On the Job Ghosts
I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m the type of person that has ghosts follow her wherever I go…but over the years, I’ve worked at numerous locations that have had a reputation for being haunted!
In my late teens and early 20′s, I had a bit of wanderlust, and never wanted to stay in one location very long. Therefore, that led me to try various career fields and job titles over the years. Maybe its just the sheer number of jobs I’ve held giving me a statistical advantage for ‘haunted’ workplaces, because it certainly cannot be the locations themselves! I haven’t worked in any old, historical mansions, creepy cemeteries, or even hospitals. In fact, most of the locations I’ll be discussing are fairly modern retail/food service establishments!
Anyway, I thought it would be fun to tell you about a few of my haunted job experiences!
1. Private Nursing Home Facility—Buffalo, WV: When I was in high school, my slightly older boyfriend got a job working the night shift at a local nursing home facility. This was simply a large, modern house in a residential neighborhood where about a dozen elderly patients, most with dementia, resided. I volunteered at the home a few hours every week, and by the time I graduated, I had been offered a job, also on night shift. The work was fairly easy; since I wasn’t a nurse or CNA, my main responsibilities were cooking, cleaning, and just making sure everyone was safe and as comfortable as possible. Before I even started volunteering there, my boyfriend had told me that he and a few others had witnessed an apparition in the sitting room! There was a certain blue recliner where, when caught out of the corner of one’s eye, it appeared as if a man was sitting there. However, when you looked at the chair straight on, there would be nothing there. Over the few months that I worked/volunteered there, I did experience this two or three times, but the eeriest thing I experienced was the shadow figure. The office for the facility was added on after the original home was built and was connected to the main house via a short, narrow hall, which stepped down into the office. Often at night when I was in the office filling out my paperwork, I could hear footsteps. Thinking that it was one of our more mobile residents coming to find me, I’d turn around…only to see an inky black figure walking towards me. As soon as this figure, which had the shape of a huge, imposing man, would cross the line between the original house and the addition, it would vanish without a trace. Sometimes this would happen more than once a night, and I’d have to call my boyfriend, who lived close by, and have him come sit with me until I was calm enough to finish my duties.
2. Former Chevron Gas Station—Winfield, WV: When I was a freshman in college, I began working at Subway. This Subway was located within the former Chevron gas station in Winfield, which is now a pizza restaurant. I started noticing small stuff happening at first. When I was back in the cooler area, I’d feel as if someone had tugged my ponytail or brushed up against me. At first, I’d think it was a gas station employee, but when I would look, no one would ever be there. So, I thought maybe it was a temperature thing since I was walking into the cooler. I tried to use that as an excuse until I started actually SEEING the figure of a person walking around the office/prep areas. Again, I’d immediately think it was the gas station employee on duty, but as I would walk out, I’d see them behind the counter, helping a customer or doing some other task. Some of the weirder things that happened were one time I was at the sink washing dishes when I felt someone come up behind me. I could feel their breath on my neck, their chest pushing into my back, and I even saw hands come around me and rest on the sink on either side of me. I thought it was one gas station employee in particular being flirty, so I turned around quickly to playfully swat at them…and swatted at air. Another weird thing that happened frequently affected my car, parked outside. Even though it was locked and I had the only key, often I’d come out after my shift to find my radio turned to a country station that I would never have listened to, and my seat pushed all the way back. The car itself had some weird activity, but that’s for another blog! Anyway, I finally asked some of the gas station employees if they had ever had anything happen to THEM, and was pleased to know that I wasn’t alone. They reported that gas pumps would ‘ding’ as if alerting them to authorize them for a customer, but no one would be there. A few had even seen the figure flitting around the office area. We were never sure if the suspected ghost was connected with the land, or even possibly related to one of the fatal accidents that occurred over the years at the intersection where the building stands. Here’s my original blog on my experiences: Haunted Chevron Station
3. Former Dollar Tree—Teays Valley, WV: Nothing really too significant happened during my time as a third key holder at the former Dollar Tree in Teays Valley, but there were a few things of note. In this particular store, the aisles weren’t really aisles, per se. There were only a few actual shelves, with most aisles being separated by wire basket-type units. Therefore, you could see through them and see who or what was in the aisle next to you. And, of course, my luck—I would often see a man in a white T-shirt walking down the aisle next to me as I was cleaning up toward the end of the night shift. Merchandise would also just ‘jump’ off the shelves/hooks/baskets in front of me as I was walking down an aisle and a few times, the vacuum would come unplugged from the wall, even though there was plenty of cord left to prevent it from pulling. There was really only one other employee who was experiencing similar things, one of my managers who had recently lost her husband. The strange thing was, her husband was my dad’s cousin! I had never met her before, but we figured out quickly how we were related since we both had a fairly uncommon last name. She believed that it was her husband that was ‘haunting’ her at work, and we surmised that since I was family, maybe that’s why I was experiencing things as well.
4. Walmart—Hurricane, WV: This is another location that I didn’t experience a TON of activity, but enough to take note! I was hired on at the new Hurricane Walmart before the store was even finished being built, so my first few weeks on the job actually included such tasks as stocking the shelves and putting together the checkout lanes. During this time, there was a lot of controversy with the building of the Walmart and one local resident in particular, and at times things got pretty ugly. There were also some weird plumbing issues and other problems that kept pushing the opening date back further and further. With all this stuff going on, I remember jokingly saying that this building must be cursed. But, we eventually opened, and I learned to hate my job as a CSS, lol. So, eventually I moved to the overnight shift, and that’s when things got weird. Just like at Dollar Tree, I’d see customers come in that would mysteriously vanish. Weird electrical disturbances were commonplace, with one night in particular, my manager and I spending over an hour trying to figure out why the security shoplifting alarm was going off every 10 minutes or so with no one near it. It is interesting to note that at least one small cemetery had to be removed when the Walmart was put in, but whether a real-life Poltergeist scenario was in play or not is unknown.
Well, that’s a sampling of my haunted resume…but I want to hear from YOU! Have you ever worked somewhere that was haunted? How did you deal with the activity? Were your employees open about the location’s haunted reputation? Let me know in the comments below, and if you’re itching for some more haunted retail locations, check out my blogs on the haunted Toys ‘R Us in Sunnyvale California or the haunted cash register located in a KMart in Idaho. Happy Haunting!
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