Do you believe in ghosts?

“Mission complete, Dad. Toilet is in, looking good. No leaks. No runs. No errors,” I said to my father over the phone.

“Perfect! Head over to 25 North Franklin Street. We have a doozy of a hot water heater installation over there,” my father said.

“A doozy? I’m sure it won’t be that bad,” I thought to myself.

I arrived at the job and was greeted by Dan, the carpenter.

“Hi, Sean. You ready for a challenge? I hope you’re not afraid of tight, dark, spooky crawl spaces,” he said.

I laughed, shrugged my shoulders and said, “Nah, I’ve pretty much seen it all. Let’s have a look!”

Boy, oh boy, Dan wasn’t kidding when he said it was a tight spot!

“This might require a little Duck Butter action, in order to squeeze her into this space,” I said, jokingly.

After much swearing and some laughter, we managed to literally squeeze the 40-gallon low boy heater into the confines of the dungeon.

“Any ghosts in there, Sean?” Dan said as he stuck his head into the opening of the crawl space.

I gave a good chuckle and replied, “Nope, no ghosts in here!”

“Did I ever tell you about the time I was working at an old farmhouse upstate?” Dan asked.

“No, you didn’t,” I replied.

Then, I began to wonder if I wanted to hear this after all. Just as the thought crossed my mind, Dan began his story.

“Yeah, we were finishing some work, and toward the end of the day, I'd swear I saw something from the corner of my eye at the top of the staircase," he explained.

"I looked upstairs, and of course there was nothing there. About 10 minutes later, I passed the staircase again and looked up, but a bit more reluctantly. This time I saw a ghost-like figure staring down at me. No joke, Sean—I literally freaked out! I packed up my belongings and headed for the front door as fast as I could," he said.

He continued, "I found out I wasn’t the only one who had seen the ghost. Other workers on the job saw her, and the neighbors told us many people have seen the same ghost throughout the years. I spent the entire week looking over my shoulder."

“OK, great,” I thought to myself. Now I was spooked. I looked warily around the crawl space, certain that a ghost was going to materialize at any moment. Needless to say, these were probably the quickest solder joints I’ve done in a long time.

Throughout my plumbing career I’ve been in some creepy homes and foreboding basements. One house in particular, which was built back in the early 1800s, was probably the most disconcerting of them all. I arrived at the job, looked over the lengthy to-do list left by the homeowner and began to plumb away. I made my way to the stairwell, which led to the second floor, and I began my climb with tool bucket in hand.

Each stairstep produced an eerie creak, and the spiral stone wall, which followed me to my left, gave off a cold, damp feel. I knew I was the only one in the house, but nonetheless, I began to feel as if I might not be alone after all. From the top of the staircase I made my way down the low-lit hallway, where dusty pictures of random strange-looking people were on display. As I walked, the wood floor creaked louder and louder. I called out nervously, “Hello, anyone here?” Thankfully, there was no answer.

After assuring myself it was just my imagination, I made my way to the bathroom. I stood in the tub and began to take off the old American Standard shower trim, since the stems and seats were defective. As I was doing this, I kept hearing eerie noises I could not recognize, and what sounded like a door creaking very slowly. I didn’t want to get out of the tub, but I knew I had to make my way downstairs to the basement in order to shut down the main water supply.

“Sean, stop being silly," I told myself. "There is no one here but you." I made my way downstairs to the basement to shut the ball valve and scuttled quickly back upstairs.

I got back in the tub and began to change the stems on the shower body, all the while looking out into the hallway to be absolutely sure there was no one there. Of course, there wasn't, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was being watched the whole time. I began to work at a much faster pace, moving quickly through the house, fixing all of the things on my list. In the end, I managed to get out of that house alive to tell the story!

Although I never actually saw a ghost in that spooky house, I know for sure there was someone or something keeping a close eye on me. I could feel I was being watched, and it gave me chills the entire time I was there. I know I’m not the only plumber out there who’s had supernatural encounters on the job. I would like to hear some of your spooky stories. Have you ever seen a ghost while on the job? Do you believe in ghosts? Email me your stories!

Sean McCormack is co-owner of BMC Plumbing and Heating Inc. He can be reached at or (845) 596-7770. Visit Sean’s website,

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