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I Watch Security Cameras In An Old Government Building – Part One

I Watch Security Cameras In An Old Government Building Part One

Estimated reading time — 15 minutes

I have an idea of what you might already be thinking, how could something as boring as watching security cameras in an old government building for eight hours a night be worthy of a post on the strange experiences blog? Well, let’s just say that there’s more to my occupation than meets the eye.

For legal, personal, and common sense reasons. I can’t give out my personal details, or any specific information about the organization at which I am employed. Doing so could legitimately jeopardize my job, and even put me in danger. So, my name and other personal details I do divulge will either be modified, or made up simply for the purpose of preserving my own security.

However, I have some things I wanna get off my chest, things that I’m gonna type up, and throw out into the void that is the internet. I just want people out there to know that things in life aren’t how they seem at first glance.


To start off, I have been working at this current branch for the past three years, and I hadn’t applied through Indeed, word of mouth, or any sort of official job posting. No, I simply received a detailed offer letter in the mail from my current supervisor, outlining the duties and salary for the position. I went out of my way to call the phone number and visit the location of the building to make sure that it was legitimate. But they were pretty quick to prove it was.

Although, I have to add they were purposefully vague on some parts here and there, and the reason as to why will become more clear later on. A few members of higher-up administration handed me what amounted to a stack of paperwork and contractual documents, which I was required to read through and sign if I desired to obtain the position. Most of it was your typical liability and benefits things, with a bit of NDA stuff thrown in there as well. But it was never really clear on what it is I wasn’t supposed to discuss publicly, just the general operations of my position were to be kept on the DL.

As I stated before, it is my job to keep a close eye on CCTV feeds and cycle through security cameras that are set up throughout the building I work in. What I failed to mention earlier, however, is what I’m supposed to do when I notice something that isn’t quite right.

You see, I’m not a security guard, nor am I supposed even leave the office that I’m barricaded inside of whenever I’m on duty. Not until my shift is over, and not a minute sooner. Instead, I am supposed to take detailed notes and documentation of what I’m seeing, and how it is affecting the surrounding environment of whatever is within the frame of the camera.

There’s the usual stuff of trespassers, and animals finding their way onto the property. But there are also things that you wouldn’t usually see in your average day-to-day.

I’ll start with an experience from my dozenth or so shift. I had come in like any other occasion, hung up my coat, prepared my documentation book, as well as getting myself clocked in, locked up, and barricaded inside the office.


The area in which I conducted my work was a large, metallic desk against a wall that had seven different monitors mounted on it. Each one displays a feed from one of the seven cameras set up throughout the building. I will be somewhat vague in my descriptions of the layout of the building for my own safety.

Camera one watched the entrance to the building, or as I called it… The Lobby. Which was a 30×30 room that mainly consisted of the reception desk, an array of couches and chairs, as well as an unlit fireplace whose usage was reserved for the winter months.

Camera two was focused on the inside of the building’s elevator, which was what you’d expect.

Camera three was set up at the beginning of the main hallway, with three doors along it, two on the right wall, and one on the left. The one on the left being a bathroom, while the two doors on the right led into an administrative and entry-level office. Both are separated by a simple wall between them.

Cameras four and five sat in the corner of these offices, while cameras six and seven watched the exterior of the building. Six was in the front, while seven was focused on the back.

The first couple hours of the night were rather uneventful, and mainly consisted of me listening to music while doodling in a notebook I had brought to work with me. The previous nights leading up had been pretty much the same.

And it seemed like it was gonna stay that way, until I noticed something strange on camera four. Which was the camera that had watched the administrative office. At first glance, especially to someone who wasn’t familiar with the details of the room, (I had trained for days on end and was tested on my memory of the details of the layout and furniture arrangement of each room).

It wouldn’t be anything noticeable, but to me. It was more than clear something had changed. There was a chair that was previously pushed in under a desk towards the corner of the room, but it was now pushed out and turned at a ninety-degree angle.

I know how it sounds, “how could something like that ever matter? I probably misremembered how it was positioned or my imagination is playing tricks on me.”

No, this was something that needed to be reported and nipped in the bud by the right people. So I documented what I saw, down to the second when I first noticed the change. And I kept it front and center of my notes for the night in the event it needed to be added onto.

You can believe I’m overthinking all you want, it’s honestly an understandable perspective if you’re on the outside looking in. I looked at my supervisor like he just told me aliens are hiding in the White House when he emphasized how seriously I had to take stuff like this. But as I’ve come to learn, there’s a reason for it.

I zoomed in on the chair, specifically the legs. Mainly to make sure they were still there. Which they were. Thank god. I quickly took several screenshots of the chair at different zoom levels, which I then followed up by exporting them to a new folder in the file storage on the computer.

