at work. There have been calls to do it again, so let’s go for it — share in the comments.

And to start us off, here are some particularly creepy stories from last time:

“At my last job I would often work several hours past the others, and past dark. There were multiple times where I’d hear filing cabinets opening downstairs, hear the printer randomly turn on and start whirring, and voices whispering. Sometimes the door would be unlocked when I was sure I’d locked it. Every time I thought someone else had come back for something and every time, it was dark and silent when I got downstairs to look. The voices were the worst. When you work in an industrial park you don’t expect to hear talking from outside after hours. Place was in the middle of nowhere.

Of course you could make an argument for stress. I sat at the top of the stairs in a creaky old building with my back to the stairwell, and I was overworked and tired. That said, my boss/the owner DID die in a tragic and unexplained plane crash a couple months before.”

“I work in a museum. There has always been a joke that the man the museum was named after haunted the place. Things would go missing and items in the souvenir shop would be moved. … When Housekeeping did a deep clean at night, they always said strange stuff would happen. Sounds, voices, etc.

When the museum was renovated, we added a big-screen theater. There is a control booth with a small storage area at the top of the theater steps. There is also a tiny balcony behind the control booth where we have screens that face the main hall and that we use to advertise upcoming events, memberships, etc. Many of the security staff swear they have seen and/or experienced ghostly happenings in the control booth/storage area/balcony. One really large, muscled ex-military guy had such a frightening experience that he refused to go in the theater. He was on rounds, checked the theater and heard sounds in the control booth. He knew the AV guy was off that day so he went up. He saw no one in the booth or the storage area, so he was checking the balcony area. He said someone shoved him and he almost fell off the balcony area. There was no one in the theater besides him but they checked the tape anyway. You could clearly see the moment he was pushed forward but you couldn’t see what pushed him forward.

I stay away from the theater. If the biggest security guard in the place was almost pushed off the balcony by invisible forces, I’m not chancing it.”

“I work in a nursing home with many folks who have dementia. They live in other realities, and I’m used to residents saying weird things. However, there seems to be a trend in one area of the building where residents typically refer to ‘the little boy’ who always seems to be standing somewhere near. It’s very common for a resident to be talking to the little boy (look like they’re talking to thin air), and it’s also common for them to ask us questions about the boy (‘is this your child?’ or ‘is the little boy going to come to the activity too?’, etc.). It’s only in that one area of the building, but it’s with almost all of the residents who have dementia. Only one of them has a history of having visual hallucinations. It does creep me out a little bit.”

“My old office was haunted. It was in an industrial park built on the site of a torn-down hospital, and it had a general spooky vibe after dark that we all felt, but rarely talked about. I was always staying late to meet crazy deadlines, and after midnight the activity would perk up. Mostly whispers, sounds of doors down the hall opening and closing, and a general being watched feeling. I put up with it for a few years until one night in 2006.

I was working crazy hard on a federal grant that was due tomorrow. I started hearing the typical spooky noises – whispers, bangs, doors – so I turned up the music in my office and basically said ‘%&$* you, I have to finish this. Leave me alone.’ That was the only time I ever addressed the energy/entity/thing directly, which was probably a mistake. At about 1:30 a.m. I got the tingly being-watched feeling. As I was typing I felt something cold grab the middle of my right forearm and I heard something say ‘get out’ in my right ear – it sounded like someone speaking normal volume, standing 6 inches away. I jerked out of my chair, grabbed my bag and booked it to the lobby where I set the alarm and then ran as fast as I could to my car.

Because I wasn’t finished and was panicking about my deadline, I woke up and got to the office very early – around 5:30 a.m. I walked in the lobby, turned off the alarm, and walked into my office and froze. Every drawer of my desk was open. My trash can was knocked over and trash was spread all over the floor. My chair was out in the hallway. All the cabinets of the credenza behind my desk – which i have never even used – were open. My keyboard was knocked onto the floor.

Mine was the only office messed with. I checked the alarm detail and no one came in or out that night other than me. None of us could explain it. I never worked past 10pm in that office again.”

“I worked at a place where when we renovated our office, they decided to replace all the walls with glass, to show we were a ‘transparent organization’ (as you can probably guess, leadership there kind of sucked). While the higher ups had frosted glass offices, most of the staff had glass, fishbowl offices with no doors. As you can imagine, we all hated when we lost our walls, particularly one guy who routinely complained about it.

Well, a few months later this guy is fired (for unrelated reasons) in the worst way possible, where they did it midmorning, and everyone saw it happen (hard to hide things in a glass office). So he had to pack up all of his stuff and was escorted from the building.

The next day, the glass walls of the fired guy’s office shattered. No one was near that office, no one saw anything suspicious, and we worked in a secure office so people couldn’t come in without us knowing. We never found out what happened, but I like to think that fired guy got his revenge.”

{ 634 comments… read them below }

  1. Florida*

    I used to work in a building that was a mansion then a funeral home then an art museum. I worked for the art museum. The embalming room had an eerie feeling to it. We used it as storage. Never saw a ghost or heard of one, but that room was a little bit peculiar.

    1. Happy Lurker*

      My first apartment was in an old funeral home. I had the apartment above the viewing rooms. The cellar had the washing machine and dryer as well as storage. It was by far the driest (hmmm) cleanest, nicest cellar I have ever been in. Not one tiny bit of mold or smell.
      I did not know about the funeral home history when we moved in. I don’t know how I would have felt about it. I felt strange doing the laundry knowing what must have happened in the area, but not one thing ever happened. Still my favorite apartment!
      The stories Allison relayed are giving me chills!

    2. Say what, now?*

      This is so crazy. I’ve never heard of a funeral home being redeveloped into something and now I have two accounts. It must be really expensive to remove all of the refrigeration equipment and such. Also, I always (potentially erroneously) thought that they had really wide floor drains to deal with the embalming process. But maybe that’s not an issue for other uses.

      Also, I’m picturing what we have which are funeral homes that have crematoriums with them. I’m guessing that these are not those. How on earth would you redevelop that area?

      1. LavaLamp*

        Not every funeral home has a cremation oven. Some smaller ones are even converted back into houses.

        1. This Daydreamer*

          Hmmm, what do I go with? The reference to the old Tombstone pizza ads or a suggestion to avoid the sausage? That’s a tough one.

          1. Batshua*

            Oh shit son, you just went full-on Sweeny Todd at AAM! :O

            I’m gonna … be over here thinking about something else.

            1. Jean Lamb*

              Just to ruin your day, the first time I saw “The Worst Pies in London” my brain supplied the Muppet version (Miss Piggy, complete with darling little cockroaches in glittery bunting).

      2. Sparkly Librarian*

        A mortuary in my hometown went through at least two redevelopments before I was born… when I was growing up it was a fancy steakhouse. THAT’s creepy!

      3. Sheryl*

        Olinger Mortuary in Denver is now an awesome restaurant called Linger Eatuary. The smokestack is still in place and the water is served from these brown, old-fashioned bottles that look like the might have held formaldehyde back in the day. I know they didn’t, but they’re a cool effect.

      4. e271828*

        A former funeral home in San Francisco now houses Urban Putt: mini-golf course, bar, and restaurant.

      5. Wednesday*

        My grandparent’s house was a former funeral home, and my first apartment was also above a funeral home. The kitchen was above the embalming room. It was a great apartment–large, inexpensive, well maintained, and quiet! The only rule was that I couldn’t run the vacuum cleaner while a funeral was in progress downstairs.

      6. Happy Lurker*

        The former funeral home that I lived in was a home in an old New England city. It was actually one of the first “funeral homes” when people started not having the wakes in their own home.
        There were no drains in the cellar (I was thinking body storage), no ovens or pipes, no refrigerators. The house was probably a couple hundred years old. Absolutely beautiful home.

      7. Pommette!*

        The funeral home down the street from my old house was redeveloped into a centre for street-involved young people. Most of their services are offered on an outpatient basis, but they do have a small residential program. It seems like a nice place, but I wonder how residents feel about its history.

        The place was built long before cremation became popular here, so it didn’t have a furnace. It would have had an embalming room and refrigerated units. Even if those rooms got condemned or turned into storage, there would be plenty of room left for other purposes. Most of the building was taken up by a visitation rooms (two large ones, a bunch of small ones), a chapel, and office space.

        (And now I’m curious: why are all of these old funeral homes closing down? Is there a move towards using fewer, larger places? Are fewer people using the services of funeral homes?)

        1. Batshua*

          Maybe it’s just relocation of a population’s needs?

          I mean, if the neighborhood becomes younger, then the funeral home needs to move either closer to cemeteries or closer to older neighborhoods.

    3. BePositive*

      I live near a Korean Restaurant that was once a funeral home with full cremation ovens

      That spooks me

      1. Say what, now?*

        I feel like I could not eat in any of these places… oh, nausea I see you’ve found me.

  2. Matilda Jefferies*

    #4 is terrifying. I don’t know if I would ever go back to that office in daylight, let alone after dark. Yowza!

    1. k.k*

      “Why did you leave your last job?” “Well, a disembodied voice told me to ‘get out’, so I took that as a sign that it was time to leave.”

    2. Mona Lisa*

      Seriously. I’m not 100% sure I believe in ghosts, but something like that would immediately make me a believer!

    3. Jen S. 2.0*

      There would be puffs of smoke behind me as I fled, and I’d have a new job as soon as humanly possible. No. Just, no.

      Also very reminiscent of this famous bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InLfUMjyKNo . “Too bad we can’t stay, baby.” (An Eddie Murphy bit with a lot of swearing, for those at work with speakers turned up.)

    4. Noah*

      OP didn’t consider the possibility that the reason nobody else went in our out that night is that the person who was messing with her spent the entire night at the office.

      1. This Daydreamer*

        This. They could mail me my personal belongings and I would mail in my immediate resignation and sincere apology.

    5. Khlovia*

      Sitting here in my living room, broad daylight, reasonably nice day for November…chills literally running up and down my back….

  3. Snarkus Aurelius*

    When critics, employees, etc. talk about workplace transparency, they don’t mean it literally!

    I love how the higher ups got frosted glass, which is ironic as that part of the food chain usually needs the most “transparency.”

    1. Anansi*

      That was my story! I believe originally the plan was to frost all of the offices, but it ended up being extremely expensive so they tried to pitch it as a transparency thing instead. It…did not go over well.

  4. Kaden Lee*

    This is probably a sad start, but we had an employee at my old job die on site in a vehicular crash. I imagine the people who didn’t know where the crash happened still picked up on the weird vibes because the people who did know were always visibly uncomfortable walking near the site, but that’s the closest I can think of with regards to a haunting at work.

    1. LS*

      An employee at my job also died in a vehicular crash, though not on site. Ever since, her station has had major electrical issues, no matter how many times the equipment is replaced or the area is checked by electricians. We’ve tried moving everything around, but then the lights above that area go out until we put everything back. It’s definitely not hostile, though – we say, “Oh, [Jane], nice to see you,” and things go back to normal…only to happen again a few days later!

    2. June*

      I had that feeling with a boat we use to own. I grew up around boats, love boats, feel very comfortable with boats, plus my husband and I are very safety conscious in and out of water. But yet, this boat always made me nervous and spooked. So after we sold it (we were moving out of state and didn’t want to drag it along), I mentioned to my husband that I never was crazy about that boat and hope I felt more comfortable around the next boat we get. He says I wonder if it’s cause the previous owner was killed by that boat. WHAT??!?!?! He said he never thought to tell me cause he didn’t think about it. So now the family joke is when we go to purchase a new house/car/boat, we ask if anyone has been killed by it or died in it. We get strange looks from the owners/dealers/agents but it cracks us up every time. BTW, every boat since then has been great and no spooked feelings.

  5. Temperance*

    Back in college, I worked at a fairly fancy, fairly old hotel at the front desk and in the restaurant. Most of the restaurant shifts were fairly quiet on weeknights and during lunch, so we would sit in the back of the restaurant with a book and wait for customers. We had a mirror above one of the back tables that was arranged so we could see when guests arrived.

    On more than one occasion, I saw a black figure in the mirror, went up front, and saw it move through the restaurant and enter the kitchen. I assumed that this was just my eyes playing tricks because it WAS kind of creepy when you were alone at night.

    Up until my friend Rob mentioned that he had seen the same thing, except he was in the middle wait station and saw a figure walk over from the bar area and crouch down behind the front booth before disappearing. We then polled everyone else, and found out that they were also seeing this shadow man/thing, and we all thought that we were imagining it or crazy.

      1. Temperance*

        I think it might be because they have so much history, and so much death. At least one person died on-site while I was working. (It was horrible – she had a heart attack on the toilet and the staff had to call 911 to get the fire department to remove the bathroom door because she had died and fallen in front of it.)

    1. Turtlewings*

      Ohhh heck I just got goosebumps all over my body. I am going to regret reading this thread.

      Also my Spotify just started playing “Men in Black.” (90 Hits Playlist ftw)

    1. KR*

      I love the pumpkin! Husband tried carving a cat into a pumpkin since our cat Lillian is black and spooky and beautiful but it looks like a squirrel.

        1. KR*

          My dog’s name is Jerry. I also love people names for animals. Thank you – I’ll tell Lillian about the compliment and I’m sure she’ll pass along a “meow”.

          1. kms1025*

            KR – I am also a “people names for pets” person, but they’re not commonly used names. Ivy and Heathcliff are the cats, Duncan, Pippin, and Piper are the dogs :)

            1. KR*

              Those names are all lovely, particularily Heathcliff (I love wuthering heights) Thank you for sharing them with me

            2. Miso*

              My relatives had a dog called Pippin!
              He was English and only understood English commands – only we actually aren’t.
              So my first English word ever was “Sit!”

          2. Tempest*

            I have a cat named Freya (she’s a Norwegian Forest) and a kitten named Nico after Nickolas Tesla. (I have two more cats but they’re called Mittens and Freya’s brother is called Horlicks.)

            1. Hills to Die on*

              Aww! I already decided that when I get my new kitten, he’s going to be Nico after Tesla also!

          3. Anonymousaurus Rex*

            Me too! My dogs are Conner and Ruby (though both of them came with those names so I can’t take credit) and my cats are/were Harvey and Violet.

        2. cornflower blue*

          All my cats have people names. It takes newbies at work a while to glom onto the fact that I don’t have children. I enjoy their initial confusion.

          1. Batshua*

            I thought “glom” implied to join enthusiastically. You’re using it to mean, like, perceive, process, & understand? Did I miss a connotational shift in our culture, or is this like, a regional thing?

        3. Tiny Soprano*

          Seconding people names for animals! My parent’s dog is Daphne and the cat is Rupert, the previous dog was Dudley, and the chickens are Tina, Bianca, Cilla and Blanche.

  6. Murphy*

    I worked at an animal shelter. Our last shift ended around 9pm. The last thing we would do is take the trash to the dumpster. The parking lot was dark and the area it’s isolated and empty in the evening. The dumpster was covered by one of those large wraparound gates, so you have to unlatch the door and take a few steps back in order to open it. As I was doing this, I heard the unmistakable sound of someone/something at the dumpster. I screamed and was suddenly face to face with a raccoon, who jumped out of the dumpster right at my eye level and scampered away. As I was beginning to recover, another raccoon jumped out of the dumpster causing me to scream again. Scared the absolute shit out of me.

    They have a light at the dumpster now.

      1. Murphy*

        Yeah. And it took a lot of complaining about (non-raccoon related) safety concerns before they got a light.

    1. JessaB*

      When I took out the trash last weekend at my apartment, I threw a bag in the dumpster and a cat jumped out. I stepped back in surprise and seven more cats jumped out in succession yowling at me for dropping a bag on their dinner.

      1. Alice Ulf*

        Eight cats in a row sounds like a straight-up ominous omen. Or maybe the beginning of a fairy tale, ha!

      2. Mrs. Fenris*

        I grew up in the country, and we didn’t have trash pickup at our house. We took it in bags to a nearby dumpster. One day my mom tossed a bag in and immediately turned around looking sick. She barely whispered, “Oh my God, there’s a cat in the dumpster.”

        I craned my neck and looked in. From her reaction, I was expecting a dead adult cat with some kind of gruesomeness. I was greeted by a very much alive, tiny black kitten, probably not more than a month old. My brother climbed in and got her. We named her Dempsey for Dempsey Dumpster, and she was one of the greatest cats of all time.

        1. Cherith Ponsonby*

          Awww! That’s the best dumpster diving story I’ve ever heard :)

          Non-spooky animal story: We lived in an older house once with a semi-covered patio area, and there was a beer fridge outside that we rarely used (it came with the house). One morning our dog was whining and pawing at the bottom of the fridge, so we investigated – and found a friendly ferret just chilling under there! If we could have kept her, she’d have been called either Ferret Bueller or Driptray.

          Spooky and slightly gruesome animal story: at a different house (in the country) we had a severe mouse problem, so we had those snappy traps set up, and one night I was woken up an hour or two before dawn by the sound of a trap going off. In the morning the poor mouse was cold and stiff, so I went to take it out of the trap so I could feed it to the chickens – and as I opened the trap, the mouse got up, shook itself a bit, and sauntered away.

          1. Anonforthis*

            Semi-related: I get mice too and I heard one last Friday night, so Saturday I went to Home Depot for those poison blocks. I set up my bait stations in the house and on Sunday when I got up, there was a dead mouse near the kitchen door… but there was blood all around him. I figure I found the loser of a mouse knife fight or something. I did not enjoy scrubbing blood off my floor in my jammies on Sunday morning before I even had my coffee!

            1. This Daydreamer*

              Um, I hate to tell you, but the bleeding was probably caused by the poison. It keeps blood from clotting.

    2. GT*

      This is why I would only take the trash out before dark at my last apartment. Two raccoons did the same to me. They switched to a dumpster type later on that was more raccoon-proof.
      Also, apparently armadillos were also getting in to the trash. I never saw them, but the thought always amused me.

    3. This Daydreamer*

      I work at a people shelter (domestic violence) and we’ve had the same issue. They’ve gotten their little trash panda selves trapped a couple of times. A staffer goes out and sticks a ladder in the dumpster for a while when that happens. A resident with PTSD shouldn’t have to deal with that kind of scare but raccoons are impossible to keep away.

    4. Michelle Hughes*

      I was in New Orleans with a fan group, staying at a local B&B. There was a hot tub out in the backyard – nice setup, chairs around it, a parrot to keep everyone company. I had accompanied one of our underage crew back to the B&B since everyone was going to Pat O’s for hurricanes and we decided we’d head to the hot tub and hang out until they got back. I grabbed my swimsuit and a towel, walked out to the back porch (it’s also pretty dang dark out by now), and go to remove the cover from the hot tub. As soon as it dropped down, there was the sound of dozens of scurrying feet, and I felt fur and sharp claws book it over my feet. I screamed and practically levitated into the hot tub. Apparently, the parrot’s cast off bird seed was a favorite of the local rat community. I refused to go out to the hot tub alone for the rest of the trip.

    5. Ahoytheship*

      Same happened to me! Pair of raccoons hopped out Iopening was at face level) as I was approaching in the morning light after coaching the early gym classes. Aiieeeee scared me half to death!

  7. Kiki*

    In college I worked at an old theatre that was “haunted” by the ghost of the first owner. Nothing as scary as some of the stories above, just random unexplained bangs and bumps, small things going missing, and the badge scanner never working. I actually loved working closing shifts there. It was drafty and spooky and there’s something really cool about being in a theatre all by yourself.

    1. Not Australian*

      I worked in a cinema which got extremely creepy at times. One of the oddest phenomena would happen at locking-up time – the clanking of chains and the sound of unnatural footsteps – but that was actually our manager, who literally had a tin leg and had to chain all the doors individually when the public were out of the building. He was the sweetest man, but hearing him clanking about in a darkened cinema was pretty spine-tingling unless you knew what was going on.

    2. Bryce*

      I think every theater is haunted. The one at my high school was allegedly haunted by the ghost of a worker who fell off the catwalk during construction. When I was doing a play there, my mom knew the theater manager so we’d usually stay late after rehearsal and help close up while they chatted. One night I was the last one out, the theater was dark except for the light from the side door I was using. As I turned to go something fell center-stage out of the corner of my eye and I heard a *thump*. When I checked there was nothing there, nothing around to have made the noise, and to this day I don’t know if it was my brain playing tricks on me or other people playing a prank.

      There’s something about theaters, any building can feel empty but those things feel empty. Probably because of the size and how they’re built to minimize echoes and other ambient sound.

    3. CarolynM*

      There IS something really cool about being in a theater all by yourself! I am lucky enough to be a volunteer at a local historical theater – I am the stage manager when a production needs one. The theater dates from 1919 and is one of the very last “reverse” theaters left (where the audience enters from underneath the stage and turns around to sit and view the performance) – a lot of big vaudeville acts came through and the place is oozing with history. (My favorite thing to point out to people who have never performed or worked on that stage before is that the front wall of the theater actually used to flip down into a ramp that let out onto the street so animals (elephants! horses!) could be brought onto the stage!) As one of the lucky few volunteers, I have been all over that theater – the concrete bunker where celluloid films were stored so they wouldn’t burn down the theater, the theater manager’s apartment up top in the back, all of the passages behind, beneath and around the stage – places no one else really gets to see. It’s old, it’s a deathtrap and even the lightest sprinkle generates waterfalls inside, but I love every dusty, drafty square inch of that place! But no ghosts have ever bothered me – if there are any spirits there I am betting they use their energy trying to help us keep the place together! :)

      1. Deborah*

        I have done shows at a haunted theatre in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. One time, I was singing Buttercup in “HMS Pinafore.” At the top of Act 2, Buttercup is seated on the steps to to quarter-deck of the Pinafore, listening to Captain Corcoran’s aria. As I sat there, I looked up in the balcony (which is rarely used) and saw a man sitting in the left balcony watching the show. There were no patrons or staff up there at the time. It turns out that it was the ghost of a former employee who occasionally likes to sit in the left balcony and watch shows. There’s another ghost who loves to move chairs around in the dressing rooms. I encountered him one time during strike. I put all the chairs in their places by the make-up stations and left the room. I heard a noise and I went to investigate. I found that one of the chairs had been moved to the center of the room. I don’t find them to be dangerous; just very, very interesting.

  8. Colorado*

    Wow!! Love these stories!! Not a work story but my daughter has talked about “the people that live in our house who never leave” since she was a toddler. I’ve seen her stare intently and wave hello, at nothing. It freaks me out! She’s six now but sometime will still mention them.

    1. Kiki*

      When my cousin was a toddler she would tell us about entire conversations she’d had with our grandmother, who passed away before she was born. And she actually had information about our grandmother that no one had ever told her before.

      I don’t know if I believe in ghosts, but her encounters with grandma have me wondering…

      1. KR*

        I’ve had similar stories with my family, mostly my cousin seeing a dead family member who could not have possibly been there at all.

        1. Nic*

          My mom has a memory of visiting an elderly family member in the hospital, and can give details of what people were wearing.

          That relative passed away about a decade before she was born, but the details are apparently accurate and weren’t ever discussed around her.

      2. many bells down*

        My daughter once said to my mother, apropos of nothing, “Remember when I was your mom and you were my baby? But then I died.” She was about 2 years old. My mother’s mother died when *I* was a toddler so my kid obviously never met her, and I don’t think we’d ever mentioned her.

        1. Anon from Way Back*

          When I was a child, a neighbor kid, who was younger than me, used to tell me about a time “before, when I was big.” I’m in my 60’s now, and it still creeps me out.

          1. Jess*

            When my daughter was maybe two or three I once caught her looking sad and asked what was the matter. She sighed and said, “I’m just thinking about my grandson, Jeremy. I miss him. He was such a good boy.” It was so weird! She never mentioned Jeremy again after that day.

        2. ladycrim*

          Now I want to ask my brother if his 2-year-old daughter has ever said anything about our mother, who passed 3 years before his daughter was born.

        3. BNT*

          I know some people find this scary but in my religion (Hinduism), this would be considered a beautiful story of reincarnation that celebrates the bond between their souls.

            1. Clever Name*

              Even though they may be the same soul, they aren’t the same person. Maybe the soul of your grandmother wanted to reincarnate with your family so soon so she could make up for some stuff she regrets doing.

            1. Batshua*

              MAD PROPS!

              Most people only talk about the no-afterlife kind of Judaism, where people only live on in our memories or hover over the graves but don’t really DO anything.

              I love how the Sages are like “Uh, we dunno what happens when we die. Who cares? Let’s dispute some really hairsplitting arcane legal bullshit.”, but it leads to people assuming that Jews universally believe in Heaven and Hell the same way Christians do.

        4. Anastasia Beaverhausen*

          When she was about three or four, my sister’s daughter told me that my sister was going to die when my niece was six years old. I held my breath the whole year she was six! Thankfully my sister made it through the year.

        5. Geillis D*

          When my daughter was a toddler she woke up at 4am one night, clearly having a night terror. She screamed and screamed and was inconsolable, which was very out of character for her. She finally settled with my on the daybed. At 6am we received the phone call that her great-grandma passed away two hours before.

          1. Sled dog mama*

            I’ve had that experience but I was like 12 or 13 at the time. It was… so bizarre is the only way I can describe it.
            When my daughter died my mother told me she knew before I told her because she had a dream about her mother and my dad’s mother together (they did not get along at all in life) talking and laughing.

          2. narratif*

            This happened to me as well, though I was older, about 22-23. One day, my grandmother had gone in for surgery to repair a broken hip. Before I went to a evening holiday shift at my retail job, I got a call from my mom saying my grandmother was out of surgery and resting and I could visit her the next day.

            That evening at work, everything was normal and I was my usual mix of bored/annoyed/busy until all of a sudden I had the overwhelming urge to cry. I got a coworker to cover me on the floor and fled to the stock room, where I burst into tears and sobbed, brokenly, horribly, painfully, for twenty minutes. I hadn’t cried like that in ages, that uncontrollable, heaving kind of sobbing where you’re just a mess of tears and runny nose and gasps and red-facedness.

            Finally I managed to pull it together and finished my shift. When I got home a couple hours later, my aunt and uncle were there, and I knew instantly what had happened. They confirmed what I already, somehow, knew: my grandmother had died that night.

            1. mscate*

              The same thing happened to me when my twin brother died in London a decade ago, the unstoppable tears and emotion without knowing what was wrong.

        6. HollyTree*

          My grandma, who I’ll call S, died two weeks after I was born. My father always says she hung on to see me, as she was secretly desperately ill, and once she’d held me enough, she allowed herself to die.

          When I was little, my other Grandma swore she saw my (dead) Grandma S’s face superimposed onto mine. Weird things have always happened around me. Including hearing my name being called and no-one being even in the freaking house.

          When my Grandad, my Grandma S’s husband passed last year, we were sorting out his stuff, and found some of hers. She collected small trinket boxes like I do. She wore the same shade of lipstick as I do. I saw the second ever photo that I’ve ever seen of her, and she had the exact same hairstyle as I do. Her nickname was hedgehog, and if you read my initials phonetically it sounds like ‘hedge’.

