If You’ve Ever Worked A Graveyard Shift, You Know Just How Creepy It Can Get

image - Flickr / Alex Eylar
image – Flickr / Alex Eylar

Found on r/AskReddit.

1. They claimed to be Jesus

I work the graveyard shift at an in patient mental health facility, we specialize in mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation. Because some of our patients are in danger of hurting themselves or others, it’s my job to check their disposition every 15 minutes. I open the door, shine my light on the beds, and make sure they’re still breathing.

Well it was the weekend and we just got two patients suffering from a schizoaffective disorder in, and we had to put them into the same room. I thought it was marginally interesting because they both claimed to be Jesus, and I was curious to see how it would play out.

So i’m doing my rounds at about 3 in the morning and I open the door to see one of the patients crouched on the ground. He’s down “gorilla style” squatting with his knuckles on the floor. He doesn’t respond to me shining my light on him so I say “Hey buddy you okay?”

He continues to stare unblinkingly at me, not making any movements. This isn’t uncommon, but it was pretty fucking creepy. I decide to move in and see if I can redirect him back to his bed. As I step in to the room, his roommate, who had been hiding behind the door, jumps on my back and starts to choke me out from behind.

Panicking, I use his momentum and give him a little hip toss so he goes rolling off my back and onto the floor. I call for backup, and then the attacker scuttles across the floor to his friend and crouches next to him in the same stance, and I realize I don’t get paid enough for this shit.

Turns out they conspired together and decided I was the anti-christ, and needed to be eliminated. It wasn’t the attack that bothered me, It was how coordinated it all was. They may be crazy, but there’s something I don’t understand that’s going on in there, which is the scary part to me.

2. Evil prank backfired

I work the nightshift at a restaurant in my town. We recently started staying open 24/7 and my coworker isn’t the brightest fish in the sea. So to scare him I made up this story about some creepy haunting. I said there were 3 signs that the haunting was happening. Later in the night ironically these signs started happening and even I started to get scared. So in short this bus runs past our restaurant and this guy gets off with a spatula as a hand. And asks for a job. I thought it was going to be the hash slinging slasher.

3. Might’ve seen a ghost

Working the night shift once at a power plant during the winter I’m pretty sure we saw a ghost. It was brutally cold and had snowed about a foot so we had called in some extra hands to help with the freezing. Around 2:30 am the 5 of us went into the break room through the front door to get some coffee and warm up. There’s this old man sitting in the break room having a cup of coffee, but never said a word. Just a small raise of his cup and walked out the back door which went into the plant. We all stood there wondering who the hell that was, opened the back door and there were no foot prints in the snow or anything just smooth untouched snow. Still creeps all of us out to this day and that was almost 4 years ago we still mention it every winter.

4. What just happened

I used to work at a bakery that had it’s walk in fridge and freezer outside. One morning at three a.m I get in, turn on the lights and ovens, and head outside to the refrigerator. As I’m walking up I notice the padlock is off of it. Which means the closers forgot to put it on. It’s happened before, so I just go on and reach for the handle. But as I did, a gloved hand came out from inside. I jumped back and out came a guy of about 20-25 years, holding an enormous wheel of asiago cheese. We locked eyes and he handed me the cheese, bowed, and said that he had been caught. Then he disappeared into the darkness. I ran inside and locked the door. But all I could think of was that if he had planned to eat all of that cheese he would have been so so sick.

5. That’s not creepy

I work as a CNA in a nursing home, and some residents are out of their minds. Well, one night a CNA from the other side of the facility came over and said that there had been an emergency call light go off in the bathroom of one of her rooms. Both residents in that room are total care, and in no possible way could they have gotten out of bed, pulled the call light cord, and gotten back in bed to be asleep and snoring in the 30 seconds it took to check on them.

