The Lay-away Ghost

I’ve worked in a Kmart Pharmacy as an intern for about a year and a half now.  I remember working one day and the technicians and pharmacist were talking about “The Lay-away Ghost”. I have never experienced this entity but one of our technician’s has worked out on the floor before moving back to the pharmacy and had several stories.

First, the lay-away ghost is apparently an older man in a white shirt and red vest. Apparently back in the day, employees wore red vests, very similar to those worn by Walmart employees these days. He is referred to as The Lay-away Ghost because most employees have experienced him back in that area. I haven’t been able to find any news of any deaths in the store so I am not sure how the poor guy got stuck in a Kmart for his after-life. That’s a scary story in and of itself.

The first story my co-worker told me was of a time when the store was dead (it is Kmart, after all) and she was working the customer service desk with another worker. The anti-theft alarms began blaring in unison and the automatic doors opened and closed. The alarms went on and off and the doors opened and closed and no one was there.

Another time two workers went to the upper level of receiving because they were hearing things going on up there. When they arrived upstairs they were pelted with boxes and the room was trashed. The workers said they felt like whatever was causing this wanted to hurt them. They sent security up there and while the room was trashed, no one was up there. They even checked the security footage and saw the room being trashed and boxes being thrown, but no one causing the chaos.

Finally, just last week my coworker was back in receiving and walking down the stairs. When she reached the midway point of the stairs she heard a loud “thump” like someone was jumping in the room upstairs. She called out to a coworker telling him to stop messing around. When she didn’t receive a response she called up again. Still no response. She went back upstairs and found the room to be empty. She went back down the stairs and again at the midway point she heard a loud “thump”. Suddenly, the room (an unconditioned room in August) was ice cold. Her instincts told her to run and as she did she heard the thumping get louder and closer behind her.

The most interesting bit though, are the windows. Up in receiving there are tiny windows where you can see the entire store. I like to think The Lay-away Ghost spends his time creeping on everyone trying to find an unsuspecting victim. Overall, he seems harmless. The only incident I’ve heard about any physical damage was the box throwing. Most other encounters just involve merchandise or chairs moving, or the doors opening and alarms going off without cause.

One things for sure though, you won’t catch me hanging around layaway.

 

 

Haunted Kmart

I began working at my local Kmart in 2011 due to financial difficulties I was having. Not being able to find work in my chosen field, I filled out an application. To my surprise I was hired for the upcoming holiday season.

I was not the typical new hire. I came with some retail experience and let’s just say that I was probably as old as the building at that time, considering mom used to bring us kids shopping there in the late 1970’s and 80’s.

I had my share of paranormal experiences in that store for the duration of my employment, but for the sake of keeping this short, I will only highlight the three most memorable.

My first few weeks on the job were pretty uneventful.

I found the work atmosphere to be pleasant enough and when it wasn’t, I simply avoided those coworkers who tended to be more difficult. Even my work duties were relatively simple, once I got the hang of it. While in training I focused mainly on customer service and merchandising, but then I was promoted to back room locator.

The back room locator was responsible for picking from a list any items that were needed on the shelves that day, and for putting excess merchandise away in it’s designated location.  

I’d say the most difficult part for me was the lighting in the back rooms, which was somewhat dim and drab, making it almost impossible to read the pick lists.

The other thing that took some getting used to was navigating the many different stockrooms.

There were three huge warehouse type stockrooms, and then there were tiny rooms hidden in out of the way locations. Once I got used to the store layout, and where items were supposed to go, it was a breeze to do my job.

One evening, I was assigned to pick items from the pantry stock room, which also housed toys and sporting goods. This was one of the larger rooms with no windows and bad lighting.

There was just one emergency exit leading behind the building, and the swinging doors leading out to the sales floor. I was back there for a couple of hours by myself picking. As I worked, an eerie feeling kept creeping up on me.

At first I thought I was imagining it, but I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that I was not alone.

Every now and then, I detected sounds coming from up above me, sounds that seemed to be coming from a loft area where bicycles were stored. It sounded like several people whispering all at once in conversation. Knowing that I was completely alone and that no one had entered from the sales floor, I kept working.

