On the north side of Houston, next to a very busy freeway, there is a seven story building. I had passed this building many times, in transit, and for some reason I felt drawn to the building. I would give the address, but I'm sure the company owning the building wouldn't appreciate the extra attention.
In June 2002, after taking a new job, I was assigned to work in the building. Soon after I arrived, I had this uneasy feeling that something wasn't quite right. Late evening, in the hallways, I would hear noises, or see the elevators doing weird things (opening, closing, then ascending/descending as if operated by an unseen rider). I chalked it all up to just some quirks, as every high rise has these. That was, until late one evening.
I came downstairs to find the Security Guards having a meeting. They were talking about the building being haunted. Each was relating their own stories. One told a story that stuck with me.
The second floor of the building has a balcony that over looks the lobby. The guard spoke of sitting at the desk when his partner came down from the second floor. The partner asked who the woman was that was sitting on the desk. The first floor guard assured his partner that no woman had sat on the desk, or had even been on the floor for hours. Sadly, there was no description of the apparition.
I felt better, hearing their stories. When I would transit the hallways at night, and I'd hear a door slam, or a noise that didn't make sense, I knew it was just the building's ghost. I never felt fear as this ghost was nothing like the Tolkas that had appeared in my childhood. One night, though, something happened that told me a lot about the ghost.
I was alone in my office, waiting on a software rollout. As a matter of fact, there was no one on the floor. I was reading the newspaper, having a snack and drinking a soda. I turned in my chair to pick up some of the snack and I belched. Instantly, the newspaper in my hands rattled as if a fan had been turned on high, and then turned off. In the elevator lobby, the elevator opened and shut, and shot off to the fourth floor. I knew then that not only did the ghost really exist, but it was for sure a woman.
The ghost was a well known topic in the building. Some people, like me, were comfortable with her presence. The incident in my office was kind of like a bonding incident. It was obvious that she had been reading over my shoulder, and actually, I was okay with that. Because I was worked alone on my floor in the evenings, I would get the usual questions from those who leave early in the day-inquiring what the ghost was up to. One night though, she took things to a new level.
On each of the floors, if you take a left from the elevator bay, there's a row of offices. If you take a right from the elevators, there's a break room, copy room, a stair access, then offices. I was in the break room but right at hallway door. I was talking to my boss, who was also in the doorway. Suddenly, the stairway door opened and closed on its own. One of the elevators opened, closed, and took off to another floor. My boss paused in his conversation to ask if that was the ghost. "Yep", I replied, "she's making her rounds."
I did see her once. It was late at night. I wanted to finish up and go home. An associate had left a document on the fourth floor, but was only sure about three locations. I dashed up, didn't find it in the copy room, or the bulletin board, but I found it sticking out from under a door. Walking quickly, I turned the corner to get back to the hallway leading to the elevator lobby, and there she was.
She stood right at five feet. She had a round face and was dressed as an Indian woman (the subcontinent, not Native American). She was looking in someone's office. She turned, looked at me, and vanished. This was the only time I was spooked.
About a year later, I was given a new assignment that had me floating between three buildings. I had trained someone to take my position, but once a week, I worked in my building. I came in one day and I found the guard on duty very shaken. He explained that the Building Engineer had come in the morning, reported feeling ill, and then went home. He had died at home from a massive heart attack-he was only 34 years old.
It was right after that that all paranormal activity had stopped. It was as if the ghost had left altogether. I was puzzled by that. Several months later, I had volunteered to take week of evening shifts in the building. The building was abnormally quiet.
A year passed, and new guards were working in the building. I inquired about the ghost. They didn't know what I was talking about. More years passed no sightings or strange sounds. Finally, in late 2010, I was making my last visit to the building.
I had landed a position with another firm. I was training my replacement. It was late, and I was in a hurry to wrap things up. My replacement was asking about the cafeteria, as he was brand new to the building. I took him to the first floor. As we turned the corner, the guard on duty asked what we were doing. I explained I was giving my replacement a quick tour. The guard decided to tag along.
As we walked past the kitchen, there was a noise like someone was banging a pot and pan together. All three of us stopped in our tracks. The guard asked, "What the hell was
That?" I told him I didn't know. My replacement and I quickly ended the tour. I left out from the building and drove home. As I turned in that night, I re-ran the night's events in my head. As I did, I realized what had happened; my nightly companion was saying goodbye.