          At my Grandad’s wake, I met the surviving members of my Grandad’s family, whom I last saw as a baby, if at all. All these people knew exactly who I must be, despite never seeing me, because of how much I looked like Grandma S. Someone even walked up to me, white as a sheet, and said ‘I’m so glad that someone told me you and (my father) were coming, because otherwise I would have thought I’d seen a ghost.’

          So, all in all, we think that I’m being haunted by Grandma S, as well as looking like her. Coincidence. She died two weeks after I was born, as I’ve said.

          The real creepy part, that I’ve only connected to this story nearly 22 years on?

          I was born two weeks premature.

          I think the reincarnation plan went a bit wrong…

      3. Anonymoose*

        My first cat was named ‘Kiki’ and as a child I had a dream that she said ‘goodbye’ to me (in her kitty way), and when I woke up my parents told me that she’d passed away. Odd coincidence.

    2. Hills to Die on*

      You can keep her going with that if you continue to ask her questions and encourage her to keep doing it. They mostly lose the ability around age 3-4.

      I knew my son had a soldier’s background—nobody knows how to fight with military technique when they are a toddler with no training. I was watching a WW1 movie once and asked him if he ‘remembered that’ while pointing at the tv. He pointed at the axis soldier and said that’s what I wore. That’s what you wear when you die. He was three.

      1. Nolan*

        Due to some uncanny behavioral similarities, my mother spent a large chunk of her childhood pondering whether she was actually the reincarnation of her deceased oldest brother.

      2. DevAssist*

        I’ve heard that before! I’m not sure how much I believe it, but I have heard that young children are more attuned to the supernatural, and many will say/claim things until they get older.

        My cousin had a full conversation with her three year old about what the child remembered about being in the womb!

      3. Snark*

        When I was in my 20s, I was gifted an Italian cookbook with a picture sequence of an old Italian man sniffing a truffle with great focus and then smiling, and I had the strongest feeling that I was that guy.

    3. Elizabeth West*

      Small children are very close to the other side, since they practically just left it. Plus, they haven’t yet learned to filter out stuff like that with rationalizations. Their perceptions are all working at high speed, since they are absorbing everything as they develop. That’s my theory, anyway.

      1. Anastasia Beaverhausen*

        I think you are absolutely right! My daughter used to have a “pretend” friend named “John Beetle” who used to come and play with her. I still wonder about that one, particularly since she later became an ardent Beatles/John Lennon fan!

      2. Nature girl*

        I was a nanny for a pair of young twin girls. They learn d to talk late (which is common for twins) but they did very well communicating with their own sorts of noises and baby talk. The twins had different hello noises for when people came into the house – one noise for their parents, one for people like their grandparents who they knew well but who didn’t live in the house, and another one for people who they didn’t know or weren’t sure about. Starting from when the twins were about 8 months old, every few months, they would both suddenly turn around and start making their person-we-know-who-doesnt-live-here noises – but not towards the front door. As if someone had just walked in from the master bedroom. Freakiest thing. They even did this when I would have sworn they were fully occupied by something else – like sitting on my lap singing the eensey weensey spider. Talked about it with their mom, who said she’d seen them do the same thing…

    4. Merci Dee*

      A couple of stories that also don’t involve work:

      — My daughter and I lived in our old rental house for about 9 years. Wasn’t a huge house, but it was big enough for us. The couch was arranged beneath a wall of windows in the living room, and if you sat on the left end of the couch, you could look down the hallway at an angle — your line of sight would end at the bathroom door, about half-way down. One night, after my then-5-year-old daughter was in bed, I was sitting on the left end of the couch while I surfed around on my laptop. Had my feet propped up on a stool with my laptop on my lap ( . . . of all the crazy places . . . ). I noticed a small movement out the corner of my eye, but didn’t turn my head to look at it, just sort of checked it out in my peripheral vision. I thought it might’ve been my daughter getting up to use the restroom, but it was way way too small. This black blob was hard to make out as it came up the hallway, but about the time it got to the doorway closest to me, it resolved into the shape of a very dark-colored cat. Tail swishing, paws padding, the whole nine yards. When the cat-shape came through the doorway, it turned toward its left, which meant that it was walking past my out-stretched legs and back down the length of the couch. I never moved my head, just kept on like I was looking at my laptop, even though I had long since stopped typing — I saw this cat-shape walk past the TV stand until it was obscured by the upright screen of my laptop . . . . . and I was floored when it didn’t continue out from behind the laptop screen. I even remember leaning to the right to see if I could still see this little cat-shaped thing that had just paraded through my living room. There was nothing there. I didn’t have a cat at the time, but I had just sat there and watched something very feline-looking stroll down my hallway and through half my living room like it was no big deal.

      About 2 years later, I was hired at my current job as a temp in February, picked up permanently in May. The following March, for my birthday, I went to the local humane shelter and adopted a beautiful dark gray cat named Billy. Brought him home, let him get used to the place. About 2 weeks after we got him, I was sitting on the couch using my laptop again one night after the kiddo was down to sleep. Out of the corner of my eye, I see this small shadow stalking down the hallway and turn into the living room. The cat-shape walked behind my laptop again . . . and my heart was pounding so hard I thought I was going to pass out. It was exactly the shape shape, the same behavior as the shadow 2 years before. This time, the shape came out from behind the other side of my laptop — naturally, it was my cat. But he paused for a moment and stared at me, like he knew exactly what I was remembering, and then gave me one of those beautiful slow-blinks cats are so famous for. Almost as thought he was saying it was our little secret. Then he bounded over, jumped up on the couch, and curled up against me for a nap. I’ve wondered a few times if it had been a sign that this particular cat was on his way into our lives.

      — My daughter has always been a very active sleeper, tossing and turning through much of the night (though she still manages to have enough energy when she wakes up to fuel a nuclear reactor, go figure . . . ), but she’s usually quiet and doesn’t murmur or talk in her sleep. When she does start getting vocal in her sleep, it’s usually because she’s having a bad dream, and it would invariably wake me up. I would go into her room to comfort her (and to straighten her blankets), and it would only take a minute to settle her back down so that she could sleep peacefully. One night, I heard her mumbling and talking in her sleep, and I could tell that she was getting more and more upset by whatever she was dreaming. I was going to get out of bed to go check on her, but I couldn’t get up — as soon as I tried to sit up, my eyes felt extremely heavy, I didn’t have enough energy to push up, and I felt like I was fighting to get out of the stupid bed. I could hear her getting more and more upset, and I was getting more upset as a result, but it felt like my limbs were jerky and wouldn’t do exactly what I wanted them to do, no matter how much I twisted and turned and strained. At this point, my daughter was crying in her bed, and she screamed out, “Mama, help me!” It was like a band snapped, and I sat up in the bed with so much force that I almost fell off the side, and didn’t even know my mouth was moving until I screamed out, “You can’t have her, she’s mine!” As soon as I said that, she stopped moving around in her bed, and stopped crying and calling out in her sleep — it was just absolute silence in her room. I ran in there to check on her, and she was back in a deep sleep again, like she hadn’t just been flailing all about and calling out 5 seconds before. I picked all her blankets up from the floor and got her covered up again, trying to get my own heart rate and breathing under control after the incident, when I noticed Billy the cat coming through the door to her room. Her bedroom door opened along part of her closet, and once the cat passed the wooden door, he stopped stock-still and just stared at the curtain we had up in place of a door. The longer he stared, the more tense his little body got. He finally flattened his ears briefly before he scampered over to jump up on the foot of my daughter’s bed . . . which he never did. He would never sleep with her at night because she moved around so much, but he crouched down at the very end of her bed and stared at her closet for the rest of the time I was in her room. I checked the closet to make sure — old primal fears kick in at crazy times during the night, and the whole experience had unsettled me. Didn’t find anything, of course . . . but the cat didn’t move from his post on the end of the her bed for the rest of the night. I got up once after that to use the restroom, and he was still right where I’d left him, still staring at the closet. And when I finally woke up the next morning to get her ready for the day, he was crouched there like a little furry guard. He finally jumped down off her bed when I went in and turned on her overhead light to wake her up. Like he could go, since the light was going to keep whatever it was away.

      1. Luna Lovegood*

        I got so many chills reading this.
        I once felt the presence of a cat at my boss’s house and wondered if she’d owned one once. It came as no surprise when it cropped up naturally in a later conversation that she had.
        There’s something about cats, I think…

        1. Windchime*

          Yeah, I think there is something about cats. For several weeks after my 19 year old cat died, I would think I was seeing him out of the corner of my eye. It wasn’t scary it weird, it was like he hadn’t quite fully left yet.

      2. Hills to Die on*


        When I’m going to sleep, I frequently feel the cat pad up to edge of the bed, pause, jump up, walk to ‘the’ spot, then curl into place with a flop. Except that we don’t have one. I have even heard faint purring once. I have had so many cats, it could be any one of them, but I always say good kitty, tell him/her I love you, and thank them for visiting.

        1. It's-a-me*

          I’ve felt purring against my leg or back, and quite distinctly heard a cat scratching under their collar with their back leg. I also don’t have a cat at the moment, and haven’t at my current residence.

          But before we left our old house, I told the spirit of my old cat ‘We are leaving now, feel free to follow us, or stay here if you prefer’.

      3. Julia the Survivor*

        The cat walking down the hall two years before it was there, I think, has to be a temporal distortion. The concepts are explored in Star Trek: The Next Generation (and probably other science and science fiction shows).
        Most people have had experiences that indicate time isn’t strictly linear. As far as I can tell from a quick search there isn’t much hard research on its properties, but there’s probably some if anyone wants to look. :)

    5. zapateria la bailarina*

      terrifying. we recently bought a house and my dog frequently stares very intently up into a corner of the room. usually in our living room. it’s kind of creepy and my husband and i joke about ghosts because it really looks like she’s not just staring into space, she gets alert and stares at something we can’t see.

      1. Merci Dee*

        Oh, I forgot about this until you mentioned the corner! It’s been 14 years ago, so no wonder my memory needed a prod.

        And, yes, I know this is long, and I’m sorry for it.

        14 years ago, my ex and I were living in a house owned by my parents. The house was in the country, in a quiet area. There were 5 lots on our side of a very small side road. At the main intersection was a small country church, then a small cemetery. Next was an empty lot, and then our house was on the 4th lot. The 5th lot was owned by a lovely older couple who grew the most awesome garden.

        The hallway in the house was a little strange. There were 4 rooms along the hallway, with the bathroom at the very end of it. If you were at the front of the hallway, there was one door immediately to the right; this room was always used as a den, and it had one door that opened into the hallway and another that opened into the kitchen. The second door was half-way down the hallway on the left, and it opened into the guest room. Right against the door frame for the guest room was a load-bearing wall that stuck out half-way into the hallway. Once you got past that wall jutting out, the doors for the other two bedrooms were at the very end of the hallway, grouped with the bathroom door.

        We arranged furniture in the den so that a recliner was just to the side of the door that opened into the kitchen (which was in the very corner of the room). If you were sitting in the recliner, you could look out the den’s second door into the hallway, and into the door of the guest bedroom across the hall. The weird load-bearing wall would keep you from seeing any further down the hallway, so it was like you were looking into a little corner there at the guest door.

        Usually, this was no problem. Mostly during the day.

        When I was alone in the house at night, this became a pretty significant problem. As I mentioned, I could sit in the recliner and look right across to the guest room doorway. But I would try my best not to do that if my ex had to work a late shift. Very often, I would relax in the recliner to watch TV. Everything would be fine, until it started to get really dark outside. Then, I would be able to see a little shifting in the hallway outside the den. I would never turn my head to look; I always got the feeling that looking directly, and acknowledging the presence, would be a very bad thing. But I would shift my eyes a little bit to the side to try to see what was making the movement. Sometimes, it would just be a few random shifts in shadows, and then it would stop. Sometimes, it would be cars driving by outside and their headlights were coming in through the lace window panels in the guest room (because normal stuff in the real world does happen from time to time). But sometimes, it would be like this large form would step out of the crack in the corner of that hallway. I’m not saying it would come out of the door of the guest room. It’s like it would come out of the crack formed by the door molding and the wall, right there in the corner. The ceilings in that house were crazy low – only about 8 feet – and the head-looking shape on the figure would be about a foot below the ceiling. It would stand there for a moment, and you could see the head swivel like it was looking around. Then I could tell it would focus in on me . . . and it would just get low to the ground and just crouch there in the corner. Feet about 12 inches apart, hands on the ground between its feet, elbows kind of bent and pressed into the insides of its legs for balance because it was kind of crouched and leaning forward like it was trying to stay as close to the ground as possible. Never any detail on the figure, no face, no hair, nothing like that. It was almost like some really tall dude had put on a black body suit that covered hands and feet and head. Like it was the shadow of something, but a shadow that was 3-dimensional and had mass. But it would just crouch there in the corner, not moving, not doing anything but watching and putting off this really creepy vibe. After a few minutes, I would blink and the figure would be gone, along with the creepy I’m-watching-you feeling.

        I would’ve thought all this was in my head, because it freaked me out entirely too much, but then I had confirmation from an unusual source – once again, I had a dark gray cat (a different one, a sweet little thing named Baby Girl who knew I was pregnant before I did) that seemed to be able to pick up on this thing, too. Baby Girl was a total lap cat. She loved to snuggle with me when I was sitting, and she would spend hours curled up in a little sleepy ball on my lap. But every time this form would step out of the corner, she would move from lap and crouch down on the arm of the recliner, between me and the door to the hallway. She would huddle there and stare at whatever it was crouched in the corner, and once or twice she’d make weird little annoyed-sounding meows like she couldn’t believe this jerk-face hovering in the dark hallway was interrupting her nap. Her tail would twitch and flick, and she’d extend her claws and kind of knead at the fabric of the recliner, like she was showing off her weapons. As soon as the form would disappear, she’d hop off the recliner and go sniff in the corner for a moment, and then she’d stroll back over to hop on my lap and go back to sleep.

        1. HollyTree*

          The technical term for that is a Shadow Person. If you never want to sleep again, google them. I WAS enjoying this thread by candelight, but the electric one is going back on now.

        2. Julia the Survivor*

          I had a cat who reacted like that to a neighbor family. They were so messed up/evil that when they stood on their back porch, which I could see from my living room window, I could see the dark cloud around them. Also their body language said a lot.
          At the time I had a female cat who was mostly very quiet – but when she was in the window and saw them she would twitch her tail and meow warnings. I took her out of the window so they wouldn’t see us looking at them. They moved away in less than a year.

      2. Aardvark*

        That happened in my old house! So one day I just turned to the corner and said, “Hey, I’m happy to share my space with you,” (I never felt weird or afraid in that house, so I figured it was neutral or good) “but you’re upsetting my dogs. Can you maybe let them know that you’re okay and you’re allowed to be here?”
        From that day forward, neither of them barked at that corner again. Though they did start barking at the front door, so maybe it tried to leave and got stuck?

      3. bunanza*

        My cats react like this to parts of our house too, it’s…spooky.

        I don’t think I had any reincarnation stories as a kid, but I do have one experience from childhood that really stuck with me. When I was five or six, my dad bought me a big soft doll shaped like a girl, who I named Sarah. Sarah was as tall as I was, with a huge round face that had sewn on twinkling eyes and a permanent smile. I loved Sarah because I could hug her with my entire body, so she always slept to my right, against the wall, for me to cuddle with. One morning, many, many months after my dad gave her to me, I rolled to my left to get out of bed and ended up face-to-face with Sarah. She was balanced on her right shoulder–which she was too top-heavy to do by normal standards–and she was floating about a foot off the edge of my bed. I had this intense feeling that she was watching me, and not in a positive way…like an evil calculating smile. I freaked out and bolted from my room, and when I dragged my mom back in, Sarah was laying peacefully on her back on the right side of my bed like normal.

        I put her in storage immediately, and not long after that some other creepy doll-related incidences made me put all of my toys away in storage and never touch them again. I am not about that noise. It still spooks me a little bit to know that Sarah is in a plastic box in the garage, maybe plotting her vengeance after all these years.

    6. Caro in the UK*

      One of my friend’s toddler used to talk about his “other family”. He talked about another grandma, two brothers and a sister who he lived with.

      We thought they were imaginary friends, so we asked him how often he saw them. He said he didn’t see them any more. He lived with them before he came to Mummy and Daddy, then there was a fire and he fell through the floor, and then he came here.

      Me: O_O

    7. misplacedmidwesterner*

      When my older daughter was a baby, she was having a really fussy night. I was trying to soothe her and it wasn’t working at all. And then she stopped crying and started tracking something just over my shoulder (nothing there but a wall). She was doing the same intent focus she did for faces, followed it a few feet and smiled and cooed just like she did for people. I was telling my mother in law about this the next day and she explained that in their culture (non-Caucasian), it was believed that your ancestors would come visit new babies. Mother in law is convinced that her mother who had passed just the year before came to visit her first great grandbaby. I know that my child was definitely looking at something/someone I couldn’t see.

    8. Jess*

      When my daughter was very small she talked to me about “the man who visits me in my room.” I once asked her to tell me more about her imaginary friend and she said, “Oh, he’s not imaginary, mama. His name is Joe and he says he was Papa’s daddy’s big brother.”

      My father did have an uncle named Joe, his dad’s older brother! Joe died when I was a kid and, as I barely remember him and didn’t know him well, I’d definitely never told my two year old anything about him.

  9. strawberries and raspberries*

    I have two scary stories from working in TV production. One involved getting sleep paralysis in a hotel in St. Augustine, Florida (which is already one of the most haunted cities in the country), and another involved transcribing footage shot in an old psychiatric hospital and hearing disembodied gravelly voices screaming WAKE UP and GET OUT over the dialogue (and no one on camera even flinching). Fun times!

    1. patricia*

      Wait, so could the people on camera not hear them, as in the voices only were audible on the tape? Or could they hear them and just had nerves of steel? Either way, super creepy!

      1. strawberries and raspberries*

        Yeah- the voice seemed to be coming out of nowhere and everyone being filmed was just going about their business with no indication they were aware of them (the sound quality was even different). We asked the producer who had been on location about it and gave him the headphones, and when he heard it he actually threw them down and was like, “THAT WAS NOT THERE WHEN WE SHOT THIS.”

      2. MeowThai*

        I inferred that the disembodied voices could only be heard through the recorded audio, which is one of those paranormal things that always gets talked about on “real haunting” shows. I’d be super surprised and impressed with actors/people on camera being completely nonchalant if they heard the disembodied voices. *shivers* so creepy!

      3. nonegiven*

        EVP, electronic voice phenomena. All the ghost hunter shows take recording devices and ask questions, then listen to the recording to see if anyone answered.

    2. casinoLF*

      Woof, I suffer from sleep paralysis and exploding head syndrome (loud noises wake me up, but they are not real), and it can be NO. FUN. But I haven’t had any spooky occurrences in St. Augustine and I’m pretty content with that.

      1. Damn it, Hardison!*

        I did not know that exploding head syndrome was a thing! I have occasional sleep paralysis but more often I wake up to loud sounds that actually aren’t there. Sometimes they aren’t actually loud, more like the sound of a radio in another room or people talking outside my window, but they are never real. Still freaks me out a little!

      2. Keli*

        I didn’t know exploding head syndrome was a thing either. I have trouble with that sometimes when I’m hormonal and trying to fall asleep–loud voices will wake me up, but there’s no one there.

        1. Admin of Sys*

          Me too! As long as I’m not trying to wake myself up from a nightmare, I find it kind of fun to lay there and try to twitch a finger. I’m also rather thankful for it, since I sleep walk when sleep paralysis isn’t working right.

          The exploding head thing happens to me a lot too – I wonder if it’s more common with people who are aware of their sleep paralysis?

        2. Julia the Survivor*

          I often hear voices when I’m sleepy and trying to stay awake, or when I’m falling asleep. They aren’t loud or threatening. It seems like this happens when I haven’t had time to mentally process recent experiences. I think it’s my brain trying to get a jump-start on processing.

        3. cheluzal*

          I’ve had sleep paralysis since was 8. When I was little I fought it, thinking a demon was attacking me.
          After Google came along and I researched it, I realized it and stop fighting. I also stopped sleeping on my back (when they are prone to happen).

          Of course the night terrors and figures that touch me seem creepy real though!

          1. CasinoLF*

            I sleep on my stomach, so the demon is just holding me down. It’s happened so often that it doesn’t even freak me out anymore. I think it is also related to my ability to lucid dream and continue dreams between snooze cycles, which are cool things. To sides of the coin I guess.

      3. many bells down*

        Whoa wait, that has a name? I JUST got woken up about 4am today by the sound of someone knocking at my bedroom door. My husband was asleep next to me and my daughter was upstairs asleep. It’s usually a knock, but occasionally it’s my name, spoken very loudly right by my ear.

        1. Khlovia*

          Yep, I’ll hear someone saying my name now and then. I figure it’s a half-squelched anxiety trying to get my attention.

      4. youremindmeofthebabe*

        Holy moly…this is a thing? I get woken up by three loud knocks from time to time. No explanation for it and it’s happened in two different places, totally freaks me out. This would explain a lot!

        1. Properlike*

          Me too! I hear knocking, or someone next to my bed saying “Mom” (I have small kids), or other things that don’t actually exist. Thought this was just me.

          But I also seem to be able to “read” some people’s minds from a distance, and sometimes I get mental visits from dead people — they’re “around”, like an open phone line. Then there’s the spirit that I think lives with my family, but which I o my notice when it goes away… I keep counting my family members and thinking “but one’s missing.”

      5. Turtlewings*

        I had what I think must have been an exploding-head incident once — paralyzed in the bed, a roaring rushing noise like an airplane getting louder and louder until it just stopped and I could move again. It freaked me out a lot, and months later I read about exploding head syndrome in a Cracked article, of all things. It was such a huge relief to know what had happened to me!

        1. Shandon*

          That sounds more like a sleep paralysis episode than exploding head syndrome. Which, btw, I always understood to be a big, booming sound (hence the name) and not voices or knocks or anything of that nature. It’s happened to me a couple of times and it was always a booming sound. But I don’t know enough about it to know how often other sounds get categorized that way.

      1. strawberries and raspberries*

        I was told it’s one of the oldest cities in the country (it either is or is close to where Ponce de Leon thought the Fountain of Youth was), so it’s probably full of ghosts of dead conquistadors and such. The sleep paralysis was probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced, but we also saw a lot of shadow people on that shoot, and on a different night one of the producers and I were alone in a party room in the hotel and the jukebox was randomly turning on and lighting up.

        1. Julia the Survivor*

          As a music lover I can appreciate a ghost who plays music! Did it play anything good?

      2. AwkwardAnon*

        St. Augustine is most haunted because it has the most opportunity. It’s the oldest continuously-occupied city in the US.

      3. Jayne*

        St. Augustine person here! The city has been continuously occupied since 1565, so it’s had lots of opportunity for ghostly things. I’ve never been much of a believer (though I love the stories), but even I won’t go near the old military hospital. Was in there once for a ghost tour, and that was more than enough. I went to school at Flagler College, and any woman who’s lived in the old dorms can tell you about the weird stuff that happens there. And if that isn’t enough, there’s a little girl who dances around the north gate late at night, welcoming you to town. I haven’t seen her, but she’s pretty well known around town.

        1. Kathleen Adams*

          Actually, there is at least one city in the U.S. than can be considered older than St. Augustine, and that’s Acoma Pueblo, which has been continuously occupied for more than 800 years.

      4. Fiennes*

        I live in New Orleans, another highly haunted place. A friend who researches this stuff hard-core says there’s one major element in ghost sightings that never shows up in TV shows, etc., because no one understands it & it’s not spooky at all: Ghosts are mostly seen during periods of high humidity. (Why? Beats me, beats everyone.)

        So naturally St. Augustine & New Orleans see ghosts all the time.

        1. nonegiven*

          I think there is an electric element to it, that’s what they measure with their EMF meters. When it’s dry and you touch things you get shocked because static electricity has built up. When it’s humid the electricity is able to bleed off because of the water molecules in the air. Whatever it is just can’t compete with the static charge.

        2. HollyTree*

          According to my religion, the Dead feed on water. Especially spring water, because it’s underground, but water is a thing they feed off. You can leave some out specifically for certain Dead, if you wish. Your ancestors or a particular Saint, not some rando, of course. Contacting random Dead people always ends badly, feeding them will only encourage them, like stray cats ;) Part of my offering to my beloved Dead tonight included water.

  10. Library Lady*

    When I worked at my local public library, I came in on a Sunday to shelve books. We were closed on Sundays, so the front door was always locked and the employee entrance was one that was always locked automatically. This day, like many before I would throw a CD in the portable CD player, put it on the circ desk and shelve.

    After about 30 minutes, the CD shut off, so I went back to the circ desk and found the top of the CD thing open and the CD laying on the desk.

    I grabbed my keys and left – I didn’t bother to shut the lights off so I called my director and told her what happened. Sunday shifts were over after that!

      1. Library Lady*

        It was Lady Gaga’s The Fame and I’ll admit, it was loud. There was probably singing and *some* dancing involved but I don’t think I have that poor of a voice! :)

  11. TotesMaGoats*

    Not scary but at my first job which was also my alma mater, the first president used to bring her dogs to work. There was a full on pet cemetery on campus for all her dogs that had died in her many year tenure as president. She was also a former nun and scary.

  12. Hills to Die on*

    Well, I’ve shared this before but i to work for a famous psychic as her nanny. I would clean the kids’ rooms and while we were all in the living room, the spirits would mess them up. They would also call my name, play in the fridge, and follow me home.

    One nasty one kept banging on things while I was trying to sleep, knocked stuff over in the bathroom while I was on the toilet, locked the baby kitten in the bathroom, etc. then he kept turning on the dome light in my car. I told him if he made me miss my finals, I would find his sorry ass and send him back to the light myself. I said if he backed off I would put a good word in with my friend. He stopped (mostly) and I told her she should help him. But he pissed her off too badly so she just ‘cleaned’ her house and sent home away.

    Still didn’t stop the lighthearted pranks and rummaging around in the fridge from the others though. It was normal.

    1. Hills to Die on*

      And I found that if you are ever in a situation like that, when you talk to them and just ASK them to please stop, that they are scaring you, acknowledge their presence, and/or thank them for visiting, they tend to stop. Especially if they are friends or family.

    2. Master Bean Counter*

      Wait I want to know more about being a nanny for a psychic. That has to be an interesting job.

      1. Hills to Die on*

        It was an amazing job! I’m happy to share more of Alison ever wants an interview type of thing. In a nutshell, imagine watching two kids who are also psychic and you’re in college doing…college stuff and then have to change subjects and distract them before they start figuring out what you were up to the night before. Lol.

  13. Wannabe Disney Princess*

    I don’t know if this is creepy, per se. But after my dad died I had lots of strange things happen. Two of which were at work.

    The first one was after a particularly stressful morning. I had gotten snapped at for something that wasn’t even remotely my fault. Since it was lunch time, I stormed into the lunchroom. FUMING. I put my lunch in the microwave. Closed the door. Punched in the time. Hit start. Aaaaaaand all the lights went out. I’d blown a fuse.

