From nine to five the bell above the door chimes marking the entry and exit of people looking to furnish their home. Then, after the final customers bid their goodbyes, someone new begins to make themselves at home within the furniture. On the surface, the living spaces are but a mock-up for townsfolk to browse the halls, but after hours, they become home to an eerie being: a ghost.
When driving around Santa Barbara County, you may have come across a city called Lompoc, and when navigating through the town you likely drove by a particular retail store located in the heart of the city: Lompoc Furniture Mart. Although the store recently closed after 52 years of business, the stories of leftover spirits remain. In fact, before those 52 years, the building was rumored to have been the town morgue by historians. According to Lompoc locals, there have been multiple paranormal experiences reported by former employees. One particular employee came forward with not one, but three experiences to scatter goosebumps across your skin.
The first experience occurred whilst performing their morning routine of opening the mart. As they adjusted the sale signs with their back turned, facing the floor, they suddenly felt the presence of someone walking past them. They even claimed to have seen a shadow in front of them. Startled, they turned around only for no one to be there. The next experience did not happen till many months later, as they were working the closing shift. While they wandered the store, making sure everything was in order, all of a sudden a hand emerged from underneath a sofa and grasped their ankle in a tight lock grip. Though the state of panic could’ve clouded their vision, they swore it was a human hand, but how could a human fit under a sofa so small? Not even a child would’ve been able to fit. However, their questions were left unanswered as they ran out of the store to call their boyfriend. That experience caused them to request they never work in the store alone again. The problem, however, is another presence would not be enough to deter the leftover spirit.
The final straw was pulled the night of a storm. Per request, the source and the assistant manager were working the closing shift together. To prepare for the dreary weather, they retreated to the back to search for flashlights. This was when they noticed a woman walk past them. Shaking, the two turned around to see a woman adorned in 1930s flapper attire. Except, they could see the furniture behind her and the scratchy design of the wall. This final experience caused them to quit their job. They even went as far as to say that even if they had to get a job outside of Lompoc the gas money would be worth it.
While Santa Barbara County may not seem as if it has various haunted locations to explore, the Lompoc Furniture Mart proves that our county is enriched with truly spine-chilling stories to tell during this time of year. Though you can’t wander the halls of the store, checking shadowy corners and beneath sofas due to its closing, you might be able to walk by on your next trip to Lompoc. Who knows what you might see when walking by one night. Leftover spirits will always be leftover spirits.