Here is another story to tell you about, from four different convenience stores located in north-west Columbus, Ohio. One is in a district called Linworth, another Muirfield, the third Hard Road, and the last one in North High Street. It has been over fifteen years since I have worked in these stores so to distinguish from one another will be a challenge.
Each of these stores is believed to be haunted in some way, one by the spirit of a deceased maintenance worker and the one in Muirfield by disturbed ancient natives said to have lived in the area hundreds of years before the district was developed.
At the very least the paranormal experiences included the distinct sound of a twelve pack of beer bottles being placed on the counter (sometimes after hours) to items being thrown or knocked off a shelf.
Let us talk about the beer bottles first. Anyone working in these toes became familiar with two sounds. The first is the sound when someone smacks a hard pack of Marlboro lights against their flattened palm. The second sound is the thump and clink of a case of beer bottles being placed on the counter (a 12 pack of Bud Light usually). The latter was such a unique sound that you could hear it halfway across the store on a quiet day with light traffic. That sound became even more apparent after hours when there would be, at most, two of you locked (in some cases) in the store.
I recall, at least two times, hearing the sound in a couple of stores. Once I recall working in the back of the store with a co-worker when both of us heard the sound. We both walked out onto the sales floor to find that no one was there. Another time, also with a co-worker, same situation but this time at the Muirfield store which was closed for the night.
Next, and as I now know having looked into the paranormal more, were shadow people. I never asked if my co-workers had witnessed this, but at least one time I saw a shadow in the cramped back hallway of one of the stores. It was only a fleeting moment, out of the corner of my eye, but someone or something was there. You would feel a presence at a couple of the locations particularly when you knew you were alone in that part of the building. It was strong enough you would speak aloud thinking it was your co-worker but discover they were nowhere in sight or busy at the front counter with a customer.
There are three specific incidents I can tell you about. One I will call “ghost music”, the next “window bang” and the third “stock tumble”. I was working as an assistant manager in each of these locations during the paranormal events.
In the office of one store you could hear ghost music. It sounded like, and at first, we believed it to be, a ventilation fan turning slowly overhead. The blades making a squeak that sounded almost like the musical notes one would hear from a jewelry music box. It was not overly loud, but clear enough it sounded like a song that none of us knew. Imagine, if you will, opening a small music box and letting it play down until it almost needed to be wound up again, slow but steady pinging almost squeaky notes.
My ex, who also worked for the company, and I would hear it while doing paperwork in the small office space. It was re-affirmed when we held a meeting with one of our new shift leaders. About five minutes into the meeting he got a strange look on his face and when we asked him what was wrong, he looked up and asked if we could hear the music too.
We had a maintenance worker come in to do some repairs and we asked him to take a look in the ceiling for the defective fan, maybe he could oil it or something we thought.
He told us a couple surprising but not entirely unexpected things. First, there was no fan located in the ceiling above our heads. The cover above us was for an intake and did not include a fan. The nearest fan was way down at the other end of the hallway over fifty feet away. When we told him about the sound of music, he told us that his father, who had died some years earlier, had been the regular mechanic for all of the company stores in the area. We both agreed that the sounds could be made by something his spirit was doing, letting everyone know he was ‘still on the job’.
The “window bang” story took place at the Linworth store. For a short time, we had a store manager who lacked both people skills and a sense of humour. We told her the store was haunted and she absolutely refused to believe it, telling us we were crazy and to stop telling her stories she did not believe. That was until one day she was working along for a few hours one afternoon.
She told us that she was working in the first aisle stocking pop bottles with her back to the large plate glass windows along the front of the store. Suddenly, while she was knelt down, there came a loud bang against the glass. It startled her and she spun around quickly to see what made the noise. She could not see anyone through the windows or seconds later when she stepped outside. The parking lot was empty, no cars, no people. She felt “something” had made their presence known to her and she became a believer (at least of the store being haunted) after that.
The last story to tell you about happened to me personally.
Back then I had somewhat of a short fuse temper, and when people did stupid things that made my life harder I would get angry and sometimes throw or kick things, never at people of course and usually to my financial or physical detriment.
For a couple months our store manager got the brilliant idea to keep the service door locked when they were not at the store. Apparently, we were all thieves and needed to be restricted (interestingly this same manager was later fired months later for theft). As a result of the door being locked, we were forced to pule the disgusting bags of garbage inside the door and someone would take them out in the morning.
One evening I had had enough, and I took the garbage bag and threw it at the door with a thump. It did not break open, fortunately, but it did make me feel a little better.
I walked down the runway behind the counter to the break leading out to the sales floor. It was next to the cash register and faced the novelties endcap (one of the most cluttered and disliked displayers in the store). As I stepped onto the sales floor, at least six feet away from the endcap, one of the taller cardboard shelf displays fell over and spilled products all across the floor.
My co-worker was nowhere near the display and there were no customers in the store. It was as if a spirit or even the store itself was displeased with my angry outburst and decided to teach me a lesson by knocking over a display it knew I would dread having to pick up. I am inclined to believe a poltergeist was to blame for the clear reaction to my actions halfway across the store.