Overnight Employees Recall Creepy Stories From Working The Night Shift

I’ve worked a few late-night gigs in my day but I don’t have any creepy stories. Working overnights is already spooky without any paranormal activity. These creepy stories from overnight workers on Reddit have me convinced that paranormal activity is real. Some of them are on the longer side but they’re worth it.


“I’m a dedicated night shift nurse. Several years ago, the unit that I worked on was kinda off on its own, it was the oldest part of a 100+-year-old hospital. During some basic repairs they found some mold, and according to rumors, asbestos in the walls. So my unit got shut down for a couple of months for repairs. They kept the nurses on wherever they could, with the result being we were occasionally really, really bored thanks to acting as clerks or doing random odd jobs. A co-worker/friend at the time was really into ghost hunting, to the point of buying a decent-quality ghost hunting kit. Thanks to not exactly being needed, we had ample time to wander the spookier corners of the hospital overnight. We didn’t find a whole lot, just the occasional EMF spike or whatever that could be easily explained. After a couple of weeks, they took down the strict construction isolation stuff for our unit, and we decided to check out some of our supposedly haunted rooms. The place was beyond eerie. They had all the utilities shut off (remember, it was separate from the rest of the hospital), and it was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.

We went into one of the rooms where a lot of deaths had occurred, thanks to being close to the nurse’s station where we could put more critical patients. We set up a voice recorder, thermometer, and an EMF detector. Then we started to ask ‘any present spirits’ some questions. It was standard stuff as if they had died in the room. Within a few minutes of us asking random questions, the temperature dropped a couple of degrees. Then, the EMF monitor started going off in short little bursts. Right as I asked, ‘Are you angry you died here,’ the EMF squealed like a stuck pig and we decided to get out of there immediately. The next morning, we went to my place to play the audio recording through my computer. Everything was on it, including our questions and the EMF noises. Right as I asked my last question of the night, there was this sound that coincided with the EMF burst we heard in the room. It was this low, drawn-out moaning sound that sounded like an enhanced version of a death moan. It made that hairs on the back of my neck stand up, along with the worst case of goosebumps ever. I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff in my time as a nurse. I’m also a firm skeptic and love my peer-reviewed evidence. But I can’t quite believe that recording noise/temperature drop/EMF readings were something normal that happened in an isolated unit of the hospital with all the utilities shut off.” —KirinG


“I’m in law enforcement. My partner and I get sent to a call for an alarm activation. No big deal, but this is not one of our ‘usual’ alarms. It’s a new one we’ve never been to before. Takes us longer than normal to find the house because it’s way back off the road and no lights are on. We finally find the place, and it’s super creepy. Spiders and webs everywhere, nothing outside the house like a trash can or knickknacks. We split up, per the usual, to check the outside for open doors or windows. I go one way, and he goes the other. The house is two stories. I get this sort of garage looking thing, along with a locked shop of some sort on the first floor, nothing weird is seen or heard. My partner is still making his way around to me from where we started. I find the stairs to the second floor and head up. I wind up on a giant covered porch attached to the house. And it’s huge. Literally the size of the garage below with about four sets of wicker outdoor furniture. I’m looking around, but I don’t see anything super weird. My partner finally gets to me upstairs, and we talk about the weird layout for a minute.