I would occasionally steal glances upward,  fear building within me as I anticipated every moment that I would see something I didn’t really want to see.

The longer I lingered the more uneasy I became. I was torn between wanting to get the job done, thinking it was just my imagination, and just wanting to run out of that room screaming.

As the minutes passed, I decided that I was finished picking, no matter what the manager had to say. Here’s where being an experienced confident adult comes in handy.

I went directly to the manager on duty and told her I was done working in that stockroom and that I was not going back in there again for the rest of the night. I didn’t mention my experience.

She simply said, Ok, and sent me off to do other things on the sales floor.

 

It was Thanksgiving night a year later when I had my next experience. I was responsible for customer service in and around the sporting goods section and automotive.

This area was unusually slow in terms of customer traffic, because it was later in the evening, around 8 pm. In anticipation of Black Friday, most of the customers were heading home so they could get an early start the next day.

There was one other worker in the area, and he was busy zoning the last aisle in automotive. I found some items on a shelf in sporting goods that did not fit in their proper location so I took them to the pantry stock room to backroom locate them. Just as I was pushing through the swinging doors, I heard someone say my name.

Clear as a bell, in a normal tone of voice.  

I turned around, expecting to see my coworker, or anyone. But, there was no one there. I looked down the next aisle, and found no one. I looked down the aisle after that, still no one. I walked two more aisles over in the opposite direction. There was no one there!

But I know that I heard my name, very distinctly! There was no way that anyone could have walked away, or even run away from me that quickly. I found my coworker five aisles away from the pantry stockroom and asked if he had called for me. He said he had not.

At this point, I was so creeped out and confused that I decided I would steer clear of that room for the rest of the night.

 

My final, and scariest experience in Kmart occurred the following year during the Christmas season. I had volunteered to work an overnight crew to unload freight and place it on the sales floor.

There were no customers or managers present. We were a crew of about 6 people, including the key holder who was responsible for locking us in and making sure the work got done. The shift began at 10pm and would end at 6am.

Everything was going fine for the first couple of hours. Everyone worked as a team in the same general area of the store because it made the merchandising go quicker. It was well after midnight when I had to take a load of cardboard back to the baler, which was located in the receiving area.

This was another large room which had bad lighting. The cardboard baler was located on one of the far ends of this back room. Beyond that was the trash room, which was by far the most awful room, and it was a dead end.

Above receiving was another large storage room accessible by narrow stairs.

On the other side, above the trash room was a loft used for storing excess infant merchandise like playpens and cribs. I wheeled my cardboard back to the baler just as I had done a hundred times before during the course of my employment.

I don’t know what came over me, but I suddenly felt unable to take another step in that direction. I was about halfway to the baler when I was enveloped in a kind of fear and terror that I didn’t understand. Where was this feeling coming from? It felt like the same uneasy feeling I had in pantry stockroom, but a hundred times worse.

Thinking that I was imagining things again,  I had to talk myself into walking the remaining steps to the baler. I threw the cardboard in as quickly as possible and wheeled the flatbed back out onto the sales floor, where I felt relieved.

Since I did not want to appear like an idiot in front of my coworkers that night, I made no mention of what happened to me by the baler.

I was the new person on the overnight crew and I didn’t want to foist my work on anyone else either, so I made several more trips to the baler that night all the while trying to overcome the panic I felt every time I got close to that spot in the back room.

At some point during the night I also had to take some trash to the trash room, which was just beyond the baler. I told myself that I was going to walk it in as quickly and nonchalantly as possible, dump it, and then leave the area immediately.

As I was walking away from that trash room, I heard footsteps coming up behind me. This was impossible, because there was only one way into the trash room, it was a dead end and I was the only one there.

I panicked and began walking faster and faster, with the footsteps coming up behind me as quickly and loudly as I was walking.

But there was no one there.  I practically ran out onto the sales floor, where I met up with a coworker who was on her way to the baler with cardboard. I took a chance and told her what just happened to me, because I could no longer keep my fear and uneasiness to myself.

