Editor’s note: For Halloween, we asked our readers to share the scariest things they’ve experienced in our area. Readers came through with shivery accounts of mysterious occurrences, including this one below.
For about 10 years, I was the floor manager at a downtown eatery. (Hint: They serve sangria, and that genius Steve Goff was in the kitchen while I was there.) When I first started, all the servers had a story or two. The most common tale involved having their hair pulled or having an unfamiliar voice whisper their name.
I remember closing the place up one night, turning the lights off behind me as I made my way to the back door. I hit the lights in that back corner and just kind of stood there staring for a second. The hair on my arms stood and, I was transfixed on that spot in the corner thinking about how dark it was. Just really, ink-black dark. Then I booked it out of there. My wife was right behind me, and I asked if she was creeped out, too. She said she was staring at the same spot, and it felt as if someone was staring back at us.
Another time, I was there opening the place up for service. The servers and bartenders were all in the backroom having a bite to eat. I was positioned by the kitchen with the expo, having our own meals while keeping an eye on the front door in case guests walked in. We stood side by side in silence as we ate. Eventually, my name was called from around the corner in the dining room. As the manager, my name was often called, but I didn’t recognize this voice. I walked around the bar and stood in the middle of the dining room, but no one was there.
I shrugged it off and went back and cut myself another piece of beef.
I heard the voice again, “Mark!” a woman called from the same spot. I looked right at Tay, our expo, and said, “You heard that, right?” She said yes. I went back to the dining room — nothing. I then went to ask the staff if anyone had called me. They had not.
A clairvoyant might claim this was a trick used by a spirit or ill-intentioned minion of hell to lure me somewhere or mess with my mind. I’m not saying it was a ghost, but I have no explanation for it.
— Mark Reiford, Buffalo, N.Y.