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The paranormal customer

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Ghost stories from Antiques For You

By Scotty McDaniel

Antiques For You recently celebrated its 20 years in business at 528 Main St. in downtown Shelbyville. But the building has been celebrating birthdays since as far back as the 1800s, and if you've been inside, you might get that tingling feeling that some of the past partygoers are still around.

Starting as a hotel in 1870, the building went on to be a hardware store in the early and mid-1900s. Eventually it became the ever-popular Lawson's Department Store, until 1986. Antiques For You came in the building in 1989. Since then, many visitors have experienced something that indicates the building's history is not staying in the past.

Antiques For You owner Connie Kelly said she has experienced more than that. She said she has felt a hand on her shoulder while walking up the empty stairway.

Following that scare, she returned with her German Shepherd. Her routine went like this: If her dog would go up the stairs, so would Kelly.

"But if she laid there at the top of those steps and growled, I wasn't going up," Kelly said.

And it's not just Kelly who has had some strange things happen to them in that building.

"I've had people who come downstairs and say, 'Do you know you have ghosts? One of them pinched me,'" she said.

Sometimes there's something as little as keys disappearing from a location, only to reappear inexplicably though nobody was around to replace them.

Other times glass items might levitate and then drop to the floor, shattering.

"Mysterious. Little mischievous things," Kelly says.

But some of the testimonies aren't just unexplainable -- they're terrifying.

"I had one customer come in, and he came up from the basement white as snow. I asked if he was all right, and he said, 'No, I'm a deacon at a church, and I don't believe in ghosts, but you had a woman come up and walk through me. I've never been so scared in my life. I will not be back in this store.'"

Fortunately for Kelly, plenty of people have been back to help the store survive for 20 years.

But what else survives there?