I work at a psychiatric hospital. No, we do not use straight jackets or do lobotomies. Yes, it is haunted.
My office used to be an inpatient holding cell and seasoned employees casually conclude “oh yeah, people definitely died in here.”
Perhaps it comes with the territory, but folks around here have no problem talking about death. My 3rd day on the job I attended a retirement party for the woman who had previously held my position. While all the administrative harpies clustered in little swarms to glare at me and discuss my abundant flaws, a man who looked like Santa Claus leaned over to whisper in my ear.
“Take comfort in the fact that by the time you retire, everyone in this room will be dead.”
There is even a human skeleton hanging in a cupboard on the other side of my office wall in a little museum I now curate.
I was offered little training about my job other than a warning that a child named Pete had died in another building and his ghost had followed an old metal bed that’s now the museum.
Apparently Pete is mostly harmless– so long as you don’t change his routine or sense of normalcy. I was warned not to change too much in my office. Which was a problem. Because it was hideous.
After a couple months without any signs of Pete I decided it was time to update the place. I brought in new furniture and repainted the ghostly white walls.
A couple weeks later I strolled in on a Monday morning, thinking of everything other than paranormal activity, and was stopped dead in my tracks by a very obvious shoe print on the wall behind my desk.
My initial reaction was to hunt down the very small number of men who work in my building and demand to see the bottom of their shoes. This was clearly a boot, so it couldn’t be my boss or the douche bag across the hall. The Mail Room Guy wears crocks and cargo shorts year round so he was also off the hook. Plus, no one but me and the boss have keys to my office.
And honestly, the boot was too small for a man…
It looked much more like the foot of a child…
As with most things beyond my frame of reference, I chose not to think about it.
A couple months later my boss went on vacation and I saw this as a prime opportunity to steal his couch. It was totally justified– he spends most of his day working while I do my best to entice people to hang around and entertain me, so it was really a matter of practicality. It had nothing to do with the fact that my current couch was gaudy and ghastly.
I enlisted Mail Room Guy to assist with the heist. We each grabbed one end of the ugly couch to drag it to the hallway but dropped it as soon as we saw what it had been hiding.
That heavy-ass couch had not been moved since I painted, but somehow there was a frenzy of child size bootprints scuffing up the wall. After 30 years at the hospital, this was nothing new to Mail Room Guy. “It’s just Pete,” he said.
I’m harder to convince: It seems much more likely that a midget came in over the weekend, picked my lock, pushed the couch out of the way, stomped all over the wall, then put it all back the way it was. Ghost or not, I was still focused on office beautification. I’d bought a couple prints over the weekend and I needed Mail Room Guy’s input on where to hang them.
I unwrapped them from their shrink wrap and leaned one against the couch while we hung the first. As we stepped back to admire our work we heard a loud THWACK from behind. The other canvas had fallen over and was laying face down on the ground. Slightly unnerved, I leaned over to set it back up. Then I saw it.
You’ve got to be kidding me– I had JUST unwrapped it.
A steady stream of similar “occurrences” have followed over the last year as my possessions have been moved, knocked over, or misplaced when I’m not in my office.
My coworker and I decided to stay open minded and think of Pete as a misunderstood child trying to communicate his needs. We consulted Google for tips on communicating with spirits but the ouija boards and camera equipment were way too high tech for us. Instead, we just left a note for him in the museum. We even left a pencil for him to use.
As of yet, Pete has remained too shy to identify himself– though from time to time he will rearrange the museum furniture.
What do you think– is it a mischevious midget who picks locks? It’s not a coworker because everyone I work with is bitter and humorless, plus my office is very secure. Have you had any unexplainable experiences or ghoulish encounters? Tell me all about it so I can lose some sleep tonight.
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