During this time, I feel slightly unsettled but am unsure why. I start looking a little closer through the sliding glass doors at the front of the house. Partner tells me everything is locked up from his side, and there are even vines growing over some windows and doors. I start noticing little things in the living room: the carpet looks like it’s from 1962, no TV, no electronics in general, very 60s layout. I thought all of that was weird, but I’ve seen weirder on this job. I then ask dispatch what the alarm activation was. I get told it was an attic exit. Super weird and very specific, but alright. So we start looking around the best that we can in the living room. No attic. Then it occurs to me. What if it’s outside in this giant covered porch? I look up, sure enough, directly above me is an attic. I can even see the alarm sensor boxes on it. I look at my partner and tell him I’m not going up. He suggests we rock, paper, scissors for it. I’m an idiot and agree. I lose. So I’m going up in the attic. At this point, we’ve made jokes about how weird all of this is, I’m slightly unsettled but haven’t said anything, and I’ve literally never seen an attic outside that has alarms. Also, who leaves their house looking like the 60s? I reluctantly pull my weapon out and start climbing the ladder. I stick my head up just far enough to see there are no people and not a lot of stuff up there. And it smells really weird. It smells like old people have been living up there for twenty years. Like dead old people. Not an actual dead body, thankfully. But like the smell of old people who have died up there. I quickly come back down with nothing but the weird smell to report. I shrug it off as we go to leave.

My partner pulls up next to me, jokingly saying, ‘We’re looking at this all the wrong way. We weren’t looking for someone getting INTO the attic. We should have been looking for something getting OUT.’

We both laugh it off as a weird call and drive off. As we drive back to our hiding spot a mile or so away, me in front of him in separate cars, I see what looks like a person standing in the roadway out of the corner of my eye. It looked like a female wearing dark clothing holding a light-colored bag, though I only saw the person for a split second. I’m not 100% sure of what I saw, so I wait and see if my partner says anything about it. A few seconds after I pass whatever I saw, my partner calls out over the radio that he and I are getting out with a person in the roadway at the given intersection. I turn around with him. This all happens within probably twenty seconds. We turn around and can’t find the person. This person vanished completely. We described the person to each other and both definitely saw it and saw the same thing. No idea where this person went. It was less than half a mile from the creepy house. So we’re pretty sure that we’re both haunted now, thanks to work. We’ve had one more instance of weird, unexplained happenings at work. We attribute it to our ghost. So that’s the story of how I became haunted and ran into a ghost that I accidentally released.” —bellfarmgirl17


“I was firmly against the idea of paranormal activity prior to working in an old folks’ home. You always felt watched. Always. Even when not in view of the camera. But that was the tip of the iceberg. Several times while I was working, things would fly off the walls even though it was unprovoked. I’m talking hand sanitizer containers that flew fifteen feet from the wall it was on, cups that were stationary on the counter and all of a sudden flew across the room, and clipboards that just happened to all fall off the walls at once, even though they were across the room from each other.

Nothing is as unsettling as Bill in Room 209. Bill lived in this room while he was a tenant. While someone was visiting, they stayed in room 209 long after Bill. The visitor came downstairs, said that Bill had come into his room, and then asked who Bill was. We explained that there was no one who lived or worked there named Bill. A couple of days later, the same visitor was cleaning out records for the care center, where they worked. As they were doing so, they found that a resident named Bill had lived in room 209. When they told us this story, we all heard a knock on the window and turned to look at it. As we did so, clipboards and bulletin boards flew off the wall on the opposite wall. We’ve decided that Bill is friendly, but he likes attention. He’s cool.” —bloodykermit


“I worked the night shift at a hotel. I also had a day job and the manager was cool and said I could sleep during my shift, as long as I woke up if someone needed something. One night, I woke up and saw a guy, well, more of a silhouette of a guy. He was staring at me through the windows of the Dutch door to the courtyard. He was really tall, maybe over six feet? And he had a black trench coat and a hat. I jumped up from the couch, put down the remote I had fallen asleep within my hand, and rushed to the door to see what he needed. He was gone. And there was no sign of him anywhere in the courtyard, and there were only two long, straight paths. He couldn’t even have run that fast. So I forget about it and continue my night.

Fast-forward about three weeks later, and my coworker is telling me about an ‘evil spirit’ that lives in one of the rooms. All the employees knew there were at least four haunted rooms there, as well as the elevator. No, seriously. He started describing a tall shadowy guy. I cut him off and ask, ‘Like 6 or 7 feet? Black coat and hat?’ He turns white and stares at me. ‘You’ve seen him too?!’

