Strange Happenings (3)
Chris Tyler, DE, USA
I like to think of myself as a logical thinker. I process evidence presented to me, and then make my conclusions based on such. Therefore I have never really taken "ghost stories" seriously.
However during a plant shutdown in December of 2001, I changed my beliefs on the validity of ghost stories. I was working at the Mack Truck production plant in Hagerstown, Maryland at the time as a security guard. During the month of December that year they shut down the plant and all its operations for the month to allow for a union mandated vacation, as well as performing needed repairs on the facility. To enter the plant during this time you would have to check in with our security office, sign a sheet indicating what part of the plant you would be working in, and for how long. Therefore we always knew where maintenance workers would be. To leave the plant you would go back into the security office and sign out.
I came in to work the 11 pm to 7 am shift on a Saturday and as I prepared to leave the office to make my rounds through the plant for my "fire and security" watch, I noticed all workers on the list had been signed out. My captain informed me that no one was in the plant working, and we were on minimal staff, so it would just be myself and her until 7 am.
As I walked through the doors I noticed the plant was darker than usual. They turn off almost all the machines, and most of the lights in the plant during shutdown to save power, and money of course. I was glad that I remembered my flashlight. I was about 45 minutes into my 2 hour rounds that I experienced my first "happening". I was near the oil wash, where they clean off the engine blocks as they come out of the drilling line, and I saw a flashing amber light moving slowly through the machinery. It was my duty to make sure the plant was empty and that all the maintenance department forklifts had been secured, so I followed the flashing light looking for an intersection that would take me closer to it.
The light turned away from me and gained more distance as I broke into a jog trying to get around the oil wash. I radioed into my superior what I was seeing and was informed to secure the lift, and escort the worker into the office. Finally I turned a corner and could barely see the shape of the lift in the distance moving away from me into the loading area. It was impossible for me to make out a person riding the lift due to the darkness, and distance. Shouting at the person driving would do no good due to the noises made by the lift and the exhaust fans in the plant that must always be running. At least he would be trapped in the loading area. The only entrance to the loading area was right in front of me where he pulled into it.
I could clearly see any shape escaping the bay against the white brick walls on either side of the entrance. As I entered the loading area I saw the lift sitting at the far dock, forks half raised, light now off, and engine silent. As I approached I could see none of the bay doors were open. Had they been, an alarm would have sounded, the same goes for any number of fire doors near the docks. I placed my hand on the lift and felt the warmth of the engine below the seat.
Despite the heat from the lift, I got a cold chill. I has heard stories about "ghost workers" here. Usually told by the old timers, and one old security guard who had names for them. I always scoffed at their tall tales, and laughed at how serious some looked when they spoke of them. But here I was almost all the way on the other side of the plant, a good 20 minute walk from the office, faced with the undeniable truth and evidence that a ghost or energy that I could not explain may in fact exist. It all suddenly became real for me. I reached for the keys on the lift to secure it only to claw at the steering column. There were none. I lowered the forks, and picked up my radio mic, and asked my Captain if we had any keys missing from the forklift key box. I was informed we did not. The keys for that specific lift number 479 were hanging in the box. I quickly gathered my flashlight and clipboard and made a beeline for the office. I worked there another 4 months before leaving. In the next 4 months I had more and more things happen to me and around me. Things I cannot explain. Usually they occurred while I was alone on my watch, but sometimes in the company of the "Old Timer" who would simply nod and say, "That's Charlie."
I have not had any experiences since then. Nor do I wish to. I hope this is received well, frankly I'm glad to get it off my chest.