The Massachusetts Supermarket Ghost Incident Of 2019

It’s always entertaining when rumors of ghosts lead to official responses from company PR.

Back in March, an employee of the Market Basket supermarket in Wilmington, Massachusetts posted to a local private Facebook group asking if anyone else had seen the store’s resident specter.

“This is going to sound really strange,” Christiana Bush posted after her sighting, “But has anyone seen a ghost in the Wilmington market basket?”

Bush’s ghostly encounter was very brief. As she recounted, the alleged apparition appeared in the store’s frozen food section (near the frozen peas, to be exact) while she was working on a cake in the bakery. She then looked down for just a second, and when she looked back the apparition had vanished.

The ghost, Bush elaborated, appeared old-fashioned, a barefoot elderly woman with curly hair, wearing a white dressing gown and hair cap. It was solid and very “human-like,” she said, and would have perhaps been unremarkable if not for its strange attire.

In an interview with TODAY, Bush said the old ghostly woman was “staring right at” her, though only for a couple seconds. “She looked kind of like melancholy and a little angry,” she added, “So it was kind of a creepy kind of sense, but it was something.”

After the encounter, she searched the aisles for the strange old woman, but couldn’t find her. That’s when she decided to ask around about possible ghostly activity.

As it turned out, others replied to her Facebook post, sharing their own ghost sightings at the supermarket. One person claimed to have witnessed an apparition that also wore old clothing and sported a Victorian hair style, though that one appeared younger.

According to NBC New York, in the days that followed, several customers even became temporary ghost hunters, searching for any evidence that the mysterious apparition still lingered in the store’s aisles.

As the story continued to go viral, a spokeswoman for the Market Basket chain came forward to bust all the ghost stories. “As far as we know all of our stores are ghost-free,” she told the Boston Globe, “But if there’s anything to it, she’s probably attracted to our Victorian-era prices.”


Is there really a ghost haunting that Massachusetts supermarket?

Ghosts do seem to enjoy hanging out at stores. In 2012, security camera footage allegedly showed off a ghost, or perhaps poltergeist activity, at an Adelaide, Australia supermarket. The store’s CCTV recorded a packet of Fruit Roll-Ups jump off a shelf and onto the floor.

And in 2016, shoppers at Glasgow’s Silverburn shopping center reported an apparition clad entirely in black, which led to an investigation by their local paranormal group. “We are aware that a shadowy woman has been spotted around the centre,” a spokesman for Silverburn said at the time, “and we are taking the sightings extremely seriously.”

As far as shop ghosts are concerned, though, real or fake my favorite chain store specter is still Johnny, the ghost of Sunnyvale’s now-defunct Toys R’ Us.


Rob Schwarz

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.


  1. The PR response is a very typical one. I am surprised that someone from Massachusetts was able to use the word “Melancholy” in a sentence. That is a real stretch beyond the normal 12 word vocabulary you usually find in Mass. As for the ghost, all of New England is haunted. Everywhere you go in NE there is always a feeling of dread and a certain sense of depression. All the bad things people have done for the last 200+ years is ingrained in the land. The ghost of Market Basket was there long before the store.

  2. There’s a local grocery that’s haunted. If you leave your cart unattended in a particular spot, it will slowly roll away.

    Or it might be one of those Mystery Spots, where gravity is wrong.

    Or it might be a slight incline in the floor. No way to tell, really.

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