• Mandy Meyer

The 5 Most Haunted Offices

Shh… What’s that sound? Do you feel that spooky chill in the air? With Halloween right around the corner, all of the creepiest ghosts and ghouls are beginning to lurk about, eager to haunt you in even the most unsuspecting of places, such as your office. Yes, I know work can be a scary place at times all on its own, but did you know that some offices are even more terrifying than just dealing with the typical day to day horrors that arise in your work load? Go ahead and kick up your feet on your office desk foot rest and get comfortable as we delve into a few spine tingling tales of some of the most haunted offices in the United States. Reader beware, because you are in for a scare!

1. Vintage Old Offices

Whenever you think of something old or vintage, do you sometimes get a creepy vibe from it? I’m not sure about you, but I feel this way a lot of times when viewing or thinking about something old and vintage because of all of the history it contains and all of the lives (and deaths) the vintage place or item has witnessed. One such vintage office that gives me the heebie-jeebies is the Bradbury Building, located in Los Angeles, California, which houses many businesses, including the Los Angeles Police Department Office of Internal affairs.

The Bradbury Building doesn’t have much evidence of being a haunted building in the traditional sense, although there have been vague reports of a couple of spirits who are haunting the basement of the building. However, the better known spooky legend lies within the construction of the Bradbury Building, which is believed to have paranormal roots. When George Wyman was commissioned to design the building by owner Lewis L. Bradbury, he was hesitant because he wasn’t an architect but just a draftsman. To glean advice from beyond the grave, he and his wife decided to contact his dead brother with a planchette that had an attached pencil. Wyman claimed the planchette wrote “Take Bradbury Building. It will make you famous.” Following what he believed to be his late brother’s guidance, he took on the task of designing the Bradbury Building, which is known for its Italian Renaissance structure and is considered to have one of the world’s most phenomenal architectural office designs.

2. East Coast Office Haunts While there are many haunts along the east coast, we are going to concentrate on a landmark that many people are not aware has haunted roots:  the Empire State Building, located in New York City, New York. Its haunting tale begins in 1947 with what is renowned as the world’s “most beautiful suicide” when Evelyn McHale jumped to her death from the top of the Empire State Building. Her suicide note suggested that she took her own life because she felt uncertain about herself and her relationship with her fiance. Her jump landed her on top of an unoccupied limousine, where her body shattered the windows when it crushed the roof of the vehicle, startling those on the street with the abrupt, horrific scene. Her landing was caught on camera by Robert Wiles, a photography student who happened to be on the street, which produced a photograph of her lovely, peaceful corpse. The image also showed her dead fingers still gripping the pearl necklace she was wearing in a hauntingly beautiful, yet distraught pose.

A few visitors of the Empire State Building’s observation deck have made reports of seeing a woman who was wearing red lipstick and clothes from the 1940s that was crying and pacing around the 86th floor before running towards the building’s safety net and jumping, disappearing after she leapt off the edge. It has also been reported that this ghostly entity has spoken to visitors, telling them a harrowing tale of how her husband passed away in the war in Germany and the sorrow she feels living without him. After her dismal confession, it has been reported that she jumps off the edge of the building, only to reappear later on a different part of the observation deck where her spirit replays an identical scene. One visitor even captured a photo of a mysterious, white cloudy figure leaping over the edge of the building. It is believed that all of these haunting experiences are encounters with the spirit of Evelyn McHale.

3. Midwest Office Haunts As the most populated city in the Midwest, it probably isn’t shocking that Chicago, Illinois is home to several haunted buildings. We are going to focus on the haunted Chicago Board Options Exchange building, located on LaSalle Street. The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s bloody tale began in 1979 when two traders at the building got into a violent altercation over a trade. The fight became so brutal that they took it outside where the bloody beat down continued near the horse statue fountain. When the fight was eventually broken up, one of the men had to be rushed to the hospital, but he unfortunately died before the paramedics could get him there. While such a horrific battle having happened on the premises is scary, it doesn’t quite make it a haunting. The haunting aspect of this building would be the reports of ghostly sounds emanating from it at night. Cleaning crews employed by the building claim to have heard what sounded like men arguing heatedly in the building but every time someone has checked it out there was never anybody there. It is rumored to be the spirit of the man who was killed in the fight, reenacting the final moments that led to his untimely demise.

4. West Coast Office Haunts When thinking about west coast office haunts, it’s probably no surprise that there are several haunted office buildings in Los Angeles, the largest United States city on the west coast. We mentioned one haunted office building that is located in Los Angeles earlier, but the spooky west coast office that we are going to take a look at now is the Bullocks Wilshire Building, which is also known as the I. Magnum/Bullocks or Bullocks/Wilshire. This Art Deco style building was originally built in 1929 as a luxury department store, but has since been renovated and is now a part of L.A.’s Southwest Law School. A neat side note about this building is that the last scene in the goofy, haunting comedy film, “Ghostbusters,” was filmed on top of this haunt, but its horror factor doesn’t begin there.

Legend has it that in the year 1930, a man had pushed a young girl into an elevator shaft where she fell to her death. When renovating the former department store into a law school, a report of hearing a crying girl in the elevator shaft was made, although no girl, or anybody for that matter, was found on the premises. It is believed the sounds of a girl crying are sobs from the spirit of the young girl who had been murdered there, forever left to haunt the elevator shaft. Renovations also revealed secret passageways that led from the former owner’s penthouse to different parts of the buildings. Unexplained incidents that occurred in the building’s clock tower, lights flickering or turning off and on by their own accord, ghostly footsteps being heard in stairways when no one was there, and window shades closing and opening by themselves are amongst other oddities that have occurred at this building. In fact, many construction workers quit working on the building’s renovations after they had been so creeped out by such occurrences. 

5. New Orleans Office Haunts Noted as the “most haunted” city in America, it is no secret that there are a myriad of haunted places located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The haunted office in New Orleans that we are going to focus on is The Mortuary, located at the bottom of the streetcar line at the Canal Street Cemeteries. This Grand Victorian mansion was originally created in 1872 as a home, but was later sold and converted into PJ McMahon and Sons, a full service funeral home, complete with an embalming room, room for autopsies, a cold storage area for the corpses, an onsite crematorium, and casket storage. Years later, after Hurricane Katrina swept through and the former funeral home was left to decay, Jeff Borne purchased the building to convert it into a themed haunted house called “The Mortuary.”

Although Borne planned to turn the old funeral home into a themed haunted attraction, he had no idea the building was actually haunted. It is rumored that all of the spirits who had clung to their corpses as they traveled through the funeral home never left the premises, even after their bodies had. Legends of the Mortuary include tales of a phantom woman dressed in white who cries for her dead husband, a tall ghost of a well-dressed man who appears when people are being disrespectful to the neighboring cemeteries, spectral sightings of a boy and girl who enjoy playing pranks on passerby, a former mortician who haunts the basement, the sounds of whispers and footsteps when nobody is there, and various pieces of furniture that move around on their own in the building. Feel free to visit the Mortuary Haunted House, but be aware that you might just encounter a real haunt while you’re there!

After reading about so many office haunts, I bet you will think twice about that creaking sound in the ceiling or the cold chills that leave goosebumps on your skin while you are hacking away at your keyboard. Sure, it’s probably just old pipes making sounds or the thermostat kicking on… But what if it’s not? There has to be a logical explanation for all of the spooky things that have happened around your office, right? RIGHT?! Surely your work space couldn’t be haunted, too... Could it? Happy haunting!


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