GILLETTE — Ghost stories are often all about old and spooky places, but sometimes ghosts are all about the people.
That’s what Ric Schuyler and his daughter Jenny Chatfield believe was the case for them a few years ago when they still owned The Main Bagel in Gillette.
Hide And Ghost Seek
As Schuyler recalls it, he was working very early one morning at The Main Bagel, 3 or 4 a.m., to fix the concrete underneath the large 30-gallon kettle where they boil the fresh bagels each day.
While he was doing that, Schuyler heard loud banging on the door, which he figured was his son Eric coming to help him with the repair work.
“I couldn’t get up right away and open the door, so I hollered out, hang on a minute,” Schuyler recalled.
It took maybe a minute, or at most two, to make his way out of the tight space, rinse his hands of concrete, and get to the door.
The whole time, he kept hearing bam, bam, bam at the door.
The moment Schuyler got to the door, the banging suddenly stopped. He opened the door anyway, and there was no one there at all.
“I look down — you could see all the way down the end of the building on the backside that way, and there was nobody there,” Schuyler said. “There was one more business on the other side, so I walked around the corner and I mean, you could see for a mile, and there’s not a soul around.”
Schuyler didn’t think too much about that at first. But later, as things that he couldn’t explain continued to happen at the little bagel shop, he started to wonder if by opening the door he hadn’t let something in, something of a supernatural nature.
At first, it was all things he could ignore. Like a stereo mysteriously turning itself on and blaring music in the very early morning hours as he was arriving to make bagel dough.
“Electronics turning on and off is not a big sign to me because that can happen,” Schuyler told Cowboy State Daily.
Schuyler had never really believed in ghosts before. He always figured it was people just making up stories.
But when it came to stuff flying off the walls in front of his own eyes, that was a bit harder to ignore and explain.
The Karo Syrup Incident
Chatfield, too, witnessed some things she cannot quite explain at The Main Bagel.
There was, for example, the time a big plastic jug of Karo syrup sitting on a high shelf tipped itself over right on top of Chatfield’s mom.
“(Chatfield’s mother) was just coming back, she had run to the store for something,” Chatfield recalled. “She had taken maybe three or four steps when this gallon jug of Karo syrup just went like this,” Chatfield said, demonstrating with her hands a big jug just laying itself over.
“It didn’t fall off the shelf, but the shelf was up very high, and the syrup covered my mom head to toe.”
There were no vibrations from her mom walking by or anything that could explain that. When they took the jug down to look at it, it looked like it had just been crushed by a sledgehammer.
That particular incident was one of the more freaky things that happened in the shop, Chatfield said.
“My mom just started bawling, because she was like what was that about?” Chatfield recalled.
Chatfield said another time, when she was with a friend in the shop, something she couldn’t see pushed her hard against the chest, shoving her into the fax machine.
“There was a visible handprint on my chest,” Chatfield said. “And that freaked me out.”
One Last Gasp?
One of the things that happened during this time frame was that a family friend died from self-inflicted wounds, Schuyler and Chatfield told Cowboy State Daily.
That has had them wondering sometimes if the incidents they experienced, which went on for about a year after that person’s death, were related in some way to that.
After things had quieted down, Schuyler sold The Main Bagel Shop to one of the shop’s workers. Not because of the unexplained incidences, but because the family really had too many businesses going at once to take care of all of them properly. Among them is Pokey’s Barbecue.
“I was like you guys didn’t have enough kids for all of this,” Chatfield said. “We gotta get rid of one of them.”
A few “weird things” did happen at Pokey’s Barbecue in the same time frame, Chatfield told Cowboy State Daily.
In fact, Chatfield recalls not so very long ago mentioning that to someone at Pokey’s Barbecue.
“At the same time, every single one of these televisions turned off,” Chatfield said. “As (the words) are like coming out of my mouth. And I was just like, yeah. You get like that shudder in your spine.”
Renée Jean can be reached at Renee@CowboyStateDaily.com.