Late at night, whilst the majority of us are safe and sound in our beds there’s an army of people out there working the graveyard shift. From hotel receptionist to all night gas station clerks and the emergency service technicians, ask any nightshift worker and they’ll tell you when the sun goes down, things get … weird.
Graveyard shift workers from around the world have been sharing their eerie stories on Reddit, recounting horrifying tales of paranormal activity, blood-curdling crimes and the strange folk who only come out in the dead of night. Here are their creepy real-life encounters.
1. The Basement
“I used to work as a graveyard custodian in a building by myself. Now, when I started I was told that the building was pretty weird and that I should stay on my toes. I was skeptical but after working there for a year I was pretty much convinced something weird was happening.
I was riding the elevator to a different floor but instead of going to that floor it went straight into the basement. The doors open and they are open for maybe 10 seconds or so and I can’t see anything in this room. All of the sudden a dark figure starts walking towards the elevator and I freaked the f*ck out. I hit the doors to close and the figure just kept getting closer. I ended up standing outside of the building for a half hour or so while the police searched the basement. What really freaked me out is that the one entrance into the basement was locked and barred and they didn’t find anyone down there after searching everywhere.” – Anonymous
2. The President's Office
“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 midnight to six 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 sound 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, terrified. 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 abusive towards him, he decided to off himself and scare 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.” – guh_graves
3. White Noise
“A phone used to call me on 9-1-1 every night, make horrible screaming sounds or sometimes white noise, and then disconnect. It scared the living sh*t out of me. The number was a landline for a vacant residence. The officers we sent out every time never found a thing, and I was repeatedly assured that the sounds on the line were due to a faulty phone line or the rain, but it never stopped bothering me.” – QueenCoyote
4. The Hotel Room
I worked night audit at this semi-swanky hotel next to the airport. One night I get a call from a lady in room 204. She says there was arguing, loud banging and crying coming out of 206. I check the computer, no one is checked into that room due to maintenance issues. I called my supervisor to see what to do, she tells me to call on-site security and follow them up with a key. As we get off the elevator we can hear the crying, it’s loud. My heart starts racing as we near the door, so I hand the key to the security guard.
The next five minutes seemed to happen in slow motion, he opens the door and immediately flicks on the light. As we enter the room the shower is on, steam is coming from under the door. There is only one lamp on in the room, it’s super cold, and there is a lady in a red lacy bra, black panties, with super red hair curled up crying in the bed. She was facing away from us. She sort of stopped crying and rolled over. When she did, a wave of horror came over me, she was super pale, covered in blood, and was just staring behind us. That’s when we realized the shower had stopped and the door was open. There was a man about six feet five inches standing in the doorway, as we turned around. Cops tazed and arrested him. Turns out he was a rapist who hides in hotel rooms, kidnaps women who stay there, and cuts them open. To this day I will never go to a hotel again.” – ultimabdon316
5. The Locked Door
“I’m currently a janitor at a gym. We have a stairwell that leads down some stairs to a door that doesn’t open because we lost the keys years ago. One night, there was a loud banging sound coming from the door. Sounded like someone was banging it every second for a couple minutes. I stood at the top of the stairs and listened and watched and it stopped. It started up again a few minutes later. I went back up there to see and it stopped again as soon as I got there. Told my manager the next day and had a locksmith come in. He got the door open and it’s just an old supply closet that’s empty. Every so often someone hears a banging sound coming from the door at bottom of the stairs.” – j_shaver
6. Six-Foot Extension Cord
“Working the graveyard shift in a small motel, all alone. Had a guest who requested a six-foot extension cord. Took me a while but I found one, brought it to his room. The housekeeper found him dead the next day, hanged himself with the extension cord.” – greed-man
7. Face at the Window
“Was sitting at a desk in front of a good sized window, reading a binder. Sort of had that feeling like someone was watching me, so I looked up and there was a face pressed to the glass. No idea how long he was there before I looked up. Ran out to the foyer where there is a glass door on the porch that should be locked. It wasn’t. He started shaking the door trying to get in. Ran to the next room and he just followed me around the house while I was on the phone with the cops, watching me through the windows. They didn’t catch him. That night. HE CAME BACK the next night. They caught him. Creepy.” – theTarafier
8. The Elevator
“Two different times I saw someone get on an elevator as I came around a corner. I said ‘Hold the Door’, as the door started to close, it opened back like someone had hit the button. When I got to the elevator there was no one in it. After that, many times just as I came around that corner, the elevator door would open, and no one was in the elevator.
I had not pushed a call button or anything. I would always say ‘Thanks’ when I got on the empty elevator.” – SteveHRRT
9. The Line Goes Dead
“I work as a transporter in a hospital. 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. 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 aides 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 nurse’s 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?’
‘I’m a nurse. Is there anything I can help you with?’
‘Where I am I?’
‘This is (hospital name). Are you patient here?’
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 at 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.” – Anonymous
10. Casket Room
“One of my duties at the mortuary I worked for was nighttime body removals. One night, my partner and I showed up around 2:00 A.M. to grab the paperwork for our removal. When we got inside, we both got the feeling like there was someone there, so we walked through the building, checking to make sure everything was secure, and closing all of the doors. This included the casket room. Everyone hated the casket room. It was freezing cold year round, the lights were always uncomfortably dim no matter what maintenance did to try to fix them, and there was this mannequin in the corner in full military dress that just felt wrong. The only people who weren’t bothered by the room was the cemetery sales staff, and that’s only because they had no souls.
