has anything spooky happened to you at work?

Have you ever worked somewhere rumored to be haunted? Felt a spectral tap on the shoulder as you worked late on expense reports? Heard the clank of chains over the intercom or seen the spirits of managers past in the bathroom mirror?

It’s Halloween, so let’s hear all your stories about spooky experiences at work. Share in the comment section!

To start us off, here are some of my favorites from the Halloween episode of the AAM podcast last year.

♦  “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 (or look like they’re talking to thin air), and it’s also common for them to ask us questions about the boy, like ‘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.”

♦  “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 mid-morning, and everyone saw it happen (hard to hide things in a glass office). So he had to pack up all 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.”

♦   “I used to work as a dispatcher for a charity clothing and toy warehouse. It was my job to close the warehouse after everyone had gone home and then finish the compliance. I cannot count the number of times that I’d be walking among the carts and all of a sudden, always simultaneously and always spontaneously, a bunch of toys in a bunch of carts would start quacking or playing creepy music or talking. Once a doll actually sat up and looked at me from the top of a garbage bag and laughed the creepiest laugh ever. I felt like I was in the first scene of a Dr. Who episode and they wouldn’t even realize I was gone. Or maybe a murder doll movie.”

♦   “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. There was no one in the theater besides him, but they checked the tape anyway. You could clearly see on the tap the moment he was pushed forward, but you couldn’t see what pushed him. 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 used to work in an office in a manufacturing facility. There were two 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 7:00 during the winter, so it was pretty dark, when we heard loud laughter. We brushed it off, thinking it was one of our coworkers, so we yelled their name. Complete silence. We quiet down and we hear a keyboard clicking, so I go check on my coworker, 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 6:00 alone, and we often hurried up to leave in groups when we had to work late because of how freaked out we were.”

{ 609 comments… read them below }

  1. Jamie*

    I don’t have a work encounter story but I’m going to wear out my fingerprints hitting refresh because I love these stories so much! Thanks, Alison for the best Halloween present!

    1. LimeRoos*

      Ditto! I love these stories and nothing creepy has happened at anywhere I’ve ever worked :-(
      Though sometimes at the flower shop there’d be occasional noises from the second floor, but it’s an oooold building and our storage area.

      1. Working Mom*

        I love reading these!! I did work in an office once that was a funeral home previously. Nothing really unusual ever happened, although we did seem to have a lot of electrical issues – and usually the electrician couldn’t really say why we had those issues. But that could also just be an older building thing. Our copy room was the old embalming room, so that was weird when you really thought about it, but otherwise nothing creepy ever happened. These are so fun to read!

    2. DDS*

      Yes! I love reading these stories but really hope nothing like this ever happens to me. I’m a big fraidy cat.

    3. anon24*

      This is my favorite thread of the whole year! I’ve had some very spooky things happen to me at work but I’m not a good story teller so I will just sit back and enjoy everyone else’s tales :)

    4. Damn it, Hardison!*

      My calendar is cleared of all meetings, I have a cookie and a coffee, and I am going to enjoy this so much.

      God help the coworker who comes up behind me and taps me on the shoulder this afternoon.

    5. TardyTardis*

      My friend used to have a ghost they named George in the house–everyone would be gone, stuff would be rearranged, and the doors would still be locked when they got back. My friend, alone in the house so nobody would laugh, reamed out the ghost big time out loud, and said if he was going to be a member of the household that he would clean up after himself.

      No problems after that.

  2. Midwest Writer*

    A few newspaper jobs ago, I worked in a bureau office for a larger daily paper. When I covered school board meetings at night, I’d have to go back to office, alone, after dark, usually around 9 or 9:30, to file the story for the morning paper. My co-workers made sure to tell me the story of the reporter, a woman, who had been murdered in the office 20+ years earlier. They weren’t trying to creep me out, more like warn me, because lots of people in the community would ask if new reporters knew the story, and they didn’t want me to be taken by surprise. I never experienced anything ghostly or paranormal, but honestly, just being in the building after dark, after covering the same kinds of meetings she had the night she was killed, was pretty creepy by itself. We did have panic buttons in the office that went straight to the police department (this wasn’t pre-cell phones, but the buttons had been there since before cell phones were common). I definitely thought about her fairly regularly. It was just such a sad story. (The cleaner had mental health issues and snapped one night and attacked her. He was sent to jail/for treatment. No mysteries, just something awful.)

    1. Working Mom*

      That’s so awful :( I would have been creeped out and sad as well. I worked for a non-profit once in a pretty old and worn down building. I remember one night before a big event I was there until around 1am finishing printing last minute materials by myself and I totally creeped myself out – I thought I saw a car drive slowly through the empty parking lot while I was loading my car up with items for the event. It was probably just my imagination but I was thoroughly creeped out and got the heck outa there ASAP!

      1. Veronica*

        That would be even worse if it was real! You did the right thing getting out of there.
        For you and other readers, if you see a car stalking you at any time day or night, call 911 and report the license number if you can without increasing danger to yourself.

        1. Veronica*

          Don’t worry if it’s a ghost, call anyway – if there’s a car haunting the police will be accustomed to calls about it. :)

    2. Radio Girl*

      I know exactly how you feel! I covered city council meetings for years, often coming back to the newsroom late at night to write. Medium-size paper, sprawling downtown building off the main thoroughfare. The newsroom was toward the front, and I often heard weird noises coming from the press area. I never saw anything, but it was just scary. There were lots of places to hide in that old building.

    3. lurker*

      My workplace still has a panic button at the customer service desk. In theory it’s useful if you believe a threatening person may become more agitated if they see you calling the police/using your phone.

    4. Not-Quite-Reformed Reporter*

      I think newspaper offices in general must universally be creepy places to work at night. Or maybe writers just have overactive imaginations. At my last job when I started, I was one of the only people who worked in the office late at night — darn school board meetings. The building was old, made lots of noise and had multiple entrances/hallways/etc. Plus it had a super creepy basement and my colleagues loved to tell me stories about the alleged ghost who lived there. One night, when I thought I was alone, I caught someone walking up behind me out of the corner of my eye. I am really surprised I didn’t scream. But this young guy walks right past me to the fax machine, grabs something off it and walks back to our sports department without a word. The lights are out back there so me must have been working from the light of his computer. After I recovered from my almost heart attack, I introduced myself and found out he was a new freelancer. He liked working evenings so it was nice to have some company after hours — not quite so creepy.

    5. Different name than usual*

      I’m a librarian and started working in a new library a few months ago. In between when I accepted the offer and when I started, I was Googling “X Library” and one of the suggested searches was “X Library murder” so obviously, I had to click on it. Turns out a student was murdered in the stacks several decades ago and they never found the murderer. So that was a not at all creepy thing to learn about my new workplace.

      I’m never in that part of the stacks—my office is in a completely different part of the building—and I haven’t actually heard about anything paranormal going on. But I definitely don’t want to know, either. Just knowing it’s a thing that happened is creepy enough for me.

  3. The IT Plebe*

    I work at a very, very old Catholic school with an attached monastery complete with a cloister/crypt. It’s usually dark/dimly lit and sometimes spooky as a result (also because it’s a crypt!!!!), but sometimes to get from the school to the monastery, I have to go through it.

    Once I went through just to explore (it was a slow day and I think school wasn’t in session) and went up to a particularly dark corner to read one of the grave markers when suddenly one of the boilers or machines or something started up. Scared the absolute pants off of me and I RAN back to my office as fast as I could.

    1. The IT Plebe*

      Oh and there was another incident where I found a Tupperware container that held what suspiciously looked like bones. Did I mention I try not to go through there if I can absolutely avoid it??

      1. fposte*

        There’s something delightful about the Tupperware component there. Like, maybe there’s somebody deranged who collects bones, but by God they’re tidy.

        1. Warm Weighty Wrists*

          I was picturing a Very Organized Witch. I see her neatly ladling something out of a cauldron, snapping the lid of the Tupperware closed, and writing a label: Death Potion, brewed 10/31/19, use by 10/1/20. Then putting it in the appropriate place with all her (stackable and matching, obvi) Tupperwares of potions.

          1. kittyincc*

            Same, but with a label maker. I think any self-respecting V.O.W. would avoid handwriting the label!

            1. Warm Weighty Wrists*

              LOL, I’m not organized enough to even imagine how organized a V.O.W. would be! To be fair, I was imagining a fancy script label, which may be a bit of a loophole.

            2. Environmental Compliance*

              I’m betting they’d instead have taken calligraphy classes for the Perfect Decorative Label.

          2. it's-a-me*

            Is a Death Potion more or less effective after the use by? Will it turn into a Mildly Ill Potion or a Really Very Dead Potion?

        2. KoiFeeder*

          I mean, you don’t wanna handle bones with bare hands because your hand oils can degrade them and you don’t usually know how clean and sterile random bones are. Also, preternaturally clean bones are usually harbingers of bad things, like a very large fire ant nest, and you do not want to be holding anything that suddenly becomes a lot of fire ants.

          That being said, it is very very very illegal to have human bones unless they are your own or were given to you through (the very limited) available legal channels. And I wouldn’t keep bird bones either unless you know they’re allowed under the MBTA.

      2. Overeducated*

        This is totally an archaeologist thing to do, except with bones Tupperware might be bad unless you’re sure they are very dry.

    2. Blue Anne*

      Ha! When I was a little kid we moved near the battlefield that has been preserved in Princeton from the revolutionary war. There are a couple stories around Princeton about one or two ghostly British soldiers, etc., and there’s a mass grave where soldiers from both sides were buried, which was walking distance from us. And then there was a noted American army guy General Mercer who died on this battlefield as well.

      Well, first night in this big empty house, near all these dead soldiers, rainy late summer night… in the middle of the night there’s a hollow bang and a loud, creaking, echoing, weirdly wheezy groan followed by a couple sounds like screeching hinges. So loud. Super creepy. Mom freaked out – “IT’S GENERAL MERCER!” So I freaked out too.

      Dad was cracking up. It was the goddamn furnace kicking on. This thing was from the 60s and built for a pretty large house. The way it was placed in the basement, combined with the setup of the house and few soft materials to absorb sounds, leads to the sound seeming actually amplified and echoing down the hallway with the bedrooms. I guess my parents got some maintenance done to it because it did get a lot better, but we still needed to explain about General Mercer to guests!

  4. just a small town girl*

    At my old desk in a hallway I had an accounting calculator with the paper spool. I didn’t use it much so I kept it powered off but plugged in. Last spring break when the office was empty, a coworker came in to get some stuff done and heard a weird noise, and found my calculator on and spooling through the entire roll of paper, printing nothing on it, just feeding it through. She unplugged it and when I came in the next week I discovered it was still powered off. So that was weird.

    1. CmdrShepard4ever*

      Do you mean powered on? Did the calculator have a rechargeable battery backup, or even replaceable battery back up?

      1. Door Guy*

        We have one at our office as well that we use, and it is plugged in 100% of the time but there is a power switch that we flip when we start/end the shift.

      2. just a small town girl*

        It was plugged into the wall and had a switch on the side to turn it on or off. I kept the switch off but it plugged into the wall so I just could flip the switch to turn it on. My coworker swore she just unplugged it and that it was switched off when she found it, and it was still switched off when I came in later. That was the weirdest part.

      3. Blue Anne*

        Those big accounting calculators don’t usually have a battery backup, they’re pretty large and really need to be plugged in. But they also have a power switch, like your computer.

  5. HailRobonia*

    I was temping in a small, very quiet office. Every once in a while I would hear a creepy voice just at the cusp of my hearing. I couldn’t make out words but it was sort of a gravelly hoarse whisper saying a few sentences.

    Finally I realized that the computer had text-to-speech activated for system alerts and the volume was really low, so this “ghost” was really telling me that there were security updates that need to be installed and they would take effect after the computer restarts.

    Most helpful haunting ever!

    1. Elsajeni*

      Something like this happened to me on Halloween last year — I was (I thought) alone in the office, but I started hearing a whisper just at the edge of hearing, that sounded… weirdly rhythmic? Like it was repeating the same thing over and over again, or like, chanting??? It wasn’t coming from my computer, it didn’t seem to be in my office, and finally I got freaked out enough to walk down the hall trying to find the source…

      … and scared the bejezus out of a student worker who also thought she was alone in the office, standing in the mailroom sorting letters and muttering “Smith, Smith, Smith…” under her breath as she tried to find Dr. Smith’s mailbox.

      1. Door Guy*

        Not a spooky story, but your “Smith Smith Smith” just reminded me of an old coworker from my job right after I graduated high school. He was sitting there saying “Betty, Betty, Betty” over and over again for over 2 minutes until someone finally snapped and asked him “Dude! Betty Who???” The immortal response: “How many “D’s” in Betty?”

        This was for shipping labels so they didn’t have any spell check or auto-correct enabled.

    2. Classic Rando*

      Ah, I remember switching to a new IM program at work, and then finding out that when someone typed “lol” the program would make this really creepy giggling sound. Scared the crap out of me the first time I heard it, figured out how to silence it shortly thereafter.

  6. Amber Rose*

    Working out of the little converted townhouse at my old, toxic job at night was the worst. The printers would randomly turn themselves back on and make noise. You’d hear footsteps downstairs when nobody was there. You’d hear rustling in the racks of filing. One time a lightbulb just straight shattered for no reason. It wasn’t even on.

    Once I heard people talking, which makes no sense, because this building was actually in the middle of nowhere. You have to drive down a highway into the middle of an empty field to get to it. The nearest other building was at least a five minute drive away.

    Ugh, I hated that place.

    1. just a small town girl*

      oh man I have a printer in my office that kicks on for “cleaning” at random times and it definitely startles me every single time

      1. Marny*

        We have one like this in our guest room/office at home. We always unplug it before guests come so that they don’t have heart attacks in the middle of the night.

  7. Eeyore's Missing Tail*

    My freakiest experience was when I was a graduate student working alone one night. It was a large warehouse in a small southern town with a lab, climate controlled storage rooms, a master control room, etc (I was in agriculture). Well, the bathroom is on the other side of the building from lab. One of the techs had joking told me that the lab was haunted because he knew I was staying late. At about 10 pm, I start hearing people walking around the warehouse. I thought maybe someone had forgotten something, so I just ignored it. Nope, I kept hearing the walking and finally talking. I walk out to see who was there with me, and all the noise stopped. I go back in the lab and it starts again. I wasn’t done, so I focused on getting my stuff done and left as soon as I could. The next day, the tech told me he was just joking about the hauntings, but I’m sure that building was haunted. I heard all of that every night I had to stay late. I’ve never been so glad to leave a lab and never look back.

  8. MoneyBeets*

    I work in a place with a lot of history – it’s similar to a military base. Lots of older buildings and a landscape that used to be owned and lived on by private families before the government took ownership decades ago. I have had a lot of spooky experiences. The most glaring was a time I was in a restroom on the second floor of one of the larger buildings. It was in one of the original buildings on campus. I was in the restroom alone, in the stall on far left, and I heard the outside door swing open and heard someone go into the middle stall, to my right. I didn’t think anything of it until I finished up and opened my stall door – and all the other stall doors were open. No one else was in there. I also once had the very strong feeling that I was being chased while in one of the stairwells. Never used that stairwell again.

    In more recent years, a coworker and I – we both now work in a different facility, but still on the base – have seen chairs swivel on their own or heard noises as though someone were moving around in the office suite after everyone else has gone. I’m not a spooky “woo woo” type of person, but y’all, I have seen some things.

    1. Antennapedia*

      This isn’t a facility in Indiana, is it? Because I have been to an EXTREMELY similar place for work and I don’t think I’d want to be there after dark.

    2. AliceUlf*

      Augh, all I would ever be able to think of after that are the creepy bathroom stall ghosts from Japanese urban legends.

    3. MissDisplaced*

      I’m not a believer in ghosts and such. Personally, I think our own brains and minds are so incredibly active and creative we actually swear it’s real and happening. I’m NOT saying that you didn’t EXPERIENCE it though! Because you did and it felt very real to you–as such you experienced something. We often hear things and even see things that pique our deepest rooted fears (such as being chased in the stairwell, hearing voices, seeing something out of the corner of our eye). Now if more than one person sees, hears and experiences the same thing at the same time, you have to wonder about it. Who knows? Perhaps we get a fleeting transparent glimpse into an alternative reality or quantum universe and that’s what ghosts and spirits really are? Just a thought.

      1. MoneyBeets*

        I tend to think the same thing. However, one afternoon in my office (in my current building, not the other, older one), the guest chair a couple feet away from me started swiveling by itself. I know I didn’t hallucinate it. I sat there watching it and thinking… whyyyy? If the A/C had come on or off and changed the air pressure a bit, or if someone had recently stood up from the chair and it was sort of rotating back to being balanced or something, I’d have assumed it was that. But neither of those things had happened. It was pretty weird.

      2. ampersand*

        This is pretty much what I think ghosts are. My family and I have (independently) seen and heard stuff that shouldn’t be there or otherwise doesn’t make sense—we all realized it years later when we were comparing notes, but no one initially wanted to admit they’d seen things because we all thought it would come across as weird and unbelievable. I’m also pretty logical so the only explanation that makes sense to me is an alternate reality/other dimension. Or since time isn’t linear maybe we’re experiencing people or things that used to exist in the same space and are now gone—like time folding in on itself. I’m not sure these explanations are any less weird than just thinking/admitting ghosts are real!

        1. Anon for this one*

          I’m a fairly logical person, but I lived in a haunted house and the “thing” said “I love you” and “surprise.” Nobody was in the house with me, and it was definitely in the same room as me when it happened. There’s just no logical explanation for it – don’t live in an apartment, closest neighbor is 300 feet away, definitely in the room with me (in the hall), and there’s just nothing left. TV wasn’t on and don’t have a radio. It was a very surreal experience.

          1. Blue Anne*

            This is the thing that makes me think there might be something to ghost stories. Really rational people who just aren’t into this stuff have it happen.

            My uncle is the most boring corporate person on the planet with zero interest in anything fantastical or supernatural, married a similar wife and raised their daughters that way too… they’re basically American Dursleys. His job takes them all over the world, and one year they happened to stay in Princeton when we were living there. Rented a lovely house, great. Then one afternoon my uncle’s car screams into the driveway and he runs into our house, looking extremely freaked out. My mom grabs him and calms him down.

            He’d been in the kitchen and their cat (very sweet natured) suddenly started freaking out, hair on end, backing away from the screen door to the porch. Uncle gets up and walks over the door to see what’s out there, and feels this terrible malevolent, angry energy, like something is there, it’s coming into the house fast, and it just wants to rip his live guts out of him. He’s babbling about it. After this it comes out that everyone in the family had heard weird things but never malevolent before – lots of stuff like thinking the youngest daughter must be out of bed because there were child’s footsteps in the hall, but that sounded like multiple kids, what’s going on?… and then getting up and seeing that she’s safe in bed. Come downstairs at 6 AM and one of the centerpiece candles is lit. Quiet laughter in the other room. None of them had wanted to talk to anyone about it because, well, they’re really Dursley-ish. As far as I know none of them ever felt like they were under attack except that one time.

            They talked to the realtor about the weird experiences when they moved out, and it turned out that Stalin’s daughter lived in that house for a while. Understandably the realtor didn’t tell people that if he can help it. So who knows. It was just so out of character for that whole part of the family to even joke about ghosts.

          2. TardyTardis*

            I have a friend in the Chicago area who is a ghost hunter/counselor (normally she tries to get them to move on), and the things she’s seen are amazing (the people who call her in have all seen them since).

  9. Alex*

    I used to work in a hotel, overnights, alone. Our breakfast attendant swore the place was haunted but she was a little off so we all brushed her tales off. The security cameras in the place would indicate movement with a little red box in the corner. One night I was watching the cameras and saw the box pop up in a succession of screens as if someone were walking down the hallway. But there was no one visible on the cameras! I’m a healthy skeptic but that one fascinated me with the inability to explain it!

    1. FrenchCusser*

      My office lights go on and off automatically with motion sensors, and often I’d leave for lunch – door locked, lights off – and come back to find the lights on.

      Finally figured out it was because I left my window open and a good wind was enough motion to turn the lights on.

      1. Kelsi*

        Oversensitive motion sensors can be the spookiest, lol. When I lived in the country, I had a motion-sensor porch light that would kick on any time it was rainy/windy, which would startle me because my kitchen faced directly onto the porch, and the house was far enough out in the middle of nowhere that almost nobody EVER came to my door and never at night. (Well, except my grandparents who lived across the drive, but they always made plenty of noise)

        After awhile I got used to it–until the night I was calmly cooking dinner, the wind kicked up and turned on my porch light for the second time in about ten minutes–except this time there was THE SILHOUETTE OF A PERSON STANDING THERE DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE DOOR.

        Turns out it was a poor college kid with a petition, who had been trying to finish filling something out before she knocked, and the light had timed out on her. I think she was just as startled as I was, lol.

  10. Lieutenant Jingles*

    This is probably super mundane, but I had to finish a report once, so ended staying in the office till way into 3am. I was alone in the office by the time I was done and now had two options – spend money on a midnight cab back home, or take a quick snooze in the pantry and take the early train back home. I figured there is no harm in taking a snooze, I did it tons of times at school. As soon as I got settled in the couch, closed my eyes, rested my head on the pillows, I heard three loud taps on the glass. On the window. Outside our 10th storey office. At 3am.

    I grabbed my things, ran out the door and paid for the damn midnight cab.

    1. Catsaber*

      I can rationalize that as a bird or something during the day, but I would have done the same thing!

      1. Lieutenant Jingles*

        Plus there is just something SUPER creepy about being alone in the office at night. Argh. DO NOT WANT.

    2. CoffeeforLife*

      I’ve startled myself out of sleep thinking I hear banging or voices. I keep telling myself it’s just brain misfires..

        1. Oska*

          Oh, wow. I get this a LOT. A sharp blink of light seen as if through my closed eyelids, and/or a sound like something hard and large falling on the floor, or hitting the underside of the floor; alternatively a sound that’s high-pitched and atonal, a bit like screechy violins in scary movies, but lasting just a split second. I’ve chalked it down to “weird stuff my brain does when I’m semi-conscious”, but it’s kinda cool that it has a name.

      1. Spoopy*

        To go off Jen’s comment, there’s something called Hypnagogic Hallucinations! It’s way more common than you’d think.

  11. Bookwerm*

    I work in an old building that used to be a nursing school run by Catholic sisters. If you work late, you might hear one of the sisters making her rounds. The rattling of her rosary beads is clearly recognizable. Many people have heard it. It doesn’t have a malign feel to it, we just assume this particular sister is still on duty.

  12. Catsaber*

    The one with the toy doll sitting up and laughing….NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE

    I can understand how old toys might have faulty electronics, or still be turned on, and go off randomly sometimes if something shifts or touches it (I have small children, it’s a common occurrence), but a doll SITTING UP is just a big ol’ pile of nope.

    1. Warm Weighty Wrists*

      How is a doll that sits up on its own even a toy? I don’t care what age you are, that’s creepy.

      1. it's-a-me*

        BABY REAL
        Baby real sits up and laughs! Do her hair! Change her nappy – with REAL POOP!
        May or may not consume your soul!

        Available for a limited time at a Toys R Us near YOU!

    2. Door Guy*

      Not at work, but when we were potty training, we had bought a ducky potty that was possessed. It was supposed to play a little song when liquid would bridge the connection on the 2 little sensors in the bottom, and it did. It also went off randomly even when completely bone dry (like we physically dried it out after washing it)

      After potty training, it ended up in this basement room we have that no one ever goes in (it’s used for storage, but my basement is VERY oddly laid out so it’s the very last room in the basement) . That room is next to the room I use as a wood shop, and the other week I had gotten off early and was home alone doing some organizing/cleaning in my shop when suddenly that potty started singing it’s song. I checked for cats (we don’t let the cats in that part of the basement) no cats. Little bit later it’s singing again. I went in and physically removed the part that makes the connection and it will never sing again. (I think what happened was when I was organizing, I put something in there and it got bumped and whatever phantom force had made it sing randomly before got reconnected)

        1. PushyBroad*

          Our kids had one of those stupid Tickle Me Elmo dolls. I despised that toy. It was lying on its back on the floor of the playroom one night and my husband unknowingly kicked it when he walked past in the dark room. The damn thing suddenly spoke up and said “Please help Elmo up…”. Scared him to death. We had no idea it would say that. I’d probably have drop kicked it through the wall, so I admire his restraint. He slowly reached down and stood it back up, and it said “Thank you!” At least it was a polite demon-possessed toy from hell.

          1. Blue Anne*

            Oh man, this one cracked me up. I definitely would’ve punted Elmo out the window, polite or not.

  13. JM in England*

    At OldJob where I worked shifts, was quite friendly with one of the security guards. We would often chat for a bit after I finished a late shift at midnight. During one such chat, he was telling me about when he was on duty the previous Christmas day. He heard footsteps in the corridors, even though he categorically knew that he was the only person in the building. I then told him of one possible explanation. Before both of us had started at the company, an employee had committed suicide by hanging himself in the roofspace of the building. Was told about this by a co-worker during my first week when being shown how to take water samples in the building; the roofspace was where one of the sampling points was located!