I was not expecting the words she was about to say to me. She said, “Well, you know what happened to Alec, don’t you?” Alec was one of our overnight floor cleaners.

I said, “No, what happened?”  

She said, “He quit. Do you know why?” I was confused because I knew I hadn’t seen him in a while, but hadn’t heard anything through the grapevine.

She informed me that he quit because one night while working he had seen “something” up in the baby loft, which was the storage room above the trash room. Just hearing her say these words gave me goosebumps and chills.

I was not imagining things! There WAS a ghost, perhaps more than one, haunting Kmart. And each time I worked in specific areas of the store, the uncomfortable feeling of dread was not my mind playing tricks on me. For the rest of the night, I made sure I did not go to the baler alone. I don’t think I would have handled seeing a ghost or spirit very well.

 

That was the last overnight crew I ever did in that store, and if I had to work at night I made sure to get all my trash and cardboard thrown away while there were still customers in the store and other coworkers nearby.

Knowing that there was definitely something there made it easier to cope with the feelings I would get, and I learned how to avoid certain areas.

I left Kmart not long after that, and within a year, that particular store closed it’s doors due to an expired lease. Now, whenever I drive by the store, I always think about the ghosts inside, and I wonder how they feel, all alone in a completely dark, empty building.

Snapchat ghost

I’m an easily scared girl, but most of the time I ask for fear, I watch scary things on the internet and have nightmares at night about what I watch. But I keep on doing it.

My best friend got really sick, so she couldn’t go to school, being a typical teenage girl, I FaceTimed her just to talk. She told me she had a halarious picture to show me, so while still on FaceTime I went on Snapchat to see the picture, it was of her spitting broccoli everywhere, I couldn’t help but laugh so loudly. It was pretty late at night so my Mum told me to be quiet. Me and my friend kept on sending funny pictures back and forth to each other. I took this ecpesialy funny picture while sitting on the couch with the curtains drawn behind me as I was sitting in front of a window. My friend took a screenshot of it and sent it back to me, oh god it was horrible! I took a screenshot of it and saved it into my camera roll. Me and my friend went back on FaceTime on our computers while she had her phone and was in snapchat. My friends face suddenly went black,

“Maddi?” She asked me

“yeah?” I answered

“what is that hand?”

“What hand?” She instructed me to go onto my camera roll and look at the picture I took on snapchat earlier. In nearly dropped in fright, just above my shoulder was a hand. At first my friend thought it was a joke, until I started freaking out. No one would fit behind the couch, the blinds were drawn and I was alone in the room. To this day, on me and my friend believe this story, we both discussed it, we thought the only explaintion is that it was a ghost, a ghost that wanted to go on snapchat.

Haunted Ouija Board

I was a teenager when this happened, but I can honestly say I remember it like it happened just a few hours ago. My friend, Bailey and I were staying at her house for the weekend. It just happened to be the weekend that her mother decided to do some spring cleaning and clean out their spare bedroom. As teenagers Bailey and I of course were doing more playing with the things we found than cleaning.

Bailey pulled a box out of the closet and held it up, asking her mother what was inside. Her mother snatched the box out of her hands and told her it was a Ouija Board that her aunt had brought home when she lived there. We shrugged it off and went on with our day. Later that night her dad decided we needed to burn some of the things that had been thrown out. The fire was small and burning normally until her mother threw the Ouija Board in it.

What happened next is something I can only describe as unexplainable. The flames of the fire turned blue and the fire flamed up much higher than before. We stood there looking at each other, all a bit shaken but also glad that it was gone. Eventually the fire burned down and we all settled in for bed. Bailey and I were in the den watching a movie when we heard it, something rattling inside one of the boxes that was to go back into storage.

Thinking her cat had climbed inside and become stuck, Bailey opened the box and immediatley screamed a scream that could only have been matched if a man had jumped out of the box with a knife. I ran over to her and peered into the box  myself and found the Ouija Board from earlier, alone in the box. Her parents ran in to find Bailey and I still staring into the box trying to wrap our minds around what we were seeing.

