Most of us have the immense pleasure of working typical 9-5 work days. Even if we have more flexible hours, we usually tend to get our most productive work in during the hours of broad daylight; that way, during the witching hours, when spooky things are more likely to happen, we end up in places that we know are safe (like our comfortable beds). But not all of us are so fortunate! If there are about 11 million service workers in the United States of America alone, approximately 6.5% of them work the night shift, and 10.8% work the evening shift. That means that there are a lot of people wandering about the world in the middle of the night, just trying to earn a couple bucks and go about their merry way.
Unfortunately, many of these innocent workers become subjects of some pretty scary stuff. Whether they fall privy to the whims of drifters who wander in the night, prowlers that wait for the cover of darkness to cloak their footsteps, or hauntings that we all roll our eyes at until we witness them ourselves, these night shift workers get the brunt of some pretty scary stories. Luckily, with the use of the internet, we’ve been able to get access to some of the spookiest stories from sites like Reddit and Quora.
So curl up under the covers and try not to get goosebumps as we list for you 15 of the creepiest confessions from those who work the graveyard shift:
15. Nanny Diaries
A young woman that was fresh out of college decided to take a job as a nanny in order to earn back enough money to pay off her insane student loans (we’ve all been there). Well, the parents of the two little girls whom she watches decide that they want to go on a vacation, just the two of them, so they hire their nanny to work full-time all week while they’re gone. The first couple of nights, while the nanny sleeps, she awakens to one of the young girls waking her up. Chalking it up to missing her parents, the nanny kindly takes her back to her room and has her fall asleep again. But after the fourth or fifth time, the nanny needs to lay down the law — she needs her sleep! She tells the girl she’s not allowed to wake the nanny up. The next night, the nanny rolls over and opens her eyes to see the little girl with long, thin black hair sitting directly next to the bed in a chair she carried in, all the while, watching the nanny sleep.
14. The Lights Flickered Off
A man used to work in his city hall as a security guard. Sounds like a boring job, right? Well, it probably is for most people — but not this man. In his city hall, there were old abandoned and out-of-use jail cells in the basement that had at one time been used as holding cells. It was part of his job to patrol them and ensure no squatters were using the space. So one night, he went down to inspect them. He passed two columns of cells, everything fine and safe. As he neared the third, the lights flickered off. He walked back to the lights, and just before he reached the switch, the lights flickered on again. So he started briskly walking out, a little nervous… and just then, the lights switched off again, and two jail cell doors slammed shut in a clamor of metal on metal. He sprinted out of the basement and back to his work station, and he never got any explanation for the terrifying experience.
Movie theaters are creepy places. Maybe you don’t think so… but if that’s the case, we’re imagining that you haven’t seen a lot of scary movies in theaters and you CERTAINLY haven’t worked in one. It can be a monotonous job, but theaters can also be quite creepy places. For one late night employee, it was terrifying. He was staying late until the end of the night. Around two in the morning, he’s shutting off all the digital equipment that runs the movie projectors. Just as he’s about to turn one off, it starts playing the movie Insidious. This isn’t too creepy since the movies are set to automatically start over again every 20 minutes… but this time, it started off schedule and without playing the previews first. The employee switched off the equipment and locked himself in the management office for the rest of the night out of fear.
12. Cinema 7
Was that last movie theater night shift story not creepy enough for you? Alright, well try this one on for size. A young guy works at a cinema in England, and everyone that has ever worked at the old-fashioned movie theater knows that screening room number 7 is haunted. He avoids the theater because of the stories he’s heard. For example, one of his coworkers, after checking that the cinema was empty and after cleaning up, had skittles thrown at his head. Another checked the entire cinema alone after the credits had been rolling and the cinema was mostly dark, and then, as he was sweeping up the bits of broken popcorn and plastic candy wrappings, he heard someone whisper directly in his ear — someone’s hot breath hitting his neck. But no one was there. Note to self: don’t hang out in a creepy, haunted cinema by yourself after the movie ends.