So my partner and I don’t find anyone, so we lock everything up and head out. We get back an hour later, get our new guest logged in, and decide to get a cup of coffee before leaving. He and I walk toward the kitchen, only to find the casket room door open about three feet. It’s almost pitch black in there, and I can barely make out the red in the mannequin's uniform. It shouldn’t be that close to the door. My partner and I froze for a second, then I grabbed his wrist and we backed up into the kitchen and straight out the back door. It honestly felt like if we had gotten too close to the casket room door something bad would have happened.
Neither of us would ever go near that room again, even during the day. I could spend time alone in the prep room or crematory no problem, so I’m not easily spooked, but there was something wrong with that room.” – Haceldama
11. Rosary Beads
“My production lead was Catholic and gave some rosaries away to anyone that wanted them one day. We actually worked swing shift and got off work midnight to 4:00 A.M. depending on overtime availability. The plant was in a pretty rough part of Fresno, California. One of the guys who took a rosary was young and had just started working so he hadn’t saved up money for a car. He walked home every night a couple miles through that area. After swing shift, most people have gone to bed and the streets are pretty empty. It was fall, a little chilly and no moon.
He was walking down a run-down block with a field along one side of the street and a couple run-down buildings on the other. A woman walked out from behind one of the buildings and straight up to him. She said, ‘I’ll trade you my ring for your rosary.’ He was wearing a sweatshirt with a jacket. The rosary was around his neck under the sweatshirt and not at all visible. He asked, ‘How do you know I have a rosary?’ She didn’t answer the question but said again, ‘I’ll trade you my ring for your rosary.’ At that point he brushed past her and walked away fast.
When he stopped to look back and see where she was, she had disappeared.” – Wineguy33
12. “I Want to Play Too”
“I work at a crisis nursery, which is a childcare facility that provides emergency and respite care for children under the age of seven. I used to work graveyards all the time. I have to say first that I am absolutely a non-believer in paranormal stuff. That being said, at two in the morning in a dark room when you and two or three other girls in their 20s are the only adults in the building, sh*t gets creepy sometimes.
The facility I work in was named for a child who was beaten to death by one of their parents. The nursery was started in their name as a way to hopefully prevent another child dying a violent death at the hands of a stressed-out caregiver.
So the story that goes around is that this kid’s spirit haunts the nursery and is mostly active at night. They tell me that one of the reasons that everyone thinks this place is haunted is that many different people have reported different children asking about ‘that kid’ as in, ‘why doesn’t that kid have to go to bed?’ while pointing at nothing. I brush it off, basically forget about it.
A few weeks later, I was in the sleep room, the bedroom where all the kids sleep. There must always be an adult in the room with the children. I’m just chilling, reading a book with a booklight. The rest of the room is pitch black and silent.
All of a sudden, this kid (probably four or five) sits bolt upright in bed and says, ‘Hey, how come they aren’t asleep? Why do they get to play? I want to play too!’ all while pointing at a wall with no kids anywhere in the vicinity.
Instant crazy shivers all over me. I was so scared I almost screamed. I refused to be alone in there from that moment on.” – word_nerd7623
13. A Cry for Help
“I used to work as a night watchman on a large property. Not just a big building, but a large surrounding property as well. Probably 50 acres.
Well, this property was not in the best of areas. It was kind of secluded but had a subdivision nearby. Anyways it had a really long driveway that was gated. One night I start my rounds by walking out the front door of the place which was all lit up. As soon as I lock the door behind me and take a step I hear a woman’s voice scream “OH MY GOD SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!” up at the end of the driveway. It was somewhat faint and I took five running steps into the driveway, skidded to a stop and ran back inside to call the cops. They responded with multiple police cars and even a helicopter. They found absolutely nothing.
I still think it could have been someone trying to lure me out there.” – dirtymoney
14. Where’s the Exit?
One of my friends had a job in the hospital looking after patients, making beds etc. I heard he randomly quit his job, wouldn’t talk to anyone about it. I bring some beers over to his house and try to see if I can get him talking, he’s a total emotional wreck. Finally get him to talk and he says that he was working one night in the hospital when he heard a nurse shouting for help because someone was going into cardiac arrest. So he runs down a hallway and some man runs towards him, they almost bump into each other and the man shouts, ‘Where’s the exit?’ My friend points to the exit then runs into the room with the man going into cardiac arrest only to see it’s the exact same person who ran past him in the hallway. He died in front of his eyes.” – 0arussell
15. The Abandoned Jail
“I used to work at city hall a few years ago as a security guard. There were abandoned jail cells in the basement that haven’t been used in years and part of my duty was to patrol them for any squatters. It was probably my second time patrolling alone and things started to get really weird. I went down to the old prison/holding cells. It’s a long, narrow hallway with cells on both sides. The hallway was lit by light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. I was walking past the fourth column of cells when the lights went out. I turned my flashlight on and walked back towards the light switch. Right when I was about to turn them back on, the lights flickered on again. I started walking fast past the cells while quickly checking them. I was about halfway through when the lights went off again. I heard two cells slam. I ran with my flashlight on straight toward the other end of the hallway and up to my workstation. I then called my supervisor and asked him if there were any electrical issues that have been reported. He said no. I had two hours left on my shift, and couldn’t leave. I was at my workstation, completely paranoid.” – hotbukkake
This Story Was First Published on Occult Museum.