Treasure Hunting

The Greater Columbus Antique Mall is an awesome store just south of the brewery district in Columbus. It’s room after room after room of individually owned antique booths. It’s so big you could get lost in it. Daniel heard me talking about it and wanted to go check it out. I didn’t think it was what he was expecting but I figured what the heck, pretty much anytime my teenagers want to do something with me I think that’s a great thing. So both the boys and I headed out to look for treasures.

The antique store ended up being a huge hit with the boys. When we pulled up the building Daniel said it doesn’t look that big (I had described it as being massive.) I told him to just wait it was like in Harry Potter the tent they took to the Quidditch match, it doesn’t look big from the outside but the inside is magically immense. When we got inside he immediately agreed.

The boys especially liked all the (real) swords they were finding, locked away in cabinets. There are intercoms throughout the bldg so you can call someone to come unlock all the cabinets. Thomas kept one of the workers busy, calling to look at all the different treasures. She was always nice to the boys, she even said she had never had anyone ask to see the swords so she was happy to get them all out for them.

In the end Thomas bought a pocket knife $4 (but he has plans to save up his money and go back for a sword.)

Daniel bought a record player $6 and 2 Zippo lighters (why Zippos lighters, I don’t know? total $19

And I bought an antique kitchen scale and a very old toy truck and camper for my Dad’s train collection, total $45

When looking for a their web site online (they don’t seem to have one) I read this review:

3 full floors from furniture to toys! BUT be aware, I have seen haunts in this place. Part of this used to be a funeral parlor. Feels like someone is shopping with you, even when you are alone!

Which I think makes it even more fun! And caused me to do some more searching on line:

Here’s a story from The Other Paper about the store and the ghosts:

October 9-15, 2003
By Chad Painter

Patt Altevogt believes in ghosts. She has owned the Greater Columbus Antique Mall with her husband, Fred, since 1979, and she’s convinced the building shelters a number of antique souls as well.

One occurrence happened two weeks ago, when she heard children playing with old toy cars in an upstairs room. There wasn’t anybody in the building except her and an employee–an employee with no toy cars, we might add.

“I was sitting on the bench, the lights were off and it was quiet,” Altevogt said. “I heard the children playing, and I said, ‘I hear something up the front stairs.'”

That’s when the employee said that he’d been hearing the same thing too, but didn’t want to say anything.

Then there’s the security system. When it’s tripped, microphones start recording. Altevogt said she hears thumping on the tapes, but when she and Fred arrive at the store, nothing has been disturbed.

“We finally quit coming to check things out,” she said.

The building, at 1045 S. High St., was built as a private residence in the late 1800s, she said. It housed two different funeral homes in the 1920s and ’30s, and an Elks Lodge from the ’40s to the ’70s.

Some customers won’t go into one room upstairs because they feel like they’re being choked there. Before escorting The Other Paper into the room, Altevogt reassuringly said, “I’ve never felt anything in here.”

Altevogt said that employees have seen a tall man with a handlebar mustache wearing a brown suit (matching the description of a photograph of the original embalmer), a woman walking down a back hallway wearing a Gone With the Wind-era yellow desk, and a man wearing a black cape. Upon seeing the black-caped man a second time, one employee promptly quit.

Another employee swears a ghost brushed past her twice, Altevogt said. Yet another saw an orb come out of a wall, pass over him and head down a hallway.

“Everybody that works here has stories,” Fred Altevogt said.

He has one himself. On Thursdays, he said, there’s a distinct aroma of Italian food near an old pop machine (which happens to sit a few feet from a bench where people sometimes hear a couple of old ladies talking).

“I used to get spooked, but I’ve gotten used to it,” Patt Altevogt said. “Things have been happening for 15 years. New things come. Old things die off.”

Tammy Heimerl, an Antique Mall employee, still gets spooked. She said that she can’t go into a back room because it smells like death: “It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.”

She also doesn’t like to go into the attic, although Altevogt said nothing has ever happened there. Maybe not, but Heimerl said she always thinks someone is watching her when she’s up there: “I fly down those steps.”

Despite all this, Altevogt has decided against having the building ghost proofed.

“I thought about having someone come in and bless it,” she said, “but I think it adds to the charm.”

Altevogt expects more charming hauntings, and soon.

“Any time we talk about it, something happens,” she said. “Something will probably happen tonight.”

I had never been in the attic before, it gets confusing with all the different staircases and rooms so I didn’t even realize there was an attic. But this time an employee told us about it when I was asking if there were 2 different upstairs (there are.) She mentioned that it is filled with a lot of inexpensive items, so Daniel and I went and checked it out. It was extremely hot up there so we didn’t stay long. No signs of ghosts and the only choking we felt was from the extreme heat. But if I had read this story before we went I would not have let Thomas go up there alone.

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One thought on “Treasure Hunting

  1. I love a fun ghost story. The choking part is kind of creepy. I have an old record player. I hear all the teenagers want them now. Before long, my albums may be worth money!

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