    1. Gidget*

      TBH after your first sentence I was fully expecting you to say that you were quite friendly with the security guard only to find out later there was no security guard.

  14. Jellyfish*

    My mom never believed in ghosts, but she had a pretty good story. She got a new job that occasionally required her to be alone in a small-ish, completely locked building. Early on, coworkers warned her about the ghost and said to stay out of certain areas of the office if no one else was around. She brushed off their concern.

    The next time she was alone, she was in one of those alleged spooky spots with no windows and saw the shadow of a person moving along the wall. She was a little freaked out, but figured it was her imagination. She left that area and went to another part of the building. Things were fine for a while until she heard distinct footsteps in the hall. She walked out to check, thinking maybe someone else had shown up. There was no sign of anyone else and no other cars in the parking lot though. Still, she chalked it up to an overactive imagination.

    However, the smell of coffee began to drift through the building. She wondered if someone had an automatic coffee maker set to go off. She walked around to find it in case it had been set incorrectly – or to see if she could acquire some coffee. She followed the smell until it was very strong, but there was no sign of a coffee maker. At that point, another employee came in. They asked if my mom had brought in coffee because it smelled good! Turns out there was no coffee maker in the building, but they both smelled freshly brewed coffee. That was when my mom decided the ghost was real.

    Some of the other workers had creepier stories, but all she ever noticed after that were the footsteps and an occasional spectral appreciation for caffeine.

      1. Campfire Raccoon*

        It’s relateable, and maybe a little reassuring I’ll still get my coffee in the afterlife.

        1. Seeking Second Childhood*

          Come visit the newly renovated Valhalla–all the mead and battle you desire, now with a waffle maker and coffee station.

      2. Jam Today*

        Coffee on a Sunday morning is one of my great pleasures in life. Coffee in my office is grim as hell.

    1. Mockingjay*

      Sometimes when I wake in the morning and the AC/Heat kicks on, I can smell coffee. Except my husband doesn’t drink the stuff so I use K-cups.

      I’ve never figured out if I am smelling coffee for real or if my mind is just “filling in” the scent because it is associated with morning.

      1. JeanB in NC*

        I often “smell” food that I’m craving (or maybe it’s the other way around) so maybe it is your mind filling it in.

  15. Live & Learn*

    Not spooky, just creepy. Back in college I had a part time job working for a small business center that was located in an old building that had been donated to the school. The old building was a 100+ year old previous mental institution from the days when mental health “care” was very gruesome. Each office was an old patient room. The upstairs rooms hadn’t been turned into offices yet and still had shackles on the wall, broken glass and finger nail scratches down the walls from former patients. My boss found a box of old medical equipment including mostly old speculums in her office closet!

    1. Catsaber*

      Whenever I’ve watched those “ghost hunter” shows, every episode usually has a mundane explanation – squirrels, old AC systems, etc. Except for converted mental institutions!!! Those places are the freakiest. I’m super skeptical about everything but those have me convinced.

      1. Door Guy*

        There was one in a small town near where I live that, while much newer than the old gruesome ones, I still wouldn’t want to live in. After they closed, the building (complete with all the beds and such) was put up for sale and a family bought it and extended family moved in. 3 siblings each took their own wing to live in. I was there doing some service work and as creeped out as I was in the 2 hours I was there, I couldn’t imagine living there.

      1. Botanist*

        Women have historically been considered to be susceptible to mental health problems because of issues with their reproductive systems (try searching for the history of hysteria medically. There’s a reason that hysteria and hysterectomy have the same roots). So the speculums probably came into play for checking those crazy (literally) reproductive organs.

      2. Seeking Second Childhood*

        In addition to what botanist just said, sometimes women would be declared mentally defective because of their “poor morals”. Some stories are pretty hellish even without supernatural intervention.

    2. MsMaryMary*

      Did you happen to go to college in Southeastern Ohio? There are tons of stories about those buildings. When it was a mental hospital, they say a patient wandered off and accidentally locked herself in a storeroom (some versions say someone locked her in the storeroom). The hospital was not well run and no one noticed she was missing. She eventually died of dehydration or exposure. When the found And removed her body, she left a mark on the cement floor. The imprint of a woman’s body is still visible on the floor today (or, it was when I was in school).

      1. Atownie*

        And allegedly, if the floor in that area is covered with a rug or carpeting, the imprint shows up on the rug as well. Legends from my hometown :)
        My grandpa worked for a local utility company and had a job there when it was still a functioning hospital. He said it was creepy even then, before it fell into decay and disrepair.

  16. HailRobonia*

    In college I had a work-study job at the library, mostly restocking books. One time I was sent to the sub-basement storage to get shelving. This place was super creepy… poorly lit, long shelves with boxes and junk and narrow aisles.

    I was all alone, and going down an aisle I suddenly saw a man in the next aisle through a gap in the boxes. I let out a huge yelp and then apologized. “Sorry, I didn’t think there was anyone else down here” I said. But the man was silent, and just stared at me angrily.

    A few heartbeats passed and I realized it wasn’t a person, it was a sculpture bust. In hindsight I wish I had checked to see what author or whoever it was, but I was still creeped out and got the shelving and left ASAP.

    1. CallofDewey*

      We had a bust of the man who gave us the money to build the library I used to work at. During closing, when I was by myself doing my final round and had the lights off, I definitely got startled by it a few times!

      1. HailRobonia*

        Another scary part of the library was on the floor where the art books collection was. There was a creepy full-size paper mache sculpture of someone sitting on a chair in the corner. Whenever I would see someone walking down a certain aisle I would count to three to myself… one…two… turn the corner “aaah!”

        1. Glitsy Gus*

          There is a statue of a man holding a briefcase in a plaza right near my office and at least once a month I’m walking somewhere lost in my own head, turn into the plaza, and say, “Oh, excuse me!” to the statue because I almost ran into it. I never remember it’s there and I always think it’s a real person.

          1. TomorrowTheWorld*

            I did cadaver care for a semester and managed to smack one of them in the head with my elbow. The words, “I am so sorry!” left my mouth before I remember where I was.

          2. Different name than usual*

            The business school where I work has a sculpture of a woman holding a briefcase that I tend to momentarily not realize is not a real person from time to time

        2. Tiny Soprano*

          One of my old housemates completely freaked out one time when I left my door open and she saw my cello case (which I used to put a hat and a scarf on because why not) in the dark and thought it was an intruder.

          1. CallofDewey*

            My sister used to do this to me with her cello case! She’d put a hat on it and stick it at the end of my bed late at night.

      2. Cacwgrl*

        Ugh, so late to this but I have to share. I occasionally dog sit for my brothers neighbors. Nice, protected house with locked gate and alarms and my bro is literally the next property over. However, the owner has this ceramic coyote on his porch and it creeps me out every damn time I go there at night. It’s even been broken in half now but he leaves it there and it still stares at the front door visitors. I hate that thing.

    2. Katriona*

      I worked as a receptionist at a nursing home that had a life-sized sculpture just outside the doorway, and I can’t tell you how many times that thing scared the crap out of me when I’d catch sight of it through the doors at night. It looked like some shadowy figure standing in the parking lot staring in.

      1. Chinookwind*

        That reminds me of an incident when I was teaching in northern Japan. One night, while finishing up, I saw a young boy silently glide by the window in my door wearing full men’s kimono (and my students never wore traditional clothing). I gathered my coursge and popped my head into the hall. Turns out it was the son of a student who had rescheduled last minute and the boy had come from judo without changing and also happenned to have a very smooth gait (though I did check to make sure he had feet ‘cuz Japanese ghosts don’t)

    3. Queer Earthling*

      A comic book shop owner told my family and me about a time he went to his shop early and noticed one of his employees, who had a shaven head, hanging around a corner of the store. He said hi and went to the back room. When he came out, the employee was standing in the exact same place, and he asked, “What are you doing?” There was no answer, and he started to get creeped out, came over to investigate…

      And realized it was actually a cardboard Picard standee they’d set up the day before and forgotten about.

      1. ZK*

        Haha, used to happen to me all the time. For years I would put a silhouette of a witch and cauldron in my patio door and for the first few days I would forget it was there and scare myself. Poor thing was finally so battered that I didn’t bother anymore.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        My office had a roaming cutout of some teenage pop singer (can’t remember which one) that kept being put in various places. Someone set the cutout at the desk of a woman who was out on maternity leave and scared the bejesus out of her assistant, who came in really early one day and saw a “man” lurking in the dark in her office.

    4. MarfisaTheLibrarian*

      The costume shop where I worked sometimes in college had, of course, mannequins and mirrors. And was in the basement, with lots of cement hallways and little nooks and whatnot. It was a terrifying place to be at night

      1. Kelly L.*

        I worked in a fashion and design department for some years, and we all joked about how accustomed we’d become to seeing disembodied body parts in all sorts of scenarios. Yup, there goes Dr. Smith carrying a headless torso.

  17. Flower*

    Not supernatural, but:

    The summer camp I used to work at had these horrifying vaguely human shaped camper-made sculptures. They sat in the back of the art room for a few years and several of us tried to convince our bosses to let us throw them out, but we couldn’t, and then someone set them up between two cabins. Silhouettes of stereotypical aliens (elongated heads with pointy chins, long thin bodies, arms, and legs without real joints, just curves), staked into the ground, 15 or more. Facing you when you’re doing your rounds to check that kids haven’t snuck out or something, so that when you shine your flashlight between the two cabins…

    I hate them so. so. so. much. Everyone does. I’ve had times where I decided to show them to people, someone overheard my plans and said “those things haunt my dreams.”

    1. Flower*

      In general though, working in the woods lends itself to some creepiness. Generally just animals breaking twigs or something, or a raccoon messing with the dumpsters, etc. But you definitely jump sometimes. Also, loons can sound really creepy unless you know what you’re listening to.

      1. Catsaber*

        So can coyotes. I was over at my in-laws’ house one night, and they lived kind of out in the country, and a bunch of coyotes started howling. It does not sound like a stereotypical dog howl! And when several of them are going at once, it’s really hard to tell exactly what it is and how many are there.

          1. Catsaber*

            Fox screams are bizarre. I pulled up a video to show my kid what sound they make, and we were all startled. Sounds like a human going “yooowww!!” after they just dropped something on their foot.

            1. Seeking Second Childhood*

              Around here people sometimes post to the neighborhood Facebook group to say “omg what is that?” So far it’s been foxes and fisher cats — but geezer people if you really think it’s someone being beaten up call the police, don’t post to FB!
              When I was a teen, I went out of town on my own. First night back I heard someone screaming and went in to mom”s room because she had the ohone. Luckily she woke up before I dialed 911, because the screeching was our neighbor’s new cockatoo.

            2. Arts Akimbo*

              I used to call them “murder birds,” because I thought I was hearing the cry of some night bird.

          2. londonedit*

            We have a lot of urban foxes in London and during mating season people frequently do call the police because they think someone’s being attacked. It really is the most awful noise!

          3. Jules the 3rd*

            My husband and I once heard eerie screams on a foggy summer night in Leeds, maybe about 30 minutes after my husband said, ‘and over here is the place where the Yorkshire Ripper committed his last attack’ (thanks, dear…)

            I knew it was an animal, but I still wasn’t going to go check it out.

          4. JB (not in Houston)*

            When I was in college and had a usual Sunday night activity of watching British mysteries, I’d be so mystified by the characters’ total lack of concern or caring about the occasion screams in the background that seemed to happen when they were outside at night. It took me years to figure out that the sounds were fox noises that they’d be totally used to.

              1. JeanB in NC*

                That’s the show I was thinking of for fox noises! I heard one in real life once and it’s bad enough on TV but in real life it was really unnerving.

              2. SweetFancyPancakes*

                When I started watching that show I was surprised the first time I heard that scream and none of the characters paid it any attention. I was sure it was another victim. After hearing it on a couple more episodes I realized it’s just apparently something that you get to hear in the British countryside. I’m not sure I would ever get used to it!

              3. Arts Akimbo*

                Ha! Midsomer Murders was the first time I’d ever heard a vixen’s cry, and it was sooooo creepy!

              4. Crystalline*

                I’m late to this thread but your comment made me scream because OMG THAT’S THE SOOOOUND!!!!!!!

                So bummed it’s off Netflix now :(

          5. littleandsmall*

            A friend of mine in elementary school lived in a creepy old house that was just outside of down so in a rural area. The first and only sleepover I spent there, we stayed up late, as 11 year old girls do, and we heard what we thought was a baby crying out in the field behind her house. We decided to sneak out of the house and investigate. As we’re walking across her yard, out to the field, getting closer to the sound of the baby crying, we heard a gunshot, so we turned around and booked it back to house!

            I’m just now putting it together as an adult 20+ years later that it was probably a fox and one of her neighbors probably just fired off a warning shot to scare it off but for years that was a spooky story we told and retold about the night we heard a ghost baby.

          6. Glitsy Gus*

            Mountain lions can also sound like women screaming. It’s really creepy because it carries a really long distance too.

      2. Rebecca in Dallas*

        Has anybody ever heard a peacock noise? They sound like a woman screaming. My great aunt and uncle used to have peacocks on their property and let me tell you, it is a really chilling sound to hear in the middle of the night.

        1. fposte*

          I read a book as a kid (Henry Reed, Inc., for aficionados) where kid detectives called the police on somebody yelling “Help!” and it turned out to be a peacock. I hadn’t heard any peacocks at that point and was very excited when I eventually did; I think also that primed me to find the sound a cool literary one.

        2. Alexandra Lynch*

          I was a Quaker growing up and would sit in silence in Meeting, and suddenly you’d hear the neighbor’s peacock yell “eeaAHHHH! eeeAHHH!” Very surreal.

          We were also sometimes forced to wait either going or coming for his flock of geese to finish leisurely crossing the road after feeding in the stubble of the field on the other side.

        3. Tori M.*

          Growing up we had a pet peacock. We got this peacock because it was a stow away on the neighbor’s horse trailer and they couldn’t catch it. This happened when we were out of town on vacation so I only know what is to follow second hand. There was a severe car roll over in between the another neighbor’s house and our barn. By the time the fire department shows up there is no one in the vehicle and there is a lot of blood so they are all like supper worried and go to look for the person. They knock on doors all like five of them where someone could have seen some thing or known where the guy went, and search barnes and our woods. They yell hopping that the guy will hear them and tell him where he is. Something does respond to there yells, and it sounds like help me. So they keep yelling and searching and they keep hearing “help me”. Finally they find the source of the sound, the peacock that nobody including us knew we had. We found this out when we got home and one of the responding fire fighters told us the story of finding out Doc had a peacock at the daddy daughter dance. Turns out the guy was drunker than a skunk and got picked up by a friend a little ways down the road.

      3. HR in the city*

        I live in a semi rural area at the end of a road. We have deer in the yard and you can hear the train go by. My dogs are constantly barking at nothing. This halloween I have taken to telling my dogs you better be barking at Jason with a chainsaw out there! My daughter screams don’t say that because it will come true. We also had a small bear out in the yard a couple times this fall.

  18. The Darling Librarian*

    When I worked at the public library, I would go in on Sunday when they were closed and shelve. This was before music streaming was the thing, so probably 2007. I’d usually pop in a CD and set the CD player on the floor and turn it up. In the middle of shelving, the CD player quit. I thought maybe there was a scratch or something so I went over to that area and the CD was on the floor, upside down, the lid was open.

    That was it for me. I grabbed my keys, shut off the lights and never went in that place by myself again.

        1. Esme Squalor*

          It was probably the spirit of a departed librarian who was getting in one last stern “Shhhh!”

  19. Kerowyn66*

    I worked at a thrift store in the early 2000’s. I was in charge of the you and holiday sections. I open availability, so there were days when I would close and then reopen the next day. At this store, everyone left at the same time (to set the alarm), and everyone came into the store at the same time.
    I would straighten the shelves and put all the toys and dolls away. The barbies and action figures went into a larger table with sides . A sort of sorting him.
    Every evening the store would be clean and tidy. Every morning the barbies and action figures were on the floor or laying on shelves. As if a group of kids had played with them.
    No other part of the store was touched. Just the toys.

  20. Evil HR Person*

    Not so spooky as it was creepy. I used to work at a nursing home with a high population of nursing assistants from the Caribbean. One morning, we arrived to find salt “spilled” in front of every door that led to a management office, including mine. The Assistant Director of Nursing was a deeply Catholic woman, and did us the favor to grab the little bottle of holy water she carried with her and say a prayer in each office – just in case. This is pure speculation, but we think it was some kind of Voodoo or Santería jinx. I sure felt better after the blessing, though!

      1. mcr-red*

        I thought the same thing! Anything in front of doorways is acting as a barrier. Although depending on where she put the holy water, maybe it just double-sealed the doorway?

    1. Redux*

      Sorry, but this is super othering. Speculating that your Caribbean nurses are involved in Voodoo or Santeria is really inappropriate stereotyping. It makes me sad to see this from an HR Person, evil or not. I get that we’re sharing spooky/creepy stories, but this really bums me out.

      1. WitchyLibrarian*

        Ummm, I don’t know if it’s Santeria or not (not a practitioner), but I use salt all the dang time for protective spells. I just moved into a new house and salted all entryways (doors, windows, etc. – anyplace where anything can come in) as a barrier. I’d almost guarantee you that anyone using salt was meaning to be protective or to provide a boundary to something THEY were creeped out by.

        HailRobonia is right – the water probably cancelled out any positive effects :-(

      2. CoffeeforLife*

        Those are recognized religions and not something people are “involved in.” It’s not a bad thing or an accusation.

        1. Ayko*

          Religion is also the kind of thing that does not require recognition from some designated authority in order to be legitimate.

        2. Joielle*

          Yep. Which almost makes the whole thing worse… like what’s the thinking? These people are Caribbean, therefore they practice Santeria, which is terrible, so let’s get some Catholicism to cancel it out? Yikes. Lot of racist leaps there.

          1. Lepidoptera*

            Also assuming that if something is Hoodoo/Voodoo/Santeria and therefore a jinx/hex/curse is super upsetting. The idea that there are no positive uses of the practices of those religions is biased.

          2. anon4this*

            I’m not sure “racist” works here…couldn’t they all theoretically be the same “race” but all have different religions?

            1. Ayko*

              Eh? The staff in question were from the Caribbean and presumed to practice a syncretic religion with roots in African and Christian mythology which was first practiced by slaves and now mainly practiced by their descendants… and you don’t think there could be a racist element?

              That’s quite a theory you have.

        1. Ayko*

          Salt is, as far as I know, used almost universally across religions as a cleansing tool. Including Judaism and Christianity (in baptisms!). Christian magicians / syncretic religions are really common (Hoodoo, an American / Appalachian tradition, Santeria, among many others), and yes, a lot of European Christianity retains magical traditions from the pre-Christian / pre-conversion eras. (Forced conversion is imperfect, what can I say.) There are also still people who practice traditional witchcrafts that have descended from early European, Celtic, etc. indigenous practices.

          it IS pretty othering that they assumed that the salt was a “jinx” done by “those people” when they can look to their own religion for examples of its use.

      3. PolarVortex*

        Adding to this: the fact a person sprinkled holy water and prayed in every office? I’m more weirded out by that than the salt honestly. If someone sprinkled holy water and prayed over my desk I’d be asking someone to remove their religion from my workspace.

      4. Hawk Nelson*

        Whether you see it as othering (which really isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a word), there is a lot of spiritual stuff rooted in Christianity that in its essence is meant to exclude other practices – even if the intent is good, it could potentially stem from bad places/entities/demons. The Bible – again, whether you agree with it or not – is full of accounts of things going off the rails as people started to embrace practices and rituals from other tribes.

        “Coexist” is a nice fuzzy bumper sticker to have, but there’s a lot that can’t be compromised in Christianity to meet the level of inclusivity many progressives would like to see. If I thought someone was using “protective” measures on my workplace I’d definitely be praying over it instead.

    2. NonAMoose*

      It was actually the opposite. In voodoo tradition, spirits or evil cannot travel over the salt so they were keeping them from going into your offices. They were protecting you.

      1. Ayko*

        +1. Salt is basically an energy sink; it absorbs it and renders it inert. It’s used to cleanse objects of negative energy, and/or to create a barrier to prevent hostile spirits / energy from getting in.

        Given the rather negative assumptions on display in this post, I kinda have to wonder if the intent was to keep the negative energy from LEAVING those offices. I imagine the othering attitudes was not limited to this and was felt by the staff in other ways, too. What a crappy thing for management to do.

      2. Joielle*

        Right? That’s reasonably common knowledge. Maybe they could have Googled it before going Caribbean = Santeria = bad (so they must be cursing us). Yikes.

      3. JKP*

        Or, since it was only the management offices salted, maybe they thought all the managers were evil and trying to keep them trapped in their offices!

    3. pcake*

      Some people believe that salt is purifying and can protect from evil intent. Maybe the person who put the salt there felt that the salt was to protect the patients.

    4. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      This is so unfortunate. Most people involved in those cultures are doing it to protect others, not to harm them. I’m always suspicious of people who assume harm is intended when people’s spiritual belief system are different than theirs.

      As a Christian, I have a lot of Wiccan friends needless to say.

    5. Eeyore's Missing Tail*

      Like the others have said, the salt was probably put down as protection, not a curse. Maybe the salt + holy water gave y’all extra protection.

      1. Environmental Compliance*

        Seemed to have worked for a roommate and myself.

        We lived in a campus apartment with another woman, who was (come to find out) an absolute pain in the ass – like, would set up her giant coffee machine on our tiny bathroom counter and then throw a fit when we moved it so we could get into the cabinets for our shampoo. Also, who makes coffee in a BATHROOM? She also would randomly hide food around the room, attempted to striptease for our respective long distance boyfriends during our Skype chats (as she burst into a private room to interrupt), and was just in general really exhausting to live with. I ended up being so stressed my night terrors came back – the really fun ones with the large shadow dude with red eyes and long fingers. My nice roomie managed to get holy water and we attempted to bless the room best as we could with that (and salt for some reason that I don’t quite remember, but we only had garlic salt so we decided it was triple protection against everything plus vampires).

        Weird roomie came back, walked two steps in, said the room didn’t feel right to her, and ended up moving out about a month later. It was strange.

        1. CM*

          Haha, blessed with garlic salt. I love that it worked!

          And while I know Evil HR Person just meant to tell a funny story, I’m glad this is a place where people call each other out about unintended bias. Santeria evil, Catholicism holy isn’t right — and a quick Google search shows me that Santeria is partially based on Catholicism, which I didn’t know!

          1. Environmental Compliance*

            I think it creeped me out even more, tbh! We had couple of friends over and they swore up and down that they couldn’t smell garlic, so it wasn’t a lingering smell that Weird Roomie didn’t like. But hey, my night terrors stopped!

            Right!! I honestly saw ‘salt’ and assumed that someone felt something was going down and was keeping something at bay, which would have creeped me out too, just for very different reasons from the story. I know people have called me out here for biases, and it’s appreciated. You don’t necessarily get it in-person, and of course you don’t always know what you don’t know.

    6. Evil HR Person*

      OMG, y’all! I’m from the Caribbean too!!! Way to go on making assumptions. Maybe I should have specified… hey, I’m from the Caribbean. When we see something funky, we think Voodoo or Santería. And yes, we have all religions where I come from, but I don’t practice any. Moreover, I didn’t say someone was “involved” in Voodoo or Santería. I said it was some kind of jinx and that it was pure speculation. For all I know it could have been a Wiccan spell. Since I don’t practice either religion and I’m from the islands too, I offered an opinion and someone else who practices Catholicism saw it as a jinx. Whether they were trying to keep the bad in or out of the offices was immaterial in my case. One other thing: I didn’t state that the nursing assistants were bad people, or that they did a bad job. I stated an actual truth: a lot of them are from the Caribbean. They’re not from Appalachia, or Ireland, or Europe. They’re from MY side of the world.

    7. SeluciaMD*

      Personally, I think whoever left the salt was just a big fan of the Winchester brothers and was engaging in some harmless late night cosplay. #Deangirlforlife

    1. Pipe Organ Guy*

      Isn’t that why it’s traditional to have a single light on the stage, a bare bulb, turned on whenever the theatre is closed and there’s no one around?

      1. Beth*

        Officially, the ghost light (yes, it’s really called that, as Botanist said) is a safety device, so that nobody falls off the stage when the theatre is empty and the main lights are out. The “safety device” excuse is very convenient, since it gives theatre management a plausible reason not to discontinue the practice. It’s a very old practice — originally, it was a stopgap in the very early, very shaky electrical systems — and an amazingly enduring one.

        I should also remark that the theatre is an extremely superstitious profession.