    The second one was right before I was going out of town (a few months later). I was trying to hurriedly wrap everything up before I left. The one sales guy I was talking to, who is notoriously obstinate and a supreme jerk to admins, wasn’t budging on my request for something that I knew I needed. This back and forth had been going on for hours. (No, management wasn’t helpful – they just threw up their hands because that’s how he is.) The last phone call with him I snapped to let it sit because if he didn’t care I didn’t care and I didn’t want to be contacted about it anymore. I crankily hung up the phone. As soon as it hit the cradle…the lines on the switchboard all lit up. The phone made a strange ringing sound. And then our lines were all dead.

    1. Matilda Jefferies*

      Seems like a pretty good superpower, if you ask me. Imagine what you could do, if you could learn how to make it happen on command!

      1. Lorelai Gilmore*

        Not creepy in a, “I hear voices when I’m all alone kind of way”, but funny enough to share on this thread:

        Yesterday, my boss called me into his office to help him with some formatting. He was grumpy about Word not doing what it should, and on a tight deadline. It was a quite complex problem, and I was walking him through it, when all of the sudden I felt something warm on my ankle. Quickly noted there was no way it was him, and I casually looked behind me to see if someone walked in, nope. I jumped out of my skin and screamed like a little girl.

        He’d brought his dog in (which he hasn’t done in over a year), and she was greeting me with a warm lick to the ankle. On lunch, I picked her up some doggie treats. I love dogs more than people, and she made my day.

        1. Kelly L.*

          It wasn’t my work, but…

          Many years ago, I was browsing in a vintage-clothes-slash-costume-shop, and among other things, there was a giant curly wig hanging on the wall. I noted it and went on with what I was doing. And then a few minutes later felt something poke at my leg. Looked down. I swear I thought the wig had gotten off the wall and come to life.

          Nope, the owner had brought in her giant schnauzer that day, who happened to have fur the exact same color and texture as the wig on the wall. He was a giant sweetie.

  14. Janelle*

    While we were opening our first shop our long time friend, who was working with us, committed suicide by jumping off a freeway overpass. It was very jarring. We eventually hired a mechanic (since he was our mechanic to begin). The front door would chime that it was open when it wasn’t, other doors would slam with zero wind, stuff like that. We’d always say “there’s Fergus” with a smile. Well our mechanic was terrified of this. Even more so that we seemed totally cool with it. He would not stay late alone. We knew it was just our good friend Fergus checking in on the business and it always brought a smile to our faces.

    1. KR*

      “Dear Alison, I have recently started a mechanic position and the ghost of the previous employee keeps trying to scare me. I appreciate his mechanical input but I need to take ownership of my projects. Do I use a Ouija board or just email him and hope it goes through?”

  15. M*

    I worked at a well known theme park in Florida. Every night to close my ride, we would do a spiel over the loudspeaker saying that the ride was clear of guests and that maintinence could take over. Then you had to say “goodnight Bernie”. If you didn’t say goodnight, Bernie would break the ride. One night, a trainee said he spiel and finished with “goodnight…what’s his name again?” Over the loudspeaker. The next day we were down for 6 hours.

    1. M*

      We also had another ghost named Bernadette. She was a little girl who wouldn’t end up in people’s ride photos if they didn’t have a full car. The photos had facial recognition software and it would highlight shadows in the empty seat. She would also be seen playing with horse animitronics in a part of the ride, and people would get off the ride and tell us about “there’s a little girl in the Rome scene playing with the horses”.

      1. J*

        As someone who’s been on this ride many times, I’ve never seen her but now I’m going to be creeped out in the Rome scene.

        I did find the animatronics especially creepy one time when I was riding alone late at night, with no other guests for about 5-6 cars in front of or behind me.

    2. Theme Park Employee*

      Pretty sure I work for that same company … I had heard about George (different attraction … different park even), but I’ve never heard about Bernie/Bernadette.

      At one of the hotels on property, one of the buildings is haunted. 3rd shift employees (who have to deliver notices and resort bills to guest rooms) have said that as they walk into that building, typically on the 2nd floor, the doorway at the other end of the hall (which you need a key to open from the outside, and opens by swinging outwards) will open, and there’s nobody in the hallway. They’ve said it doesn’t seem to be an unfriendly presence, just that it’s there.

      1. Theme Park Employee*

        Also heard a story about guests reporting “a new ghost that was added” on the haunted house ride. Many of our guests are big fans of this ride, and have been on it many many many times. When they would get off, they would ask about the new ghost that had been added, walking up and down one of the hallways with a trench coat and top hat.

        Turns out, that particular hallway had a door (disguised as one of the doors in the hallway) that lead to a maintenance area, and there was one maintenance guy that liked to play tricks on people. When he retired, the reports of this ghost stopped happening.

        1. Anna*

          Have you listened to Stuff You Missed in History Class about how the haunted house ride came into being? One of the best episodes ever.

        2. Hannah S*

          I went on a tour of that ride once, and the guide told us that years ago, they had to add some safety features to the seance room. A rider exited the car mid-ride, and attempted to get to the floating orb in the center of the room. There was nothing between the track and the table at that time except an 8-10 foot drop. No one discovered this person (now with a broken leg from the fall) until after the ride closed for the night when they did a closing walk-through, even though he’d been screaming for help for hours – all the other guests must have just assumed that his cries were part of the audio track and no one reported it.

  16. Antilles*

    For two years at OldJob, I had a corner office where both walls were basically ground-to-ceiling windows. Because of the corner (and a really good window cleaning/maintenance company), it was possible to stand outside on one side and look directly diagonal through both windows to see the outside. Every single week, there would be at least one bird who wouldn’t realize it was a wall, fly full-speed into the corner of the window, hit the glass hard, and leave a bloody streak sliding down the window and a corpse at the base of the building. Every. Single. Week.
    It might not be ‘haunting’ in a ghostly sense, but it was certainly unnerving watching/hearing birds commit suicide about three feet from my desk on a regular basis.

    1. Corky's wife Bonnie*

      That happened at my office until one of the owners bought these cling decals that are almost clear to us but to birds they look florescent. It hasn’t happened since!

    2. Bad Sneakers*

      I knew someone who worked on construction of a cutting-edge building by a well-known architect, and because of the way the building was designed, with a reflective metallic surface, there were “hot spots” where birds would rest and then overheat and die.
      You could also put a paper cup of water in some of those spots and it would heat up significantly more than the air temperature, which is less grim.

    3. Elizabeth West*

      Not last summer but the one before, Exjob was hit by a plague of spiders. They spun these insane webs up on the windowsills of the third floor. Because they were outside and on the corner of the window, you could see into them. And what you saw was terrifying, if you were an arachnophobe. These suckers were big and black and ugly. The window cleaners couldn’t reach them, either.

      1. Typhon Worker Bee*

        When we were in Newfoundland last year the St. Johns airport had tons of massive spiders building webs on the outside of all the windows in the departure lounge. I’m not an arachnophobe, but I imagine that if you were, you’d have to sit facing the other way until it was time to board!

        1. Julia the Survivor*

          I live in a big city with tall buildings downtown facing a large body of water.
          I’ve always heard about how the upper windows of these buildings get covered with black spiders blowing in on the wind.

      2. SeuciaV*

        All of these spider related stories have left me curled up in the fetal position under my desk. Why oh why did it have to be spiders?

      3. Turtlewings*

        Oh heck no. I don’t care if it’s the best job I ever had, I would not be sticking around for that. /rocking and mumbling

    4. Elder Dog*

      Ex’s OldJob was in an office park, in a building with a glass front reception area, built across from a creek that had been lined with cement and was next to the busiest intersection in the city. In the late afternoon, the sun hit the windows and reflected back like a mirror (so the receptionists didn’t cook.) There was a mountain lion often seen coming to or from the creek about dusk. He saw his reflection and tried to fight with it. He ended up cracking one of the windows. The receptionists wouldn’t sit there, and who can blame them?

      Management called animal control and AC called the zoo, who sent somebody down to head up a lion hunt. Most of the “hunters” were tranquilizer dart armed animal control officers, lined up along a sort of a trail the cat had made between the creek and the office park. Local law enforcement was deployed at the edge of the area to keep onlookers from getting darted.

      The cat came through, got darted and ran for the creek. A police officer heard people shouting “he’s headed to the creek let him run till he starts to go down,” and moved into the trail to the creek to see better. Cat jumped right over him. He fell, slid down the bank, pulled his gun and shot. Unfortunately he hit the cat. Fortunately the cat was hit in the leg. Unfortunately, the leg was shattered and couldn’t be repaired.

      Cat is living the rest of his life out at the zoo because he can’t hunt any more. But there are more lions around here every year. Coyotes too. Keep your pets inside if you live near a creek, even one that’s been channeled into concrete canals. BTW, there are coyotes in NYC and DC, and bobcats which are just as hard on pets.

      1. Beaded Librarian*

        I’m pretty sure I know exactly the incident you are talking about except my understanding was the leg was repaired but they deemed the mountain lion as having had too much human contact by the time it had healed. Was this in the Midwest?

  17. Lauren*

    I am vaguely amused that one of the suggested links is the ghosted-my-ex article. Too literal perhaps?

    (Of course that story was scary in a completely different way.)

    1. SometimesALurker*

      That one made me chuckle, too. Alison has confirmed in the past that it’s a bot that chooses the suggested links, which to me, makes it funnier.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          It’s both! The default is they’re selected automatically, but I can manually override that with my own selections if I want to. I picked these :)

  18. Snark*

    I was doing hazardous materials cleanup work at a military installation that has long been home to medical research, particularly the extreme effects of spaceflight on bodies. Among the many creeptastic features of the base is a facility used for research on infectious diseases and radiation on monkeys, then abandoned to the rats and scorpions for nigh-on 45 years. It needed to be added to the program that does such cleanup, and I needed to get eyes on it to characterize it for a preliminary site report. I went with several people.

    So there I am, walking through this dark, shadowy, filthy complex of rooms where, when they died, the research monkeys and chimps were necropsied and disposed of. I’ve got a flashlight. There’s smears of dark stuff on the walls that were never cleaned up. There’s radiation hazards in big lead-lined cabinets, never removed. Scorpions in the corners. Ancient medical equipment rusting away. Broken glass. I’m keyed up, creeped out, keep thinking I see motion out of the corner of my eye. Rumor has it there’s monkey coffins in the basement that were never buried.

    And then, then, someone in the next room knocks a ladder over that’s propped against a wall. SCRRRRRRTCH-BAM.

    Reader, I lost my shit. I lost all the shit I’ve ever had.

      1. Snark*

        Yeah, it was as scared as I’ve ever been. Afterward, I just went straight home, sat in the sun, and drank many beers, slowly.

          1. Snark*

            Thanks. I thought it had kind of a Fear and Loathing in Wuthering Heights kind of thing going for it.

      1. Snark*

        Yep. Stepping from 90 degree blazing sunlight into this creepy-ass medical facility nobody has been in for decades got us right in that “oh, this is where the zombie apocalypse starts” mood. It only got worse from there.

    1. SL #2*

      And this is why I always look forward to Snark Storytime. Storytime with Snark? Maybe this can be this week’s open thread Snark column…

      1. Snark*

        Storytime with Snark. I love it. I’ll need prompts, though. For some reason, I can tell stories when prompted or in conversation, but it’s like writer’s block if it’s open-ended.

        1. SL #2*

          Now I imagine little Wii avatars all sitting in a circle around a Wii-Snark and there’s a little campfire nearby too.

    2. Construction Safety*

      “I lost my shit. I lost all the shit I’ve ever had”

      I’m writing that down for future use.

  19. GetOut*

    In a previous life, I sold residential real estate. I got used to going into empty, musty houses, creepy basements, blistering hot attics, etc. I often had out-of-town clients who would look at houses all day long, as many as 15 at a time — which is a lot. I was working with this sort of client as we went into the last house of the day, just as the sun was getting low. It was a big house on a big street in a upper-end neighborhood. It was totally empty. As soon as we walked in, it felt weird to me. No noises or spectral presences but I just got a creepy vibe. It only got stronger as we walked through the house. I finally couldn’t stand it any more so I mentioned it to my client. He too felt it and we decided, without further comment, to GET OUT. I must have shown 3000 houses in my career but I never felt anything like that before or after. I don’t know the history of the house and I occasionally drive by it, fully occupied and apparently not haunted, but it still gives me shivers to remember how it felt.

    1. eUGH*

      My friend had a similar experience when she viewed a house last year with my mom. Unbeknownst to her , the previous inhabitant had died in the house and was known in the neighborhood as being a really aggressive, screaming-door-slamming-at-all-hours type. As soon as they told me about how they felt I immediatley knoew which house they had viewed (had colleagues on that street).

    2. TotesMaGoats*

      In Maryland there is no law that requires realtors to disclose “haunted houses” to prospective buyers unless they ask. I learned that on a haunted pub crawl.

      1. Frank Doyle*

        I . . . think that’s probably a good thing? I don’t think there should be laws on the books involving the existence of ghosts.

        1. JB (not in Houston)*

          Eh, stuff like that can, in some instances, affect the resale value of the house, so it’s the kind of thing you’d want to disclose. Plus, it’s the kind of thing that matters to some buyers, and I think most people realize that some people wouldn’t want to buy a house that’s supposedly haunted (whether you personally believe in the paranormal or not). Believing your house to be haunted and not disclosing it almost feels like deception about something you know some buyers will care about.

          1. SS*

            I don’t think they need to disclose if it was ‘haunted’,but many places have rules that you must disclose if it was the site of a serious crime or a death.

            1. JB (not in Houston)*

              I think some places do actually have a rule about having to disclose if it’s “haunted!” I can’t remember for sure, but that’s what I remember from my law school property class (but that was, ahem, a few years ago, so I won’t swear I’m remembering it correctly). Like have others have mentioned, if nothing else, it could attract publicity and gawkers to your property, which some buyers definitely wouldn’t want and which could affect the value of the house. I don’t mean necessarily if you yourself believe your house to be haunted, but if it has a local reputation for being haunted.

              1. Anony*

                I feel like the buyer should do their own due diligence then. If it really is that notorious a simple google search would show the story.

                1. JB (not in Houston)*

                  But why? We could, in theory, shift all of the burden of information about property to the potential buyer–make them research whether there had ever been a fire on the property, interview all the neighbors to find out if they know if any leaks or floods that have happened to the property, hire a private detective to find out other information about the property–but that’s a waste of resources and doesn’t make sense. There are all kinds of things you could find out about a house if you do your “due diligence” but that it would be very easy for the owner to just . . . tell you. It’s easiest and makes the most sense to make the owner disclose this kind of thing–information that they *already have*–rather than make the buyer dig around for it. Especially for the kind of thing that locals may know and which would deter many locals from wanting to buy the house but that may not turn up on a google search. We make sellers disclose damage to the property and similar information that would affect the value of the property and that buyers would want to know, so it makes far, far more sense for the sellers to be required to disclose it. It would be fairly easy to add it to the standard forms used in property sales.

                2. GhostStoryLover*

                  You can’t really do due diligence on if a house is haunted or not. When people do choose to tell these stories they don’t tell you about the address so it’s not like you could just google it.

              2. Offer Dilemma*

                I know I had to read a case from NJ about disclosing haunted status – and it came up in a hypo on the bar!

        2. Temperance*

          I think that it should be a mandatory disclosure that hte property is regarded as haunted. I would absolutely want to know if weirdos were going to be scoping out my house like on AHS: Roanoke.

          1. KR*

            My husband and I have an agreement that if we move into a house and find it is haunted (and it isn’t a kind or tolerable spirit) there will be no “I will save my home/this is my house” stuff. We will sell our assets and do what we have to and get out of the house, no questions asked.

          2. pugsnbourbon*

            H.H Holmes, the uber-creepy serial killer and subject of The Devil in the White City, briefly rented a room at a home in my city (Indianapolis). It’s rumored that Holmes may have murdered one of his “helpers” on the property.

            When new owners moved into the house in 2001, they were surprised one night by camera flashes outside their home … they were a stop on a popular local ghost tour!

            1. IndyToo*

              I’ve been on that ghost tour twice! It still stops outside that house every year, nightly during the neighborhood’s Halloween festival, and it’s one of the creepiest stories on the tour. It was actually his helper’s young son, Howard Pitezel, who was murdered there. The details are disturbing, but the stories the tour guide told about the hauntings the owners have experienced are almost worse.

              I’ve lived in a house that was haunted, and the second I found out my new home was on a ghost tour stop, I’d be repacking my boxes. Not an experience I ever want to repeat. I have every intention of asking a realtor about fatal crimes and/or history of paranormal activity when we buy a home–even if my husband does think I’m paranoid. :)

              More on that H.H. Holmes house, if anyone’s interested, here:

        3. Alice*

          I wouldn’t mind a law requiring disclosure, not that “this house is haunted,” but that “this hous is rumored to be haunted.”

          1. Anony*

            It seems like that could get complicated though. How widespread does the rumor have to be to be disclosed? How would you prove what the owner did or did not know? What if someone starts a rumor just to mess with the seller?

            1. Amber Rose*

              I think in the one legal case where it came up, the house had actually been featured in a magazine of haunted houses, which the buyers were able to point out as proof that the owner knew it was a haunted house and didn’t tell them.

      2. JD*

        Same in CA. They must tell you if you ask but do not need to disclose it if you do not. My mother always asks. She says she isn’t worried by it but wants to know if she may be living with someone.

      3. Havarti*

        There’s a house I drive by on my way to work where someone was murdered a couple of years ago. It was fixed up and sold. Every time I pass it, I always wonder if the person is haunting the place and if the new owners know what happened.

      4. BananaRama*

        My MD realtor said it is not required to disclose a suicide or murder in the home, unless HAZMAT clean up crews are involved. You have to disclose the clean up not the reason for it unless asked.

  20. Archives Gremlin*

    I was working as admin. assistant to the director of a community center during grad school and it was in a 100+ year old building (side note, I’d also gone to all of kindergarten and part of third grade in this building, so I knew it well). I worked at night and unless we had an event going on, one of the last to leave the building. There were multiple times I’d be sitting in the office I’d heard footsteps coming down one side of the hall but nothing would pass by the security camera we had trained on the entrance (no doors opening on that side of the hallway either). I’d also have to check the building and lock doors and there were a couple of times where I’d be up on the third floor (where back in the early 1900s a man committed suicide) and I’d hear doors closing (and no-one was supposed to be up there).

  21. SNS*

    In high school I volunteered at a historic home that has been converted into a museum. On the top floor there was an old bathroom that was used to store extra mannequins. All the volunteers were convinced the mannequins were moved into different positions every time we had to get something out of there. I avoided going in there as much as possible.

    1. Ennigaldi*

      I worked at a house museum a few years ago that had been built and occupied by only one family. My first day, the janitor/groundskeeper told us about seeing their little girl on the staircase when he was closing up at night, and how he had felt the presence of the father when he was cleaning (he thought he approved of the care he took with the house). I wrote that off as him trying to spook us….
      …until my coworker was putting her maid’s costume away after an evening tour. She was coming up the narrow servants’ stairs and felt a HAND clamp down on her shoulder. She screamed bloody murder and refused to close up alone after that!

      1. Ennigaldi*

        OH and I have worked at two different museums built in parks that had been cemeteries. The first one we were pretty sure had been cleared of bodies long ago. The current one, well…it was all burials for the poor so a lot of remains are still in the ground. I keep thinking of that line from Poltergeist: “YOU ONLY MOVED THE HEADSTONES!!”

        1. Polaris*

          I used to work at a museum that was rumored to be haunted by its founder and namesake. It did get creepy and dim in the evenings, but i never experienced anything myself. My third shift co-workers did have some stories, and some of them absolutely hated having to do the walkthrough-by-flashlight for that reason.

  22. Yams*

    Oh goodness.
    I used to work in an office in a manufacturing facility. There were 2 rows of cubicles back to back, with high walls so we couldn’t see to the other side. A coworker and I were working in one row trying to finish a project after hours, it was about 7 o’clock during the winter so it was pretty dark , when we heard loud laughter. We brushed it off, thinking it was one of our co-workers, so we yelled their name. Complete silence. We quiet down and we hear a keyboard clicking, so I go check on my co-worker thinking they maybe have headphones on and can’t hear.

    There was no one there.

    Needless to say we literally ran out of the office.

    The worst part is, we weren’t the only ones who heard weird laughter after hours in that office. Nobody stayed past six alone, and we often hurried up to leave in groups when we had to work late because of how freaked out we were.

    1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

      I had that happen at an old job. Our office was in a historic building that started as a mansion, was turned into a boarding house, and then was abandoned before being rehabbed. I would come in early to work and on occasion I would hear what sounded like my co-worker shifting in her seat, moving her mouse, typing, etc.. I’d say good morning to her, get no answer, and every time I looked no one was there. I started saying, “Good morning, ghost” whenever I came to work because it made me feel less creeped out. Other folks saw a woman walking the halls with a kid and had similar experiences to me. It was a creepy but cool place to work

      1. Yams*

        Our building didn’t even have that excuse! It was less than 10 years old.

        We all thought the ghost was a girl, mostly because someone heard voices coming from the same places as the laughter and it was a little girl’s voice. Super freaking creepy.
        The light switch was close by, whenever I had to work late alone I would just leave the lights on because I flat-out refused to go near the place.

  23. The Pretty One*

    Nothing supernatural, but working in isolated areas has always creeped me out. I had a student position in the sub-basement of the rare books library at my college. Not basement, sub-basement. So I was about 3 floors underground doing inventory with not another soul there. When I heard the elevator come down, I always got a chill.

    I also volunteered in our local county museum and sometimes had to turn all the lights out and lock up- a task I hated as there were all sorts of mannequins in historical costumes and it always looked like someone was lurking in the background.

    1. many bells down*

      My sister went to college at Cal State Channel Islands. Which is a fairly new campus but … it was built on the site of the former Camarillo State Mental Hospital. Some of the old buildings are still there, boarded up. It’s supposed to be VERY haunted.

      But I thought the creepiest thing was the way everyone joked about “getting lost in Belltower”. The Belltower was one of the original buildings, and apparently it was deliberately designed like a maze in order to keep inmates from escaping. New students frequently get lost in the corridors.

    2. Samiratou*

      Oh, man, you just brought me back to my favorite job ever–the summer I spent re-binding books in the sub-basement at my college. My portion of it was well-lit and everything, but really quiet and nobody bothered me and it was an introvert’s dream. I miss that job.

  24. Blue Anne*

    I realized at about 7 PM that I’d left something at the small office I worked at, so I stopped by there on the way to the bar. Office was completely locked up and dark, as expected. I went to the back room to pick something up, and while I was there heard someone whistling a cheery tune from the front of the office, clear as day.

    Freaked the hell out of me. I froze and it kept going for a couple of minutes. Eventually I got the nerve up to say “…hello?”

    Turned out the CEO of the small startup was at his desk in the front of the office, quietly looking over spreadsheets at his computer with no lights on, and had locked the front door when everyone else left for the day. AUGH.

  25. Anons*

    When I was a college student, I worked for the campus police department. The police department hired students to help out at events and to patrol the vast campus properties in a van (we were eyes and ears and called in anything suspicious, we were not sworn officers).

    One spot we had to check on each night was the reputedly haunted “Baxter House.” It was a dilapidated old house at the end of a gravel road that dead ended into overgrown vegetation in the middle of some BFE piece of campus property. You had to do something like an 8 point turn to get the van turned around to point the other way on the road. It was incredibly creepy at night as it was pitch black and the only lights were from the van headlights and our flashlights. It looked like a serial killer’s lair. We made up a joke that it was such a lair and that the fate of anyone to go inside was to get “Baxtered,” which we imagined as some sort of beating with an ax.

    That place gave me the heebie jeebies, but it was kind of fun to go there for a scare thrill.

    (Link to info on the Baxter House in the reply.)

    1. Anons*

      I’m also reminded of the time that, on another pitch dark stretch of rural dirt road, right under an overpass, two student patrollers found about a dozen dead squirrels with their tails missing lined up next to the road.

      So they called that in as a might suspicious. That overpass was another creepy spot, but it was rendered creepier by this happening.

  26. AnonForThis*

    I used to work in a lab that had been an old Catholic hospital. Rumor had it that a ghost nun would frequently conduct her patient rounds in the early morning and late evening hours- several staff claimed that they heard her walk into the labs and/or bathroom.

    On Saturday, I was there catching up on some work from the week before- I brought my significant other with me as I didn’t want to be alone in the building (it was rather creepy and not always the safest environment in the parking area). Anyway, I was working, he was reading the paper, and then he looked up and asked who else was in the building. I said nobody. He told me he’d just seen a black figure walk by the door, so we looked out the lab door. We heard shuffling footsteps up the hallway that stopped at the door of the next lab area, but nobody was there. As far as we know, my SO is the only one who had actually ever seen the nun. The city tore down the hospital several years ago and replaced it with a government building, so we joke on occasion that the nun is probably still there, doing her rounds and scaring the poor mail clerks in the basement.

  27. Ama*

    This ended up being more funny than creepy, but we moved into a new office on the 21st floor of a building earlier this year and it turns out when the wind really gets going it causes the windows to make a very strange noise — to me it sounds like someone tapping an aluminium can on their desktop, but some of my coworkers think it sounds like our desk chairs, which click if you lean back in them with any force . It caused a lot of confusion for the people who stay late — who kept thinking someone else was also in the office — until a very rainy, windy day recently finally caused us to track down the source.

    1. Anony*

      I stayed late in the lab one night and was singing while working on my computer. I turn to look out the window and see the face of a graduate student who had graduated a month ago. I screamed and spun around. He had come back to pick up some stuff he forgot and his security access had not been turned off yet. I got teased for seeing “ghost grad students” for a while.

  28. Elizabeth*

    Oddly enough, given that I work in a nearly-100-year-old hospital, with my office in the oldest section, I don’t have any stories of the place being haunted. You would expect something to still be here. My late FIL, on the other hand, apparently stuck around his house. For the year after his death that it took to clean the place out & get it ready to sell, I kept feeling that he was just around the corner every time we were there. Even now, almost 10 years later, the folks who bought the house say that they will go out to his shop looking for something and say “Bob, where did you put ____?”, and they’ll get a feeling and go to the right drawer or cabinet and there it is.

    1. Elizabeth West*

      I wish Mildred (the lady who used to own my house) would help me find the stuff it has eaten over the last ten years. Seriously. I have lost several books and articles of clothing. They just disappeared. What would a ghost want with leggings, a Harry Potter t-shirt (that I hadn’t even worn yet, argh), and a university hoodie? And I want my books back!!

      1. Red Reader*

        I have house gnomes or something that like to hide my stuff until I replace it, at which point I will come home and find whatever’s been missing in a place that I could not possibly have missed it. Once I lived alone in a 300 sq ft studio apartment, so hardly a lot of places to misplace things. The book I had been reading disappeared. After a week of looking, I went to the used bookstore and got a replacement copy. When I got home from the bookstore, the missing copy was not only on my bed, but neatly positioned in the middle of my damn PILLOW, so I could not have missed it for the previous week, and as mentioned, lived alone so nobody else should’ve been putting it there. I turned around and said to the (theoretically) empty apartment, “Okay, um, thanks, but that’s a little creepy, so can we not be quite so obvious about it next time?”

