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Phantom Dennis

Phantom Dennis

About a year ago, I was an assistant manager at a local movie theater, which meant lots of late nights by myself. Fun stuff, yes? I digress. While I worked there, I had a number of experiences that I can not explain. 

While upstairs in the projection area, alone mind you, I was in the stockroom that was an offshoot of the projection booth getting supplies. Let me stress it once more.

There was NO ONE else upstairs with me, and I would have heard anyone coming up the stairs. Anyway, whilst gathering supplies, the door to the stockroom slammed closed. Slammed.

Moments later, the lights to the stockroom went out. No flickering, just went out. Mind you, the light switch for this room was inside the room, so it could not have been a fun prank by some employee.

That was it. End of experience. I was a bit freaked out, but I let it go. However, this was only experience number 1 with the being that a coworker and I dubbed "Phantom Dennis." 

While working as the assistant manager, I also had to run the projectors from time to time. At this time, we still had the old projectors that ran film, before we went all digital.

One day, I went upstairs to turn the machines on, I was the only person in the theater as my staff had not yet arrived, and before doing so, I stopped at the projectionist desk to check some paperwork.

While sitting there, I heard what could only be described as footsteps and the sound of boxes being tossed about.

There was no way it could have been another manager, as the alarm had been set until I arrived. I did not enter at the time. I, scared sh**less, went about turning on the projectors.

When I reached the last projector, I removed the tarps that protected the film. I then went to turn a knob on the wall that activates floor lights in the corresponding auditorium.

When I turned back, one of the machines platters (the thing that holds film) was spinning on its own, at a steady pace. I went downstairs to wait for another living human. (And for the record, when I went into the stockroom later, nothing was out of place.) 

This is the experience that expelled any doubt that I had that there is something at that theater. I was upstairs in the projection booth (a pattern perhaps?)with a couple of friends/coworkers, and we were having a nice little chat.

I happened to have a soda with me. It was sitting on the desk, a good three or four inches from the edge. That is an important fact to keep in mind. My two friends and I continue our conversation, la di da, nothing exciting is going on. Suddenly, I feel cold liquid on my arms.

I looked down and there were a couple droplets of soda on my arms, but even more unnerving was the straight line of the soda that stretched out across the floor a good two or three feet from the desk.

Surely you know what a liquid looks like when you throw it out of a cup. That was what it looked like now. Furthermore, the water ring from condensation on the desk was a PERFECT circle, unmarred by any moving or sliding of the cup.

The cup itself, one of the cheap, plastic walmart numbers that bounce when they hit the ground, was ruined. It had a crack in the bottom.

Though I was excited to have witnesses to this one, it was more unnerving because this "attack" was aimed at me. 

Here's a little back story. Every night, when we closed down the lobby, one of the staff would turn off the arcade games by unplugging them from the wall.

I'm not really sure why, when all they had to do was turn off the power strip, but once again, I digress... Anyway, on more than one occasion, I have been on my way out of the theater, and just one of the games, the pinball game to be precise, would be on again.

There would be noone else in the theater, and I always double checked the games before I let the staff leave. I don't know why the game would be on. I guess Phantom Dennis likes pinball... 

This is by far the most ironic of these experiences. Around 1AM one night, another assistant manager and I had to pre-screen a movie to make sure the film was in good condition and suitable to show customers.

I will mention the title simply to illustrate the irony. Paranormal Activity 2.

I'm sure most of you have never watched a scary movie in a movie theater after closing when there are only two people in the building and all the lights have already been turned off, but let me tell you... It is creepy as hell...

Anyway, we watched the movie. I did not find it scary. I say that only to clarify that I was not jumpy or anything.

After the film was over, the other manager, Marisa, and I went upstairs to shut down the projector we were using. I told you. A pattern.

We noticed it was unusually hot up there. I passed it off to be from the machines and because the AC up there sucks. We shut down the projectors and leave the building.

Marisa and I are in the same vehicle as she was my ride home that day, and on the way, we stopped at a fast food joint for some 3AM brekky... (Don't worry, I'm getting to the paranormal bit.)

While sitting in the drive through, she turned to me and said something along the lines of, "I didn't want to freak you out while we were upstairs, but I saw a man-shaped black shadow pass through you." Scared me a lot. 

With the way the world works, I ended up working for a convenient store for a brief stint of three months. Either it conveniently had its own "phantom" or Dennis followed me.

My coworker and I were alone at the time one day, and the ice scooped fell to the floor. Don't shrug it off and say big deal.

This was a heavy, metal scoop, and it was positioned a good six inches from the edge of the ice bin.

Another such incident was when I was standing at the register. My coworker was outside the window, cleaning it or something... I'm not sure.

Well, we all know how some convenient stores are guilty of having those jewelry display things with overpriced bracelets and whatnot. One of the bracelets shot off and hit me in the nose. My coworker saw this as well. I can't explain it. 

I am now back at the theater, not a manager this time, but I have not had any new experiences with Phantom Dennis. Yet.

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