Oklahoma Commerce Department haunted, some workers say

Several employees at the Oklahoma Commerce Department report hearing footsteps and voices and seeing rulers and papers flying off desks. The agency's main office is in Oklahoma City in a unique three-story structure built around an old church.
by Nolan Clay Modified: October 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm •  Published: October 30, 2012

It's a windy October night at the state Commerce Department, and agency attorney Don Hackler is telling ghost stories.

“About a fourth of the employees have told me they've heard noises or voices or seen things happen that they couldn't explain,” Hackler said before a tour of the agency's offices at a renovated old Oklahoma City church.

“The most common is the sound of ... people running up and down the stairs, the doors opening to the restrooms and the paper towel dispensers running,” said Hackler, the agency's deputy general counsel and public information officer.

“Occasionally, people will hear voices in the building. We've had people report papers flying off their desk and also rulers flying off their desk.”

Hackler said he is one of those whose ruler flew.

“I happened to be looking right at it when it happened,” he said. “It was sitting right next to a sheaf of papers I was reading through and ... it was just sort of like someone just flicked it to right off on to the floor.”

He said he had been working alone at the agency that Saturday but immediately went home.

On another Saturday, he said, he heard big-band music from the 1930s and 1940s at his desk.

“When I stood up and stepped out of my cubicle, it stopped. But when I stepped back into my cubicle, it picked right up where it was,” he said.

Employees also report hearing the elevator move up and down and the elevator doors open and close when the building is deserted, according to written accounts gathered by Hackler. The elevator is supposed to move only when someone is using it.

“Shortly after moving to the building, I was working after hours when I decided to make a pit stop,” one female worker wrote. “I was ... in the restroom when suddenly there was a bang on the wall of one of the stalls. I was alone! The experience was so unnerving and proof positive to me the building was haunted. Since that experience I frequently hear whispers when entering or exiting the elevator, even to this day. There's never anyone in the hallway.”

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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