        1. Zephy*

          Some theatre superstitions are also safety practices, though. People are more likely to believe and obey if you tell them “don’t whistle in a theater because it’s bad luck,” and more likely to argue and pooh-pooh if you say “don’t whistle in a theater because the technicians running the lights/curtains/etc use whistles as cues since they can’t see each other in the dark, and you’ll confuse them – it’s basically the same as shouting random numbers at a person trying to count.”

        2. Vicky Austin*

          Yes, it’s considered bad luck to say “Macbeth” in a theater. If you absolutely have to refer to Macbeth, you’re supposed to call it “the Scottish play.”

        3. curly sue*

          I dressed a show run once where the two actors sharing a dressing room had opposing superstitions — one insisted that shoes never be placed on the floor, because it was bad luck, and the other insisted that shoes anywhere other than the floor was bad luck.

          (I put one set on the floor and the other on a chair and let them fight it out, because *honestly*. )

    2. Pink Glitter*

      There’s a theater in my city in a building that used to be a temple. It’s haunted by the ghost of the former Rabbi. My brother did tech work there and had several encounters.

      1. Blue Anne*

        If the Rabbi was a theater lover, he sounds like he might be a pretty cool ghost to hang out with!

    3. Zephy*

      The auditorium/place where theatre happened in my high school was just a little bit haunted. There’s plenty of stories, though, and I have my own personal encounter as well.

      Senior year of high school, I had a class in the auditorium (film studies). It was a mixed-level class – both Film 1 and Film 2 met at the same time, because the classes were so small. I was in Film 2. That week, my class was pitching scripts while Film 1 watched Metropolis. I’d already pitched mine, so I opted to sit in the rear section of the auditorium and watch Metropolis again with the juniors get caught up on reading The Great Gatsby for English. After about 10-15 minutes of staring at the book while listening to the film, I started to feel like someone was watching me or trying to get my attention. I looked up and for half a second I see almost like an after-image of someone sitting on the railing in front of me, looking expectantly at me. They looked like a smaller version of the Brawny paper towel man, honestly – blue jeans, black and red checked shirt. A blink and it was gone, but I was looking at text on a page, nothing that would have naturally created that after-image. So, I choose to believe I hung out with the auditorium ghost for a minute there.

      They’re not a particularly good person, though; assuming there’s just the one ghost, they also started laughing when the cast of The Diary of Anne Frank brought in a Holocaust survivor to talk with them about their experience. They also sometimes like to lock the crew in the auditorium when they’re there on weekends for set building.

    4. Catsaber*

      I remember my freshman year in college, I got involved in the theater group as a set designer. I was in the main auditorium one night and had to get from the back to the front, and the quickest way was through a hallway on the second floor that went past the dressing rooms and storage areas. For some reason the darkness in that hallway seemed like it was alive – it looked like it had a dark cloud in it and just felt awful. My roommate was with me, and we clutched each other and ran through that hallway as fast as we could! We both felt some kind of awful presence. We were probably just psyching each other out with our own anxieties, but most theatres give me creepy vibes even now.

    5. Kelsi*

      Definitely true. Traditionally, an empty seat was always left for the woman our high school auditorium was named for (the first drama teacher at that school)–and plenty of people reported seeing her in it during shows!

    6. Bar Ghost*

      I worked as a server/bartender in an old, two-story building that in its early years housed a brothel upstairs. After last call, it typically took an hour or two to clean and close the bar, with the upstairs bartender being the last to leave and lock up.

      I heard soooo many stories. The spookiest by far came from the bar manager. He’d worked there for decades and had been sober for years –unlike many in bars.

      One night, he was finishing counting his cash drawer and bank when an upstairs fire alarm went off. He stepped out from behind the bar to investigate and discovered a small, smouldering pile of paper on the floor just under the smoke detector. He stamped it out, doused it with water, and cleaned the mess up.

      Thoroughly creeped, he turned off the TV and lights and headed downstairs, locking the front door as he exited. As he walked to his truck, he looked back at the building and saw that all the upstairs lights were back on, as was the TV.

      He (bravely? stupidly?) went back inside and discovered that the fire had also started anew. He put it out again and turned off the lights and TV again… then lather, rinse, repeat: once he was back outside, he saw the lights and TV were back on. He didn’t go back in.

      Super creepy.

    7. Atalanta*

      I was a stage manager for a number of years and just about every one I worked with was superstitious to some degree except for a master electrician I had often worked with. We were the only ones in the theatre one afternoon and taking a break, hanging out in the electrical grid, and we were joking about his lack of belief. He said he heard everyone’s stories but nothing weird or unexplained had ever happened while he was around and he just didn’t believe in the paranormal. Of course right as he said it, we heard this huge crash and the lights on stage flickered and dimmed. We flew out of that grid like we’d been shot from a cannon. I asked him later if he believed and he said he was starting to.

  21. Ya Don't Scare Me*

    I worked in a specialty candy shop in the downtown of one of the oldest cities in North America and the building was haunted. While they were renovating the place they found a bunch of old medicine bottles and after some research found out that it had been a pharmacy around 60 years ago and a doctor’s home before that. My coworkers all experienced weird things including: knives flying from one knife block to the other, lights turning off and on by themselves, door being unlocked but impossible to open, footsteps heard upstairs with no one else in the building, creepy laughing and whispering, product suddenly being thrown off the displays, equipment being turned off and on when no one was in the room with it, and the security alarm going off with no one in the building. I am a Christian and don’t believe in ghosts but I do believe in demons. The only weird thing that happened to me was while I was upstairs turning off all the lights and I got a weird feeling and then lights I had just turned off turned abck on. So I took out my phone and at full volume played Run Devil Run by Crowder and suddenly all lights turned off again and I went on with the rest of closing. I never had a problem with the “ghost” after that.

    1. TimeTravelR*

      I might have to keep that song on its own playlist just for easy access in case I need it some day! LOL

  22. Can I hear a Wahoo?*

    Long story short–worked in a haunted hotel turned private club, got a coffee filter holder chucked at my head from across the room. Something wasn’t happy with the way I was making coffee, and honestly, they were right.

    There was also always piano music coming from random places (there was a piano on the first floor and we were on the roof) and faces in the window across the courtyard. I only worked there for three months after college and experienced all of it in that short time!

      1. Can I hear a Wahoo?*

        I would have to make these HUGE carafes of coffee for the rooftop restaurant on the most haunted floor of the building (one below the roof) and then lug them to a dumbwaiter to send them upstairs. I don’t drink coffee and had no idea what I was doing, and even though it was drip coffee it always turned out bitter for me. Getting coffee was my least favorite part of that job (even over the fact that we couldn’t sit down, even when guests weren’t there) even without the coffee ghost.

        Like, I get it dude. My coffee sucks, I’m disturbing your peace, I hate it too.

    1. Gidget*

      I think this is my favorite story so far. I actually did (quietly) laugh out loud at the ghost’s displeasure with your coffee and your admitting it was right to.

  23. littlelizard*

    I’ve worked in the seasonal Halloween store twice. The first time for only a week as a sales associate. We had these animatronic things that could get set off from people stepping on foot pads on the ground. I was working the closing shift one night and cleaning up, and I heard some noises from the next aisle. I assumed it was a coworker or one of the animatronics. I walked over to look and there was no one there, and none of the decorations in that aisle were the making noise kind. I was one of two people left in the store and it was pretty spooky.

    The second time I was an assistant manager and was there for almost the entire season of the store being open. This was last year and a LOT of locations were defunct Toys R Us’s, including ours. Apparently there had always been rumors that this particular Toys R Us was haunted, and opening a Halloween store location there didn’t help. A broken sink in the employee restroom had a sign that said “[Ghost name] is haunting this sink – do not use” and people would regularly come in and ask us about the ghost. We were specifically told not to entertain this, which I thought was a little backwards considering the nature of the business.

    1. Esme Squalor*

      You should have leaned into it by looking nervous anytime anyone asked you about the ghost and saying, “I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to talk about that,” before hurrying away.

    2. Glitsy Gus*

      This wouldn’t happen to be in Sunnyvale, CA would it? That Toys R Us was notorious for it’s haunting.

          1. Curmudgeon in California*

            I figure they cribbed “Sunnydale” from “Sunnyvale”, because some perts of Sunnyvale seem to be a Hellmouth (where do half the idiots driving on El Camino come from, anyway?”

  24. Jeremy Beremy*

    I worked for a non profit that got housed in an old building in a national park while our campus was being renovated. It was on the grounds of an old army hospital, and we were in the nurses’ quarters. It was a beautiful spot, but the old hospital was very rundown and creepy looking. There was definitely a weird vibe present, especially around the back where there were abandoned tennis courts. One day a colleague of mine had a vision of men in full combat gear rappelling down the walls of the hospital. Later it was discovered there were 200 unidentified bodies buried under the tennis courts. Very eerie, but it was such a cool place

    1. Turtlewings*

      Back up — 200 unidentified bodies under the tennis courts? Just sort of… forgotten? In wartime I guess I can understand unidentified bodies happening, but how do you just forget about 200 graves? How do you just casually build a tennis court over a graveyard? And what do you mean when you say a colleague had a *vision*? Like a dream, or like saw something while awake? DETAILS PLS

      1. Yet Another Analyst*

        You would be amazed at the number of burials under tennis courts, parking lots, etc. In th US at least, pretty much anywhere that was at one point an alms house, workhouse, prison, or a hospital before the 20th century is going to have a cemetery on the grounds. When these buildings get repurposed and the campus expands, exhuming and reburying the (poor and underclass) folks buried there has not usually been a high priority. :(

  25. You already know who it is*

    My ghost stories are all related to the fact that my office has those dumb motion activated lights. I have often stayed late to work in the office, and generally end up working in the dark because otherwise I have to physically get up every 15 minutes and walk around the office for the lights to turn back on. The office is in a historic building, and at first I just had a weird feeling about the place when it was late and no one was in there – like someone was watching me but not in a malicious way, I guess. But one night I was in the office by myself at about 10pm. The whole office was dark except my little cubicle lamp, and suddenly the lights in the copy room in the back all turned on (again, motion activated). I looked up, and 10 seconds later the printers (which are in sleep mode at this point) all turned on. Needless to say I pretty much ran out of there after that and refused to work there late by myself.

    1. Flower*

      One of the motion activated sinks in the bathroom where I work now gets randomly triggered every so often. It’s the same one so I think it’s just faulty.

      1. Kelsi*

        I think those things just misfire a lot. We had motion detector soap/dish soap dispensers for our kitchen sink when I was a teen and they’d just randomly go off any time the lights were off. Nothing creepy, just…they didn’t know the difference between “motion” and “darkness.”

  26. Liz*

    When I was in high school, I worked for a lawyer who’s office was in a very old building. He kept his older files and other office stuff in the super creepy basement of the building, and sometimes I had to go down there to find old files. The only way to get down was a super rickety elevator that would open to the blackness of the basement. I would quickly have to find the light switch, and then turn the lights on as I walked through the basement to the storage area. There was all sorts of weird stuff stored down there, like very old dentist chairs and broken mirrors (??). When I was finished with whatever I needed, I basically ran all the way back to the elevator, quickly shutting the various lights off as I went. When I’d finally shut off the last light, I would race into the elevator and wait for it’s doors to close. I was always worried that something was just going to pop out at me, at the last second, as the doors closed to the dark basement.

    1. Turtlewings*

      You just reminded me how much I hated the tiny, ancient elevator down into the dark, empty basement at the library where I worked in college. I hadn’t thought of that in YEARS. *shudder* Nothing creepy ever actually happened to me, but I was always convinced it was about to.

  27. Bilateralrope*

    One time I arrived at work, picked up the keys for where I’d be spending the day. I got back into my car, closed the door, then my rear windscreen exploded. By exploded, I mean some of the glass got into the pockets on the back of the front seats.

    Luckily I had ignored my dad when he told me that getting windscreen cover as part of my insurance was a waste of money

    1. Bilateralrope*

      Other creepy sites I’ve worked night shifts at:
      – The public road took me to a closed prison. Then I met the client, who took me a few km down a dirt road and through 2 locked gates into a specific field in the middle of the bush. I was to guard that field.
      – One floor of an office building under renovations. Random noises from the AC, and someone moving a cart around on the floor above.
      – Various stores when their alarm system was malfunctioning.
      – Crimescenes. The police NDA is the scariest one I’ve signed.

      1. No Tribble At All*

        Guard a field in the middle of the night next to an abandoned prison? Dude, you were bait for the ghosts.

        1. PolarVortex*

          Actually it sounds like the beginning of any horror story: ghosts, aliens, psychopaths, murderers….

        1. Bilateralrope*

          The client was a movie studio. They didn’t want anybody altering the field until their filming was complete.

          Telling you which movie will let you find out what city I live in, so that’s not going to happen.

          1. Eye of Newt*

            I’m trying to imagine the ways in which someone might alter a field (a field behind multiple locked gates, at the end of a dirt road, in the creepy middle of nowhere). Plant some illicit crops in it? Bury some illicit bodies?

            1. Bilateralrope*

              It wasn’t at the end of the road. The road continues past this field for I dont know how far. Also, a mobile guard from a different security company did drive this road in the middle of the night. So the property owner is worried about something.

              As for what the movie company was worried about, I dont know if they had any specific worries. They just stick guards on all their sites. Once they pick a location for a shoot, they want it guarded 24/7 until they have finished with it.

              1. KoiFeeder*

                You can buy pink flamingos in bulk. If you plan ahead far enough, it’s like 50 cents per.

                This is why a higher power had to nerf me.

      2. kentuckienne*

        Your field story reminds me of one my dad told about my grandfather’s WWII service. Grandpa was stationed with the US Air Force in the UK, and one night everyone on base was startled by the sound of a sudden explosion. Some officers commandeered a jeep to go investigate, and they ordered my grandfather to drive them out of the base and into the surrounding countryside. Eventually they come across a huge crater in one of the nearby fields, with some unidentified debris at the bottom. The officers confer and decide that it might be some new sort of bomb, or a bomb carried by a new sort of plane, and that they had better investigate further – in the morning. So they left my grandfather alone, guarding the mysterious crater, and drove themselves back to base. Grandpa spent the whole night being startled by curious cows.

    2. Jennifer Thneed*

      I mean, statistically speaking, he was right. But specifically speaking, you actually needed that coverage!

  28. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

    I used to work in an office that was a converted apartment complex from the 1920s. It was a 2 story building with a central courtyard and interior facing windows that looked out onto a walkway on the top and bottom floors. Each apartment had been converted to an office that sat 4-6 people.

    Sometimes when I would go to work in the morning I would hear what sounded like someone on the opposite of the cube wall shifting in the chair, moving the mouse, etc.. At first I would always figure it was my coworker, so I would pop my head around the corner to say “Hi” and let her know I was there so I didn’t spook her. The cube was always empty. Other folks who had been seated in that room had the same thing happen to them. I just started saying, “Hi, spirit!” every morning.

    Another coworker who worked late after the alarm and exterior doors were locked used to see a woman dragging a crying child in the walkway outside her office window. She’d get up to see who it was and yell at them for dragging the kid and no one would be there.

    I could go on. I’d say 20 or so folks had stories and those were just the ones I heard!

  29. Unemployed in Greenland*

    When I worked for Americorps in an emergency services program, I participated in a search and rescue training exercise in a large, abandoned building on the grounds of a modern mental health facility. I was in the smaller group that had to find places to hide, so that the searchers could practice finding them.

    Well, I found a great place: I went up a little ladder into a small room *in between* the 2nd and 3rd floor of this building. I tossed down a bunch of cardboard boxes after me, to obscure the ladder. This room was just leftover space: beneath what had to be eaves or gables, as there were slotted window-ish things in it. Even better, I found a perfect nook in this room: a little closet-ish place, with a door, that opened onto what had to be the old shaft of a dumbwaiter or a laundry chute.

    I felt clever for all of one hour, during which the searchers couldn’t find me. My boss texted with glee, after an hour and a half, that the searchers did another sweep of the building and still couldn’t find me. I was super chuffed… until my phone went dead. I had been using it as a flashlight, so I shrugged and dug out my regular flashlight. Its battery flickered and died half an hour later. (Great job, emergency response training!) And since it was raining out, there was no moonlight making its way through the window slats.

    Because the exercise started at 8:00 pm, in the fall. Forgot to mention that!

    Anyway, of all the places I did not want to be, that room was it: for the next hour. They took that long to find me. The creepy thing is that a few times I heard some noises and I assumed that the searchers were coming – so at last I got up and edged out of the little closet nook, closed the door so I wouldn’t fall backwards into the chute, and said, “Hello?” No reply, obviously.

    But I was standing up, in the pitch blackness, creeped out … when that closet door creaked open, and I almost peed myself.

    I’m sure it was a coincidence, but I haven’t been that scared since: knowing that there was an open door right next to me and a dumbwaiter chute right inside, that went who knows how many floors down. Anyway! They eventually found me, and all

  30. Cromulent*

    I worked at a university in an old historic building. The building had been renovated several times over the 175 years it had been around. Above ground it was beautiful but the basements were a terrifying maze of half built stone walls, dangling bare bulbs, weird noises – your standard horror movie basement. We kept student records down there and myself and another admin had to spend hours down there filing. Weird things would happen. It wasn’t accessible to the public or students but items would be moved around, we would hear doors closing in the distant dark hallways, light bulbs would be broken, the mention sensors would go off after hours. Spooky stuff. Of course we joked about there being a ghost. iPods were new at the time and so we listen to them as we filed to block out the spooky sounds. One day the other admin left her’s on a basement cabinet and then it was just gone. We had been just one room over for maybe 5 minutes. She was irate and convinced I had taken it. She eventually quit, 3 years went by, I continued to file in the basement and ignore the creepiness. One day we needed to access very old historic records that were kept in a far back, rarely uses room. Myself and my boss slowly make our way through each room, stumbling through the dark, pulling the lightbulb chains as we go. Then it happens. My boss pulls the light chain in a room and we find, tucked away in this hidden, inaccessible space, a camp bed, blankets, food wrappers, and my old coworkers ipod from 3 years ago. There was no ghost, someone had been living down there, in the dark, watching us for who knows how long. The police said it looked like the person hadn’t been there for a while and probably got in through one of the access tunnels. It creeps me out to this day.

    1. Unemployed in Greenland*

      OMG, I think I would have preferred a ghost to a random person just watching you!!!!

      1. Esme Squalor*

        So much this! I don’t REALLY believe in ghosts, but even when I let myself believe a little bit, I don’t fear the dead; the living are the ones that give me something to worry about!

    2. Jellyfish*

      !!!!
      Ghost stories are good fun, but that’s genuinely creepy. Did anyone ever tell your old coworker?

    3. Treecat*

      Here’s a palate-cleansing funnier version of this kind of story:

      The Boeing factory complex in Everett, WA has a large system of tunnels underneath it connecting various parts of the buildings and the airfield next door. If you do a factory tour (which is fascinating!), you’ll go through some of the busier sections of tunnels, but there are some areas that are almost never used by anyone.

      There was an engineer who decided it would be easier to just live in the tunnels than rent an apartment, and he lived down there for god knows how long before one morning he was cooking bacon on his camp stove and another employee followed the scent to his hideout. He no longer works for the company.

      1. HarperC*

        When I started one job, my then-boss told me about once getting a call from campus (this is a university, btw) police to come and confirm the identity of someone they had caught wandering around in a bathrobe at night in the building where my then-boss’ office was. It was HIS boss. Who had been basically living in the classroom building. And that’s how my then-boss got to be the boss.

        1. wickedtongue*

          Somebody I vaguely knew ended up living in his library cubicle (senior honors students were allowed them) for a few months, until somebody finally told someone in authority and they found him housing. He was an odd dude, so I think we all just…didn’t know what to do with him. (He also had an incident where he went to Mexico and didn’t bring his passport and couldn’t get back in, and ended up calling the head of our program. This was back in the late 2000s, in that time where they’d tightened up border security but it wasn’t…what it currently is.)

      2. KoiFeeder*

        My favorite part of this story is that the bacon gave him away. I, too, would follow the scent of bacon through a bunch of creepy tunnels.

    4. CoffeeforLife*

      I love stories like these.

      I was listening to a podcast that told quite a few of them. One person was living in the crawl space above a women’s apartment. He’d come down every day after she went to work and play with her dog, watch tv etc. So the dog never alerted her that there was someone because he say that guy every day. She discovered him when she came home sick (early) and got in the bath. She could feel someone in her closet…staring. She ran out of her place and the police discovered his belongings in the attic space. Nope.Nope.Nope

      1. Caliente*

        I love stories like these, too – people are endlessly fascinating LMAO. I mean, what, did the previous tenant never leave and just move into the crawlspace?
        What’s the name of the podcast?!

      2. CoffeeforLife*

        My link went into moderation but it’s the Criminal podcast (plus a couple more stories). I went down a rabbit hole and found more stories but I don’t know the sources.

        If you Google “podcast people living in attic” there are some written accounts. Bizzaro

    5. blink14*

      No, no, no. NO. This is horrifying! Although, my first thought was – how did he charge the iPod?

    6. Untitled Goose*

      Did you tell your former coworker? I would love to know her reaction, after all these years.

      1. Cromulent*

        Apologies – long day. I did try to find my old coworker on Facebook, but I wasn’t able to track her down. Interestingly, I eventually moved into a position that oversaw operations for several buildings on campus and learned that it wasn’t an isolated incident! Several of the access tunnels between buildings had to be swept nightly by campus security to ensure no “members of the public” remained inside after hours. We did have a handful of cases of finding someone crouched inside, waiting for everyone to leave.

        Sleep tight dear readers!

    7. DawnShadow*

      Now THAT is REALLY creepy. And a happy ending when you think about it – no harm came to either of you. Still, ((physical shudders))

    8. Blue Anne*

      I think you’ve told this story here before, right? I remember it! I think about it sometimes… especially when I’ve worked in old buildings with twisty basements.

  31. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    Thankfully the spiritual world and I seem to have a truce, so they don’t play with me.

    I’m going to read these and then sleep with the lights on tonight and make my cat sleep with me, he thanks nobody and will get his revenge! [I did it to myself, I always do it to myself.]

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        I spent my entire childhood sleeping with the lights on because my friends told me stories about their supernatural moments. Children. Who were like “Yeah I saw a ghost, no biggie tho.” and another couple of “Saw a demon in a mirror once.”

        Ask me if I walk into a dark bathroom or ever look in the mirror when it’s dark…spoiler, I don’t! I don’t ef with the after life, I’m not Lydia Deets.

        1. Rebecca in Dallas*

          I can’t look in the mirror when it’s dark, too many games of “Bloody Mary” at sleepovers as a child. Nope nope nope!

          1. CoffeeforLife*

            This. Hate dark bathrooms. I had a child visiting the other day and she mentioned Bloody Mary. I was like, “time to go!”

    1. Llellayena*

      Yep, I’ve gone on a ghost tour ONCE. After seeing two ghosts (only one of which was part of the tour) I decided that I was not going to tempt fate. I don’t need that.

  32. Anita Brayke*

    I worked in an office where we published a magazine. I would often come in early or stay late, and if I was standing in the hallway I could look back toward my desk (it was an open office) and see dark images kind of “flying” from my desk, through the wall to the designer’s desk. I never felt scared or worried about it, they were just there.

  33. UKDancer*

    I worked in an old castle as a guide a number of years ago. People had seen and heard various things including grey ladies, armor that moved etc. I never saw or heard anything much myself. Although sometimes at night after I’d closed up the top floor room and was underneath it I could hear what sounded like footsteps across the floor of that room as though someone were walking. I didn’t ever let it bother me and it probably was just old floorboards.

    I will say that there was one spot by the main gate where some prisoners were shot against the gatehouse wall during the Civil War. I never liked standing there as it always felt uncomfortable and cold to me but I don’t know how much my memory of the fact people were executed there influenced my perceptions.

  34. DejaVu*

    I work in HR in a prison. Our office is set up as cubicles with 5 workstations all separated by 6-foot cubicle walls. The front desk has a countertop for employees to fill out paperwork and often when I am in the office alone, I’ll hear “someone” set their keys down and exhale. When I walk around to greet them, there is no one there…we’ve come to refer to “him” as our ghost. Super creepy especially for a prison!

  35. Perstephanie*

    Years ago I worked as a part-time llama wrangler at Local Establishment. The pay was barely above minimum, and I lived paycheck-to-paycheck; on a good week, I had enough money left over to buy myself my one luxury, a copy of “TV Guide” (75 cents).

    One week on my day off (I had Sundays and Tuesdays off; this will be important), I went for a walk. As I strolled down a nearby rural road, I added up in my head all the bills I was due to receive in the next few days, and the money I could expect. At one point I stopped walking, looked up at the sky, and said (out loud): “This is it. This is the month it won’t work out. Oh, wow.” Then I put my head back down and kept going (because what else can you do?).

    Two minutes later a truck pulled over next to me and a total stranger leaned out. “Say, aren’t you the llama wrangler at Local Establishment?” he asked. “I’m the llama manager at Establishment Just Up The Road, and I’m looking for part-time help.

