The old building had been a gas station prior to being remodeled into a candy store, by a prominent company. With the large, plate glass windows on three sides and the over large side door to what had once been the bay area and now served for deliveries, to me it still felt like a gas station. The fact that it hadn't been one in over 35 years, didn't matter. I'm guessing it didn't to the resident ghost either.
I started working there around 2004, mostly the night shift, and often alone. Because of the economy, business was often quite slow, as we were not a penny candy store but high end chocolates. It didn't take me long to figure out, even on nights I worked alone, I wasn't alone.
First, there were the feelings I got; that cob-webby tingling on the back of my neck and sometimes almost my entire body, accompanied by the feeling of being watched.
The only station the radio would stay tuned to was a country station. Literally, you could change the station, but within a few minutes it would dial itself back to the country one.
Now and then, you'd catch a whiff of oil and grease, accompanied by sounds of movement. Sometimes, I could swear I heard the sound of an air compressor.
As with most places I've worked at, I ended up keeping a few useful tools at the store, because I tend to be little miss fix it. I had my kit stored on a shelf below the phone, I'd go to get something and my kit would be missing. It always turned up in the same place - back in what had been the bay area, on the shelving where a mechanic would keep it. Hard to blame co-workers when it decides to transport itself, while you're the only one there. After a couple of months of this, I said "Ok, I'll keep it here - but no messing with it, ok?" They never moved again. Although if I left a tool laying out, I'd find it back in the kit.
The start of my shift overlapped the ending of another's shift. So for an hour or so, I wasn't alone. I was mildly surprised when co-workers started to confine in me they thought the place was haunted. Some of them as they were quitting. Not that anything bad had happened, they were just that unnerved by it. Some of the things they reported were sounds coming from the store room (old bay area), things moving from where they were left, boxes flying off the shelves, things of that ilk. We had one worker who adored rap music. Since she insisted on trying to play it, the radio kept unplugging itself. It was country or nothing.
I have to admit, the first time I heard what sounded like someone in the back, when I knew I was alone, had me going out the front doors, and circling the building checking to make sure the side bay door was indeed closed and locked. After that, I formed the habit of checking them before the other person left.
One night, working in the bay area putting away stock, I distinctly heard a male voice say "George, Ma'am." It was deep and country sounding.
I looked about, "Hello?" Nothing, but I was tingling like mad. "Unless you say different, I'm going to assume that's your name. Alright?" Still nothing. After that we just started referring to him as George. I never mentioned why I thought this was his name to my coworkers. If asked I'd just shrug and say, "Gotta call him something right?"
As I mentioned, I often worked alone at night, and sometimes someone would come in and they just would not feel 'right' to me, especially if they started asking odd questions, like if we had cameras, because they couldn't see any, or asking me if I wasn't afraid to be working all alone, if we had many customers that day. To me it felt as if they were fishing for information. We'd hear noise from the back room, as if someone was in the back. I'd smile sweetly and say, "Oh, I'm not alone. George is here." This was generally met with an "oh," and a fairly quick retreat on their part, if their 'concern' wasn't real. Otherwise they'd just finish up their small talk and move along. Thankfully that didn't happen often.
One afternoon I was working with another woman who truly believed we were haunted. Only she's the type who thinks all spirits are demons, and voiced her opinion that we simply MUST exorcise George from the building, before he showed his true colors by possessing one of us. At that moment a fearful toppling of boxes from the shelves could be heard. We both rushed to the area, and she gasped. There on the floor, several boxes had been arranged in the form of a cross, and there was the heavy smell of gas and oil in the air, in that one spot. We pretty much gaped at each other for what seemed a few minutes. I looked at her and said, "How many demons make the sign of the cross?" and started putting boxes back on the shelf. That was the last I saw of her, she never came to work again.
I decided it was time for George and I to have a heart to heart chat. In that respect, I felt the co-worker was right, he did need to cross over, at least be let known he could.
I'd done a bit of research and had learned that the previous building owner had been named George. For privacy reasons I won't divulge his last name. Apparently he had been married to the gas station, and had been considered a class A mechanic. The station had been his life. From what I gathered he had died back in the bay doing what he loved, working on a car.
I waited until after closing one night, and stood in the bay, talking to him. I reassured him that he had done nothing wrong, that I knew he had been a good man, but his job was done. I asked him if there was something he needed to be done, or if I could in any way help him. He had shown me he could be a good friend, protecting me from the two legged beast called man, and I would miss him, but he was free to go, if he wanted to, it was ultimately his choice. "But you really need to stop scaring my coworkers," I ended.
Things got quiet after that. The radio stayed tuned to whatever station you tuned in (except for rap). Boxes stayed where placed. Coworkers stopped mentioning weird stuff happening. But, when working alone, that country station would tune in and I'd feel that cob-webby sensation. I think George decided to hang around just a bit longer. Then one day, there was nothing. I believed he decided it was time to move on.
It gives me the creeps to think of the people who would walk in and ask about the lack of cameras or how you were alone.
I think that you were very lucky that George was there to provide enough noise to scare them off.