ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- An Alexandria building offers one-stop Halloween shopping. Candy and ghosts all under one roof.
An article from the June 1868 Alexandria Gazette tells the tale of Laura Schafer, who died from injuries suffered in a fire.
"She was getting ready for bed," amateur historian Diana Bridger explained. "Her kerosene lamp exploded. She caught fire. She ran down the stairs, but they couldn’t save her. She died the following morning."
Bridger has spent a lot of time tracking down details of the building's sordid past. She believes Schafer's spirit haunts the building.
Plenty of unexplained occurrences have been reported at the building, from things moving inexplicably to the tale of a boy seeing a woman's ghost in a mirror.
Some people wonder if there's still a trace of the fire in the air.
Candida Kreb opened Candi's Candies in the building about two years ago. She kept smelling something burning but could never find the source.
"Later I thought, 'Oh my God! Maybe the burning smell has something to do with Laura.'"
A few months after moving in, Kreb went to the basement to grab some boxes and someone of something almost grabbed her -- she says. She felt a man's presence and ran upstairs. She's afraid of being alone in the basement, now.
Her fears grew when someone who used to work in the building stopped by to say hello.
"She was telling me, 'There is something in the basement,' and I just covered my face and I thought, 'Oh my gosh,'" Kreb said. "Then she says -- and she, you know, touched my arm -- 'It's a male.'"
But Laura Schafer was a she, not a he. Could she have company, like Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis in "Beetlejuice"?
According to that 1868 Gazette article, after learning about Schafer's death, her fiancé shot and killed himself at a tavern on King Street.
Could they be together again in the afterlife?