Re: Do you still collect stories?
Date: 2020-07-26 06:57
From: marthaj loss

The following experience happened to me during the summer months of 2013 or 2014. It was a quiet Saturday afternoon as I worked in the genealogy and local history department of a large public library. I must first explain the layout of the space upstairs where our collection was housed in order to describe the occurrence, so this may be a bit long. The department occupied almost the entire second floor area, and it was a very large space shaped like an upside-down ‘L’, with the elevator being in the center of the end of the long left side of this ‘L’. You walked up the length of the left side toward the work area at the far end and that space opened out to the right in a large room that contained our microfilm reader-printers and our large collection of local newspapers on microfilm. To the immediate right around the corner as the room opened up to where the microfilm machines and newspapers were was a set of stairs for emergency exit in case of fire. Because we had had some problem with theft, the door to this was usually locked except during emergencies and fire drills. At the far end of this part of the room was a set of double doors that gave access to the large area that contained our historical collection and also the Friends of the Library’s work area where they processed book donations for their semi-annual book sale fundraisers. The far end of the Friends area had another set of stairs that went down into an office that was kept closed and locked from the inside on weekends. The doors to this stairwell were also kept locked. It was a staff only area.
The archive was not a publicly accessible space, except by appointment and the doors to this area were usually kept locked on the weekends when I worked by myself.

This particular afternoon was very quiet. I was adding new acquisitions to our collection to our computer databases and a question came up about how to do something in the program we used. The head of the reference department downstairs was something of a local guru on this program, so I went down the elevator to ask her, leaving the floor unattended for a few minutes. There was nobody up there. As the elevator door opened and I walked off, I passed a very tall, real-looking man, in generic men’s clothing of shirt and jeans, getting onto the elevator. He was my first customer of the afternoon and I determined to be very quick about asking my question so I could go help him. I wasn’t downstairs more than 5 minutes, before I walked back to the elevator and pressed the button. The car came down, meaning that whoever it was should still be upstairs waiting for me, but when I got off the elevator on the second floor the room was empty and very quiet. I checked the stairwell by the microfilm readers and the double doors to the archives area were also still locked. This spooked me a little bit, since I was very sure I had seen this man and he was very real. I also knew that the elevator car had come down to get me when I called for it so nobody had come back downstairs while I was talking to the reference librarian. I went back down to ask the reference people, who have a clear view of the elevator right across from their work desk if they had seen anyone come down on the elevator and none of them had. I asked the custodian on duty that day if he would come upstairs with me as backup and check the area thoroughly, since he knew all the nooks and crannies. We’d had one incident in the past where a homeless person was found ‘camping out’ in the crawl space between the drop-down ceiling and the real ceiling, so the custodian even checked these areas. Nothing.

I won’t say that the tall man was a ghost even today, because there are other exits from that area and it is possible that one of them wasn’t locked as it should have been, but it still gave me the creeps afterward. Other employees and volunteers working back in the archives at the desk there have reported seeing the tall shadow of a man passing against the wall in their peripheral vision and this has happened a few times.

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