        They still do it, but never quite so blatant, there’s deniability now. :P

        1. Elizabeth West*

          This happened to me once when I lived in an apartment in college. I lost my damn hairbrush one day. Looked everywhere. Studio apartment also. Nope, couldn’t find it.

          I finally went downstairs to take out the trash, and when I went back to my building, there was my hairbrush lying on the hood of a car. I had just walked past that car and there was nothing on it. Nobody was around. It was totally my brush–my hair was in it. I said “Thank you” and took it upstairs. It wasn’t until I got up there that I went, “WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!”

    2. Amy*

      This happened to me right after my dad died! I was out in the garage looking for something. I looked high and low for a while and then finally said “Dad- where did you put the clippers?” I turned around and they were right there.

      1. KR*

        This happens often to my step sisters. They will misplace the scissors, which are supposed to go in one drawer for example (my dad is very type a and things must go in their place). They will look around, say oh well grandpa must have taken it, check back later and the scissors will be right in their spot. I thought it was bull until it happened a few times when my step sister and I shared an apartment for a few years.

  29. selina kyle*

    I used to do inventory for my college campus. One building put all their old microscopes/etc in this creepy storage closet. I went in and I swear I could hear someone breathing. It was probably just some equipment or something, but it was a not-quite-but-almost steady pace (just like breathing!) and nothing I could see was plugged in/running. The room was locked when I got there and there was no reason for anyone to be in there – plus I saw no one. It was creepy and I couldn’t shake the feeling something was off about the room. Logically, most of me knew it was probably not a ghost. The part of my brain remembering every horror movie I’ve seen – that part of me was pretty sure it was a ghost.

    (That job ended up giving me a lot of creepy experiences, including lights randomly going out in labs as I walked through them. That was – hopefully – just shoddy lighting though.)

    1. selina kyle*

      I also had someone watch me do inventory in the sound lab – there was a big recording booth style window into the outer office and I saw someone stand there. It was probably just a lab tech or janitor, but they never turned on the light in that room so I just saw the shadow. Creepy!

  30. De Minimis*

    I used to work at an tribal health clinic, and any time we’d meet there would be stories…the janitor who saw little handprints all over the front door, only to be told that there would have been no reason for the kids at the HeadStart to have been there that day [think it was closed,] hearing weird voices, and sounds. This apparently is almost universal in the tribal healthcare system, we had a consultant who had worked in another state, and he had his own stories to share about an office in his building that had formerly been the morgue.

    People also talked about sightings of Deer Woman all the time, as if it were a regular event.

      1. De Minimis*

        While I worked there, I heard that at a powwow a bunch of people claimed they’d seen Deer Woman in the parking lot, and a group was going to try to catch her. My coworker said, “They don’t have the sense to know you’re supposed to stay away from Deer Woman, not try to find her!”

        All hoofprints were suspect, but we were in a wooded area so deer were common…

    1. De Minimis*

      I mistold the story about the handprints, I remember it better now.

      He had just cleaned the windows at the front, and then came back a few minutes later to find the tiny handprints all over it the window he’d just cleaned. Later he talked to someone at the HeadStart about it, asking them to keep the kids from running around there, and was told none of the kids there are ever there at that time of day, they’ve all gone home by then.

      “Little people” stories are almost as common as Deer Woman stories, but people are often more hesitant to talk about those…

      1. Nita*

        Raccoons or something similar, maybe? I was in an abandoned building once, and one room with a busted window had little muddy prints all over the walls. Pretty sure they were raccoon footprints, but I imagine on a glass window they’d look very much like kids’ handprints.

  31. Lynca*

    So I work in a decent sized building in an industrial area for about 10 years. When I’m here alone there are footsteps in the crawlspace above me. I’ve even called out to knock it off- they stop for a while. I consistently feel like I’m watched when I’m shutting off the lights. I have the most primal “run out of this building” feeling when I’m alone in here.

    As long as other people are here? It’s fine. No noises or anything.

    1. Hlyssande*

      The house I grew up in was built in 1895, and I heard footsteps in the crawlspace above my room more than once. Full on heavy footsteps from someone with shoes on walking on a hard surface. There was a two foot crawlspace above my room, and the upstairs was carpeted.

      The first time it happened, my cousin and I were playing in my room with the door closed. The door was normally sticky, but we could NOT get it open after the footsteps happened. It was not only stuck, but the doorknob had turned the latch. The parents were not pleased about two hysterical little girls screaming their heads off, but we both heard it.

      1. Kathleen Adams*

        I actually had exactly the same experience in my parents’ house – very clear footsteps in the crawlspace above my bed. There’s no way anybody could have been walking up there – just no headroom – and from the sound, there was no way they could have been walking on the roof, either. It happened, there is no logical explanation that I have ever heard, and that’s all there is to it.

  32. Snark*

    Oh, and I know a guy who used to be a ranger at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. He was closing up some gates one evening after sundown, but before it got really dark. Turns, sees a girl maybe 12-13 years old, wearing grass sandals and kind of wrapped in a blanket or serape, about 15 feet away. She runs, disappears behind his truck, he never sees her again. That was pretty common everyday clothing, about 300 years ago.

    New Mexico is a spooky place, y’all.

    1. pumpkin spice.*

      Oh I’ve been there!! It’s such a cool and weird place. I bet it’s really spooky at night!

      1. President Porpoise*

        I used to live 10 minutes down the road… yeah, there’s some fun spooky stuff there.

    2. Risky Researcher*

      I hear ya there. I have a ton of haunted New Mexico stories…including the fact that I live in a cabin that is one of four built for patients dying of tuberculosis. We were doing some work in the yard, busting up our front steps, and one of the slabs of (what we thought was) concrete we turned over to reveal it was a tombstone! Used as a STEP! No wonder the house is haunted!

  33. BadPlanning*

    I feel like the dementia story should be a horror movie if it isn’t already.

    Also, the “get out” story makes me want to run screaming from my desk.

  34. Zoo Story*

    I worked at a zoo which had quite a few ghost stories attached to it. An episode of Ghost Hunters was even filmed there, a number of years after I left. The two-story building I worked in was quite old, and my office was on the ground floor. I tended to work late, and a number of times I heard noises from upstairs that sounded like footsteps or things being moved around. While I never felt overly scared when I heard these, I also didn’t go upstairs to check them out.

  35. cleaner*

    My mom cleans for a lawyers office that is located in a very old converted house. When I was younger I helped her. That place was messed up. I remember one day we showed up and I heard male voices coming from one of the lawyer’s office. It was pretty normal for the lawyers to work late, and while I thought it was a little odd that the two male lawyers were having a conversation in the female lawyer’s office, I assumed they were grabbing a file and went over to let them know we were in the building. Except of course there was no one but us in the building. I often heard voices. It wasn’t until they started calling my name that I got freaked out.

    There was one office downstairs that had originally been part of a bigger room. I hated going in that office. Something was in there that did not like to be bothered. I learned to stand outside the door and say “Elizabeth, I’m coming in now Ok?” (I don’t know why Elizabeth, it just always felt right). If I said that first I didn’t get such a hated feeling when I walked in.

    We also heard banging all the time. When I cleaned there the attic wasn’t used space. (It has since been renovated and made into office space. My mom said the hauntings have stopped since then) I would often see the attic door moving and the door handle turning back and forth. One night my mom asked me what on earth had I dropped that made such a loud metallic banging. I stared at her and said “but I thought that was you!”.

  36. Candi*

    …I am entirely too happy about this thread going up. :)

    Both my spooky experiences were outside work, unfortunately. Indeed, I tend to have the opposite; at work, interviews, and when visiting friends at their work, I’ve had people say, “The ghost for (area) doesn’t do anything when you’re here!”

    As near as I can figure, supernatural stuff doesn’t like/bother to be around me unless it’s really important to me (first experience) or it really has something it wants to do (second).

    (2nd: Lots of people at night swore they saw a glowing orb in an old house. Me, present, looking, nope.)

    (1st, back in 7th grade: Was crossing a big old busy road going from school to home, because walking was faster than the bus. Walked on the green guy. Something physically pulled me back, even though there was no one remotely close enough. Even as that happened, a car -low, red, blurred- ran the red light and went right through the spot I would have been. Yes, something saved my life that day. That’s the beginning of why I believe in science and that there is something more than we know out there.)

    1. Red Reader*

      Like your first story: when I was little, I was laying in my big old canopy bed reading, when I thought I heard an old lady like my grandma call my name. I got out of bed and went to the door, but then I was like “Why would grandma be here?” and turned around to go back to my bed. Right as I did, a big old iron bar fell out of the canopy frame and landed right on my pillow where my head had been.

      We found out later (or I guess *I* found out later, I don’t know when my parents knew) that the old lady who’d lived in our house before we moved in had slept in my bedroom before she died. (I don’t think she *died* there. If she did, they didn’t tell me that part. But I think she was in a hospice facility when she actually passed.)

      1. SignalLost*

        Yup. A former friend learned that if she smelled menthol cigarettes she needed to check her then-youngest daughter. No one smoked in that house, but her MIL’s mother had smoked menthols when she was alive, and both my friend and her MIL had the same experience.

    2. Amber Rose*

      When I was quite young I used to travel with my mom a lot when she had business trips. One night we were leaving the pool area of the hotel when I slipped in some water and fell into the deep end. Nobody noticed, because I was so small and didn’t make much noise, and there was no lifeguard. I couldn’t swim, so I sank. Just as I was running out of air, my mom hopped in and pulled me out. She said later that she heard someone yell in her ear to “grab Amber!” But nobody was near her, and nobody would have known my name.

      I guess that’s why I’m not scared of ghosts/supernatural stuff. It’s not all malicious.

      1. AngtheSA*

        This isn’t my story but my husband’s. When he was about 4 or 5 he remembers waking up in a panic and looking over the see a man standing over his bed looking at him. He immediately reach for the light beside his bed and shine it but there was nothing there. When he finally got up the courage to tell his dad, he describe him as an older man, well over 6 feet tall and dress in a suit. His aunt pulled out an old photo album and pulled out a picture and to my husband astonishment the man he saw was in the picture. It was his grandfather who had died before his dad was born (like 40 years before this event)

      2. Batshua*

        Oh hell, I guess it’s time for me to tell my family’s ghost story.

        When my mother was 15, her mother had left Guatemala and was working in the US sending money home so the family could get asylum and come to the US. One night she had a dream. I can’t remember if she said it was her mother or grandmother, but some deceased maternal relative came to her holding five candles. She handed my grandmother four and held the fifth and said she would take care of it. In the dream, my grandmother realized to her shock and horror that the candles were the souls of her children and she frantically tried to get the fifth candle. She woke up in a cold sweat, struck with terror.

        Despite the cost, she made a panicked middle of the night international phone call to my grandfather, demanding to know who was sick. “Oh, Maga has a little cough”, my grandfather said. My grandmother freaked the heck out and told him to get her to a hospital ASAP. My mother did NOT have a “little cough”. She had severe broncho-pneumonia and the doctors said if she hadn’t gotten to the hospital that night, they might not have been able to save her life.

    3. Elizabeth West*

      Ha, I can’t see anything but I can feel it (I think it’s called clairsentience). My brother and mum both saw the ghost at our house growing up. I only got the weird feeling in the barn and when it came up behind me one afternoon when I was alone in the house. And when I did a ghost night at a local venue, I had two experiences, but both were intangible sensory ones and not any actual sounds or sights.

      One of my roommates in California had an aunt who worked as a security guard at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. She never saw anything either, but they would sometimes hear chairs moving around in the ballroom at night when they knew nobody was in there. And I know someone in Wales who works on ghost tours in and around Cardiff (that’s where I met him) and they hear / see stuff all the time. I’m sort of glad I didn’t see anything when I was on the outdoor tour, because the story he told was hair-raising.

  37. paul*

    Not at all eteheral but….

    I worked at a 24/7 grocery store in a nearby town in high school. Of course, they’d have stuff displayed in front of the store seasonally; melons, pumpkins, Christmas trees, etc. Got the scare of my life when I went to move a Christmas tree for someone to look at….apparently a raccoon had decided to shelter in the group of trees. I’m moving this thing and WHAMMO out charges a raccoon, going hell for leather. Thankfully it didn’t bite me and none of the claws broke the skin, so no real worries about disease, but it was a shock. I dropped the tree, and must have shrieked like a banshee.

    A coworker had it worse; they were on the late night shift (11pm-7am)…just them and the stockers. Anyway, he went out to grab a smoke….and t here was a black bear raiding a box of watermelons that was on the sidewalk. According to him he got *entirely* too close before realizing what it was. Not good with a hungry bear.

  38. ZK*

    The Stanley Hotel. I never worked there, but I had multiple friends who did and I spent some time there when I lived in Estes Park. The Stanley definitely has a weird vibe to it. In some places it feels friendly and welcoming, a few other places are creepy AF. Almost everyone I know who worked there had some kind of experience, hearing conversations when no one else was around, doors opening when they should have been locked, things not being where they were left.

    1. Matilda Jefferies*

      Isn’t that the hotel where they filmed The Shining? Definitely creepy AF, if that’s the case.

      1. paul*

        Yep. I’ve been there and itw as creepy as hell…but I’d also just watched the movie a few weeks before so that might have had something to do with it

      2. Frank Doyle*

        Not the movie, but it *was* where Stephen King was staying when he was inspired to write the thing. (The miniseries was shot there.)

      3. Mrs. Badcrumble*

        The exteriors in The Shining (the original) were from the Timberline Lodge in Oregon at Mt. Hood. Gorgeous, fascinating place built during the WPA in the Cascadia style (think Arts and Crafts style, but executed as if your only tool was a hatchet), but from my experience, not haunted. (The Shining interiors were done on a sound stage)

    2. Wanda Trossler*

      Yes, I spent one very sleepless night at the Stanley. Never want to stay there again. Our experiences were pretty minor but they still scared me pretty badly!

    3. NaoNao*

      I am a Shining superfan, and I can attest that the *tv miniseries* was shot at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, which is the hotel that King stayed at and was inspired by. As others point out, the movie by Kubrick was shot on a soundstage/on location at another hotel. I’ve been there too, and it’s amazing. It’s very imposing and lovely, but much of the land around it is completely developed now, so it’s lost a lot of its “remote spookiness”.

  39. Amber Rose*

    Well, my story is already up there, and I haven’t had a job where I work late hours since. Thankfully. Too creepy for me. D:

    For a slightly less work, more school related story though, while I was living in dorms I often noticed various trinkets go missing and sometimes turn up in unexpected places. A necklace I had been fiddling with that I dropped and couldn’t find, was later located inside a suitcase in the closet, for example. In a box full of books and stuff, I found a small piece of tied up paper towel containing several bits of costume jewellery I’d never seen before. One morning I woke up, and all my hanging pictures were leaning against the door.

    I didn’t have any roommates so. Yeah. I was never scared or anything, more just mildly annoyed or entertained. It was fun to watch my skeptical friends try and explain how any of it had mundane explanations.

    1. DF*

      Here’s a less-fun college story!

      When I was living in my college dorms, I would come home from class or spring break to find all of my books, photos, knick-knacks knocked off my shelves and strewn around on the floor. I thought it was a ghost (or my suitemate)… until I woke up one morning to a squirrel hanging out on the foot of my bed.

      1. Amber Rose*

        The windows in my dorm room did not open, which was fun when it was hot outside. But at least I didn’t have to worry about wildlife!

        1. DF*

          Fun fact: squirrels can chew through window screens!

          Different squirrel, different state, different year but imagine hearing that happen right behind you one night while you’re trying to watch TV when you already have Squirrel Issues from college. We left all the ground floor windows closed after that.

    2. Workaholic*

      When i was a kid (<7) i would set toys down in my room and go to sleep planning to pay with them again, but they'd be gone when i woke up. A few days later they'd suddenly show up again in the exact same place. I blamed it on floor monsters.

  40. Huntington*

    For about a year I worked the front desk of a youth hostel in a major U.S. city, and also shared a private room in the hostel with another worker. Hundreds of tourists a night would stay in the rooms — the building was 8 stories. Soon I noticed that pretty regularly I was getting complaints from people checking out the next morning about noise all night in the room above them. Why were people moving heavy furniture all night in that room? Was it people staying in that room? (Some rooms had, for example, something like 14 bunk beds) Or was it management at the hostel? The complaints were that it sounded like heavy furniture was being shoved to the center of the room, and that it went on All. Night. Long.

    Well I finally asked my manager about it, and he just pointed at the layout we had for the hostel (we had these giant paper sheets — it was the early 1990s — and by hand we’d check off beds and rooms as they filled, and for how many nights, etc.). I don’t know why it had never clicked with me when people made these complaints, but we never — NEVER — checked in guests on the entire floor that generated the complaints. And if you went up to that floor, the door to the room generating the complaints not only was locked but was locked up with big link chains.

      1. SophieChotek*

        I agree. Did you ever find out more about that room? (I assume you would have said so, but of course, now I am curious.)

    1. Julia the Survivor*

      That is really creepy. What were they hiding? Were people kidnapped and held there???

  41. Alex*

    While working at a nursing home part of my job was to meet with new patients and discuss their plans. I went to a new patients room, knocked and this little old lady was sitting in the chair by the bed. I said ‘Hi Mrs Smith’ introduced myself and asked how everything was going. She asked when she could go home. I told her I would check on how she was doing in therapy and get back to her. I gave her an origami crane and my business card.

    I walked down the hall to the therapy department and asked the head of therapy how Mrs Smith was doing as she would like to discharge home and I wanted to give her an estimate. He said ‘Mrs Smith?’ and gestured to a lady working with a therapist across the room. I confirmed the room number and the patient, definitely not who I had just been talking to.

    I went back to the room to find the crane and my card on the bedside table, but no patient. I talked to the staff and the unit secretary and no one had seen anyone but me going in or out. There was only one entrance to that wing. Never saw the lady again.

  42. Kathenus*

    This happened the night before starting my first full-time job out of college. I was staying with my boss and his family (I know, I know) for a couple of weeks while I found someplace to rent. It was pretty late at night, probably around 10 or 11, and everyone was asleep except my boss and myself. It was, of course, a drizzly, rainy night. I had been told before that the family felt there was a ghost in their house, and my boss was telling me why they called him “Billy”. He said that when they were building their deck, they dug up an old headstone with this name on it.

    He told me that in addition to sounds and such, they felt that Billy protected their cat from their dog while they weren’t home. Sometimes they’d come home and find the cat secured in the guest room, the door for which stuck and was hard to close, where she was safe from the dog. And by the way, I was staying in the guest room, apparent hub of spectral activity.

    So, back to that night. He asked if I wanted to see the headstone and I said sure. We went out on the deck, in the misty rain, and he picked up the headstone which was broken into three pieces. As he was picking it up, they shifted and he almost dropped them. At that exact moment, the light on the porch went out. I swear, it really did.

    Let’s just say with the excitement/nervousness of a new job, this unnerving experience, and staying in the ‘ghost’s room’, I didn’t sleep well that night.

  43. Red Reader*

    At one point, I had a printer on my desk at work. It had only ever been hooked up to my work computer in the last like four years, and it was at the time of this story unhooked from said computer because I’d just rearranged and hadn’t finished hooking everything back up yet. It was still plugged in though, and I was working away when all of a sudden the printer let out a high-pitched scream and started spewing papers out of its mechanism that were covered in random letters, symbols, gibberish. I kind of backed up out of my cube, wide-eyed, and just stared at it for a few minutes, because this thing went through its entire full-ream paper tray and it didn’t occur to me to unplug it or anything. Finally it finished, let out another scream, and all the lights on the printer turned off. Then to add another level, I ended up with six paper cuts over both my hands in the process of taking the gibberish-covered papers out of the output tray, and those M-F’ers were the worst paper cuts I have ever had.

    After that one incident, the printer behaved itself perfectly fine for the remaining four years I had that job.

      1. Red Reader*

        I’ve gotten that response a lot when I tell this story :) But I’m a little tweaked about what the outcome might’ve been, haha.

  44. Typhon Worker Bee*

    Not a work story per se, but a commute story:

    When I lived in Glasgow, the fastest bike route between home and lab was through some woods – woods where my roommate’s colleague had found some pour soul hanging from a tree early one morning a few years earlier. There were lots of HUGE foxes in there too (like German Shepherd size), which never did anything or acted aggressively in any way but seemed to have no fear of humans, which was weird. Needless to say, I only took that shortcut when it was light; I took the long way round by the main road in winter or if I’d stayed later than usual.

    One evening I’d slightly misjudged how late it was, and it was getting quite dark when I got to the part of the route that went through the woods. Feeling somewhat vulnerable, I started really straining all my senses to make sure I was safe. That’s when I noticed the sound of heavy breathing coming from right behind me. As I sped up, the sound got louder and faster. By now in a massive panic, I flew through the woods at absolutely top speed, convinced I was being chased by a rabid fox or a ghost or both. When I reached the road at the end of the woods I could still hear the breathing, but…

    …being under the streetlights had calmed me down sufficiently that I realized it wasn’t actually breathing. It was the sound of my backpack strap rubbing on my waterproof jacket. The only danger I’d been in was crashing my bike due to my self-inflicted panic.

    I only ever went through the woods in absolutely broad daylight after that. Taking the main road was actually way more dangerous, but it sure didn’t feel that way!

    1. Nea*

      I’m not going to laugh at you, because the air conditioning system in my house sounds like the house is breathing. I went to see The Haunting of Hell House one hot summer and when I got home and the AC kicked on, I about wet myself.

  45. EddieSherbert*

    Oh my gosh, so an old office of mine was in the middle of building a bigger facility, and in the meantime, my department was put in another random building down the road from our actual building. We were the ONLY people in this big empty office building and rented like 1/4 of the actual building and our part was farthest from the parking lot, so many of us would walk through the dark empty building to get to our part.

    Which was fine for like a year. Then, all of a sudden, the space of a few weeks, I heard various creaks and bangs (the building “settling” I told myself…), a woman laughing, a soda can or something being opened, and a phone ring. So I stopped going through that part of the building and just walked all around outside to get to our part.

    Somehow it came up in conversation that like half the staff suddenly was walking around the building instead of through it… and I learned that a lot of other people heard stuff too!

    A couple weeks later it was discovered that a couple homeless people had moved into an empty office room in the way back of the building. The landlord has installed much better security now.

    1. Not Australian*

      I think I’ve told this before, but we frequently had ‘ghosts’ of a similar kind when I worked in a big hospital. One moved in to an unused room in our basement teaching complex, and one found out where the spare trolleys were stored (top floor, near the lift) and slept there for several nights before a porter found him one morning. One of them also tried to start a fire in a corridor, supposedly to cook his tea.

      1. mscate*

        I worked at a university in the early 2000’s when a whole group of students was discovered living in the English faculty sub sub basement. They had furniture, utilities hooked up and everything.

  46. DaniCalifornia*

    I work in a historic prison in TX. It was built in 1880 and was a prison for 99 years. We’ve had famous inmates (members of Bonnie and Clyde gang, Jesse James brother Frank, Tex Watson) It still has cells, old vaults and locks, a ball and chain, and doors from solitary confinement. Often at night you will hear sounds and our patio area is said to be where the last public hanging was. When it’s dark it’s very creepy and we have had our IT guys here overnight saying they heard sounds like chains or keys clinking together. I do not stay here by myself at night. We even had a ghost hunter club video our 3rd floor for paranormal activity and they said they got some movements and sounds. It was creepy!

  47. TotesMaGoats*

    Not my work but I’ve been on the same haunted pub crawl in Savannah a couple of times. It’s a lot of fun, especially when your guide really gets into it. Only one time was I completely freaked out. The top floors of Moon River Brewing Company. The first time up there, no big. The second time….I don’t know what it was but I wanted OUT of there an in a big way. Even my husband agreed that is was just not right. The third time, still felt off but not the same. Needless, I would not want that job even if you did get free drinks.

  48. Fishgal*

    Alright I need to add my creepy story.
    So I used to work for my family owned business and my grandpa haunted the building. I never had a problem because it was my grandpa but the plant manager and others were freaked out.

    Instances include:
    Grandpa smoked a distinct cigar, you would be in the plant smelling food when all of a sudden you were overwhelmed with his cigar smell
    Little things would be moved slightly
    Equipment that was running flawlessly before break suddenly would not start up and take hours to repair
    The managers refused to tape security footage overnight because they would see shadows of people on it
    Voices over the noise when your alone

    I could go on

    1. fposte*

      Did Grandpa have an issue with the family business? Seems unhelpful of him to break stuff. Maybe he should be put on a ghost PIP :-).

    2. EddieSherbert*

      Not work related, but my grandpa appeared to haunt his house after he passed away. We rented it out and had two different families move out within a few months reporting the same things (and we didn’t tell the second family what the first family said). Also worth noting my grandpa was the only house on a forest preserve (he was grandfathered in when they bought the land 40 years ago, and all his neighbors moved and their houses were torn down ages ago)

      Both families reported:
      Seeing an old man in a red shirt walking through the house and out in the (unattached) garage. When they’d check the garage, it’d smell like smoke (my grandpa always hung out in his garage to smoke).
      Hearing/seeing a big dog in the fenced yard at night or hearing an old man calling the dog (“come here, girl!”), but again, nothing would be there when they went outside (my grandpa had a German Shepard he adored).

      We told the third family about grandpa and his dog, and they don’t mind them. Haha.

  49. Jamie*

    My first job after college, I worked at a private school that had been a boarding school back in the day. In the 1950s one of the housemothers (Mrs. Handey) had a bad fall and died in her bedroom, which later became my office. The closet door popped open constantly, and many times I’d look up and see the ceiling fan spinning all by itself (even though it was off). I never felt scared, though, just thought “Ha, there she goes again!” Recently, I went back to the school to see my niece in a play. They showed a student-made movie of the history of the school, and as soon as Mrs. Handey’s name was mentioned in the film, the computer projector stopped working and completely jammed up. Old broad is still around, having fun!

  50. carwashghost*

    (this is long. I’m sorry. Skip to the end if you just want the scary part)

    I worked at a carwash for about 8 years, starting when I was 15. The building was built on the site of an old farm, and there was an employee that died while drying a car many years before I started. The place was haunted by something. For awhile I was a detailer. It often happened that I would be detailing a car in our garage bay and out of the corner of my eye I would see a figure wearing our blue colored shirts watching me from the hallway. Every time I would assume it was my boss but every time I would look over and no one would be there.

    We also had self serve bays. Whenever the weather got really hot or really cold the hoses running to the bays would start leaking, and to get to them you had to go through the attic and crawl out into the space above the bays. Many times when I was up there I felt like someone was standing in the main attic and watching me.

    I was eventually moved up to the position of assistant manager, and so I was alone in the building a lot, usually early in the morning or in the evening after we closed. Sometimes I would come in and hear moving around. I think whatever haunted the place liked to come out when we weren’t there. I usually walked the same loop every morning when I got there, and if I changed my routine I always felt like I was not alone, like I surprised it.

