SAN DIEGO It has been said that old bankers never die, they just lose interest.
But according to a persistent San Diego legend, some departed bankers just cant seem to lose interest in their former offices specifically those at the downtown Wells Fargo Bank building, formerly the First Interstate Bank building.
In her book Haunted San Diego, author Gail White retells numerous accounts of netherworld beings roaming the 23-story building.
Witnesses say that they encountered someone resembling a First Interstate banker who had died in the early 1980s only to have him disappear in an instant. Most people feel it is a former employee who may have come on desperate times after losing his job at the bank, Ms. White said in a recent interview.
According to her book, one ghost hunter decided to stage an all-night stakeout on the 12th floor of the building, and was not disappointed. In the middle of the night a transparent man approached, and the ghost hunter started taking pictures. The ghostly presence soon faded, but the photos included one of part of a man walking down the hall, the book says.
Experts in parapsychology consider it one of the best pictures of an apparition ever taken, said Ms. White.
She is not the only one enthusiastic about the ghosts. Several of the buildings occupants had much to say about the alleged hauntings.
At the Wells Fargo branch there, manager Arthur Thompson said he has heard rumors of ghosts lurking around the top floors. Security guard Ron Grimes said that once he ran into a man whose air of fatigue and confusion prompted Mr. Grimes to say, Burning the candle at both ends, huh? The man remained silent, and while Mr. Grimes checked his watch, he vanished.
Ed Brown, an information technology manager for the law firm of Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, said that one late night in 1988 he and a group of co-workers discovered hundreds of yellow Post-it notes stuck in tidy rows on the ceiling of the 16th-floor copier room just 10 minutes after a security guard had just checked the empty room.
I bet it would have taken one person about two hours to put that up on their own, so it couldnt have been a prank, Mr. Brown said.
According to those interviewed, there may actually be several ghosts in the Wells Fargo Bank building. In 1983, while the building was being erected, two electricians were electrocuted, and many say their spirits remain in the parking garage.
And one lawyer at Gray Cary is escorted every night to her car in the garage because she regularly sees the dead workers, according to Clark Guy, director of wealth management for Chicago Trust Co. of California, on the buildings ninth floor.
One time when a guard was escorting her, he asked her when she had last seen the ghosts, Mr. Guy said. And she said that one was standing next to them right at that moment.
Others say a deceased former lawyer at Gray Cary also wanders the halls, and still others say they have heard about sightings of a deceased client of a law firm who had suffered a heart attack while visiting the building.
In a city where more haunted places are reported that anywhere else, no one interviewed at the bank building seemed awfully worried about coexisting with the apparitions. In fact, most seemed to like the idea.
Personally, I havent seen one myself, but I keep waiting for these ghosts to show up so they can help out, Mr. Guy said. Cheap labor!