Later on in the night we had an alarm go off on one of our outside doors, still the middle of the night, most residents are still sleeping and nobody is missing that could have gone out the door to set the alarm off. We chalk it up to some asshole kid pulling on the door from the outside. (The doors’ magnetic locks are designed to open if you put pressure on them for 10 seconds, it’s a required emergency precaution.) A nurse and I walk the perimeter of the building, but don’t see anything suspicious.

About 10 minutes after we get back inside I’m checking on my residents when I hear one of them talking to someone. I go in the room to check on her, and she’s just laying there looking at the side of the bed. I ask her what was going on because I heard her talking and she says “he wants to get on the bed” “he what?” I ask, “he wants to get on the bed” “who wants to get on the bed?” “the little boy” she said “he wants to get on the bed but I can’t help him up.”

I freaked… I checked the whole room, from top to bottom and every corner and possible hiding spot. Didn’t find anything, but I was on edge the rest of the shift.

6. Note to self: avoid graveyard shifts

My ex was the manager of a Circle K. Working graveyard in a bad area.

Two guys run into his store, one chasing the other. The guy doing the chasing stabs the guy to death in the back.

My ex immediately dials the police. The stabber starts running towards him with the knife raised. Ex picks up alcohol bottle in defense, but luckily police sirens scare the guy and he ended up running outside. I guess a cop car had seen the chase from outside and were already headed over to investigate.

He needed to take 3 weeks off from work (per his boss) and doesn’t work graveyards anymore because he was so traumatized by it. The guy was caught and arrested.

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7. Ah man, that’s creepy

Night shift RN here. Patients inevitably die from time to time, not a big deal. Isn’t any creepier at night due to hospitals being well lit. But one time…

Patient died, was no code, we were trying 100% O2, but she wasn’t responding and she died. She had a pacemaker, which we deactivate with a big-ass magnet when a patient expires. So she’s dead, we all pitch in to start cleaning the body, removing invasive lines, calling family/morgue/funeral home etc.

Bodies can do weird stuff right after death, like make noises if air and gas come out. Not a big deal, but what the corpse will not do is move. Except this one did. Was like a whole body convulsion. We all back up and wtf when the corpse did it again, then we look at the heart monitor and see some vfib. Turns out her pacer was also a defibrillator, which was shocking the heart now that it detected that rhythm.

It won’t deliver a shock if the heart just stops, but the pacer hadn’t been deactivated yet and kept delivering the pacing beat even though the heart muscle wasn’t responding, and that turned into v-fib.

So I got the magnet and laid it on her chest, hoping like shit that I wouldn’t get zapped in that instant. We were afraid to touch her for like another half hour.

8. Unexpected

I’ve got one, although I’m not sure if it counts but whatever. I used to work customer service in the sales department of a publishing company. The company would routinely send the whole team to book fairs, publishing conventions, that sort of thing. As the low man on the totem pole, I had to stay behind in this big empty office and man the phones. Wasn’t too bad, really. I’d play music, dress casual, take extra-long lunch breaks, that sort of thing. In fact, after a few days, I just stopped turning the lights on when I opened up the office in the mornings.

One afternoon I was sitting at my desk doing not much of anything. The lights are off and aside from the glow of my computer screen, it’s pitch black. Then I heard the front door open. Pretty weird. I poke my head over the cubicle wall but don’t see anyone. Then I hear footsteps, small, shuffling steps coming my way. Still can’t see anyone. I get up, step out into the hall and there, standing in the gloom are two girl scouts in matching uniforms, holding hands.

I let out an audible “GAH!” It was like that scene in The Shining. Two girl scouts were wandering around from business to business selling cookies. For whatever reason, they thought going into an empty, darkened office to try to make a sale was a good idea. I started locking the front doors from then on.

9. Don’t do drugs

The place I work at used to have a homeless shelter a couple blocks away, so I was used to bums. At least every other time I’d go out for a smoke, I’d get hit up for a spare cig.

