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21 People Share The Creepiest Thing They’ve Seen While Working On The Graveyard Shift

No need for coffee—these stories will keep you awake through the night.




1. I collect organs and tissues for transplant from decedents which usually entails going into morgues in the dead of night.

Once a donor was tubed and “burped” at me from the release of gases from their stomach. Nearly. Shit. Myself.

2. I answer phones for an answering service.

One night I took a call from some account we barely take calls for. It was dead air for a moment and suddenly this guy starts singing Hey there little Red Riding Hood, you sure are looking good. You’re everything a big bad wolf could want. and then went quiet. Despite me trying to get a response, he just kept breathing. Eventually I hung up on him.


3. I used to work in a hospital (in the IT department).

graveyard shift

Photo: Stuart McAlpine / Flickr (CC)

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.”


4. I saw a live guy’s brain.

So, working the night shift at a hotel front desk is an interesting job. You get your drunks, your methheads, and your all around nutbags. One night, our hotel was hosting a college baseball team. The team came back around 11:00 P.M. and went up to their rooms and to bed. No big deal. Then, around 1:00 A.M., the coaches came back absolutely HAMMERED. They went up to their rooms, and that was the last I heard from them for about an hour.

While I was setting up for breakfast, I heard the elevator ding around 2:00/3:00 A.M. (daylight savings night in the spring). Out of the elevator bursts one of the coaches, and he runs straight out the front door. Odd, but okay, whatever. He comes running back inside shouting, “He fell! He fell!” I run outside while pulling out my phone and dialing 911 to see one of the coaches who had come back, face down on the ground in a HUGE puddle of blood. I have had a bit of rescue training, so I knew to put him in the rescue position so he wouldn’t choke on his own blood.

The paramedics got there and as they were loading him up, one of them wiped off his forehead, and there it was. The guy had fallen out of a third story window straight on his forehead and split it open so wide and deep, you could see his brain. He was lifeflighted up to the bigger hospital up north. He lived. I got a raise the next day.

5. 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 12:00 to 6:00 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.


6. I’m an astronomer and I get calls late at night asking about UFOs.

graveyard shift

Photo: steve baxter / Flickr

One guy called claiming to see a “second sun” on our all-night high-sensitivity cameras. He didn’t believe us when we told him it was the moon.


7. I was a McDonald’s employee.

Guy broke a syringe off in his arm after overdosing on heroin in the bathroom. Bled out. Through his arm. Blood. Blood everywhere. Please god no.

8. I used to work nights for our state road authority, working on traffic signals.

I only heard this story: apparently a truck was carrying a drum of human body parts for disposal and the drum fell off the truck on one of our freeways. Road patrol guy called in and said there’s arms and legs all over the place out here.


9. I’ve worked graveyards most of my life.

graveyard shift

Photo: Stuart McAlpine / Flickr (CC)

One time while working in a gas station a guy came in and committed suicide in the bathroom. He sliced his wrists open with a pocket knife. Didn’t have to clean the blood since it’s a bio hazard but still gross.

Another time I was working late nights detailing cars for the police. They would bring in wrecks or impounds that needed to be cleaned in order to sell. I got this one where a guy shot his brains out with a 12 gauge. Blood and brains were everywhere in the cab of the truck. The only thing I had was a small carpet cleaning machine with a long clear tube with an attachment for upholstery. Needless to say I saw all the brain chunks getting sucked up through the tube. For some reason that made it worse than actually having to sit in the cab full of brains and blood.

I have more but those were the worst.


10. I was working late at the bank, 11:00 P.M. last one in.

It’s 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 bulletproof 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.


11. Gas station in Florida just off of I95 and Highway 50.

Had a murder in town, guy beheaded his ex and killed their kid and then committed suicide and our store was flooded with folks from the area this happened as they were all kicked out of the apartment building.


12. I worked at a campground on night shift.

graveyard shift

Photo: Kelly Teague / Flickr (CC)

12:00 A.M.–8:00 A.M., 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 one or two 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 4:17 A.M., 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 4:17 A.M. 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.


13. I work at a truck stop.

Saw a guy stumble in from the back entrance around 3:00 A.M. after being stabbed in the neck with a box cutter. So much blood …


14. About 4 years ago I was closing a grocery store and my co-worker forgot to lock the front door.

As I was doing a final walk of the aisles a homeless man wearing a Halloween NASA helmet and his pants tucked into his socks jumped out of nowhere and handed me a menu from a Fuddruckers. It had numbers and letters circled and weird notes written on it, like something from the movie A Beautiful Mind. He then flipped me off and sprinted out the door.