    Oddly, I always felt safe with this entity, whatever it was. It was certainly creepy hearing footsteps and banging when I knew I was alone (not to mention the occasional odd blob on the security tapes) but whenever I felt like I was being watched, I felt protected. Except for one terrifying occasion. We closed at 6pm on week nights. In the winter it was dark by the time we closed, so I usually turned the lights off after I did my final check of each location in the building. My normal routine was to sit in the office (which was next to the exit door) and do my end of day paperwork while my employees closed up and got ready to go. After they left, I would punch out, put my lunch box in front of the exit door, and do a loop of the building to make sure all the doors had been locked and that all the equipment was properly shut down for the night. One night one of my employees shut all the lights off before he left. I can see well in the dark, and had worked there for 7 years and knew the building, so I (foolishly) decided not to turn the lights on when I did my final loop. Big, big mistake. I know it sounds cliche, but the place was thrumming with energy that night. I think when the lights went off, it was assumed that I had left. As I did my check, I ended up in the car wash itself, walking in the dark. I suddenly felt in danger, like something was very very angry at my presence. I could hear movement in the corner, and it sounded like something coming towards me. I’ve never felt so threatened. I abandoned my building check, fled for the door, grabbed my stuff, exited, and slammed the door behind me. I went to turn around the make sure the door had locked, but there was a loud crash from the other side of the door, and I chickened out and fled for my car. I never ever walked around in the dark again.

    My manager swore that I was crazy for saying that something was weird about the building, but the person who eventually replaced me as assistant manager was terrified to be alone there and swore it was haunted. My brother in law works there now and he says he’s had some weird things happen to him.

    1. carwashghost*

      Oh, and another odd thing that happened. Soon after I started we had a college student who worked as our detailer during the summers. She always had weird stuff happening to her when she detailed, like the radios/electronics in the cars turning off and on when the keys weren’t in the ignition, or her radio changing channels and shutting off and on. I was talking to her one day as she was finishing up the car she was detailing, and I sat down and chatted while she cleaned the windshield and made sure it was streak free. A few cars came through the carwash so I went outside to dry them, and she put the car keys in her pocket and headed to the office to tell the manager she was finished. When I came back from drying the cars, she was standing in front of the car with a puzzled look on her face. Every window in the car was down, the sunroof was open, and there was dirt smeared across the windshield. The only other employee who could have done that was with me the whole time, and even if we would have been trying to prank her the windows couldn’t be opened without the keys being in the ignition.

  51. LadyL*

    Spooky because of the supernatural? No. Sadly, all of the creepy experiences I’ve had at work had a lot more to do with fully living human men, those are my spooky stories. If I could get haunted for a change that’d be great, especially if the ghost is gonna scare off the Close-Talking Arm-Patter that used to linger.

  52. Quiznakit*

    You know, I’m super enjoying all the creepy stories right now… in broad daylight… surrounded by coworkers.
    I’m going to regret the heck out of this tonight when it’s dark and I’m home alone. (It’s no good hoping the cats will defend me, because they’re cats. At best I can hope they’ll stand back and observe with disdain as the ghosties come for me.)

    1. eUGH*

      Ha, I made that mistake last time we had this open thread- I had to stop because I was getting so freaked out!

    2. EddieSherbert*

      My cat and dog like to freak me out by doing that “abruptly, in unison, freeze and stare at nothing in the corner of the house” thing…

      I swear they plan it out to scare me.

    3. Red Reader*

      My dog is behind me doing this weird breathing thing she does (somewhat regularly, so I’m not worried about her health) — kind of like she’s whining, but only barely audible? (she does it when she’s bored and wants someone to play with her.) But I didn’t realize she was there at first, and she started up right as I read #4 above, and I’ve been covered in goosebumps ever since.

      1. fposte*

        Oh, God, my old dog did that. It was like she was whining at a pitch too high for me to hear and gradually she’d ramp it up enough to drop it into my range. It seemed really passive-aggressive to me–just whine, dammit!

        1. Red Reader*

          That’s about what I tell her. “Come on, can’t you just fuss like you normally do already??”

      2. zapateria la bailarina*

        omg my dog does this weird whisper-whining too! it drives me crazy lol she also does it when she wants to play and i’m being boring

    4. Language Student*

      I’m home alone right now, and seriously regretting opening this thread. Only an hour till my partner gets home…

    5. Nolan*

      I work from home, in a house that’s at least 130, that was once owned by the village coffin maker, in an area prone to occasional utility outages. My power cut out for a minute while reading this thread, and I just about jumped out of my skin lol

    6. many bells down*

      I was reading scary stories on Jezebel over the weekend, just me and my husband at home, and I kept hearing thumps from upstairs. The dog kept staring at the stairs, too, so I wasn’t imagining the noises.

      And then my husband killed some enemies in his video game and for some reason the “bodies” were just floating in midair. With no heads. That’s … not how Destiny2 enemies look when they die.

      1. Anion*

        Hahaha, a guy I killed in Assassins Creed Unity ended up on his back, twisted sideways, halfway up a wall (like, in midair) that was literally bisecting his body–his feet and head were on one side of the wall, his torso on the other.

      2. nonegiven*

        I think Minecraft makes different noises on Halloween. At Christmas the chests turn green and red. It’s conceivable that other games have little changes like that.

        1. many bells down*

          Most of our friends are game devs, so we actually know someone who worked on it. So I’m freaking out going “what is your game doing??” and Mr. Bells is laughing like “hahaha I can’t wait to tell Jane about this funny bug!”

  53. PhillyKate*

    I was an RA in college. Several of the students who lived in the dorms claimed to repeatedly see a little boy with a bowl cut and blue pajamas. All came to me in confidence and told the same stories. They would see him, at night, with his little teddy bear looking sad and afraid. Needless to say, I thought they were screwing with me.

    One night I was sick in bed with a sinus infection. I was all drugged up and woke up at one point….to see a little boy, with brown hair (bowl cut), blue pajamas, and a teddy bear looking out my window. I swore I was hallucinating. He turned around, saw he had tears on his cheeks, and he gave me a small, sad wave.

    We later did find out (my dorm was an old brownstone in Boston’s Back Bay) a family previously lived there YEARS ago and there was an old elevator shaft. The elevator broke, and fell killing the entire family. To this day I STILL swear I saw that poor little child.

  54. De Minimis*

    My current job is in an old building that was once a Masonic temple. Other people have heard voices and things, but I haven’t. The building is pretty creepy just as it is. There’s only us and one other tenant, so the rest of the space [including a large ballroom] is vacant.

  55. Kristin*

    I worked one summer in a museum that had been a school in a prior life. During the Spanish Influenza it was used as a hospital and morgue. When I was the first person there in the mornings I would sometimes hear footsteps on the stairs. I always had a feeling that someone was watching me.

    Also, on my first day there I had to start cataloguing the equipment/supplies of a local barber who had passed away and donated his shop to the museum. I found an old AM radio with a working battery. I listened to it all summer, and on my last day the battery died.

  56. Red Reader*

    Oh geez, I almost forgot about the little girl.

    I worked in a hospital, and the cafeteria was in the basement. One day I had to drop off some forms in a basement office after lunch, so I went around to the older part of the basement where I didn’t usually end up. On my way back to the elevator, I saw a kid in a patient gown walking down the hallway. As I passed her I started to ask if she needed some help, but the big white cat she was carrying ( 0.O ) looked at me with red eyes ( O.O ) and I just ran up the stairs instead. Told the security guard on the first floor, “Man, you’re gonna think I’m crazy, but just in case, I think I just saw a little girl in a hospital gown with a big cat downstairs?” This big six-and-a-half-foot-tall built-like-a-brick-outhouse dude visibly went pale.

    I went back to my own office building three blocks away and never went into the hospital basement past the cafeteria again.

    1. Iris Eyes*

      I have a theory. The extra big, extra tough guys are usually more scared when they are scared because they usually have so little to be scared about. Like it all of their fright/panic has to vent itself whenever it has the chance because they don’t get the little scares as often.

      1. EddieSherbert*

        I once went to a haunted house with a bunch of other women, and we got thrown in a group with this HUGE muscular guy and his girlfriend. He spent the WHOLE time hiding behind our big group of girls, having us physically push him through some really dark sections, and once pushed his girlfriend into an undead bride and ran away because he was so scared.

        The bride totally broke character and about died laughing. Girlfriend was not pleased. Haha.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          OMG this totally reminded me of the time I went to a haunted house with my boss *Sue* from my job in a testing laboratory. This church (no I am not making this up) put on one of the scariest ones in town, allegedly, called the Nightmare. Each tableau was stuff like a suicide, a vision of Hell (that looked a lot like a Clive Barker film; I think someone might have been a secret fan. I actually laughed my ass off in this part.) and other spooky stuff. I wasn’t scared, but Sue held onto me like grim death.

          It was really well done, and of course at the end, Jesus came out and was all love, woo, etc. When we got out, Sue was like, “That wasn’t so bad, hahahaha.” The fingernail marks on my hand say otherwise, lady!

        2. EH*

          I used to have a friend who was a cop, and had a very similar experience going through a haunted house! He was totally freaked out by everything in there, made me go first into rooms, etc.

  57. Ameeliargh*

    I used to work at a store in an old building that was haunted. It started pretty innocently at first, just with things being moved around. One time we spent a whole day picking up after the ghost, who kept grabbing an item from the back of the store and putting it in the middle of the hallway at the front of the store, over and over again. Another time, I was sitting alone in the back storeroom having lunch, when it knocked over a coat tree carrying metal hangers–it honestly felt like it did it just to freak me out. It also routinely made noises in our upstairs storeroom. It was all pretty harmless, until it started trying to make shelves fall on peoples’ heads. Once that started, we were careful to not be alone in the store anymore. It went out of business a few years later.

    1. De Minimis*

      My nonprofit scary story is “And Then There Were None.” Or at least it’s going to start being that way pretty soon…

      I imagine the tagline as “The lucky ones died first….”

  58. CDM*

    It was as funny as it was eerie, but I once had a three-year-old identical twin that I was teaching inform me that:

    “My brother is the Master of the Light, and *I* am the Master of the Darkness.”

    1. EddieSherbert*

      Oh, kids are the best for this stuff… I used to work at an after-school program with the kindergartners and I once noticed this sweet little girl was playing by herself, so I went over to keep her company.

      She had the Barbie dolls all laid out in a circle with some stuffed animals around. I asked what’s up and she calmly informed me the stuffed bears were performing a ritual, the Barbies were dead, and now they need to drink the blood.

      Walked away realllll fast.

      That kid had never done anything like that before, and never did anything else like it the rest of the school year? (and it didn’t happen around Halloween!)

    2. De Minimis*

      Not Halloween-related, but I used to tutor a kid in an afterschool program. One day I noticed he was working on a picture I guess for some sort of story he was writing about he and his friend as some kind of crime fighting heroes. But he spelled it “The Worriers of the Night,” which always makes me think of this image of these two boys up late at night, fretting….

  59. limenotapple*

    I don’t really think my library is haunted but it’s fun to spread rumors. I’ll start telling a story about it and then just stop like I WASN’T SUPPOSED TO SAY ANYTHING, PLEASE DON’T TELL ANYONE.
    It works pretty well.

  60. pumpkin spice.*

    About 20 years ago I worked for my town’s Parks & Rec dept, started as a summer job in college but I ended up in a program manager role for a while and worked part time throughout the year while I was in school part time. Because my hours weren’t M-F 9-5, I went in at off-hours times to get my work done around my course schedule.

    The office was in an old building that had been a gym; the basketball court was ancient but was still used for rec games and Special Olympics. This isn’t a terrifying ghost story by any means but it’s VERY spooky to be working late at night and hear the unmistakable squeaking of multiple pairs of sneakers playing on a basketball court when there’s no one but you in the building.

    There was also a basement that had a very scary vibe, I wouldn’t go down there alone. There had been tunnels under my town that were used to run booze during Prohibition and my building had some boarded up underground entrances that scared the hell out of me. It felt very ghosty.

    There was also this spot on the stairs by the edge of the basketball court (they took you up to a small storage space and a balcony seating area to view the court). It was just this one spot where you could stand and feel super haunted. It wasn’t so specific like in a really good ghost story, like you wouldn’t see apparitions or anything but there was this unmistakable scary feeling you’d get at this ONE spot on the stairs, I can still picture it. I had a friend who considered herself to be pretty open to the spirit world (I thought she was a little loony but I was kind of seeking some confirmation that there was a really weird feeling on those stairs). I brought her in one night and she was wild-eyed, like the place just scared the hell out of her. I brought her up to the stairs and didn’t say anything, just wanted her to go up and let me know how she felt and she stopped right before the spot and was like “I’m not going past this area, I will not stand there, I can’t do this.” and pointed to the spot that always gave me the spooky feelings.

    I’m a fairly logical person and not easily tricked by things that can be other things, you know? Ghost stories don’t usually “work” on me. But I also know what I heard and felt – not going to read too much into it, or make up “a guy died here and his ghost still plays basketball at night” stories, but that place had some really weird vibes and some strange phenomenons confirmed by many, many people. :)

  61. Elizabeth West*

    I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. :) I grew up on haunted property. If I can handle a creepy barn, footsteps on a plastic rug runner in the middle of the night (no, Dad; that was not squirrels in the attic), and an invisible someone coming up behind my chair, I can deal with a workplace spirit or two. Just stay out of my tea stash, ghosts.

    Not worked anywhere haunted that I know of. But there’s a haunted warehouse downtown I applied for a job with; I didn’t get it. I kind of hoped I would, so I’d have a story.

  62. No, please*

    This is a work/ home combo of sorts. I rented a coworker’s basement apartment for a few months when I was twenty and just starting out in my former career. She warned me her last tenant, who was a her friend, felt and heard things when she lived in the basement. This was fine with me because I’ve lived in a few spooky homes.
    I had decided to rent this apartment because living with my dad wasn’t going well. The first night there was a little strange. I could hear movement in the kitchen, then the bathroom, then outside my door. It sounded like feet dragging on carpet and cabinets opening. Nothing too crazy. But my cat, who was usually the most laid back little dude, was hissing and hiding in bed with me.
    On the third night I woke up a couple hours after falling asleep. I felt like I was being watched but didn’t hear the movement I’d heard previously. I put on my glasses and looked at the doorway to my bedroom. There she was. My great grandmother just standing there, looking at me and faintly smiling. I was able to fall back asleep.
    After that the cabinet door and shuffling noises all made sense. I don’t know what the previous tenant experienced but I knew I was safe. The land that house was built on had a pretty disturbing history relating to colonial history and a massacre of the native Americans. There were a lot of stories but the only thing I experienced was familiar to me.

    1. Happy Lurker*

      No chills this time, but I have pricks in my eyes about your great grandmother. That is awesome.

      1. No, please*

        Yeah, not really scary. My landlady/coworker got chills when I told her about the situation. I was actually more surprised because my great grandmother was from Oklahoma and this happened in Virginia. There was a room down the hall from the apartment she told me I could use anytime I wanted to watch movies or have a friend over. I opened that door one day and got the worst chill I’ve ever had. It was like a waiting room for angry dead people. I never went in that room again.

  63. Lily Evans*

    I swear that the library I currently work in is haunted, but no one will believe me. The computers sometimes turn themselves on after being shut down for the night. One of the bathroom doors likes to close on its own, even when propped open with a doorstop. I’ve opened the library and found lights on that I know were off because I closed the night before and it was a weekend when we don’t have any cleaning crew come in. I’ve also heard people moving when I was alone before, and once when a couple other employees were around we all thought we heard a patron, it sounded like someone was putting things in a backpack, but there was no one there.

  64. animaniactoo*

    Not at work, but spooky enough that I think it’s worth telling (and hey! if one of the teachers is here, that’d count as work!)

    I went to a boarding school that was on the ground of and used several of the buildings of the first Shaker settlement in the US. Oh that sucker was haunted. SOOOOO haunted.

    Most of the time, it was no big deal. Extra shadow walking next to you on the road back from center campus to the dorm. Pets reacting to things no one else could see. Occasional feeling of being watched. You just got used to it and shrugged it off.

    My senior year, I ended up in one of the “attic” rooms of our dorm – these were two very large rooms on the top floor with humongous walk-in closets where one wall was the roof sloping down. Very in demand. My two roommates and I happily moved in. And then things started getting weird. Mostly it was the lights. We’d go out to class, come back and the lights would be on. Even though we’d left them off. Nothing was ever missing, sometimes the radio would be on a different station than the one we’d left it on. We figured it was the previous residents messing with us and we got the maintenance staff to change the lock on our door.

    As you may have guessed… no. That did not stop the problem. We started to figure out that we might be in a seriously haunted location. And then one day, the radio changed stations. Right in the middle of a 2 Live Crew song while all three of us were in the room. It SPUN to a station that had something completely inoffensive on. I think it might have been a religious station but I don’t really remember (25 years since). The 3 of us promptly freaked out and ran out of the room like our tails were on fire.

    We did end up staying, but we stopped trying to listen to stations that might be playing things that were “offensive” while we were in our room. It was kind of fun. We named the ghosts William and Mary, and talked to them now and then. If we ever heard them talk back, we might have run screaming again…

    1. animaniactoo*

      P.S. The teachers and administration staff would deny forever that it was haunted, but Ouija boards became banned a few years before I went there after the boiler in the main building kept acting up. I dunno what the connection was, but it was made clear to me by someone who had been there at the time that somehow the two were connected. That rule was still in force when I was there, so it was more than just random rumor/ghost storying.

    2. Steph B*

      My first car’s radio would change stations on me sometimes (an 85 Oldsmobile). It usually would just change from my angsty rock to static, but occasionally it’d go to country. I like to think that one of the previous owners could only take so much of my teenage angst, but watched over that car so that I never had any problems with it all through high school/college.

      I left the car with my parents when I went to live in Chicago for a year, and it died that winter + my dad could not get it working again. He donated it for parts and I still get sad when I think that I wasn’t ever able to say goodbye.

  65. Aiani*

    I used to work as a security officer during night shift. I was patrolling one of our buildings and walking around in a cubicle area and I heard a baby crying very clearly. Now this was the middle of the night so there weren’t many people at work and there certainly shouldn’t have been any babies (we don’t allow children in the facility). I went looking around the cubicle area but I never found anything that I thought would have made that noise.

    Later (maybe a month or two later) another security officer told me that she had heard a baby crying in that same building and that a different officer told her he heard a baby laughing. She told me this before I even told her my story. I’m not usually one for ghost stories but I have to admit that was weird.

  66. Spooktacular*

    When I worked as a nanny, I was pretty sure the younger of my two charges was talking to ghosts. Supposedly she bore an uncanny resemblance to her maternal grandmother, who had died just before she was conceived. The playroom was separated from the main house by curtains, and (with the windows closed and the AC off) occasionally those curtains would blow towards the little girl.

    Playing busily with a toy in that hyper-focused way very young children have, she’d suddenly look up, look straight in the direction the ‘wind’ was coming from, and do things like say “What?” and then, after a pause, answer whatever it was she was hearing.

    Both of the children were kind of spooky (the older one was an empath and was constantly picking up on the emotions of everyone around her), but only the little one was sitting there talking to ghosts!

  67. Falling Diphthong*

    I’m fascinated by all the ghosts haunting industrial parks. Like Moaning Myrtle, who died and immediately set off to haunt anywhere occupied by the girl who’d made fun of her glasses.

    1. fposte*

      My current work building would be a great place to haunt. I’m planning on it if the opportunity arises.

        1. Julia the Survivor*

          Industrial parks are so bleak, maybe that’s why. And usually in the middle of nowhere. They look so lonely driving by on the highway at night.

  68. Jesca*

    No me, but my grandmother.

    She worked at Pennhurst asylum near Philly PA since the 60s as a janitor. If you don’t know what Pennhurst was, I would look it up cuz its infamous (and creepy as hell even during full operation). My grandmother had all types of stories through all the years of working there, but the worst are when they shut it down. She was in charge of the crew for clean-up after they removed all of the patients/residents. All imaginable types of hauntings were occurring – disembodied voices screaming on different floors, slamming and banging, things being throw full across rooms, full apparitions, effing fire balls – just crazy stuff.

    The worst though, was what happened to my grandmother. She was moving a cleaning cart to one of the elevators. As she was pushing the cart in, the whole elevator just dropped. We was dragged in by the cart and feel down about three stories on top of the elevator. The cart landed on her arm and shattered her forearm. She laid there for hours as the rest of the crew were in various parts of the building. She wouldn’t talk about what went on around her during those hours trapped.

    1. anon24*

      Pennhurst terrifies and saddens me. I spent a bunch of time online looking up information about it before they opened it as a haunted attraction (which really upsets me, horrible stuff went on there, why are we exploiting it for entertainment). Your poor grandmother. I think I would lose my sanity.

      1. Jesca*

        Yes. And I assume they opened it as a way to deter kids from sneaking in – specifically the tunnels.

        She was pretty tough about those things. Her house was extremely haunted – catholic priests came in the bless it many times lol (which is why nothing paranormal shocks me at all). But closing down that place I think shook her a bit. It is a very huge place where people were treated very poorly quite literally their whole lives. It is where you sent your kids who were deemed not socially appropriate to be allowed around “pleasant society”.

      2. mscate*

        yeah they did this to an old asylum (probably a few ) in Australia. Ghost tours and such. The thing was, i’d had a relative committed to the still active wing the year before and I thought it was really inappropriate!

    2. ThatGirl*

      I lived in Norristown as a kid and the State Hospital there is mostly abandoned and extreeeeemely creepy. I never spent much time poking around though.

      1. anon24*

        Is that the one next to Norristown Farm Park? My husband and I went to the park once to walk around and we could see the hospital. It creeped us out.

        1. PhillyKate*

          yes that is is. It is creepy even looking at it from the street. You get…vibes…when you’re around it. PS I love the farm park!

  69. a girl has no name*

    When I was in college, I worked as a student editor for the literary magazine based out of my small Midwestern college. I would spend many late nights in the editor-in-chief’s office recording the submissions we received. Her office was on the third floor of a building the was built in 1929, and the whole building was in desperate need of an update. It was founded by nuns as a women’s teaching college at first, and I swear you could hear the ghosts of the nuns (according to superstition one hanged herself in the tunnels underneath the building) all around you at night. I was the only person in the building, and I would lock myself in at night and play my music to take my mind off of the bizarre footsteps, creaks, shadows and doors slamming. I am not superstitious, and I would tell myself that it was the old building settling, but I locked the door to the office as soon as I got there, and had my phone next to me at all times. I don’t scare easily, but that building raised the hair on the back of my neck. Something just felt really off. I have only felt that one other time.

    1. Prague*

      I think I went to the same college, but I heard the nun hung herself from the tower – the rest of the details sound about right. The building used to be the honors women’s dorm before it became office space, and I lived on the third floor. Doors opened and shut on their own in quite a few areas, but mostly things that could be explained away. One night, I heard the main door open very clearly; my room was pretty close and heard it most of the time, as well as the footsteps walking down the hallway past my door. I was about to head down the hall to a friend’s room, and so walked out to find…no one visibly walking past as the audible footsteps continued. My friend had her door open waiting, and poked her head out thinking the phantom footsteps were me. There was no floor above us, and the sound from the second floor was distinctly different. We both saw the same empty hallway. It’s been almost 20 years and still no explanation. We stayed up late that night.

      There are a lot of unquiet nuns in this thread.

  70. Owler*

    I worked seasonally as a wildlife technician on various research projects. One of them involved surveying for owls starting at sunset and going late into the night. I was never worried about running into wild animals– pretty much all of my scary stories from that job (actually, all of my wildlife jobs) had to do with creepy people.

    We worked in very remote areas in a rural state and almost never saw people when we were camping. However, on the fourth of July, the woods completely filled with people partying, setting off fireworks, playing loud music, etc. We got into position at our last site of the evening and I noticed a red light that looked like it was from a headlamp off in the trees. I thought it was odd considering that we were in a steep canyon away from the campsites where people were partying, but thought maybe someone had set their camp away from the revelry and didn’t think too much of it. But then we saw the red light again at our next point– and even though we deliberately had moved away from it, it had reappeared in a new direction, closer to us. And then again at the point after that, still getting closer. Someone was definitely following us. I was creeped out enough to call off the survey for the night. We shut off our headlamps and fumbled our way back to the truck by the light of the GPS screen alone (which was dimmer than your average cell phone), luckily without incident. Still have no idea who it was, or what they were doing in that area.

  71. Alice Ulf*

    I’ve worked at my current agency for almost eight years, and during that time I’ve been shuffled back and forth between my current office (where the only scary things are the skunks that occasionally get into the basement) and the main office, which is a restored elementary school building originally constructed in the late 1800s. I never experienced anything myself while working there, but there was definitely supposed to be a ghost.

    We had an elaborate security system, and one night, long after everyone in the office was gone, the motion-activated camera came on and started to record. When IT reviewed the video in the morning, it showed a weird, shapeless shadow that floated through the lobby and kind of paused at the windows of the doors (the offices were converted from the classrooms, so each cubicle area had a windowed door that opened onto the central lobby). The shadow eventually floated up over the receptionist desk and disappeared. Then the camera turned off.

    I wish I could upload the video, because it is truly creeptastic, but I don’t dare. IT has it saved on the shared drive and uses it to freak out new hires. :P

  72. Claire*

    The ladies’ bathroom on my floor has six stalls and everybody observes the “leave an empty stall between us” rule so I always check to see which doors are closed before choosing which one to go in. A number of times I have gone in and noted that all of the doors were open, sat down in my stall, and then heard a toilet flush and footsteps walking out of a stall. Pretty sure it’s haunted by a ghost with a tiny bladder.

  73. Hiring Mgr*

    We should not be celebrating Halloween. I don’t care if there’s candy and costumes, the point is that the holiday originated as a way to worship evil spirits and call them to life. Do you think this is something the Lord wants us to partake in? Unfortunately too many people these days live in the world and don’t aspire to the Kingdom.

    1. pumpkin spice.*

      if you don’t want to celebrate Halloween, you’re welcome to not celebrate it. Your Lord isn’t my lord, so I’m not interested in what yours wants for me or the rest of us. Your Lord can dictate what he wants YOU to participate in if you wish, but for those of us who don’t believe in him/it, it’s doesn’t really carry any weight.

        1. pumpkin spice.*

          I’ve read every post and the comments on this site for years and have never seen (or noticed) this person’s comments. I guess that’s the risk you take when you post something like this, that people will take you at your word!

          1. EddieSherbert*

            Yeah, if I didn’t recognize the name, I’d probably assume it was serious.

            Hiring Mgr needs to start adding disclaimers or smiley faces or something! Haha :)

    2. Amber Rose*

      That… isn’t actually true. The holiday is more or less based on Samhain, which was a day when the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead was said to be thin and the spirits of the dead would return and cause mischief. The Celtic people believed you could use that chance to make predictions about the future and they’d dress up, light bonfires and tell fortunes. Those traditions merged with the Christian All Saints Day, which was a day to commemorate saints, to become All Souls Day, a day to honor the dead, and was celebrated similarly with costumes and bonfires and stuff.