Grabbing my documentation book, I wrote down everything I possibly could, the time, date, the position of the chair, as well as the degree it sat relative to the desk. And for the time being, that was all I was really supposed to do.

Every now and then little discrepancies like this can have a sort of ripple effect, and pile up on each other. Which is why I needed to be focused, and take things slow as I combed through the cameras. I shifted over to camera one, A.K.A the building lobby, and after a thorough look, nothing was off. Nothing that was detectable anyway.

Surprisingly, this was the location of the building that usually came up the most empty-handed when it came to any… Incidents, shall I say.

Then there was the back of the building, it was a twenty by twenty-foot yard surrounded by an eight-foot high chain link fence. With a generator against the wall next to the back door, and parallel to the generator, sat a large, green dumpster. Like what you’d typically find in most major city alleyways.

I squinted as I leaned in somewhat close to the monitor, as I noticed that the left cover on the dumpster was fully opened and swung over the back. It was supposed to be closed… It was ALWAYS supposed to be closed after 7:00PM.

I wasted no time writing down what I saw, and panned the camera around the back of the building exterior, looking for any more discrepancies. I stared hard at every little crack and crevice that was detectable on the camera. If there was one benefit of this job, besides the money and… Well, benefits. It would be that it really conditions you to be aware of details most wouldn’t notice.

But that’s a double-edged sword, because sometimes, that tendency to pay too close attention to things, can end with you seeing things you never wanted to, or should have.

From what I could tell, it appeared that what I had seen was all that I had to deal with for the time being. I finished up documenting everything that I could, and the room fell quiet as I typed and wrote away. Nothing but the sound of my keyboard and pen clicking to accompany me as I got to work.

I didn’t really notice how hushed it became in the short time span I spent putting my work together. There was always a slight humming from the air conditioning unit, and the white noise coming from the system speakers in the room. But when I really stopped and held my breath, I could just barely detect the faint sound of my own heartbeat.

I froze, keeping myself still as I concentrated on the monitors. My heart began to speed up, I could feel it. But I convinced myself to just stay calm, and keep a level head. Fear is both a blessing and a curse in humans, too much will cripple you, and too little will get you killed. But just the right amount will keep you alive and in one piece.

Several minutes passed, and the silence continued to linger. Luckily I didn’t find any other abnormalities present on the monitors. So that helped to calm my nerves just a bit. But it was a blissful feeling that unfortunately wouldn’t last much longer.

It’s actually kind of funny how much we as humans rely on noise to keep us comfortable. Despite the fact it’s a common sentiment among people to seek out peace and quiet, but too little noise can quite literally drive you insane after long periods.

But I sat there nonetheless, toughening it out in the merciless quiet. I kinda think of silence as I think of darkness. When your brain is stripped of its ability to effectively use one sense for too long, eventually… It starts to fill in the gaps. Think of shadows in the closet as the visual version of footsteps in the hallway.

Luckily for me however, the A/C humming soon returned, I assumed it was just a typical defrosting session, and I let my nerves get the best of me for nothing.

Everything had settled down over the next hour, no reports were made as no abnormalities appeared. And I survived the majority of my shift. So I was just cruising along, keeping my eyes peeled and sipping on an energy drink to avoid getting too tired.

And for a while, nothing caught my attention. I was however getting so fatigued my eyelids became heavy. I shook my energy drink, feeling that there were only a couple of ounces of liquid left inside of it.

For a short moment, I turned my attention to the right side of the room. Specifically, the corner in which a metal filing cabinet was set up. I had another energy drink waiting on top of it. With some hesitance, I got up and out of my chair and walked over in order to retrieve it. And as I reached over and grabbed ahold of it, something just below me caught my eye.

The top drawer on the cabinet was slightly ajar, and I was able to see inside of it. My curiosity peaked a bit when I saw a document laying inside. The light from the rest of the room allowed me to barely read the bold heading at the top.

“Incident Report 17-B Personnel Disappearance”

I fought the urge to snoop any further, I had a job to do. And as most would say, it would be foolish of me to lay a finger on that document. So I exhaled and stepped away from the cabinet. A slight sinking feeling in my stomach arose as I sat down in my chair and got back to work. Nothing had changed in the time I was away from the desk.

The document was stuck in the back of my mind. That wasn’t mentioning the fact I felt like an incident report pertaining to someone’s disappearance would be kept somewhere a bit more secure and secretive. Especially when that disappearance likely happened on the job.