On overnights is when you see the craziest of the crazies, so I was no stranger to dealing with the weird ones. I’d usually just politely blow them off and they’d go away.

One night though, there’s some guy walking across the street, sees me, and makes a fast-paced beeline for me. I really don’t think much about it, planning my excuse for not giving him a cigarette. As he gets closer though, I notice his, well, determined stride is how I could best describe it. This guy was on a mission. I’m thinking, fuck, this guy is going to try to mug me. I basically made a quick plan to deck him as soon as he got in range and run in the building.

When he gets about 10′ away, he starts yelling something about “you da one that’s been fucking Melissa?” “I will fucking kill you.” For whatever reason, that temporarily disengages my fight or flight response, and I let him close in. I explain that I haven’t known a Melissa in 10 years, and he has the wrong guy.

Then I notice when he gets close, that this dude is big. I was standing in a corner, staying out of the wind, and now he basically had be boxed in. Then I notice his eyes; I don’t think I’ve ever seen eyes that full of rage. This guy was seething. Also they were bloodshot and his pupils were dilated. Fuck. This guy is raged out on PCP or something.

I’m no stranger to the occasional fight, and generally don’t feel threatened by anyone who comes up, but thoughts start going through my head about it taking 4 police officers to handle a single guy on PCP. This dude is big enough already, there’s no way.

I manage to keep my composure (don’t let him smell my fear) and explain for 5 minutes I am not the guy he’s looking for. It’s everything I can do to stop from shaking and keep my voice from quaking. I’ve never been this scared in my life.

Eventually he storms off in a huff, and is muttering to himself about “killing that motherfucker.” I have since purchased one of these to take out to smoke with me.

10. It was dark

Night call at a wastewater plant. Power outage, not uncommon. Gotta go in and reset all the machines, make sure everything is running. Plant is locked down with razor wire gates secured, security system armed. Its 3am, snowing hard.

Automatic machinery hasn’t started in one half of the plant (other half runs on different electrical system, separate grid tie in, separate generator). Come in, aeration basins are still (not a good sign), generator is off, emergency lights are on. Main control station seems fine, I go to check on the individual control centers. If I don’t get the intake lift pumps started fast, we’re in big big trouble.

Find the culprit. Open PLC cabinet that controls generator and power distribution. Only light in this dark, windowless, concrete room is my flashlight and the slow pulsing glow of a red alarm light filtering through the doorway. Three banks of inputs have been ripped out by hand. Literally the only way to take down the power in the plant without a bomb or massive programming failure.

Got it fixed. But never did figure out what happened. Carried a pipe wrench the whole night while making sure that everything was ok. That plant at night is dark.

11. Cat blood

In high school I worked in a rural veterinary clinic as an assistant. The clinic closed at 7 pm everyday, but when the vet went on vacation someone else had to stay to watch over the overnight patients. Since I lived just down the road, during the summer that job was usually mine.

One night it was just me and a guy who went to my high school. After about an hour of making out and other tom-foolery in the breakroom, I got up to go to the bathroom. Now, the clinic used to be an old general store, and when it was converted they made rooms, but the walls didn’t reach all the way up to the top. I was in the bathroom when I felt something wet hit me over the wall. I thought the guy was just fooling around, spraying water or something. Except it was blood. I get up and immediately go to yell at him for messing with lab equipment.

He’s sitting right where I left him, watching tv. We get up to go check on the animals, and the wall between the bathroom and the kennels has blood dripping all the way down it. I’m freaking out. The guy gets a ladder and climbs up to look at the top of the wall.

A cat that had had it’s leg torn off in a tractor incident is sitting on the wall, out if view from us, spewing blood everywhere where it had gotten it’s cone off and chewed off its bandages. We have no idea how it got up the wall, especially with only 3 legs. None of the cages were open.

Unfortunately the cat died, from either trauma or blood loss, not really sure. Cleaning up all the blood was fun, as well as explaining to my boss and the owners why the cat had died.

