For a few years I worked in a classic old style building in downtown Los Angeles
that clearly has been around for maybe a hundred years or more.
The company's offices were on the top and fourth floor, while down in the mostly silent cellar I maintained the company's hardcopy invoice files, in the room which at one time used to be the bank's safety deposit boxes.
Right by my room's gate, was one of the large bank vault, utilized by a different company.
Banks are notoriously haunted, as my author friend
reports in her first
Ghosts of Hollywood
I would get to work quite early, long before other offices in the building even consider having people show up.
On several occasions as I walk the seemingly silent halls, the architecture reflecting a hard-boiled
detective story, I would reach the end of the vacant hallway, at which point now and then there would be the very distinctive sound of a woman's footsteps heard on the marble floor, the unmistakable clicking of high heeled shoes, despite the obvious absence of a physical person.
I knew it is not my footsteps, as apart from my wearing sneakers, when I would hear the footsteps I would stop and turn around, and watch as the footsteps approached.
They would never quite reach me, but they were in the same relatively short corridor as I.
The cellar was also shared by building custodians, as well as occasional construction by noisy workers, often berated by a loud supervisor for their taking so long on the project.
I rarely paid attention when such were about, as footsteps easily could be one of those people.
But most of the time, I would be the only person within earshot.
Coworkers from upstairs now and then would come down to bring down paperwork for filing and storage, and sometimes to retrieve documents, which I would quickly find and provide to them.
I generally could hear them approach by their footsteps, and sometimes voices, if there are two of more coworkers coming downstairs together.
Sometimes as the footsteps approach, and I go to the gate, the footsteps would stop... and no one would be in the otherwise dead-end corridor.
Sometimes the footsteps would make it to the heavy metal grate, making the loud slam-bang noise as the grate complained off its hinge by the sudden shifted weight...
but there would be no footsteps retreating... and no one would be standing at the gate, nor had anyone gone back down the hall...
One morning as I boarded the elevator with a coworker who was headed to the fourth floor, I was asked if there were rats in the basement.
"None of which I've ever been aware," I replied.
"But I do often hear footsteps approaching, even up to the metal grate of my vault gate door...
only to find No On There."
"I hear that too...!" she exclaimed with excitement, referring to similar footsteps of the unseen, elsewhere in the building.
I told her how in the upstairs' corridors now and then I can hear a woman's footsteps, and it turned out that is the sort of footsteps my coworker has heard as well when she'd been by herself...
One day I was bringing some things to my awesome supervisor Amanda.
I asked her if she'd ever experienced anything odd in the building.
She smiled: "You've heard the high heeled footsteps in the halls, haven't you...?"
January 14, 2010
Once again I heard the footsteps of female shoes; this time as soon as I heard them, I stopped and turned around and stood silently.
The footsteps approached the hallway corner and turned in my direction, their owner obviously not visible to the naked eye.
Back east I designed and ran sound tech for stage productions, so I have a good ear for sound and audio.
I could tell where in three dimensional space the invisible walker would be as she approached and by a single step
passed me in the otherwise empty corridor.
There was no change in temperature; no "cold spot" passing around or through me.
The sound also was not one of someone coming to a stop: the footsteps simply ended.