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Scary True Stories: Working the graveyard shift with a ghost

Meet Gordon, who had several spooky encounters with a ghost when he was working at a golf club in the 1970s. This is the first time he’s told his story.

Thanks, Gordon, for sharing it with us.

***

The sign taped to the clubhouse door said HELP WANTED! APPLY WITHIN. This is exactly what I was looking for after months of job hunting.

“You’re not afraid of ghosts, are ya?” The man laughed.

“No, of course not,” I said.

My new job involved cleaning the golf club from 1 a.m. until 9 a.m. The food-prep lady and the bartender asked me if I’d seen any ghosts, but I figured they were just trying to spook me. I was 17 years old and gullible–or they thought I was.

One night after the bar staff had left, I sat down for a coffee break, hoping to catch a few minutes of a movie on TV. The TV was against the windows that looked over the ninth green. After a few minutes, I noticed the reflection of someone standing behind me in the windows. I quickly checked to see if anyone was there, but I was alone. The front door was still locked, so I thought I’d just imagined it.

A half hour later, I saw it again. This time the figure walked in the opposite direction. Jumping out of my chair, I ran to where I saw the man, but again, no one was there. Maybe I was seeing something outside and only thought it was inside? I put my hands on the window to shield it from the light and peered outside. It must have been a six-foot drop to the sidewalk below. I knew then it hadn’t been anything outside.

A month went by. One night I heard water running in the kitchen. I opened the kitchen door to see the sink’s taps were on. I had finished washing the kitchen an hour before, but hadn’t used the sink. It certainly wasn’t running while I’d been in there.

Then I noticed the boardroom doors were ajar. These doors were always closed and I didn’t even have to clean in there. I pulled them shut.

After tidying up the washrooms, I found the boardroom doors ajar again. Now I thought someone was playing games with me, so I looked inside. It was a sparse room with only a large table and ten chairs. It was cooler compared to the rest of the club house. I pulled the French doors shut again and went on with my business. Those doors became an ongoing problem–every week or so, I’d walk by and they would be ajar.

A month or so later, I heard the startling sound of marbles rolling across the floor directly above me at around 2:30 in the morning. I crept up the stairs, looking for the source of the sound. After about five minutes, I began to walk downstairs when I heard it again, except this time it was on the roof!

Gerry, the weekend guy, told me he saw a man in the changing room wearing a very dated golf sweater and pants tucked into his socks. Gerry told him the building was closed for the day, and the man headed upstairs. Gerry followed him to make sure he’d left, but the man was gone. No sign of him anywhere. There was a 300-foot-long sidewalk to the parking lot and there was no way the elderly man could have made it to the parking lot in a few seconds.

One night after everyone was gone I went to the locker rooms to pick up towels. I went through the changing rooms, picked up a full bin of towels, and pushed the bin into the maintenance office. At 8:30 a.m., I went back to the office to sign out. Towels were hanging off tools and cupboards, the backs of chairs, and piled on the floor. A tingle went up my neck as though someone was watching me. I don’t know how anyone got in there, as the door was locked at all times and I’d been the only one in the building.

The towel incident made me extra nervous for the next few weeks. I started doing my downstairs tasks early, while some of the bartending staff were still around. I don’t know what any of them would have done if I yelled, but it made me feel better knowing someone else was there.

Things were pretty quiet for the next month or so, except for when I found the boardroom doors ajar. This happened every week. Once when I was three steps away they closed right in front of me.

I bolted downstairs and called the police. The cops went upstairs and looked inside, but the room was dark and empty. They said it must have been the wind, but both windows were painted shut. Then they closed the doors halfway to see if they would shut on their own, but they wouldn’t swing closed without a push. At a loss, they said, “Well, must have been the Rossmere ghost.”

Several weeks later, I was taking a break on a beautiful summer evening. Leaning against my car, I enjoyed a cigarette while looking at the building. I could see a mannequin in one of the rooms. Being 17 years old, I thought a mannequin would be a conversation piece and a cool prop. So I waited until the golf pro came in and asked if I could borrow it. He found the key for the room, and as he opened it up, a stale dusty smell filled my nose.

