Monday, April 18, 2016

Tales from the Graveyard Shift

Hi, Alone at Night fans. We're going to post several short tales from people that work the graveyard shift all in one post. So, lock your door, check the closets, look under the bed, and enjoy.



Roughly 5 years ago, I was working Janitorial in a mall in British Columbia. The task I was assigned was to clean all the main entrances to the mall (pretty basic: mop floors, clean windows, vacuum rugs) and it was rare to see people walking around the exterior of the mall.

One night, this random dude wanders up to the main doors, which were locked, waves me over and then asks how I'm doing. I say that I'm doing fine. He then whips out his penis and starts trying to pee on me through the small crack in the door. Luckily, the crack isn't that big, and I'm quick enough to get out of the way of the stream that does happen to trickle through the door. The guy started laughing, and as I stood in shock, staring at him, a police officer flashes his lights and the guy starts to run, penis still flopping in the breeze. He didn't make it very far.

Apparently, security was watching me on camera almost getting pissed on, so he called the cops. Watched the video with him. Many lols were had.

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I used to work in a hospital (in the IT department) and we did a number of overnight rollouts, as well as on call work / response when issues occurred overnight. Many weird things happened, or appeared to happen.
The thing that struck me as oddest, was when I saw the coroner running at full speed down the corridor, in the opposite direction, towards the morgue. This guy, an older guy in his 50s or so, was going at full speed! I had never seen him above an amble before, but this time he was really going for it. As he got close to me he yelled "Out of the way - I got another live one!".
I am not sure what was more disturbing, the fact that he was dealing with what I could only assume was a dead body that now appeared to be alive, or the fact he said "another".

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Around 12 years ago I was working security at a small company's headquarters in New York City. My partner for the night had called in sick, so I had to work from 12 to 6 all by my lonesome. Now normally, this wouldn't be a problem, I just had to sit in the back room, watch some cameras and occasionally head out for a sweep, nothing to it right? Well as it turns out, one of the employees had stayed in the building after hours, and had managed to avoid my co-worker's sweep from the previous shift. I first noticed a movement in my peripheral vision on one of the screens, and then again a few minutes later. This was odd, because I was used to quiet nights in this particular building.

I was a little scared when I headed out for my sweep, but it was my job, so I grabbed my flashlight and headed out to begin. I had to start the sweep in one big hallway, and right as I entered, I saw a flash of movement at the end of it. At this point, I was sufficiently freaked out. I stood frozen for a minute or so, looking into the semi-darkness, unsure of what to do. The decision was taken out of my hands, however, as I heard a gunshot resound down the hallway.

In what was the scariest moment of my life, I slowly walked down that hallway to investigate. I reached the end, and saw to my left that the President's office light was on. Slowly, I approached the door and creaked it open, scared shitless. What I saw will forever haunt me. The man had taken a seat in the president's chair, and shot himself in the head with a pistol, splattering blood and brains all over the floor and the wall. Apparently this guy was having problems at home, and because the president was supposedly a total asshole to him, he decided to off himself and scare the crap out of the president at the same time. In any case, I threw up a few times and called the police. I got the next two weeks off. I still have nightmares about it sometimes.

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I used to work at a hotel. An older gentleman walks to the front desk at midnight asking for a room. I give him the details and check him in. He seemed normal and quite cordial. The gentleman goes to his room and a few hours later comes down to the front desk and asks me if I knew where to score some extacy. I tell him no and he storms off out of the hotel mumbling to himself saying he wants to kill me. Now I don't feel endangered by this guy as I have a weight/height advantage on him and know how to handle myself in a fight thanks to training by my ex-marine brother.

This guy comes back to the hotel a few hours later in a much better mood. Me on the other hand am scared shitless. He comes strolling in wearing a thick sheriff's officer jacket and a sheriff's hat (a la Carl from The Walking Dead). He asks me if I had a girlfriend and I reply yes. He tells me to dump her cause woman are evil. He then tells me his story of heartbreak and his revelation. This guy went to prison for beating his ex-wife in a rage of finding out she cheated on him. He had a revelation while in prison the best experience was making love to a man and that women were the devil. The guy then warns me to dump women and to consider men. I apologize to him about how I am straight and thank him for the story. He then walks away saying to reconsider and not to knock it til I try it.

