Part 2. The Shape Behind Me.
I started working for the U S Postal Service in 1973. My job during the 1990's and until my retirement was with "Statistical Programs".
"Stat Programs" is a department that collects data which is used to help calculate postage rates and ways of improving service.
Usually I clocked in at 3:30 A M then drove to various Post Offices throughout my State arriving as the offices opened.
I then collected random samples of the incoming mail and entered data about the pieces into a lap top computer. Information such as originating office, cancellation date, mail class, postage amount, weight, etc. Tests were conducted according to mail shapes, letters, magazines or parcels.
Years ago I was conducting a parcel test at a medium sized office where the parcels were sorted in the basement of the building. The building dated prior to the 1940's and the old brick basement was not all that well lighted. At that early hour for that test I was usually alone in the basement at this office.
I had collected my parcel sample and was keying data into my laptop computer when I had the overwhelming feeling that I was not alone. I shrugged off the feeling as I always got the creeps when I was down there because it looked so old and eerie.
As I was inputting I noticed someone standing behind me out of the corner of my eye. He seemed to be just standing there watching me. I thought, "Where the heck did he come from?". I turned to see who it was and to my surprise there was no one there. "These early hours are getting to me." I thought and went back to data inputting.
A short while later it happened again and when I turned around, again no one was there.
Over the course of several years almost every time I was in that basement working alone, out of the corner of my eye, and just about 10 to 15 feet behind me I would "see" a man's figure standing there and usually more than once on each occasion. He always appeared very tall or perhaps standing on something in front of a stockroom door.
One time after seeing the figure three times in just over an hour I said aloud and angrily, "Cut it out!". It didn't help.
It's not that I actually saw this dark figure clearly in my peripheral vision but that I was "aware" of the figure. Aware enough that I could tell it was in the shape of a man.
I always had the feeling that he was creeping up on me but he always seemed to be in the same spot. Almost hovering in front of the old wooden door to the little storeroom that was locked closed.
Sometimes I would hear what sounded like someone sneaking around but I always attributed those noises to mice or rats.
After a while I told my wife about that unnerving spooky basement but omitting the part about the dark figure. Once I told her that I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone had killed themselves down there.
This went on for several years and every two or three months I had to do that parcel test again. Needless to say I always dreaded going there but it was my job.
At one point I did ask the clerk who usually sorts parcels down there before I arrived if he ever noticed anything funny. He said, "No" but didn't seem surprised about my inquiry. He later told me that he was blind in one eye.
One day I was conducting a test at another office in my state and met a woman who had worked at the office this story is about. I happened to mention how I hated working alone in that basement as it always creeped me out. To which she replied, "You aren't the only one. Someone committed suicide down there.".
"Oh?", I said, trying not to sound completely bowled over, "Who?".
She proceeded to tell me about the Architect who had designed that old building. He got into some kind of trouble for going over the budget and hung himself in the back store room of the basement.
She continued to tell me, "They always keep that room locked because it's always cold in there. People have seen things down there."
At this point I was too dumbfounded to ask any of the many questions that raced through my mind.
Since my conversation with this woman I wasn't able to talk with her alone again. But what would have been the point? Now I know I already knew all there was to know about that basement.
Richard Carrozza © 1998