ghost town, wild west, village

Alright, so, the incident that has me posting this actually happened to me today, just a few hours ago, but there’s a lot of what I believe to be related incidents, so bear with me. My store is haunted. Laugh if you will, but, being an overnighter, I see plenty of fairly unexplainable events. I’m a reasonable person. Yes. I believe in many different supernatural entities, however, I’m also aware that physics is pretty weird in itself. If I can explain something away with logic, I will. It makes the weird things I do see . . . I don’t know, less prevalent, therefore less creepy? I’m not sure, I just know the less I see of the supernatural, the better off my day to day mindset is. Now, I’ve worked the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd shifts at my store. I’ve been there a depressingly long time for how short my life has been. The store and its employees are great, but retail is a b**ch.

I’ve only ever noticed the weird and creepy in the dark, quiet hours of the night, generally only when there’s just the employees in the store. I don’t know if it’s because things like stuff flying off the shelves at random always seem to have a logical explanation when the store is crowded or if it’s because our ghosts only come out at night. Time of day seems like a ridiculous condition to impose on the dead. As previously mentioned, at night things like to fly off the shelves at random. On my very first week of full-time overnights, I remember hearing a very loud ruckus coming from the back of the store. I went to go look at what had happened to find one bottle out of a package of our nutritional shakes, broken and leaking everywhere, at the opposite end of the aisle. Just for reference, that’s a good 28 feet indifference. It was like someone had plucked it out of the package and tossed it towards the front of the aisle. No one had entered the store in a little over an hour. We had no pharmacy waiters(not that it would have taken my pharmacist an hour to fill a script), no time wasters, no teenagers, or long shopping customers in the store. Just the employees. My manager had been in the office doing paperwork.

The door leading into the office is heavy. I can hear it close from the opposite side of the store and when I poked my head into the office to find him, there he was, hunched over the store’s cash reports. He had asked me what I needed when I walked into the office. I told him what happened and shrugged and said, rather nonchalantly, ” Oh, yeah, I’m pretty sure the store is haunted by several things. Most people here think I’m crazy. They seem mostly benign, if occasionally annoying.” “Mostly benign?” Another shrug. “There’s one that likes to watch people. I get the feeling I’m being watched all the time here in the office. I few other people have noticed it at night too. The break room is worse. I’ve also had some pretty nasty, weird near misses.” I soon found out what he meant. Things firmly planted behind a guard would end up 2 aisles over. Keeping holiday merchandise on the risers in the wee hours is a nightmare and when I got promoted I noticed the feeling of being watched while I was in the office as well, except, I’d get it the stockroom and in the back hallway by the break room and bathrooms as well.

Things you set down in the stockroom would end up in the photo lab when you hadn’t been in the lab all night. Sometimes stuff would go missing altogether. I had a set of keys that you could see me very clearly set down on a counter in the cameras in the store. When I looked back at our records, you never see anyone pick them back up or even approach the area in the time I left them there. They just disappeared. Then the truly creepy things started happening. Things started flying at me. Once I had an alarmingly tall stack of 2 liters almost fall on me. Cleaning up that mess was a nightmare and took way too long. Things set solidly and levelly on the top of the middle deck would teeter in my direction. Ladders, which had been planted flat, and firmly on the ground, would shift precariously. I’ve had too many close calls to count. Once, while pulling stock in the back the ladder shuddered and felt like it was about to tip over, sideways.

I lost my foothold and stumbled down several steps, heart racing. I eventually caught myself on the overstock bay I’d been pulling crap out of but not before I caught my wrist on one of the edges on the way down. It stopped my momentum but broke my wrist. Another moment was when I was on our tallest ladder putting things up top for storage. I set the box I was carrying down and the ladder lurched forward and began to tip over. My brain short-circuited and I reacted before I could think past, “Dying at work is a miserable way to go.” I jumped a couple feet from the ladder to the middle deck. Stunned, I turned around and watched as the ladder clattered to the ground. When my brain caught up to what happened I sat down on the middle deck, shaking. Somehow my cashier hadn’t managed to hear the noise and I’d had to call the front of the store with my cell phone when I finally managed to calm down. She laughed at me for being clumsy and I didn’t bother to correct her. Most of my coworkers thought I was crazy for insisting the store was haunted too. My most recent and scariest encounter puts me in a situation OSHA(shhh, no tattling and just to cover my bases, no, this is not a safe activity.

If you’re stupid enough to follow my example, especially after this story, I refuse to be held accountable if you hurt yourself. Consider yourself warned.) would definitely not approve of it, but I’ve never before had an incident like this, so I never saw the harm to it. To elaborate, my store is in the possession of 2 gray double-decker carts on wheels. They’re made out of that lightweight, fairly durable plastic. It is my habit during our holiday season to climb up on the larger of the 2 and pull myself along the risers as I’m stocking and putting up merchandise. It’s much easier since I can put the product I need off to the side of me and roll myself from one end of the riser to another.

The constant up and down to shuffle the ladder along problem is solved. These double-deckers are fairly stable and the wheels lock into place once you’re stationary. Fairly easy to maneuver and given my history with ladders, I always felt safer using the double-deckers in lieu of ladders. I was putting out some Christmas merchandise up onto the risers that we had gotten on our most recent truck. I had paused for a moment to look towards the front of the store. The doors had opened and I was wanting to see who walked in. I was standing stationary, with no movement on my part. The cart was stable and hadn’t budged from where I parked it with I had been bending down to grab the items off my cart. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my casher, Tabitha, suddenly book it up the aisle. I was wondering what she was doing when the cart’s front wheels lurched sideways, as though someone had shoved it, hard.

I had your traditional hokey slow-mo flash of my impending doom. I fell forward and hit my head hard on the riser, only to keep falling. With the speed of the cart, my knees would have caught the edge and I believe I would have smacked my head on the hard tile floor first. I grabbed desperately for the riser, managed to get my fingers curled around the edge and the cart stopped and stabilized. I felt a hand grab one of my pant legs, which slowed my movement. I managed to regain my balance when my palm finally connected with the riser. I immediately sat down on the cart. My legs were wobbly at the sudden burst of adrenaline. I was shakey for a good hour afterward. Tabitha told me she suddenly had a really bad feeling and was rushing up to tell me that she didn’t think me climbing all over the cart was a good idea. She caught the cart just before it pulled my feet out from underneath me. Bless that woman.

Story By:

Nieriel Shardae

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