25 Surveillance Workers On The Creepiest Thing They’ve Ever Caught On Video

You never know what is lurking around you. These stories from Ask Reddit prove it.

Surveillance camera
Unsplash / Serge Kutuzov

1. The door to the morgue kept opening on its own

“Used to work hospital security and we had video cameras accessible in the office.

During body escorts, we kept finding the morgue door open. That was weird because it was a heavy door that could only be opened with a keycard. Pathologists were blaming security and security was blaming pathologists for leaving it open, as we were the only two groups with access. I did a body escort one day, made sure to close the door behind me and went back to work. Not even a half hour later, the office got a call bitching that the ‘last guard left the door open.’

I swore up and down I didn’t and went to check the cameras. The cameras showed me pulling the door shut, pushing on it and then wiggling the locked handle to ensure it was closed. I wasn’t even out of frame from the camera yet before we could see the door swing ALL the way open, hit the wall and then slowly swing shut until it was slightly ajar.

Still dunno what the fuck.” — LilithImmaculate

2. I caught a burglar trying to break inside my home

“About a year ago, I had cameras installed around my house, initially to catch mail thieves. One morning after noticing my back gate ajar, I reviewed the footage from the night before. I watched as a would-be burglar at 3am pry open the gate and creep towards the living room. He suddenly stopped and started backing away when he noticed I was home and awake. (I was actually just a few feet away in the living room with the blackout curtains closed) He must have spotted light peeking out at the bottom of the curtains. The motion-activated lights kicked on as he simultaneously ran out the back gate and into the woods behind our yard. I was awake transitioning to a midshift – and ironically had a table full of guns as I disassembled them for cleaning after a day at the range. It’s probably good that I didn’t see him or hear him that night – we both would have freaked out. ” — mr-mike3 

3. The bike vanished into thin air with no explanation

“I used to have an apartment pretty close to my office. The office building was kind of in a business district, but it was also kind of off on its own relative to the city’s commercial district “footprint”.

I sold the apartment and before moving into my new home, I left my bicycle chained to the building’s bike rack. It was only going to be there for a few days in that no man’s land before I was able to move into the new place.

Anyway, one day in the middle of the week, I come into the office, walk past the bike rack and notice that it’s completely empty. The building has a bunch of security cameras and one more or less is facing the bike rack since it’s adjacent to the front entryway. I sit and watch the security tape with the IT guy. We’re watching, see everyone leave the office the night before, see the bike, keep watching, then all of a sudden poof, bike gone. We slowed the tape down and it seemed like when you’re watching digital cable or satellite and the image gets garbled. Literally it was bike there, then poof gone. In the tape’s time stamp it literally happened in one second. I assume my bike got taken to the upside down.” — tjs252

4. I swore I saw an inmate outside of his designated area

“I worked in a maximum security prison for awhile. I was assigned to central control one night, which is where the camera screens were.

One of the cameras was for the classifications room. I glanced at it and there was an inmate in there. This was super odd because it was two in the morning and nobody was supposed to be in there. Everyone that had keys to that room went home at 5.

Anyways, so this inmate is just sitting in there doing nothing. I got the sergeant’s attention and told him someone was in there, and gave him the spare key to the room. He went to go check it out with a couple of other people, but by the time they got there, the room was empty. They searched for like 15 minutes but there was definitely no one in there.” — Bb21297

5. The elevator doors opened with no one hidden inside

“I used to work overnights at a hotel, and would monitor the security cameras. They would detect motion and a little indicator would blink when motion was… well, detected. Anyway, it always gave me the creeps when I’d hear the elevator ding… I’d run out to the lobby to great the guest to make sure they didn’t need something or whatever, and nobody would get off the elevator. I’d watch the tapes and see the motion indicator blinking on a floor, then see the elevator open on that floor, then see the elevator open on the ground floor and the motion indicator blink on the camera down the hall. Gave me the heeby jeebies.