    “The days I need help are Sunday, and Tuesday.”

    Reader, I took the job.

    1. Caliente*

      I love this.
      I’ve always been a finder of stuff since I was a kid. If my mom couldn’t find something she’d put me to work.
      I’ll look for things, just misplaced stuff (frequently jewelry which you may lay down somewhere) and if I don’t find it quickly I just start actively asking the help because I really want it. After that I’ll usually find it fairly quickly though sometimes its taken awhile, because I’ll forget. When I remember again I repeat the request and eventually find the item. Some have been in weird places where I would absolutely never remember that I put X there. I find it pretty fascinating myself!
      I’ve also asked for stress to be lifted or other things and it happens. I do think that the universe is on our side.

  36. TIE Director*

    I work in a theatre, but before we were in this building it was an old school (built in 1884). I teach classes, and I had an adult theatre class a few years ago in the fall. On their final evening, they were devising work in groups – creating skits based on words that they’d chosen from a list of 100. One group chose “ghost”. A student was pretending to be a ghost during the performance, pantomiming shaking a ladder to make another character fall. Just them, a screen fell off one of the windows across the room, shrouding another student like a child in a ghost costume.

  37. Anon for this*

    When I worked at a sex store we had a store ghost we called Herbert. You’d walk past a row of shelves with display models out and all the sudden one or more would fly off the shelves in front of you. It was a little weird, but if you said “Come on, Herbert!” it’s usually stop for the day.

    1. CM*

      Maybe he was mad because his name wasn’t really Herbert. But every time you said it he would get offended and storm off.

    2. Warm Weighty Wrists*

      This is my favorite kind of ghost story! Like they’re just doing an inept ghostly version of “Hi! What up?” and if you’re like “Brah, not today,” he just tries again tomorrow.
      Sometimes floating sex toys are just an attempt at human connection, you know?

  38. Peaches*

    At my old toxic job (and my first job post college, in my early 20’s), I worked in a cubicle, and had about 15 photos tacked up on the wall – photos with my husband, family, friends, etc. It was a giant company, so there were probably 20 teams of 5-20 people who worked on my floor. I pretty much only knew the other 5 people on my team. One morning I got to work, and every single one of my photos were gone, but the tacks were still all up on the wall. I was the first one there that morning, and thought my coworkers had played a prank on me when I’d left the night before (we were all friendly, so it wouldn’t have been our of the ordinary for them to pull a prank). When they arrived, I said, “okay guys, who has my photos?” None of them had a clue what I was talking about. I kept pressing, thinking they were still egging me on, but quickly came to the realization that truly, none of them had taken my photos.

    A woman on a nearby team overheard the conversation, and said that she had worked late the night before (9 PM) and was certain that my photos were still there when she had left the office. I reported the incident to our security team. We were required to have ID badges to get onto the elevators, and onto our floors, so the security team was able to pull ID photos of every employee who had left after 9 PM the night before that worked on my floor (there were about 12-15 people). The security lady shared those photos with me, and I didn’t know/recognize a single photo that she showed me. No action was really taken after that, and I left the company shortly after, without ever finding out who took my photos.

    This was 4 1/2 years ago, and sometimes it still crosses my mind and freaks me out. I sometimes think really dark, and imagine a crazed serial killer in a lair, with my pictures tacked up all over the wall.

    1. Peaches*

      Ya’ll are making me scared all over again! Do I have genuine reason to worry all this time later?

  39. christina*

    I worked in a gift shop in a very old building. We would sometimes hear noises, like muffled movements, or be convinced someone was in the room when no one was. Those things could be explained by the old building (and the recurring mouse problem…). But the odd part was that the resident ghost had very specific music taste – we had a 3 CD player that would mix the songs from all 3 CDs relatively evenly, but when we put on a particular artist it would only play songs from that artist. Didn’t matter which CD slot it was in. There were also a few CDs that would never play in a mix, only when you specifically played that CD. It was never really scary though, more like we had a quiet invisible coworker who disapproved of this new-fangled music! We would play their fav CD on slow days.

  40. Dr. KMnO4*

    I went to a Catholic college that had been founded in the mid-1800s, so there were plenty of ghost stories. One of them concerned a certain hallway in one of the dorms that is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman in a white dress/nightgown.

    During the summer between my junior and senior years I was a camp counselor for a group of high school girls. We were all staying in the dorm, on the same floor as the haunted hallway. One night I went up to grab something from my room. On my way back downstairs to join the group I had to walk towards the haunted hallway. As I approached, I saw something white. It definitely looked like a young woman in a white dress/nightgown. At first I froze in place, but to get back downstairs I had to keep walking in that direction, so I eventually crept forward.

    Once I got to the elevators I could see into the haunted hallway. There definitely was a white shape – a white marble statue. Of a young girl in a dress. Still, I quickly got on the elevator and never went up to that floor alone again.

    1. Mary*

      My Catholic high school has a classroom on the northeast corner on the second floor that was sort of headquarters for the yearbook staff. Often a few of us would stay late and work on the annual. There were noises, especially at night, but we figured it was our old building creaking or the wind from the river whipping around the corner.

      Now decades later, the room has acquired a reputation of sorts. Students claim there was a suicide there. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t, or I’d know about it in my small town, but something about that room is spooky.

      There’s just something about that room…

  41. Bilateralrope*

    At university I was taking an elevator down to the second floor of a building. This elevator had a voice announce the floor number.

    The elevator went all the way down to the first floor. Announced the floor. The doors did not open. Then it went to the second floor as instructed.

    1. Asenath*

      Elevators are generally weird. The ones in my building – at least, the ones I use because the least reliable of the lot recently had water from a broken pipe running through it and the shaft and is probably even more unreliable than normal – invariably “forget” any keys punched for any other floor once reaching the basement. I work in the basement. We get a lot of outside people who aren’t familiar with the elevators and/or decide to get on an elevator going down because after that, it’ll go up, won’t it? No, not unless you press the button for your floor again. I’ve had to explain this so often to visitors in the elevator waiting for it to go back up. I assumed someone programmed the elevator that way for some reason, but maybe it’s haunted.

      1. Azure Lunatic*

        That’s the way the elevators in my old office worked. There were also some floors restricted so you couldn’t get there unless you had the right badge, including ours (top 2 floors of the building). Occasionally someone would stay on the elevator past the floor they’d selected so when someone on my floor summoned an elevator they would come face to face with a stranger.

    2. Veronica*

      I live in a building from the mid-50’s that still has the original elevator. (!)
      If I get on at the 2nd floor and press one and someone on a higher floor has called the elevator, it goes up to get the other person first, then down to one.

  42. Jdc*

    In our first shop one of our employees who helped us getting in up and going killed himself just before our real opening. He had some mental problems and jumped off an overpass. Often the bell would go off as though the door opened when it wasn’t, lights would turn on and off, doors slam. We’d always say “hi Casey” but our head mechanic was terrified. We just figured he was checking in. That guy wouldn’t be alone in the shop at night though no matter what.

  43. Farm Life Farm Wife*

    I don’t know if this counts, but my husband and I live on a cattle farm and obviously work in and around our house. We knew when we leased it that there hadn’t been an active farmer there for 30+ years. What we didn’t know was why. There is a big Anatolian Shepard dog on the farm that loves to come visit us but she always avoids the great room in our house and a portion of the side yard. Then one day after an intense, flooding rain, we notices that there was what looked to be an old foundation next to our house. We found that odd and looked at the old tax maps of the area. Well there was once a house there, instead of where ours is, so we did a little searching. We found out that on New Year’s Eve, a man was found barely clinging to life with a bullet wound in his head and one in another more sensitive area. He died at the hospital. After the police were done with their investigation, the house was demolished and a new one built right next to it (because that is where the utility hook ups were). The big wood-stove was moved from that house to our great-room. The case was cold until a few years ago when they finally found the culprit. Sometimes I feel like I’m being watched or like there is a breeze in my great room, so now, like the dog, I refuse to go in there unless my husband is there. We find his stuff on occasion. His cattle chute was hidden in some overgrown brush in a treeline. My husband cleared around it and dragged it out. Still works too. When we dug up the garden we found hand tools that were probably his. He and my husband were(are?) the same age, with light eyes, and light curly hair. They are(were?) both environmentalists with a strong desire to use farming to regenerate the land rather than degrade it. I would like to think that he is happy someone is back on the land raising cattle, but it still gives me the willies.

    Bonus: less than a week after we found this out, we were laying in bed about to fall asleep when our doorbell rang. We don’t have neighbors in any direction for at least 2 miles. We didn’t even realize it was our bell at first because no one has ever rang it! When my husband got to the door, there was an old man with a cane, his face bloodied up, stumbling up the porch, slurring and not making any sense. He kept saying things about “them” and how “they are out there” I couldn’t call for help because we have no cell service in our house. I have seen too many horror movies and was afraid this was some kind of trap or set up. Luckily I was able to text a neighbor and on his way over with his dog and a night vision scope (to check if “they” were out there) he saw a car that had crashed into a tree. We live on a very dark winding dirt road. The man knew a phone number and we called it. It was his son that he lived with, 2 hours away! Apparently the father had dementia and took the car. He was a veteran, so his episodes made him think he was back at war. It was both terrifying and very sad and I hope he is getting the care he needs.

    1. Redux*

      Ok, this is so not the point, but what do you use for phone service? Assuming you have a land line or VOIP, couldn’t you call for help on that line?

      1. Farm Life, Farm Wife*

        It works outside, but not inside. Our roof is metal and that is the explanation I have been given. We have a big screened in porch that, when there isn’t a scary bloody man on it, is a nice place to take a call.

          1. Farm Life Farm Wife*

            If you look up “Cloud lifted over Virginia cold case” it should bring you to a NY daily news article that explains it better than I can. Apparently it was also turned into a bodice ripping romance novel. Which is super weird. But long story short, he fired someone and a family member got upset and shot him.

            1. Redux*

              Oh wow! So much intrigue! The Mellon fortune! The prosthetic hand! I love this stuff. I live in a 200-year old farmhouse that must hold some stories…

            2. DawnShadow*

              OMG after reading that news story no wonder you didn’t want to answer the door to the stranger who crashed his car. Forget horror movies, that’s what happened to the victim of the 1980 shooting in real life!

  44. Busted biscuits*

    I work in a restaurant that is inside a hotel. Many of my coworkers have reported things falling off shelves for no reason, but flying some distance rather than falling straight down. I experienced this once myself—I was standing several feet away from a shelf with my back to it and something hit my shoulder. It was a lid that had been on the shelf, but the lids were stacked, and they interlocked in such a way that one could not have come loose by itself.
    Another time I was in a large walk-in cooler, that has two doors and is shaped like an L. I came in through one of the doors and out of the corner of my eye I saw someone tall, dressed all in black, walk in through the other door and go into the other part of the cooler. My mind told me immediately that something was weird about that. I realized that I had not heard the other door open or close, and that none of our staff that day fit the description of the person I just saw. I went to look in
    the other part of the cooler and no one was there.
    I also heard of an overnight cleaner (they are from an outside company) who was cleaning a large mirror and saw the reflection of a large man menacingly walking toward her. When she turned around no one was there. She was in hysterical tears and refused to come back.

    1. MissDisplaced*

      Doctor Who has had several murder doll episodes. Except they end up being aliens, not Chuckie types.

  45. Alliegator*

    My office is in an incredibly old building that was originally a Confederate soldier hospital during the Civil War. I prefer pretending that there’s noooooo chance of ghosts here!

  46. MissDisplaced*

    “I felt like I was in the first scene of a Dr. Who episode and they wouldn’t even realize I was gone. Or maybe a murder doll movie.”

    OMG! ROFL! This! In the first scene of DW, the “expendable human” almost always gets killed in the most bizarre way. DW is just like StarTrek where you can be sure at least one “expendable crew member” will get killed planetside. I think the DW deaths tend to be much scarier and worse to the humans though. Oh those meddling aliens!

  47. Peaches*

    I just posted a story, but remembered I have another one. When I was younger, my mom worked at a small airport in our hometown (it was mostly a flight school, but a lot of wealthy private pilots also stored their planes there). To make some extra cash over the summer when I was in high school, I also worked there as a temp cleaning airplanes. Most of the planes were outside on a blacktop, but many times, some of the wealthy private pilots would ask me to clean their airplanes, which were stored in one of the probably 20 hangars that were sort of “off the grid” (they were about a quarter of a mile walk from the main building.) These hangars were also very dimly lit, and pretty desolate.

    Anyway, a couple years before I started working there, I was at a bookstore with my mom and sister, when we found a book of “the 20 most haunted places in the U.S.”, or something like that. Hangar #13 at the airport I would eventually clean planes at (where my mom worked at the time), was on the list! My mom had never heard of it being haunted, but the book said a man had died in the hangar in the early 1900s, and his ghost now lingered in the hangar. I don’t remember how he died, but it freaked me out and obviously stuck with me over the years.

    My mom wasn’t sure which hangar was hangar #13, but I eventually cleaned planes in nearly every hangar at that airport, so I’m sure I was in the hangar at one time or another. I would always hear weird noises (creaking, things dropping to the floor, whooshing wind in the dead heat of summer, etc.) and would sometimes make a run for it because I was so scared that the ghost was going to get me!

  48. Pipe Organ Guy*

    I’ve never seen or heard anything, but I felt something once–not physically, but “sensed.” After choir practice that was held in one building, I crossed the parking lot to put stuff away in the church’s choir loft. I unlocked the church door as usual and went to unlock the gate to the choir loft. Something felt incredibly creepy to me. I went upstairs, though, and turned on the loft lights and put my stuff back near the organ console. I couldn’t shake that creepy sensation, though, and I got out of there as fast as I could. On another occasion, I was startled to see a person in the dark, empty church. It turned out he was a parishioner who had gotten locked in that night, so I let him out, locked up, and had an uneventful practice session.

    At the church where I work now, there is alleged to be a ghost. Some say they have felt it, heard it, even seen it (out of the corner of their eye). I’ve been working there for many years now and have never encountered it. On the other hand, the only time I’m there at night is for choir practice or the occasional nighttime service. My office is in the basement of the church, and I can hear people walking around upstairs in the church itself, and if there’s a rehearsal going on, the sounds drift downstairs through the ceiling. But I’ve never encountered the church ghost.

    1. Zephy*

      My university had an on-site chapel with a pipe organ, located in one of the academic buildings, and we had a music school wherein one could major in Music Performance – Organ.

      Being stupid college kids, one night some friends and I decided to camp out in that building, which lasted until we started hearing the organ, at which point we booked it out of there. Turns out, midnight to 1 AM is the best time for the one MP – Organ major there was at the time to practice.

  49. Scrooge McDunk*

    I live in an old city with many old heritage buildings that are rumoured to be haunted. This isn’t too surprising, as a little over 100 years ago a disaster struck our city that left thousands of dead and wounded; many buildings were pressed into service as temporary hospitals or morgues, and many of those buildings still stand. My office at OldJob was one of those buildings. Most of the activity in the building was pretty benign: random cold spots, lights that turned on or off on their own, the ladies bathroom where some unseen force kept shutting and locking stall doors. The baby, however, was hard to get past. We did shift work, so I (and one other coworker) would come in at 5:00 am, two more came at 6:00 am, and the rest of the morning shift at 7:00 am. We hot desked, and most of the staff vied for spots on the second floor because there was no management or supervisors on that floor so it was easier to sneak onto the internet or pull out a crossword puzzle during slow periods. Those of us on the early shift, however, never tried for those coveted second floor desks. That’s because every morning between 6:00 and 7:00 am, the second floor echoed with the sounds of a baby crying. There was, as you might imagine, no baby there. I got off that early shift as soon as humanly possible.

      1. Scrooge McDunk*

        Yep. Thought about leaving that detail out for fear of doxxing myself, but there are so many creepy buildings in the city I wasn’t too worried ;-)

  50. empress_of_forever*

    You can hear faint typing and movement from the cubicle next to me when the person who works there isn’t in. I have multiple independent witnesses. People come over to talk to me and then lean over to look at the other cubicle and there’s no one there and then I explain about the ghost noises.

    I thought the sound was maybe echoing from some other part of the office but it happens even when it’s just me (or just me and the person I’m talking to) at the end of the day.

  51. Nanc*

    In my late teens we had a rescue dog who had never barked in the 3 years we’d had her. One night about 3 a.m. she ran to the front door and started barking, growling and howling–for a little dog she had a very deep, loud bark. Just as my brother was about to go outside and investigate (15 years old, 6′ 2″ and about 130 pounds at that time) our next door neighbor pounded on the front door. He was a highway patrol officer and was there in his underwear with his gun drawn. He had heard the dog barking and knew something must be up. He searched all over the house and outside and found nothing. The dog stayed right in front of the door the rest of the night and she never barked again in the remaining 8 years she lived.
    Don’t know if we were being haunted or there was someone outside who ran but it was weird!

    1. DDS*

      My dog, also not a barker, usually sleeps in my bed but one night wondered out to the living room. At 3 am he started furiously barking. We went out to investigate, looked out all the windows and didn’t see anything. We figured it must have been the cat that sometimes roamed our neighborhood. Carried him to bed but was on edge so didn’t go back to sleep. I heard a sound at my bedroom window, opened the slats and saw a man’s hand on the glass. Deputies come and find 3 window screens bent from him trying to get in. They caught him an hour later down the street with several items he had stolen from the area. My dog had steak for dinner that night.

      1. Turtlewings*

        “saw a man’s hand on the glass” — yeeeesh I nearly jumped out of my chair. You have a very, very good dog.

        1. Eye of Newt*

          I am so glad that I’m reading this in an apartment several floors off the ground. Still probably won’t sleep tonight, though.

  52. It's Worse Because It's True*

    I used to work in a super boring cube farm. Beige walls as far as the eye could see. My firm was large and global and my job was putting out fires, so I routinely worked late into the night or came in before the sun came up. Usually alone.

    I often heard voices. Weird whispers of words I couldn’t make out, or occasionally my name. Our lights were on motion sensors so it was pretty easy to clock when other people were around. This only ever happened when I was alone.

    The voices were honestly terrifying. They sounded like someone was behind you, whispering in your ear. Sometimes I’d feel a breeze on my neck or a pressure on my shoulder when they were talking to me. A few times I was shoved from behind when no one was there.

    I mostly ignored them.

    Except one night I was working late with a new hire, wrapping up a late call to introduce her to our team in Bangkok. As we’re going back to our desks to pack up, she’s drinking coffee and I’m spacing out, thinking about my commute. And the voices start up.

    My coworker choked on her coffee, sprayed some of it out, and then started screaming. Then I freaked out, yelling “Oh my god, you heard it too?” I hustled us out of there as fast as I could and started campaigning for a telecommuting option the next day.

    I’d been ignoring the voices because I figured either a) the stress of my job was causing a mental break and I didn’t have time for that or b) the office was haunted and I didn’t want to encourage whatever was trying to mess with me. Growing up we moved a lot for my Dad’s job, and we lived in two separate houses my entire family of athiests and skeptics will swear were haunted. And that experience taught me to just play opossum when it comes to weird and spooky stuff.

    But someone else hearing it too? Nope, nu-uh, no thank you, I’m done.

    1. Libertine Agrarian*

      Oh wow that’s legit terrifying! It’s one thing to hear something by yourself cause you can always figure it’s all in your head, but when someone else hears it… wow.

      I hope your current workplace has less weirdness!

      1. Caliente*

        I think any kind of “touching” is what would do it for me! Like, lets talk, but no touch lol

        1. Glitsy Gus*

          Agreed, sounds might be ok, especially if they aren’t all screamy yelly, but no touchy! NO TOUCHY!

  53. Reality Check*

    At OldJob I worked in a building that had been an old house, but converted to an office. The few times I stayed late to get work done, I had a constant sense of being watched. Then I would hear coughing, laughing, etc, but of course I was the only one in the building. The final straw came when I was in the rest room after hours one evening. Again, alone. There was a big gap between the bottom of the door and the floor, and I could SEE a foot with a shoe on it walk by. I flew out of there as fast as I could, “WHO’S THERE?” of course, nothing. I asked my coworker, who often stayed late herself, about this. Did she ever notice anything weird? “Oh yeah,” she said. She never mentioned it because she didn’t want to scare anyone and half believed she was imagining things. She wasn’t imagining things…

  54. Alianne*

    I worked at a library right after college, and on slow days, they’d send me down into the basement to weed the books in storage, see if any of them needed to be discarded or shifted back up to the circulation shelves. The library basement is as creepy and dusty as you’re imagining, but it was easy work, and I like books. When I knew I was going to be scheduled down there, I’d bring my iPod and earbuds, and would happily go through shelves of old books, singing along because the acoustics down there were pretty good and no one was there to hear me.

    Except for the one time a song finished, and in the pause between one and the next, a male voice said out of thin air “Oh, don’t stop!”

    There was no one else down there–I would have heard them come down via the cranky old freight elevator. The voice was unfamiliar, and there were only about four people it could have been (not too many males working in a small library).

    I basically teleported back up to the circulation desk, said the dust down there was making me cough, and did not go back down into the basement for a month. Never heard that voice again, but I also never let myself be distracted by music again while I was down there either.

    1. Esme Squalor*

      Aww, this one was kind of sweet. I picture a lonely old man ghost who’s so happy that a young person has come down to sing to him.

  55. High Tower on Capitol Hill*

    I used to work in a State Capitol building. The rumors were always that the floor and wing my office was in was haunted by the ghost of someone who died during the construction of the Capitol. Well, turns out that someone who had previously been in that office was pretty hated around the building. So someone took some device (not sure if it was a baby monitor, something from a Halloween store) that played ghostly sounds and placed several of these devices around the office, in the light fixtures, so the hated person could never find it. This went on for months and people still think that part of the Capitol is haunted for real.

  56. Libertine Agrarian*

    When I was still in university, I worked at a big-box electronic store as a cashier – not exactly a spooky place! I however quickly learned that our supervisor was well-known for having supernatural powers. I was highly skeptical, but many of the cashiers really bought into it; once, a girl broke her leg in a car accident and the supervisor made her cry by telling her she had had a vision of the event before it happened (but couldn’t tell her about it for spiritual reasons).

    Shortly before my contract expired, there was a huge buzz in the store because that supervisor swore that she had seen the shape of a man on the security feed of the office, at a time where it would have been locked and completely impossible to access. I rolled my eyes, figuring it was awfully convenient that she was the only one with appropriate security clearance to view that feed, so no one could verify her claims.

    About a week after my departure, I ran into one of the cashiers by accident while shopping at the mall – we discussed the event and I shared that I didn’t believe one word of it. She however told me something that gave me pause: the day after the supervisor claimed she saw the figure on the feed, a sizable sum of money had been found missing. The ledgers attest that the money was there the day before.

    Who knows where the ~ghost robber~ will strike next.

      1. Libertine Agrarian*

        Yeah that’s what I immediately thought too, but I’m going to guess she had an alibi or something or there’s no way management wouldn’t have suspected her.

    1. fposte*

      Ah, yes. The stealthy ghost robber, for adults who want to recreate the thrill of an imaginary friend who’s the one who did all the bad stuff.

    2. Esme Squalor*

      “Once, a girl broke her leg in a car accident and the supervisor made her cry by telling her she had had a vision of the event before it happened (but couldn’t tell her about it for spiritual reasons).”

      I know pooh-poohing anything from these stories is against the spirit of the spooky thread, but people who claim to be psychic and then pull this “I totally knew in advance about the thing that would already happen” move make my eyes roll all the way out of my head.

      1. Kelsi*

        Same. If you know it in advance and “can’t tell” for some bullshit reason, then record it in a time-verifiable way. That way when it comes true later you can show off. Or….could it be…..you’re just full of it?

        1. Glitsy Gus*

          Or just don’t say anything! That’s such a dick move, “I could have helped you but I didn’t because ‘Spiritual Reasons.'” How on earth does that help the person you’re telling it to? It doesn’t, it just makes them feel worse because, if you’re telling the truth, you could have possibly helped them but chose not to.

          1. Curmudgeon in California*

            Seriously. If I get a hunch about a danger to someone that has *anything* more than a vague uneasiness, I do my best to warn them. Sure, then they avoid the problem and my hunch is laughed away as crazy or paranoid, but that’s ok, the bad event didn’t happen. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) I don’t get them very often. If it has to do with driving and I know their usual route, I just suggest an alternate and mention “the radio news mentioned construction going to be there sometime this week”.

            OTOH, I will often get delayed by really stupid stuff, and then come on an accident that I probably would have ended up right in the middle of. But, no way to prove that, so shrug and go about my day, happy that at least it wasn’t me.

  57. JustaTech*

    Not super spooky, but weird.
    About 5 years ago I had a 3am time point where I had to be in the lab. I’m not good for much at that hour so I decided the smart thing to do would be to come back to work about 10pm and sleep on the cot in the phlebotomy room (blood drawing room) until my time point. I picked that room partly for the cot and partly because it had a lock and no windows, because our night security guard at the time was a little bit creepy.
    I tell the guard I’m there (so he doesn’t freak out about a locked door), climb into my sleeping bag and get about 2-3 hours of bad sleep. I wake up and look up and the ceiling tile directly above me is half out of place, leaving a hole up to the crawl space. I looked at it and said out loud “I choose to believe that was like that when I came in.”

