a ghost story told to me by my father.
My Father has worked in the retail business for most of his life. Through out the years he has worked for a handful of retailers. This story was
relaid to me by my Father while he was working for the Harris' Department Store in San Bernardino Ca.
(Harris' is now out of business, they were one of the bigger department stores in Southern California, up there with the likes of "The May Company
(now Robinson's May) and JCPenny)
This particular Harris Department Store Building ,was built in 1927. My Father worked there from approx. 1980 to 1990, as the night manager. As one of
his general duties, he was required to be the last employee out of the building each night, with the acception of the 2 security guards who were on
duty all night.
His usual routine would be to walk the entire store,sometimes with the security guards (several floors). Starting on the first floor and working his
way to the top, checking for merchandise that was not in its proper place, and or associates/customers, if any, that were still in the building.
As he went along his nightly routine, once he "cleared" an area, he would shut off the lights. He did this for the first level womens
apparel/accessories, the second level Children's clothing/toys/appliances and the third, mens apparel. Once he got to the top floor he would make his
way back through the departments in the dark, and give the store one final check, checking each floor once again before heading down to the next
floor, and out for the night.
(according to my Father he started at the bottom and went to the top so he could walk back in the dark to see if anyone was hiding in the store,
according to him this came in handy many times, as he and the guards personally, on at least 2 occasions, found people hiding in the store after
closing (the first time,some teenage kids just who were hiding and having fun, and 2nd time was a person with lock cutters and tools who was later
arrested for trying to burglarize the store, from within.))
On this particular night my Father had just done his first "walk through" (from the first floor to the third, shutting off lights and checking
merchandise along the way). He had finished checking the 3rd floor (Men's department) and headed down the elevator to the second floor (children's
According to my Father, as the elevator doors opened he thought he heard what seemed to be a child laughing, and what sounded like footsteps running
away from the elevator doors. Instantly he thought to himself, "there must be a child still in the store" so he and the 2 guards proceeded to turn on
all of the lights and search the 2nd level for the child that they presumed, was still in the store.
According to my father, he and the 2 guards, after locking all of the doors, and shutting down the elevator to prevent the child from moving to
another level, looked in every possible place that a child might hide. After an hour of searching for the child, they heard and found nothing.
So my father instructed the 2 guards to go ahead and turn off all of the lights and prepare to lock up the store. As the 2 guards secured the rest of
the building for the night my father decided to sit on the second floor, at the night guards desk, and wait to see if maybe the child would come out
of hiding, before he left for the night. As my father waited at the desk, in the dimly lit building, he once again heard the childs laugh.
Not only did he hear the child laugh, but he also heard the sound of a ball being bounced on the ground. He quickly, and quietly got up from the desk,
with flash light in hand, and headed for the most likely isle that the child might be in, the "toy isle".
Upon nearing the isle, the sound of the ball and child's laugh grew louder, as he was about to turn the corner to enter the toy section of the store a
large rubber ball rolled out from the isle, as the child's laughter faded away.
Startled from the ball rolling past his feat, my father quickly but cautiously entered the isle. Upon turning the corner, he used his flash light to
search the isle for the child. All the while noticing, that where his light had shown on the shelves and down the isle, there were toys. All of these
toys were once on the shelves, high and low, and now they were all over the floor.
The toys were from the bottom shelf, top shelf, and everywhere in between, half being far too high for a child to reach on his own.
Yet still, there was no child to be found.............
My father called for the Guards, who helped, to once again, search the 2nd floor for the child that was "apparently" still in the store. Placing the
merchandise back on the shelves, and further searching for the child, proved uneventful, they found no child. My Father notified the police about a
child possibly still being in the store, and had the police check their records for any children reported missing in the area during the day (the
police had no reported missing children in the vicinity).
After doing everything he could, my father decided to head home, after instructing the Guards, before he left, to "keep their ears and eyes open for
the child" and to notify the police/him when they eventually found the child.
My father came home late that night and told my mother the story (me and my brothers we fast asleep by then, and too young to even hear the story, we
heard about it years later), he also mentioned to my mother how he might have to head back to work later that night if and when the Guards found the
The morning came and my father still had not heard anything from the Guards, police, or the department store on the matter. It was still very early in
the morning and my father called the general manager of the store (his boss) to let him know what had taken place the night before. To my fathers
surprise the general manager seemed to know everything about the incident. He told my father "everything is under control, no need to worry, I will
talk to you later tonight when you come in for work".
Later in the day my father headed to work at his normal time, eager to find out about the child's well being who was left in the store the night
before. As he entered the building he was greeted by his boss, who asked him to come into his office.
As my father sat down, his boss began to speak "SO!....I see you ran into our littlle ghost last night!". My father now a little confused began to
tell him what had occured the night before, after my father had finished, his boss said "You did exactly what we want you to do in a case like this,
you did everything right, searching,notifying the police etc........". "But!, I've got to tell you about something........"
My fathers boss then proceeded to tell him a story about a little boy and his mother who come to shop at the Department Store back in the early 1950's
(not too sure on the exact year, but it was around that time).
edit on 12/9/2014 by bekindtoyurbuds because: (no reason given)
edit on 12/9/2014 by bekindtoyurbuds because: (no reason
edit on 13/9/2014 by bekindtoyurbuds because: (no reason given)