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The Haunted Strip Club, from DinosaurDanceParty

Okay, so this was when I used to live in in a different state. I got a job working as a cocktail server at a strip club, which was a good choice for me at the time as the club was very fun, kind of metal punk vibe, and also very popular with lesbians, and since I was going through the process of coming out as bisexual, and was in a very radical, “fuck corporate society fuck men lets take their money” phase. I’m not one of those people who thinks stripping is super empowering but it was a good fit at the time. Also while I was there after about 6 weeks I would often have terrible, suffocating feelings, almost about to have panic attacks, and terrible migraines while working in the club. I would often feel panicked and scarred but I chalked it up to a stressful job in a strange environment. I never had these feelings anywhere else around this time.

So the club was really kind of messy, not dirty but just filled with THINGS, lots of tables in the bar, lots of speakers and extra crap in the back storage room behind the stage, and a tiny crowded dressing room for the dancers. Behind the stage there was kind of a storage room area that had several dressers and mirrors put in, as well as an old comfy couch in case the dancers wanted to use it as an extra dressing room, or a place to nap, but no one ever actually used it. This room gave me the worst, suffocating, panic inducing vibes of all, and I had no explanation for it.

So I would often be at work until 4 am or later, since I didn’t have a car, public transportation wasn’t running, and it was in kind of a sketchy neighborhood I would wait until one of the dancers was done for the night and she would drop me off at home, this was often after my own shift ended. When I first started working I would spend that extra time trying to do side work, clean and straighten up like a good employee, but after awhile I would often just hang out in the back room studying, since I was also in grad school at the time. Until when I started completely freaking out in the back room, and when I would leave to go sit up at the bar or in the dancer’s dressing room, the feeling would mostly go away.

So also when this stuff started to get worse, I have to add that some of it was around Halloween so I was watching a lot of scary movies, and I was also smoking a ton of weed so both of these things might have had some affect on my psyche, but also these feelings NEVER happened anywhere else around this time. I started to kind of bring it up to the dancer that drove me home, she said the back room also “creeped her out” but didn’t go into any detail.

So one night after closing I was carrying a box of extra glasses into the back room, and I heard the most terrifying sound of my life. It was like from a horror film, like a long screech almost like electronic music but just one tone, almost like a chain saw that reverberated around the entire floor and walls. I dropped the box, screamed and ran out to the floor. The bartender said he had heard a noise as well, but not as loud as me and without the vibrating floor walls, and started checking the sound system telling me some of the music equipment had probably just started fucking up. This happened at least 5 more times while I worked there, sometimes other people heard it, sometimes just me, always when I was walking into the back room.

Twice when I walked into the back room the light would flicker off, and would be replaced with a red glow, like someone had put in a red light bulb. Both times that happened I ran out, got the bartender, they would check and the light would be totally dead, not working. After awhile I was constantly shaken, and didn’t want to tell him every time something happened since I was afraid they would think I was crazy.

After the noise and red light, I would never go to the back room, even when I should have been cleaning it. One time I was standing in the hall between the dancers room and the back room, half halfheartedly sweeping the floor and staring into the back room. I was starting to feel the panic in my chest, and I kept telling myself to look away and look into the dressing room, but I couldn’t stop staring, like I was transfixed…and in the corner of my eye I saw a reflection in the mirror set up leaning against a dresser in the back room, I forced my head to look and I saw, in the mirror, two legs in black ripped tights, floating about a foot from the floor swaying back and forth. I threw the broom, screamed as loud as I could, and ran to the bar. I was convinced one of the dancers had hung herself in that room, I could see it so clearly in my mind. Of course when we went back nothing was there. One of the dancers was convinced that the room was haunted and I was seeing a ghost, she thought maybe someone had killed herself back there. She wanted to get me and some of her friends to do a Ouija board about the bar and the ghost but I was too terrified.

Around all this happening I felt I was losing my mind. I was having panic attacks, migraines, sleeping with my lights on, was terrified of my shadow and carried pepper spray everywhere I went. It may have just been a combination of everything in my life, sleeping weird hours, grad school, dealing with my own personal shit, but I’ve always been a high stress person who’s worked a lot more stressful jobs since then and I have NEVER experienced anything like that ever in my life.

About a week after I saw the legs in the mirror, I was working one more shift before taking a week off to do some research for a grad class and go on a long weekend trip with my girlfriend. This was near Halloween so the club had kind of gone all out and had goofy decorations and costumes. I usually dressed in all black anyway, and I tried not to wear anything too “sexy” or “distracting” so costumers would mostly leave me alone and concentrate on the dancers, so this day I just wore a black skirt and tee shirt but had my face painted like a Dia de los Muertes sugar skull. It was mostly white, with jewels, and it was fucking rad. Since I was so freaked out all the time at the club I started asking if I could leave around midnight, and would catch the last bus, but this night my friends were meeting me to drink at the club after my shift. I was near the end of my shift, and was taking off my apron in the dressing room and leaned over the dancer’s mirror to check my makeup, and that is the last thing I remember. Until I was being shaken awake by one of the bouncers with a friend and my girlfriend by my side, I was in the haunted back room laying on the couch, and my face paint was completely smeared all over my face, they said I had disappeared for about 45 minutes until they went looking for me, and found me asleep, and had been trying to shake me awake for almost 2 minutes. I was completely hysterical, had no idea what had happened. My clothes weren’t disturbed, my tip money was still in my apron, and there’s almost no way anyone had been back there all night. I was almost afraid I had been drugged, but right after this event I went to the doctor, (no health insurance so this was a BIG deal to me), and got checked out and had them give me an MRI since I was afraid I was had a brain tumor or something that made me lose my mind. They suggested I speak to a psychologist. After that night I had to quit the job and never went back. Besides those horrible events I loved working there and made a lot of friends, but I absolutely lost my mind. And once I left I never felt any of those feelings or saw anything like that ever again.

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