Estimated reading time — 10 minutes
I used to work in this pretty old building. It was originally the courthouse for the city I live in. I remember when I first started working there, people would tell me about odd goings-on, like strange noises, lights flickering or turning off completely, weird smells, etc. It seemed like everyone I worked with had some sort of “experience.” I never put much stock into that sort of thing. “Paranormal activity?” There had to be a logical explanation.
After working there for awhile, I felt like I had the building figured out. Clink-clank-clink – the heater turning on (we were in the middle of the basement of the building and all of the pipes led to the boiler room adjacent to my office), hisssssss – the ac unit in my office turning on (like I said, we were smack dab in the middle of the basement, air didn’t fluctuate too well so we had a separate ac unit for our office) clunk-clunk-clunk -the ice machine in the fridge in our “break area”, whoosh – the toilets being flushed and the water running through the pipes above me. As for the flickering lights, I’m sure it would lead to faulty wiring. The building had been condemned, twice. And the odd smells, I just blamed on the people.
I worked as a security dispatcher for a school district, and I usually ended up working the graveyard shift. We were located in the district office which was a three story building, four including the basement. We had surveillance cameras in various areas of all of the schools as well as every floor of our building, and outside. We also had a dial up alarm system. When the system was armed, any noise would set off an alarm, and I could dial up the area and listen to exactly what set the alarm off. The system also brought up the camera of whatever area was triggered.
Looking back, I think my first experience was the elevator. Our custodial crew left at 0015, so after that, there shouldn’t have been anyone inside the building. One night, I received an alarm from the lobby area of our building on the first floor. I listened to try to figure out what set the alarm off as I couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary on the camera. I didn’t hear anything either. This sort of thing happened. Sometimes the system was faulty and we received bogus alarms. I cleared the alarm and almost automatically I received an alarm from the lobby of the basement. I didn’t need to listen to see what the cause of the alarm was. The elevator doors were opening and closing. I went out to investigate, it was just down the hall from where I was. I could hear the elevator doors continuously opening and closing. I’d never had that happen, but it was an old building. As I walked up, I kind of got the creeping feeling like I was going to find something inside the elevator, but it was empty. I hit the call button and the doors stopped. I stood there for a minute looking inside the elevator, checking the doors. I’m not one for elevators so I didn’t step inside. When I stuck my head inside, I smelled a putrid smell. It filled my nostrils and seemed to burn my throat. I pulled back and gagged and then the elevator doors seemed to slam shut. I was slightly unnerved, but brushed it off and went back to my office. I called the elevator company and scheduled for them to come check it the next morning. The rest of the night was quiet.
I had the next two days off, and forgot about the incident. I went back to work on the graveyard shift and started my routine. It was about 0230 and all had been quiet. I received an alarm and saw that it was from the third floor of our building. I checked the camera and once again saw nothing. I dialed up the alarm and…. I heard something. It sounded at first like a fan blowing, but after listening for a little bit, it started to sound like someone whispering. I saw no one, but the cameras didn’t cover every angle of the building. I started to wonder if someone had stayed late. No one notified us, and people were aware of our protocol, but not everyone followed it. I decided it would be best to have one of our guards on call to check it out. It took him about 15 minutes to get to the building. The guard radioed and told me he had arrived. The “whispering” was still going on. I was beginning to wonder if it was a fan or some sort of machinery making the noise. I told the guard the area of the alarm and waited. As the guard moved through the building, alarms were being set off and I could see him walking via the cameras. He made it to the third floor. I watched and saw him make it to the area where the “whispering” was coming from. He stopped just under the camera. I could see the back of his head and body, but not his face. He stood there for what seemed like minutes. I dialed up the area and the “whispering” seemed louder now. I could almost make out words, but it was so fast. It sounded like the same thing was being repeated over and over. All of a sudden, the guard turned his face toward the camera. His eyes were wide and his mouth was wide open like he was screaming, but nothing was coming out. I was pretty freaked out. I didn’t understand what was happening. I radioed him and asked what was wrong, my voice was trembling. He didn’t respond, just kept staring, unblinking into the camera. I asked my coworker if they were pulling a prank, and he looked freaked out as well, and shook his head. He gasped and I looked back at the screen. He was gone, walking back the way he came. I watched as he made his way through the building and down the stairs towards my office. Then he was at the door. We kept the door locked, but there was a little glass window cut out. I saw him look inside. My heart was beating fast. Then, as if nothing happened, he said, “Hey guys! What’s going on? Let me in!” He had a playful look on his face. I went up to the door and smelled a hint of that awful smell again. Without opening it I asked, “What just happened up there? What the hell were you doing?” He looked at me confused. “What do you mean? I checked the area and there was nothing. I came down to give you my report.” I was furious! I yelled, “Were you messing with us right now? Why would you do that? That was horrible!” He really looked confused then. “I don’t understand what you’re talking about. I went and checked the area and found nothing and now I’m here trying to give you my report.” I cracked the door open and the smell was stronger. I grabbed the paper and slammed the door. He walked away, head shaking. I watched as he left the building. I went to complete my report, somewhat unsure what to write. The sound seemed to have stopped once the guard left the area. I decided just to say “area was found secure.” I grabbed the guards report from the table, having set it there without looking at it. When I read it, I was filled with a variety of emotion. His report read: I’m watching you as you try to watch me. I can see you, but I am unseen. I tried to reach the guard on the radio, but he did not respond. I emailed my supervisor and notified him of the situation. The rest of the night was uneventful.