      There was never anything about raising the dead or communing with evil. It’s origins are more similar to the Japanese Obon, which I’ve taken part in as well and is fantastic. A day to honor those who came before you. I can’t think of what your Lord would have against that!

      1. Amber Rose*

        And yes, I know Hiring Mgr isn’t serious. I just really like talking about the history, since it’s interesting.

    3. Jesca*

      Sigh I really miss those anti-Halloween pamphlets with cartoons of a kid dressing up as santa. Oh childhood memories hahaha.

      1. fposte*

        Wait–was the message that it would be terrible if kids dressed up as Santa? Or did they think that’s what Halloween entailed?

      1. Julia the Survivor*

        If Hiring Mgr was serious, that would be a Christian fascist. They do exist. I grew up with them. I was just having a discussion with one on FB yesterday.
        Though I haven’t had time to do the research, the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday is very cool and obviously related to Halloween. :)

    4. Esme Squalor*

      I know you’re kidding, but this just gave me major flashback to my childhood. My parents are… intense people.

  74. theanagrace*

    I used to work security for a government building, and on night shifts after midnight I would do a patrol of the whole building. On the top floor, in two of the three wings, I would feel like someone was following me. Only in those areas, and only after midnight, not during the day on weekends or before midnight. It never felt malicious or ominous, just like someone was walking behind me in those two hallways. It got so that I would say hi when I entered the wing, after which the feeling only stuck with me for about half the distance.

  75. Anony*

    Several years ago, I was usually one of the first to arrive at my workplace. I worked in a room full of cubicles, a few cubes away from the small kitchen area. One morning, I heard the microwave turn on for a minute or so, which wasn’t unusual in the morning, but never heard anyone coming back to get their stuff. A few minutes later, this repeated, again with no accompanying footsteps. The third time, I went to investigate, and there was no one around and the microwave was empty. After other people made it to the office, it came out that this had been happening overnight for weeks.

    We figured we had two possible solutions – an exorcism or a new microwave. Since none of us had expertise in the former, fortunately the latter solution worked!

    1. Dust Bunny*

      I once owned a computer that got into the habit of turning itself on and then dialing itself onto the Internet. My parents blamed us kids for running up the phone bill until one day when my mother was home alone and heard it power up, followed by the modem noise (this was in the late 1990s). Turned out it had a short in it somewhere. I’d have to turn it off and then immediately unplug it until we could afford a newer computer.

      1. nonegiven*

        Before we got an ISP with local numbers, I rented the right to unlimited calls on one long distance number for $17/month. It was really the only way to keep the phone bill reasonable.

    2. Free Meerkats*

      We have two things like that here, one coworker’s radio will turn itself on at random times. It’s done it while I was standing next to his office door, with no one in the office; so I believe him.

      And one of our paper shredders will start, run for about the amount of time it takes to shred a letter, and shut off. We thought it was a dirty sensor and have cleaned it several times. Didn’t change anything, so it sits unplugged unless we need the heavy-duty one. Maybe spirits have CBI?

  76. Amber T*

    At ToxicJob, our first location was in this old, decrepit warehouse. The warehouse was necessary for part of the business, and the back office (where I worked) was located upstairs. It was a really bizarre set up… to get to my office, you walked in on the ground floor into a room with the stairwell (not sure what was on the ground floor there, but there was no nearby entrance). We were on the third floor, and when you left the stairwell, you were in this large open space with many individual offices on the perimeter. We were renting two “offices” that were connected – one for the boss, and one for the rest of us. The rest of them were empty and abandonment (the whole building was a sh*thole, and no respectable business would have been located there).

    I didn’t have keys to the office here. It usually wasn’t a problem – my hours were 8:30-5:30, and boss and one coworker usually beat me in. But one morning, coworker called out sick and boss was running late, so the Intern and I had to wait outside our office in the main common area. In the few months I had been there, I hadn’t looked around. So intern and I decided to peek into some of the open offices. Apparently, our floor was an abandoned children’s psychiatry center… lots of abandoned toys, mini desks, smashed picture frames…. All of the offices (aside from ours) were open except for one, which had an extra lock on it. Intern really wanted to see if he could get it open, but I NOPED the hell out of there and waited for boss downstairs and outside. Suddenly, all the creaks and weird noises you’d expect to hear in an old building took on an entirely different meaning. I nearly cried with relief when we were told we were moving offices (and not just because it got us away from the mold).

  77. Meg*

    I work in a very very old, historic building (a National Historic Landmark), and many people who work here have stories of weird and creepy things happening. I don’t even really believe in ghosts, but there’s no way in hell I would come here at night. :)

  78. Hlyssande*

    A security guard and I spooked the heck out of each other when she was on evening rounds in my office. The internet was out at home and I had a 9pm conference call scheduled to train some people in China, so I had to trek back into the office to do it.

    I hate flourescent lighting, so I left them off – they have a motion sensor but you can turn them on/off overall. In the middle of the training session the lights flicked on, scaring the crap out of me. I hadn’t been moving much, and my desk wasn’t in the view of the sensor, so I was not expecting it at all.

    She wasn’t expecting to see anyone there (I had sent an email to the after hours line), and jumped when she walked past the corner and there was someone sitting in the second cube. Me!

    But seriously, I’ve been lucky enough to not have spooky experiences at the office. Outside the office was an entirely different deal.

  79. Will's mom*

    Not me, but my mom. She worked for a self employed friend part time. The friend was always in and out of the office, so it was not unusual for her to be there alone. The business was previously a home that had been converted into an office. She used to type up invoices, checks, Purchase orders, etc on an IBM Selectric Typewriter (it was cutting edge back in the day) Not always, but often when she would leave her desk for whatever reason, she would hear typing. When she would get back to her desk, there would be just a jumble of letters on whatever she was working on. Thinking something was wrong with the IBM, she would unplug it, but it would still happen.
    She also had a desk lamp that would flicker on an off and the office would get really cold. This would happen even when the lamp was unplugged.
    She finally quit after about a year, not because of the “haunting” but because she was able to get a job that paid better and had better hours.

  80. Amadeo*

    I’ve never personally experienced things and don’t much believe in ghosts, but have a healthy fear of demons. My mother had just the one that I know of, it’s not terribly spectacular, but one of those things that make you go ‘hmmm’. She’s been an elementary secretary since I was in kindergarten, long time, and a couple of decades ago there were a pair boys, twins, I think, who were incredibly badly behaved to say the least. Like, if I researched them today and found out that one or both of them had become serial killers or perpetrators of some other violent crime(s) I wouldn’t be surprised.

    We have/had a local mission group called Teen Challenge that helped to rehabilitate young men and it was/is a Christian group. They used to visit both the high school and the elementary school and tell their stories about surviving addition or crime and so on, and would generally sing some praise or worship (yes, yes, frown away, this was at least 20 years ago, in Podunk, USA).

    My mother saw one of those twin boys walk past the gym while this assembly was going on and the young men were singing. The kid slapped his hands to his ears and doubled over in what she thought looked like pain as he went by. Not the worst thing by a long shot, but really generated a side-eye there.

        1. Julia the Survivor*

          When children behave badly it’s usually (as far as I’ve read and seen) a combination of the way their parents treat them and setting bad examples. These boys were probably being treated badly at home and their parents were probably very rude, destructive or both, or even criminals. If these boys were behaving like criminals, that was probably the behavior they saw and felt at home.
          The boy may have been told he was a demon and religious music would hurt him, or he may have been joking, or he might have had an upset stomach for unrelated reasons…

  81. Ace*

    When I was younger, I used to work 16-hour days as a software developer. I would do my normal 8-5 shift. Then, after everyone went home, I would spend my time working on pet projects. I.e., they were software development projects that would make my life easier, but were not in our “official” development queue. (I know it may sound crazy, but I had fun doing this.)

    I would hear the random beeps and noises of printers, computers, etc. Being in IT, was able to trace each cause. But around 10:00 PM, I would have the intense feeling of being watched. Occasionally, I would hear whispers. Our office was on the second story with a surrounding deck. Each time, I would go investigate and find nothing. I would walk all the way around the deck on the second floor and then circle the building on the ground floor. I would verify that all the doors were locked and the alarm was set. The feeling would go away, eventually.

    My coworkers thought I was crazy; none of them had a similar experience.

    It took awhile to realize that it was probably due to EMF sensitivity (I had three large CRT monitors at my desk and a handful of computers) and a lack of sleep.

  82. Shrunken Hippo*

    I worked in a store/food production place a year or so ago that was in a 200 year old building. When I started I heard lots of stories of the ghost that bothered people closing up. Apparently this ghost would send knives falling off the magnetic board they were hung on, slam doors, turn lights on and off, and toss things off the shelves.
    Just to make this story make sense you need to know that I am a Christian, and I don’t believe in ghosts, but I do believe in demons. So one night while I was doing the security check upstairs I hear footsteps in the stock room. It couldn’t have been my coworker because I had a clear sight of the stairs and hadn’t seen them come up. As I walked towards the store room the lights behind me (that I had just finished turning off) flicked back on. Honestly I was more annoyed than scared as I was tired and just wanted to go home. I turned all the lights off again and headed for the stairs just to hear them all turn back on again when I was halfway down. Instead of going upstairs right away I got my phone from my bag and turned up the volume and played a song. This song was basically about how the devil has no power over Christians and needs to leave us alone. I had that playing in my pocket while I went and turned off all of the lights again. Just as I finished the lights on the far side of the building flicked on again and I got annoyed and just started praying for this thing to leave me alone so I could leave and go to bed. Just as I said “amen” the lights flicked off and stayed that way. I finished the rest of the cleaning and went home. No one even had problems with the ghost during my shifts again.

  83. Cordelia Vorkosigan*

    There’s currently a bat trapped in the hallway of my building. That’s…Halloween-y.

    1. Steph B*

      I’m currently rereading Justin Cronin’s The Passage trilogy, which basically is the vampire apocalpyse started by a bunch of blood thirsty bats. I like bats, but I am pretty sure I’d be NOPE NOPE NOPE if I saw one flying around my building right now!

      1. MissMaple*

        Arg, yes. I read that whole trilogy and am creeped out by bats now! I hope you like the books, I thought it was definitely an interesting/different take on the zombie/vampire genre!

  84. KR*

    The town I used to work for was settled in 1638. I worked combination IT and community broadcasting/outreach for the municipal government so I had key access to many historic properties that were owned by the town – the town offices where my office was(1891), the town hall (1855), parks and recreation building (1845), senior center (1800s), ect. Most homes in our downtown historic area were built in the 1700-1800s and even if the original buildings were not standing the layout of the town was very much the same. It was a beautiful riverfront New England town but I won’t lie that working in those old buildings at night and on the weekends by myself got scary sometimes, especially the town hall which had everything from an old basement with jail cells to abandoned hidden rooms everywhere and staircases that went to nowhere to a stage room and upper balcony with 10+ ft high windows and old creaky floors that made you definitely not want to be the last one closing up at night in the dark by yourself to a large open attic with a staircase up to the catwalk and dome on top of the roof that had beautiful views of the whole town but lord was it creepy going up there at night in that attic. Our senior center was somewhere I avoided being alone in the evenings because I would hear creaking and feel like someone else was there with me, and never went upstairs -too creepy. That combined with the intermittent technical issues for no reason whatsoever convinced me something was there. The basement there and at the rec center (same property) was definitely haunted. When you were down there you did not feel alone and it was a wierd feeling. I never had any direct experiences where something reached out to me, but you could definitely tell that you weren’t alone and something was just out of sight, waiting for you to finish your work so it could continue doing it’s thing.

  85. Kelly S.*

    I used to work for a business that was located in one of the Pillsbury mansions in Minneapolis. After the Pillsbury family moved out it was turned into a nursing home and then later bought by our owner to run his business. Of course, things mostly happened after hours when just a few people were working but I had the fortune (misfortune) of working in the most active room where things would happen during the day.
    Here are just a few happenings:
    ~Many times the owner would be the only one in the building after dark and would be sitting in his office. The building was locked tight and had a good security system. So when he would hear a door slam on the 4th floor/attic he would think someone had breached the system and entered the building upstairs. He’d run out to the parking lot, get in his car and call the police. The police would come with a dog and check the building but nothing had even been disturbed.
    ~Many people who stayed late to work would round the corner to the copy area and be hit with a strong smell of pipe smoke. It was a smoke free work place and this was *definitely* pipe smoke. This happened to me more than once.
    ~I was the only one in my department working late one night while another department was having a meeting completely across the building. I was engrossed in my work and out of the corner of my eye saw the bottom of a floral dress and black dress shoes walk past my office (my lamp blocked my full view of the doorway). I jumped up thinking I’d catch our file clerk with a question I had and was met with an empty hallway and a dark file office down at the end. Then I remembered our file clerk never wore dresses.
    ~On my desk I had a Tiffany lamp similar to this one (first photo): https://ampersandvintagemodern.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/shining-a-little-light-on-art-nouveau-icon-louis-comfort-tiffany/
    It was a big heavy shade but it would start swaying back and forth. If I’d still it with my hand it would just start right up again. Then it would just abruptly stop after a few minutes. I had a smaller Tiffany lamp on the other side of my desk and it was perfectly motionless.
    ~My first couple of years in my office I had an empty curio cabinet a few feet from my desk. One day I remembered that I had my great-grandmother’s Nippon dishes & serving pieces in boxes in my basement. I brought the whole set to work and put it in the cabinet so I could enjoy it. Cue the occasional rattling of the dishes in the cabinet. Nothing else in my office would rattle so I could never come up with an explanation.
    ~A second desk was put into my office so I could train a new employee. Our owner was elderly and didn’t want any of our computers hooked up to the internet so they were just individual PC’s plugged into an outlet (and, yes, this created a ton of paperwork, but…). One day I was sitting there doing my work when my computer speakers sprung to life. There was a lot of crackling and the sounds of an old-time radio show playing. I slowly turned and looked over my shoulder at my coworker and he was staring at me with his mouth open and his eyes as wide as saucers. All he could say, over and over, was Oh…My…Gawd…
    It only lasted about a minute but it sure seemed like a long time.

    1. Julia the Survivor*

      The radio coming on, and maybe the other things also, sound like they could have been a temporal distortion.
      There were people there in the past and there were moments when their time intersected with yours and you heard their program, or saw them walk by, or maybe they were doing something – dancing? – that made your lamp sway and dishes rattle.
      Some of the other things here might also be temporal anomalies/distortions, especially the cat that walked down the hall two years before it was actually there… that pretty much has to be one…
      Most people have had experiences like predictive dreams indicating time isn’t strictly linear – there’s a lot not understood about its properties.
      These concepts are explored very well in Star Trek: The Next Generation, especially in the two-part episode called Yesterday’s Enterprise.
      A quick google search indicates it’s still theory and speculation. We probably don’t yet have the equipment to really study it, but I’m sure there’s research out there if anyone wants to look. :)

  86. A Teacher*

    My house is haunted, the former owner died in the garage of a massive heart attack. My neighbors that knew him have seen him. He sticks mostly to the garage and moves stuff sometimes or will pet my dogs (I think)–they don’t mind him and will wag their tails to nothing sitting there but they sit and give paw to air.

    Creepy: My sister was a RA in her dorm in college and the residence hall, it was a form nunnery. They would set their thermostats in their individual rooms to 68-70 degrees to come back to it turned down to 65. No rooms would ever go above 65–even classrooms and meeting rooms in that building. There was also a chapel in the building and my sister said there were nights you would wake up at 1 or 2 am and the organ was playing a very haunting yet beautiful edition of “Amazing Grace” or “March on Christian Soldiers” and yet no one was in the chapel (you could look through a crack in the door and it would keep playing). There was also a statue of Jesus with Mary kneeling at his feet. They had to take Jesus to restore him and Mary was left kneeling. The nuns didn’t care for Mary to be facing out so she would be turned around at random. They thought students were doing it so they filmed the hall and sure enough, every night, Mary would be turned around by herself in thin air. My sister said going into the subbasement was the worst. One of the prior janitors, an alcoholic had fallen in the elevator shaft in the 40s or 50s and he would roam the basement and you could hear the jingle of his keys. One night, my sister had to go down with security and there were random orbs of light and she was grabbed from behind by something. She said she felt herself go cold and the security officer was shoved. They were told to “get the F— out of my basement.” She said they ran out and she refused to go down there ever again. Other RAs had similar experiences. They finally had to have priest come to exorcise the basement. Stuff still happens but no one has been grabbed or yelled at in the basement again.

  87. frockbot*

    This one didn’t happen to me personally, but to a security guard at the state library where I used to work.

    Every night, this guard did three walkthroughs of the building, always at the same time. Every night, during his second walkthrough, he’d discover a heap of books on the ground in a particular part of the stacks. It was always the same floor, always the same aisle, and it always looked like someone had gone through and thrown books off the shelves at random. He swore there was never anybody actually there; how could he have missed someone EVERY night?

    Well, one night he switched up his routine. He did his second walkthrough earlier than he was supposed to. When he walked into that particular part of the stacks, he heard the thump-thump-thump of books hitting the floor. He yelled, “Knock it off!” The sound stopped. He scoured that stack level and found no one, but sure enough, the books were on the ground (although not as many as usual). After that, it never happened again.

  88. Will's mom*

    I have another one. Once again, not on job, but in my daughters dorm room. She went to college in a small town in Georgia. The college was founded in 1836 so it is full of history, including ghosts and ghostly activity.
    During her junior and senior years she had a dorm room all to herself.
    One time we were there to take her home for spring break. The college was an 8 hour drive from home and we had driven all night, so I was super tired and I had a killer migraine, so I decided to lay down on her bed for a minute while she and her dad took her stuff down to the car. No sooner had I put my head down, when the room got extremely cold, the blinds went up and down and the bathroom door flew open and then slammed shut three times. I was more annoyed than frightened as my head hurt and I just wanted some peace and quiet. I started praying out loud. Immediately, the cold went away and the activity stopped. I did not mention it at the time because I didn’t think anyone would believe me.
    After she graduated, I told her about it. She just shrugged and said yeah, that is why I was able to have a room all to myself. Turns out the room was supposedly haunted. She had a few experiences at first but apparently she had a talk with the entity and they made peace with one another. The only time stuff would happen was if someone else was with her.

  89. kms1025*

    Our offices are in a 100+ year old building. The previous two owners were, first an elderly lady (piano teacher) who owned the house for many, many years and just after her an accounting firm that renovated the living spaces into office areas. Supposedly, the arrangement was that the elderly lady (previous owner of the house before the accounting firm) negotiated that she could remain living on the third floor, renovated attic space. She had a kitchen and two small rooms up there. The only thing she lacked was a bathroom. She could use the accounting firm’s restroom on the second floor, but if she wanted a bath she had to go down to the basement where a small, three piece bathroom had been roughed-in. I’m not sure how long this living arrangement existed, but eventually she passed away. After not too many years, the accounting firm’s owner died suddenly and unexpectedly too (natural causes). We then bought the building. We renovated everything. When working in the building alone (regardless of day or night), many of us often hear footsteps coming up the main stairs, or down the stairs from the attic rooms. Occasionally we’ll hear a soft thump from a different floor (where no one actually is). We’ve also, on a much less frequent basis, heard voices just below our ability to make out what they’re saying. You can hear the voice but not understand the actual words. These stories come from various, level-headed, reliable people (including me – LOL!). Never felt anything negative, more like a “hello, I’m still here, just passing thru to use the facilities”.

  90. cornflower blue*

    Not supernatural, but still holiday-appropriate: my building is basically falling apart, and this morning the window nearest me started separating from the frame. There is a tiny crack to the outside, and the wind rushing through the gap is making a goofy howling noise like in a hokey horror movie.

  91. Nita*

    I once worked in a building that just didn’t seem to like me. I was only there once in a while, but every time I stopped by, things would go wrong. Nothing supernatural – just unusually bad luck, like contractors accidentally shutting off the heat (in January), or a truck driving into an open pit and nearly toppling over. Several of my coworkers also worked in the same building (and with the same contractors), and to my knowledge nothing bad happened unless I was there. By the time I noticed the trend, our project was winding down, so I didn’t give it much thought.

    As it happens, a few years later, I had an assignment next door. The “cursed” building was being demolished, and very stupidly, I walked past it. Not even half an hour later, part of the building spectacularly collapsed onto the spot where I’d just passed. There were some injuries, but thankfully no casualties. Coincidence? No idea, but if I ever get sent over there again, I’ll find any excuse to stay away.

  92. KatieKate*

    So I used to work in a haunted hotel. This was an old building that mostly hosted old rich people who were part of a private club, and sometime during my first week when I learned rules such as “don’t sit down where people can see you” and “you’re only allowed to take the service elevator,” they told me about the ghosts. There was the piano music being played on a floor with no piano, and the figure who stared at you through windows but vanished when you tried to look, and the figure that jumped out of a window at around 2 am from the 7th floor.

    My ghost encounter happened in the coffee room. I worked on the rooftop restaurant, and one of my jobs was ferrying coffee from the floor below up up to the room through a dumbwaiter. I had to make the coffee from this giant coffee maker into these giant carafes that I, at 5’2, constantly spilled on myself. One night, towards the end of my shift, I was down in the coffee room (a closet, really) making the last batch for the night and starting to clean up. As per usual, I wiped down the coffee maker and put the filter holder on top of the machine. Then I grabbed my cart and started walked out.


    I turn around in time to see the filter holder fall to the floor at my feet. The thing had hit me in the back of my head after flying about 6 feet from the coffee machine. Then the room got really cold, and I booked it back upstairs.

  93. Librariana*

    My brother in law worked as the caretaker for an old historic house in exchange for a free apartment . The owners told him that a ghost lived in the attic, so anytime he went up to the attic, he needed to knock before entering. He never saw anything, but he actually did knock.

  94. Ann O'Nemity*

    Yes, my story is similar. I work in a super old historic building. Over the years a few people have died here, including one suicide. Coworkers often report creepy things – seeing things out of the corner of their eyes, lights flickering, computers and equipment randomly turning off or on, hearing voices and weird sounds, things mysteriously getting lost or moved. One particularly scary story is seeing something fly past the windows on the upper floors, and thinking it’s the ghost of the man who jumped to his death. To me, the arrogant skeptic, all of this can be explained. Still, more than a few coworkers think this place is haunted.

  95. Erioperi*

    We have motion sensored lights at work. Towards the end of the day, when there’s far less people milling around, the hallway/lobby lights will turn off automatically. Every single time I am working late, alone, I will at some point see the darkened hallway outside my office suddenly light up, as well as the lobby, when I haven’t moved an inch and I know nobody else is in our suite. I always try to chalk it up to some unknown function of the lights (maybe they reset at night?? IDK) but I still get goosebumps when it happens!

  96. Evergreen*

    I work in a museum that’s composed of two houses (the place where a poet lived and died and where her brother’s family lived and died) and one of the houses has been kept in the exact condition it was in in the 1800’s – except with no renovation work, so the wallpaper is peeling, the mirrors are all speckled, etc. Super spooky on its own, especially when opening/closing, which involves turning on/off all lights, opening/closing shades, and always starts or ends in near darkness. Naturally, many of us don’t want to do those tasks on our own. One night I was slated to close, so I grabbed one of my coworkers to do it with me.
    We were almost done closing when we heard a loud banging noise coming from the front of the house and saw a flash of color behind a frosted pane of glass. Terrifying on its own, right? But THEN we were setting the house alarm and it wouldn’t let us because it still sensed motion, giving us a helpful notification of where that motion was – right where we had seen the color flash. We kept punching in the code until it finally let us leave, then booked it out of there.

  97. Zoologist*

    So, not necessarily spooky, but for a while people at the zoo I work at were convinced there was a ghost flipping over trash cans at night because every morning they would be upended. It was a little eerie (it would be weird to repeatedly pull that prank, and the trash cans were metal and quite heavy) and you always have lots of ghost story material at a facility with a living collection. However, security footage revealed that one of the male orangutans had learned how to short out the Hotwire around the top of the exhibit wall (using water) and climb out. He would flip over trash cans, eat any food, and climb back in before keepers arrived in the morning.

  98. AnonEMoose*

    Back in my college days, I worked security on campus. One of the buildings had a reputation among the security people. I personally never heard or saw anything. But there was one corridor in which, late at night, I always felt like someone was walking right. behind. me. And their intentions were anything but benevolent. It felt like, if they could have, they’d have plunged a knife right between my shoulder blades. It could be really unsettling. They always had trouble keeping security people working that building…I was one of the few who hung in there fairly long term. And when I asked my coworkers which part of the building creeped them out – they invariably cited the same corridor.

    Also a funny one: Same building, different section. This portion had the cadaver labs. So here it is, midnight on a Saturday night, it’s summer. I know I’m the only person in the building. And I start down the corridor past the labs…only to realize that one of the doors is rattling. In this case, it really was just the wind…but I blame that incident for my very first gray hair!

  99. Miles*

    I worked doing research in a somewhat remote research station in the Canadian boreal forest. It had previously been a work camp that had been built to house two dozen people at a time, with the residential building having a dozen double rooms over two floors. It was only ever used by research teams who would come in for a few days to a few weeks before leaving and at the time it was just me and my research partner in the whole giant, empty building in the middle of a bunch of abandoned industrial buildings and encroaching forest. There were no homes anywhere near it, although there was a scattering of them on the other side and several miles up the narrow river valley several. Our second night there, we started hearing sounds like a small child wailing outside off although any time we tried to locate the noise we couldn’t figure out a direction for it. Later that night, after it stopped, my research partner pointed out the pair of small handprints on the second floor window. We were thoroughly spooked that night. Later on, during the day, we heard other noises of a dog barking and hammering and realized that the narrow valley was creating strange acoustics so the noises from one of the houses down the valley would sound extremely close to the facility, and that the previous researcher had brought his wife and toddler to stay for a few nights, explaining the hand prints.

    A coworker of mine told me about a place she did some fieldwork for that was an abandoned mine. The company had ran out of money all of a sudden and had called the supervisor and told him to shut down immediately. And I do mean immediately. The result, after a few decades, was very spooky. Tools had been placed next to workstations as people walked away, there were coffee cups full of old coffee residue on people’s desks. The medical staff had been doing something so there was medical paperwork sitting at the workstation with bottles of old pills. All trucks were parked haphazardly around the old runway with the keys in the ignitions. There were personal effects everywhere where no one had had time to gather them. The buildings were in bad repair and apparently a wolf pack had decided the power station was part of their territory now so my coworker’s crew was told not to go near that building. She said it was an incredibly eerie place to work.

    1. J*

      I worked in a university that had a lab like this. We called it the ghost lab. the PI had retired, and it was like everyone just got up and walked away in the middle of their experiments. There were still slides in microscopes, chemicals in the fridge, coffee cups, I think even an old lunch somewhere. It was really creepy.

