Jackson, MI, Joan, Westwood Mall

Westwood Mall, off of West Michigan Avenue in Jackson, houses an old movie theater that has been out of commission for many years. The mall does not demolish the theater nor do they renovate it for other businesses. The theater just sits there, all of its chairs ripped from the floor where maintenance stores light bulbs, abandoned bicycles, and Holiday decorations. The projection room lays bare with various film reels collecting dust.

I worked in this mall for four years, two before experiencing any 'odd' episodes, and three before experiencing the theater itself.

People who have visited the inside of the theater tell stories of an old man in a cowboy hat who sits in the back of the theater, not moving or talking, just sitting. Boxes occasionally fly off of shelves and odd creaking and clunking noises occur. Should you be unlucky enough to walk past the theater while maintenance has the door open, you will experience a deep, radiating cold, even on hot summer days.

The haunting spills over into the rest of the mall; security used to tell me stories of men on the roof at night or figures suddenly appearing in front of their patrol vehicles. I also heard stories of store gates shaking violently in the early morning.

Many of us experienced 'cold spots'. A coworker once heard her name called in the morning when she was alone in our store and I would have to frequently venture out of the back room to our sales floor because it sounded like someone was walking around. Walking into the mall for early (7am) shifts was always a little disconcerting as I felt like I was being watched... in a mall with no security cameras and only one morning guard who patrolled the parking lot.

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