The next afternoon I received a phone call from my supervisor. He said he had tried repeatedly to reach the guard from the night before, but had been unable to. He wasn’t very happy about the incident either and wanted to know what happened. He said he would let me know as soon as he talked to him. I went into work that night, but I felt a bit off. Walking through the stairwell and down the hall to my office, I felt as though I was being watched. And not by the cameras, it was….. something else. I got goosebumps all over and realized it was really cold. I walked a little faster and made it to my office, but not before smelling that rancid smell again. I slammed the door behind me. My counterpart was already there and the other crew left. Fifteen minutes later, we saw the custodial crew leave. They usually turned and waved at the camera when they left, but not that night. They kept their heads straight ahead and left the building. For a moment as they walked out the door I thought it looked like one of them had her mouth widely ajar. I thought it was weird and assumed I caught her in a yawn. I checked my email and saw that my supervisor had sent one stating that he was still unable to reach the guard and said he left a voicemail and email telling him not to come to work until he spoke to him about the situation. Another guard would be covering his shift until then. I felt a little relieved. I really didn’t want to see that guy again for awhile, if ever.
A few hours had passed, we received some alarms here and there from a few school sites. All uneventful. Then, I received an alarm from the second floor of my building. I was slightly apprehensive to check the alarm, but it was my job. The camera was blacked out. I thought it odd and made a note to have someone check it in the morning. I dialed up the alarm and bit my lip. Nothing. I kept listening for awhile. Sometimes silence could be really unnerving, but what broke the silence, even more so. I heard it clearly that time, it wasn’t whispering. It was a deep male voice saying over and over, quickly, “I’m watching you as you try to watch me, I can see you, but I am unseen.” Then there was a deep rumble that almost sounded like laughter. I was really freaked out. I didn’t think it was possible for someone to be in the building. I got on the radio and said I needed a guard asap! We only had one guard on duty and he said he was wrapping up at a school across town so it would be at least 30 minutes until he would arrive. I looked at my coworker who was biting his nails and staring at the screen with the cameras. Then I saw his eyes grow large and he went pale. I turned to look at the screen and saw why. The camera screen wasn’t black anymore, I could see the area now. It was a hallway on the second floor, but in the middle was a dark human figure. It looked like a shadow. All I could make out was a silhouette that looked to be made up of a black mist. Then suddenly through our speakers I heard in a hoarse, crackling voice, “Can you see me now?” And then there was a wailing so loud I had to cover my ears. Everything went black and silent. All I could hear was my heart beating.
After a minute, the emergency lights kicked on. The room was dimly lit and I didn’t see my coworker anywhere. The generator kicked in for the security system and it was rebooting still so I couldn’t check the cameras. I turned and looked at the door and it was wide open. My heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. I didn’t know what that thing was, but in that moment, I believed in everything. I made the decision to get the hell out of there. The job wasn’t worth it. I shakily started to make my way through the dark basement. The emergency lights helped in making the situation all the more creepy. I started to sob when I saw a human form at the end of the hall. The smell was back too and stronger than ever. I tried to cover my nose and mouth with my sweater, but it didn’t help much. I got my phone out and turned on the flashlight. “Charlie?” I called to my coworker. I felt completely uneasy that he was just standing there, his back to me. I was about 10 feet away when he turned suddenly, his eyes wide and mouth wide like he was trying to scream, just like the guard. I screamed and turned to run the other way when I saw another human form at the other end of the hall. I heard that hoarse, cracking voice again, “Can you see me?!?” I had seconds to make a decision and I decided to run back in the direction of my coworker. That was the quickest way out of the building. He stood there unmoving as I ran past, but made an awful gurgling sound. It sounded like he said, “I see.”
I felt as if I might faint, but as I saw the stairwell that would lead to the exit, and my freedom, I felt a burst of adrenaline. As I made it to the top, I felt a coldness and then I heard that voice again, “LOOK AT ME, PAMELA!” I didn’t turn around. I reached the door, ran out and slammed it shut behind me. I kept running through the parking lot until I reached my car. I was opening the door and I heard something behind me. Something grabbed my shoulder and I screamed and turned and saw it was the guard who I had called to inspect the alarm. He looked at me with concern and asked what had happened and if I needed assistance. I told him I just needed to get away from the building now. He told me I wasn’t driving anywhere and to get in his car. It was out on the street and I ran towards it and got inside. I knew I was probably in shock and shouldn’t drive and I knew the guy well enough. I couldn’t look at the building. When we were far enough away, I told him what happened. He looked at me like I was insane, I don’t think he ever had had a call-out to the building. I had him drop me off at my boyfriends apartment.
The next day, I didn’t want to go back, but I had to get my car. So my boyfriend took me over and said he would stay with me. I saw my supervisor in the parking lot. When he saw me I could tell he was furious. “Where the hell did you go? Charlie called me this morning and told me that you walked out in the middle of your shift!” “Charlie called you and told you that, huh? Well I have one thing to say, I QUIT!!” He looked shocked and opened his mouth as if to say something , but then just walked away. I got in my car and have never set foot in that building again.
About a week after I left, I heard that the guard from the night I first heard the whispers was found hanging in his apartment, eyes and mouth wide open. A few days later there was a report about a string of suicides of employees from that building. The two custodians and Charlie were all found to have committed suicide, and all found with eyes wide and mouths agape. I did some digging around online and found these were not isolated occurrences. Even as far back as 1922, when the building was a courthouse, there were reports of multiple employee suicides. I have no idea what happened those nights or what is in that building, but I am a believer. It’s been a few years since then and I try to avoid that building as much as possible. But sometimes I do have to drive by, and I can’t help but look up at it, wondering what might be looking back at me.
Credit To – Scarlett’s Amorous Kiss
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