He stopped about halfway in. “What mannequin?”

There was no mannequin in the room. There wasn’t anything that remotely looked like a mannequin.

Blood rushed to my face. “Sorry, I guess I made a mistake.”

I felt sick to my stomach, as I knew I’d smoked a whole cigarette, which takes at least five minutes, looking at that mannequin. It was pale white and didn’t really have any features, just a head and shoulders and torso. I couldn’t see any eyes or nose or mouth. But it was there. The next night I went outside about the same time, as I was convinced I must have seen a reflection. There was no reflection at all.

I quit shortly afterwards.

Some of the men who build the Rossmere Gold course. Credit: Rossmere Country Club

Some of the men who built the Rossmere Golf course. Credit: Rossmere Country Club

 

In the years since I left, I’ve done some research into the building. It was built during the housing boom, around 1910. By the spring of 1952, Mr. J. DeFehr obtained a permit to operate a funeral parlor there.

In 1956, the Rossmere Golf and Country club was built. The house at 951 Henderson Highway was their new clubhouse. Through the years, many additions were built, but in the center of it all remains the old original house.

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32 Comments

  1. It was once a funeral parlor, which is creepy enough. But the fact the one ghost was wearing old style clothing makes you wonder if someone died there.

    Reply
    • JH

      Interestingly enough, when I did a search about Rossmere and ghosts to see if anyone had written about this before, I found the country club mentioned in several obituaries as a place the deceased had been very attached to in life.

      I wonder if there are ghostly golfers who decide to stick around after death? Thanks for commenting, Alex!

      Reply
  2. A funeral home, that explains some of it. The old time golfer, he must have been revisiting a favorite place from his life. And, the woman in the window? Who knows. I wouldn’t have lasted one night!

    Reply
    • JH

      I think the second time I saw someone reflected in the windows, I would have been out of there! But then again, he’d searched for a job for a long time.

      That might have been a factor.

      Reply
  3. I would’ve carried a little boombox with me everywhere and prayed ghosts don’t like loud music. Although seeing a reflection of someone behind me would’ve been a chill right out of a horror film.

    Then again, I grew up in a house that was haunted.

    Reply
    • JH

      Ooo, I’d love to hear that story! And did loud music scare your ghosts away?

      Music probably would have made the job less scary, for sure.

      Reply
  4. This is cool and now I want to visit this place. Funny how we can be drawn to something potentially foreboding. The golfer must have been from way back when it first opened. That it was a funeral parlour just means that other ghosts inhabit this place. I probably would have quit as well.

    Reply
    • JH

      Well, c’mon down, Birgit! 🙂 When Gordon first emailed me, I had no idea this story was local. Rossmere is easy enough for me to visit, but I suspect it’s much different at night, when most everyone has gone home, than it would be during the day.

      Reply
  5. I don’t think I would have lasted as long. Does make you wonder what happened there or if the ghosts are somehow connected to each other and that was their favorite place.

    Reply
    • JH

      Well, there was definitely some attachment to that boardroom, which was the original master bedroom…

      Reply
  6. I agree with Alex. That is pretty creepy that it was a funeral parlor. I was also wondering why the ghosts were connected to the golf club so much for them to remain there. J.H.’s comment makes sense.

    Reply
    • JH

      I’m just going by my mom, but people who love golf REALLY love golf. It’s an obsessive sport. So perhaps it makes sense that former golfers would linger at their favourite course, even after death.

      Reply
  7. I’m one of those that thinks I want scary stuff like this to happen to me and then just as quickly thinks… nope, nevermind! =) I’ve had a few unexplained instances in my life but nothing as clear-cut as this. I appreciate that Gordon kept trying to find rational explanations for everything, but some things you just can’t. *shivers*

    Reply
    • JH

      Agreed, Nikki. My bf is the same–he always wishes for something like this to happen to him, no matter how many times I explain it isn’t that much fun.