    I didn’t sleep much after that.

  58. PattS*

    Worked in a former school building from the early ’30s (school admin office now). In the ’50’s, a secretary fell in the coal room (where coal deliveries came into via a chute), hit her head and died because she was in there over the winter break. There is definitely a presence in that room. I was searching through files we had stored in there, and asked out loud, why I couldn’t find the folder I was looking for. Head a noise and the file i was looking for was on top of a stack of boxes. This happened to our auditors once. Scared the crap out of their intern.
    Have a lot more creepy stories about the haunted jr high building where I rented a studio.

  59. I WORKED on a Hellmouth*

    Everything at my last property management job was spooky! But my manager swore up and down that the leasing office was haunted. I know that there were perfectly valid reasons for a lot of the stuff in the office (doors opening and shutting, odd noises, the wasp, spider, and snake “situations,” the dust particles that she claimed were “orbs” that showed up on one of the cameras in her office) but when you added all of that to the constant weird issues (buildings repeatedly struck by lightning, fires, ponds suddenly draining or turning pink and killing all of the fish, that time all of the water in the pool just disappeared, people who suddenly became very riled up and aggressive when they came into the office), staying late could be pretty terrifying. I remember one time we had to stay late, and a former coworker stopped by to say hi–we were all chatting in the back room when we heard a boom, like something falling in the office. We froze for a few minutes, then former coworker and I crept out to check out what happened and saw nothing. Then we heard strange scratching and shuffling sounds. We came out and again saw nothing. Then we heard a door bang! It was really freaky. And it was winter, so it was also VERY DARK AND SPOOKY. So I decided that I was going to cut visiting short and finish my stuff so I could GTFO before I could be murdered by a poltergeist.

    This is when I discovered that a resident who had been arguing with me about her rent check earlier that day (she owed a substantial late fee from the previous month that she did not want to pay, and had been angry that I would not accept her rent check without that fee included) had somehow sneaked into the (locked!) outer office, crawled into my office, and shoved her rent check into a pile of other checks that were being processed. Her entrance, switch to crawling right before she entered my office, and exit were later confirmed by residents who were hanging out in the common area outside of the office (which was basically a big fish bowl as it was lined with floor to ceiling windows and glass doors along the back.) I believe this may be the first documented reverse burglary.

    1. Turtlewings*

      …Crawled??? That is definitely one of the weirdest of the many weird things you have shared from that place.

      1. I WORKED on a Hellmouth*

        Yeah, it’s a bizarre one. After my boss got fired and Foster Boss had been around for a bit we had another incident with that resident and I wound up telling FB that story–she laughed her butt off (especially when she saw the documentation from the residents who saw parts of it going down), but also advised me to never, ever tell that story to anyone else unless they really knew me and/or had access to the files about it because it made me sound legitimately crazy.

  60. Peter the Bubblehead*

    I work in an office located in a nearly 150 year old converted textile mill. This particular building has had several fires in its lifetime and stories of numerous workers being killed in both the fires and other industrial accidents among the heavy machinery.
    Co-workers who have been in the office later than most have told stories of hearing children’s laughter or the running footsteps of children in places where there are not any. (The mill employed underage workers prior to child labor laws being passed.)
    Others have had the sense of being watched, or someone else in the room, but when they look no one else is around.
    We have heard stories of lights going on and being seen through windows there no lights should be and no access to anyone.
    However, there have been no incidents that have sent anyone running in terror or refusing to come to work, so nothing malevolent that would cause problems.

    1. Classic Rando*

      Ooh! I used to work at a state park that was on the site of an extinct town. At its height (pre-civil war) it was a big textile producer, but there were at least two devastating mill fires that resulted in deaths, including some children. All the buildings are gone, but the foundation of one of the mills is still accessible near a swimming pond, and the trails around the pond are very clearly old overgrown roads, with stone walls and bits of crumbling rubble stone foundations scattered through the woods. Also, there’s a small cemetery by the entrance, most of the headstones are for children.

      A lot of people think one of the little girls from the cemetery haunts the place. There’s also another section that some scouting groups have reported demon or spirit activity in.

      I never saw a little girl creeping on me from the cemetery, but a year or two after I left that job, I went there to walk the trails. Turns out, walking through the bones of an extinct town by yourself can be a little creepy, even on a nice day. I kept finding little signs of the town, like “oh, that used to be somebody’s driveway, there’s their front stoop…” so by the time I was halfway around the pond I was thoroughly spooked. Then I thought I heard a voice ahead of me on the trail, looked up, and almost died when I saw someone on horseback in the distance.

      Turns out, it wasn’t an apparition, just a local equestrian enjoying a day on the trails.

  61. TerraTenshi*

    Back in college I worked at a boutique chain kids store that had an attached warehouse/storage area. Things in the storage area routinely seemed to appear/disappear and move around on their own to the point that the majority of the staff joked about there being a ghost. Because the store was primarily staffed by college and high school kids the ghost “joke” grew and grew. Whenever we had treats in the break area someone would announce “you can have some too, ghostie.” When you couldn’t find something the computer said we had it was common to ask the ghost where they’d put it. Some of the sales staff joked about bringing in a Ouija board for Halloween to talk to the ghost. So on and so forth.

    Shortly before I ended up quitting the entire company was sold and every store was told that they’d be receiving an inspection from corporate. So our “inspector” shows up and right out of the box she’s awful. She accused us of rampant employee theft (not true as far as I know), being lazy, not following corporate mandate (how dare your display be built half an inch narrower than the standard), incompetence, etc. Absolutely everything that could be wrong somehow was and it was all our fault and clearly done with malicious intent. Almost as soon as she got there sales dropped and we got several customer complaints about the fact that she was screaming at staff in full view of customers, this was also our fault, of course.

    After a few days of this we’d already had several staff quit and everyone who was left was either considering it or convinced they were going to get fired no matter what. Our inspector is on her daily tear, this time about our storage area and how badly maintained it is. She’s storming up and down the shelving aisles, yelling at us about this that and the other when all of a sudden one of the storage units she’s standing near TIPS OVER and goes crashing down, knocking several other shelves over in a domino effect and pining our crashing down on our dear inspector. We had to call 911 for help digging her out and to take her to the hospital. It turned out that she broke an arm and her pelvis in the incident and the rest of our inspection was cancelled.

    The strange thing is that these were industrial strength, bolted to the floor, ceiling, and wall shelving units. Corporate freaked out about the liability and sent someone out to look at the whole warehouse and not only could they not find anything wrong they were baffled how the things fell in the first place. They said they’d never seen anything like it. Of course we all blamed the ghost.

  62. Oh Snap!*

    I worked in a production office that was just a tiny one bedroom apartment in a pre-war building in an old part of NYC. I used to stay late to work on any projects that required a lot of concentration so I wouldn’t be interrupted by whatever else was going on in the office.

    There was a brick fireplace with a large mirror hanging above it and one night when I was there alone sorting receipts I got up to grab something from the supply closet just a few feet away from my desk. As I was standing there with my back to my desk the mirror flew off the wall and landed right on top of my chair where I had been sitting just 30 seconds before, sending shards of glass all over the floor and my chair. The thing is, my desk was to the side of the fireplace and several feet away. If the mirror fell off the hook it would have just landed on the ground in front of the fireplace, but instead it somehow turned 90 degrees and travelled four feet to end up square on top of my chair. If I hadn’t gotten up it would have hit me in the head. I frantically called my boss who told me to go home and that he would clean it up in the morning.
    I’m still baffled by how the mirror ended up landing on my chair (and how it happened at a rare moment when I was up from my desk) and I was never able to shake the spooky feeling I got from that place after that.

  63. Mimi Me*

    I once worked at a Blockbuster Video in a busy tourist town. The desk where did all of our nightly tasks was at the very front of the store, behind the registers. The way the set up was meant that as I was counting out cash, my back would be to the big plate glass window and that anyone walking by could see what I was doing. I complained – repeatedly – about this glaring safety issue and the owner of the franchise ended up purchasing peel and stick decals that covered the bottom portion of the glass. It worked well as passerby well over 6 feet tall were only visible by the tops of the their heads. Anyway one night I am sitting at the desk with another employee and we’re counting out the nights cash. Suddenly there’s this tap on the window and we turn to see this man standing there – head and shoulders over the strip! I would describe him as gaunt, with sunken cheeks and bad teeth. He sees us looking at him, smiles, points his finger at us and then drags it across his neck. He then turns and walks away – visible over the decal the whole time. We did call the police once our terror subsided and refused to leave until they arrived. Turns out the guy was a local man who lived in a halfway house nearby. He was seven feet tall and super skinny – and also recently undergoing a change to his medication which caused erratic behavior. He came into the store about 2 weeks later with an aide to apologize. Apparently he had terrified no less than 6 of the businesses in that plaza that night with this and he had no memory of doing it. I still have nightmares about him every once in a while.

  64. Amber Rose*

    I have successfully spooked several of my coworkers with my costume today, so I guess I’m what’s haunting this office. :)

  65. New Job So Much Better*

    The bank I used to work in was reportedly haunted–whoever stayed late working, or cleaning, heard footsteps above while in the basement. They would be there alone, locked in, and still hear the steps. Creepy!

  66. Wonky Policy Wonk*

    When I was 13 I spent a Summer working at my Dad’s company to earn some extra cash, I would come in Friday nights and clean the office (vacuuming, dusting, tidying up anything out of place, ect) for minimum wage because I wasn’t old enough to work for anyone that followed labour laws (it was an office of 4 people, all of which were co-owners of the business). It had to come in Friday nights because the office was in a historical Catholic church and they still performed Saturday and Sunday mass. There were three floors: the first floor was the chapel, the second floor was office space they rented out (it used to be where they held Sunday school and social events), and the third floor was the nun’s living quarters. There was a back staircase to the second floor, which all the office workers used, and a main staircase that connected all three floors but was always kept locked from the main floor. I always assumed there had to be a third staircase somewhere, because on Friday nights I would hear the nuns walking around upstairs and talking to each other but I never saw any of them go up or down the main staircase.

    Near the end of Summer I noticed that the second floor landing of the main staircase had a velvet rope in front of it and I sign that the second floor was off limits. I asked my Dad why it was there and he told me that the Church had decided to host tours during weekdays to people who wanted to see the historical parts of the building, mainly the third floor (it was one of the oldest Catholic Churches in our area). I wondered how the nuns felt about people touring their living space and my Dad gave me a weird look. It was at that point he told me that no nuns had lived in the Church in over 40 years. I asked if they used the third floor for other things or if there was another staircase going up there, but I was told there were only two staircases and the nun’s quarters had been sealed off when the last nun passed away in the ’60s. Even the cleaning staff for the Church wouldn’t go up there, I guess they complained that the third floor was haunted… I stuck it out for the rest of the Summer, horrified every time I heard foot steps or whispers from the floor above, but I never went back after that even to visit.

    1. anon24*

      This one’s my favorite so far! Because you didn’t realize anything was amiss for awhile. Makes it way creepier!

  67. Jaid*

    On general principles, I avoid the single user bathroom that someone OD’d and died in. The mirror over the sink faces the toilet and if I were to see something odd in the mirror while doing my business…

  68. Grand Admiral Thrawn Is Still Blue*

    Not really that spooky, on the surface, but I will always wonder. The Baptist church that fired me in July, odd things happened in the senior pastor’s office, the man who orchestrated my termination. Lights came on by themselves, the worst was locking his door to go home, then returning literally ten minutes later to find it standing wide open. Sounds so innocent, yet no one else was there, and the keys were limited. I KNOW I locked that door. Then of course two squirrels died…. In his inner study walls.

    I think he has hurt people, worse than I was, and the results are following him. Prior to his arrival, my time there was uneventful.

    1. Veronica*

      A misguided or evil pastor can do a lot of damage. I always think of the original X-files episode with the two pastors. The scruffy intense one was not the bad one.

  69. UndercoverLibrarian*

    I was once inadvertently responsible for haunting a coworker; does that count? I used to work in a large store, and we had a huge backroom / warehouse. One of my coworkers commented that she often heard voices in the warehouse when no one else was back there. On one occasion, the two of us were in the warehouse, and lo and behold, we could head voices and giggling, but no one else was there except us. I made an offhand comment about the place being haunted, and unbeknownst to me, this terrified her for weeks! I felt awful when I found out.

    Eventually, I figured out that the walls between our store and the one next door weren’t finished properly during construction, so there was a 1/4 inch gap in the drywall, and our “ghosts” were just our neighbours. Thankfully, I was able to alleviate my coworker’s fears by showing her what the issue was.

  70. Jessica M*

    I actually think there may be some technical explanation for this, but I don’t know it. At a recent job I worked in a library with network printers – think, any number of computers in a given area could connect to it by installing the drivers off a shared drive. Twice when I worked there, the printer in my office printed out a single page of mostly blank page with a bit of nonsense (think zeros and random characters) with the words HELP ME nestled among them. The first time it happened I showed it around and tried to figure out if something was wrong with the machine but didn’t have any luck.
    After moving to a different location in the same company, about a year in, a different style of network printer did the same thing. I’m still at this location and maybe I’ll figure out what is probably the innocuous reason for this, but it still has a pretty chilling effect when it pops out of the machine.
    The first building was known to be haunted and the security guard gave me many manner of fact stories after his overnights. He didn’t seem to mind.

    1. Anon for now*

      I work in IT, and at a previous job, the network printers would sometimes print pages with one or two random characters, or one or two lines of random characters, until they ran out of paper. Some of them had a word or two mixed in (but not “help me”). It happened with printers in some other units as well. I don’t know enough to know the specifics of how this happened, but it’s the result of people trying to do something nefarious to computers, but they just target IP addresses, some of which happen to be network printers, rather than computers. The printers can’t execute whatever is intended, but for some reason it causes them to print out this stuff. We increased the security to the network printers and it stopped happening.

      1. Jessica M*

        See, I thought it may be something like that but never knew enough to guess! I guess it could be combination hacker/ghost. At least they only wasted one sheet of paper at a time.

      2. Curmudgeon in California*

        See, I’ve seen printers print pages of a few garbage characters each, but that was when someone tried to send PDFs to the printers without the proper postscript drivers installed. A single page document becomes 50 pages of minimal gibberish.

  71. Gen*

    I worked in a teeny tiny store selling nothing but porcelain dolls in what used to be a medieval meat market. Because the buildings overhang the narrow street it was incredibly dark in there. Basically spending eight hours a day in dark 15ft cube surrounded by glassy eyed dolls staring blankly ahead. I was in charge of inventory and shelf arrangement so when I realised that one doll in particular was moving around the store from day to day I started freaking out. She had a dress that blended in quite well with the majority of other dolls so I usually wouldn’t notice she’d moved for a few hours every day. Once she was under the counter where my knees would be, I definitely screamed that time. Turned out the owner’s son had a key and decided to mess with me on his way home from work every night.

    A week before I left a dozen dolls fell of their shelves and shattered, all at once and seemingly for no reason. Maybe someone slammed a door elsewhere in the building or something but I didn’t heard anything. At least I didn’t have I pay for them

  72. Someone101*

    I used to work in the kitchen of a very old building that dated back to the early 1800s. When I first started there I was warned of the resident ghost, but being a skeptic I didn’t think too much of it.

    There are two incidents that I remember clearly.

    The first was one day, I had arrived early as I had to prepare some sandwiches for a large function. I opened up that morning so I was definitely the only person in the building. I was at my workstation and I was facing the wall which was made of stainless steel, when I suddenly felt like someone was behind me. I was genuinely overcome with fear, i remember it so vividly. But I somehow ‘knew’ it wasn’t an actual person. I thought to myself ‘don’t react, just carry on like you haven’t noticed’. I glanced up and I could see a dark figure walk behind me reflected in the steel. I put everything down and went outside to wait for my boss to arrive, who wasn’t surprised at all when I told her.

    The second incident was another morning. Again I was the first to arrive and open up. I walked in and could hear voices, like two people in conversation but I couldn’t make out the words. I thought perhaps we had left the radio on all night by accident so I walked into the main seating area where the radio is and the voices suddenly stopped. The radio was also off.

    1. DoomCarrot*

      I guess it’s true what they say, that in America, 100 years is a long time, while in Europe, 100 miles is a long way.

      Early 1800s is quite modern by local standards!

      1. JB (not in Houston)*

        Eh, that may not be as old as the older buildings in other parts of the world, but early 1800s is still pretty dang old for a building! If you were looking to buy a house and told your realtor you wanted something modern, most people wouldn’t be thinking that anything from 1800 onward fit the bill.

        1. pleaset*

          “Early 1800s is quite modern by local standards!”

          Really?

          If you went to a realtor and asked to see something “quite modern” they might show you something from 1810? Wow.

    2. Jane Austin Texas*

      Does anyone but me ever wonder why all ghosts seem to be from the 1600-1800s? Like, are we not making new ghosts?

      1. Someone101*

        I like to think that modern ghosts are similar to modern people- we have options now! 1800s ghosts may be happy to mope around the kitchen all day, but when I’m dead you will find me jet setting around the world and doing all the stuff I couldn’t afford to do IRL lol.

      2. Alexandra Lynch*

        I’ve experienced a haunting that, from the content/place, was from the 1940’s.

        (Smell of biscuits baking, someone walking in heels on a hard floor, vague “kitchen noises” and a woman’s voice singing “Hush little baby, don’t say a word,” etc. song) Not scary, but distinctly weird. The area was base housing in WW II, but it’s since been torn down and the area repurposed into a county park.)

  73. Diane*

    I worked in a 1800’s bank building and one evening was only one doing a sales call block in late October. We had a separate area where the old bank vault was located and as I was preparing to make my next call could swear I heard something that sounded like someone dragging a large bag of coins coming from that vault. Needless to say I left soon after that.

  74. MissGirl*

    My old roommate, Ellie, and I worked at a company that published history books. Ellie and her assistant, Mary, had to go to the old train station to shoot some photos. Mary ran to the bathroom downstairs. While she was in the stall, she heard the bathroom door open and footsteps pacing in front of the sinks. When she came out, no one was there.

    She walked back upstairs to join Ellie. She looked a little off, and Ellie, jokingly asked, “What did you see the bathroom ghost?”

    “Wait, what?”

    “They say a woman haunts the basement and walks into the bathroom.”

    Mary didn’t go down there alone again.

  75. Reality Check*

    This from a former client. It was a law firm, conservative, straight-laced, sober-minded office. I have no reason to believe they were pulling my leg. Their office was in an old (early 1900’s) 2 story house that had been converted to an office. It was widely rumored to be haunted before they even moved in.

    My client told me when they moved in, the shenanigans started immediately. But the best one was early one morning when an attorney arrived before everyone else to get some work done. He could hear, coming from the upstairs, loud music, voices, people dancing on the floor. He said it sounded like there were 2 dozen or more people dancing, and it was old-timey music.

    By now they were growing used to it. He just yelled up the stairs “Be quiet, please! I need to get some work done!” and everything stopped immediately. Of course he went up to check. Nothing but old filing cabinets, etc.

  76. FaintlyMacabre*

    I worked in a manufacturing facility, and due to the nature of my job, I was often at the plant when no one was around or late at night. One time, I was doing some routine testing in a production area late at night when I thought I saw someone in the room. Occasionally, maintenance will also be out and about at weird times, so it didn’t worry me too much. But when I looked, no one was there. I also noticed a weird smell, but due to the drains in that area, I figured it was clogged and made a note to mention that to the supervisor. The whole incident was slightly odd, but not a big deal.

    But it kept happening! Feel like someone is there, there isn’t, and weird smell. Eventually, I decided it was a BO ghost and whenever it would drop by, I’d say hi, ask how it’s going and explain whatever I was doing. I never felt threatened, and aside from the smell, the presence was quite benign.

    HOWEVER, also at that job….
    One time one of the night supervisors asked me if I’d ever encountered anything weird late at night. I was a couple of months in to my BO ghost experience, but was not going to mention it, for fear of sounding insane. So I said no, and asked why. She told me that when some of the night crew were in the breakroom, some, but not all! of the tables had started shaking and freaked the workers out. I mentioned that there was some nighttime work being done on the road, so maybe it was from that? A couple of the people who experienced quit, but having not seen it, I didn’t really give it much thought.
    Until… a few weeks later, I was at work, alone, late at night. I was taking some supplies into different areas of the plant when I heard the TV on in the breakroom. It annoyed me, because people often left the TV on when no one was around, wasting electricity. I was alos wondering what the station was showing, because what I heard was the most creepy, blood curdling laughter. It was unpleasant to hear, but my hands were full, so I decided I’d turn the TV off after I’d distributed my supplies. This took a while, and when I got back to the breakroom, the TV was off. And come to think of it, I’d been in the breakroom earlier and the TV wasn’t on then. I finished my work as fast as possible, and never used the breakroom again after that.

  77. DoomCarrot*

    I used to work in what was allegedly the most haunted house in Ireland, an old stately home, and was the only person living onsite, in a tiny flat over the old carriage house.

    We used to blame all kinds of things on the ghost, but she was generally agreed to be a kindly spirit, just a bit mischievous.

    Now, my flat had been wired by an amateur who put the antenna in the same conduit as the mains electric unshielded, so I got different television channels by putting on different combinations of lights.

    One evening, all I could get was a ghost-hunting programme, when I really wanted to watch Dr Who. I said “cut it out, Olivia”, and immediately, the television went to snow and the alarm went off in the museum halfway across the estate, a good five-minute sprint in the dark and rain – and one I had to respond to within ten minutes to stop it automatically dialling my supervisor.

    We watched her ghost show that evening, it was easier not to argue.

    1. Becky*

      The part of this that I find most hilarious is changing the channel via different light combinations.

  78. What the WhatHalloween-y*

    This is a creepy bad experience and probably not Halloween-y but it scared me! I was a college senior looking for internships. One night at 5pm I got a call from an attorney who wanted me to come down to his office and talk about an internship. He asked if I could pop in now. Sure! (I was young, naive, not a lot of boundaries or maturity at that time). So I went to his office. He met me at the front door and said he had to keep the main doors locked behind us since it was after hours—there was a keyed lock in the inside. I registered it but wasn’t concerned. We went back to his office and he said he had to make a call. He sat across from me and fondled himself the entire time through his pants. He had a notebook on his lap so I couldn’t really tell what he was doing. I kept thinking does he have the ”itch you can’t tell your doctor about”? Eczema? Psoriasis? No, he’s literally fondling himself while on the phone and with me sitting across from him. I was locked in the office with a masturbating madman. Yep. As I said I didn’t have a lot of boundaries (abusive childhood) and didn’t trust my own eyes with what I was seeing. He hung up the phone and escorted me out. We never did talk about the internship. I reported it to campus police and my internship director. This attorney was a known problem and had lost his job as a prosecutor for similar behavior. When Me Too blew up 25 years later, I was curious as to what ever happened to this guy. The State Bar ended up disbarring him for the same behavior perpetrated on other young women. So gross and so scary. I’m pretty sure he was the peeping Tom that started bothering me and roommates. (He had my address from my resume.). So creepy and gross.

  79. Anon for today*

    I used to work at a public health clinic that was built on the site of an old torn down hosptial. It was flimsy construction, so the doors would sometimes bang or you would hear loud whispers late at night, but we always deduced it was because the wind would whistle through the air vents or because of weird drafts. Still, it had a creepy vibe and everyone had a story about papers being moved at night or drawers being opened when they shouldn’t have been, harmless office lore.
    Except for one area of the building – the entry area of the case managment suite. The building lobby was a long rectangle with glass walls and doors into each of the three suites – medical, admin and case managment. When you were standing in the lobby and the lights were out in the case managment suite, it was darker than any other part of the building, and if you looked into it from the lobby, you got this unsettling sensation that something was looking back at you. Sometimes you would get a vague sense of motion, like something was moving, but you could never identify what it was. Everyone who worked in that building was scared of it at night. Even the ninteen year old football players that we hired from the local university to load up our food pantry refused to go into it after dark. When we hired new people we made a point not to mention it, but they would always start asking about it without being prompted. Once a volunteer quit on the spot rather than walk into the CM suite at night, she was so terrified of it. I never got to the bottom of why it felt this way, and I never heard of anything exceptional happening there, but we were all deathly scared of it and sometimes I still have nightmares about standing in that lobby and staring into the darkness and feeling watched.

