I was a Los Angeles Police Officer for over 13 years. I’ve been in more life-threatening situations in that time than maybe 90% of the US population. I’ve encountered near death scenarios a handful of times. Being a member of the well-known LAPD SWAT team also has brought a plethora of adrenaline induced insane moments. It was part of the job I signed up for and wanted, and I was proud to serve. One moment though, ended my career in law enforcement. And it had nothing to do with a “routine,” call, or anything police related. It was part of my responsibilities as an Officer, but it could possibly have happened to any civilian. I now live in a small trailer home near the Sultan Sea, about 3 and 1//2 hours East of Los Angeles. I barely scrape by, financially, but I’d rather have this piece of mind than what happened to me nearly two years ago.
March 17, 2020
The world has stopped. The streets are empty. Any other St. Patrick’s Day would be filled with endless disorderly calls, OUIL’s, and drunk 20 something’s puking in every street in Los Angeles. But tonight, at the beginning of my 1900 shift (7pm, for non-military time speaking people,) it is like the zombie apocalypse started. The county of 10 million people has seemingly disappeared. I can’t even find a homeless person in the street. I’ve looked too, we have care packs to give out filled with hygiene products, dry food, and clothes to give out. I’ve never NOT been able to give these out before. Obviously, everything is closed, and there is no real 28 days later type of thing going on. Believe me, I’m not complaining, but it’s still unsettling.
The radio sparks up, actually making me jump for the first time ever. Usually the radio never stops, and we are all used to the constant chatter. This is my account of what happened next, and what ended my career in the LAPD.
Radio SC-1, welfare check requested for 1630 Richmond. Neighbors report screaming coming from next door. Attempt to contact without success.
1805 radio, I’ll be responding, put it in my stack.
I wasn’t far away thankfully. I had been mindlessly driving up and down my district for what seemed like forever without a call. Like I said, it was rare not to get bombarded without calls on a daily basis. On a major drinking holiday at that. After dispatch woke my ass up, I was for the first time excited to take this one. Just two right turns, and I was there.
Stepping out of my car, I was truck by how dark the night was. I don’t know why; LA is usually bright even at night with the lights and smog. I could still make out the shadows of the mighty palm trees littering the sky. One of the reasons I moved out here. I cautiously made my way to the residence, which I did on every call. There’s no “routine,” calls. Especially in South Central.
1805 radio show me at the stop. Code 6 for open door, requesting additional unit for entry.
1805 requesting additional unit for open door. Unit identify.
1805 identify, copy direct. I’ll be at the southwest corner of Richmond and Kelly.
1809 copy that.
After my partner arrived, we approached the residence. The home was devoid of all light. I’ve never seen a home this dark before. I know it was late, but it was still strange. I made the front door, announcing myself as a Police Officer. Approaching a door is always dicey. But approaching an open door brings with it an entire new set of issues. I looked toward my partner, A guy I didn’t know all that well, but knew he was a good cop. We nodded and made our way inside.
“LAPD, if there’s anyone in there, identify yourself,” Silence. We moved closer into the front hallway, toward what looked like a living room to our right and a bathroom and maybe a bedroom further down the hall. “LAPD, we’re looking for..” I forget who the homeowner was. I had to quickly look at my hand, where I wrote the info down.
Mary Smith. Husband- Scott said not home 3 days. Screaming heard.
Anyone that is a cop or married to a cop is used to them coming home with novels scribbled all over their less dominant hand. Just the easiest way to do it I guess we’ve all found.
“Mary? Scott? Listen to the sound of my voice, we’re from the Los Angeles Police. Please come out if you are here. We’re here to help you.
I start moving through every room in the house, using my department issued In-Force flashlight attached to my G-19. I’d rather be ready than have to get ready. Going through dark room after dark room starts to make me more nervous than usual. I’m not an architect but it didn’t seem from the approach on the outside that this house had this many rooms. Two bedrooms at best, maybe one bath and one half bath. This area of LA is so compact that there isn’t room for much else.
SHIT. One step, crashing down to the floor below, my vision blurs and my focus changes to a lit up open space. Panting, getting up off my knees, I make sure I am ok and get to my feet.
1805 radio, looks like there is a trap door in the back of the house. Advise to watch footing.
“What the hell is this?” It’s like an underground bunker. But also like.. an office? I’m walking on what feels like soggy yellow carpet, and the walls have an odd 1970 yellow tint. Before there was nothing but silence. Now I can hear the distinctive hum of fluorescent light overhead. Gun drawn, I’m still clearing every corner, slowly making my way around every half wall and barrier.
1805, anyone copy? Fuck. 1805, does ANYONE read.
Now I’ve found myself in an even bigger room. It’s empty. Moving to my right I’m in another hallway. A long hallway. I start running. Panic setting in, but I won’t let that enter my brain just yet. I’ll use it to move my body, but I must keep my mind sane right now. I don’t know what this is, but there has to be a way out.
POLICE DEPARTMENT, ANYONE IN HERE?