I tell him what happened. And that innocent incident that night all of a sudden got super creepy.

Another time, at another job, I was getting ready to do security rounds. This was roughly around 3:15 a.m. It was dead quiet except just crickets. As I open the door to the patrol car, still whistling, I hear a whistle off in the bushes (the bushes on a 60-foot cliff). It’s the same tune. In the same type of whistling that I was doing. Same exact song. Same exact type of whistle. I immediately stop. The whistling keeps going. I get into the car and book it. I take about 20 minutes longer than I normally do to get back and am super careful, nervous, and paranoid when I get back. Never saw anyone or anything. Never heard it again.

But on that note, sometimes if I fell asleep at that security job, I’d wake up to the sound of my old boss shouting my name. He used to come in about the same time that I would hear the sound and wake up. That happened pretty regularly. The weird thing is that he had been dead for three years when my new job started.” —RaxusDoom


“I worked at a movie theater running the booths upstairs. The projectors are upstairs in a long corridor. At night, after the last showing in each theater, you shut off the lights to that theater and the small one over the projector itself. Then you cover the platters to protect from dust. It’s not so bad the first few shut-offs, because at least the lights of nearby projectors are still on for the theaters that are still running. But as you shut each one off one by one, the corridor gets darker and darker and that little viewing window into each individual theater is pitch black. That dull, steady whirring noise you’ve tuned out all night is gone and is now replaced by absolute silence, and there is hardly any light left anymore. Just the lights at the end of each corridor where you sit in between each start time. It’s spooky enough is what I’m saying. But one particular night, I’m throwing the covers over one of the platters and I casually glance up into the viewing theater window across the way. And there’s a face. It’s a little boys face and it’s sheet white.

I know what I saw. I’m sure there’s an explanation for it and there’s nothing supernatural about it, but there WAS a face there and it absolutely terrified me. It made an already unsettling environment that much more haunting the rest of the time that I worked there. Also, for the record, inside the actual theater, these windows are a solid 8-10 feet above the seatbacks in the highest row. So, if someone was playing a prank, they’d need a ladder, and even then they’d have nowhere to set it.” —BrianJacquesGhost


“My dad worked the night shift. He was also against the idea of paranormal activity, but he now agrees that there are some things that cannot truly be explained. He was a college student working towards his doctorate in Dentistry. However, due to school being super-duper expensive, he had to live in a run-down apartment in the bad side of Philly. As a result, he would occasionally wake up at night, since he had to scare off several attempted home invaders. Therefore, he was a light sleeper, and any kind of noise would instantly wake him up and make him do rounds around the apartment to make sure there were no intruders (after the second or third break-in, the gangs learned to stay away from the apartment due to his reputation of becoming Rambo to fight them off).

He and his roommate had an old (really insanely old) fridge that had a light that did not work and came with the purchase (this is important to the story). The apartment building was also built in the 1960s, but it had been converted to a sort of loft house with only one apartment room available for rent (roommate and he split it into two living quarters) with a tiny kitchen, bathroom, a basement, and a bared front door with broken glass. The kitchen was directly next to the bedroom, and the walls were paper thin.

One night, he heard someone moving around in the kitchen. Of course, he snatched up his hunting knife and investigated. The fridge door was open, and the light was somehow on. An old woman wrapped in a shawl was bent over examining the contents. My dad yelled, ‘HEY!’

She turned, and SNAP. The light went off. She vanished. And the door of the fridge suddenly slammed shut. To this day, he has no clue who she was or what she was.” —maskedghostwolf


“My friend used to work as a night custodian for an elementary school, in which the building itself was rather old, I believe that it was built in the 40s. He was the third shift guy, so he took over from the 2nd shift guy at like 9 p.m. He was basically there to mop the floors and make sure no one broke in. If he got all of his stuff done, he was pretty much free to do whatever he wanted. Often after he finished doing his work, he’d go hang out in an office because there was a small TV to watch. He said things started off innocently enough. Lights turning on in classrooms where he knew they had been off previously, cabinets and doors opening and closing on their own. He didn’t pay much attention to it at first. He was sort of on the fence as to where he believed in paranormal activities, so he just shrugged it off as coincidences. At first, he would go and check the noises out. Sometimes he’d creep around and try to catch someone in the act, in case there was a way in that he didn’t know about. After a month or so, he gave up looking and just learned to ignore it. He’d ask his boss about it and just get blown off.