Sure, maybe it wasn’t my place to be worrying about that kind of thing. Because if I was meant to have known about it, they would’ve told me. I looked back at the filing cabinet once more, staring at it with an intensity I didn’t even notice at first. It was a long, drawn-out length of eye contact. Eye contact that was only broken by the sound of a high-pitched, repetitive beeping coming from the monitor speakers.

I swung my chair around, and immediately laid eyes on the feed from camera two. A.K.A the interior of the building elevator. In the upper right-hand corner of the screen, were two simple words written in bold white text as the beeping continued.

“Motion Detected”

But as far as any sort of physical abnormality. There wasn’t anyone or anything inside the elevator. And none of its interior contents had changed or shifted since I had last seen it. So the only way this was possible… Is either the elevator itself was moving, or the alert itself was the abnormality.

My supervisor hadn’t mentioned anything like this happening, the equipment itself wasn’t supposed to do things like this.

Nonetheless, I quickly got to documenting not only the abnormality but also making a mental note to have a follow-up conversation with my supervisor as to why he left this pretty crucial piece of information out during the onboarding.

The beeping sound and motion-detected message eventually ended, giving me the opportunity to write down the ending timestamp. Nothing like that had ever happened on any of my shifts leading up to that night.

Speaking of which, less than half an hour remained on my shift. And I would soon be able to go home and get away from what ended up turning into a frantic night. There are harder jobs out there, jobs where your life is even more at risk.Jobs that stretch you to your physical and mental limits.

A steel mill worker, a roofer, an FBI field agent, bomb squad agent. And while they’re all dangerous to some degree, at least you can understand what the danger actually is. Murderers, explosives, molten metal. They’re tangible, you know how and why they’re threatening.


I don’t get that luxury.

I took a deep breath as I checked the rest of the feeds, and everything ended up remaining stable for the rest of my shift. When the time came and the sun would begin to rise in around twenty minutes, I packed up my all stuff and left behind my documentation for my supervisor to recover when he arrived.

I had ensured the monitoring office was properly locked and secured. But as I stood in the hall, jangling my keys while I guided them to the door. The feeling of being watched crept up on me, and I couldn’t help but turn my head left and right just to be sure I was alone in that hallway. A dimly lit, long, and eerie hallway.

From what my eyes reported back to me, I was. And it was relieving. I locked up the office, and tested the door just to make sure that it was secured, and once I knew for sure it was. I put my keys away and headed over toward the elevator.

I stopped just a few feet in front of the rectangular, metallic doors. Looking them up and down as if sizing them up. I’m not sure why I hesitated, perhaps I was just still on edge. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wouldn’t have been a good idea to enter. That if those doors opened and I stepped in, I might not step out.

So instead, I simply weighed my options, and decided that taking the stairs was the solution to my dilemma.

It was only minutes later when I made it out of the building and got into my car. I never locked my doors as fast as I did that night. It took me a few minutes to actually start driving, as prior to doing so. I kinda just slumped back in my seat, took a few deep breaths, and stared blankly out into the empty parking lot.

It wasn’t that I necessarily felt like my life was in immediate danger, but there was just this lingering sense of something being… Off. And I do mean other than the things that are already off about my situation.

But I was technically off the clock at this point, and I just wanted to leave this shift behind me until I returned the next evening to do it all again. So I started up the engine and put the car into reverse as I backed out of my parking spot and gave the building one last look for the night through my windshield.

My eyes peer up to the second floor, and I catch a glimpse of something utterly bone-chilling. In the window furthest to the left on said second floor. I lay eyes on what looks to be the shadow of a humanoid figure standing there, as still as a statue. Seemingly looking out into the parking lot. I couldn’t make out any facial features of this mysterious person. From what I had been told by my superiors, I was the only one inside the building after the regular hours of operation had concluded. So this was puzzling, and more than unsettling.

This person, most likely a man due to the somewhat muscular frame, continued to not move in the slightest, and as I backed further away from the building to pull out, I couldn’t tell if he, or it, was looking specifically at me or not.

I put my foot on the brake and stopped the car, just before reaching into my purse and pulling out my cell phone to aim it at the window. And as soon as the camera came into focus, I snapped three pictures in rapid succession.

Afterwards, I tossed my phone into the empty passenger seat next to me, put my foot on the gas, put the car in drive, and booked it out of there. Leaving it all behind me for what remained of the night.

I surprisingly got a decent amount of sleep that night, and when I returned the next day over an hour early, I first hunted down my supervisor who was in his office filing paperwork. His shirt and tie wrinkled while he also sustained bags under his eyes.

“Olivia, good to see you. What brings you in so early?” He inquires, cutting himself off and raising his arm to look at his watch. “Your shift doesn’t start for another fifty minutes.”

“I was just hoping we could discuss a couple of things if that’s okay,” I reply, taking a seat in the chair on the opposite side of his desk.

