That’s Not Your Boss Looking Over Your Shoulder: This Coworking Space Is Haunted
Startups think about disruption all the time, but late night project sprints at T-Rex – a coworking space in St Louis, Missouri – have seen startup founders getting their own work disrupted. By a ghost.
Update: Happy Halloween 2018! To celebrate, we’ve launched a new EQ Director’s Cut of this story. Use this short URL http://bit.ly/EQhalloween to share the love!
Startups think about disruption all the time, but late-night sprints at T-Rex – a coworking space in St Louis, Missouri – have seen the startup founders themselves getting their work disrupted. By a ghost.
A total of six people have personally experienced and can testify to the haunting of the Lammert Building, where the T-Rex coworking space is housed.
What’s eerie, is how much their stories match. (What’s also eerie, is that as I write this, every time I type ‘coworking,’ it gets auto-corrected to “cowering.”)
In two separate testimonials that I have obtained, both can name at least three other witnesses that have spontaneously reported the exact same sensation on a number of separate occasions. Here are their stories.
“It was a Super Bowl Sunday and I wasn’t watching the game,” The incident happened in 2015, the year that Katy Perry performed the halftime show, Kathleen Bauer, Community Manager at T-Rex told EQ.
“I had never heard about anything happening in T-rex in the supernatural sense. So, this wasn’t anything I was looking for. And what I experienced that night really wasn’t anything that set off major alarms for me.”
“Normally we shut the coworking floor at 5pm, but sometimes I decide to run back to the office and keep the space open for myself. I knew that it was just going to be me working there.”
“I was working on the coworking floor positioned in the southwest corner, by the windows, just in front of the Maryville conference room. I wouldn’t call myself an intuitive person, but I kept thinking I was seeing…”
Kathleen paused, to find the right words.
“I kept thinking that I was seeing… It’s hard to describe what I was seeing out of the corner of my eye. But there is so much glass in the space, I think I thought that I was seeing light catching on glass. As though someone was opening and closing the glass door to enter our coworking space. The door was not moving. But I thought over and over that somebody was entering.”
She didn’t give the incident any further thought, until she heard a passing comment from a co-worker.
During that period, Kathleen’s friend and co-worker, Jacquie Palmer, was employed both at T-Rex and was also working, part time, for a company out of town. Jacquie would often go into the office very early in the morning, before dawn, to get some extra work done from the coworking space.
One morning, Jacquie made an off-hand remark to Kathleen, saying, “‘how obnoxious it is working in the coworking space,’ because she always thinks someone is walking up to her.”
“When she’s working there by herself, early in the morning,” Kathleen paraphrased, “The feeling she described was, ‘just that somebody is approaching her.’”
“She would turn to say hello and greet the person but there would be nobody there. That happened so often that Jacquie found that she had to work with headphones to block out this feeling.”
Out of curiosity, Kathleen asked Jacquie where she was positioned when this happened and, “she described the exact same area. On the 5th floor, in the southwest corner, just in front of the Maryville conference room.”
At this point in the discussion, Kathleen went to some lengths to explain that, “We’re very willing to have this experience happen.” Neither her nor Jacquie were freaked out by the idea of a ghost. They were very open to the idea and enjoyed the spookiness of it all.
With nothing further to report, it remained a secret between friends until a chance encounter with a medium.
TED X had hosted a big event on the 5th floor and one of the exhibitors, Ellen, was a palm reader who had set up a palm reading station. As the TED X event ran late, she had left a sign from her booth overnight and returned the next day to pick up her stuff from Kathleen.
Coincidentally, Ellen happened to bring a friend who had just moved to town. In a brief chit chat about moving to the city, Ellen’s friend told Kathleen that she was a medium.
A medium is a person who is considered to be able to communicate with the dead. They’re very intuitive. They can have full conversations with the dead — hear them, and in some cases they can see them. Should someone have a haunted house, they will often bring in a medium to help learn about the ghost and the origins of why they’re there.
“Once she described this as being her skill,” Kathleen said, “we asked, rather sheepishly, if she would be up for investigating our situation.”
“Before we took her to the coworking floor, we explained that although we were in a very old building – the Lammert Building, built in the 1890s – to our knowledge we had never heard of any deaths occurring in the building.”
“We walked into the the door to get in on the west side. As soon as we walked through the door, the medium said, ‘She is here’”
‘There’s a person here – her name is Heather Ann. She wears a long brown skirt. She’s a younger woman with hair tied up in a bun.’
Apparently, Heather didn’t die in the building, but she had a particular connection to the space. According to the medium, Heather Ann was very depressed and disoriented. She should ‘move on’ but for some reason she’s stuck.
‘She paces in this specific line.’ The medium gestured to them. Explaining the spirit’s path, Kathleen told EQ, “Heather Ann likes to walk and pace right in front of the Maryville conference room and the Washington University conference room.”
The medium stated that Heather was working here in 1920s or 1930s. According to the history of the Lammert building, that would have been when the whole space was owned by the Lammert furniture company.