Over the coming months, things progressively got worse. Doors no longer closed on their own, they slammed shut. He heard noises like children playing, sometimes screaming. He’d find trash cans turned upside down. He’d have things thrown at him, but he would be clearly alone with nowhere for someone to hide and throw things at him. He’d contemplated quitting, but he was making good money for being nearly fresh out of high school, and he needed the money for family stuff, so he stuck with it. He’d come in, rush through his duties for the night as quickly as he could, and then go and sit in the office where he’d turn the TV to where he could sit facing the door. That’s where he’d sit until the morning crew came in at 6 a.m. He didn’t want to admit that he was completely scared of being in that school by himself at night, so he tried to tough it out and made a lot of excuses to try and explain what was going on.

The last straw for him was the night he was sitting in the office watching TV and felt someone grab the chair from behind and flip him over backward. There was clearly no one in the room and no way for anyone to get into the room without him seeing them. He picked up the office phone and called his boss at home in the middle of the night, said he quit, and that he’d come back in the morning to turn his keys in. He was definitely a believer in the paranormal after that experience. He said that it wasn’t until years later that he found out from someone who’d researched the history of the school before it was torn down that there used to be a pool inside the school. A number of kids had drowned in over the early years of the school until the administration decided to finally expand the building, so they filled the pool in with concrete and expand over top of it.” —ShaddapDH


I used to work at a 24hr Subway. (I know, great start to a paranormal experience story, huh?). Well, one day I was doing the dishes, and my coworker was cleaning the toaster oven and bread oven. Out of nowhere, around 3:30 am, I heard our door chime go off. Out of habit, I say “welcome to Subway” as I turn the corner. Nobody there. Coworker gone.

I thought “Okay, maybe he hopped the counter and went for a cigarette outside” as he did from time to time. Heading back to the sink to finish the dishes, I hear the door chime again. Nobody. Checked the bathrooms. Nobody. “What…the…hell”. I ignore the dishes, and stand at the front counter, eyeing the doors. Couple of minutes later, my coworker comes through the back door where we get our deliveries

“Where’d you go?”, I asked him, turning towards the back door area.

“To take out the trash”, he replies.

Door chime. He does the same thing as me– “Welcome to Subway”, turn the corner to see nobody there but this time the door was wide open. Our doors are weighted to where they’ll close on their own if you let go of them. Door stayed open for a couple of minutes as we stared… Then suddenly slammed.

Not a windy night, and our doors wouldn’t even stay open like that on the windiest of days. Have no idea what caused this, or why it happened on that particular night, but after I got a different job I was told it never happened again.

Told my boss about the incident and we all looked at the cameras. Nobody could explain it.”—Psych_Riot


“I used to intern in a recording studio in New York City years ago, where it was technically open 24/7, meaning there was always someone there whether clients were in or not. Anyway, it was on an upper floor of a building, and due to the amount of expensive equipment inside, you could not access that floor by elevator without someone letting you up. The button for that floor was locked out, so you couldn’t press it from inside the elevator. There was a camera at the front entrance downstairs, another at the elevator entrance, and one inside the elevator, all of which could be viewed from the front desk of the studio. So when people arrived, you would buzz them in, wait until you saw them enter the elevator, and then you would have to push the button for the studio floor to bring the elevator up.

