Monday, October 5, 2015
Charlie, The Department Store Ghost by SpookyLady InSanDiego
A coworker told me this story about her experience working in a haunted department store. I’ve changed her name and some details for privacy reasons.
Nora worked for a department store in San Diego County, California. She started work in the afternoon and after the store closed, tidied up her sections before the evening team meeting. The sections of the store Nora covered were the young boys and girls clothing. After closing Nora would walk through each area, making sure all the clothes were on hangers or folded neatly on tables or shelves.
It was late fall and there were two racks of coats on the back walls of each section. All of the coats had to be zipped or buttoned, any hoods placed behind them and their sleeves hanging down. Nora had finished walking through the girls’ department and went over to straighten up the boys’ department. To get to the front of the store Nora had to walk through the girls’ department again. She saw a coat laying on the floor. She couldn’t figure out how it had gotten there; perhaps it fell off its hanger. She reached down and picked it up, dusted it off and was going to hang it back on the wall rack when something chilled her to the bone.
Every coat on the wall racks had their arms straight out, as if reaching for a hug.
Heart racing, Nora looked around but no one else was in the area. The other store employees were working in their own areas. She had only looked down for a few seconds before turning to the wall of coats. Not sure of what to do, Nora simply pushed down the arms of the coats to their regular positions and went to meet her team for their meeting.
After the meeting was over, Nora asked the other employees if they’d ever had an unusual experience in the store. Several of them nodded and smiled. “That’s Charlie,” said one woman. “He’s our resident ghost.” Nora asked why no one told her and the response was simple: they thought she would get scared and quit like several other people did (one woman even ran out of the store screaming and never came back). Several employees had similar experiences to Nora’s while others saw a man wearing a trench coat walking through the childrens’ department.
The woman who told Nora about Charlie said there was also the ghost of a little girl that made her home in the store. Her favorite department, like any child, was the toy section. Employees would find toys scattered around the floor, and even Nora herself had a visit from the girl: she was working when several wind-and-walk toys came marching down the aisle toward her. There was no explanation for the toys moving on their own. They had to be wound up by hand.
After hearing about the store’s two ghosts, Nora didn’t let them bother her. When she came in to work she’d say aloud to Charlie, “I’ve got a lot of work to do and I’m busy. I don’t have time for you tonight.” Charlie seemed to respect Nora’s instructions and didn’t make his presence known to her again. The little girl never appeared to Nora but occasionally would leave a toy in Nora’s departments to let her know she was still around.
Since telling me her story Nora seemed most concerned about the little girl’s ghost. She said this ghost stayed to one side of the store, near the toys and girls’ clothes. We looked into the area where the store was built. Based on this, we thought perhaps there was a house – or farmhouse – located on the same property where the store now sits. If the little girl died there or her spirit came back to the area she thought was her house, this could explain why she was limited to those particular areas.
The store Nora worked in still stands. I called the store and spoke with the manager on duty. After introducing myself and explaining why I was calling, I asked if he heard of any unusual experiences in his store. He laughed and said no, and that he didn’t believe in such things. I left my number and name in the event any of his employees wanted to talk. At the time of this post, I haven’t heard from anyone at the store.