By Chef SacredMythos
I’m scared, guys. I really am.
In the summer of 2013, I had what I considered to be the best job of my life. I was the Night Security Watchman, meaning I was the guy who watched the monitors for ten hours a night and got paid ridiculous amounts of money to do so.
Let me get one thing clear: I was a college student who was trying to get by. I had a decent scholarship to a decent state-level university, and I was avidly pursing my degree in Pediatric Healthcare. So, as you can guess, when summer came and classes stopped, I needed to occupy my time and try to save enough cash to supplement me over the break. Thankfully, I had a good friend (Let’s call him Will) who had been working around the town for a long while. He hooked me up with an interview with the company, and I was hired on the spot.
I was assigned as overnight security for a parking garage used by one of the local banks, as some of the higher-ups had a habit of staying overnight for their corporate whatever, and were worried about a string of recent break ins. I really didn’t care about the criteria. I was just happy because I got to spend ten hours (albeit bored) watching the office TV, playing Pokemon, and generally dicking around with whoever was on watch with me. Pranks were frequent.
A fake “severed hand” in front of a camera, one of them popping out with a yell, or anything of that stupid nature were common. After awhile, I grew desensitized to it. A short while after that, I often shut off the audio feeds altogether. Besides the random homeless guy wandering in or the teenagers trying to find a secluded place to drink, get stoned, or have sex, it was completely and utterly uneventful. Often times the other guards would just pass out in the office out of sheer boredom.
August 11th was a night like that. It was about 2AM, and I was halfway through my shift. The hours drug on, and in a last-ditch effort to stay awake, the roving guards (there was two at all times, and tonight, Will was one of them) decided to go to the roof to get some fresh air. Meanwhile, I was glued to my laptop, browsing reddit and drinking as much coffee as my body could handle. It was a completely and utterly average night.
Around 2:30, a car pulled into the lot. This was unusual, but not much of a concern. I watched it for a few moments, became uninterested, and went back to the laptop. Ten minutes later, the car was still there and its driver had yet to show themselves. It made me slightly uneasy, but I had just figured that there was a late night bottle of scotch between the executives and one had called for their spouse to pick them up instead of risk the DUI.
It stayed this was for 40 minutes. Then finally, at 3:30, the car door swung open, and the driver stepped out. He was thin, almost skeletal, wearing a tight shirt and slacks. His eyes were sunken and he was wearing a black skull-cap, and he had a half-burned cigarette in his hand. Naturally, he gave me the creeps. He wasn’t maintenance or a watchman, but he did seem familiar.
After a few moments, he put the cigarette out, and began walking towards the stairwell. There were no cameras in the stairwell, so i decided to notify the rovers.
“Tom, we have an intruder moving towards Stairwell F. Be advised, he seems pretty sketchy.” I droned over the radio.
A loud sigh blared over the radio, then his response: “Roger that. We’re on our way.”
They were armed with tasers and the like, so I wasn’t worried. Still, I decided to activate the audio for the floor, hoping to at least get a sense of where he was going. I expected to hear the sound of his shoes against the metal stairwell, but instead, I was met with a peculiar dragging noise, one which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
After a few moments of this, he appeared again, now toting a large, black sack. It looked heavy, but he was dragging it single-handedly with ease. He stopped upon reaching his car, and began looking around for something. Curious, I decided to update Will.
It was now that I realized just how nervous this was making me. My hands were visibly shaking and my voice cracked over the radio. All I could manage was “Will, please hurry.” Before the receiver slipped out of my hand. I took my eyes off of the monitor for half a moment.
When i looked up, I literally jumped out of my chair in shock. He was staring directly at the camera, but it seemed like it was going beyond. It felt like he was staring me in the eyes. The bags under his eyes added to the look of absolute malcontent and made him look like some cheesy action movie villain. It was completely silent, he wasn’t even breathing. He didn’t move. He didn’t flinch. I was losing my mind looking at him. If this was some kind of shitty prank I was NOT up for it.
I reached for the radio one more time, but somehow it seemed like he knew. He ran at the camera, with a look that I can only describe as sheer darkness on his face. I screamed aloud, and the camera went dead. In the audio, I heard footsteps. Doors Slammed, then after a few moments, yelling, an engine firing, and then a restless silence.
I sat there for a few moments, breathing heavily. What the hell did I just see? Suddenly, the radio came alive. It was Will.
“CALL THE POLICE. TELL THEM TO SEND AN AMBULANCE.” Will’s voice screamed, as groans sounded eerily in the background.
All in all, it took about five minutes for the authorities to arrive. As it turns out, Will’s roving partner had given chase to the man, but had stumbled near his car. Upon the man’s escape, he had backed out over the guard’s leg. Luckily, he avoided any fatal damage, but they still rushed him to the hospital.
For the remainder of my shift, Will and I were questioned. The police took the video tapes and audio logs, and the bag was searched. I wasn’t allowed to view the contents, but the officer’s pale faces and somber tones were enough. They told me it was a man, dressed in a suit, mid forties. He had been strangled, beaten, and had most of the fingers on his left hand removed. Apparently it was one of the employees. Nobody used that stairwell on a regular basis, so the rovers usually avoided it. After a short while, they realized we were as clueless as they were, and we were released.
Two days later, I resigned. I just couldn’t do it anymore. Every time I looked at the monitors I saw his sunken, half skeletal face in the corner. A shadow. Something. It stressed me out.
I don’t tell most people about this story. It just didn’t seem relevant and I just didn’t care to share it. Three days ago, I got a call from the detective’s office. They had apparently found the man after a year on the lam. Will didn’t manage to catch a look at him, and the guard who was injured couldn’t remember much of what happened before the accident, so they wanted me to identify him.
The video evidence had been enough to arrest him, but due to the shitty playback quality, they needed an eyewitness to make sure they had the right man. They told me that they would need to wait for statements, alibi investigations, and booking to occur before they wanted me for the process, but told me they would be in touch. They wished me a good day and hung up.
To most people, this would bring a long, scary story to a satisfying end. But not for me.
Last night, I got a manila envelope in the mail. No return address. I shouldn’t have opened it, but curiosity got the better of me.
What was included made my heart stop, and immediately created a cold sweat that still hasn’t stopped.
Inside were three putrid, grey, decomposing fingers, and a single post it note reading “Don’t you dare.”