It was the middle of the night but her dad grabbed the box and threw it outside. He proceeded to spray it with lighter fluid from the nearby grill and light it on fire. The flame was the same strange blue color and this time there was an odd noise that came from it. Almost like a hissing mixed with quiet screaming. When the fire had died down there was nothing but a pile of ash and embers.

To my knowledge the Ouija Board has not made another appearance since, but even know, all these years later I still get chills thinking about it. Ouija  boards are nothing to play with, and knowing what I know now, it terrifies me to think that some people play with them as if they are a toy.

Paranormal Events

I thought I would share a few of my experiences that have happened over the years.   There have been so many paranormal things that have happened but I thought I would share the things that have really caught my attention over the years.  Nothing is overly terrifying but the things that have caught my attention at the time were certainly unsettling.  For timeline purposes I was born in 1990.  Also just a note that this has happened at every place I have lived and has not been linked to a specific location.

I don’t think I really started to notice things actually happening until I was about 14 but when I think back to it there are a few things that seemed off but I never was able to check into it so I can’t really say for sure.  So I will start with the first thing that really stood out that got me paying attention to what was happening in the background.  It was about 10 pm, I was on the family computer in the office at the bottom of the stairs.  My dog was at the top of the stairs outside of my parents’ bedroom.

I remember the air just feeling stagnant.

After about a minute of the air standing still it felt like someone was standing behind me.  My dog all of a sudden was at the bottom of the stairs freaking out at the room.  He wouldn’t come in he wouldn’t stop barking.  I remember frantically trying to calm him down as my parents were sleeping and they didn’t like me on the computer a lot.  With him barking the phone started ringing.  My mom answered and hung up instantly.  It rang and again she answered and hung up.  It rang a third time and my mom was dealing with the dog so I got the phone and hung up.  My mom said she only got static as well.  Just like that it was over.

Over the next few months I noticed a lot of little things that turned into little things that are still currently happening.  You know, doors opening and closing, footsteps, things moving, my pets reacting to things no one can see, phantom smells, random noises (clicking and tapping), whispers….    This seemed to get me interested in everything paranormal.

So like any ill-informed teenager I decided to pull out my parent’s Ouija board.  I only ever used one a few times.  The first time was alone in my room.  I spoke to a young boy.  That’s basically all I got.  I didn’t really tell anyone about it as it wasn’t the super climactic story that you’d expect.

I was left at home alone a lot.  I had been taking care of the house since I was 12.  So for me to be alone and up all hours of the night was just a normal thing for me.  I was 15 and up reading at about 4 am.  It was just me and my dog in the house and winter time.  My grandma decided that when I was 10 she’d start sending me wind chimes as presents.  Not sure why but I hung them around my room because why not.  This morning the air got stagnant again.  At this point this was a usual feeling for me as so many minor things happened.  All of my wind chimes started going off simultaneously.  That certainly made me stop.

I started smoking at 14 for something to do.  I lived in the middle of nowhere and was always alone so it was nice to have something to look forward to.  I was in the garage at about 3 am when I was 15 having a smoke.  My dad has a lot of tools and he had a lot of wrenches hanging on the wall. I went to the ashtray beside the wrenches to put my smoke out.  They all just started flailing like they had been hit.  I decided to stop them to see how hard they would have to have been hit to move like that.  It took me 3 tries to hit them hard enough.
When I was 16 my best friend and I made a Ouija board.  We set it up in her basement.  We talked with something that wouldn’t say goodbye to us.  It eventually said goodbye after a candle was knocked over on its own.  Luckily nothing caught fire.

From 16 to 18 I did a lot of partying.  I noticed the minor stuff but anything that could have been major I won’t say as I wasn’t in the right mind to be retelling events.