12. We need more of an explanation here

I work graveyard at a county jail. We would get female inmates up to clean the jail before the male trustees got up. So we are taking trash to the dumpster and one of the females is carrying trash out.

She tells me she only needs me for a minute, so I walk towards her to see what the malfunction is and she tells me that she was going to “take me behind the dumpster and ride me until my nose bled.”

Second one, I was working 911 one night and got a 911 hangup call. 911 initially was unable to trace and I had to retransmit to try and find where they were at. Well it worked out just so that there was only one house down the road that the signal most likely came from. I dispatch an officer out there on a whim – I am not required in this situation. Officer responds to find a woman unconscious and her house on fire.

The 911 call came from her phone. Her phone was 6 miles away at her moms house the entire time – she forgot it. We have no explanation as to what happened.

13. He was really nice, even for a Canadian

I work at a gas station in Canada, this happened to my co worker so I don’t know the specifics but late one night my co worker was minding his own business starting to close up when all of a sudden a man runs in with only his boxers on, grabs a box of condoms, slams a twenty on the counter and runs out yelling keep the change! And this is in Canada in about February which is one of the coldest months of the year.

14. Haunted phone

From 2008 to November 2012 I worked as the full-time computer tech at a primary school (K-12 to you lot). It was well known for being hundreds of years old and very very creepy. The site manager who looked after the grounds wouldn’t be there by himself after hours unless there was a break-in or some other kind of emergency. He told me after this event that something had unsettled him in the past and that I should be careful there on my own.

During the summer months when the school was closed I was working overtime setting up hundreds of netbooks to be given to students in the forthcoming school year and on one evening of boredom at home I decided to work overnight from 9pm to 5am as I had the freedom to be a night-owl and have a hard time dragging myself out in the daylight.

My phone rang. My desk phone rang. My internal-calls-only desk phone rang.

Now I’m used to this phone ringing throughout the day when I work usual hours so my arm shot to the phone and lifted the handset with the efficiency of 3 years worth of muscle memory. In the 1 second that it took to lift the handset to my ear my brain had chance to figure out that this phone should most decidedly NOT be ringing at 2:30 in the morning, and secondly that I am the only person in the school tonight.

Silence – I could hear nothing but a ticking clock. It sounded to be some distance away from the handset and was most likely a wall clock in a classroom. I then heard something unmistakable…a passing car! This lead me to believe that this call was coming from a classroom on the second floor closest to the one road that passes by the school. A quick check of the incoming call extension revealed me to be correct “#143 – Y4CW”.

I went to check it out.

There were 5 locked doors between me and the creepy phone and after fiddling with what seemed in the dark like hundreds of keys I arrived in the shared area between the Year 4 (4th Grade, I assume) classrooms. The unmistakable tick-tocking of the clock was loud. You don’t hear a clock ticking during the day in a noisy classroom but remove the children, the teachers, the pens and the pencils and suddenly these small sounds become very very large. After a few seconds the motion activated strip lights had warmed up and were lighting the room. The light stunned me a little but even so it was obvious that the phone was off the hook and placed neatly beside the ‘dock’.

I picked up the handset and noticed that the battery was super low. I assumed it had been left on the work surface since before end of term and was now acting strangely due to the low power available (I have seen electronics do this before). I place the phone in its charging dock to which it gives me a very happy beep. I decide to return to my office.

Now familiar with the keys and the darkness of the corridors it only took me about 5 minutes to return to my office, almost as soon as I sat down my phone rang again with the same extension number and seemingly no caller at the other end. I placed my phone on loudspeaker and sat listening to the tick-tocking and fired up the CCTV viewing software on my laptop. Usually this would be a bad idea as we did not have Infrared night vision cameras, but because I had visited the particular phone I had activated the motion lighting which has a 15 minute timer before switching itself off – so I knew I would be able to see the phone, or at least the general area.