15. I drive a truck and, when I hauled steel, I would often run on paper logs, drive all day and well in to the night.

graveyard shift dark road

Photo: Greg Dunlap / Flickr (CC)

I’d do upwards of 1000 miles/19 hours in a day, and the tail end of those trips were always a little harrowing. When you get within 10-20 miles of your destination (and precious sleep), you get a sudden burst of energy. Just enough so that you’ll know you’ll make it and that the risk of falling asleep at the wheel is no longer present. It’s a nice feeling of satisfaction, but it doesn’t come without a price.

Hallucinations. For me, at least, that “last breath” of energy after a long run often brought with it some crazy shit. To make matters worse, places where one might deliver sheet metal coils tend to be right directly inside the buttcrack of fucking nowhere and reaching them involved lots of two-lane roads through the woods. Combine narrow, twisting roads, hallucinations, paranoia about getting caught running illegal, and just enough energy to be aware of it all and you’ve got what we like to call a “situation” on your hands.

One particular night stands out. The 800 or so miles had taken about 17 hours thanks to the hills and the back-roads I had taken to get there, to as close a place to “rural” as New Jersey likely gets, just across the Delaware from Philly. I was coming down from a back-to-back dose of Double Shots and was about 15 minutes away from the 4 hours of sleep I would be getting that night, so I was on edge and starting to see shit again.

My hallucinations weren’t really readily identifiable things like people, oases or giant stacks of bacon and such, but vague flashes of movement and light. It was as if a fox wearing a suit of strobing LEDs was about to dart out of the tree line. It freaked me out just enough that I usually had one foot on the clutch at all times in case I had to jam the brakes. I knew it wasn’t real, but it still bothered me.

In the midst of all of this, I was rounding a bend and saw about a quarter mile down the road a man standing in my lane. He had a green reflective vest on and was waving his arms. Too real and tangible to be a hallucination. I began to slow down, immediately wary of the situation, and the scene unfolded before me as I got closer. A midsize SUV was on its side on the other side of the road, and a little pull-off carved out of the forest was bristling with some sort of construction activity at the lively hour of 3:00 A.M. I said, aloud, “What the fuck?”

Then, from out of the trees burst … A fucking bobcat! No, not a mountain lion, but one of those little four-wheeled mini-excavator things commonly used in landscaping. It darted about with all of the agility of its namesake, save for the moment when it turned to face the roof of the car, where it nearly tipped over. The Bobcat pushed the vehicle over and at least a dozen people crawled out. I stopped counting at 8. I was in a state of mental lapse and had no idea what had happened.

Finally, the guy in the vest let me pass. My last 10 minutes or so of driving were marked by a sense of calm as I saw every cop car and ambulance in southern Jersey fly past me in the opposite direction, knowing they had something better to do than check my logs. I got to my destination safely, and went to sleep.


16. Working as a pastry chef for a resort in the mountains, pulling a graveyard shift.

Because we were in a kinda remote location it was very dark outdoors. I was taking the trash out to the dumpster which was a short walk away. As I got near the dumpster I heard rustling and scraping, shined my flashlight at the noise and saw two glowing white eyes. At this point I nearly lost it then as the creature turned its head, I saw that it was a black bear, raiding our trash. Following the only advice I knew, I threw my arms up and made myself look as big as possible. The bear ran off, and afterwards we got better locks for our dumpster.


17. Nobody will see this but whatever.

This not-so-bright buddy of mine used to work late shift at a fast-food place. This one night a car rolls by in the drive-thru and suddenly he’s looking down the barrel of a 9mm. The guy shouts “Gimme the cash in the register!” My bold friend bends down and says “NO!” and promptly shuts the window on him. The guy drives off confused. The next day the manager is reviewing the tapes and quickly goes up to him to ask him what happened. My friend says he just closed the window because it was bullet-proof. Manager stares at him and says “No they aren’t.” My friend properly freaks out about how close he got to getting shot.


18. I work as a transporter in a hospital.

graveyard shift

Photo: Martin Howard / Flickr (CC)

About two years ago we moved from the old city hospital into a new state of the art facility. The old hospital was built in the 1930s and was showing its age and at night was just plain creepy. Each floor had an east and west wing. The East wing of the fourth floor was the first wing to be shut down about two weeks before the move. One night at around 9:30 I’m up on the floor to get a patient from the west wing. I see a small group of nurses and aids who all used to work on the, now closed, east wing.