  80. Dani_in_the_PM*

    I don’t know the best way to present the details of this story! My 2nd job is at a clothing store with a break room/storage space that has these heavy, floor-to-ceiling, metal shelving units that roll on a track and can be locked in place. For at least the 4 years I’ve worked there, the last shelf in the corner has been stuck in a locked position and I never gave that any thought. People have always told stories about weird smells and sounds in the break room. One Black Friday I remember an associate saying, “It’s haunted back there!” and we’d joke that someone got crushed by the rolling shelves and their spirit was causing trouble. Sometimes we’d hear like music or a movie playing, and we thought it was coming through the wall from the adjacent store. Last week we found out that behind the last shelf, the locked one, there’s a pocket of space. With a mattress, and a sleeping bag. And a very shy middle-aged woman. Management won’t give us ANY details, which I think is super unfair because OBVIOUSLY I WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING.

      1. Dani_in_the_PM*

        I assume they spoke to our management, and like I’m not going to call the police and tell them I’m a part-time worker there, wasn’t even in the store when it happened, but “please give me gossip about the homeless person who now has to find somewhere new to live assuming you didn’t already arrest her because you’re all jerks.” You know? I just feel like that conversation wouldn’t go anywhere.

        1. NCKat*

          Well , it’s between the management and the authorities. I do hope they can help find her some shelter.

    1. Damn it, Hardison!*

      Now I want to know everything too! Somehow I find this more frightening than the things that can’t be logically explained.

      1. SaffyTaffy*

        It’s definitely ~sad~ as hell, right? I’m sorry they found her, frankly, it seems like she wasn’t really bothering anyone and had a comfortable, warm, private place to be. I mean she might even have a job. For some reason I’m really invested in the idea that she works a job all day and then gets into the break room through our back door at night.

        1. SaffyTaffy*

          oh no! now everybody will know my secret alter ego!!! If anyone reads this who knows me IRL… well, Hell, I don’t know. Ask me about it, I guess?

    2. Becky*

      I read a news story …a while ago…about a man in Japan who kept finding things disturbed–things moved, food missing etc- in his apartment where he lived alone when he was out all day.
      He finally got a security camera and found out there was a homeless woman who had been living in a cupboard in his apartment for almost a year.

      1. Damn it, Hardison!*

        There are a couple of episodes of the podcast Criminal that feature similar stores – A Bump in the Night and Unexpected Guests.

      2. DawnShadow*

        All these stories are really creeping me out. Sometimes when I get home from work my bedroom smells like men’s cologne (I live alone in a detached house) and I always assumed it was some old incense I have stored in my bathroom that, I don’t know, air currents randomly waft the scent through shut cabinets? But now I’m worried that three years ago when my daughter was still living with me and was bad about locking doors, SOMEONE ELSE moved in and has been here ever since!

        1. Veronica*

          You could maybe get a couple of police officers to help you search the house? Or if the police won’t, maybe a few big strong friends?
          That would ease your mind.

  81. Holly Hendricks*

    =Haunted Houses by Henry W. Longfellow=
    (For all my colleagues who have worked in historic house museums – I worked at the Longfellow National Historic Site in Cambridge, Mass. where many of us felt benign presences.)
    All houses wherein men have lived and died
    Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
    The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
    With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

    We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
    Along the passages they come and go,
    Impalpable impressions on the air,
    A sense of something moving to and fro.

    There are more guests at table than the hosts
    Invited; the illuminated hall
    Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
    As silent as the pictures on the wall.

    The stranger at my fireside cannot see
    The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
    He but perceives what is; while unto me
    All that has been is visible and clear.

    We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
    Owners and occupants of earlier dates
    From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
    And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

    The spirit-world around this world of sense
    Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
    Wafts through these earthly mists and vapoursdense
    A vital breath of more ethereal air.

    Our little lives are kept in equipoise
    By opposite attractions and desires;
    The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
    And the more noble instinct that aspires.

    These perturbations, this perpetual jar
    Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
    Come from the influence of an unseen star
    An undiscovered planet in our sky.

    And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
    Throws o’er the sea a floating bridge of light,
    Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
    Into the realm of mystery and night,—

    So from the world of spirits there descends
    A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
    O’er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
    Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

    1. Garland Not Andrews*

      Thank you for sharing that! Lovely poem. My current house often feels like this. Not bad, just the mark of those who have live here.
      And I got a new word “equipoise”. Means held in balance. Cool.

  82. Bunny Girl*

    Totally rational explanation for this one – but it was still creepy. I volunteer with a wildlife rehab center that takes in birds. And it turns out that crows can mimic sounds just like a parrot can. We had a rather mischievous long term resident who, among other things, could say “hello” and giggle like a small child. There were only ever 2-3 of us in the building we were in, and normally we would be working on different floors, but it was really unnerving to hear a child giggling. Especially since I was normally working the early shift.

    1. Mimi Me*

      There’s nothing better than a child laughing. Unless it’s 3AM and you don’t have a child.
      :)

  83. FormerFirstTimer*

    At my previous job, we worked in an older building (built 1950) in the downtown part of our state capitol. My department was on the “Garden Level” (aka the basement). Almost as soon as I started I kept thinking I saw movement out of the corner of my eyes, then I started seeing flashes of light, so I figured I was having either vision problems or a neurological thing so I went to the eye doctor and the regular doctor and got checked out because I was honestly kind of scared that I had a brain tumor or something. I checked out fine so just wrote it off to an overactive imagination. Then I started going into work at 6 am, which is really dark for a lot of the year where I live. We were in a fairly sketchy part of town and there was a mental health day facility for indigent people, so I always made sure that I had all the doors and everything locked. I would also take note of whether the CEO was there yet, because he terrified me and I tried to avoid him if I could. Anyway, one day when I got there before him I go to the basement and turn the lights on and the printer on, etc… and get to work, nothing out of the ordinary. I get up and use the bathroom, which is directly behind my desk. I’m in there washing my hands and someone knocks on the door, which scared the hell out me. I opened the door and not only is there no one there, the lights in the half of the office that I was in were off. There was no one in the building, and the light switch was flipped to the off position and the door next to it was locked from the inside. I turned the lights back on and my music way up and prayed for someone to get there soon because I was freaking out.

  84. AnonEMoose*

    In my undergraduate days, I worked security on campus. One particular shift was in what was technically a complex of four buildings, but all connected and rectangular in shape.

    The buildings weren’t new and had been used for various purposes over the years. At that time, it was basically an amalgamation of various medical school stuff, dental school stuff, and so on.

    There was one particular corridor that just felt “wrong,” somehow. For me, it always felt like someone who would do something nasty if only they could was walking right. behind. me every time I walked down that corridor.

    That was the only place on the entire campus where I ever regularly felt creeped out, and several of my coworkers said the same. No idea what caused it, but it was definitely strange.

    Funny story: One summer night, I was working in that same building. Earlier, some of the medical students had been working in the cadaver labs (which were not, by the way, on the Creepy Corridor). So, fast forward to midnight. I’m about to walk down the corridor past those labs, and I realize that I can hear doors rattling.

    Now, I don’t care how skeptical you are, I assure you that every slasher and zombie flick you have ever seen or heard of goes through your mind in that circumstance. However, I did continue down the corridor (good thing I wasn’t actually a character in a horror movie!).

    What actually happened was that the students had left the windows open, and the wind was causing the doors to rattle. I figured it out because I could feel the wind around the door. I did, however, decline to open the door and close the window (although I did have keys). I figured I didn’t get paid enough for that!

    1. Zephy*

      This comment reminds me of something the tour guide said on a recent underground city tour I went on.

      “A lot of people think the tunnels under the city are haunted – like, sometimes, people say they feel the air moving and temperature dropping, usually right by the hole where the wind comes in. And it’s an old place and there’s cobwebs and detritus all over, so it evokes certain feelings in people, and it’s easy to get caught up in the kinda spooky vibe, especially if you’re already into the idea, and you believe in that kind of stuff. And there’s also the fact that the tunnels are extremely haunted.”

  85. Wondercootie*

    Not work related for me, but related to the nursing home story about the little boy. A few weeks before each of my grandparents died (years and miles apart-they were divorced for decades), each one started seeing a little boy with brown hair. They both described him almost exactly the same. Years later, right before my brother died of cancer, one of his best friends had a dream about a little boy with brown hair inviting my brother to come with him). I don’t know if it’s a ghost or an angel, but it seemed to comfort each person that saw him.

  86. ManagerInNameOnly*

    A worker fell of my roof and died when my house was under construction. I didn’t own the house then. Ever since I moved in (1993), we occasionally see a spectral figure. Tall, long hair, wearing work gear. We can see him in our peripheral vision, but he disappears when we look at him directly. No noises, no moving objects. He just stands there. It’s kind of sad and strange, and not at all scary. When I first saw him, I didn’t tell my 3 sons. I wanted to wait for them to see him and tell me, so I wouldn’t be giving them a ‘suggestion’ and then doubt if it were real. They all have seen him many times, we think of him as our friendly ghost.

  87. Gelliebean*

    This isn’t related to one particular incident or experience, but when I was in college I worked in a coffee shop attached to a very large cafeteria. The cafeteria closed at 7:30, but the coffee shop was open until midnight, and often I would have to walk alone through the giant, darkened, abandoned kitchens to get supplies.

    There was something about that place when it was empty that really put me on edge. I always felt like something was watching me, got chills up my spine and into the back of my head. It was an intensely uncomfortable experience and it happened consistently. In contrast, I’m often alone after hours here in my office when everyone has gone, and although the quiet may be a bit eerie, I’ve never had anything like the feeling I did in that dark kitchen – not here or anywhere else. I’m not terribly prone to the heebie-jeebies, but there was something wrong there.

    1. Radio Girl*

      I have felt that vibe a time or two myself. Just wrong, maybe evil. No white mists, no odd smells, no noises. Just a feeling.

    2. Michaela Westen*

      I worked with a woman who felt things in her bathroom between 1 and 6 am. If she went into the bathroom at that time she felt intense disapproval, and like she was intruding. She would apologize if she had to go in there.
      I asked if anyone had died in her place and she said in the 80’s there was a fire where people died.

  88. Hornswoggler*

    I run a micro business in a little office in a very old building on the high street of a very old town in England. The building is probably 250 years old, but nobody knows exactly. My room is on the top floor, and it has a fireplace and an old built-in cupboard with what looks like Victorian wallpaper and a row of wooden pegs. I believe it was once a servant’s bedroom.

    When I first moved in, 17 years ago, a chap in one of the other offices on my floor asked me if I had seen the ghost. I hadn’t, but I must say that the evening I moved in I had had a very spooky feeling on the landing. That feeling has returned many times, especially after dark.

    Some years ago, I sublet one of my desks to a friend, while I was working in London during the week for a short while. I saw her one day in the street. She rushed across the road and grabbed me by the arm, and more or less screeched at me “why didn’t you tell me your office is haunted?!” I apologised, and said that I didn’t realise she would be there during the evenings. She told me that she had been sitting at the desk and writing on her laptop, and had felt somebody come up behind her and look over her shoulder. When she turned round, nobody was there.

    I have certainly never seen my ‘ghost’, of but I always referred to her as ‘the housekeeper’s ghost’.

    The shades of night are falling fast as I write, and it is actually Halloween, so I’m gonna go home right now!

  89. Fela*

    Not super creepy, but definitely odd. Years ago, I was an executive assistant at a non-profit organization. I did a lot with grant management, which involved labeling and tracking a ton of files, so I had a label maker on my desk. It was just a little wireless thing, which was kept off until I needed it. One afternoon, I was alone in the office and it started printing out of the blue. The first label said “Hello?” The next one said “Are you there?” Finally, the third label was simply “…”

    After that, the label maker went to live in the supply closet for a while.

    1. curly sue*

      I did that to my husband on purpose once. (He loves ghosts and hauntings and had a laugh, I promise it was aimed at an appreciative audience.)

      Short version of the story is that we had a wireless printer, to which I could only connect through google print – an over-the-internet service – even when I was home. I happened to be out of town at a conference, and when I go away, Curly Bob likes to watch all the really intense horror movies that I won’t watch. So about 11:30 at night, I typed up a Word file that just said BOO, and I sent it to the house printer.

      I got the greatest phone call ever from him about twenty seconds later – apparently my timing had been very good, and the printer – in the same room as the TV – had jolted to life right at a very intense (and quiet) part of the movie.

    2. Michaela Westen*

      Could it have intercepted a phone call? Depends on whether it takes voice commands, I guess.

  90. Daisy Avalin*

    When I started working nights, the previous night shift lady J and another cashier S delighted in telling me about the ghost we have haunting the petrol station I work at. The only info they had was that he was a middle-aged man called George. He gets blamed for any noises in the building, and for anything that falls off shelves.
    I’m mostly unworried by ghosts/spooky happenings, which is good since I work alone overnight but I did have one incident.
    About four months after I started, I walked around one of the shelving units in the middle of the shop (which I can’t see over, as I’m shorter than them!), and came nose to chest with a man in a checked shirt! Except that, as I startled back and apologised, there was nobody there! I didn’t feel worried, or any sense that he was out to get me, and have never seen him again! The amount of things falling off shelves has lessened since then, although the pumps rings on their own occasionally, usually so that as I reach the tills somebody is pulling onto the forecourt!

    The only time I’ve been scared at work was about three months ago, when halfway through cleaning the coffee vending machine all the lights/radio/machinery suddenly went dead! That was a little scary, especially when I couldn’t find any blown fuses!
    The manager came in after I called to report it, and let me know that it was a power cut in the area rather than specific to our site, and she stayed till the power was restored, since with only the emergency lighting it was very creepy. I did point out that had the fuse box been in a basement rather than the back office, it would have been the perfect start to a horror movie!

  91. Aunttora*

    Not me, but my dad. For a time he worked as a school bus salesman, and in those days the way they worked with school districts was to drive one all over the country to district after district in a demo bus. He’d be on the road very late on empty roads (this was LONG ago, probably before most modern highways were even built). He said that sometimes he’d look up into the mirror thing that allows the driver to keep an eye on students, and in the empty bus way in the back he’d see his OWN dad, just smiling. He said it never creeped him out or scared him, that it was a comfort to have “company” on the long drives.
    I had an experience with ghost grandpa as well, when I was a kid — a restless spirit I guess!

    1. Paralegal Part Deux*

      My uncle bought a used car years ago, like in the 70s, and swore up and down that he could see a girl in the back seat just sitting there with her legs crossed, looking at him. He said it freaked him out the first time but eventually he got used to it.

    2. Busty Ruckets*

      Oh, this is sweet. (My long-dead grandmother sits on the edge of my bed sometimes when I’m falling asleep, although she hasn’t done it for a while. I can’t see her exactly but I feel someone sit down on the bed [I live alone and have no pets] and I can smell her perfume. It’s not scary at all, it’s very comforting.)

      1. Not a cat*

        This is sweet. For about a year after my father died, when I was alone at my parent’s house (checking on dog, getting mail–Mom was on vacation.), I would smell my father’s cologne, as though he just sprayed it and I felt him around.

  92. PB*

    Once, at my previous job, I heard someone say my name in a loud stage whisper. So I look around, assuming someone is trying to get my attention, and there’s no one there. I have a distinctive four-syllable name, so it’s unlikely that I would misheard something else as my name. It was nearly as loud as normal conversation and incredibly clear. Freaked me the hell out.

  93. Sleepless*

    I wish I had a good creepy story! The closest I can come is at the previous animal hospital where I worked, somebody euthanized an injured snapping turtle for a Good Samaritan. He wasn’t completely deceased when they put him in the freezer, so instead he went into hibernation, so when somebody opened the freezer the next morning they were greeted by a live and very angry snapping turtle.

          1. KoiFeeder*

            Yeah, I cannot imagine what state that poor snapping turtle was in that euthanization was required. Turtles are pretty tough! I mean, we had a box turtle with severe intestinal prolapse show up in the koi pond and she lived through that, despite the fact that she was nibbled by koi and smuggled across state lines in a bucket of water.

            (For the sake of cheering everyone up, here’s what I know from the updates we got on her. She was named Vinegar by the staff for her habit of biting everyone, and due to the internal damage from her near-death experience now works as an animal ambassador.)

  94. Ellochka*

    This is the story of the time I arrived before I arrived.

    I was meeting some coworkers in the main gallery at the museum where I used to work. Because it was after hours, I planned to enter through the locked main doors – meaning that when I reached the doors I was intending to text a curator already inside to let me in. As I was stepping away from my car, I saw the curator open the doors and look around.

    It took me about thirty seconds to reach her. She looked at me oddly, “Where were you?” In the last few minutes the people inside had all heard me open the doors (which open with an audible whoosh) stamp my boots on the mat (it was snowing) and call out in what was described to me as my voice.

    The main gallery of the museum is near the doors, but around a corner, so they couldn’t see me. When I didn’t come in the curator came to see what was going on and make sure some random person wasn’t in the museum. The door was locked when the curator reached it. At that time they heard me I was waiting at the light across the street, with a full view of the front doors. I didn’t see anyone.

  95. Candid Candidate*

    I used to work for a flowershop that made arrangements for events, including weddings. On Saturday nights starting around 10 or 11PM, a small team of us would have to go back to all the wedding venues and pick up the rented items (vases, etc) and return them to our shop, which was at the dead end of a street in a not-so-safe neighborhood. We always worked in groups of 2 – 5 people, so I never felt totally unsafe but it definitely wasn’t my favorite thing to do.

    One night, two of the women on our team went to pick up one of the work vehicles to go do pickups and when they slid the van door open they found a man sitting inside it in the dark. They freaked out and ran back to one of the cars and drove away as fast as they could, called the police, and called our boss. When the police and our boss showed up to investigate, they found the man still sitting inside. He was homeless and not in his right mind. Whoever had last used the work vehicle had forgotten to lock the doors, and we all learned that lesson. Still so thankful that everyone came away from the incident safe!

    1. mrs whosit*

      My cousin learned a keep-your-car-doors-locked lesson when someone stole some change, took a bag of baseball stuff, and also pooped in his front seat. Not scary, just gross.

  96. Ralkana*

    Once, I was alone in the building by myself after dark, finishing up work, and the main phone rang at the receptionist’s desk. It wasn’t ringing on any of the extensions, but it wasn’t the internal ring, either, it was just only ringing there. We have a night system that routes calls straight to voice mail, but it just kept ringing. So I walked over to answer it, and when I picked it up, there were multiple male voices chanting in a language I couldn’t identify. Freaked out, I hung up. As soon as the handset clicked down, before it could even be an auto-redial, while my hand was still on it, it rang again. I picked it up just far enough to hear them again, and then slammed it down. It started ringing again, so I booked it back to my desk, shut down my computer without closing anything, grabbed my stuff, set the alarm, and power walked down the hallway and out the door. It was still ringing when the door shut.

    1. Esme Squalor*

      There’s an episode of Reply All about this! It’s a money making thing. These call centers that make pennies every time they can get someone to stay on the line robo call people using pre recorded sounds. The more intriguing the sounds, the higher the likelihood people will stay on, and the more money the call center will make.

      I don’t remember how the money making mechanism works, but the rapidity in redialing you points to that scam.

  97. Elizabeth*

    My side-gig is at a bar in our historic downtown – we have a ghost that we call Pete – biggest thing he’s ever done was getting a clock to fall off the wall – a clock that was anchored in 2 spots and rested on a pipe. Two of our cooks were setting up for the day and went downstairs to the storage and heard something hit the floor. The clock was on the floor when they re-entered the kitchen.
    He also checks on us when we’re solo in the basement, when he’s around I just see him in the corner of my eye or feel a cold spot when I’m walking through. I just say “Hi Pete!” or “Sorry Pete!” if I “walk through him”. He’s not angry but more like checking everything out.

    1. BcAugust*

      We have Charley. So, fast food restaurant, the old building got torn down, this is the new one, but still the sink will go on randomly and not stop until you ask him to knock it off, stuff dropping without being near someone, mainly harmless little things.
      But I did see him once. Working back drive around 11pm on a winter night, two cameras with a five foot overlap in coverage to watch the lane. Look up one night, see an older guy with a beard and cane, fairly portly and dressed all in white start to cross the drivethrough(not uncommon). Except when I watched, he walked into the overlap part, and wasn’t visible on the second camera at all, while still visible on the first. I stuck my head out the window to check, no one there(and no way that someone could have crossed in the time it took). Yeah, I made sure the lights were on when I got home.

  98. Cin*

    I used to work for a nursing home for people with dementia. We are required to work 1 night/late shift a week – this shift is usually really easy, just making sure all the residents are in their rooms and not walking the halls, doing paperwork and attending to any issues or problems that pop up during the night (which is really rare). One of the nursing home section was under renovation – the main corridor/hall in this section is a short cut to the staff room, only staff can have access to this corridor. It was the end of my night shift and I decided to walk through the corridor instead of taking the long way around. Let me tell you – the corridor was really creepy, unfinished walls, plastic draped over furniture/desks, dull flashing lights – it kinda looked like it was staged for a creepy hospital scene in a horror movie or something. As I was walking through – I hear a creepy laugh. So I started walking faster and the laugh gets closer and closer. I am probably 10 feet from the door and something comes out and grabs me!!!! I screamed for dear life and this thing won’t let me go. Turns out, it was one of our resident – somehow she got out of her room and got stuck in the corridor.

  99. SaffyTaffy*

    In 2016 my colleague was at a conference in Texas, and she swears that she felt viscerally uncomfortable while walking through a semi-wooded area near the venue, and then the next day the police found a woman’s body off the path in the same area.

    1. Turtlewings*

      This is one the creepiest things in this whole collection, in my opinion, because it almost certainly means she walked right past that body, and some part of her subconsciously perceived it (saw? smelled?), but just couldn’t find a way to explain it to her conscious mind.

  100. I work in IT*

    Regarding the OP who had toys “wake up” at night: Some of the donated toys likely have batteries that are almost, but not quite, dead. Motion-sensitive toys with low batteries are highly prone to detect false motion and activate. Batteries in this state are less effective in cooler temperatures, like at the end of the shift as the building cools off. I experienced this myself in early October when my battery powered carbon monoxide detector blipped overnight, which triggered my home alarm and then the monitoring company following up. Nothing was wrong but it was 10 degrees cooler and that’s all it took to trigger.

    1. That Would be a Good Band Name*

      I found this out when a toy in my son’s room went off in the middle of the night. Nothing like hearing “peek a boo, I see you” over a baby monitor at 2am when it’s just you and an infant at home.

      1. ChemistryChick*

        Oh hell no. I’d need a change of pants haha.

        My mom gave me a Yoda doll that talks when you push a button. No joke, every few months that sucker goes off when both my husband and I are in another room. It’s weird.

      2. Dahlia*

        I KNOW THAT TOY.

        It’s a stuffed dog, right? We had one donated to the thrift store I worked at over the summer and it’d go off when you walked into the toy room – sometimes.

        1. That Would be a Good Band Name*

          Yes, a stuffed dog! We cut it open to remove the battery pack because it just kept doing it!

  101. JG Wave*

    I was once walking down a dark alley between buildings at my work site, alone, at night, and realized that a shadowed figure carrying an axe was walking towards me… and it was an actor, in makeup, who worked for our Halloween fundraiser.

    I work in a building EVERYONE thinks is haunted (not due to any real stories, just how it looks), and everyone is always super disappointed when I say I haven’t had a paranormal experience. I’ve also had people ask me “what’s the creepiest part about working here?” and when I confess I just don’t find it creepy, they never believe me. Honestly, after the third time a zombie with an axe passes you in the dark, you kinda become desensitized to things like a ~spooky creaking sound~ or what have you.

  102. JB*

    My last job was in an old 1920s house that had been converted into offices. I had a long commute, so I’d usually be the first one in every morning so I could leave early and beat rush hour traffic. That meant unlocking the back door, turning off the alarm system, and turning on the lights around the first floor. Everything was fine for the first month or so. But then, after I’d gotten settled in, I’d hear footsteps above me and moving up and down the stairs. Then, I started seeing things from the corner of my eye. I’d walk past an empty office and see someone standing inside. I’d step back in front of the doorway, and it would be empty. This happened with every office, including my own. Then, when I was working constantly right before I quit, I started coming in early and staying late. The house was way, way worse at night than in the morning. I started seeing figures walk past my office door–not from the corner of my eye this time, but they’d move fast. I’d hear footsteps on the first floor where I was and desk chairs creaking and rolling in the other offices. The security alarm would go off constantly between 2 and 4 in the morning–except it was always interior motion detectors that set it off, never the door or window sensors. I truly thought I was losing it, and I couldn’t get anybody else in the office to talk about it with me and tell me whether they’d had any of the same things happen to them. It really came to a head right before I put in my notice. I came out of the bathroom one evening at 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I walked around the corner, and saw a little girl standing at the opposite end of the hall by the front door. She was probably six, wearing a white dress, with brown hair. At first I thought she was on the front porch, looking through the glass-paned door. Until she turned and walked through the wall and into the utility closet. I sprinted to my office (right across from the closet, naturally), grabbed my keys, and left without taking my stuff or setting the alarm. I started waiting in the parking lot for someone else to arrive before I’d go inside, and I would never be the last one to leave. A few days before the end of my two week notice period, I had lunch with Jane, the coworker across the hall from me, and I told her how glad I was to be getting out of that creepy building. This look washed over her, and she just said, “Oh, have you seen the little girl who lives in the closet, too?” She went on to tell me that in the three years she’d worked there, she’d seen the girl over a dozen times, and that sometimes, she’d stand behind Jane and whisper words she couldn’t quite make out into her ear while Jane sat at her desk and tried to work. If that had happened to me, I would’ve quit on the spot. Thankfully, my new company is only haunted by the ghosts of their own poor hiring choices. Although I found out recently that the desk and office furniture I’m using now belonged to the former CEO until his untimely death, so I’m just waiting to come in one day and find him sitting at my desk…

    1. header*

      ok, but what i find FASCINATING about this is that SUPPOSEDLY ghosts travel the paths they traveled while they were alive, with complete disregard for renovations, which is why they go through walls and stuff. if you pulled old blueprints of that house, i bet that utility closet was a hallway or a door to her bedroom or somesuch.