  100. WizzardOzz*

    I used to work for a cemetery, and my office was on the 2nd floor of the funeral home. We have a gypsy population nearby and they wanted to use our funeral home, since many of their relatives were buried in our cemetery. We ended up banning them from the funeral home because they tried to steal anything not nailed down, so they put a curse on the funeral home. I’m not one to believe in that type of stuff, but on more than one occasion when the gypsies would enter the cemetery to bury their loved one creepy things happened in the funeral home.

    One time, on a beautiful sunny day, the skies went black and the wind started whipping. Then our power went out. Around the time the gypsies should have been done with their funeral, the sun come out, the wind calmed down and our power came back on. Not sure if it was a coincidence or not, but from that day forward I believed in the power of the gypsies.

      1. Indie*

        It is definitely used as a slur, but they may have self identified to Wizzard as gypsy. It sounds like there would have been cultural discussion. I’ve had some Romani people I used to work with who called themselves ‘gypsy’ if you asked what they were called. They would lose it at people who accidently called them ‘traveller’ though. I also knew travellers who would have hated being called ‘gypsy’.

  101. Free Meerkats*

    Not my work office, but my home office. Many years ago, we had two indoor/outdoor cats and the female disappeared. About a week later, while I was working I felt a cat rubbing my ankles, so without looking up from what I was doing, I reached down to pet him. Only it wasn’t the male cat who hadn’t disappeared, there was no cat there. For about a year, both my wife and I would feel the rub, or feel the cat jump up on the bed, or feel her get into the sling I had hanging from my office chair (one of her favorite places to snooze wile I was working.)

    When we got another kitten, she left and never came back. That was almost 25 years ago and is still fresh in my mind.

    1. Jamie*

      I still feel my cat Bob get into bed with me some nights, years after he’s gone. It’s far from creepy, very comforting. Just a little pressure on the bed, then he settles down by my feet like he used to do. I’ve heard lots of other cat owners feel similar things from their kitties. Weird, but sweet!

  102. ladycrim*

    Not a tale of a haunting, but of someone at my office scaring himself:

    I keep a candy jar by my desk. One October, a director at my office brought in one of those candy bowls with a zombie hand in the middle of it. When someone reached for candy, the hand reached down to grab them, and a spooky voice intoned “HAPPY HALLOWEEN”.

    One night, the director was the last one in the office. He flipped off the lights, and heard “HAPPY HALLOWEEN” right next to him. He was terrified until he realized the light had tripped the sensor on the bowl!

    1. Steph B*

      My daughters have a dog stuffed animal that plays songs / nursery rhymes when you press its paws or ears. One night after I had put them to bed I was walking through the living room and inside the toy bin the toy as clear as day said “peak-a-boo, I see you!” It was totally unnerving!

      1. fposte*

        There is a video ad for personalized yogurt on a streaming site that *calls your name*. The first time I heard it I was in another room and I about hit the ceiling.

      2. Nea*

        My housemate used to have her phone set to give a Minion giggle whenever she got a text. First time I was sitting alone reading and there was a maniacal giggle out of nowhere, I found the phone, found her, and threatened death and mayhem if she didn’t change it on the spot.

        1. Tongue Cluckin' Grammarian*

          I had mine to a turret from Portal saying “I see you”

          It went off once late at night, right when I was absorbed into a creepy book, and I changed it immediately.

        2. Dust Bunny*

          I have the cell phone ring for one of my friends set to the sound of dogs barking. One day, I was squeezing a new figurine into my china cabinet, and she happened to call . . . just as I was face-to-face with 50 china dogs. I just about jumped out of my skin, and then started laughing so hard I couldn’t answer and had to call her back.

      3. LPBB*

        When my niece was little, like 3 or 4, every time I visited she would bring her whole stuffed animal collection out to me, one by one. She would go to her room and grab one, bring it out and tell me what its name was, who gave it to her, and anything else that seemed important and then drop it in a big pile in the living room. She had a Tickle Me Elmo that she looooved, so he was usually one the first ones she showed me and he would end up on the bottom of the pile.

        Anyway, one night I was staying over at my sister’s house and sleeping on the couch. So I walked across the living room to turn off the light and accidentally kicked the big pile of stuffed animals on my way back to the couch……and heard this demonic laughter coming from the bottom of the pile. Of course, I realized pretty quickly what it was, but it was creepy as hell when it started!

        1. Rachael*

          HA! Reminds me of the time that I walked through my rec room and one of my kids toys said “push a button and let’s play” (or something like that). Well, after a while of non use the toy is programmed to say “bye bye”.

          So, it went off and scared me as I walked by in the dark. As soon as I put my hand on the door knob and opened the door it said “bye bye”.

          Intellectually, I know that it was just timing of the toy. But, boy didn’t you know that I ran up those steps like a baby…lol.

      4. That Would Be a Good Band Name*

        We had one of those toys that said “peek-a-boo, I see you” when my kid was a baby. My husband worked nights at the time and one night around 2am, I hear it over the baby monitor. It scared the crap out of me. The damn thing was in the closet in the nursery and apparently will just randomly start talking when the batteries start to die. We threw it away because it was creepy.

      5. Murphy*

        This happened to me. I had a stuffed Kermit the Frog that sang Caribbean Amphibian. It started doing it in the middle of the night once, even though I was nowhere near it at the time. (And of course, you needed a screwdriver to take the batteries out.) My mother came in the room to find out “who I was talking to.”

      6. Hlyssande*

        I had a tickle me elmo in high school that would go off by itself in my closet, luggage, wherever it was.

  103. Venus Supreme*

    I work in theatre, and pretty much every theatre building is haunted. One theatre was originally a gym and the legend goes that ‘Reggie’ passed away when he was a student using the gym. People are supposed to give him a fresh set of coloring books and crayons on every production’s Opening Night. One show I worked on, we didn’t give him anything new and none of the equipment worked. Once a new book and crayons was in the building everything suddenly turned on/worked well again. Anyway, towards the end of the run I was the last one in the building, onstage, with only the ghostlight (single light on the stage) lit. I was saying my goodbyes to the place, then I saw a figure stand up from sitting in the back of the house, walk towards the exit, then leave. I think I crapped my pants.

    Current job: We used to operate out of a 100-year old building. I was up in storage with a coworker and I was standing in the middle of the hallway… and someone pushed me forward. My coworker was in front of me. I screamed. That place was haunted as well, with each coworker having their own experience.

    I could go on… I actually joined a paranormal investigation group when I studied abroad in London, so I could ramble on forever with ghost stories!!

    1. Hapless Bureaucrat*

      Hah, my one work-related story is, indeed, set in a theater. Not even a very old theater, this one was a college theater built in the 1970s. Nevertheless, it has ghosts and ghost stories, because theaters just do. Mostly, people would just see one of two benevolent ghosts– or made up stories about them, whichever.
      I was a costume designer, and while our building was fairly new our university was old and so our costume storage had items going back at least a hundred years. Of all the parts of the theater, it was the weirdest. It was in the basement, across the hall from the costume shop. The changing areas were at one end of the hall, and a tunnel lead back to stairs at the other end.
      In the costume shop, we’d sometimes feel someone watching, mostly benign, and we tended just to say hello and get on with my business. No sense in trying to suss out whether the feeling was external or internal. In the storage room, though, ugh– maybe it was just the tall rows of hanging costumes, maybe it was just the lack of HVAC, or maybe it was actually some weird combination of energy left in all that old clothing– sometimes it got so still and oppressive your heart just started leaping. We all felt it.
      I can explain all that away, anyway. What I can’t explain is the night, right near midnight, when I was restocking costumes, alone in the storage room, and was suddenly hit with the sense that I was deeply unwelcome and in danger. I did half think I was freaking myself out, even as I ran to the door of the storage room– and nearly ran into my coworker, who was running out of the costume shop, looking like I felt.
      “Oh my god, do you feel that too?” she said.
      We got out of there fast, backing each other up as we scooped up our coats and locked up, then running down the hall. When we got out, we looked back at the building. And no– nothing was there. We just had this sense that we’d managed a near miss.
      We did sometimes stay till near midnight after that night– you just have to, when a show is on. But we never left each other alone, and I never restocked after core work hours again.
      And now that I consider, I’ve been in objectively creepier vaults since– my old workplace was in a converted bank, and the storage rooms were in the old bank vault. You passed the bolted-open vault door, which had rusty handprints, to get in. But despite the similar stillness and lack of air circulation, I never did feel anything like I did in costume storage.

  104. Not that Anne, the other Anne*

    This isn’t a creepy one, but it’s definitely unexplainable. I used to do research in a national park. We always tried to pack in and pack out everything, but we’d drop things, things would fall out of bags, we’d put them down on that rock over there I thought, but maybe it was this one? And once you’ve lost something in a natural area, well, you just consider it to be gone. We would never find them on the same trip, but the next time we went back, we’d always find them. This happened with binocs, pencils, tools, and even an earring(!).

    Eventually we decided that our research site had a very tidy ghost.

  105. overcaffeinatedandqueer*

    Believe me or not, but it happened. Going to not specify the gender of the…ghost? Or the year this happened to avoid doxxing my friend’s family.

    My best friend growing up was an immigrant, but her family stayed politically active in their country of origin. They were actually close to a political figure from there, and I even met this person once when they stayed with my friend’s family before a nearby speaking engagement in the US. And I’ve always been a bit sensitive to spooky stuff.

    These things collided when this VIP died violently, and my friend’s father was nearby when it happened.

    Anyway, one day I was at my teenage job at a coffee place and alone at the shop. Manager had left for a catering job and I HAD JUST LOCKED THE DOOR. I was facing away from the main counter, cleaning a cooler, when I saw someone in the reflection of the door. They were seriously hurt- face all bloody, kind of dragging themselves. I didn’t even recognize the person until they started speaking. I didn’t want to turn around because that would make it real somehow, but I heard them speak just like a customer who had come in, although not in English.

    Well…they didn’t say “large soy latte.” Instead, they said something about my friend and her dad, and I also caught the word “okay.” I not understood a bit from hanging out at my friend’s home. Then the person pointed toward the phone behind the coffee counter.

    I nodded and went for the phone to call my friend. Looked down to dial the number, and when I looked up, the…thing…had just disappeared. No trace, no blood, no footprints, neither shop door was opened. Anyway, I made the call and told my friend to call her dad right away, something bad happened when he was over in the other country.

    Later, I pieced together the timeline of the person’s death by talking to my friend’s family. Taking into account time zones, the person had appeared in the shop, to me, just BEFORE they had died. But they were literally halfway across the world from me at the time, and had suffered injuries that ended their life after only a few hours.

    The person was a parent. I like to think this person was worried that my friend would lose her parent, too, and wanted to tell me to check on that, or to know that the violence didn’t rip apart another family.

    1. Cristina in England*

      If this is the political figure I think it is, my dad took a photo of them at a US speaking engagement. It is a really striking photo and haunting considering their death not long after.

  106. Odyssea*

    I work in a small community college library and have for several years. Our building is less than ten years old, and to the best of my knowledge, nothing was on the property before us except for trees. Despite knowing that there shouldn’t be anything supernatural going on, there was one weird thing that happened.

    One night, I was completely alone in the library. Normally, we have two staff working at a time, but my co-worker was out sick, so it was just me. There were also no students in the library, which was a bit unusual. The library sits away from the halls with classrooms, and every other department in my area had closed for the day, so it was super quiet. As I sat there, I started to hear a noise. It sounded like a little girl half singing/half humming , in that tuneless fashion they have. It wasn’t constant; it would start and stop, and last for different lengths of time, and at different volumes.

    I tried to tell myself it was the air conditioning or something, but it finally got to me enough that I went and searched around the library to make sure there wasn’t anyone in there, and that it wasn’t coming from the computers. Nothing, and I also didn’t hear it the whole time I was away from my desk. Once I sat back down, it started up again.

    I went out the police desk and asked if the officer had heard it. He hadn’t, and he looked at the security cameras and told me that there was no one around our area but the two of us. I was so glad when my shift was over and I could leave; the sound wasn’t scary, but it was unnerving and I was glad to leave the library to it.

    I still work there and I have never heard it since.

  107. Venus Supreme*

    Another ghost story: I worked at a rental/sales place down the shore. It’s a tight-knit community and one man who dedicated his life working there passed away about 10 years ago. When Hurricane Sandy hit, everything was completely destroyed, but the picture of him in the kitchen was sitting on a ledge, still upright, completely undamaged from the storm. It was absolutely bizarre because we had walls torn down and the gazebo moved about 25ft. I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it… I was also the housekeeper for the building, and I would hear doors shut and footsteps walking around me. I like to think that the man was still looking over the building/his community in the aftermath of Sandy.

  108. DevAssist*

    I was working in the box office for a performing arts group, and the regular cashier let me know that they think a past boss bugged their office. They would talk about something (such as when a meeting should be scheduled) and the boss would call from wherever he was (usually the opposite side of the country!!) and would give his input on what they were discussing.
    Not haunted, but kind of creepy.

    1. nonegiven*

      I did some file organizing at a lawyer’s office. There was a disgruntled former employee, so there were some precautions taken, including a bug sweep. There were 2 found.

  109. Bad Candidate*

    I used to work for the same company as my best friend, that’s where we met. Every afternoon we’d take a break and walk in the basement walk way that connected our building to the next. The other building had the supply room which we always walked past. One day another friend asked if she could join us because she needed something from the supply room. We stopped outside the room and the other friend went in while we waited outside. As we were standing there I heard, very clearly, someone say, “Hi Renee” in a very sing-song voice. Renee being my friend’s name, I thought that maybe it was someone she knew that was coming up behind me, but no one did, and my friend didn’t acknowledge it. I looked around for someone else, thinking maybe she didn’t hear, but no one was around. Then she says, “Did you just hear someone say ‘Hi, Renee?'” and I said yes. Neither of us knew where it came from, there was no one else around. The other friend in the supply room came out right after and said it wasn’t her. We believed her because she wasn’t the type to pull pranks like that and when we told her what happen she got freaked out herself. It wasn’t an old building either. To this day we have no idea what that was.

  110. Kat*

    I was once an intern for an insurance/medical company that had its HQ in an old military hospital. Apparently the basement of this place was extremely haunted to the extent that no one was allowed to stay down there after dark. This rule was passed after several people reported vandalism, being spooked, etc. The Chief Medical Officer loved to tell the story of the night he was working late in the basement; as he was waiting for the elevator, he was struggling into his coat, when he felt someone help him into it. He turned around to say thank you, and no one was there.

    I also used to work for the MA Historical Society and that place was incredibly cool and incredibly, incredibly haunted. Never saw anything but there was a definite vibe back in the stacks!

  111. I prefer tea*

    So I work at a church, and the big sanctuary can be very dark. I was at the sound booth computer in the back, doing just a few minutes’ work, so I didn’t turn on the lights. A woman walked through the sanctuary, and I didn’t want to scare her, so I stayed quiet, assuming she wouldn’t notice I was there.

    Except I forgot that the glow of the computer monitor lit up my face. Poor woman looked up and saw ONLY A HEAD hanging in the darkness. In my defense, I think that moment helped her prayer life. :)

    1. Dust Bunny*

      I was out for a walk one night and saw *something* glowing, coming down the sidewalk toward me. It was unspeakable creepy until I realized it was a baby in a stroller–the mom had put her iPhone 6+ in its lap so she could put her hair back in a ponytail, and the screen was lighting up the kid’s face.

  112. Anion*

    Oh, I’ve got one!

    I worked for a food delivery company on South Beach (Miami). One night I got assigned a delivery to an apartment on the third floor of a particular building, whose address I remember but will not mention here. So, fine, I went there, walked across the lobby, and instantly felt really uncomfortable. Not just uncomfortable, but depressed and scared. It got worse with every step. It got worse in the elevator, which is where my heart started pounding–I mean, I was terrified, so scared it was hard to think, and cold all over.

    I went down the hall, made the delivery, and practically ran out of the building–and as soon as I hit the street I was fine.

    I had to go back there one more time a couple of weeks later and the same thing happened. So I asked the dispatcher to please not send me to that building again (she was very understanding).

    A few years later I got curious and started doing some digging, and eventually I found out there had been a really horrific triple murder in that building years before.

    I still wonder how people can stand to live there.

  113. Kat*

    Ooh, forgot the most recent one – I worked the overnight shift in a historic hotel. You could see shadows moving across on the security cameras, the sound of chairs scraping and being moved around, and footsteps in the lobby when I was the only one there.

  114. overcaffeinatedandqueer*

    Another small story: I foster for a no-kill cat shelter. Get free kitten supplies from the shelter storage rooms. Storage rooms are in the basement, with very small high-set windows. All rooms connected. Walked through one sparsely-lit room to the room at the end of the hall where kitten supply closet was- and as I did, felt something small brush against my ankles. Looked down, thinking a cat had got out. Nothing there.

    The shelter takes in very old cats and those with serious medical issues too- sometimes, they die. Maybe they hang around.

    1. Rainy*

      I lived in a house with a ghost dog. The house had two bedrooms and we slept in the front one for the first few years we lived there, no ghost dog. When we switched our bedroom to the back one, with our bed in the centre of the long wall, the ghost dog showed up. We did have a dog, so for a few years when we heard the ghost dog we’d always assume it was our dog, but one day I was downstairs and heard the very distinctive pattern of the dog jumping down from the bed and running into the kitchen–and my dog was asleep on my feet.

  115. Dysthymic Deb*

    Ex-job was located in a building surrounded by cemeteries on three sides. We were often delayed coming back from lunch due to long funeral processions. I never saw anything unsusal in the building, but caught the smell of fresh flowers and/or cigar smoke from time to time. Several other employees reported the same phenomenon. It was odd, but it did not scare me. I always thought it was just someone “passing through” to get home.

  116. Backroads*

    Not me. Apparently I joined the school faculty too late. But the old building was supposed to be severly haunted. Doors opening, figures seen. Everyone from more than 4 years ago has a story, students included.

  117. Havarti*

    Nothing exciting at work but I’ve never stayed late. My house is or at least was haunted. Sounds of footsteps and opening doors when no one was around. Our dogs used to sometimes stare intently into the darkness of an empty room. Nothing malicious but I think it has mostly stopped. We used to joke the dogs drove the spirit away.

  118. Julia the Survivor*

    I worked at a small business owned by the most horrible person I’ve ever met. I complained to my friends about her unprecedented levels of toxicity and meanness.
    I sat at a desk outside her office, and the office was an apartment in a residential building.
    One day she came out of her office startled and flustered saying “what’s that? Did you knock on my door? Didn’t you hear that?” I hadn’t heard any knocks.
    I hadn’t learned yet that one of my friends had died suddenly from an aneurysm. Just before she heard the knocks I was thinking about him.
    Now I think he made the noises to tease her and commiserate with me. :)

  119. AJ*

    We have a tall ceiling open manufacturing space. The story goes that people here late at work hear things, see figures they think are former coworkers, and my favorite, we had a large microwave sized piece of equipment launch itself off its counter. We call it the (company name) ghost.

  120. ONFM*

    Not my story, but a coworker’s. We are a municipal law enforcement agency.

    Officers get sent to a call in a normal residential neighborhood. The family’s kids are home alone (old enough to be so), and claim to have heard someone walking around/banging things downstairs. Officers arrive, clear the house, no one there. Supervisor arrives and refuses to go inside, but makes the officers search the garage again, “to be sure.” Officer 1 says that as soon as he entered the garage, he had an intense feeling of being watched. They search it, no one there, officers assure the kids (and parents on the phone) that there is no one else there. Officer 1 asks supervisor about the garage, but gets no answer. Officer 1 runs the call history for the house; two years earlier, to the day, the previous homeowner had committed suicide in the garage. Supervisor had been the first officer on scene and remembered the house.

    I have been to countless death scenes, natural/unnatural, and I’ve never had anything happen. But I’ve also known enough people who have had some sort of experience, so maybe it’s just a matter of time in this profession…

  121. Rachael*

    This is not supernatural, but spooky. In Seattle during the fall/winter it gets pretty dark early AND it is foggy. One year in particular the crows were flying around the downtown building. Hundreds and hundreds of crows. We were on the 19th floor and my manager calls us all into her office. She had four windows in her office and crows had lined up all along the outside sill and were just staring at her. No sounds, just eyes following her around as she walked around in her office. It was SO creepy.

  122. Dr. Doll*

    Nothing has happened, but ever since seeing the movie “I Am Legend,” I cannot pass through my own conference room from the office suite to the hallway without turning on the lights. There could very well be a nest of zombie vampire virus victims clustered over in the darkest corner by the computer podium.

  123. a girl has no name*

    I have a second story. In college I traveled to Honduras with a volunteer group to help a rural community gain access to running water. The men all slept in one large room at an old church and the women in another room. On the third or fourth night there I woke up and saw a man standing at the foot of my bed. I initially froze, but I convinced myself clearly it was a dream-the door is locked and it’s been a lot to take in so my mind is playing tricks on you. I rolled over and after an hour or so drifted back to a fitful sleep. The next morning one of the girls on our trip mentioned that she had a weird dream and saw a man standing at the foot of my bed. Since this was first time we realized the other person had seen it too, we freaked out and searched the whole place to make sure no one could get in. The guys were super paranoid after we told them the story. I told myself that I must have been talking in my sleep, and it subconsciously made it’s way into her dreams. I don’t believe in ghosts, but it really scared her.

    1. Typhon Worker Bee*

      My cousin and I once shared a room in a resort for a week. One night, we both had the exact same dream – that a girl was standing in the corner, watching us. Spooky as hell!

  124. Inky*

    There are a lot of strange noises at work that, for the most part, all have rational explanations – but when you’re at work early or late by yourself, they can really get you on edge! There are also several noises that happen consistently and we’ve never been able to figure out what is causing them or where exactly they are coming from.

    Last October, one of the co-owners died, who had worked at the store nonstop until their illness. The store was sold, but since then we’ve had a lot of things go missing or end up in strange places, lots of little tiny strange things that are probably just coworkers, but … we’ve gotten in the habit of just saying ‘oh old boss, stop taking my stuff’. He was a bit of a joker too, and a lot of it is the sort of stuff he would find funny so who knows. Maybe he is hanging out.

  125. Nolan*

    For a few summers after high school I did seasonal maintenance work for my local state parks and boat launches. The largest park in the area was built over the ruins of an old mill town, apparently a textile capital in its heyday. The town was booming, but suffered a couple mill fires, and then lost too many young men in the civil war, and so it petered out, and when its last resident, a descendant of its founder, passed, she gifted the land to the state to make a park.

    At the entrance to this park is a small graveyard, the occupants of which are mostly young girls (like, 12 and under) who died in one of the mill fires. A historian did some measuring a few years before I worked there and established that the original graveyard extended into what is now a wooded area, and though most of the bodies had been moved to other local cemeteries, no one was sure if all of them had or if there were still remains in the woods.

    But there were tons of stories of little girls haunting the place. One of my coworkers claimed to have seen one once, in broad daylight. Individuals couldn’t camp there, but there was a site available to scouting and youth groups, and they’d sometimes have stories of sounds and apparitions. I vaguely recall someone telling me there was a malevolent spirit or demon or something like that near the camp site.

    The foundation of one of the mills is still visible next to a trail, there’s a bit of a weird vibe there, though that could just be a result of knowing its history. Some of the trails in the surrounding woods were very clearly roads once upon a time, and old stone foundations are all over the place. It’s really kooky walking through there and spotting where someone’s driveway used to be, and imagining this extinct town among the trees. I’ve definitely given myself the creeps in those woods, but never saw any ghosts. Though one time I did encounter some folks on horseback and briefly did think they were an apparition, almost gave myself a heart attack hahaha

  126. SusanIvanova*

    My office mate used to bring his old, well-behaved dog to work. Being an old dog, he panted rather loudly when he got back from walks. For months after the dog passed away, I’d swear I’d sometimes heard the sound of a panting dog.

  127. Easter*

    I actually have a *good* haunting story. I used to work at a small women’s suffrage museum, which served as the home/headquarters of many of the activists before it was turned into a museum. We gave tours that were part tour and part history lesson. It was very small — on weekends, there would generally only be two docents on duty, and if someone was running late, or was closing up in an empty part of the museum, we’d sometimes hear noises (people walking overhead) and semi-spooky things like doors opening. Other times, when giving a particular part of the tour and referencing a particular activist and an old desk of hers, the cabinet door of the desk would slowly open as we were talking. It was a bit creepy, particularly when alone in a large and old historic home/museum, but we all told ourselves that any ghosts hanging around were those of badass suffragists. We’d even talk to them if something particularly “obvious” was happening (a door we swore we’d just closed was open). So actually, it was pretty cool.

  128. Quiet One*

    I’ve sometimes gotten an eerie feeling in particular rooms, like I go into a room and it feels like the space around me is…falling away sort of? Even sometimes had the feeling I was being watched. In each case though once I parsed the feeling I just got an annoyed look and started with the sarcasm. Something falls down? “Knock things over all you like, you’re basically on par with a cat or toddler.” Eerie noise? “Don’t make me bust out the Justin Bieber songs.” Feeling of being watched? “Do you really have nothing better to do than stare at this ugly mug?”

  129. VermiciousKnit*

    I used to work for a tiny private museum that was housed in a renovated bank building that had also once been apartments. When I would stay late to make deadlines, I would often see a woman wearing a yellow top, turning a corner just fast enough that I couldn’t get a full view of her. Of course, when I’d follow her the room she’d walked into would be empty.

    That building also had a really bad dust issue on the main staircase, which was beautifully restored antique oak. Our cleaning person would mop it every night (she also sometimes saw the woman with the yellow top), but first thing in the morning they’d be covered in a fine, white dust with a single set of footprints going up the stairs. Never coming back down. We kept a swiffer on hand and took turns dusting the stairs in the morning.

    Nothing ever felt malicious or scary about the place, but it was definitely unsettling.

  130. valc2323*

    I used to work in the headquarters of the South Carolina department of health, housed in the oldest continuously operating mental health hospital in the United States. Although the headquarters building no longer housed patients at the time I worked there (a newer facility had been built on campus), it had for more than 150 years. The dome’s facade labeled “ASYLUM” always got a chuckle out of those of us who spent time wrangling bureaucracy there. It was four stories plus a basement and a cupola. The floors creaked, there were narrow spiral staircases and funny little shadows in your eyes everywhere you turned.

    The ghost story we all heard about was the Civil War soldier that haunted the cupola, but I never heard or saw him, because I was never there after dark. A grad school professor of mine had an office right at the base of the spiral stair up to it, and he swore that the ghost would come by on moonless nights and just stare out into the distance.

    More creepy to me were the solitary isolation cells in the basement, with little three-foot-high doors that led into 10×10 stone cubes. A few months before I started working at that building, I had visited some of the best known slave detention centers on the coasts of west Africa, which had similar isolation cells. I will never forget the smell and the sense of presence I felt in those castles. I kept expecting to feel the same presence in SC in the storage units. I never saw or heard a ghost, but my boss refused to go down there alone. It was always freezing down there, and we used them to store toothbrushes.

