This story isn’t creepy, per se, but it did happen in the middle of the day, in a brightly lit shop, right on a main road. So, it’s odd more than anything.
I work for a small business in a little suburb in Sydney, Australia. We’re pretty friendly with all our customer and I can recognise a lot of them by face, if not name.
Just to give you a quick layout: when you walk in, there’s an open area where we set up small displays. On the the immediate left, tucked into a sort of alcove, is a floor to ceiling display, with products stacked on shelves, and then a back to front L-shaped counter, with the bottom of the L making up one ‘wall’ of the alcove. There’s four aisles, and a smoothie/juice bar tucked up the back, which has a view of the counter and the front of the shop.
The other main feature, which is well know around town, is our absolute piece of crap front door. Half of the entire frontage of our shop is a huge glass windows, with the door built into this. It’s this loud, heavy, sliding thing that almost everyone slides the wrong way, and when it catches, it makes a loud bang that can be rather distracting when you’re working.
So, as I mentioned, it’s a sunny day, early afternoon, and I’m working the front counter, while my two other staff are at the smoothie/juice bar, sorting out produce. Aside from the staff, there’s only one other customer in the shop, and I’m having a pretty relaxing time sorting out some computer work.
I’m tapping away when a customer I know pretty well, who’ll I’ll call Dani, walks into the shop, slamming the door in the wrong direction, before rolling it noisily the right way, as per normal. I come out from behind the counter to have a catch-up, as I haven’t seen her since she went on holidays a month ago.
I’m about five minutes into a chat with Dani when I notice the door open over her shoulder, and a woman walks in. Normally, even when I’m busy with another customer, I’ll excuse myself for a moment just to say, “Hello!” and give a smile, so the customer knows I’ve seen them. Good customer service and all that. I have a second to notice this woman is middle age, short, blonde brown hair and is wearing a bright pink cardigan before she ducks into the alcove, out of sight. There’s stuff displayed on lower shelves, so that’s not odd, but she’s in so fast I don’t have time to say anything.
Dani and I chat for a couple more seconds before I excuse myself and while she walks to the smoothie bar at the back, I look into the alcove.
“Hello! Can I-”
There’s no one there.
Puzzled, I take a quick look up each of the aisles, before making my way up and down, stopping to ask our other customer if she’s seen a lady in a pink cardigan. She says no.
I walk to the juice bar and ask the other staff, and Dani, if the lady in the pink cardigan came up this way. Both of the other staff shake their heads and Dani gives me an odd look.
“What lady?” she asks.
“The one who came in after you.”
She shakes her head. “No-one followed me in. I didn’t hear the stupid door open.”
There is nowhere to hide in this shop and besides, I had full view of the alcove and the door over Dani’s shoulder; I would’ve seen her leave.
It gets stranger. When I describe the lady in what detail I had, Dani looks shocked. Apparently, a friend of her’s had died several days earlier and this friend was rather fond of wearing a bright pink cardigan.