They looked visibly shaken. I walked over to see if everything was ok. They told me that they had decided to walk through their old wing for nostalgia’s sake. When they were over there, the phone at the nurses station started ringing. The computers and phones had not yet been moved. Not sure what to do, one of the nurses reached over the counter and answered the phone. The nurse told me there was a woman’s voice on the other end and that she sounded confused. This is the conversation as best I can remember it. “This is _. How can I help you?” Asked the Nurse. “Hello? Who is this?”

“This is _. I’m a nurse. Is there anything I can help you with?” “Where I am I?” “This is (hospital name). Are you patient here?” “Oh. Ok.” Then the line went dead. That’s when the nurse finally looked at the screen on the phone to see where the call was coming from. The phone gave the room number directly next to the nurse’s station. The rooms by this point had all been cleared out and the phones removed. They could see directly into the room and see that there was nobody in there. That’s when they bolted towards the west wing where I was getting off the elevator. I avoided that wing for the rest of my time there.

19. I have a bunch of these.

I used to work for the national park in Pennsylvania. My job was toll collection. My shift started at 3:00 AM. My duty was to assess a small fee from commercial vehicles traversing the park at that god forsaken hour. The neat thing is the first commercial vehicles wouldn’t really even start coming until like 5:00 or 6:00 AM (with a few regulars who were in before then). It was the best job and paid very well for what you had to do. The only difficulties of 1. Staying awake and 2. Not allowing your imagination to run away with you and creeping yourself out.

The booth was right next to the Delaware river. So in the early morning, the fields and the road and the woods would take on a mist that hung close and low to the ground, like ghostly white hedges. Staying awake was hard, but the second difficulty was the worst. I would write horror stories while I was in the booth. The setting was too creepy not to channel what I was writing.

One night while typing out a few paragraphs I had this crazy feeling that I was being watched. It was a night with mist like I described. It was cold too. I think it was November (and it must have been as I was home from College at the time). I looked around, sorta bleary eyed. Could not shake the feeling.

The booth was a box that sat squatly in the middle of the road going south on Route 209. A small parking lot was off to the left. The windows allowed you to see in up the parking lot and fee assessment lane, the up the road, and the travel lane. Like a dunce I sat there looking up the road and looking out into the travel lane. Couldn’t see anything but the white mist and the lone street light about a quarter mile up the road.

After a few moments I looked to my left into the parking lot and the assessment lane to see if anything was there. Nothing. I stood up to get a better look and as I did a head of horns and nostrils popped up in front of window and scared the living shit out of me. A deer had wandered up to the booth and had been sorta grazing at the grass that grew near the door. I screamed like a little girl when I saw him and he sorta just meandered quickly away. I had no further need for coffee that morning.


20. My mother started working at the hospital right out of college.

It was the only job she had ever known. On moving day, she was determined to walk through every hallway before leaving for the last time. She had her camera and was taking pictures as she went. On one of the empty patient wings, she stopped and was getting ready to take a picture when the door to the room right next to her slammed shut as though someone on the other side had thrown the door as hard as they could. My mom decided she was done taking pictures.


21. It was going on 10 and I was taking my last patient back to her room.

graveyard shift

Photo: Kelly Teague / Flickr (CC)

She was a little old lady who was stable enough to ride in a wheel chair but definitely needed assistance on her feet. I got her back to her room and helped her into bed. I made sure she was comfortable and set the bed alarm before turning out the lights and leaving her room. I pulled the curtain behind me so as to not let too much light in but not all the way so that I could still see her in bed from the hallway. Her nurse was in the room next door and I needed to speak with her. While I was standing there, waiting for the nurse to come out of the other room, I distinctly saw a person walk past the curtain inside the old woman’s room.

The person was about the same height as the woman and had the same grey hair. At first I thought, “She shouldn’t be up walking around!”. Then I remembered the bed alarm was set. The room was totally silent and when I looked in, I could see her still lying there exactly where I had left her. She had not moved an inch and the bed alarm was still armed. That’s when I got the most intense full body chills of my life. The nurse came out of the other room, I gave her my message and then booked it out of there.

Feature Photo: Rolle Ruhland / Flickr (CC)