Monday, December 13, 2010

Tales From the Used Book Store: The Man in the Corner

The used book store where I work is in the ground floor of a building with stairs in the front and a walk out basement door in the back. It has two rooms, the front being bright and cheerful and the back being more dark and cluttered.

Lately when I walk through the back room either to shelve books or unlock the back door in the morning, I see a figure to my right. He is standing in the back corner. I always automatically turn my head to look at him and no one is there. When this happens, my first thought is that he is a customer who has slipped into the next row.

This only worries me when it's first thing in the morning, and the thought of someone waiting for me in the dark is more than a little creepy. But every time I check the next row and the one after that, there's no one there.

This morning I mentioned him to Barbara. She said, "So you see him too?"

Apparently he's a relatively new visitor, but one of many ghosts in the book store. It's an old building, and perhaps the old books attract them?

The fact that the building was once a funeral parlor doesn't hurt either.

Barbara says the man in the corner isn't malicious, and I believe her. I've never felt a thrill of fear when I see him in the corner of my eye. I'm a bit of a scaredy cat so if there was something to fear, I'd fear it.

It's funny, but as I told Barbara, "There's a reason I say 'good morning, book store,' and 'good night, book store.'" It just feels like there are people to greet. I often find myself explaining to the store whether or not Barbara will be in, and when I'll be back.

Barbara told me she does that too.

Just a normal day in a haunted book shop. Come visit, won't you?


  1. Whoa! I usually just say, "Yeah, right, that's nice" when people tell me ghost stories, but that's pretty freaky. For some reason the idea of a haunted book store sounds alot more realistic than a regular house. Maybe he's a character in someone's book who didn't get a fair shake, and he's hanging out hoping someone will rewrite his story!

  2. Haha I like that idea. It would be fantastic if all bookstores were haunted by book characters, particularly the disgruntled ones!

  3. You mentioned that your co-worker said that he isn't malicious... Does your haunted bookstore have any that are?

    Just curious.

  4. Great question, j.m.! Barbara (the owner of Otter Creek Used Books) says she has had at least one somewhat malicious encounter in the store. For a while she would find a book on the floor every single morning. Always a different book. It didn't take her long to suspect that a ghost was behind it.

    To give you perspective, I've been working here for almost a year, and I've never found a book on the floor in the morning.

    She kept trying to make sense of the book titles, to figure out what the ghost wanted to tell her, but she couldn't figure it out. Finally she asked the ghost to stop and it did.

  5. Nice. :)

    Like Terri, I'm usually pretty disbelieving of ghost encounters, but I could get behind this one.

  6. wait, you really saw a ghost?! for real?! how old is the bookshop? i mean, if the ghosts are just funeral parlor lurkers, they wouldn't stick around if they didn't like to read (would they?).

  7. Hehe. Yes, whaddaya, apparently I really did see a ghost--out of the corner of my eye. For a while I thought there must be something about the books in that corner that made me think I saw someone. The thing is, when I look at the books straight on, they don't look like a figure at all. There isn't even a grouping of dark books or anything to fool my eye.

    Barbara has been told that ghosts are drawn to her, so maybe that explains their presence in the store.

  8. I love how ghosts can be so compliant when you ask nicely.