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The Thing I Saw the Day My Friend Died

Estimated reading time — 9 minutes

This happened years ago, but it is still something that sticks with me. This all happened like a sequence. You never know if things are supposed to happen for a reason or if some unknown outside force influences it. But first, a backstory.

My friend, let’s call her Jenny, was a cheery, happy-go-lucky young woman. She rode one of those crotch rocket bikes and loved riding it. Always up for new and exciting things, she took a job as a security guard for a casino I worked at. She was always that ray of sunshine that would bring you up if you were having a bad day. Even when she was feeling down, she always made it a point to make sure you were feeling better.

After a year she was promoted to a gaming officer. She was really happy as this was an entry point to get into the upstairs offices. She would tell me often that if she got in she would try to get me in with her. I worked on the floor, paying out jackpots and getting change for gamers. Not long after her promotion, she started acting funny. Not so much that people noticed it right away, but enough that I noticed it. She would come to work tired or come late, but never said why. I noticed her attitude change as well. She was more jumpy and cautious than normal. One time during a conversation we were having on the floor she stopped and just, as I first thought, stared at me. I realized after a little bit that she wasn’t staring at me, but behind me. I turned but saw nothing. She seemed to snap out of it after a bit and brushed it off as losing her track of thought. I never questioned it at the time.


One day she came in two hours late. Her superior wasn’t too happy. He had actually sought me out on the floor to see if I could get a hold of her. When she did come in she looked worse for wear. She was unkempt, baggy red eyes, and jittery. When questioned by her superior, she put it as a late night out. When she came to the floor, she pulled me aside and asked to meet up after work. We met at Denny’s and she proceeded to tell me what was going on.

She, as she put it, was having “weird shit” happen to her. It started subtlety at first. A chill here, a noise there. Nothing she couldn’t explain away. But as time progressed, things got weirder. The chills got colder, the noises got louder and more frequent, things were never where she left them. Then it started happening at work. Her desk was always rearranged from how she left it. She thought that someone was messing with her, even voicing her concern, but nobody ever came forward. When she was walking the floor she would feel a tap on her shoulder or a tug on her shirt, with nobody around. When she would walk to her office, which was located near the uniform room in a less-trafficked area of the building, she always heard footsteps in line with hers, as if someone was walking right behind her. She was afraid to use the restrooms as well if no one was with her. It was there one day, she said, she got scared real bad. Answering the call of nature, she had just begun when, she said, there was a single, light knock on the stall door. She had announced herself in the stall when someone knocked again, this time two of them, louder than the first. She had said she was using it and was in the middle of asking us to use another when the door began to rattle, as if someone was jiggling the handle. Then it stopped. She said she was about to get up when, to her horror, the sliding lock began to slowly move, unlocking itself. Jenny said she flung the door open. No one was there. When she got out of the stall no one was in there. She was about to walk out when, turning toward the stalls, she said she saw a dark mass, humanoid looking, peeking out behind the furthest stall.

She said she has seen it often since. The day she was really late she said she was awoken from her sleep. It was night, her room was dark, and she couldn’t speak nor move. She tried too, she told me, but couldn’t. And she had a dreaded feeling like she wasn’t alone. The only thing she could move was her eyes, she recalled, and she happened to look up with them, seeing this humanoid mass looking right down at her, a faint glow where eyes would be. She said she closed her eyes and was able to scream, finally gaining control of her body. She jumped out of bed and tried to turn on the light near her bed, but it wouldn’t work. The mass then started to come toward her, blocking her bedroom door. She said she ran into the closet and shut it. The light in the closet worked. She said she was afraid of opening the door. She heard it moving around the room. She fell asleep in there, not waking till late in the morning, got quickly dressed and came in, hence her appearance. The last week of her life she stayed with me. Despite the odd occurrence at work, nothing ever happened at my place. She was peaceful. She was sleeping and eating again, and on her days off she reported nothing happening.

The day she died was one of the strangest and scariest days of my life. It started with me going in like normal. I came in at 8 and Jenny came in an hour later. Things were pretty normal and at 12 we went to lunch. During lunch, she told me she was going to go back to her place. The last week was pretty good and she hoped that whatever it was had finally left her alone. After that, we went back to our posts. About half an hour after lunch, my supervisor calls me in the office and says one of the swing shift people called out and asked if I could pull a double. If I agreed I could take the next day off or come in and get the overtime. So I agreed.

At around the same time, Jenny was asked to stay a few hours more as one of her coworkers had suddenly gotten ill in the stomach and had to go. So she agreed. After that, I got the strangest feeling like I was being watched. Couldn’t explain it. I felt someone was staring at me in empty parts of the floor. Jenny told me she started to feel like a weight was being lifted off her, but she also felt like I was in trouble somehow. She said something in the back of her head said that someone was mad at me, like they hated me. But she didn’t know who nor could she explain why it was that specific feeling. My second shift started and her extra hours started like this. Some of my coworkers reported feeling uneasy around me while Jenny’s said that she was becoming like her old self again.

When Jenny was getting ready to end her shift at 11 in the evening that night I took my final break to say goodbye, as I was getting out an hour after her. She said she felt free in what seemed like forever. She wanted to enjoy her ride home. She said she would text me when she made it. We hugged and I saw her off for what would be the last time. Needing to get back on the floor, I had the call of nature beckoning me. But I decided I could hold it. Or so I thought. As I was making my rounds, that urge came at me strong, literally forcing me to make a mad rush to the employee restroom. I ran in and got the nearest urinal. Relieved, I washed my hands and started to leave when a light, soft knock came from the direction of the stalls. There, peeking out from the farthest stall, was a black mass, humanoid looking with a soft glow where the eyes should be. I blinked and it was gone.


