Our front door is wide open.June 18, 2011
While in college, I took this job for this eccentric guy who was trying to manufacture these machines for some company. I would just show up and assemble the machines for around 4 hours a day. It was a quiet and pretty easy job. It was just this guy, some of his family working for him, an accountant, and myself.
The job was in this small town which, now run down, used to be an old gold mining town between 1890-1910’s. The building I was in was just part of an entire block of buildings that were all connected. The building was about 100 years old. It was three stories, a basement which was sealed off with the entrance from an old warehouse next store. The middle story was completely empty, just a big room with some pillars. The top floor, where I worked, had high arch ceilings and a big beam that ran across the center of the room. The top floor was accessed by a rickety set of stairs with a room to the right, a big room to the left, and a small room in the back. The room to the right was just some half empty shelves, some with engineering books. The small room in the back is where the accountants desk was at. The main room, where I was, was just a long table with some shelves in the middle.
I was short some hours because of finals, so I asked the boss if I could work late one night. He said it would be fine, just to make sure I lock the front door when I leave. About 5pm everyone left. After they left, I checked the front door at the bottom of the stairs to make sure it was locked.
I sat there and worked for about 2 hours without incident. Then I heard someone coming up the stairs. The stairs were old and rickety, and creaked and groaned with the lightest step. I thought nothing of it, I assumed the boss forgot something, maybe a book or something and was over in the other room looking for it. I didn’t hear anything and called out after a few minutes, but no one answered. To access the backroom or anywhere else, a person coming up the stairs would have had to walk right by me, no one walked by me.
I finally decided to get up and go into the other room to see who was there. Well, I walk around the corner and no one’s there. I’m not scared or anything, just confused. The rooms are big and mostly empty, so it only took a minute to walk around the place and it was definitely empty. I stood at the top of the stairs perplexed for a few minutes and decided that someone was just messing with me. I literally went over and starting moving the bookshelves to see if there was something behind them. There was nothing. Not that there was any point, but I searched the building again, this time, upstairs and the big empty room downstairs. I even checked the door, which was still locked. I felt a little bewildered and tried to come up with possibilities in my head. I finally came to the conclusion that someone in another part of the building must be doing some construction or something causing the stairs to shake. It was a long shot, but what alternative was there.
I went ahead and clocked out, went down the stairs, made sure the front door was locked. It was my first time working late, and the boss told me to make sure the door was locked when I left. I even double checked the door.
My plan was to go next door and see if they were doing some construction or something. I felt like I needed an excuse as to why I didn’t get much done because I was walking around trying to figure out who walked up the stairs. When I went outside, I realized the entire block was completely empty. This is an old industrial area and not only was the block empty, but every block around it. Still convinced that someone in another building caused the stairs to shake, I got in my car and drove around the back side of the building to see if they were maybe working in the back. Nope, another block that was completely void of anyone. To me, being in an area that was so desolate was creepier to me than whatever caused the stairs to shake. I circled around the entire block in less than a minute and decided that I would just go home. As I drive back by our building my heart about explodes. Our front door is wide open.
So, it’s about 7:30pm, pitch black outside except for a street light at the end of the block, and there are no cars or people anywhere as far as I can see. I stop the car and just sit there like an idiot staring for about a minute.
I finally calm down and decide to drive right up next to the door and see if I can see any lights on in the building. Nope, it’s pitch black inside.
At this point I am debating how badly I want to keep this job. I worked at K-mart before this, and I certainly don’t want to go back to working with customers again. This job paid a lot better as well. If I leave with the door wide open, I could get fired. If I go close the door, I’m going to probably shit my pants out of fright. Being a poor college student, I found my balls and, with the car still running, got out, ran over to the door and slammed it shut. I then twisted the handle to see if it was locked, it was not. It seemed like minutes, but what probably took a fraction of second, I opened the door just enough to reach inside and turn the lock. I slammed the door again and twisted the handle again to make sure it was locked. It was locked, but before I could take my hand off the handle, I heard the stairs shaking again. Even if I had looked, I wouldn’t have seen anything because the stairs were pitch black, but needless to say I didn’t look. I turned pale white and ran the few steps to my car, slammed the door, put it in gear and floored it. I was driving so fast I had to slam on the breaks for the stop sign at the intersection. I don’t know what possessed me, but I looked over my shoulder out of morbid curiosity. It was dark, but I could see the door, and it was still shut. So I went home.
I went back to work the next day and debating for a long time if I should say anything or not. I finally decided I had to say something and talked to the guys son. I explained that something kind of weird happened to me here last night. He replied by asking me if I had heard noises. I just shook my head up and down. He then told me that this place is haunted or something. He said he used to work nights and would see shadows and hear noises but he wouldn’t go into any detail, he just said he doesn’t work alone or at night here anymore. He said I shouldn’t work at night anymore either and he would let his dad, my boss, know not to ask me to.
I never got anymore information out of him about his experiences, and I didn’t feel comfortable explaining my entire experience to him either. I told him about the stairs rattling, but not about the open door.
The strange thing was that the boss would work late by himself many times. He told his son he was stupid and to cut his bullshit. He didn’t care much for me either after his son told him I didn’t want to work nights anymore. Between the strange occurrence and the boss treating me with less respect I found a new job in a few weeks and left.
Years later, I see my old boss in the newspaper. They had said his business went under and he was being evicted from the building. He refused to leave and when the cops came to force him out, they found him dead. He had hung himself in the center of the room from the center beam in the building in the room I used to work in. The reason it made the paper was because they thought it was a murder because there was nothing below him that he could have stood on to get his head in the noose. After a few weeks they couldn’t find any evidence for a murder or a motive for murder, so they concluded that he climbed a shelf near the wall and somehow either hand over hand or by walking on the beam, got to the center of the beam to hang himself.
I never saw the family again, I heard that they had moved to Florida to live with family.