Well, one of these nights I was working the overnight shift, and it was just me and another dude doing some routine cleaning and maintenance. Suddenly, we hear the elevator start running at probably like 3:30 in the morning. The whole building is all office space, so really there is nobody in the building past 5-6 p.m. beside us, so we thought it was a bit strange. The other guy looks at the cameras and there’s nothing at all, no-one in the elevator either. So although it’s weird, we just figure someone must still be in the building and called it from a different floor. It made sense until all of a sudden we see it stop at our floor and we hear the door ding. We’re both in the lobby about fifteen feet away from the elevator and we give each other the most confused stare ever. I can’t explain how much I didn’t want those doors to open. We stare like a deer in headlights completely motionless at the doors as they open. Nobody is there, no-one pushed the button, nothing. We both keep staring completely still and silent and it becomes really, really creepy as time goes on and the doors don’t shut, as if something is standing in the doorway blocking the sensor. The doors usually close after five seconds or so, but we stared at it for a good twenty to thirty seconds or so before they closed and the elevator returned back to the lobby. We stared for a bit longer before simultaneously looking at each other and saying, ‘What the heck dude!?’

The next day, we ask a couple of the other guys about it and one of the guys said the same thing happened to him in the middle of the night when he was by himself, he said he almost pooped himself out of fear. Maybe there’s a logical explanation for it, like an elevator malfunction, but it was really freaky since the place was generally kinda creepy and night and there had been some other weird things already.” —HughJa55ole


“I don’t inherently believe in ghosts, but if I had a paranormal story it will be this one. I work in one of the major ERs in my city as an HCA, one of my many tasks is postmortem care on patients who die in our care. One night at around two in the morning, I was called to the room of an older patient who was palliative. He had passed, and the family had finished their goodbyes. So I went in to start providing care, this usually means removing any tubes, wires, and monitors from the patient, giving them a bed bath, removing any valuables from the body to give to the family, and putting them in a gown and shroud. I like to talk to my patients even if they have passed as it puts me at ease, and shows respect to them. I explain my actions and talk them through what I’m doing because even though they have passed they are still my patient. While I was proceeding with the bed bath of the patient, out of nowhere I felt like I was being watched and then I felt a hand on my shoulder. A man’s voice tell me, ‘Thank you.’

The hand remained for a moment while I stood there frozen, then all the feelings stopped and the room felt empty. There were no other nurses or staff in the area at the time, just me. I like to believe that the patient I was providing care for was thankful for my explanations and me continuing to talk to them through their care.” —barlsms


“I used to work at what was an abandoned prison. It had been sold by the government and bought by a private developer. The country that I worked for rented the prison from the developer while they were going through the planning stages. Its history dated back to the Georgian era, and it soon became a popular destination for paranormal groups to conduct ghost hunts. They would pay a fee to stay at the site, but someone from the company that I worked for needed to be present, for fire safety. This wasn’t my usual job, but we were a small team, so I was supposed to do an overnight shift with a colleague, as we had a large booking. We would start our shift at 6 p.m. and finish at around 4 a.m. I never believed in ghosts before this, but my colleague was sensitive to that sort of thing. On paper, it was simple: greet the group, show them fire exits, sync up your radios, then go to the central building for the night, where we would complete paperwork, watch films, and play games. We would do whatever we wanted to stay awake, while listening to our radio.

The night went by pretty quickly, as I got on well with my colleague and before we knew it, it was 3 a.m. The site is very spooky at night, even if you know it well, but we stayed in the main building, which was used for an office space. We said goodbye to the team as they left for the night, and we locked the main gate behind them. Now we had to do a walk of the grounds, that would allow us to see which cell lights were on. Then we would go inside, switch off the lights, and lock up the building. Bear in mind that it is pitch black outside. My colleague and I decide that we will stay together for this. We walk into the main wing and head up the different landings to turn off the cell lights. A breeze would go through the wings due to the wing doors being left open, causing the metal cell doors to slam. We were used to this from the day shifts, but it was pretty unnerving. We went through the site, turning off lights and locking up. This included the hanging room, the old padded cells, the wing where women and children would be incarcerated, and the kitchen to name a few.

