August 21, 2006
The Haunted Department StoreRate this encounter: Kevin, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1988
In 1988, I got my first job as a clerk. I was only 20 years old, fresh faced from the country (I was living in a haunted house but that's another story for another day), and all excited at the prospect of working and living in the Big Smoke. My job wasn't exciting as I was hoping it to be. Standing at the computer waiting for price tickets to be printed so we can send them off to other stores, etc. My first week passed uneventfully but it was the second week that something started to happen.
I'll quickly describe my "office." It was no bigger than a normal storage room with two computers and five ticketing machines. This machines print out price tickets that is end out to stores that deals directly with the department store I was working for. I won't tell the name of this place for I don't fancy getting sued but it's an old building built in the mid 1800s with the gothic architecture design. Anyway, my "office" was situated outside the main offices where all the spunky young female clerks were (maybe that's why I was shoved out there, to keep me from being distracted). Above my little "office" were empty offices stacked with chairs and tables and a big disused ballroom. I used to go up during my lunch hour and explore. Even brought a mate up there but he was too chicken to go any further than the stairs.
One morning I was standing at the machine, bored, watching the roll of tickets going round and round when, at the corner of my eye, I caught a vision of a elderly man wearing a gray boiler suit. I turned around but he was gone. Thinking it was one of the workers who were working somewhere deep in the building, I took no further notice but "he" kept appearing and to my annoyance, "he" would vanish. Then "he" would take things like my great silver Parker pen that I never did see again to this day. Then things started to turn weirder. Above me I would hear someone walking around and, yet, when I climbed the stairs and looked around, yeah you guessed it, no one's there.
I would hear snatches of conversation next to me, whiffs of perfumes which did not belong to any of the girls in the other offices, or see someone walking down the stairs. Then it all came to a crunch one night.
My boss asked me to stay behind, do some over time (hey, double the money and I needed it) so I took it on. Except I was to work by myself (slack asses). Just me and the empty offices. It was around 10 PM, Thursday night, I decided to take a break. Two hours I've been working on this thing and I needed a break. I made myself a coffee and stood at the bottom of the stairs. Now, why I climbed those stairs still beats me to this day. I climbed up the stairs and stood in the half-lit hallway -- half-lit from the street lamps outside. I don't know why but I walked the dark corridor until I came to a room. I tried the door and it opened. I walked into the dark office and then I felt the energy. Like as if I just walked into a room full of people, people who wanted me out of that room so they can continue with whatever they were doing. My God, but my hairs stood on ends and I slowly backed out. I looked up the corridor and saw the disused ballroom that used to be used during the thirties and forties to entertain the employees.
As I walked up that corridor there to my surprise I saw a man and a woman bathed in the single glow of the outside lamp dancing to music only they can hear. I didn't stay long. I was off and running. I kid you not. I was running down those stairs and into my "office" and locked the door.
I quickly finished off what I had to do, left it in the boss's office, and left the building. I didn't tell anyone about my encounter in fear of being ridiculed. But about a year later I was promoted to another position and it was at a party that I finally told someone about my experiences. The man looked at me and smiled. "Hah, you just saw Mr. G's ghost," he grinned, "he was just checking up on you. That used to be his office." He also told me about the ball room but he didn't know who the couple I saw dancing was. I found out that I wasn't the only one who used to see ghosts up there. One tradesman was working up there and used to hear foot falls next to him. He said he saw someone up there and refused to go up there again. One dropped his tools and quit on the spot.
I left about 1990 to come back up north. I heard that the building is now a multi-storied car park. I often thought about the ghosts and hope that things are a bit better for them.