“Absolutely, and good work last night by the way. I appreciate the detail in your reports.” He said, flashing a forced smile. Not that I thought he had bad intentions behind it, but rather that he was dealing with something that clearly bothered him, but wanted to maintain a positive demeanor.

“That’s part of what I actually wanted to talk to you about.”

I then proceed to tell and ask him everything I planned on, the motion detected incident, the figure in the window as I left the previous night. Although I left out the part about the document in the filing cabinet. Figured it probably wouldn’t make me look great or help my case.

My supervisor, who I will now refer to as Larry. Kept silent and allowed me to tell him of all these things uninterrupted, which I really appreciated. He looked to be listening intently, taking a genuine interest in what I was saying.

I then reached into my pocket and pulled out my phone in order to show him the picture of the figure. I pull up my photos app and open up the picture before flipping my phone around and allowing Larry to look at the screen. An expression of confusion forms on his face, he darts his eyes between the phone screen and then me, looking as if I had just told him something absurd.

“What exactly am I supposed to be looking at here?” He questions, squinting his eyes as he leans in closer to the screen.

“It’s in the window.” I posit, but it does nothing to shift his expression. My curiosity peaks as to why he’s reacting the way he is.

I hastily turn the phone around, and let out a slight gasp at what I see.

Almost everything in the photo was just as I had taken it. The resolution, framing, positioning, all of it. But the figure in the window was missing, gone, vanished as if it were never there to begin with.


I swore to myself up and down that I had looked at the photo in detail before pulling off, I knew for a fact that I did. Something else was at play here, and it was at odds with me. I think Larry ended up sensing my stress, and so in a calm tone, he told me.

“I believe you, and yes. You are supposed to be the last one in the building when you leave. I’m gonna go ahead and make a report file for this, but before I do. Anything else you need to tell me about?”

“Yes, I want you to…” I begin, taking a deep breath before continuing.

“I want you to tell me what I’ve gotten myself into, what I’ve REALLY gotten myself into. Don’t sugarcoat it please, I’ll know if you are. And I mean this with no disrespect Larry, but I know you’re not telling me everything, and if I’m going to continue to be here. I need to know the reasons behind why I do what I do.”

There’s a multiple-second pause, Larry looks at me, and then over at the wall before cupping his hands together and exhaling. Clearly hesitant to answer. But he does nonetheless, and it was the last thing I wanted to hear.

“Olivia I can’t. You know that I can’t. I’m sorry.”

I grab my bag and begin to stand up out of my chair. The intent of what I’m about to do evident.

“Well I’m sorry to say Larry, but I’m afraid you’ll have to find someone else to fill the position.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, but before you go I need you to take this before I escort you out of the building.”

Larry leans over and grabs a stack of sticky notes before picking up a pen and clicking it twice. He focuses, writing something down on it rapidly but carefully. After he finishes, he hands it over to me with a nod that indicates he wants me to look at it right away.

I do, and I keep my lips sealed as I read what it says.

“I’ll tell you everything, can’t in here though. Too many ears.”

I look back down, nodding at him in a moment of mutual understanding.

“Okay fine,” I say somewhat loudly in order to keep up appearances. “But I’ll stay on if I can get at least a five percent raise.”

“Well I’m glad you’ve decided to stay, and I’ll do my best to make arrangements regarding that,” Larry responds at a volume similar to mine before lowering it the previous tone he had taken when we were speaking earlier on. “If you wanna relax and take a little time to get ready for your shift, I’m gonna go ahead and edit your timecard, you’re non-exempt and I wanna make sure you get paid for this time.”

“Thank you, I appreciate that,” I say with a light smile.

But just before Larry begins to focus his attention on his computer, he grabs and frantically writes something down on another sticky note before handing it to me. I look at it.

On it is a date, time, and an address.

The date being for tomorrow, the time being six PM. And the address was that of a diner. One that was just a couple miles away from the building itself.

I lower the sticky note, and put both of them into my purse, I planned to dispose of them at home and not here, not worth the risk of other staff here finding them.

But nonetheless, I was still cautious. I liked Larry and was more than happy with his willingness to help me, but I wasn’t fully sure if I could trust him. We were meeting in a public place where he planned to tell me everything, so I guess that was somewhat of a good sign?

But it appeared for now, he was the only one in this place that came close to anything resembling an ally, and I wanted to hold onto that with an open, but suspicious mind. But as far as I knew, I was soon going to find out everything I needed to know.

I’m gonna stop here for now, I’ve already said enough. Once I have deemed it safe to share more of my story with you all, I will do so. But until then, it’s been Olivia, signing off.

Credit: mrmills45

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