Once he left I call 911 and ask if anyone is missing a jacket and a hat. They say that they will check the on duty officers and will call back. They call back and ask me if the person was staying at the hotel. I confirm with them his details and description. They inform me to keep away from him that he took a brick to a window of a cruiser (the officer was on his lunch at a nearby diner just doing paper work at a table) and stole a taser, jacket, hat and club. A few minutes later the hotel is surrounded, officers ask for his room number and an over ride key. I provide them all the information and the officers race to his room. There they find him watching adult movies sodomizing himself with the club. They come out with the guy cuffed, he yells to me on the way out to reconsider his beliefs of women. Surprisingly his credit card went through for the charges.


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I have an interesting job where I ride around Chicago all night in a tanker with a pump on it. Basically a mobile gas station. One night I was fueling some school buses in the ghetto when I heard some loud pops. Immediately afterwards I was hit by bits of masonry from the wall I was standing next to. We wear bright headlights on our heads and my guess is someone was taking pot shots at me from a tenement across the street. Called the police and they didn't even show up. I did finish fueling the buses though... without my headlight while crawling around on the gravel doing some tactical rolls.

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Last week I was working late at the bank, 11pm last one in. Its pitch black outside and the bank is essentially isolated, far away from anything nearby. I am very alone. I’m walking around installing new printers, and all of a sudden the security monitors in my IT room turn off. Odd… I get up and go check the plugs to make sure nothing came loose. As I lean over to inspect the cables, all the lights in the building die, and I’m plunged into darkness. My heart starts racing from the shock, and I feel the adrenaline. I ignore my body being a bitch, and reach into my pocket to get my phone to use as a torch, but before I can get it out the backup lights turn on and the whole building is dimly lit by the faint green glow of backup lights.

The lights are very weak, but it’s good enough. A green tinged blackness, I can make out the objects in the room, though most things are in shadow. I leave my phone where it is. I forget the monitors and start walking towards the banking hall (where all the tills are) because that’s where the circuit breakers are, and I guess it’s up to me to fix this shit.

The bank is built like a bomb shelter, with thick concrete walls and multiple heavy lock metal doors, I have to swipe my ID card multiple times to get to the hall, and I’m scared that I could get locked in-between two doors if the power fail has messed up that system. I’m quietly thinking about what I would do if such a thing happened, and I’m still a bit jumpy from the shock earlier, I’m always looking over my shoulder and studying the shadows that I walk past. And that’s when I hear a blood curdling scream.

Not a shrill woman’s scream, like it would be if this was a film, but the death roar of some deep voiced barbarian. It’s long and loud and primal, I can almost feel it vibrating in the air. It’s coming from the banking hall. I freeze in place right before the final door, freaking out, and just stare at the grey, green lock of the metal door as I listen. The scream seems never-ending. It feels like the guy’s been yelling for three minutes or more without taking a breath, but the adrenaline makes telling time difficult.

I try and control my breathing, I check behind me down the shadowy concrete green corridor I came from, and decide that I need to press on. I turn to the door, swipe my card and open the door as fast as I can, bursting through ready for anything.

I manage to scan half of the room as I open the door, before I’m blinded by a strong white light. The scream suddenly stops. My eyes adjust, and I see that the light was the main lights re-activating. I’m staring into a normal room, the silence was terrifying. Heart pounding in my chest and ears. But everything seems in order, the white light bouncing pleasantly from letters on tables, the computers turned off and quiet, the bullet proof glass all fine. Door to the front correctly locked.

The scream was gone, the screamer unaccounted for, and the lights back on. Being quite freaked out at this point I left out the back way in a panic and called it a night.

