I recently read a story on this site about an experience somebody had with a ghost in Wal-mart. This made me think of an experience that I have had with a ghost in a department store so I thought I would share my story.
I live in Australia, and funnily enough the chain of department stores I am referring to are very similar to Wal-Mart. In Australia the department stores are called "Big W". I worked for the company for almost 15 years and moved around various stores in that time. All stores had their own reputed ghost stories but it is from the first store that I worked in that I had my own personal experience.
Not long after starting work in this store I was assigned to the Lay-By department. I think in America (and I apologise if I am wrong, trust us Aussies to have a different name for everything!) it is referred to as Lay-Away. Basically where your goods are stored and you pay them off gradually. At the time I mostly covered the afternoon shift which meant I was responsible for locking up and turning off the lights ect. During the week I shared the role with another girl who did the morning shifts. We were the two main weekly employees, the weekends were covered by casuals.
The Lay-By area was on two levels. To reach the second level you had to climb two flights of stairs. Small parcels were stored on the first level, big items stored on the second. The only way to gain access the top level was to climb the two flights of stairs, there was no other way to gain entry. Each level had rows of metal bays where the parcels were stored.
It was the second level that was the most bothersome. From the first day I set foot into that area it basically gave me the creeps. The hairs on the back of my neck would stand up every time I had to go up there. I would constantly see black shadows out of the corner of my eye and when I would turn nothing would be there. The atmosphere just did not seem right. If I had to put away or retrieve a parcel I would literally run. The feeling to get out was overwhelming at times. I would dread having to climb the stairs when I had to close to turn off the upstairs lights because your back would be turned to the darkness.
On one occassion I turned off the lights and started to make my hasty retreat down the stairs and I felt something grab my shoulder. I actually felt a thumb digging into my shoulderblade and I yelped. I was terrified and quickly made my way out of the department. I didn't even lock up properly I was that scared.
Christmas time was soon approaching and the lay-by department was getting busier. The morning girl and I started working all day and we had another girl come in as well. On one day the two other girls stayed at the front counter serving the constant stream of customers while I stayed out the back wrapping and putting away the parcels. I was avoiding going upstairs at all costs but I soon had a big pile of large parcels that needed to be put away. I started taking a few at a time and leaving them in a pile at the top of the stairs against the wall hoping when it got a bit quieter the other girls could come up and help so I wouldn't be alone.
Upon my third trip up I was nearly at the top and I stopped dead in my tracks. The pile of parcels that was leaning against the wall only minutes before was spread out in a single line going down one of the ailses. I tried to reason that perhaps the pile had toppled over but the parcels were placed quite neatly in an almost straight line. I freaked out and went and grabbed one of the girls to come and see. She initally thought I was kidding around but saw the look on my face and realised I wasnt. It was definately only us three girls there at the time. If anyone had gone upstairs I would have seen them as I was wrapping parcels. All three of us ended up putting the parcels away later that day as none of us wanted to be up there alone.
A few weeks later it was starting to get really hectic and all three of us were at the front counter serving customers. Everybody was starting to collect their lay-bys and there was no choice but to venture onto the second level by yourself if you had to collect a large parcel. I had a large order to collect and all parcels were on the second level. One girl was on lunch, the other still serving at the counter. I went upstairs and headed towards the back bays feeling aprehensive as usual. Something caught my atention at the end of an ailse and I looked to see a little blonde girl disapearing around the corner. Her hair was in a long pony tail and I distictly saw her ponytail flick around the corner. I hastily retrieved the customers parcels and went on my lunch break scared out of my wits!
One of the casual employees came in the next Monday morning to say that over the weekend he had been upstairs on three seperate ocassions where he had found the same lay-by parcel opened and the contents (funnily enough it contained toys) spread accross the floor. He initally thought the parcel was not wrapped up properly and the sticky tape had come undone. He re-wrapped this parcel twice, on the second occasion using a heap of sticky tape and placing it on a bottom shelf so it could not fall off. When he discovered it the third time opened, he swore he saw a little blonde girl with her hair in a ponytail peeking around the corner of the bay and she quickly disappeared. I had not told any of the casual staff of my experince the week before.
Not long after Chrismas I started a new position within the store. Needless to say I was relieved that I never had to venture up those stairs again to turn off the light at the end of the day!