At this time, it was past 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning. My colleague had her car, but she was too tired to drive, I didn’t drive and this place was too far away for a cab to take us home. We decided in advice that we would stay the night. This wasn’t that unusual. As a small team, we worked very hard and would often end up sleeping on the site. What I was aware of, but trying very hard not to think about, was that where we were sleeping is where executions were carried out, prior to the construction of a room specifically designed for that. As it wasn’t uncommon for us to sleep here, we had installed a bolt on the inside of the door. This meant during the daytime, no visitors could get in to where we slept. It also meant no one could get in while we slept, as we locked it behind us. We then went into the room where our mattresses were.

My colleague was absolutely exhausted and on heavy meds, so once she went horizontal, she was out like a light. I was exhausted, but I was struggling to adjust to my location. Then I started to hear doors slamming on the floor below us. I muttered to myself that it was just the wind, although a breeze wouldn’t shift those fire doors and shortly before we had closed and locked all the doors. This carried on for maybe fifteen minutes or so, then I heard, clear as crystal, the sound of footsteps in the corridor directly outside where we slept. I’ve never been so scared in all my life. I tried to wake my friend, but she was flat out. Then the doorknob to the room we slept in began to rattle. There was no one else in the building, we had counted them in and out, plus we locked the door to our sleep space. I was petrified at this point, so I put in my headphones, played loud music, and closed my eyes as tightly as I could. I woke up a few hours later, due to sunlight coming through a nearby skylight. It was about 7a.m. and there were no noises. I packed up my things and went to the front of the prison. Everything was calm. I ordered a cab home and slept soundly in my own bed! On my next shift, I told my boss that he couldn’t pay me enough to do another overnight shift.”—StrawberrySpine


“I worked as an overnight valet at a hotel that was converted from an abandoned late 1800s to early 1900s steel factory. To put it mildly, the place was a monument to human suffering. On Sundays, we were usually around 30% capacity, so most of the rooms were completely empty. Most Sundays, I would walk down to the lot around 2 a.m. and various curtains would be open and closed, and when I came back up several of them would have changed from where they were when I left. I can think of multiple times when we had entire hallways completely empty, but the curtains would still change while I was checking the cars. Guests would regularly complain that the people above them were stomping around, and before we would call the room above them to ask them to quiet down, we would check to make sure it was actually occupied, because there was a 50% chance it wasn’t most of the time. We would actually receive LESS noise complaints on nights where we were at-capacity. I helped some guests move to another room after the noise woke them up more than once, and when I went back to grab their last bag I heard it myself, it sounded like a grown man running. We sent someone to check the room, but it was empty.

We would also get a lot of calls from guests asking if someone had been into their room to clean despite the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door, because their belongings would have been moved. And, of course, the curtains would have been moved. Our employee room in the basement was the worst. It had motion sensitive lights that would turn themselves on. One night in particular, I was making a cup of coffee to take back upstairs, when the lights in the bathroom came on. Then the motion-sensitive sink. Then the motion-sensitive toilet. Then the lights turned back off. I didn’t go back downstairs alone for a while.

The absolute creepiest part of the hotel was one of the first buildings constructed though. They kept the original wooden floors, and they creaked like crazy when you walked on them. I stopped running errands to that building (it wasn’t part of my job, but I did it sometimes for the tips), after we received four calls from one of the rooms that was supposed to have been unoccupied. When I went to unplug the phone so we would stop getting what we were writing off as ‘a short in the phone’, I couldn’t get into the room. The door rejected my card, the manager’s card, and the override card. Just as I was getting into the elevator, I heard the electric lock open up. I went back and the card let me in. The phone wasn’t even on the hook, and after giving a quick look around, the room was empty. I quit after a few months. I don’t regret it.” —EngiQu33ring

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Nate Armbruster

Nate Armbruster is a stand-up comedian and writer based in Chicago who is likely writing a joke as you read this. Find him online at natecomedy.com.