Chapter 5:

Working the Graveyard Shift


Whenever friends come over asking for a scary story, I don't hold back when it comes to telling them of an old job, which was working security at a local halfway house.

For context, the halfway house is essentially a facility where inmates reside after coming from community prisons. Many inmates sign into the program with hopes of securing a stable job as well as gaining good conduct points in order to blend in with society. 

More often than not, uneventful days go by along with the occasional drama, whether someone was caught looking at inappropriate things during a cell phone search, or someone had the balls to smuggle narcotics. 

It started out as a regular evening shift but after three more individuals quit, my boss had to reschedule me for the graveyard shifts. 

I'll lead you in with an intriguing backstory regarding graveyard shifts there.

Because the inmates are asleep, those who are on duty often admitted that it gets pretty hard to stay awake. 

Without things to do other than checking the monitors and doing some paperwork, my co-workers mentioned that sometimes they'd hear noises coming from the back of the office.

They've also stated that sometimes, they would see a figure standing on the second floor of the facility, only to realize that it was likely an inmate who wandered out of their unit when they weren't supposed to. 

When I started working the graveyard shift, I began to understand what they meant. Typically, there are only two people working the graveyard shift, so whenever my co-worker and I sat in front of the monitors, we'd entertain ourselves to watch the cameras to see if we caught anything interesting and deemed the phenomenon "horror".

It practically became a ritual for all of us to expect something during the hours of 2-3 AM, as these "paranormal" activities occur more frequently.

One night, the other security guard on duty with me stated that it was time to do a headcount, so I told him that I will remain at the office while he heads off into each unit to scan every inmate's ID card.

After all, sitting in the office was less work, and I wasn't too worried about the noises other co-workers claim they'd hear in the office at night. 

If anything, watching the cameras during headcount was even more fun because I'd be able to see where my co-worker is heading. The cameras faced many directions. 

However, for the sake of this incident, the ones facing the entrance of the office and the second floor probably brought footage that still brings chills down my spine to this day. 

I watched patiently as my gaze followed the trail of my co-worker.

He entered one of the rooms, disappearing from view. As usual, I expected him to come out after a few minutes.

Eventually, he did. He continued down the hallway, passing the recreation room and into the second unit. 

It was when I glanced away to grab some paperwork then back at the monitors, did I realize something was very off.

My co-worker was nowhere to be seen, but that was with the assumption that he was inside the second unit. 

However, there was a strange woman standing in front of Unit 2's door. 

Her back faced the camera, so I couldn't tell if she was one of our female inmates. 

I immediately tried to use the walkie-talkie to contact my co-worker, but static was all I heard.

I turned around to grab a second walkie, but it proved futile when I heard my co-worker's voice chimed in from the first one. Shrugging off the disconnection earlier, I informed him that he needed to inform the female individual to head back to her unit. 

Except as I informed him, I noticed she was gone according to the cameras.

At the same time, my co-worker confirmed that he didn't see anyone around him or in the hallway.

Figuring the lady went back to her unit, I decided to step out of the monitor area.

I was accompanied by cold air tickling my skin when the door slid open. I stuck my head out and glanced around, including the area where the female units were. However, nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary.

Suddenly, I heard one of the office's cabinets slamming shut.

It squeaked so loudly I jokingly but nervously convinced myself some ghost was trying to desperately get my attention. 

Deciding to challenge this "ghost" and perhaps prove to myself I remained skeptical of the paranormal, I slowly sauntered into the darkness of the room at the back of the office. 

I waited for a few minutes.

And I heard nothing.

However, the hairs at the back of my neck stood up the entire time, and I had a sense that I was being watched. 





But as expected, after turning around there wasn't anyone in the office and monitor area but me.

At this point, I went back to take my seat. My co-worker entered the office shortly after, informing me that everything went well and all the inmates were seemingly asleep. 

That confused me because I'd sworn I saw a lady standing in front of the second unit. But my co-worker insisted that he didn't see anyone, and started to nervously chuckle assuming I was pulling a prank.

Frustrated, I decided to rewind the security footage. I went straight to the moment my co-worker left Unit 1 to approach Unit 2.

Needless to say, the bewildered but horrified look on his face had me panicking when he watched himself walk right past the lady in the hallway, before entering Unit 2.

He kept swearing that he didn't see her, but my statements and the footage begged to differ.

However, it was the footage that came after that sent us frozen in our spots.

When my co-worker was busy scanning IDs in the remaining units, a camera facing the entrance of the office revealed the same lady standing in front of the sliding door that I would open a few seconds after. 

I thought this was strange because, at that time, I had sat in front of the monitors and saw nothing.

But now, the footage showcased that same lady with long black hair in contrast with her white evening gown. 

A few moments later, we watched me take a glance out of the office after sliding the door open, to which I had been facing this mysterious woman.

It was at this moment, while we witnessed what happened next, did I realize it explained why I got a sudden chill within my body when there was absolutely no way this woman could've entered the office because I was blocking the pathway. 

And when it hit me that the sound of the cabinet slamming shut was likely due to her, did I immediately dragged my co-worker and booked out of the office.




I suppose after this incident, both of us quit our jobs the very next day. 

Interestingly, other co-workers continued to share paranormal stories during the graveyard shift, but never to the extent both he and I experienced.

But the most shocking thing is that none of the inmates even experience the most trivial paranormal encounters.

Maybe this woman was a previous inmate.

What do you think?