These Spine-Chilling Stories From People Who Work The Graveyard Shift Will Make You Never Want To Work The Late Hours Again

The night has the duality of being one of the most beautiful and scariest things we get to experience every single day. So, I can only imagine that people who have to work and be out during the late-night witching hours have experienced just how creepy it can really be.

Full Moon and landscape scenery silhouettes
M-gucci / Getty Images

I asked the overnight shift workers of the BuzzFeed Community to tell me, "What's the creepiest thing you've witnessed during your overnight shift?" And, oh, tell me (and creep me out) they did:

1."I used to work in a care home for the elderly and took a couple of extra night shifts to pay for a trip abroad. Anyway, I was doing paperwork in the lounge at about 2 a.m., and all the residents were in bed. I saw a lady in the bottom corridor and recognized her as 'Jane.'"

Elderly Woman in Assisted Care Home

2."I'm a night nurse in an ICU. Everything is creepy. From the many alarms to the various gross liquids we spill all over the floor to the patients that die right in front of us. Still, the creepiest thing I can recall is the night I looked down the hallway and saw a 1-year-old child cross in front of our entrance door, all by herself — not an adult in sight."

"I rushed down the hall to inform any adult I could find that children weren't allowed in the ICU (too many infections that can run rampant through an undeveloped child's immune system), but when I came to the front door and looked around, the child had disappeared, and no adults were in sight either. It was as if the ICU spawned the child and then took her back. I'll never forget one of my nurse colleagues who saw the child, too, and exclaimed, 'That's a fuckin' baby in here.'"


3."It's not constant overnight shifts, but sometimes I have to be at the office overnight during crunch times for big deadlines. The office is not big, and you can see almost the whole thing when you're sitting at the table in the back room. There is only one way in and out of the place, and since we're in the basement, the windows are too small for anything bigger than a raccoon to get through. It has its own quirks, since it was built by a fraternal order in the 1920s and has some unique plumbing."

Photo of a man sitting at a desktop computer and working during a late-night shift

4."I worked nights at a VA hospital. I cleaned the director's suite every night, which was the higher-ups area, and I was the only one with the key. I had to unlock it to go in and lock it behind me every single time I needed to enter or exit, even for breaks or to get something from the janitor's closet."

"There were more than a couple of nights when I would be mopping the long hallway by myself and would hear my name called or very heavy doors closing on their own. I would even hear whispers. It didn't bother me much, as I knew all the deaths that happened in the hospital. After a while, I just got used to it."


5."I worked nights in a datacenter, and sometimes I was the only person in this warehouse-sized building. All the lights were motion sensors to save on energy, and I hated how each room would light up when I walked past. I was convinced that one day the lights would flash on and I’d see something...bad."

Silhouetted businesswoman walking down a dark corridor to doorway

6."I worked evenings cleaning the cancer center at a local hospital. Me and another coworker were cleaning it one evening and were completely alone. We had been there for hours and hadn't seen a single person in any of the offices, exam rooms, or waiting rooms. I cannot stress this enough: We were ALONE."

"You can always hear when the doors open because they are locked and can only be unlocked with an employee badge. You can hear the door beep, and then the latch clicks to unlock. There are no other entrances. We both heard someone shout 'HEY!' at us. We both looked around but didn't see anyone. We called out, asking this 'person' what they needed, and there was no response. We searched the entire center, and there was no one. We noped out of there so fast. Our boss didn't even question us."


7."I worked a 24-hour shift the night Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans in a homeless shelter located behind Charity Hospital, which has been abandoned since Katrina. I worked nights often, and the building is pretty creepy, and the neighborhood is pretty unsafe. At around 5 a.m., after the storm passed, power was out all over the city. All you could hear was the whirring of our generator and the sounds of thousands of frogs (in downtown New Orleans, which is weird enough on its own)."

Windows on in a dark hospital

8."I work nights as a warehouse manager for a large supermarket chain, and we receive produce from all over the world. So, of course, occasionally we’d find 'hitchhikers,' little creepy crawlies that would make their way into the boxes. Since everything is kept cold, usually they’re either dead or very close to being so. The coolest little guy I ever found was a black scorpion! I’d say he was a good three to four inches long."

"We’re in Massachusetts, so this was a big deal! He was barely clinging to life, so I grabbed the plastic container that I had my soup in, scooped him up, and floated him in a sink full of warm water, hoping to revive him. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it. Too bad, I would’ve taken him home, and he could’ve lived out his days in a nice, warm cage, getting fat on crickets. Oh well."


9."I did a few overnights at the dog kennel I worked at in college. Pretty chill, and you could just do homework and pet dogs all night. Then one night I heard someone talking in the back. I thought it was the manager, or maybe someone had left something and came back to get it (you needed a key to get in). I checked the security cameras, and not a soul was in the entire facility besides me. I went in the back to check it out, and as I was walking through one of the rows of kennels, a fire extinguisher hanging from the wall just came crashing down on its own. It scared the shit out of me and was my last overnight shift."

Fire extinguisher hanging on wall
Kckate16 / Getty Images

10."Back in the day, I did a short stint as a security guard at a shopping center. I'm doing the night shift, and an alarm goes off at around 1 a.m. in the electrical store, meaning we have to call out the manager. This happens again the next time I'm on nights...and the next. It turns out the manager had a thing for me and would rig the alarm to go off, so I had to call him out. I'd already told him I wasn't interested, but the boy wouldn't take no for an answer. It made my skin crawl."


11."Veterinarian here: I definitely saw the spirit of a dog while on ICU night shift in veterinary school. We were between treatments at about 2 a.m., and I was at our desk, which was U-shaped and in the center of the ICU. While staring out the door to the main hallway of our hospital, I saw a white Labrador Retriever walk down the hall. I vividly remember that it was wagging its tail."

Closeup of a dog

12."When I was in my 20s, I worked retail, as people in their 20s frequently do. I pulled a lot of closing shifts alone. The creepiest thing I ever saw? That would be the man who waited outside for me every night for about two weeks. He'd frequently 'visit' me during the day to 'chat,' and he'd ask what time I got off work. But it didn't matter whether I answered or not because our hours were posted, and all he had to do was wait. I'd see him through the shop window, standing across the street and just staring."

"One night I avoided him by slipping out the back, and the next day he came and told me all about how hurt he'd been. I had to first get my coworker, then my dad, and finally the cops to walk me safely to my car after dark to get the guy to finally back off. I spotted him in the area a couple of times over the next year or so, but I don't think he was there for any reason involving me anymore. Mostly, I just hope he hasn't ended up hurting anyone else."


13."I'm a practical nurse and work overnights in a skilled nursing facility, i.e., a nursing home. There are two types of call bells: those where the patient pushes the button to ring and the emergency ones that are activated by pulling a string. One night, an emergency bell started sounding, and the panel said it was the beauty parlor — the dark, locked beauty parlor that absolutely no one was in at 2 a.m."

Nurse working on the computer

And finally, here's a long one that's well worth it because full-body apparitions are truly the pinnacle of creepy encounters, and this person experienced one in a wild, wild, wild way:

14."I’m an operating room RN, and I work nights. We are a trauma hospital, so there is always a team on standby for any emergencies. Usually, after cleaning and setting up the rooms for the following day, we each find a corner to doze off in, usually away from the cameras but close enough to hear any announcements of any incoming emergencies. There are cameras in every room and hallway in the OR, and they can all be monitored from the front desk where the charge nurse sits."

security camera view of patients in a hospital hallways

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

Have any creepy overnight shift experiences you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments!