I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost

25 Feb

Okay, well maybe the title of this post is misleading.

Truth is, I’m terrified of ghosts.


For a long time, I didn’t think I’d ever have an experience that made me believe in the supernatural. While I have always believed in ghosts, apart from the stories my dad would tell me (he has some crazy stories and really I have no explanation for them other than it was some sort of electrostatic activity… which can be a ghost), I didn’t think I’d come close.

I’ve been with my present company for almost five years (more on that next week) and three years ago we moved from a boring, lifeless, run of the mill office park to an old, rehabbed building from the 1800s with lots of charm, character and ghosts.

When we first moved to this office space the folks on the floors above me joked around that I shouldn’t stay after dark. Or come in too early. Or go the Lower Lower Level where the tunnels are. Tunnels!? What tunnels!? “Oh, you know, the ones that were part of the Underground Railroad. And happen to run underneath the present day State Mental Hospital which is just down the road.”

So I’ve never been to the Lower Lower Level but it does in fact exist. The brave men in my office have been down there a few times. But I have been there very early in the morning and very late at night, well past dark, usually the very last person in the four-story building to leave.

A few things you should know about my office building: it was built in the late 1800s with the original intent to be a college, which it was for about three years before they want bankrupt. At that time, the State bought the property and turned it into (there is some disput here as to the timeframe) a poorhouse for women and children where they were forced to work and a mental hospital, possibly run by nuns, for predominantly women and children. Either way, there are state records that indicate that women and children were indeed housed in this building, that women and children died in this building and that those who were committed to this institution were committed for the silliest of reasons. (Things that we would now call menopause, night terrors, depression, etc.) The building is a historical landmark and is many of the local books and one national book about ghosts and ghost stories.  

One day about two years ago, I got there earlier than usual, before anyone else was in the building. As I opened the door to my office I heard a lot of giggling coming from the floor above me. The office above us is a State office for the visually impaired so I thought perhaps I missed seeing a car or a bus with children on it and let it go. Later that day, around 7 pm at night (almost 12 hours later), I was locking up the office and heard the giggling again, but this time louder. In addition to the giggling, I heard running back and forth. Back and forth. Don’t ask me why, but I decided I should check to make sure there was no one upstairs as I didn’t want to lock them in the entire building, especially children. I walked up a flight of stairs, opened the door to the 3rd floor (hearing the giggling all the while) and as soon as I opened the door, it stopped mid laugh. Not a person in sight. The entire floor was dark. Office doors closed. I closed the door and rushed back downstairs. The laughter started again. I fleed the building.

Turns out that one of my co-workers had the exact same experience the day before me.

Others in the building have seen a young girl, in a white nightgown roaming the south side of the building before. (If I saw that, I’m pretty sure I’d pee my pants, ladylike or not.)

The UPS driver says boxes of paper clips and clipboards have flown straight off the shelf at him when he’s dropping off packages.

I’ve seen a few other “people” in the windows of our office suite at odd hours.

Turns out, I am afraid of ghosts, more afraid than I thought I would be. It’s enough that I literally run to the back of the office to turn the lights on if I’m the first one there and rush out as soon as it starts to get dark out. And no matter what, I don’t look back at the office windows.

What about you, do you believe in ghosts and the supernatural? Any encounters?


33 Responses to “I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost”

  1. Charlie February 25, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    You are frightened but able to go into work, maybe you’re becoming less afraid than you think. Once I heard a very loud laugh coming from a building known to be haunted (and a friend has seen the ghost there). The laugh was loud and though I considered the possibility of it being someone further down the road there was just something about it.

  2. butterflycharlie February 25, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    I’ve had numerous experiences that are far too long and detailed to go into here but I absolutely believe in ‘ghosts’. They don’t scare me – I’m drawn into it! One day I’ll have to blog about my encounters.

  3. mandy February 25, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    I find stories like this fascinating. I dont know that I’ve ever had an encounter with a ghost but love going to places (and usually being scared out of my mind in the process) like your office building to explore. There are several places here around my hometown and neighboring towns that were part of the Underground Railroad that are said to be haunted. And a few Victorian mansions are said to be haunted by the original occupants as well. Probably one of the scariest things I’ve done is go to former WV state penitentiary in the evening for a tour. It scared the bejesus out of me.

  4. Emily Jane February 25, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    Oh goodness I am afraid of ghosts. I’ve apparently had 2 encounters – one I remember, it was in the big old house we first moved into when we moved to Canada, and all my stuff would keep disappearing, and I got really frustrated one time and yelled out in my room STOP IT!! and my stereo, a 5-disc player, stopped and ejected the whole CD tray back and forth, back and forth. I just pulled the plug out I was so scared! The other, I’m told, was when I was a kid, and I was apparently looking up and having a conversation with my great granddad (who’d passed away), who I don’t remember at all. My mum said she cried when she saw it.

  5. april February 25, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    I would be so scared if that happened to me! I used to work at a pool as a lifeguard for 5 years and we had a ghost. Her name was Mary and she was a lady who died of a heart attack in the pool like 60 years before I worked there. We would always see her in the shower area or sometimes things on the pool deck would move around, like kickboard stands (even though they had locks on them). We would always just joke about it and tell her to stop but I would never ever be there by myself at night!

    Great blog!

  6. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks February 25, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    Sweets is terribly afraid of ghosts. I’ll be sure not to tell him this story. =)

  7. Nicole February 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    AH! OH my gosh! I’m all goose-bumpy and nervous now! eek!

  8. ria February 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    totally have goosebumps. stories like this always unnerve me. my friends dad has some really creepy ones too.

    right after my grandma died i had her jewelry box in my room. when i was walking out the doors shut on it making a tiny click that made me turn around. and sometimes i feel my mom’s hand on my cheek.

    but i don’t remember every having an encounter like yours. i’d be scared too!

  9. Amy --- Just A Titch February 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    I am a huge baby in general, and things like this are no different. My mom has had some scary experiences, and being raised as a religious child, I was told to not mess with the supernatural. So, I don’t. This story gives me shivers!

  10. jen February 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    i just find all of that totally fascinating!! i am a firm believer in ghosts and have had a few hair raising experiences where i used to work! but nothing to make me totally terrified.

  11. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair February 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I don’t believe in ghosts. I think I so steadfastly don’t believe in them because I am terrified of the idea of them.

    I have never had an encounter and hope I never do.

  12. Holly February 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    I’ve never had an encounter but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in ghosts. If I ever HAD an encounter, I’d either pee my pants or faint, lol. I would never be able to work at your office!!!

  13. Liz February 25, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Creepy! I’m totally afraid of ghosts. Especially ghost children. In the horror movies, it’s always the demon kids that freak me out most.

  14. bellerenee February 25, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Oh my gosh, Nora, I’ve been having this convo with a friend SO MUCH lately. She legitimately sees things all. the. time. and we have a rule in my house — if she’s over and she sees something, she is NOT to tell me. But some of the stuff she tells me is absolutely chill-inducing. (Like… I don’t want to be alone in my house at the moment…) I think the scariest part is I believe her (and you!) whole-heartedly. When I was in college, I was napping on the futon in my dorm and was woken up by someone saying my name in my ear. Of course, no one was in my room… but there’s an entire book devoted to the hauntings of that particular dorm. So, yeah. I’m terrified of it all but ABSOLUTELY fascinated at the same time.

  15. walkingonsunshine18 February 25, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    I’m terrified of ghosts… petrified! eekk

  16. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns February 25, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Yikes. that is creepy…. I haven’t had an experiences with ghosts, but if something like that happened me, it would make me believe in them!

    Your story kind of reminds me of the venue that my friend got married at. It was a museum that was a children’s home at one time. They had a whole section of the museum dedicated to the ghost stories. Kind of a spooky place to get married!!

  17. barbetti February 25, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    I’ve had an encounter before and honestly? I don’t remember it. I blacked out after telling my mom and grandmother about it. The only reason they believe it to be true is the “spirit” I had said encounter with was someone who had died in that house, someone I didn’t know a thing about, though my grandmother knew him and his distinguishing qualities. It’s a long story and gives me the heeby-jeebies.

  18. Maggie February 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    ooh creepy!!

    I definitely believe in ghosts. I’ve seen a few odd things in my office before but I’m not sure if its “haunted” or it’s lack of caffeine in the morning. Chris’ old dorm was haunted by a girl but I never saw her either.

    I kind of want to see a real ghost but I’m afraid I would pass out lol.

  19. Jessica February 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    Wow that is a really creepy story. I can’t say i’ve had an encounter with one or supernatural happenings, but my aunt lives in old house that she fixes up and she swears that one night she a saw a girl in 19th century clothing walking down the stairs of the house, turns out a girl her age died in that house during that time period. Not sure if I believe it but damn.