  103. Veryanon*

    I used to work for a company that had its headquarters in an old mansion owned by the family who founded the company. There was a story about a maid who had killed herself because she had fallen in love with the son of the family (this was before the business was started). Reports circulated that people would sometimes see her ghost. I never saw the ghost, but when I first started working there, I’d often leave my desk and come back to find things had been moved around, like my cell phone was missing or files were put in places I wouldn’t think to find them. One time, my computer just started typing by itself “NONONONONONONONONO” across the screen and only stopped when I unplugged it. That kind of freaked me out. I still don’t know if someone was pranking me or if it was legitimately the ghost. LOL.

    1. Azure Lunatic*

      I once had a keyboard where the space bar stopped working every time another appliance in the vicinity was turned on, so I wonder if there was a weird electrical explanation for yours too.

      I eventually replaced both the keyboard and the appliance. It turns out that if something is emitting a strong enough signal to interfere with a wired keyboard it’s legitimately hazardous to pacemakers and such. (I don’t have a pacemaker myself but one of my coworkers with an electrical engineering background and a pacemaker was super appalled when I told him about it years later.)

  104. Anon4this*

    My family has a history which includes a range hereditary “skills” (of a various sorts that would usually be classified as a sixth sense as best and witchcraft at worst). In my current office building I’ve seen various apparitions (these are described by occultists as either visions of future events, past events or of people who have passed on). These don’t bother me as I see them often. However, a few months ago I had a vision not once, but twice, of a black dog at my co-worker’s desk. A couple weeks later there was a terrible death in her family…

    1. That Would be a Good Band Name*

      My mom used to work in a nursing home and she said that very, very often just before a resident passed they’d start seeing a dog. I always found that creepy.

  105. Rockin Takin*

    I worked at a biopharma manufacturing facility that was right next to a cemetary, and there were stories about the building. Apparently, when they built the campus they had to move part of the old City cemetary. People were pretty cute since a lot of the old graves were not well marked that they might have missed a few bodies.
    We had a couple odd occurances happen over the years, but one was weird. We had some cells growing in a flask that was on a magnetic spin plate. When we went back to monitor it, somehow the RPMs had been reset. No one was in that room when it happened, and it was a controlled clean room so no one could enter without us knowing. The last person in the room was adament that it was set correctly.
    We had to do a big investigation, but we weren’t allowed to put the root cause down as “ghosts”.

  106. Anjou*

    I work at a university that’s supposedly haunted. I haven’t seen anything, but I’ve definitely heard something.

    One summer when I was the only one on the floor I could hear the distinct sound of chairs rolling in the large common area when no one else was around. When I went out to see who was there it stopped, but it started again as soon as I went back into my office. That building is supposed to be haunted by a little girl, so maybe she was playing on the chairs.

  107. copperpenny*

    No supernatural sensations involved, but back when I was a prosthetic technician, I was alone in the fabrication lab one morning while my clinician was doing an external clinic. I came out of our washroom and almost jumped out of my skin because I saw a pair of male feet in my peripheral vision… and then my eyes continued up and I realized they were a pair of prosthetic legs (with socks and shoes) standing ready for a fitting.

  108. That Would be a Good Band Name*

    Within a day or so of working at my current job, I had people tell me the building is haunted. Very matter of fact, relayed in an fyi tone like it was any other piece of on-boarding information that I’d need. After 4 years, I agree but it’s all pretty tame. Footsteps and no one is there. At times you’ll be in the bathroom stall and hear someone come in, but then no one is there. I’ve been in the building by myself a few times and I’ve been able to hear doors opening/closing a few offices down. I know no one else was there because I did go and look as we’re in finance so no one else should be in our offices (even the cleaning people don’t have keys). It doesn’t help that most of the building is unused, giving it a general creepy feel. This used to be a large manufacturing facility with 4000+ employees. We now have less than 200 but haven’t consolidated space, so I can walk the equivalent of 2 full city blocks through the building and not see another person.

  109. Red Fraggle*

    My first office job was in a converted historic home. We weren’t quite sure how old it was because the house had been moved from one property to another and they’d lost the trail of tax records. The staff blamed anything weird that happened — like unplugged radios turning on in empty galleries — on the ghost, who they called Mr. R. Most of it was harmless, silly stuff that could probably be explained away, but it was fun to say “Very funny, Mr. R!”

    But one day I was up in the attic storage space and all the lights went out. Not like the breaker tripped, since that would have taken the hall light too, but like someone flipped the light switched. I WAS ALONE IN THE BUILDING. If I could have run out of there, I would have, so I settled for yelling “Not cool, man! Seriously, please don’t scare me like that. I don’t like it.”

    Some time later, a very old woman came to visit. She had known the family that used to live in the house, and she proceeded to tell us all about them. When the ghost came up, she said, “Wait, it pulls pranks on you? Oh, that’s Mrs. R for sure. Mr. R had zero sense of humor. It’s her, not him. HI CAROL!” She waved at the ceiling.

    I’m still in contact with that job, and nothing weird has happened since the staff started calling the ghost Mrs. R. We think she just wanted to be acknowledged!

  110. Anonymouse*

    I worked at a barn for a while on a property that was crazy haunted. One night when I was there alone, I heard someone walking around the hayloft, but when I went up to check, and I checked inch, it was empty. I would occasionally stay in the barn apartment and I had some creepy experiences there too. The first time I slept over, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw someone standing near the end of my bed and then she slowly backed out the door. Another night, I had just finished cleaning the dishes and putting everything in the drying rack, I turned my back to the sink for a second and when I turned back around, I forked had moved into the sink. There was no way it could have fallen out of the drying rack.. I used to stay for a couple days and then go home and I started to get the feeling that the ghost would forget who I was and feel the need to check me out, because weird things would only ever happen on the first night. One day a lady who used to live there stopped by and asked if the place was still haunted, I guess the daughter of one of the owners had killed herself when she was younger and haunted the place ever since.

  111. Astrid*

    This is going to sound completely implausible, but here we go anyway.

    I used to work for a well-known charity/thrift store in their online department. One year a really fancy grandfather-type clock was donated and sent to me for researching and listing online. Since it was around Halloween, I hung on to it and stuck it on a filing cabinet in my office for decoration. It didn’t work, so we were listing it just for parts.

    One day I came back into my office and the thing was chiming. I’d never wound it, it didn’t have a key or battery, but it just started chiming. It chimed exactly thirteen times ( I swear I’m not making this up) and went silent, never making another noise.

  112. Tina Belcher's Less Cool Sister*

    This isn’t spooky or supernatural, but it was the scariest experience I’ve had at work. In college I interned at a domestic violence shelter, and it was extremely secure. No one had the address of the facility unless they’d been through a background check and 40 hours of training, not even the police. There was no indication of what the building was and it sort of looked like the back of a dentist office or small apartment complex. They trained us to answer the security buzzer/phone with “hello” instead of the shelter name, in case abusers showed up looking for their victims.

    One day when I was leaving the building a man approached me on the sidewalk and asked about one of the residents there. I just shrugged and said I didn’t know what he was talking about, and kept walking. He followed me for about half a block, still trying to get me to stay that the woman was there. As soon as I got to my car I called the shelter and let them know what was going on. On my next shift two days later I learned he was her abusive ex-husband and he’d gotten fellow gang members to stake out the shelter trying to catch her. The shelter workers were able to transfer her to another shelter several hours away, and she had to hide on the floor of the car with blankets over her when they drove her out of the facility because they were so afraid of what would happen if the man found her.

  113. Lalaith*

    This doesn’t *exactly* count, but I’m going to tell it anyway ;)

    I was out of work at the time, but I’d had a very promising interview and the owner of the company was supposed to call me. So I was sitting at my desk in my office at home, waiting for the phone to ring, when I heard a rustling noise. We sometimes get birds messing around with our window A/C unit, so I went over and banged on it to chase them away. Sat back down, heard the rustling again. I stood up and walked over to the window again, and heard the rustling continue next to me. I looked over… and there was a GIANT spider crawling on a plastic bag on my desk. Yes, it was big enough to actually make noise crossing a plastic bag! Of course, right at that moment, my phone rings. So I’m on the phone, getting a job offer, and trying to squash this spider. I ran into my bedroom to get a shoe, and when I came back, IT WASN’T THERE ANY MORE. And then my cat jumped up on the desk, and I’m trying to shoo her off so the spider doesn’t bite her or something… all while still on the phone with my now-boss. I did actually tell him what was going on. But I never found the spider.

    (My husband found it [we think] IN THE SHOWER the next day. If I had seen it there, I wouldn’t live there any more :-P)

    1. Turtlewings*

      I would die x_x I cannot imagine trying to carry on an important phone conversation with THAT happening. I would be a gibbering mess. #arachnophobic

  114. Paralegal Part Deux*

    In my early 20s, I worked at a place doing hand-painted ceramics, and the green ware was really, really fragile since it hadn’t been baked yet in the furnace. Some of it was kept on shelves that were 11-12’ high, and only the guys were willing to go up the ladders to get the stuff down so it could be painted. We’d come in and green ware from the top shelves would be on the concrete and not broken. No one was allowed to work late, and the only person with a key was the owner because he was a micromanaging, paranoid, control freak. No way was he doing it.

  115. FormerDisneyCM*

    I used to work attractions at Disney World, at the ride Spaceship Earth in EPCOT (aka “the big golf ball”). There are many ghost stories and haunted rides at Disney beyond just Haunted Mansion. Legend has it that our ghost was named Bernie, and he was a former maintenance engineer that died inside the ride while working an overnight shift many years before. Now, every single day, the cast member who is doing the final safety checks and closing up the ride for the night says “goodnight, Bernie” over the intercom, because if you don’t, bad things happen. One time while I worked there, a skeptical coworker did not say “goodnight, Bernie”, and the next day the ride broke down three separate times.

    1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      Isn’t there supposed to occasionally be a little girl in the Rome scene too, patting the horses? :)

    2. bkanon*

      I used to work nights at Kings Island, and I never failed to say goodnight to Tower Johnny. It’s just good manners!

  116. Amy Sly*

    Closest thing I have to a spooky story comes from when I worked for an appraisal management company. The banks would hire us to handle the appraisers to prevent any inappropriate pressure. When you do an appraisal for an FHA inspection, you have to do a “head and shoulders inspection of the attic space.” Many appraisers cheat this, especially when the attic access is just an opening in the ceiling, by putting their cameras in the attic to take the picture while keeping themselves outside it.

    Well, one day, we got a call from an appraiser saying her FHA appraisal would be late because she was in the ER. See, she’d stood on a step-ladder to put her camera into the attic, and when she saw the mannequin in the photo, she was so scared she fell off the ladder and broke her ankle!

  117. Heatherskib*

    I was closing the funeral home one night when a man started pounding on the windows and doors begging to be let in to see his wife, who’d come in earlier that day after a drowning accident. I’d been there several years and never seen someone like this. I called in a funeral director to prepare her body for a viewing, and tried to keep him calm and stable while I watched for my husband to pick me up and the director to relieve me… he kept pacing and demanding to see her body, which was locked in the coolers. Finally The director arrived and sent me home. The next day the man was arrested for drowning his wife in their garden tub at home.

      1. heatherskib*

        Oddly enough, this was the second time I’ve been in close contact with a murderer without visiting a prison or other institution. But this guy ended up having the case dropped on technicalities and moved somewhere else. Beware, he could be among you now.

  118. Sugar*

    I have an office in a warehouse. Everyone is gone by 5:00 pm, and I am alone. Sometimes I would like to work late, but usually I cannot because of the sounds that start after 5. I hear footsteps of someone walking across the warehouse floor, but when I get up and look, no one is there. Both doors on either end of the warehouse are loud, so I would hear it if someone opened them, but no one opens the warehouse door. Other times I hear breathing outside my office door. Once, while standing in the warehouse, it seemed to be coming from right in front of me (I was holding my breath so it wasn’t me), but I didn’t see anything. I’ve never seen anything.

    I don’t hear these sounds during the day, even though I am sometimes alone then too. I think there must be an explanation for it, because it happens so regularly–like maybe the air conditioner, or people working in the other part of the building who maybe didn’t drive to work?

    I’ve never told anyone at work about what I’ve heard, but one of my coworkers (who is pretty eccentric) told me that there were a couple of ghosts she had to banish before I started working there–a man and a little boy, at different times. She said that she talked to them and explained that they couldn’t stay here because they were dead.

    1. Punk Ass Book Jockey*

      It could be low-frequency sound waves causing auditory hallucinations! It sounds crazy, but it’s definitely a thing, and maybe that’s why you only experience it when the warehouse is empty (so there’s less noise pollution). I’ll link to an article about it below.

        1. Sugar*

          Thank you! I’ll will check it out. I certainly hope it’s sound waves instead of *something else*.

      1. Veronica*

        One time I was at my first day of a temp job I thought I heard someone wheezing. It turned out to be the copier – it made a whooshy wheezy noise when it made a copy.

  119. SleeplessKJ*

    I worked in a school district building in Florida for several years that had been built on property where a family had been brutally murdered decades before. It was not unusual to hear children playing in the halls (especially before and after hours when the building was quiet.) Our little Caspers likes to play tricks too. Things on our desks would move around when we weren’t looking and my locked files drawer would quietly slide open every once in awhile.

  120. Lurker*

    I used to work as a projectionist at a movie theater which had the usual one of the theaters is haunted stories among the employees. The upstairs projection booth was a long hallway with two wings at the end like a ‘T’ and you couldn’t see around the corners to the two wings at the end. Normally it’s super loud when movies are running but at the end of the night it’s silent and to shut down for the night each theater has a circuit box that I would flip the circuits to just shut it all down. Flipping those switches made a very loud click and weren’t the easiest to actually flip so there’s no way they’d turn on/off on their own.
    One night myself and a couple coworkers were hanging out in the main part of the booth waiting for the last theater to finish. I had already turned off everything in the wings, the movie gets done and I’m shutting off the last theater and we hear what sounds like all the circuit breakers turning back on in one of the wings. We basically freaked out and ran out of there. We checked the theaters from the lobby and nothing was on and nothing seemed out of the ordinary the next day but yeah that was a bit unnerving lol.

  121. You can call me flower, if you want to*

    In college I was assistant editor for the literary magazine that was connected to the school. I used to walk to the editor in chief’s office late at night to work when we had tight deadlines. She would leave in the evening, so I had my own key to get in, and I would always lock the door immediately once I was inside. The campus was old and originally a women’s college run exclusively by nuns. The whole building would make super creepy noises as old buildings tend to do.

    One night when I was walking across campus around 3:00 am I heard a rustling in the tree above me, I looked up slowly, fully expecting to see someone creepily staring back at me, and that’s the night I learned that turkeys sleep in trees. It was a tree full of turkeys (apparently they can fly enough to get up into the tree and sleep there to avoid predators) I still was scared and raced to the office. I felt so stupid. Hahahahaha

    1. Damn it, Hardison!*

      “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!” – Arthur Carlson, WKRP in Cincinnati.

  122. Red Fraggle*

    My current job is in a historic post office that’s on the local ghost tour. Their story is that the first postmaster had a mistress, and (depending on who you ask) she either died by suicide or was murdered by the postmaster’s angry wife. Well, one of our members is said postmaster’s grandson and he finds both versions of the story laughable, because there was no way such a juicy scandal could have been hushed up in his family.

    We call her Catherine. I tell people I don’t know what her story is, and she leaves me alone. The pottery instructor has loads of creepy stories, though, so I had to talk a classroom full of teenagers out of using a Ouiji board last summer.

  123. Dysfunctional Deb*

    I worked for an organization that was located in a renovated building in a large city and also in an old administration building on a large university campus. In both cases, I put in the occasional Saturday or Sunday afternoon. In both cases I heard footsteps, sighs, knocking and other noises. No explanations were ever give , but no one else was willing to work alone on weekends.

    I can’t believe I wasn’t afraid, but then I was young and foolish, guess.

    1. Anon for this one*

      I worked as a temp at a library once that was in the basement of a courthouse that was pre- Civil War and had been used as a hospital as Sherman and Grant made their way towards Vicksburg. I was working alone, long after the courthouse had closed, and could hear heavy furniture being moved/scrapped along the floor, foot steps, and the like.

  124. Turtle Candle*

    When I was a teenager, I did some volunteer work for my church–mostly small things like organizing the church library, or weeding the garden. Because they knew and trusted me, I was allowed to do these things alone; there was always someone there somewhere in the building, but it was a big church building, and they could easily be three floors and two hallways away. I actually quite liked this, as I was a quiet kid who wanted to just sort books or stuff leaflets in peace.

    The church had a very small sort of courtyard garden, formed where there was a gap between the old building and the new, and I did a fair bit of raking and weeding in there. It was very pleasant, really, sheltered and shady, with a small marble bench. It also had a small columbarium, which freaked some people out but I didn’t mind. There were rumors that people had heard whispering around the columbarium, but I always assumed that it was the peculiar architecture of the little garden playing tricks–the wind could make some odd noises as it passed over and through, and it’s really easy to hear voices in an odd wind or the rustling of leaves.

    Anyway, it was autumn, and just at dusk, and I was doing some raking when I heard my name. I figured it was the church secretary letting me know that my parents were here early to pick me up or something, or the pastor sometimes just stopped by to thank me and see how I was doing. So I looked up and around (the courtyard was a bit sunken so often they’d call down from a window). Nothing. I figured I was imagining things and waited. My name again. Still, nothing. It wasn’t an unpleasant voice in any way, but I couldn’t place it, and it was very soft. Third time. Nothing. By then I was done and a bit confused (but not alarmed), so I went inside and cleaned up and waited for my parents to pick me up.

    I found out the next day that our pastor had been hospitalized with heart trouble. (He was fine, in the end, and lived another decade, but it was touch and go for a while.)

    Obviously there are still a thousand explanations for this. Soft whispery noises and wind gusts can and do sound like human speech, the Law of Large Numbers means that occasional coincidences like this are not as improbable as they seem, and also, human memory is more plastic than most of us think, and it’s very possible that my brain constructed this memory after the fact from the general quiet, whispery nature of the garden.

    But there’s still a part of me that believes that the columbarium ghosts were trying to let me know that something was up, in their own very gentle way.

    1. DawnShadow*

      I love this story! Your description makes me feel like it’s a place I would have wanted to be too. Wistful and quiet, like a hidden nook in a different era sheltered from the progression of time. We used to have the odd small corner like this around our campus before they tore down a lot of old buildings and greenspace to build more classrooms. It’s nice to remember them.

      And thank you for “columbarium” – I learned a new word today!

  125. Nerdy Academic*

    I used to work in an archive, so we had a bunch of spooky stuff stashed in vaults that were always pretty dim. My least favorite was an old doll from the 1920s. The doll’s face was actually a mold of a dead child, and it seemed to look right at you no matter where you stood.

    One day, and intern and I had to grab something from a vault. I open the door…and there’s creepy doll! Sitting right in front of the door! The intern and I screamed and ran back to office, where we immediately began demanding to know who had put the doll in front of the door. No one would admit to it; in fact, pretty much everyone said they wouldn’t touch that doll for anything!

    Intern and I had to go back to the vault and move the doll away from the door. We locked it in a drawer, just to be on the safe side! I no longer work in archives and intern is to this day deathly afraid of dolls!

    1. Turtlewings*

      Oh, that is just beautifully disturbing. I would not have gone back in there with that doll, not even to save my job.

  126. A Poster Has No Name*

    Once when I was working on my office on a Saturday. It’s pretty dark & quiet, and I was debating whether it would be worth it to make a small batch of coffee (we have large industrial coffee machines–a small batch is 12 cups). Pretty soon, though, I caught the scent of coffee wafting through the halls and thought “Sweet! Someone made coffee!” and went to get some.

    And it was DECAF.

    I’m assuming this had to be a ghost because a) I didn’t actually see or hear anyone on the floor that day and b) no living, breathing human being would make DECAF in the office on a Saturday.

  127. Not that kind of doctor*

    I worked as an admin for a university department. It was a small building, and my office was at one corner of a U-shaped hallway, so I could see most of it in one glance from my door if I stepped back from my desk. One very elderly, very frail professor had an office close to mine, and I would help him if he needed something moved, copied, etc. One afternoon, I was slumped in my chair, doing something on the computer, when I heard a frail, gravelly, old-person voice say my name in a tone of asking for help – “[Doctor]?” Thinking it was the professor, I replied, “Yeah,” leapt up, and took the three steps to my door to help him. No one was around in any direction, and the professor’s door was closed and locked. It was broad daylight, and I wasn’t primed to be creeped out (i.e., I hadn’t been watching scary videos or anything). It never happened again, but I still have no explanation for it.

  128. Rebecca in Dallas*

    I teach at a yoga studio a couple of times a week in the early morning, then I stay and get ready for my daytime job in the locker room. We have music playing all the time, also piped into the locker room. There’s about 30 minutes between when my class is over and the next instructor arrives, so I’m usually in the locker room by myself for a while unless any students are getting ready there as well.

    One morning, I was by myself and got in the shower and I distinctly heard a woman’s voice say, “Hello?” I jumped about 6 feet in the air, then poked my head out of the shower, expecting to see the next instructor had arrived early. Nobody was there. I got all the way out of the shower and noticed that the motion sensor lights had not activated in the hallway, meaning nobody had walked back there in at least 10 minutes. So creepy!

    A couple of weeks later, I was in the front of the studio when I heard the same voice say “Hello?” I realized it was part of a song, for some reason this particular song starts with a telephone ringing and a voice saying, “Hello?” *facepalm* Mystery solved!

  129. notanyuse*

    My first job after professional school was in a recently converted, child-labor-era mill building. It had been abandoned for something like fifty years before someone got the bright idea to turn it into faux-high-end commercial condos. High ceilings, lots of brick, cavernous spaces.

    My boss was one of the first purchasers. When I was working there, there were only two or three occupied suites in the whole building: My firm was on the second floor and a day care/preschool and a “medspa” were in two suites on the first floor. The third and fourth floors were somewhat finished, but not subdivided, and not occupied.

    When working later in the afternoon, and in the evenings, I’d always hear kids in the vacant space above me, running, jumping, bouncing balls, laughing. It was extraordinarily loud. I figured that the preschool ran out of tricks by about 4:30 or 5:00 pm, so for the kids that had to stay later, what was the harm in treating the empty, cavernous space above as a gymnasium?

    Right before I moved on from the job, though, the realtor for the building happened to drop in, looking for my boss, trying to get him to purchase the suite below, and dropping off a mock-up showing a spiral staircase connecting the two units.

    I asked “but what’s going to happen to the preschool? Are they selling? Did they find a location with a yard or something for all those kids?”

    The realtor gave me a very strange look, and told me that the preschool never actually started operations. After the build-out, they went out of business, stopped paying condo fees, and the suite was about to be foreclosed on. The unit below had ALWAYS been vacant. There were no kids in the building.

    I suddenly realized — although my office had a window on the parking lot, I’d never seen a parent pick up or drop off a child. I’d never seen a child in the hallway, on the elevator, or in the stairs. I never heard children’s voices on the first floor, where the “preschool” actually was…

    1. Shirley Keeldar*

      It IS spooky but I’m also kind of glad those child ghosts were having some fun. If they were working that mill all their short lives they were probably exhausted and miserable. Perhaps they decided to stay around and have the childhood they were denied?

  130. pleaset*

    Had a cold wind seem to blow inside the townhouse our organization was in, and rattle the windows.

    My boss took this as a bad sign, and said “Something bad has happened.”

    30 minutes later we got a phone call from overseas (an expensive call from a poor country – this was 30 years ago) trying to reach a consultant who has often in our office, saying “[Name] is dead.” The person named was the consultant’s fiance.

    1. 1234*

      Was it actually the consultant’s fiance? I’m hoping out of pure coincidence, they called the wrong number and the person who died just happened to have the same name as the consultant’s fiance.

      1. pleaset*

        Sorry to not be clear. The call was true bad news about the fiance having died, from another continent, 30 minutes after the weird wind.