After moving from room to room and room to room and room to room, I see one with a piece of cardboard on the ground. Next to it are two.. garbage bags? I’m not going to see what’s inside. But I’m relieved to see some signs of life at least. Moving closer to the cardboard, I see there’s some kind of blanket on top. Ok..
Turning around now, there’s something shining in the distance. Not to far way. Picking up the pace towards the light, which I hoped was someone shining me for help, I see it’s just the glistening of a damp wall. What the.. this place is leaking. Why is it so freaking damp down here?
After I left the trash room, I could see another object not far from me. The closer I got it looked like a .. recliner chair? As I was only a few feet from it, I see I’m looking through a window. First window in this place. Ok.. I tried to go around the wall to find the room, but you guessed it. No success.
(Low roaring) “What the, hello?” Moving quickly to my left and right, still with my handgun drawn, I tried to control my breathing. No amount of training prepared me for this. I heard one quiet moan, and then silence. I ran in the only direction I could. Just to get way from whatever… thing I was near.
Stopping to catch my breath, I picked my head up to see a .. half door. Like a doggy door, but for humans. The roaring got louder. I went prone and belly crawled as fast as I could down that hallway. It felt like I was John Mcclain. I wouldn’t do any yippy ki yaying tonight though, I was sure. Ahead of me, after crawling for what felt like an hour, was a red fan. Finally approaching it I saw that thankfully there was another path to the left. One that I could crouch walk in. Moving for so long, going in and out of hallways, hitting dead ends. I’m getting tired. I thought I was out, then hit a complete barrier. Pretty much giving up now, I turned around, and fell to where I began in the first yellow room.
SC-1 you’ve been here before
Radio is back, thank you lord! “Who is this?! Can you hear me?”
You’ve seen this all before. You’ve seen this all before. (now more distorted) You’ve seen this before. You have to keep going
Who is this, damnit?! Where am I, who are you, what is this?
SC-1 no one will find you in here (nobody) you have to keep going (you have to keep going)
Like a madman I just started sprinting. I was done with this, I didn’t care what happened next, I just wanted to get out of here. I ran through every room in this god forsaken place. I fell into a big open room. Looking up, I saw approximately 24 people staring at me from behind a wall. I immediately drew my side arm again, aiming it at , well, all of them I guess. Sweeping back and forth. Getting my head straight again I realized they were targets like at a gun range. I slowly made my way towards them. They were paper, but.. sitting? I can’t make sense of it and I’m done trying to make sense of this demon world.
When I turned around I was in a level that looked like the old doom game. Crude, red, and bi-level. I kept walking. I walked to the arena. I was the main attraction. I was surrounded by thousands of emotionless, faceless, computer-generated spectators. They didn’t move, they didn’t make a move. I steadfastly made my way trough the arena, towards an opening ahead of me.
You have to keep going. You have to keep going. You have to keep going. You have to keep going
Yea I heard you, asshole. At this point im just trying to stay strong so my brain doesn’t melt in seeing the unspeakable horror around me. More of the yellow wallpaper.
You like to play video games?
What? Not really?
(Distorted) Do you like to play video games? Somehow, mine found you But it wasn’t good enough for you. You had to change it and make it yours. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough. You made it your own. Is this what you wanted?
“Can you just.. can you just tell me how to get out of here? I don’t even know who or what you are, and I don’t think you know who I am. Please.
I hope you learned your lesson
Goodbye. (Distorted) Goodbye.
Blackness fades in and I’m back to the start again. The yellow half-walls and the annoying sound of the fluorescent lights. I catch my breath. I am defeated. I slowly take my last few steps around this place. I go left, I go right. It’s never ending. It’s never changing. When, behind an opening in the distance, a dark figure appears. Even from far away I can see it reaches the ceiling. It’s lean, grotesque, and makes horrifying siren-like noises from its disgusting mouth. By habit, I draw down on this horror, knowing it’s no use. It instantly charges. I don’t bother firing a round.
I run as fast as I can. I think I dropped my gun, I don’t know. I went through hallways, dipped into rooms, however I could keep going I did. I finally reached the end. I fell, hard, and that was it.
Total darkness. I see one beam of light on the ground. And another approaching me. It’s a flashlight. “Rick, where the hell have you been?” That was the last thing I remember before waking up at St. Mary’s. I had minor physical injuries, but the department thought I needed to get my head checked.
Both Mary and Scott Smith had been missing for some time now. Whereabouts both remain unknown. The screaming has never been accounted for. Nothing has been accounted for. During the full investigation after our incident, an extensive search was done of the house on Richmond St, in the daytime, and the hidden door was never found.
I don’t know what writing this down is going to do. I’ve put this all over reddit. I can’t conclude this with any kind of meaningful message. Or any kind of cautionary tale. Not like I lived through a weird camping incident, or a paranormal experience. I can’t say “don’t camp in the woods of whatever place, or if you hear whistling in the rockies, turn around, or some dumb shit.” I wish it was as easy as “if you find yourself in the backrooms.. don’t.” I guess it’s only beneficial to me to write this, to write it down in black and white to make it real. I hope and pray no one else goes through this. I am fortunate to survive. Please be safe my friends. Please.. survive…
Credit: Blake Blizzard
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