Upon starting college I met a few cool girls who went to another school in the city I was in.  We decided to get together after a few months of small talk for girls night.  They lived together so I was going there a lot after that to hang out.  One night we got talking about the paranormal and they had both had their own experiences.  We decided to have a Ouija board session (I know I swear I learned my lesson).  As we were getting started we heard stomping upstairs and the lights started flickering.  We didn’t go through with it and they came and slept at my place that night.  After that the house did a few weird things all in the attic.  Stomping, talking, whistling, whispering…

After that almost Ouija board session everything minor (doors, footsteps, whispering) all started happening daily as it still does.  It seemed to be more prominent when I was around people that caught my attention almost like it wanted more attention.

Throughout everything happening to me daily there weren’t too many crazy experiences I recall.  I was in quite the relationship and my energy was focused on how to get through all the fights I had with my ex so I wasn’t paying attention.  Other than a few violent door slams the only other thing that happened from age 19-20 was the following..  I was visiting home.  We had a lot of family over so I didn’t get my bedroom and was on a couch.  Where our living room is situated is right by the front door.  I slept on the loveseat right by the door as the guy I was dating got the bigger couch.  I still house sat for my parents a lot as they were still never home.  I had a night routine there where I would walk around and lock all of the doors and windows.  I was the last one up so I did my routine.  With all of this happening to me over the years I feel like it’s obvious I am an extremely light sleeper.  I woke up and started to hear the door knob jiggling.  I checked to make sure it was locked and looked outside and no one was there.  Went back to the couch only to hear it continue for a few seconds then the door to fly right open.

I left my ex and needed a change.  I moved across the country and started working at a resort in the Canadian Rockies.  There were so many things that happened there.  The place is said to be haunted they tell you on the orientation day.  They actually showed us the cabins where people died and where hot spots are on the overall tour.  The resort is about 100 years old as well.  I would hear running down the hall to my bedroom door flying open in the middle of the night.  I had awful dreams when I was younger where I’d wake up and think spiders were coming down from the ceiling.  The dreams got worse at this place. It would be so real I would wake up screaming and have to change my sheets I just had to be sure there were no spiders in them.    My roommate said she would always here tapping on the wall and talking from my room in the middle of the night when I wasn’t home.   She said she’d hear things in the kitchen and come out to all the cupboards open when I was sleeping or gone.

The reason I was gone so much was that I was dating a man who is now my husband.  Prior to me moving in with him I explained that things happen around me.  He told me we’d see what happen.  That night we decided I would start looking for a job in town as we lived an hour apart.  We discussed terms and what not but the one to note being that his gaming room stay his room and I would get the basement as my art place.  I hated his gaming room anyway it was cluttered with clothes and beer bottles the few times I was in there.  The next day when we woke up we couldn’t find my glasses anywhere which was a huge deal as I can barely walk without my glasses let alone drive an hour.  After looking for 3 hours they were in the gaming room on the middle of the keyboard.  My husband told me that if I was to move in with him he wanted me to ignore it.  He said I was too open with it.  I agreed to see what would happen.

It seemed to piss it off if anything.  We started to notice that someone had been drawing on the windows with their finger tips from the inside.  My husband started to hear tapping…  Candles would light on their own.  We eventually got a dog that at certain times would be growling and freaking out at a room and wouldn’t go in there.  My sister in law woke up to her bed moving like someone was rocking it.  My spider dreams got even worse.  Eventually we had wine bottles breaking in the basement, storage shelving being knocked across the room.

The spare room seemed to be a hot spot.  My husband works away from home so I am alone all the time and I would hear full conversations in there.  We would eventually start talking about this and stop ignoring it.  When I told him he can’t ignore it we heard all the stuff on our pantry shelves get pushed off.

One night there was a constant tapping, 3 in a row.  I asked my husband if he heard it and he said yes that it was just the tap dripping.  It stopped instantly, and started back up in the bedroom right above my head.  We didn’t sleep that night.

I have since seen a medium and can manage all of this a lot better.  It’s a lot less scarier.  We have since moved.  Over the last 6 months in our new house we have the usual but the thing that stands out….  We got a wooden mask in Mexico and hung it on the wall.  We left for 45 minutes and came back to it on the ground and shattered.  We tried to glue it together but couldn’t find a piece.  Hours later we found it, in a closed room on a different floor of our house.