      I suspect people think an encounter would “prove” something to them, negating the fact that our nature is to doubt stuff like this, even when we’ve experienced it ourselves. Could be a protective mechanism.

      Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Yeah, I wouldn’t have stayed at that job long either. LOL

    Reply
    • JH

      I can’t imagine why!

      Reply
  9. So spooky. I think I would’ve quit the job a lot sooner 😉

    Reply
    • JH

      I worked at a haunted museum for seven years, but my experiences were few and far between. I don’t think I could have handled what he did.

      Reply
  10. Both the blood centers in Beaumont and here in Lake Charles were once private surgical sites. Deaths occurred in surgeries there, and at night some have claimed to see forms in the hallways and sounds of sobbing. Me? I am more afraid of the living who wander the nights in the dangerous neighborhoods in which we are located!

    Reply
    • JH

      True, Roland. The living tend to do more damage! Stay safe out there.

      Reply
  11. I wonder whether the ghost was friendly or not? or is this a daft question? Perhaps the reactions of we who experience ghosts is more telling? Though I would have had a little freak-out for sure. Thanks JH – interesting story!

    Reply
    • JH

      You’re very welcome, Susan, and it’s not a daft question at all. I can only speak from my own experience, of course, but when you encounter something like this, your body violently rejects it (unless, I guess, you’ve grown used to it). There’s terror, sure, but it’s more than that–a this-should-not-be-happening response that’s like our fight-or-flight mechanism times a thousand.

      Reply
  12. Wow. What great stories. I don’t know if I could work there after the first incident, much less go through all of that!

    Reply
    • JH

      No kidding, Tamara. Gord is a braver man than I’ll ever be!

      Thanks so much for commenting.

      Reply
  13. When things first started happening, I believe that was finding the board room doors ajar, I thought nothing of this until it was obvious, I had just closed them an hour earlier. Then I just thought something was wrong with the mechanism. It wasn’t until I had been there for a few months, I started putting together all the little things, that I started to get freaked out, but by then I had invested time into my job and didn’t want to leave. The scariest was when those boardroom doors actually clicked shut, three feet from me, I was still in denial as my first thought was to call the police.

    Reply
    • JH

      I’d go for the reflection in the window and the mannequin as the scariest, Gord. But you have so many to choose from!

      Thanks for being brave enough to share your story with me. I really appreciate it, and I’m glad it’s helped you get those old ghosts out in the open.

      Reply
  14. So true about what to invest in and what to avoid! I love unsolved mysteries. I’m writing a MG novel about one–sorta true, but totally made up:)

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks for commenting, Jennifer. Unsolved mysteries have always been near and dear to my heart.

      Reply
  15. So bizarre. I always have a hard time believing these stories. But, what would happen if I experience something similar myself? I’d worry people would think I am crazy. And then, I would believe myself I am crazy. Or, I would contact you and say “help me!” 🙂

    Reply
    • JH

      Contacting me is the best choice, in my opinion, but then again, I may be biased. 😉

      I’ve had enough unexplained stuff happen to me that I never judge these people, ever. It’s terrifying when this kind of thing happens, and then to have no one believe you? The worst.

      Reply
  16. Happy New Year, J.H. and again thank you for letting me tell my story. After all these years I don’t care if someone thinks I’m crazy. I held on to all those experiences for almost 45 years. With your encouragement I wrote it all down. I suppose I could have embellished the story maybe made it more interesting by adding in some fiction, but I wanted to keep it pure and truthful. I feel great that its out in the open. Many of the people I work with have now read the full draft and loved it. I was asked to come into an English Literature class and answer 20 questions students had prepared for me after they read the story.

    Reply
    • JH

      Wow, that’s amazing, Gord! I’m really glad you allowed me to tell your story and I’m so happy you had the courage to tell it.

      Happy New Year to you as well! I’d love to hear how the class went.

      Reply

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