11. The Night Zoo
Did you know that night zoos existed, where you could visit the zoo in the middle of the night to check in on animals that are nocturnal and very active at night? Isn’t that awesome! The employees enjoyed working there — that is, until some weird stuff started happening. One night, a woman visiting the zoo approached a young man working there and excitedly claimed how cool the place was: “I saw a monkey in a tree with long hair! Wow, I did not expect the zoo to have free-ranging wildlife!” This set off some major alarms with the worker. First of all, the zoo had no monkeys, and monkeys are not nocturnal. Who wants to watch monkeys sleeping? Secondly, no animals in any zoo are free-ranging for issues concerning disease control. The employee was stricken with the idea that she’d seen a pontianak, which, in his culture, is the spirit of a woman who died when pregnant.
10. Yogurt Shop Murders
When someone starts off their scary story telling you that they lived close to a place where the “Yogurt Shop Murders” took place, it’s kind of hard not to stifle a bit of a giggle. To someone who doesn’t know what in the world the strange title refers to, “Yogurt Shop Murders” sounds like a corny musical performed in high schools. Actually, it was a horrific massacre in Austin, Texas that occurred in 1991, wherein four teenage girls were murdered and the yogurt shop was burnt down by a couple of insane men. Well, one 17-year-old lady working at a fast food joint in this area was walking home after closing up shop one night. A quiet car passed her, and she could hear it pull up behind her again later, though the lights were now off. Luckily, the girl was prepared for emergencies; she pulled her stun gun out of her purse and pulled the trigger for a few seconds, letting it loudly crackle in the air. The high beams of the car flashed on, and the car that was slowly creeping closer sped away.
9. A Helping Hand
Maybe things don’t have to be crazy paranormal to freak you out in the middle of the night. In all reality, scary things don’t even have to happen to you for you to find them scary. They don’t even have to be problems that you personally consider are dangerous to you to feel unsafe. That’s what happened to this young man that worked at a 24-hour coffee joint. The place was located beside a popular nightclub, and one night, two young women left the club and went to their car parked in the coffee shop’s lot. One was extremely drunk and was giving her friend a hard time about leaving. Well, some drunk guys noticed this intoxicated young lady and insisted on giving her a ride home. They were physically pulling the drunk girl away from her safe friend and surreptitiously whispering that they’d “take care of her.” The man working in the coffee shop hurried outside and helped the girls get in their car and safely home. The drunk men harassed the barista for protecting the drunk girl for a while before leaving themselves, but the young man prided himself on helping that woman stay safe from the very possibly selfish intentions of those men.
8. A Peculiar Light
We kind of feel really bad for night shift security guards. It’s almost like you’re set up to see something dangerous or scary or messed up! You sit all night at a post doing pretty much nothing and just wait for something to go wrong — THAT’S YOUR JOB! Well, these night shift guards had to deal with something off-putting, to say the least, though they’re still unsure of what it was — or if they were in danger. Talking on the phone while both on shift in different parts of their city, one says to the other, “Dude, do you see that?” The other looks into the sky outside his security booth to see a bright green light illuminating the sky. He describes it not as looking like a UFO or an aircraft but like a green sun shining out across the world. It hung in the sky for at least an hour and was totally unexplained by anyone the guard asked. But the two guards that saw it remember it distinctly and still watch for the odd light every time they’re on shift.
7. A Call in the East Wing
One Reddit user describes her time working in an old hospital built in the 1930s. A hospital during a night shift is still packed with people and busy traffic, so it isn’t as likely of a place for house hauntings or spooky happenings. Yet, these nurses stumbled into something really creepy. The hospital was being shut down wing by wing as they transferred to a newer location. As the first old east wing was closed, the nurses and aids that worked there were moved to different wings — but they wanted to visit their old haunt one last time. They walked around the now abandoned hospital wing until a phone that was left at the old nurse’s station started ringing. Not knowing what else to do, a nurse answered it. On the other end, a confused woman asked where she was and whom she was speaking to. The nurse answered, asking if the woman was a patient there. After no answer came, the caller hung up. The caller ID listed on the nurse’s phone indicated a vacant hospital room across the hall, no one inside.
