How do you choose which grocery store to shop at? Prices? Location? Trendiness? Lack of recent salmonella cases? How about no ghosts? Shoppers in Wilmington, Massachusetts, may be considering looking for a new store with more expensive poultry but less poltergeists after multiple customers reported seeing a young woman in Victorian clothing wandering the aisles at a Market Basket store on Main Street. While some shoppers are skeptical, one local woman claims this is the same ghost that haunted her house when she lived near … you guessed it … the Main Street Market Basket. If the experiences of other haunted store is any indicator, Market Basket may have a hard time cleaning up this mess in Aisle 3.
"I saw her and looked away to see if anyone else saw her and when I looked back she was gone."
The first ghost witness went public on a closed Facebook group for Wilmington residents and went viral when it was covered in the Wilmington Patch. Other store witnesses came forward with similar stories of the Victorian story but differing estimates on the young woman’s age, ranging from 17 to 30. Then another commenter admitted she had a similar apparition in her house on Clark St., a little less than a mile from the store. Wilmington was first settled in 1665 so there are plenty of former residents who could be haunting the store grounds. Market basket officials have released no comments on the ghost and employees say they haven’t seen anything unusual.
They’d better hope the store isn’t haunted, if the story of the Save Mart in Chowchilla, California, is to be believed. It was once called the most haunted grocery store in America by both local residents and psychics for an apparition that became known as “The Clawed Man” because of the gashes on his grinning face that didn’t bleed. “The Clawed Man” was seen by shoppers and picked up on security cameras roaming through the frozen foods section. One employee had a horrific encounter:
“Then he opened his mouth, and the most awful stink came out of it, like he had been eating rotten meat for a thousand years or something. I screamed and ran out of the store. Later, I had my manager pull the security tape, and on it you could see me reacting and running, but there was nobody there.”
Fortunately, the old store was closed in 2008 and the ghost didn’t travel to the nearby new one or to the store built on the old grounds. Another grocery store in Fort Worth, Texas, recently had a ghost show up on at outdoor security cam,motion detectors set off and chairs moved around. While these stores can’t identify their ghosts, the Pike Place Market in Seattle blames the sightings of Frank, Princess Angeline, Madame Nora, and the "Fat Lady Barber" on the fact that part of the market was once a mortuary. Proving you should be careful where you build, the entire Dimond Center shopping mall in Anchorage, Alaska, is haunted by ghosts, wolves and mysterious drum and flute music that can be blamed on the placement of the mall on top of an ancient Native Alaskans burial ground.
Will the ghost of the Wilmington Market Basket ever be proven or identified? Knowing human nature, that will only happen if the owners can figure out a way to turn it into a promotion. “It’s Ghost Week! 50% off all poultry-geists!”
UPDATE: Justine Griffin, a spokesperson for Market Basket, told the Boston Globe:
“As far as we know all of our stores are ghost-free. But if there’s anything to it, she’s probably attracted to our Victorian-era prices.”