The phone was on the side, bathed in light. It had somehow left its dock and had dialled me…again.

I decided to look on the CCTV to see how the phone had moved during my trip back to my office but I was unable due to not having the password for classroom recordings (technically, footage of children getting changed for P.E. Lessons etc was on there, so it was locked with a password that I was not aware of)

I didn’t make a second trip to return the phone to its dock, I left it to die so that it couldn’t call me again.

15. Oh Canada

Used to work at a Tim Hortons, and got asked to cover a graveyard shift for another store, back when I just worked evenings.

Around 2 in the morning, a guy came into the store, ordered a sandwich meal, and I started making it. As soon as I started, someone pulled into the drive-thru. I had never worked drive-thru before this night, and I really wasn’t sure which took precedence, so I told the guys on the other end of the headset that I’d be with them in a minute. Two minutes later, I finish the guys order, and switch the headset back on. First thing I hear is “Hey man turns out I forgot my wallet… Is there anything I can get for… 26 cents?”

“Yeah, you could get a timbit” (For those of you unfamiliar with Timbits)

And then I hear what sounds like the guy talking to his passenger “WE CAN GET A TIMBIT!”

They were very excited that we still had a couple chocolate timbits. I gave them two, just for the hilarity of the situation.

16. A badass response

Not me but a friend of mine worked at a security company. Usually, he’d have to guard constructions sites or the gates at a festival. But, one day his company asked him to do a nightshift at a graveyard. As you can suggest, he wasn’t thrilled about that, but he needed the money.

His task was to walk around the graveyard with his flashlight in order to look for intruders or something like that. While he walked around this ghastly place, he found a homeless man sleeping on one of the graves.

Frightened as shit, he approached the man and woke him up. The homeless man, who seemed to be drunk, immediately stood up and screamed “Today is my birthday!” My friend asked him to leave the graveyard and led him to the gate. However, as my friend did his second round. the homeless man apparently sneaked into the graveyard again and approached my friend from behind while screaming “Today is my birthday!” My friend who literally shit himself turned around, screaming, “Motherfucker everyday is my birthday!” and hit him unconscious with his flashlight.

He called 911 and they took the homeless man to the hospital. Since then, he will not and cannot enter a graveyard.

17. The twinkies are watching you

I work as a security guard. Most of the time, I’m stationed at an abandoned bakery/warehouse. It’s always an overnight shift.

One night I was doing my first patrol on the inside of the warehouse. It’s been abandoned for 3 years, and inside it just looks like everyone disappeared. There’s still hard hats, cigarette butts in the break room, etc.

I went into the darkest part, where the yeast tanks, the ovens and the conveyor belts are. I don’t like it in there anyways, there’s no lights, no windows, and you have to walk through with a flashlight. It’s very cluttered and easy to get lost back there. I always feel something watching me back there too. I got super nervous and started whistling to myself. When I stopped whistling, I heard a shuffling noise behind me, so I turned around. Nothing there. When I turn back around, I hear what sounded like a metallic object hitting the side of one of the tanks, then my flashlight dimmed. I pulled out my phone to use the light on that, and then my phone crashed.

I got the fuck out of there. Funny thing, everything worked just fine when I came outside.

18. Room 10

I work 7 pm to 7 am at a hospital. It’s a small hospital that usually has an entire wing closed at time. And a lot of the lights are turned off at night except for some of the unit lights and the main hallways.

I was sitting in the ICU watching heart monitors one night and all of a sudden, Room 10’s monitor switched on. Now there’s nobody in Room 10 so that kinda spooked me being that the only way to activate it was to be in the room or by me at the desk. Thinking it was the janitor cleaning, I disregarded it and switched it back to standby. About an hour later, it switched on again. I knew it wasn’t the janitor because I had just walked past the room a minute earlier from getting a drink. So this time, I got up to go check it out. I walked down the dark hallway and get to Room 10.