6. Power Lines
One night shift worker recounted that the creepiest thing that ever happened to him didn’t happen around darkened corners in the middle of the night with the moon serving as his only illuminating protector. No, his paranormal anomaly happened in the broad daylight of an early morning. At the end of his night shift, he and his coworker popped just outside of their station to enjoy a cigarette for another long night of work completed. As they were smoking, they both heard what sounded like a car racing towards them — though no engine noises were heard. They heard it speeding closer and closer, though they saw nothing until it seemed to whiz past them — they specify that they even experienced the doppler effect of force speeding past. They looked up and realized it was something with the power lines, which were all skipping and bouncing as if “someone were playing jump rope with them.” They never got an answer, though the two found the experience to be terrifying and unnerving.
5. The Crisis Nursery
No, we’re not just coming up with cool names for spooky stories to tell you. This story comes from a young woman who worked at a crisis nursery, which is a facility that provides emergency care for children under the age of seven when their parents are in accidents or after parents have been arrested for child abuse. Reading a book in a corner, she was sitting in the room to keep watch over the children as they slept. In the middle of the night, a young boy bolted upright and yelled at her, “How come they aren’t asleep? Why do they get to play? I want to play, too!” He yelled it all while pointing into a vacant corner of the room and in a manner as if he was certain that a child was there. Apparently, the nursery was named for a deceased child who had died of child abuse — and there have been multiple instances of this apparition appearing only to children at night, coaxing them from their beds…
4. Phantom Emergency
911 operators must all have some pretty insane stories. They’re all paid to take calls from people in the direst of circumstances. While they’re just having another day at the office, the people that they end up talking to are potentially having the worst days of their lives. Well, this 911 operator may have had some of the worst times of her life answering a particular call. Every night, the same phone number would call this same operator. When she answered, she would hear “horrible screaming sounds or sometimes, just white noise,” and then the phone line would disconnect. Every night, as it was her duty to do, she sent officers to the source of the call — but it was simply an abandoned house, never with anyone there. Her boss assured her that it was likely a faulty line and that was all… but she’s never forgotten her phantom emergency caller.
3. Late Night Sweep
Sometimes, we don’t plan to be working the night shift — or, if we do, we at least have a plan to work it with someone else because no one wants to be scared to death when they’re all alone! Well, one security officer at a small company’s New York City headquarters had just this plan until his partner called in sick. He replaced his sleepy predecessor for the midnight to 6 am shift… but what he didn’t know was that the previous officer had made a big oversight in his last sweep of the building. Shortly into his start on watch, the officer saw blips of movement on security cameras. Nervous but attending to his duty, he headed up to check it out. Upon turning down a hall, he saw a shadow run across the end — he was terrified and thought about turning back to call the police. But just as he thought it, a gunshot rang out. He nervously investigated to find the lights on in the company president’s office — an employee had shot himself in the head while sitting in the president’s chair.
2. At the End of the Driveway
A young man used to have a job as a security night watchman on a large property. The property was quite expansive, including both a large building and approximately 50 acres of land that were surrounded by very little, though there was a subdivision not too far away. One night, while at work, the watchman decided it was time to make his rounds and perform his duty. He stepped outside of the front door and the automatic lights flicked on with his appearance. He locked up the door and took a few steps only to be stopped by the heart-stopping sound of a woman screaming, “OH MY GOD, SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!” The sound originated from the end of the long driveway. He took five bounds in the direction of the scream, then thought better of the situation and ran back inside to call the police. Authorities responded in full force with multiple cars and even a helicopter… but no one was found. His theory is that someone was trying to lure him away from the building to his own demise, and he had barely escaped.
1. I Noped Out of There
Have you ever “noped” out of somewhere? It’s a common phrase, a bit difficult to explain — so we’ll explain with a story. A man worked security at an abandoned old hotel on a riverfront. Late at night, all alone, he could hear someone on the floor above walking and causing the wooden floors to creak. He went upstairs, knowing fully well that that was what horror movies were made of, and found only open windows and wind pushing around curtains. Though he found no one as he searched, he felt in his gut that someone was in the hotel with him. He went back down to the ground floor and caught a glimpse of someone moving out of the corner of his eye. Terrified, he whirled around to see.. his own reflection in a broken mirror. Knowing that the next surprise would, of course, be from some specter or ghost, he “noped” out of there and quit his job. Two weeks later, the hotel mysteriously burned down…