  131. Rachael*

    Not my workplace, but at a place of business. One time on a trip to New Orleans my ex husband and I stopped at a cigar place on Magazine street. They had a large walk in Humidor with a glass door. There were three people in there: me, my husband, and the owner. As they are busy looking in the Humidor I took a step backwards and my elbow hits a person who was wearing something like a tweed coat. I could feel the abdomen of the person and the fabric of the coat on my elbow. Startled, I realized someone must have come in behind us and said loudly “Oh, excuse me”. Both the owner and my ex-husband turned to me and asked me who I was talking to. As I turned around I said “Oh, I just bumped into the man behind me”. There was nobody behind me. The owners face showed amusement and they both said that we were the only ones in the humidor and nobody has come in. The owner said that thing “happens now and again”. Also, what is someone doing wearing a tweed coat in the temperatures of New Orleans? Silly ghost.

  132. Persephone*

    My mother is a high school teacher at a pretty prestigious older school in the area – and when I say old, it’s certainly not old by US/EU standards. For this part of Australia, it’s old. Anyway, it’s one of about 5 sister schools in the area, so when high school time came around for my brother, she took us to the open night – as a “let’s see which private school he prefers, because he’s not going to the school with his weird slacker friends.” Apparently I got out of the car, turned white and told Mum we couldn’t go there because there was someone haunting it. When we went inside, I apparently reiterated this, and then I freaked out some more over the ghost and ran back to the car.

    I have absolutely no recollection of this, and was fine in my mum’s classroom at the time (the only new part of the school, which you accessed away from the main entrance.) I’m not sure where I stand on ghosts and hauntings these days, but since Mum’s classroom changed to be in the older buildings, I get the heebies every so often if I’m walking the corridors. Mum, and a few of her co-teachers in that department, also get weird feelings there.

    Also, my brother was kind enough to NOT choose that school, possibly knowing his weird little sister would freak out even more if he did.

    My parents also got an old organ from the school that didn’t work; my dad was planning to pull it apart to mend it. I woke up one day to hear it playing at 2am, no one around, just the organ doing its music. Dad hadn’t had a chance to fix it. I immediately ran back to my room and locked the door.

  133. Chinook*

    I worked at a historical church/bishopric/day school site that was undergoing renovations and I will swear an a stack of Bibles that atleast one of the missionaries there was still watching over the site to ensure it is not damaged or disrespected. I once was working in the basement with my back to the stairs when I heard someone walking down the stairs. I turned around to greet them and there was no one there. I ran fast up to the office spaces where all the doors were closed and saw no one.

    Another time, I was showing a friend the site and he started goofing around in the cemetery, treating the gravestones like mere rocks. Being 18 and not knowing how to tell him to stop, I just continued with the tour. After he left, I went to the basement workspace and felt very uncomfortable. You know how you feel when your mother catches you stealing from the cookie had? Like that but in an empty room. Not knowing what else to do, I explained out loud that my friend wasn’t religious and didn’t know what he did was wrong and apologized for not knowing how to stop him and it was like the unseen person understood and forgave me and the feeling disappeared.

    Now, there were times when a step on a creaky board would open a closet door, so I can tell you that vibe was very different when it was just “old building creaking” vs. something else.

    I never brought these up until a couple of months of being there when one of my coworkers mentioned the time they saw a guy in a black robe watching them leave for the night after they had checked and locked up for the night. She said it felt like he was preparing for the night watch and not angry about our work, which was a relief.

  134. Elan Morin Tedronai*

    Guys, I present: Infrasound (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrasound). Of particular note to this thread is this paragraph from the wikipedia article,

    “One study has suggested that infrasound may cause feelings of awe or fear in humans. It has also been suggested that since it is not consciously perceived, it may make people feel vaguely that odd or supernatural events are taking place. Engineer Vic Tandy provided such an explanation in his investigations in the 1980s. Tandy, while working in his laboratory, started to feel uneasy and as if a supernatural presence was with him. Later, he could attribute these feelings to a broken metal fan that was causing noises of a frequency that triggered them. The noise could not be perceived by the human ear, but Tandy’s body reacted to the 19Hz sounds.”

    I believe that if you were to set up audio spectrum testing for most “haunted” places, you’ll find evidence of infrasound, which would also account for visual and auditory hallucinations even in people not prone to them. Incidentally, this also lends credence to the old superstition that the spirits in a building will be set free by removing the roof.

    1. Cristina in England*

      Very interesting! I am sure some will read that and think “Aha! That explains it and there are no ghosts” while some will think “Aha! That explains it, ghosts talk at a frequency of 19hz”

      1. Turtlewings*

        I thought about infrasound several times while reading this thread and was really glad someone brought it up! And then I read this response and oh crap I never looked at it that way before. MAYBE GHOSTS TALK AT 19HZ.

      1. Julia the Survivor*

        There’s no need to be afraid of ghosts unless they’re hostile or threatening. :)
        As I’ve mentioned in a couple of other posts, some of these could also be explained by intersections of timelines – temporal distortions or anomalies. Star Trek: The Next Generation explores these concepts and there’s probably other info out there also.

    2. Dust Bunny*

      I’ve always wondered if upgrading to HVAC systems is one of the reasons that older buildings have so many “hauntings”–vibrations from climate control systems shoehorned in decades after the building was constructed.

  135. Julia the Survivor*

    I have to sign off now and I just want to say how much I’ve been enjoying this thread all day! It made my boss’ over-the-top Halloween much easier to bear and I wish I could just take a few days and do nothing but read this. :) Thanks everyone!

  136. Amezilla*

    I’m a little late here, but I never get to tell this story.

    I used to work at a video store, and one night (after midnight) I was in the store by myself, doing up my closing tasks. I had turned off the godawful DVD ads that we were required to play, switched off the TVs, and powered down the main console. I was wrapping up counting out the tills when all of a sudden every TV in the store turned on, just BLARING static. I screamed, of course, and before I could even start scrambling for the remotes the TVs shut off one by one. I basically just shoved everything into the safe and left, not even turning out the lights. I sent the next morning’s manager a text explaining what happened, and when I came into work she had checked the security tapes and you could see the whole thing happen.

    There were also a lot of “peripheral sightings” there – i.e., thinking you see a person out of the corner of your eye – although that can probably be explained by us constantly being on alert for customers.

  137. Hornswoggler*

    Very late to this wonderful thread.

    I have an office at the top of a very old house – it’s about 250-300 years old, but there’s probably been a house of some type on this part of the high street for many hundreds of years (I’m in the UK). The room is clearly an old bedroom – probably a servant’s room. There is a built-in wardrobe with pegs and old wallpaper.

    I work alone, except occasionally having freelance colleagues in here with me.

    When I first moved in, it was after dark and it felt spooky. There were a number of times, always after dark, that If let there was someone there – usually standing on the landing outside the office, sometimes inside. Then the bloke in the next-door office casually asked me if I’d met the ghost. We shared thoughts and we decided that it was a friendly, slightly tetchy lady whom we thereafter referred to as The Housekeeper’s Ghost. She was only on the top floor, and never in the slightly newer bit of the building.

    This was a joke to me until a period when I was on a long-term job in London covering someone’s maternity leave. I kept my office on for my return, but sub-let one of the desks to a friend. Said friend pounced on me in the street one day and indignantly demanded why I hadn’t told her my office was haunted?! She had been coming in to work in the evenings and said that someone kept standing behind her and looking over her shoulder. She couldn’t see them but knew they were there.

    Ever since then, if I have to visit the office in the evening, I always apologise out loud to the ghost and tell her I won’t be long…

  138. David St. Hubbins*

    Not me, but I have a friend who had just started a new job managing a small hotel.
    One night one of the guests came running out of her room, freaked out. She claimed she saw a ghost of a man in 18th century clothes in her room. The man put a musket on her bed and told her to hide it before running out (through the closed door).
    The other employees later told her they have seen the ghost too.


  139. Yet Another Business Analyst*

    In my previous career, I was an archaeologist. We had the typical locked, climate controlled space for storing most artifacts, but the really sensitive stuff – human remains, stuff in the process of repatriation, sacred objects we had responsibility for – went in secure storage, with all sorts of extra precautions to make sure nobody went in who wasn’t authorized. This was a weird room to start with: a retrofitted biology lab from the 50s, with lead-lined tile walls, flickering florescent lights, and monkey guillotines still in some of the cabinets. Working there for long would make me uneasy, but not horribly so.

    One year, we had a project where we needed to excavate an alms house graveyard, and the remains went to secure storage while we did analysis and put names to individuals in preparation for reburial. This process takes a while.

    A few months after the excavation, I went up to secure storage to audit our shelf list – checking that all the boxes are where we think they are. A few hours in, I start to get that feeling like I am being watched. I know I’m the only one there, so I don’t my best to ignore it, but the feeling doesn’t go away. I look to the right, towards the door, and there’s something like a shadow there. A man-shaped shadow, taller than myself, in the middle of a brightly lit room, and apparently staring at me. I stare back. A few seconds later, he just disappeared – no fading out, no walking into a wall, no blink and he’s gone… just, suddenly not there. I shook myself off, told myself I needed to get more sleep, and carried on with my audit.
    A few hours later, I finished the last shelves and headed back to the door, and something shoved my shoulder. I stumbled – hard – into the shelves where the alms house remains were stored, ending up with a two-inches gash on my arm from the corner of the shelf. That seemed like a good time to make an expeditious retreat…

        1. Yet Another Business Analyst*

          It had been a biology lab in the 50s… the monkey guillotines are exactly what they sound like, unfortunately, and intended for the rapid dispatch of smallish primates (rhesus macaques, most likely). There was a surprising amount of creepy old equipment left in the cabinets.

  140. Emma*

    Super late to the party on this post… but I occasionally work on Saturday in my office. Pretty much no one else physically comes in on a Saturday if they’re working so I’m always alone. The first time I came in the toilet in the women’s bathroom flushed by itself– scared me half to death! A co-worker joked it must have been “Moaning Myrtle”

    … I’ve learned over the last few months that it flushes by itself at exactly 2 p.m. on Saturday, ha! So no Harry Potter characters here. But before I figured out the pattern I was really freaked out by it.

      1. Julia the Survivor*

        These days with sensors there are all kinds of weird things. Annoying when it flushes at the wrong time – and not at the right time! I was recently at a medical center and there were signs that said, “if the toilet doesn’t flush automatically please flush it manually”. That would be fine, if there was a way to flush it manually. There isn’t!
        So the point I’m trying to make is, it might be a glitch. Maybe some other machine sends out a signal at 2pm and the toilet intercepts it. Does it flush at 2pm every day?

  141. Anon today...and tomorrow*

    I worked in Boston 15 years ago…specifically the shops in the Quincy Marketplace / Faneuil Hall. I worked in a shop that had three levels: two open to the public and one below ground that was a stock room. All the employees thought the place was haunted. My experiences included:
    -I was closing the store one night when I’d first started and was on the first floor with the only other employee in the store. We were counting money when we heard this horrific crash upstairs. It sounded like one of the displays tipped over and everything when skittering everywhere. We both ran upstairs and there was nothing moved. Doors were all locked, everything was in place. This happened almost every night.
    – I had to come in early once a month to meet the floor cleaners. I’d get there at 5:30AM, let them in the building and then spend time in the stockroom sorting and organizing. The employees had to wear uniforms so I was changing into mine in the employee restroom located in the stockroom. I heard a knock on the door as I was finishing up so I opened it, expecting to see one of the cleaners. There was nobody there but I heard a woman laugh (all the cleaners were men) and saw a person heading down this hallway that led to our freight elevator. The elevator door was open (as usual) but there was nobody there. Never spent another moment alone in that stock room.
    – I was in the managers office looking for some paperwork. There was a shelf above the desk with a box on it where I was sure the paperwork was. I didn’t practice safe procedures and tried to lift the box off the shelf without getting a step ladder. The box edged off the shelf and was tipping toward me when I felt two distinct hands on my upper back just shove me forward. The box tipped off the shelf at the same second and as I dropped forward on the desk the box fell onto the floor behind me, completely missing me.
    – The last was the creepiest. I got an alarm call at 2AM on a Saturday night during the summer. My younger sister was 13 at the time and begged to come to the store with me to answer the call. I was pretty sure it was the usual drunk people bumping the windows and doors that had set it off so I said yes. We get there and I let us into the store. I tell her to stay in the office and to watch our video system while I do a sweep of the store. I laughingly tell her “if you see anyone attack me, call the police before coming to help” so she takes this job seriously. I do my sweep…I start in the stock room and work my way up. I find nothing and I tell her we’re clear to head back home. My sister asks me if I’m sure I didn’t find anyone. I tell her I am and I reset the alarm and we head home. Two days later my mom (who wasn’t there!) asks me if our video system records stuff. I tell her yes, that it holds up to 30 days of footage. She tells me to please look at the footage the night we answered the call because my sister saw something that scared her. I do. On the footage I am on the second floor doing my sweep when a person literally floats by one of the second floor cameras. I walk by the camera about 10 seconds afterward going in the opposite direction which means that I would have had to pass this person. There had not been a person there. My sister was so freaked she would never step foot in that store after dark again.

  142. EvilQueenRegina*

    When I was at Exjob not long after my grandad died, sometimes if I was staying late to finish something, my monitor would disconnect itself – it only happened at that particular time of night, I always thought it was grandad telling me to pack up for the day!

    Not work related – when I went back to start my third year at university, the first person I met on the first day of term happened to be the person who, the previous year, had taken over the room I’d had as a first year. Once we made the connection, she said to me “So is it true about Room 23 being haunted? Someone told me you and your roommate used to see the furniture moving by itself!” To this day I have no idea where that came from – it never happened, and I did ask my roommate but she denied all knowledge of it.

  143. Dani*

    This happened during my very first job, still a fresh faced high schooler and far too oblivious of work place norms. I worked at this small-town pizza shop and one of the duties I had been assigned was to take out the trash at the end of the day and drop it off in the dumpster in the adjacent alley way. While I did have my fair run in with alley cats who claimed the dumpster and left overs as their domain the event that stuck out with me took place four months into working at the shop.

    We closed around ten at night and would typically have everything broken down, and be ready to close shop around 10:30 p.m., or eleven if we were running behind. It was a Friday night and we had been swamped and understaffed for the past two hours with late night orders and deliveries, so the shop was finally ready to close at almost midnight. I had already taken out two bags to the dumpster and was making it out again with the final bag when it happened. I had entered the alley with a bag at least half of my weight dragging on the ground next to me. On either side of the alley loomed brick buildings with unobtrusive graffiti and trash littered on the ground, and a fix-foot wire fence closing off the tail of the alley way-the barbed wire topping made it just a dandy place to be in late at night.

    As I was approaching the dumpster, this monstrous thing I had to get on my tippy-toes to open, I had taken my arm back to swing the bag in when I hear a groan. It was this low-pitched thing, short and like it had been punched out of someone’s gut. Then two hitched breaths and a short sob cut off abruptly like they realized they weren’t alone. Everything inside of me clenched and I felt ice race down my spine. I couldn’t feel my hands, so I’m to this day unsure of what happened to that last trash bag, and I felt myself tip to the side to peer deeper into the alley. On the other side of the dumpster, right at the edge, I saw two legs jutting out into the alley. Like someone had fallen and propped themselves up against the dumpster. The legs weren’t moving, and no one was jumping up to rush at me, so I edged around the dumpster corner to see what it was.

    I remember I had this little pen light with me, it was something already added to the keychain for the shop’s backdoor-some little promotional item slapped on to make the keychain jangle when we shut down for the night. I slipped the light between my forefinger and thumb and hit the beam on the legs. As expected the beam was less than adequate, oh how I love the current iPhone flashlight function, but it hit the legs just fine and I could see a pair of dirty blue jeans with someone in them. Not stepping forward any more I called out and asked if they were okay. More groans followed but the legs were not moving, and no one spoke.

    I am not hero material. Please do not look for me in times of crisis because I will be gone. With this in mind, I called out that I was going to get someone (else) to help and heard no response. I was about to turn around and book it for the back door, the pen light illuminating nothing in the darkness in front of me when I heard this soft cry from behind. It didn’t fit the kind of noise I’d expect from the legs I saw poking out-it sounded like a dog whimpering, like someone asking for help but not believing they would get it. I turned around again and saw the legs curl back towards the dumpster.

    Against my better judgement I move towards the legs-the person-and asked if they needed help and that if they could just sit tight that I could get them that help. With no response and fearful that they would try to leave if I went inside I slowly walked over to the person. The little pen light on and barely revealing the shape of them huddled into a ball.

    I walked around the edge and looked towards the dark shape, my fingers going numb from the pressure of holding the pen light on-and I found nothing. No one. Absolutely no one was sitting there. Right there where two legs had just curled back into their owner like they were trying to make themselves smaller. Right there where I had heard someone in pain. Just dirty alley way floor and unobtrusive graffiti.

    I may be older, but I am in still control of my faculties. However, I have no recollection of getting into the building and more importantly no idea what happened to that last garbage bag. What I do recall is the owner of the store asking if the door was locked and if I was ready to leave. Then he asked if I way okay and sat me down with a cup of cola when I didn’t answer. The owner went on to ask if I had “seen him then.” Not really a question, just confirmation that it had inevitably happened. He explained that years prior-probably before I had ever moved to the town that there had been an incident. A young man had gotten into an argument inside of the shop with another group of guys-something about a girl, or a car, or a completely stupid thing and the owner told them to take it outside. They did, and they beat the young man in the alley and someone pulled a knife. The owner had found the young man bleeding in the alley and had driven him to the local hospital-too panicked to call for help. He drove him to the hospital, where he would later die. Since that time, employees would report seeing someone in the alley that would disappear when approached.

    The owner let me finish my soda and told me that there was nothing we could do now. Before I left, I worked four years there until I moved away for college, I never saw him again. Part of me wishes I had, that I could offer comfort in some way-but that was it. Just one experience that left a lift long impression.

    Thank you.

  144. Workaholic*

    I used to close at a fast food restaurant. We had a changing room in the basement, which is also where the mgr office was, the inventory storage, washer/dryer, break area. I used to tell everyone we had a ghost. One night the other closer was outside the dressing room waiting for me and said “i just heard the door upstairs open. Are you sure you locked it?” “Yes, it’s locked! It’s just Frank, our ghost” he laughed. .. then “i just heard the door again – you must have left it open” so he had me toss him my keys and he went to check. Came back down a bit pale and serious “you were right – the doors are all locked!”

    I don’t know if there really was a ghost but a number of us hooked about it. Just late at night, after everything was locked up, you’d hear sounds of the doors opening and closing. It was fun to speculate on.

  145. Middle Name Jane*

    These stories have been both interesting and terrifying to read. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that I’ve never experienced anything paranormal.

  146. Jess*

    I’m so late! I have a good one though.

    This isn’t my story, but I heard it from the coworker it happened to. A really long time ago I worked at a cool museum of historic houses. There are tons of them all grouped together. The Wright brothers’ house is there, along with their bicycle shop with all the equipment they used to build their airplane. One evening a docent was alone in the Wright house as it was getting dark. She saw flashes of light and looked out the window, thinking a guest was outside taking a photo. But nobody was there. She shrugged and went back to whatever she’d been doing. The flashes of light started again: flash, flash, flash. She went all over the house and finally figured out they were coming from the landing on the stairs, but again, there was no one outside the window. The lamp in the stairwell was fine. When the house closed she locked up for the day and let her manager know that there was something wonky about the wiring. He had an electrician come out, but the electrician said everything was fine.

    She saw these flashes a few more times, always when it was getting dark and she was alone in the house. She mentioned it to her manager every time, but finally he was like, “The electrician has checked it out so many times and said it’s fine. Just ignore it. Old houses are weird.”

    Well, one day the house was getting a VIP visitor: Orville and Wilbur’s niece, who by then was a very old lady herself. My colleague was the docent on duty that day and was excited to meet the niece, who walked all over the house telling stories about visiting them. On the stair landing she laughed and said that she remembered when they bought their first camera and spent days playing with it like little boys: “Uncle Will and Uncle Orv stood here on the landing taking photos of each other for hours and laughing, just flash, flash, flash.”

  147. Spooky!*

    I’m also really late but I’m going to write this anyway.

    I worked at a university that was built in the 1840s. Many of the original buildings had sub basements that connected to each other so that during the snowy season equipment could be transported between the different buildings without getting mired in snow. Since the buildings had been renovated several times over the last 160+ years, many areas of these sub basements became inaccessible, forgotten, fell into disrepair etc. My office kept student records and filing in one of these basement rooms but from the filing area you could look through holes in the brick walls to see the dark unused rooms beyond stretching into the distance. It was creepy of course and we would always joke that the basement was haunted because files, old boxes, etc. would be moved around, we’d hear lots of strange noises, the usual creepy stuff. But it was just a joke, no one actually thought it was haunted of course, we just assumed it was the old building creaking, or one of us moving files to get to other ones, that kind of thing and we’d often just listen to music while we filed to drown out the creepiness. One day my coworker couldn’t find her ipod after filing, got very upset, thought one of us had stolen it, it was a big issue and she ended up quitting over it.

    Fast forward two years, me and the EA had to find some very old equipment that had been stored in one of the very back basement rooms several years prior. We slowly make our way through these crumbling brick rooms, which only had pull string light bulbs as you went. So walk into a dark room, fumble for and pull the switch, then move to the next and do the same thing. Imagine our complete terror when we pull one light string in an out of the way room to discover a camp bed, blankets, food wrappers, and my OLD COWORKERS IPOD in the corner. This whole time we’d been down there obliviously filing, laughing over missing sodas, and joking about a ghost messing up student records, someone had been living down there in the dark watching us.

    1. Jess*

      Aaaaaaaaah! That’s so scary! Whoa! Were you able to return the iPod? If so, what did your coworker say?!

  148. Tara*

    This is kind of a workplace haunting story… because I was living at my sister’s house for 6 weeks last year and working from there (I telecommute 100%). She was on bedrest with a difficult pregnancy – and 4 hours away from home because her small Wyoming town didn’t have the medical care she needed. She has two older children who needed to be home to attend school, but her husband works strange hours on a rotating schedule that meant he couldn’t be responsible for all the childcare and school stuff. So I went to Wyoming to care for the girls while she was stuck in Utah on bedrest.
    Her house is beautiful and recently renovated, but over 100 years old. It has a creepy vibe, but I’d never been convinced that ghost stuff was real, so I didn’t really think about it until I was living there. In the time I was there I became convinced that at least some of that ghost stuff is very real!
    I spent WAY too much time alone in that house, so I had a lot of experiences. Way more than my sister has had and she lives there! I spent as much time as possible sitting in the corner of the sofa that was in the corner of the living room – keeping my back to the wall and with a wide view of the whole 1st floor so nothing could sneak up on me. I was terrified pretty much every freaking day (and trying to work while jumping at every noise and shadow). It’s a good thing I love my sister and nieces so much or I’d have left them to fend for themselves after about 3 days. Such a relief when my sis had her baby and I got to go home! I have not stayed at that house for more than a few hours at a time since then. Among the many creepy things that happened:
    – When I was in the basement I always felt like someone was watching me – and not in a friendly way.
    – When I was alone in the house (kids at school, brother-in-law at work), I could hear footsteps upstairs.
    – Alone in the house or all other people asleep and I would find kitchen and bathroom drawers or cupboards open that had been closed a short time before.
    – Could hear doors open and close upstairs when no one else was around.
    – Would glimpse black shadow figure standing at the top of the stairs if I looked up while walking past the bottom of the staircase.
    – My niece would play “pretend” with her friends that she called the “girls in the white dresses.” She full-on had conversations with them. Super-creepy to listen to. At one point I closed a bathroom door and my niece, who was in another room and couldn’t have seen me shut the door, came storming out a minute later to inform me that “My friends do NOT like it when you shut the door. They want it to be open!” Believe me, I left the door open after that.
    – Tried to leave the house once and the door wouldn’t open. I could turn the knob but when I tried to pull it open it was like someone was holding it closed. Wasn’t locked, wasn’t swollen shut, just would NOT open. It was right next to the creepy basement where something watched me and it scared the living daylights out of me. I noped out of there, ran out the front door instead, and did not go back until I had picked up the girls so at least I wouldn’t have to go back inside by myself. Incidentally, we went inside via the door that had refused to open earlier – opened with no problem at all.
    – One night after I put my nieces to bed I was on the phone with my husband and kids to say goodnight. I heard someone go racing down the stairs and figured my niece(s) had gotten out of bed and was looking for me. Hung up the phone and went to check the girls – who were completely sound asleep and definitely had not just come running down the stairs. I spent the rest of that night sitting on the couch, staring at the EMPTY staircase and listening to footsteps running up and down.
    – I was alone in the house and sweeping the kitchen floor. It was a VERY warm day, but suddenly a cold draft swirled around my ankles and up my legs. Strange enough sensation to make me stop and look around, but saw nothing. A moment later I felt a hand touch my back like someone does when they want to get your attention. Whirled around to see, but no one there.

    1. Julia the Survivor*

      Your sister might want to make sure these spirits aren’t a bad influence on her children. They don’t sound very friendly.

      1. Julia the Survivor*

        Or nice…don’t sound very nice… don’t want them teaching your nieces to be destructive or bad…

  149. Candi*

    I have a theory about what makes (at least one type of) ghosts; recordings. Something more than memory, less than the full person. Intense emotion, or profound attachment, or just the force of daily habit, attaching itself to a piece or all of a place, or to an object. Exorcism wipes the recording; the ghost acknowledging the human who speaks to it and tolerating them adds to it. (Incidentally, it has to be the right type -religion/belief/etc.- of exorcism, or it’s as pointless as trying to format a USB with a DVD drive.)

    Such would explain why sometimes it’s possible to move away from a ghost (leaving the object/place behind) and sometimes it isn’t (bringing the object with you), and why some ghost can be still by remodeling or destruction of the building they haunt (the recording is destroyed).

    Of course, that doesn’t explain poltergists and such. :P

    I’ve read a lot of the research into what makes the brain see ghosts. There’s a lot of material on electronic brain stimulation, such as when a study participant is reclining, a portion of their brain is stimulated in a certain way, and they swear someone is directly behind them. Other things, such as seizures, drugs, perception, mental illness, and so on.

    But there is always that core, that percentage, that handful of stories that cannot be explained. Such as what happened to me in my story farther up the page. I find interesting is that handful of stories do not and can not all have the same supernatural explanation. Some would require temporal distortion (there are some fascinating recent articles on both the scientific/memory side and the supernatural side), some spirits/ghosts/beings, some peculiar energy, and more.

    Call it divine, call it hellish, call it supernatural, call it fey, call it whatever you want, there’s something out there. It’s fascinating.

  150. BananaRama*

    Late to the party, as I was out of town; but I worked on an operations floor, which was a huge open area with a raised floors. Our office section was tucked in the back corner, far away from the doors, but we had a good line of sight. We usually had about 3 people on shift for the graveyard shift, so it was easy to keep track of who was in the building. Every so often, we would be working quietly, and we’d hear the main door open footsteps walking across the raised flooring. The door never actually opened, just sounded like it and the footsteps would always stop about two pillars away from our office section. No one was ever there.

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