  131. Humble Schoolmarm*

    I once worked at a not too old school and the Special-Ed teacher had his office in the creepy, window-less basement. He was working with a kid on his reading and recorded it to play back an analyse later. While they read, the kid kept mixing up they and their, reading they when the text said their. Not so spooky, you say? Well, when my colleague played the recording back, every time the kid said they instead of their, this spooky voice that definitely wasn’t there before said “Noooot Theeeeey”. As a staff, we couldn’t decide what was scarier, having ghost in the basement or being condemned to correct students for all eternity!

  132. A. Ham*

    At my college theater department there was a beloved teacher who had sadly had a heart attack in the studio theater during a rehearsal and died. He haunted the theater- but was friendly. he mostly just liked to hang out in the booth and watch the shows- so the students that were stage managers or lighting/sound designers had the most stories about strange happenings during shows/rehearsals.
    The only time I encountered him was when I was working late at night on a costume midterm with a few other students and we heard someone walking on the catwalk (near the costume shop) but no one was there.
    He had passed away only about 10 years before I was a student there- so there were still a few teachers who had known him, and I know it sounds strange, but they got some comfort knowing he was still around watching over the theater and the students.

  133. Not That Kind of Lawyer*

    My office is a converted adolescent mental hospital from the fifties. I had to tie my window shut because it would randomly open and slam shut. There is always a figure just in the corner of your eye that disappears when you turn fully to face it. Most of us here accept the building is haunted.
    My supervisor did not believe in the haunting. I was telling a story of the latest “incident,” and she commented that it’s probably old pipes. At that very moment, the lights in her office went out. Only her office, no one else’s. We all teased her that the ghosts were not happy. She begrudgingly admitted we “might be right,” and her lights came back on.

  134. Old Med Tech*

    I am a Medical Technologist. After graduation I worked for three years in an old four story hospital, and then we moved to a new facility and the old hospital was torn down. Of course the laboratory was on the fourth floor and the only department that was staffed all night. The microbiology department was in a closed up wing that had housed long term geriatric patients. The rooms were locked and furniture was stored in them. One night I went to do a stat gram stain at 2:00 am. I could here the rocking chairs in the locked rooms rocking. I realized it was the wind coming in the old windows in this wing. This was not supernatural (at least I hope it had natural causes), but it was not my happiest moment either.

  135. H.Regalis*

    Mine is very minor. I worked as a janitor at a hospital that had a lot of outbuildings—used to an elementary school, nurses’ dorms, etc. but were converted into offices for IT and other services. The hospital itself had been there in various incarnations for a hundred years or more. I was cleaning one night and heard a faint voice, like a kid’s voice or a woman talking to a small child, while I was cleaning a conference room. The only thing I could think of was that my coworker cleaning the floor below me was talking to his kids and had the speaker phone up as loud as it would go, except his kids were college-age so that made no sense. I even went to his floor to check and he was in a totally different area. Didn’t scare me, just was odd.

    The main hospital creeped me out though when I had to clean clinics after hours alone. Nothing ever happened but I hated doing those areas because I was on edge the whole time, and I’ve been at my current job dozens of times alone at night and have always felt safe there. Maybe it was just residual energy from all the trauma and death that happens in a hospital.

  136. Anonymous at a University*

    I work at a campus that doesn’t have a lot of night classes for various reasons, so if you are teaching one it gets pretty lonely here. One semester I was teaching a class that ended at 7 PM, and as I was leaving one night in the darkness, not long after the time change of Daylight Savings, I heard a growl behind me. The first thing I thought was that a stray dog had somehow gotten into the building (some of them run around campus sometimes), and I turned around and reached for something to throw. But the hallway behind me was completely empty.

    I turned around and started walking again, and again heard the growl. This time, it sounded a lot closer. And a lot louder. Then I heard a snap, like teeth clashing, and a sound I could have sworn was pattering paws.

    I’m not ashamed to admit I started running and didn’t even go back to my office to put my computer away, I was so freaked out. I kept running all the way to the bus stop.

    That’s been the only time something like this ever happened to me here, but it made me not a big fan of teaching night classes.

  137. Squirrel Walsh*

    So I work in Special Collections at Princeton and we have a large collection of death masks because why not. I photograph items from the collection for patrons to use in publications. The first summer I worked there, I’d just retrieved an item from that collection for photography and was wheeling it back from the storage vaults to my studio.
    Just as I crossed the threshold of my office with the box of masks, the lights all flickered on and off several times. My work-study student then asked me if hauntings were covered under OSHA.
    It was a campus-wide power flicker from all the air conditioning being used but that collection still gives me the willies in a fun way.

    1. PolarVortex*

      I’m a little jealous of your job. (A lot jealous.)

      I just keep telling myself working with special collections would kill the joy I have for hordes of old and weird sh!t.

      1. Meyers and Briggs were not real doctors*

        I really relate to this! I just wanted to add that I got to work with books that were signed by murderers (or the author, who was also problematic). gave me much more appreciation and practical knowledge for storage and care of my own weird shit collection.

        Also I worked with a post mortem photography collection but no murderers (to my knowledge, but there were also war pics and other funeral processions from Asia as well and that kind of research was not my role). I’m not a collector myself and that apprenticeship definitely solidified that for me.

        I don’t believe in spirits following me but man did people ask about that a lot. (I was unaware of how popular a belief like that was.)

  138. LeslieKnope2020*

    Not necessarily eerie, but sometimes definitely creepy – I work in a office complex where there are several different types of businesses. My office is on the interior of our suite and I share a wall with a physical therapy gym next door. Sometimes I can hear the treadmill going, or the rowing machine, or the really annoying sound when someone drops the weights on the floor. Once on a Friday afternoon I was the only person left in our office and it was dead quiet – no AC running, no ambient noise – just me clicking on my keyboard. Then I started hearing a soft moan…and then some grunting…and then what sounded like painful moaning. I felt so incredibly awkward! I figured someone was getting a deep tissue massage, but that didn’t make it any less uncomfortable. I finished up quickly and got the heck out of there!

  139. H.Regalis*

    One more story which isn’t a work one:
    My dad had dementia and was living in a nursing home because he needed 24/7 care and supervision. One time I was visiting him and he told me about how a nurse was in taking care of him and they were talking, and then when she left, she walked through the wall. I know one of the things with dementia is that you can see/hear things that aren’t there, but it still creeps me out to this day.

  140. old hand*

    I worked in a big, rambling, old complex that had been converted from a gymnasium center to offices. Very weird hallways and stairwells, with probably weird air circulation patterns. One day, I was walking down the corridor and I see… a balloon floating toward me down the hall. It had apparently been drawn into the building from a nearby function outdoors, through an open door (it was a hot afternoon). It slowly floated past me as nice as you please, and then it reached the end of the corridor and turned right (where a stairwell was). I couldn’t resist following it! I went into the spooky stairwell and watched it slowly, sloowwwwly *climb* up each stair (it was so low to the ground, that it touched the stairs, yet the air circ was somehow pulling it gently upward, so that it appeared to be climbing each stair). It climbed up three flights! Then it turned the corner again and went up to an old storeroom, where I later found it all deflated and dead.

    Or…. WAS IT?!?!? muahahahah

    Will never forget that weird incident in a building I worked at for 20 years…

  141. Dahlia*

    Oh I love this thread! *snacks on roasted pumpkin seeds and fun size chocolate bars* One of my favourite open-threads you do, Allison!

  142. SaraV*

    Late to the party…

    Nothing particularly spooky, but when you’re working overnights at a radio station, and on Halloween night Art Bell is hosting Ghost-to-Ghost AM (instead of Coast-to-Coast AM) Listeners with their spookiest ghost stories plus paranormal investigators with EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) recordings…and I’m in the building alone! Eep!

  143. BooWho?*

    I work for a university that used to own a National Guard armory built in 1910. It looks like a castle, complete with turrets and a dungeony boiler room in the basement. The theatre department used to use it for prop storage, but in recent years it was so decrepit it was off limits to nearly everyone. A few years ago my family was visiting and wanted to see the building, and when we drove by we were surprised to see a back door slightly open. Before notifying campus police, we decided to look around inside. It was dark outside but even darker inside and the giant cavernous area that had been used as a ballroom and skating rink over the years was full of trash and old theatre castoffs.
    We couldn’t see much beyond the area covered by the one flashlight we had, so we stayed in a tight bunch, even to peer down the partially flooded boiler room stairs (known locally as Freddy’s lair). Everyone was creeped out in general, but nothing really notable happened until we decided to leave. The group started walking faster across the open space because we all seemed to max out on spookiness at the same time, and the three of us bringing up the rear distinctly heard what sounded like bottles being knocked over and the rustle of someone shuffle-walking through the debris on the floor – directly behind us. I still recall seeing my mom & sister’s eyes open wide as we looked at each other in surprise. I don’t know if the people in front of us heard the same thing, but we ended up trotting the last feet to the door en masse. Once we got outside we chatted with the cop who showed up to check the place out & lock up, who shared a few more creepy experiences in the building over the years.
    It has since been sold to local developers for conversion to office/retail/condos, but nothing has been done with it yet.

  144. The Other Katie*

    When I was in my late teens-early 20s, I used to volunteer at a state park, giving nature tours and trail building. I used to wander around the mountain a lot. One time I came across a Depression-era work camp way out in the woods. The path in was almost gone, but there was a circle of rutted road in the centre of the camp that was still clear. Everything was just sitting there like they just downed tools one day, walked out and didn’t come back. Cabins, workshop, an old tractor – nothing looked like it even moved.
    I went up there a few times, but stopped going because it kept getting more uncomfortable. I didn’t _see_ anything, but you know that feeling when there’s somewhere around, just out of sight, and you know they’re there but they don’t answer when you call? It felt like that.
    I know I wasn’t the only one who wandered around the woods, but I asked the other volunteers and rangers about it, and none of them admitted to knowing what I was talking about.

  145. LizzE*

    I do not know I would call this spooky, but I had an interesting experience at my previous job. One of my duties was grant writing and unfortunately, due being understaffed, my time leading up to the deadline of a crucial grant was spread doing programmatic and operations related work — not even in my job description. I was scrambling to get this grant together and stayed late at the office working on it, all while fielding tons of calls and texts from the President demanding to know the status of the grant (side note: my actual supervisor was out on maternity leave and we were a small staff, so I had to directly deal with this ridiculous narcissist in the interim.) Since it was a performing arts organization, our office was located in an old, historical theater. It use to be connected to the church next door and because it is one of the oldest theaters in my city, it gets a reputation for being haunted. Up until that point, I had never experienced anything unusual, but many of coworkers had felt uneasy about the place, particularly certain “hotspots” like the women’s bathroom our floor.

    Well, we are coming close to the midnight deadline and just as everything was ready to go and I had finished my last proofread, my computer froze. I am panicked at this point, worried that the grant application did not save and that I would not be able to reboot and log back in to submit by the deadline. We are at 11:59 pm and I finally get everything running again — and I am happy to see that the application did indeed save. But as I try to hit “submit” again, my computer freezes again. I still attempt to to reboot and submit again, but it is 12:01 at this point and the application process locks me out. It was pretty defeating and one of the worst moments in my career. But, when the President called and asked if everything submitted, I am choking back tears and pretend to cheerfully say that it went through. She is satisfied, so leaves me alone for the rest of the night. I didn’t have the guts to be truthful with her and when I get off the phone, I pack my stuff while sobbingly so loudly, you can hear it echo through the halls. As I am walking to the stairwell, I feel a very light pat on my left shoulder and a whisper said softly “It’s ok” in my ear. And funnily enough, that did make me feel a little better.

    I wasn’t there much longer and eventually confessed to my immediate supervisor about the grant before I left, but it was oddly soothing to be consoled by a spirit, lol.

  146. Wine Not Whine*

    Our corporate HQ (where I work) is located in a historic mansion. The executive offices are in the original family’s living areas, other departments are in the former servants’ quarters, and my department is in what was once the attic. The wife of the original owner committed suicide on one of the upper floors, and I believe a child of the family died in an epidemic in the house as well. (All pre-WW2.)
    There are claims that Mrs. A. is occasionally seen on the grand staircase or the balcony. I’ve never seen her, but I’ve smelled a strong waft of rosewater on the attic stairs when no one else has been near, and the wire hangers on the coat rack in the hallway will sometimes move and jangle without being (visibly) touched.

  147. RadManCF*

    So since this incident, I’ve come up with a reasonable explanation. But it took me a bit. I was changing out a fluorescent light ballast in a retail store with a leaky roof. The particular fixture I was working on had been filled with water, and the inside of the cover for the ballast was covered in rust. I found myself out of wire nuts, and so I replaced the cover without hooking up the new ballast. As I was closing the cover, I heard a bang, and saw an orange flash under the cover, which was about six inches in front of my face. I was rather spooked. I later concluded that it must have been a thermite reaction, from aluminum wiring rubbing against all the rust.

  148. Usagi*

    One of the worst things I’ve ever experienced was at work. I worked at an office on the 33rd floor of a building in Tokyo. It was just beginning to get dark, about 6 pm or so, and everyone was getting ready to leave for the night. We all (there were about 30 people in the office) heard a scream and saw what appeared to be a person falling outside the window. We all ran over to the window and looked down, but couldn’t see anything. The building’s security and the police were called, etc., and several employees went downstairs to check… and no one found anything. Our offices spanned several floors, too, and we confirmed with them what we saw. We even looked at the security cameras; you can see all of us look up and stare at the window for a moment, then run over, but you couldn’t see anything outside the window. Granted, the angle’s not great (why would the security cameras be looking out the window?) but what you can see showed nothing.

    I was there for several years and no one ever found a good explanation for it. Creeps me out to this day.

    1. Turtlewings*

      Geez, that’s really freaky. Maybe what you saw falling wasn’t a person but, I don’t know, some kind of object that once it landed, wasn’t obviously identifiable as having fallen? A wad of clothes or something — they might have scattered in several directions before reaching the ground. And the scream you heard was the person who accidentally dropped their stuff. That would really freak me out, though.

      1. Usagi*

        The police and several of our employees searched the area to see if there was anything; it wasn’t particularly windy (although that high up it’s hard to gauge), so if it was a person, it couldn’t have drifted too far. I suppose if it had been a bundle of clothes, it could’ve scattered, but that still might’ve been noticeable… but it’s always a possibility! Who knows what happened, really. I’d love to get an answer but I know it’ll never happen. Just another creepy occurrence!

  149. Sparkly Lady*

    Have you heard of the Winchester Mystery House?

    I’ve worked there. And yes, dear reader, all of us who worked there Have. Seen. Things.

    (unfortunately, mine would be too identifying to go into details because of course, I’ve told all of my real life friends all of my Winchester stories. But in general, the house spirits have never seemed malevolent. Simply, very very active)

    1. Some Windex for my Glass Ceiling please*

      I’ve heard stories that the spirits of Indians who were killed by the Winchester rifle haunt the house. True?
      Or is it Mrs. Winchester herself?

      1. Sparkly Lady*

        No, I don’t believe that. As far as I know, the whole legend about Sarah feeling guilt over the deaths caused by the Winchester rifle and building to avoid those spirits is just a folk legend. She does seem to have been into spiritualism, though, and she was a recluse.

        She died in the house, and many do believe that her spirit is lingering in some form or another. I don’t think she’s there in ghost presence per se, but I do wonder if some of her energy imbued itself into the house. We all talked to her when we worked. There is also a belief that some of her workers regularly haunt the ground.

  150. Mary*

    I work in retail but in the ’90s (maybe even before then) the store that I’d work in used to be a J.C Penny’s before it went to another location. The store I work in, the customer only has access to the first floor where all the items are located. The second floor is where the employees and managers are allowed to go and the basement is the backroom for the home section. For some reason, the basement is said to be hunted. There was one time when I was putting merchandise out on the floor and I went down in the basement to some more stuff and there wasn’t anyone down there. I’d heard a noise in the back of the basement, I’d gone towards the noise and I didn’t see anyone there. The only things that were in the place where the noise was were chairs nothing that could cause that noise. I think it was the pipes or something else, but there have been rumors that there were ghosts down there. I never saw one or had a scary experiment besides that one incident so I don’t know if it’s true or not.

  151. Creepy Family Business*

    Oooh. I have a few stories. My current workplace is a new building in a newly developed area and we have people working 24/7 so it’s never creepy. But my family owns a small to medium-sized retail business and the main HQ has moved around from place to place and has it’s share of stories. Side note, this isn’t in the US.

    When I was around 10 or 11, the HQ moved to a renovated part of our ancestral home. Most of my grandparents’ six children had moved out so they didn’t need that much space anymore and they converted the second floor into office space and an adjacent empty lot into a small office building. My grandparents’ old bedroom (where when I was 7 or 8, I saw a full-bodied apparition of a carpenter who died in the house just the day before) was converted into my grandfather’s office. My cousin and I often used this room when our tutor arrives to help us with homework. I sat at my grandfather’s desk while my cousin and the tutor were doing their thing, just playing on the spinny chair, when loud as day, I heard someone call my name from behind me. The only thing behind me was the creepy statue of the child Jesus.

    Many years later, we sold that house and the main HQ moved around until it landed in the really old converted condominium building it is now. I was still in college but worked for my family part time if I didn’t have class. My cousin (same one in the first story) was working there full time. One time, my cousin and a few of the other workers stayed the night. One of the employees was going to the bathroom when he noticed my aunt’s office chair was rolled away from her desk. When she got closer, the chair rolled back to it’s proper spot on it’s own.

    I’m still a bit of a skeptic when it comes to paranormal things. Like I enjoy watching paranormal investigations not because I believe in ghosts but because I think they’re funny. Most of my childhood experiences I’ve chalked up to my childhood imagination. But there are some stories like the ones I just shared that really have me questioning my skepticism.

  152. Doctor Schmoctor*

    I have a friend who used to manage a hotel. She was still new there, when one morning a guest came running down the hall and said there was someone in her room. She said a man dressed in old timey clothes woke her up and gave her something wrapped in some kind of cloth. When she opened it, it was an old pistol. So she did the sensible thing and ran. Or course they didn’t find the man or the gun. The guest accepted it was just a very vivid nightmare.
    Later some of the staff members told her it’s happened before. Previous guests have had exactly the same experience.
    oooohhh

  153. ainnnymouse*

    At my old job everybody in my department took lunch at the same time but me. So they sent one of the assistant mangers to help me for an hour so I was not there alone. We were both at the counter taking an order for a customer. We went to back to file it when we heard somebody washing dishes. We thought it was haunted. Then we go back there and find out it’s one of those independent food sample demo people washing up his dishes.

  154. CountryLass*

    I work in property, and spend a lot of time alone in empty houses. I was shown around a property by a leaving Tenant, then went back a few weeks later by myself to check everything was gone. I found a door that I didn’t recall seeing before, and found it led to an obviously unused bathroom and cobwebby staircase leading to a room with an old 60’s style gas heater and a single chair facing away from the door, with a dark staircase leading off it… It was a very old manor house that creaked all the time and still had statues of the original owner in it.
    The whole thing felt like the start of a horror movie, so I ran!

  155. Crazy Cat Person*

    I’m a bit late to this, but I used to work in a building on a site which had previously been a bus depot, which was rumoured to be haunted by a bus driver who had been heading to his break when a colleague reversed without looking, hitting and killing him. Nearly everyone in the building had had the experience of feeling someone behind them when there was no-one there (the worst affected desk was left permanently unoccupied), and things regularly moved without any apparent human involvement. I had my own experience of this when putting together a new set of book shelves: all the bits were beside me, but when I reached out for the final set of shelf fixings, they had gone, only to turn up on my desk on the other side of the office! The old floors were so noisy that I don’t think anyone could have crept up and taken them without me noticing, and the usual suspects pleaded very convincing innocence, so it must have been the ghost messing with me. Maybe!

  156. Social Worker*

    I used to work at a crisis placement center for children, mostly ages 0-12. Kids would stay there if another placement could not be found by the state after they were taken into state custody for abuse or neglect. The center was built out of a house that a local judge had willed to the organization upon his death – they remodeled the home into offices and meeting rooms and built a large facility connected to it where the kitchen and children’s rooms were. Despite the donation, the judge was known as a racist asshole in his lifetime and a lot of staff members didn’t like that his portrait hung in the hallway.
    There were a lot of stories floating around, especially from night shift workers, about unexplained things. Staff members would always try to get any copies, etc made before nightfall so that they didn’t have to go back into the house after dark, because it had an ominous feeling. One of my friends came back from the house late one night, and as she passed the kitchen the silverware shook in the drawers. The floors were concrete, so it didn’t make sense that her footsteeps could have jarred it.
    What creeps me out the most to this day, is that in one specific bedroom, there were multiple little boys over time who asked “Who’s that man in the corner?” Always a boy, around the age of 5 or 6, and they weren’t staying there at the same time – it was one child per room. Maybe it’s an overactive imagination, but it happened enough to be a pattern. I wonder to this day if it was the judge, not ready to leave his home yet.

  157. Youngin*

    There is an account on Tik-Tok called @security1275 and he works the graveyard shift at a cemetery. He is always posting creepy videos of the things he encounters while working. Totally spook/scary

  158. Jess*

    A bit late, but i enjoy this story. I worked in a historic house museum as a glorified house keeper. The family who had owned the house had been there for generations from the 1700s-1960s when the last member of the family died. They were hoarders who were very attached to their stuff so the house was chock full of strange things. They were also also skinflints who’d make everything last as long as possible, and also snobs who didn’t like how the neighborhood changed over the 200 years the house was around (very chi-chi to a near-slum).
    One day I was alone in the house and in the attic changing the fly strips. I suddenly felt a strange sensation, and glanced to my right through the door to the staircase landing. There was a woman in early 20th-century clothes standing on the landing looking at me, and when I turned to get a proper look she was gone. Later I went downstairs to get more supplies, and when I came back the light at the top of the attic stairs was turned off. I *know* I had left it on because I was coming right back, and you couldn’t accidentally bump it and turn it off because it was on a pull chain.
    My boss at another job I was working had previously worked in this historic house. Her office had been in the attic. When I saw her next, I asked her “Hey, did you ever notice anything weird when you worked at X?” and she immediately said “Oh, you mean the ghost? Yeah, I used to hear her all the time. Lights getting turned off on me, hearing footsteps of old-fashioned leather-soled shoes on the attic stairs when I was the only one in the house. I think she was wondering who this person in her house touching her stuff was. I finally told her ‘I’m just here to take care of your stuff!’ and she left me alone for the most part, but still turned off lights. Couldn’t stand to spend an extra penny on electricity.”
    So that’s my story of the miserly snobbish ghost who did not like The Poors touching Her Stuff.

  159. Mimi*

    This would be a spookier story from someone else’s perspective, but:

    One of our remote offices is an old Victorian building that might have originally been a house. It’s in a city but on large grounds that make it feel a little remote, and while it’s been undated a bit, it’s old in a way that I’m sure means it can be creepy at night.

    A few years ago, someone was working there alone late at night, maybe 3am or so. (It’s not unusual for people to work weird hours in our offices.) He went down to the kitchen and made himself a cup of coffee and set it on the counter, then turned away to do something else. When he turned back, his coffee was gone. He was understandably upset about this, convinced that someone had been sneaking around and stolen his coffee. (We never did get clear motives for WHY he thought someone would go to that bother, but I would have been freaked out, too.)

    This gets the whole way to my team, who are asked to pull footage of the incident. We do, and discover that he never made himself a cup of coffee — but it’s clear in the footage when he failed to find the cup of coffee he discovered. We closed the case, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still convinced that someone took his coffee.

    My conclusion is to not work alone late at night in creepy offices when you’re so tired that you can delude yourself into thinking that you made coffee without having done so.

  160. TheatreGirl*

    I work in a theatre. A few years ago, one of the young actors connected to the theatre died in an accident (not at the theatre). Shortly after, they started hearing strange noises from the building, and occasionally what sounded like singing, even if the place was empty. Obviously, it’s the ghost of “James”. But it’s not really scary, it’s comforting, as everyone misses James and his friends still come to the theatre all the time. So it’s a nice ghost story :)

  161. Veronica*

    Alison, you could publish these stories in a book. I’m sure it would sell! :) Also the ones from the thread ~2 years ago. I still remember some of those.

  162. DanniF*

    I’m a bit late to the party, but here’s my story. Many years ago, I worked in a rundown pub in Scotland and we had a ghost who would regularly make his presence known. The usual trick was moving stuff around. I would set a glass on the bar, turn around for a few seconds and it would be in the sink, that kind of thing. We also had a lot of full pint glasses tip over when we set them down on a completely level bar (we checked and confirmed it wasn’t sloping).

    I was closing one night and a friend was sitting at the bar, waiting while I mopped behind the bar. We had a notice stuck to the wall with blu tack, which flew off the wall and stuck to the floor. To the point that I had to scrape the blu tack off the floor. It didn’t just fall off the wall, it flew with great speed. My friend still won’t talk about it.

    I went back a couple years ago and met a friend, her husband and baby for lunch (it had become an upmarket gastropub by then). The whole time, the baby laughed and babbled at thin air. I was pretty sure the ghost was entertaining her.

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