“We assumed she worked here or fell in love with someone.” Kathleen said. She urged the medium to communicate on their behalf, so Jacquie and Kathleen expressed to Heather Ann, that her presence was not bothering anyone.
“I asked the medium if anyone else was aware of her presence.” Kathleen continued.
To which the medium said, “yes, there is a gentlemen who comes at night. He works there.”
‘Is this person a guard?’
The medium went on to describe the appearance and pointed in the general direction of where he worked.
“When she described him, I had an idea of who it may be because we don’t have many people working at night. He has a full time job elsewhere and only has time to come in at night, by himself.”
“Luckily, I bumped into him a few days later as he came by to pay his rent or something. Jacquie was at the front desk and the guy, Jeremy, entered the 5th floor. I waved him down and I said to ‘Jacquie, I want you to meet this guy.’”
“‘Jeremy, we have a really weird question for you,’ Before I could even ask the question, Jeremy immediately responded, ‘is this about the footsteps?’”
He told Kathleen, “I knew there was somebody there. Just pacing up and down the the coworking room.”
What was happening to him, as Jeremy reported it, was that he kept thinking it was actually Kathleen walking in. He kept turning to meet and greet her. He felt the presence was a woman based on the soft steps she was taking. So, “it just sounded a lot like Kathleen,” to him.
“It was really really strange,” Jeremy told EQ, recalling that first conversation. Jeremy Johnson is the owner of the business ThinkIT, an IT firm based in St Louis that uses the coworking facilities at T-Rex.
“Kathleen came to me and said, ‘Jeremy, I know you work late at night at T-Rex.’ To which, I responded, ‘Oh, you’re going to ask me about the ghost.’ And she looked at me and she went absolutely white.”
‘Yes, I was gonna ask you about the ghost.’
‘Okay well, she’s at the back room, right at the edge.’
‘Yep, that’s exactly it.’
“I’ve seen it. My son has seen it. He was there with me, later in the evening, one time. He’s only 11 and he actually confirmed it too. He asked me, ‘Dad, what’s with the woman walking around?’”
“I said, ‘There’s no woman walking around, buddy’”
‘OHHHHH YES there is,’ was the adamant reply of Jeremy’s 11 year-old son.
“I’ve experienced it more than once,” Jeremy continued. “I’ve gone into that room to use the phone. Sometimes, there’s some kind of wacky feeling.”
He has even heard a rapping/tapping sound on the wall or the door.
“My daughter is 16 and she occasionally helps me with stuff during income tax season, so she can get some work experience. She was working in the little conference room in the corner, organizing all the paper receipts and things like that. She’s just sitting there, getting on with it and, all of a sudden, things would go flying off the table. Like someone just brushed all the paperwork off the table.”
“She was like, ‘Dad, what the heck is going on?’”
‘Oh, it’s nothing.’
‘No. No, it’s a ghost isn’t it.’
In the end, Jeremy’s daughter decided to move to the other end of the floor as the interruptions had gotten to be quite annoying.
When I asked how Jeremy had managed to keep these strange experiences to himself, he laughed and said, “well, you don’t want to tell someone, hey did you know there’s a ghost in the building? Cos they’re going to be like, whoa, who did you let into this incubator.”
“Also, I’ve been around this stuff previously for a very very long time. So, it doesn’t bother me. I kinda knew it almost immediately — what it was. Years ago, I used to work on a paranormal TV show called, ‘Scariest Places On Earth.’ I did two episodes for them. One in Alton, Illinois, and one in Birmingham, Alabama.”
In regards to the haunted coworking space at T-Rex, Jeremy explained, “I’ve never experienced anything that has made me ‘scared.’ It’s a little unnerving at times. You’re literally supposed to be the only one in the building. You’re the only one in the office. I do work late. We run about a lot during the day, as far as my business goes, so I try to catch up at night. It is a little unnerving at times. You’ll be working and you’ll hear footsteps walking by you. And you have to think to yourself, well, I know what this is, so I know it’s going to be okay. It’s a little unnerving but I wouldn’t call it scary.”
The Carpet Layer’s Story
The weird thing about this story (and what inspired me to write it) is that at least three different sets of people have confirmed multiple separate incidents and all of their experiences have been identical.
“Now, whenever people stay late, I’ve asked have you ever sensed something creepy,” Kathleen told EQ. “They’ve said, yes, but only in the coworking space. The consistency of the stories — even though I’m not sharing any details with them — is surprising.
But there is one more witness, who couldn’t be reached for further comment.
“I spoke with the guy who laid the carpet in coworking space before we opened. He got very serious, so much so that he, gripped the crucifix around his neck. He wasn’t really up for talking about it because he was so freaked out. But he stated that when he laid the carpet on the 5th floor, every time he laid the carpet tiles in the corner, they would get messed up. He refused to go to the space to show me, but he pointed to where it happened…”
“It was the Maryville conference room.”