Some workplaces really get into the Halloween spirit, throwing parties complete with cube-decorating and costume contests — not to mention, plenty of free candy. Other companies keep it low-key, treating October 31st like any other workday.
And then there are the workplaces where workers really don’t have a choice about whether to get into the spirit of things. People who work in haunted office buildings have plenty of spooky stories to share. Then there are the workplaces that are creepy with or without actual ghosts — abandoned buildings, for example.
The next time you’re in the mood to be scared, consider these workplace tales of things that go bump in the night.
These spooky stories will make you want to hide under your desk:
1. The restaurant business is hard enough Without Ghosts
“It only takes one incident for a place of business to get a reputation and for the people who work there to feel spooked. This is especially true if the issue is significant enough and if it’s witnessed by various people,” says Tom, a former New England restaurant owner, in an interview with PayScale.
A few years ago, he renovated a historic New England restaurant, which had been a family home more than 200 years ago.
“Once the incident happened, there was constant worry about being alone, especially in the basement or the attic getting equipment for a Sunday brunch or whatever,” he says. “A sudden change in temperature or a sound was enough to make people jump and start and run quickly to be with other people.”
The restaurant business is tough enough without the added challenge of scared employees telling the customers — and each other — spooky stories. And, any suspected ghostly activity is more than enough to encourage just that.
“Here’s what happened,” Tom says. “When the restaurant was reopened after having been shuttered for several years, several employees said that they witnessed a coffee pot hover and sort of dance in the air a few feet away from the actual coffeemaker. It had apparently come out of there, and it was just kind of hanging there as if it was suspended. When they walked in and saw it and gasped, it quickly dropped and shattered on the ground.”
2. What kind of “spirits” are we talking about?
The Australian College of Wine in Victoria, Australia has been dubbed one of the most haunted workplaces in the world. The school was built around the site of what was once Australia’s largest mental hospital. The Aradale Lunatic Asylum was built in 1864 on a 100-acre campus. The hospital closed their 60-building facility in 1998. It was reopened three years later as the Australian College of Wine.
Even though the site has been repurposed, many still believe the place is haunted. Folks lead “haunted tours” on campus all the time, telling spooky stories to tourists. One spot of particular interest is the old morgue. Reportedly, more than 13,000 patients died at the hospital during the facility’s 130-year history.
3. It’s not always quiet in this library
I work in a library on a college campus that was built before the American Civil War, so it’s very, very old. I close on Friday nights, and open Saturday mornings, and it’s quite active during those periods. I’ve seen people in the book stacks that disappear, I’ve heard clothes rustling when there’s no one around, and on Saturday mornings, especially, when I’m opening up, I’ll hear a VERY loud rustle, like someone is quickly flipping through book pages. I’m the only one in the library, and the times I’ve gone to check out the noise, it completely stops until I walk away, but it happens a lot.
The employees also have a lounge in the back of the building, that you need to take the elevator down to, and use the reverse doors to get to. There’s a long hallway that’s quite dark, and I’ve heard men talking there when I’m completely alone, I’ve heard people walk up behind me when there’s no one there, and recently, I heard footsteps come up behind me, and a man whisper in my ear, “Hey.”
I actually thought it was one of my coworkers, who I get along with really well, and I turned around, fully expecting him to be there, until I remembered that it was Saturday, and the only other person in the library at that time was another coworker, who was at least a floor above me.
4. An abandoned hospital
“I’ve got a creepy one,” writes Reddit user GodofCat. “My cousin’s friend (who we can call Rob) worked as a security guard for a local hospital. This wasn’t an office job where you sit at a desk all day, he got to walk around and just check to see if everything was okay.”
Eventually the hospital shut down but Rob still had his job there. He got to patrol the empty corridors and look in the rooms of this abandoned hospital. Pretty awesome job! On several occasions, he experienced paranormal activity. He could hear sneezing in the stairwell. He could hear coughing, footsteps, doors closing and more, not much visual stuff but he was only there for a couple weeks before he got a job at a different hospital. Rob told me one of the scariest things that happened to him was he heard a loud disembodied female moan from one of the hallways.
I asked him about his scariest experience there. He told me one night, he was with another security guard on the top floor of the hospital, when they heard loud noises on the bottom floor like someone was pounding both fists against the wall. They rushed down to the first floor, but the banging stopped there and continued again on the top floor. They hurried up to the top floor, but it stopped there and resumed on the bottom floor. This went on for 20 minutes till it was dead silent again in the hospital.
5. The haunted hotel
The third floor… that’s the one floor at work I cant stand. Not because I’m scared, but because I’m annoyed. There’s an entity on that floor that likes to harass me every time I come through. And I do mean EVERY time.
The entire floor is one, ridiculously long hallway with a large window at each end. The windows are covered with a couple layers or curtains which can be opened or closed.
Anyway. The most common thing to be seen on that floor is someone standing behind the curtains at the end, but when you look back, they’re gone. But it’s different with me. I have actually seen her. She wears a white nightgown and likes to sit in a chair and impatiently watch while the housekeepers clean the rooms.
As if a shadowy figure posed behind a curtain isn’t scary enough… this particular shadowy figure seems to be something of a micromanager. The story continues.
She slams drawers as I walk by or slams into the ice machines. I’ve seen her reflection in the windows running on all fours in my direction. She sets off the fire alarms if she thinks I’m “being lazy” or just lets out a shrill scream.
6. The riverside inn
One old inn and restaurant in Vermont is known for being haunted, mainly by children who can be heard as they “run” through the halls, and by the former lady of the house. The business even used to offer a handout about all the ghostly sightings. However, they’ve since taken to being less outspoken about their spooky reputation.
“Built in the late 1700s by a former Revolutionary War militiaman, the riverside inn is rich in creepy phenomena, according to the flier and the recollections of staff, contractors, and guests,” reports Seven Days Vermont. “There have been reports of whistling, disembodied footsteps, unexplained chills and eerie depressions that appear on beds as if human forms were sitting there. Almost every time [the reporter visits], someone shares another story, and an internet search quickly reveals tales of unexplained experiences at the inn from both guests and reporters.”
The current owners are hoping to move their business away from its haunting reputation — the name and exact location of the spooky spot don’t appear in the article. However, the folks who are employed at the inn often have stories to tell, according to the report. The bartender, for example, recalls seeing the figure of a man in 19th century garb pause and look at him through a dark window.
It’s hard not to talk about a story like that.
Stories have been lightly edited for style and clarity.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you have spooky stories to tell about your haunted workplace? We want to hear from you! Share your tales in the comments or join the discussion on Twitter.