****

s a security guard in a large shopping mall situated downtown:
1) Drunk man falls off of balcony and lands (head first) onto the ground below. He lived, but he had some seriously nasty wounds.
2) A man with an apparent mental handicap used the mail room of an attached business tower as his bathroom. A large puddle of piss accompanied by shit smeared down the wall (you could tell he was squatting up against the wall). How he got in to the tower was beyond us. Didn't see him enter when we viewed the security camera footage; only saw him leave.
3) Didn't mind this one actually... Finishing up a night shift, I'm patrolling one of the business towers (roughly on 20th floor or so) and find an office door ajar. Turned out to be one of the empty offices and the property manager must have forgotten to close the door all the way on his/her way out. While clearing it, I just happened to look out the window. Across the street from this building is a hotel. I see a (very fit and attractive) woman opening her blinds while completely nude. I'm not ashamed to say I took a second, much longer look.
As a night security guard for another company, situated in many locations across the city:
1) Patrolled a construction yard (for a new seminary, no less). Saw a guy rave dancing in the middle of the yard. Clearly not supposed to be there, I approach. Ask what he's doing, and he lunges at me with a knife. Fortunately I was wearing my stab vest so there was no penetration into my lower abdomen, but he broke the protective plating within the vest.
2) Patrolling a Ford dealership, I notice a guy peeking into windows of cars on the lot. I ask him how he's doing, etc, just striking up conversation to find out who is is/what he's doing. Before I even finish asking him how he is, I find myself staring down the barrel of a handgun (presumably 9mm). Scared shitless, I find myself unable to move (except my arms/hands went up over my head before I even realized what I was in the middle of). I clearly remember hearing the firing mechanism "click" against the bullet, but it did not fire. Without thinking, I pressed the emergency alert button on my radio, run and duck behind a car, and immediately describe the suspect in as much detail as I could. Police, K9, and helicopter dispatched and find the guy hiding under a CAT tractor in a nearby heavy equipment dealership.
3) Patrolling a rather sketchy apartment building with my partner, we found ourselves having to arrest some chick for assault by trespass (she spat in my partner's face after we attempted to escort her from the property; she did not live there and had no reason to be in the building). A guy, unrelated to the initial incident, saw me trying to place my handcuffs on this chick and decides it would be a good idea to football tackle me. I find myself unable to breath and coughing up blood (contusions to left lung was the cause) while defending myself from a drunk/high, 6'5"+, 200lbs + man (I'm 5'7" and 170 lbs). Backup arrives, along with police, and we tackle and arrest the man for assault as well as assault on a peace officer (tried to trip/kick one of the police officers). When the court date finally comes, he shows up wearing a leather jacket, dirty jeans, a ripped t-shirt, and smelling like weed. He shouted in court, claimed I tried to put him in a headlock (which wouldn't have been relevant anyway). Needless to say, he was convicted.

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I worked at a campground on night shift. 12a - 8a, every night. It wasn't bad. I would bring in my PS2 and game a good portion of the night, only having to deal with 1 or 2 people on busy nights. It was just me in this little 8' x 8' shack, with nothing around but dark, all night. My first week there, the other third shift guy who was quitting told me about this payphone a few feet from the shack where I worked. He said it rang every night at 4:17a, just once. It was probably just an automated test call, he guessed. He's never answered it himself. I go for a few months with the job. It was the middle of summer so most nights I had the windows closed so I couldn't hear the payphone go off.
Mid-August I started leaving the windows open during the night. Sure enough, at 4:17a every morning the phone would ring once. The ring even sounded creepy, like the payphone was submerged in water then put where it sat.
One night I got up the nerve to answer it. I set an alarm at 4:15 and would go wait at the phone until it rang. When it did, I answered it. But there was no sound. Just dead air like the someone was on the other line but wasn't answering. I said hello a few times, and hung up. I did this every night for a week with the same results. I didn't think anything of it and left it alone after that for about a month. The first week of October, I decided to answer the phone once again. I set my alarm and when the time came, I answered the phone.
"Hello? Hello?"
Then I heard what sounded like someone inhaling through clenched teeth. The voice that sounded was rough and sounded like he had gargled gravel. The best comparison I can give is Horace P. Gauge from The Suffering.
He said my name. My complete name. First, middle, and last. It was a voice I'd never heard. My voice caught in my throat and I hung up. I rattled some change into the payphone and hit *69.
The number had come from California. I live in Indiana.

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