By Alan Wolf, YSN
In keeping with the spirit of Halloween this Sunday, we thought we’d treat you to some ghostly tricks that were reportedly experienced in retail stores. So get out the candy corn and pull up the covers as we conjure up a few storefront specters, courtesy of Retail Dive.
While Kmart’s future certainly looks grim, some of its former locations are still supposedly visited by the past. Customers at its Astor Place store in Manhattan, site of an early 20th century Wanamaker’s Department Store, have variously described the shopping experience there as “weird,” “creepy” and “haunted.”
Amateur ghost hunters have taken to exploring abandoned Kmarts in the hopes of finding an entity comparable to the poltergeist that reportedly inhabited cash register No. 2 in an Idaho Kmart in Coeur d’Alene. In contrast, Kmart’s Southern California spooks seem to prefer the stockroom, as these reports from L.A. and Bellflower suggest.
What better place, then, to stage a “Screampark” haunted attraction this week than a former Kmart in North Buffalo.
But the home of the Blue Light Special isn’t the only box store to gives guests and employees the heebie jeebies. One of the country’s most famous hauntings occurred in a Toys ‘R’ Us in Sunnyvale, Calif., which was supposedly built on the site of a spurned lover’s gory death. Paranormal activities began as soon as the store opened 90 years later, with workers complaining of phantom touches, toys flying off shelves, and faucets opening and closing unaided. According to news site SFGate, renown psychic Sylvia Browne was brought in to send the ghost packing, as reported by the aptly-named ABC-TV series “That’s Incredible!”
The Bay Area was also home to several box-store spirits that supposedly inhabited Gap’s former San Francisco flagship. The store was located in the reportedly haunted Flood Building, an iconic sandstone-covered brick structure built so soundly that it survived the city’s devasting earthquake in 1906. Not so the poor victims of the tremor and an earlier 19th century fire who were supposedly trapped inside.
The location closed last year, due less to the dead than the living amid a growing rash of retail thefts.
Landmark buildings are not alone in ghostly visitations, with at least two shopping centers causing their fair share of frights. At the Diamond Center Mall in Anchorage, shoppers have reported otherworldly flute and drum music, figures dressed in Native American garb, and ghostly wolves roaming the floors. And further East, store workers at the CherryVale Mall in Rockford, Ill., have opened in the morning to stock strewn across showrooms and bathroom doors “held shut by an unknown force.”
But as Retail Dive points out, most malls tenants today are more worried about the dead atmosphere than departed souls.