I stood frozen there, literally trying to rationalize if I saw something or not. I looked at the time on my phone. Twenty minutes had passed since Jenny left. I looked up and there it was again, only this time I got this really bad feeling that something was wrong and I bolted out of there. That image was burned into my memory and has been ever since. I called Jenny but it went to voicemail. I finished the rest of my shift with that dreaded feeling. After work, I went home and tried calling again. Voicemail. I left her a message to get back to me asap. That feeling stayed with me until I fell asleep.

My sister broke the news to me that morning. Her boyfriend was an EMT that responded to an accident call. He, Jenny and I as well as my sister had all gone to high school together. Being the one that took the call, he was shocked to find her off the road, about 40 feet to be exact, dead with a broken neck. She had hit the safeguard, this metal piece that curved with the road. He thought it weird that she would have landed 40 feet away seeing that the speed limit at the turn was only 20, and that later it was determined that she hit it going 10 miles an hour. No alcohol nor drugs were found in her system so they thought that she probably fell asleep and when she hit she landed neck first and slid to a halt. Though I was later told by my sister’s boyfriend that when he got there he didn’t see anything that looked like she slid. The ground, he remembered, was undisturbed.

This has haunted me for a while now. A few weeks ago I dreamed Jenny was talking to me. I couldn’t hear her and she had this blank, almost emotionless expression. She then points behind me and there it is, the thing I saw the day my friend died. I am by no means an artist or a painter. Hell, I can hardly draw. But after that dream, I had to try to depict what I saw in the restroom all those years ago. This is the closest I’ve gotten to it. One more thing I forgot to mention. When a time of death was given, it was around 11:20 pm, about the same time I saw that fucking thing.



It’s been years since I’ve been in that casino. I recently went back to my home town where it’s located and caught up with old friends who still work there. Apparently that thing is following another friend of mine like it did Jenny. My friend suffered a nervous breakdown during his shift. The girl I spoke to said he was always acting weirder than normal, culminating in his screaming and ranting about the “shadow” that won’t leave him alone. Only a close few people know about what Jenny went through and what I experienced and the girl I spoke to was one of them. She mentioned that other things have been happening. My brother, who started working security there a few years ago, mentioned something creepy he once witnessed.


The security team usually have a driver who drives around the property to make sure the parking areas and back part of the casino are safe. Behind the casino are these dumpster areas that the food and beverage and custodial teams use. Well, my brother tells me that one night he went on break. There is a patio area outside that employees use to sit outside or to smoke. There is a wall around it but on the other side is the dumpsters. He goes to the patio with one of the food and beverage girls to smoke. During this time they hear faint crying. At the same time, over his radio, he hears the truck driver calling in regarding a female he spots crying in the corner of the dumpsters. He says the driver describes her as short, long dark hair, blue sweater and jeans with no shoes on. She’s crouched in the corner, with her back to him, sobbing loudly, as he tells it. My brother, of course, being on the opposite side of the wall, can barely hear the crying. Well, he then says the driver calls it in to surveillance. There are two cameras that point in that direction, one seeing that particular corner very well. After he calls it in surveillance gets back to him asking what he’s talking about. This is how he put it:

Sur: What are you calling in again?

Dri: A female in the corner of the dumpster is crying. She is not responding to my calls.

Sur: Okay. We see you. We don’t see a girl.

Dri: What do you mean? She’s right in front of me.

Sur: No, sir. All we see is you. No one else.


Dri: Are you serious? You really don’t see the girl right here?

Sur: No, sir. If this is a joke then it’s a bad one, not to mention a waste of our time.

That’s about the time my brother says the crying stopped, followed by a shriek from the driver and him burning rubber out of there. My brother went on to say that the driver was visibly shaken and trembling. When pressed by his supervisor about what happened, he related that after surveillance said she wasn’t there, she stopped crying and stood up, her head falling back like it had no neck bones. Then she started to walk towards him, but backwards, with her head dangling side to side. He shrieked and got out of there. What was disturbing as well to my brother was that later, the driver said that when her head fell back, it had no face. I must say, some creepy shit is going on there. I wonder, though, about the way he described the girl.

I wonder if it was Jenny.

Even though she didn’t die at the casino, I wonder if that thing is keeping her trapped there.

Credit: Seth Raziel

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8 thoughts on “The Thing I Saw the Day My Friend Died”

  1. Umm, narrator sounds like he works at the same casino as me, but I’ve never seen anything creepy lol never worked graveyard either, but this definitely hit closer to home than most things I’ve read on here

  2. I like it. Modern ghost creepiness. It’s a lovely addition, especially in the “could totally happen” sense of an open-minded paranormal-believer. I also appreciate that, while written fairly well, there was no ridiculously flowery prose going on here.
    Flowery prose, imo, takes a chilling “it’s possible” piece, such as this, and converts it to “bullshrimp” pretty quickly. Thanks for saving us the drawn out details, too. The pacing was nice and I really like the image that accompanies the pasta. Though simple, it certainly adds to the illusion of a “realistic” entity.

    Because, well, c’mon. We’ve all seen SOME representation of a pissed off shadow critter, and this one kinda…appeals to me in a simple, yet captivating, way.

    All in all, 9/10, and a solid pleasant review over huurrr, bby.

  3. Choppy writing, you keep going back to mention things instead of finding ways to integrate it naturally into the story and the whole thing reads like I’m listening to ten year old speaking.

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