The door was closed and I could tell the lights were off in the room. I opened the door and nobody was in the room. As I went to turn the monitor off the door closed behind me. It scared the shit out of me and I felt like someone was standing next to me. I turned the monitor off and left the room. I asked my co workers who had been there longer if they ever had anything weird happen. Most said no, but two of them said they’ve seen a ghost sitting on the bed in Room 10. I don’t believe in ghosts because I’ve never seen one but I’m definitely a little spooked by Room 10.

19. Uh, what the fuck

My best friend worked in a morgue during his undergraduate years, studying with the intent to be a doctor. He was working graveyard one night. I get a phone call with him screaming, shouting, about how he’s going to quit his job, end his career, and pursue English literature instead. After several minutes of this he finally calmed down and told me what happened – it seems that he was at his desk, studying, and suddenly the corpse across the room sat up rapidly and its head turned to him.

He ran outside into the parking lot and called me, shouting and pacing around, hyperventilating. Later he explained that this sometimes happens before the bodies are drained – their muscles contract, typically in the arms or legs…..but sometimes the abdominal muscles or neck muscles.

20. Yikes!

Used to work at a home for mentally challenged adults. Awesome place, terrible neighborhood in the shittier part of town.

Anyway, I’ve only done four night shifts in the four years I’ve been here.

On my second, I was walking out the door around 2am to go to the 7-11 while my co workers watched the house.

As I walked out, I was rushed by two police officers who pushed me inside and showed badges. They informed us of a perimeter they’ve set up in the neighborhood and that we couldn’t leave until they said so.

I look outside and see a sniper on the neighbors roof, another on the roof of the apartment complex on the other side of the house, and a ton of police cars at the end of the block.

Then a SWAT truck pulls up and they raid a house not far from us. I saw them pull out about eight people and would later find out it was a meth lab and they sold out of the house. Most of the people taken that night, from what I understand, were just users and junkies. There were two people that lived there, cooked meth, and sold it I guess, who were also arrested.

Since then, the house has been remodeled, the neighborhood is much quieter and friendlier.

There was also a prostitution ring ran out of about four apartments in the complex next door before they got busted, and there was a drive by shooting at the end of the street last summer, but those both happened during the day.

21. Was it blue?

My dad used to be a manager at Walmart working the night shift. 8p-8a, 3 days on, followed by 3 days off.

One night an associate called my dad to help them identify something found in a changing room by an attendant.

My dad said it was a decent size baggy of high quality crystal meth. Police were called. When they watched security footage, they speculated the drugs came from two females.

These girls likely were mules, and dropped it on accident, or were using the changing room as a pick up location. Either way, these girls likely got seriously hurt or killed for losing high quality meth.

22. This is good

I work security at a contemporary art museum that used to be an old mill building. This place is huge and there’s a lot of undeveloped space that has that creepy mill vibe.

Anyways, last summer I was working third shift and everything was going fine. After watching a few episodes of South Park, I decide to go explore some of the older mill buildings.

Building 6, as we’ll call it, is one of the undeveloped parts of the museum and even during the day is relatively creepy. I’ve found random things over there including a teddy bear and old linens. But other than that, it’s a really great place to go exploring.

So I start to head over to building 6 and along the way I felt like someone was following me. I wrote it off as me being paranoid and my mind making up things that weren’t there. So I pressed on.

I come upon a big sliding door that leads into building 6 and again get a weird feeling. I again write it off as me just being a little bitch. I open the door and peek my head in to look around.

Almost immediately the door slides back and catches my head. It is squeezing my head and I start struggling to get my head out, but it is pushing back on my head. Something was holding the door and it didn’t want me to get out. After a bit of fighting back against the door I feel it give and I pull my head out.

Obviously dizzy and hurting, I start to second guess my journey into building 6. But I decide that I’ve come too far to just turn around. So I continue onwards.

I throw the sliding door open as wide as I can in order to get through it unharmed. As I rush through the door, I notice that for an unoccupied building, it is relatively well lit.