  20. Her February 26, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    I most definitely believe in this stuff–my sister and I have had too many encounters to count, and I would write about them right now, but I’m too freaked out too, considering it is the middle of the night here!

    But yes, I do believe, and oddly enough, I was actually planning on blogging about it before long!

  21. Her February 26, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    Ugh. That third too should be a to.

  22. Megan February 26, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    Creepy! I’ve never personally had an encounter with a ghost, but I believe in the possibility of them!

  23. OG February 26, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    That’s a crazy story. You should have a seance. I believe in spirits but I’m not sure how I’d react if I ever saw one.

  24. Kyla Roma February 26, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Um, that’s TERRIFYING.

    I’m really afraid of ghosts, and I don’t even quite know why. If I was a ghost I would just want to be around people I think, not to hurt them. But it’s weird to think of these shadows of people hanging around and if I’d seen something like that you couldn’t PAY me to close the office anymore.

    And that I live in over a 100 year old house doesn’t really make me feel any easier about this stuff lol

  25. Sarah February 26, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    I don’t believe in ghosts – I do believe in the supernatural, but not in human souls roaming the earth. Supernatural for me covers an entirely different spirit world that sometimes likes to mess with us by appearing as humans.

    And yeah, I’d totally have legged it out of that building as fast as possible after hearing the giggles and finding the place empty. I might even pee my pants. But seeing a girl? I’d definitely wet myself – I’m a coward.

  26. rachieannie February 26, 2010 at 11:27 am #


    Wow. I freak myself out enough WITHOUT ghost stories (and sightings!). I used to work for a catalog company and when I closed I had to go allll the way to the back and slowly work my way forward, shutting off lights and closing down the warehouse. Yikes. Or when I’m at my parents and have to run to the barn at night, I literally run. So easy to get that prickly feeling!

    So when you have actual experiences like that to back up the creepy … ugh!!

  27. clairesuzanne February 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    I definitly believe in ghosts and this post just terrified me a little! A friend’s house is very old. They have records that prove the bricks in the fireplace in the basement were from reused from the basement of a hospital (the morgue was in the basement) in town. To add to that, the man that used to live in the house had a heart attack and died while he fell down the back staircase. His house is haunted and it’s terrifying. I love hearing about stories like this, but I hate it at the same time because it’s so creepy.

  28. Ally February 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Wow! Freaky stuff. I have never had an encounter myself, but I definitely believe it’s possible. I grew up in an old house and am fascinated with ghost stories and haunted places.

  29. samdotcom February 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Goodness! Yes, I believe in ghosts. I believe that stories like the one you just told are completely real. A few days after Ju and I moved into our home, we were locking up the doors and heading out somewhere. I walked out before Julia, she turned around to shut and lock the door and saw a girl standing at the other end of the hallway, who turned and walked into our bedroom. Couple that with a few other things that have happened, and I highly doubt she was making it up, or ‘seeing things’. We named the ghost Misty and Julia LOVES to bug me about her, as I’m terrified. =)

  30. E.P. February 26, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    Yikes, girl. I cannot even imagine!

    I’ve never experienced anything with the supernatural or ghosts, but I don’t doubt they exist. And, since it’s completely unknown for me, it’s kind of scary because of that.

  31. Suburban Sweetheart February 27, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    This is terrifying.

    I don’t know what I believe i. I have had a few “supernatural” encounters that are just too close to be coincidental, mostly involving my dead ex-boyfriend. I know, I know, that sounds absurd…

  32. hannahkaty February 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    I definitely believe in ghosts! I have had a few strange encounters with what I believe to be the paranormal. Your experiences sound crazy and creepy.

    We are certainly not alone in this world.. not to sound morbid and creepy.


    Hannah Katy

  33. Tabitha March 15, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    So I know this comment is SUPER late, but EEK! That would definitely scare the pee out of me. I guess I’m still undecided as to how I feel about ghosts, but I did have one strange experience several years ago: a friend and I were staying at her dad’s house for a weekend while he and his wife were away, and at about 1 a.m., the power went out. Lindsey went outside to check out the power box thingy, and as soon as the front door closed, I heard a sound coming from the kitchen that I SWEAR was a woman’s voice whispering, “Sweeeeeeetieeeee….” I realized that the microwave door was opened (and it totally wasn’t before), so I dashed into the kitchen, closed it, and the whispering stopped. Totally freaky.

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