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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

Another female worker wrote about twice this month finding a figurine of a lady holding a child had fallen from its spot on a shelf above her desk. “The cleaning crew either likes to play jokes or the ghosts are having fun at my expense,” she wrote.

After the first time, she stayed at her desk all day except once when she was only a few feet away. When she went back, she recalled, she found a framed picture of her husband and son had been turned.

“There's a couple of people who have said they've actually seen an apparition of some kind,” said Dustin Pyeatt, a Commerce Department outreach program manager.

The Commerce Department has about 140 employees, most at its main location at 900 N Stiles, in Oklahoma City.

Hackler said most of the reported experiences are in the new part of the building — an area added to the original church.

The church was built in 1907 but abandoned in 1980.

A firm of architects later occupied the building after renovating the church and adding on to it. Three architects told The Oklahoman on Tuesday that they never heard or saw anything unusual there.

Hackler arranged a tour for The Oklahoman on Oct. 24 after the janitors finished cleaning, and the building was supposed to be empty.

Early in the tour, he took a reporter and videographer to the third floor to ring a bell used by the agency to announce successes.

“A couple of people have told me they've rung this when other people aren't here, and they've gotten ... noises in the building,” Hackler explained.

After the third ring, from the nearby men's restroom came the unmistakable sound of the motion-activated paper towel dispenser going over and over.

Hackler hurried to investigate, but out came no ghost — only an employee working late.

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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