I journey on into building 6 and realize that some spots are completely void of light. One of these spots is a place I call “the Ditch.” It is a dark ditch that leads into a system of tunnels that go underneath building 6. For some unknown reason I decide to investigate.

I start my journey through this dark sub-basement and have begun to freak out to the point of having a panic attack. I decide, after seeing what looked like a person, to retreat.

This is where it gets truly creepy.

I climb out of the ditch and start walking back towards the exit. I notice a long dark hallway that I didn’t notice beforehand. It is completely flooded and there is water dripping from the ceiling. This was especially strange since it hadn’t rained in weeks. I shine my flashlight down the hallway and swear I see a shadow of a huge multi-legged shadow creature. It’s then that I hear a piercing scream and snap out of the trance that I was in.

I book it back towards the sliding door only to find that it won’t open. I’m thinking I’m going to fucking die. I run around to another door that I saw on my journey and run down that tunnel to the door. This door is unlocked and I burst out the door into the field. I go back to the museum entrance and sit at the desk petrified as all fuck.

I haven’t really told this to my other coworkers because I don’t want them getting freaked out.

23. “Fuck break”

Back in my retail days I did overnights on the occasion to help out. I worked in a safe during the day, dangerous at night type of a neighborhood. We didn’t have anything too crazy, but a lot of the over-night people were/still are criminals, and they treated the store like it was prison at times. It wasn’t uncommon for fights to break out.

One night I went outside for a smoke break with a few of the other workers, we heard a what sounded like two gangs verbally having it out. It sounded like it was coming from a bit down the road the way it was echoing, turns out they were on the side of the building, once we started seeing them sift over in our direction, we all went inside immediately. When I left by morning there didn’t seem like anything happened, but I can’t really say.

It was also not uncommon to see two employees using the bathrooms for a “Fuck break”.

I’d say the stereotypical overnight shenanigans. Though I did like doing the overnights a lot more than working during the operational hours, didn’t have to deal with nasty customers and the shift went quite fast due to being extremely busy with work.

24. Donuts as your fourth meal

For a while I worked the night shift at a certain Canadian 24-hour coffee and donut shop in a particularly bad neighborhood (and I was the only person working). One night, a guy had come in, bought a coffee and sat down at a table alone. There was no one else in the restaurant, but that wasn’t unusual. He was there for about an hour, nursing the same cup of coffee, when I started to mop the floors. As I got close to him he asked, very quietly, if I could help him with something.

Me: “Sure, what can I do for you?” I step closer to his table.

Man: “I just caught my wife cheating on me. I’m going to hurt myself.” Looks up at me, looks into my eyes. “Or someone else.”

One of the most terrifying moments of my life. I told him I would get help, then called 911. Police and an ambulance came, they loaded him into the ambulance and took him away.

The other story is a little less dramatic, but was interesting.

Same coffee shop, different night. It’s about 3 am and, like I said previously, this is a pretty bad neighborhood. In walks an 8 year old boy. Alone.

I’m thinking this is a bit weird, but my first thought is that maybe his parents are in a car in the parking lot and just sent him in to buy something. He walks up to the counter and orders a dozen donuts. At this point I am pretty sure there are no cars in the parking lot other than my own. He pulls out a debit card (not exactly a common item for an 8 year old) to pay for the donuts. I decided to call the police before I ring him through so I tell him to wait for a minute and I go into the back of the store to call the police. Just as I tell the operator what’s going on I hear the doors to the store open and close – the kid has taken off. Luckily some regulars, Brinks armored car drivers who were on their way into the store, figured out what was going on and stopped the kid before he got far.

Police arrived soon afterwards. Turns out, the kid had run away from home early on the previous day and police were already looking for him all over the city. He had taken his mom’s debit card (and knew her pin), was quite far from home, and figured that donuts would be a good meal. TC mark

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