Scary office stories: Believe them or not | Inquirer Business

Scary office stories: Believe them or not

/ 12:10 AM November 01, 2015

Did you know that there is such a thing as Ergophobia or fear of work?

Anyone who suffers with this abnormal and persistent fear, also known as Ergasiophobia, avoids any type labor or even the concept of finding employment. Some may associate this to laziness but studies have shown that people who have this phobia have undue anxiety about the workplace environment. Their fear may actually be a combination of fears, such as fear of failing at assigned tasks, speaking before groups at work, socializing with co-workers, and other fears of emotional, psychological and/or physiological injuries.


Talking about fear and since its Halloween, we ask some working people to share their scary experience in their office. It can be a ghost sighting, hair-raising experience with the unknown or anything that made them run out of their cubicles and swore never to go overtime alone again. Here are there tales and we’ll let you decide whether to believe them or not:

Abdel Sabdani, BPO Team Leader – It was a weekend more than a decade ago when I was the supervising a few agents on the floor. One of them stood up and asked me, “TL is she your niece?” I said “What?” I turned around and there was no one there. The agent said she saw a little girl standing behind me. Suddenly, we all saw a ball roll across our area and into the CR. We looked at each other and heard a child laughing. After our shift we asked around and we found out that a few years ago before our building was constructed, a little girl was discovered lifeless right at the very spot where we were working.


Alice Mate, Online English Instructor – This incident happened in 2012. I came to the office and saw my colleague in her station, five cubicles away from me.  I thought I heard her crying and sounded like heartbroken at the time so I just ignored her. While I was preparing my things, she approached me to borrow something & asked if I also heard a sobbing woman.  If it wasn’t her, who is that woman since we are the only people in the room that time. Still creeps me out every time I remember this.

Charlene Ibarra, HR Assistant – It seems to be just an ordinary day at the office. But I soon found out that it was not. After a few hours of working in my station, I took a break & went to our comfort room where only one person can use at a time. I was doing my thing when I heard someone  knocking on the door so I politely said that the CR was occupied. But the knocking did not stop so I just ignored it & went out as soon as I finished. To my surprise, no one was waiting outside the door. I only have one colleague present in our department that day so I asked her why she knocked repeatedly in the bathroom. She was clueless & said she never left her seat during the time I was away.

Christine Fernandez, Nurse – I went to work for a night shift, I am a NICU nurse and I was expecting a night of usual routine. I was assigned to handle a baby in the Isolation Room. The isolation room’s wall is separated from the unit with mirrored walls and a door that can be shut tightly. While I was reading my patient’s chart, I heard a short cry twice that I checked the baby and saw that she is in deep sleep. I shook it off and continued reading when I heard a loud crying voice of a woman directly at my right ear! I can feel the air blowing my hair from my right side and my skin tingling. I screamed and ran to the door. I can’t open it right away and all the while her crying voice surrounds the isolated room. My co-staff saw me hysterically trying to get out. When they arrived, the crying stopped. Until today, I can’t forget her anguish cries.

Joyce Bautista, Trade Manager – My first job was in the marketing department of a retail chain. We used to stay late in the office to finish rush projects. One Friday night, my officemates and I decided to work on a project in our area, as we wanted to catch the last full show of a movie at a nearby theater. I remember leaving one very large puncher (the big heavy one that looks like a gigantic bullfrog) in the middle of my desk while I laughed loudly with the girls in the other side of the room. Only that side had the lights still on. I guess we were making such a ruckus because we suddenly heard a very loud bang coming from the other side of the office where all our desks were located. We were so startled by the sound we paused for a minute before scrambling to turn on all the lights in the office. We didn’t see anyone else (which was a relief), but when we looked at the floor, we found the heavy ginormous puncher in the middle of the room. We all looked at each other, grabbed our bags, and ran out of the office as fast as we can.

Judee De Leon, Banker – I am sharing the story of my husband who also works in the banking industry. Just recently, he called up to inform me that he will be coming home late because of the toxic workload he has that week.  At 12:30am, he decided to go home. When the elevator opened, he noticed that someone moved back so he casually nodded to say thank you. All the while he thought that he has a companion but when he was about to go out of the elevator, he realized that he was all alone.

Joseph Paulo De Leon, Certified Healthcare Consultant Specialist – In one of the previous companies I worked with, the training rooms on the 5th floor is one of the most dreaded place in the building. My colleague who claims to have a third eye said he always sees the ghost of an old woman in white who loves to enter the training rooms, even if they are occupied by people.  One day, we were all shocked to find out that one of the trainees just started to act weird and talk like she was from another planet. It seems that she was possessed by lost spirit. She was making a scene and creating fears among onlookers until our resident nurses gave her a shot to calm her down. I never knew that training rooms can be that exciting until that day.

These are just some of the out of the ordinary tales that we hear and read especially when Halloween comes. Almost all of us an unusual experience to tell but not everyone are comfortable to share their strange action, maybe because of the fear of no one might believe you or for the simple reason that you don’t believe of ghost and paranormal stuff.


The most important thing that matters is that after such experience, we are able to move on from these incidents and continue to work happily and effectively, weather you believe in ghost or not .

Happy Halloween everyone!

(Richard  is the Communications Specialist of People Manager Association of the Philippines (PMAP), the premier organization of people managers and HR practitioners in the country today. To know more about PMAP, please call tel. no. 726-1532 or email [email protected] You may also visit or

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: anxiety, Ergasiophobia, Ergophobia, fear of work, Halloween, laziness, Office, paranormal, physiological injury, psychological injury, scary stories, socialization, work environment
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2022 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.