Three years ago I used to study in France (Lyon) and I worked part time at a restaurant in winter. This is a very old restaurant and an expensive one. My job was to clean the whole restaurant before it was noon. So every day early in the morning around 5 am I used to start my job and it would take around two hours to complete. I liked to share the strange experiences I had in this place.
In the morning when I'd start work it was always dark. Every day the first thing I did when I entered the place was to lock the door from the inside. After this I turned off the alarm systems and then would turn on the heating systems. Each and every window was kept closed in the building. The restaurant opened at noon, so all the other employees started work after 11 am. I mention this to prove that there was no possibility of someone else entering the place from outside playing a role in my experiences.
While working there most of the time I got the feeling, I was not alone. I remember many instances where I suddenly turned back because I would feel as if someone was behind me. A feeling of thin air brushing me. Most often I got confused but never got scared may be because I didn't have much time to think what it was and my goal was to finish my work as early as possible so I wouldn't be late for my classes.
When I worked upstairs (The building is two storied) sometimes I heard footsteps coming from downstairs or heard someone running up or down the staircases and at those times I came to the ground floor to see if my Boss or the Chef had come (Only three of us had a key) but strangely enough not even once they were present. The next thing I did when it happened was run towards the main door and see if it was locked properly and it always was locked. Those times I just eased my mind telling myself may be I didn't hear anything. Since none ever told me about the building's haunted history I never wanted to believe there were paranormal presences.
Other than this sometimes I heard doorknobs turning, at times strange sounds from the kitchen were heard but whenever I checked nothing was there. This building had some particular locations where it got so cold even though the heating systems were on. When you are at those places you tend to get the feeling someone or something is always there and it never moves from there.
One of the creepiest places was the huge cellar in the basement. I had to visit the basement often to refill wine. The cellar and the basement were unusually cold. I often felt humming kind of sounds from the cellar. It is hard to explain how, since this sound was not heard but felt.
I worked in that place for three months and in all those three months I had noticed lots of strange things happening. My instincts were saying to me all the time, that there were entities in that place which never belonged to our world or dimension, regardless of that I dismissed this instinct every time. I also need to say, I never ever experienced something which threatened me. If I saw something as a threat may be I would have quit my job.
Now, sometimes I think that what I did back then by rejecting or neglecting the presence of paranormal entities, I saved myself from lots of unwanted haunting which might have disrupted my life style. I strongly believe that the fact I never showed any weakness was the main reason I was not harmed or threatened.
After three months of work I found a better job which suited my education so I decided to leave my job. Something happened on the last day of my work which changed my whole attitude towards that building.
It was a conversation with a barmaid who was working there for more than a year.
The last day, I was waiting for my Boss outside the restaurant to get my last pay and bid goodbye. It was almost 11:30 am and one of the barmaids "Sophia" was already there. Since I had the key I opened the restaurant door for her and she went in, while I was outside. Within 15 minutes she came back running outside and I could see she had a pale and panicked face. She sat next to me and I could see from her looks she was terrified. She lit a cigarette and started smoking. I asked her what was wrong. She replied to me "it's as usual, the things inside scared me." I was confused hearing this and asked her what she meant. She looked at me with a puzzled face and said "don't you know? Ghosts" and said she heard the usual footsteps and voices. She also said she felt as if someone touched her shoulder from behind.
At this point I noticed she was sweating like hell, I remind you it was winter and freezing even with thick jackets. Once I saw this I knew for sure she was damn serious about it. I tried to calm her down and told her that I too had experienced these things but I never took it seriously and that I never accepted the ghostly presence inside. She said I was lucky, I wasn't harmed. She was also shocked to hear that usually I start work as early as 5 am. In fact even my Boss didn't know I start work that early. I had to finish work before noon and they thought I started work at 10 or 11 am. If someone had known the time table I used for my conveniences I am sure they would have never allowed me.
According to "Sophia" throughout its history the building was notorious for haunting. It was believed ghosts belonging to various centuries were present in that place and also some other entities as well. People believe the presence of alcohol, food and other luxuries were the reasons for this building being a hotspot for haunting. The building had always been a restaurant, a hotel or a bar in its lifetime. People would flood to this place to have fun and it seems the souls of those who never saw light still visit this building. There were also some ghosts who were trapped inside the building for unknown reasons.
Most of the employees and guests, when being alone, have felt the presence of these ghosts. This includes voices, touches and moving shadows. "Sophia" also mentioned that a murder or a suicide had taken place in the basement long ago. She wasn't sure about it but said the basement had the strongest sightings. Some employees who were working inside the basement had seen moving shadows and strange whispers in their ears. Unlike the voices heard these whispers were very clear. Once an employee had almost gone to a trance state hearing these whispers and luckily that guy had felt something strange is happening to him and had fled the scene that instance.
After my conversation with her I really felt terrified but also felt lucky not to have been threatened by ghosts.
Now "Sophia" was only 18 and was one of the fun loving people in that restaurant who loved playing small jokes, so it was possible that she was trying to fool me.
So that afternoon when I met another employee "Adela" who's a friend and was someone respectable in her 60's. I told her about my conversation with "Sophia" and this old lady friend confirmed everything "Sophia" said, she also yelled at me for working so early alone in that building. She said the ghosts were very violent sometimes and she mentioned an incident.
One day when "Adela", my Boss and another employee were having their last drink for the day almost around midnight, suddenly they had heard huge bangs and very loud noises from the kitchen. She said it sounded like someone was screaming out of anger. They were all scared because the whole place was locked from the inside and there weren't others present in the restaurant but these three. Then after around 5 minutes once everything had calmed the three of them together with some people from the neighbouring Hotel had gone to the kitchen to see what had happened. She said the food trolley kept in the kitchen had banged the door for the rear entrance of the restaurant which was through the kitchen (In the rear there is a small garden followed by a huge wall). The door was locked. It had occurred to them that something had been banging the trolley against the door may be to open it somehow.
What frightened them was the kitchen knives which were very sharp were seen scattered around the kitchen as if someone had thrown them all over the place. Had some employee been present at the kitchen when this happened then most probably he would have died or severely injured. After this incident my Boss had brought a priest and purified the place and things have calmed a bit for some time. Then everything had started again. Luckily the kitchen haunting had never repeated.
It surprised me why people would want to work there even after knowing that place has a history of haunting, then it also gave me the answer as to why the employees in this restaurant get paid so much more than the people doing the same jobs in other restaurants.
After her story I really felt very lucky to be unharmed by the ghosts in the building. Since then whenever I had to be in an old building I always try to be cautious and if I could I try to get some information about its history, sometimes it could save you from lots of trouble.