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6 Real-Life Office Ghost Stories That Will Give You Chills

Beyond the familiar horrors of the workplace – bad bosses, annoying co-workers, and demanding deadlines with no end in sight – some people have unsettling experiences that cannot be explained by earthly logic. Years later, even after quitting their jobs, they still remember the offices that haunted them for long, lonely shifts.

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These scary workplace stories will throw you off balance.

Below, six professionals share the scary encounters they’ve had at work.

1. The one with a disembodied voice

We came to believe that a terrible accident took place during the construction [of our coffee shop]. The first time I noticed something, I was alone in the lobby, no customers, all co-workers in the back room, and I heard a man ask, “Where are my hands?!” I almost peed in my pants. Since then, from time to time, strange things will happen. We will hear someone asking for help or saying, “Hello? Hello? Hello?!” when no one is in the store.

There have been several times when I’m alone in the back washing the dishes and I see something move out of the corner of my eye or hear something fall or mix up. I’ll check, and no one will be there. We will hear our door bell open, but no one is there. I really don’t enjoy my shifts when something like this happens. —Francisca, barista for a large coffee chain in Washington

2. The one with creepy people just out of sight

I was on duty in the field [as a technician], so I traveled a lot. He was a client I was sent to Texas. I flew in and arrived late on Friday so had to go on Saturday. When I arrived I noticed that there weren’t many cars in the parking lot. The business was closed and someone was waiting for me that morning to let me in, and he left me alone. It is a large building the size of a 1½ football field. There are about five fans on the long walls with loose slats on the outside to blow out warm air, but not let in cold air. I started the machine and got to work.

I didn’t notice anything at first, but kept getting the weird feeling that someone or a few people were there. I even walked out several times to check the parking lot. Around noon, the guy who let me in came by and asked me if I wanted to go for lunch. I told him I was fine and continued working after he gave me his number to call when I was about to finish.

Shortly after he left, I started to hear footsteps all around me. Like people walking nonchalantly down the aisles but stopping as soon as I approached the few times I would investigate. I smoke, so I was out almost every hour, and it was a calm, cool day with no wind. When it wasn’t footsteps, I started to hear the slats move as if there was wind. I couldn’t see well from inside because of the fans and it felt like the wind was blowing them, but I got out and there was no wind. Not a single leaf on the trees moved. When I came back inside they were silent for a short while then started again until I came out to check. This happened about 10 times or so. The scariest part of being there was seeing what appeared to be people walking past equipment in my peripheral vision but seeing nothing when I turned around. I’ve had about four or five of these experiences.

I called the guy around 5 and told him I was done. He walked in and closed the place. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I remember he didn’t want to come in. —Carlos, then a field service technician for a laser company

6 Real-Life Office Ghost Stories That Will Give You Chills

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“The phones were ringing and ringing but when you answer there’s no one there,” said one worker.

3. The one whose phones ring ominously

In our old office, if you worked after 9 p.m., sometimes the printer would start printing and you were the only one there. The phones rang and rang but when you answered there was no one there. The lights flash on the intercom, but no one was there. Those were risky nights. —Karen D’cruz, then in sales for Mongoose Publishing

4. The one with noises downstairs that can’t be explained

food kitchen [at the restaurant where I work] is down. We stop serving food at 10:00 a.m., but are still open until midnight. [When I was closing up a few years ago,] I was minding my own business when I started hearing what sounded like pots and pans. I assumed the kitchen boys were still there so I went downstairs to see what the fuss was about. When I got there the lights were out and they were gone for the night. Needless to say, I ran back up and waited for a regular to arrive to calm my nerves. When I told other regulars and our night housekeeper, they corroborated my story and said they also had strange experiences in the restaurant at night. Enough to raise my blood pressure! —Lainey Espick, restaurant server

6 Real-Life Office Ghost Stories That Will Give You Chills

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“The scariest part of being there was seeing what appeared to be people walking past the equipment in my peripheral vision,” said a professional.

5. The one with a ghost that turns on the light

[Tampa Theatre is] a very haunted place, and we’ve had enough paranormal investigators exploring the building and corroborating, “Yeah, you’ve got something here.” [Foster “Fink” Finley, the ghost of the former projectionist] likes to turn on the lights in the projection booth. This probably scared me more than anything just because we had been in the building all evening with a group of investigators and a documentary crew.

We were in the cabin. We ended the evening. We had with us a piece of equipment called REM pod – it’s a proximity sensor. The woman had asked Fink, the spirit of our projectionist, “Can you turn on the lights?” — pointing to the equipment — and the dome lights came on.

The documentary team – thank goodness – didn’t use the clip of their friendly marketing director saying, “OK, that’s weird.” —Jill Witecki, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for Tampa Theater

6. The one with a ponytail tug

There were occasions when I worked holidays or times when no one else was in the [elementary school] building. In the silence, I could sometimes hear what sounded like faint footsteps and whispers in the hallway. Very often toilet flushes and sinks would turn on and off on their own. On a hot day near the end of the school year, I had my hair pulled into a ponytail. As I sat at my desk, I felt someone tug my ponytail lightly twice. No one was there.

It all seemed very playful and “childish” to me, and I was not afraid. Other people were a bit spooked when they noticed things happening, especially the flush toilets. They were loud! —Laurie Hennessey, then a family advocate for a preschool program called Head Start

Stories have been edited and condensed for clarity.

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