Also one time I was in my office in the middle of the night and it sounded like someone banged on the door with the side of their fist. Just one single SLAM. You can see me reacting to it on the video–my head whipped to face the door where the sound came from, then immediately whipped around to stare at the camera to see who the fuck was outside my door. There was nobody there, and none of the motion sensors had picked up anything. Not fun finishing the rest of that shift.” — BurberryCustardbath

6. Someone moved the camera to face the blank wall

“I was house sitting in a huge house and set up a canary camera near my bedroom. I had an uneasy feeling someone else was in the house with me so I set up the camera just to make sure no one came near my room. In the middle of the night someone approached it from behind and turned it so it faced a blank wall. Then a few minutes later turned it back the way it was before. It tripped the canary and I got a notification on my phone. I saw it and searched the house thoroughly the next morning and never found anything. Needless to say, I slept with my door locked the rest of my time there.” — Chouston3

7. A wounded man appeared after the Pulse shooting

“I edited together the footage from the security cameras outside Pulse before, during and after the shooting. Though there were many sad and/or disturbing things to be seen, the strange one was a wounded man that appeared out of nowhere.

He waved his hands for help and he cops came over and carried him to safety. I tried numerous times to rewind to find out where he came from, but he was just there or he wasn’t. He didn’t crawl to where he had gotten, he just appeared.

He looked like he made it out okay.” — etchie 

8. I watched someone walk through the hall leading to my room

“I used to work at a place which required to be manned 24 hours a day. Reason being is that I handled sensitive documents/files and if somebody needed this information in the middle of the night I would have to fetch it for them (or confirm that I have it). Anyways, security is kind of tight. Bars on windows, multiple locked doors to get to where I am. They would give me work to do during the night, but underestimated how quickly I could get it done. So like most nights, i finished my work in like 30 to 45 minutes and pulled out my phone and played games / Netflix browse reddit (since nobody else is in the building at night).

So now it is getting to be the last third of my shift when all of the sudden I hear a door close. I look to the security camera and see someone walking down a hall towards my room. At first I thought it was just somebody that came in (ridiculously) early, so I turn around and wait for them to come in. But nobody came in, and the hairs start rising on my back. Now, this isn’t a really big building so I figure I’ll find the guy wherever he is and start checking offices and storage rooms but come up empty handed, however i do see that a fire door had shut. I go to try and rewind the camera, but the digital recording is password protected and i don’t know the password. Anyways the whole thing freaked me out, the way the person was walking down the hallway, like a determined walk right to where I was.

So, I sit with my spine tingling for the last couple hours of my shift and finally people start coming in, my replacement shows up and I tell her what I saw and at this point I figured I must have imagined the whole thing. I’m told to go home and the manager and girl who replaced me would look over the camera. After getting home I call my manager and ask what was on the camera. So they said that the video showed the fire door closing but then the video froze for about an hour, the next thing it records is me reopening the door.” — trudenter 

9. The machine broke itself apart

“I used to work security at a college dorm and I once witnessed one of the doors on a washing machine slowly open itself and proceed to tear itself clean off of the machine. Told my boss this ‘creepy story’ and showed him the video and he made me review camera footage for the rest of the night to find out who broke the machine despite the fact that he watched it break itself.” — beatsnstuffz

10. Mysterious orbs floated around the nursing home

“Used to see little crescent shaped light orbs floating around the back dock of a nursing home that I did a little security for when I was young.

First time I saw it I thought it was a reflection of a flashlight and that somebody was screwing around behind the building. I jumped up and ran to that door only to find that it was pitch dark and no movement of any kind going on.

Only explanation I was ever able to come up with is it had something to do with the electrical panel energizing when the ac units would kick on. Don’t know for sure but it made me feel a little better.

Also around that time the nurses found a cat that had been deboned, sprawled out on the sidewalk in front of the healthcare entrance. Paws and skull were the only hard bits left.” — tonytwotimes505

11. I saw the ghosts of my murdered coworkers

“I work in the office of two people who were murdered at work. My desk is actually from one of the victims. I have a CCTV surveillance monitor that sits on my desk and shows me the front door entrance so I can see whenever someone approaches. (Door stays locked for security, I am the only person in this office).

I don’t believe in ghosts but EVERY day my eyes play tricks on my and I feel like I see someone on the screen coming and going. Its in my peripheral vision. This happens probably 3 or 4 times a day, every day. I hope its not ghosts, I can’t imagine being stuck at work for all of eternity.” — lostkarma4anonymity

12. A woman vanished while walking down an average street

“There was a TV news show here in Brazil when I was younger that showed a surveillance camera roll in which a woman was walking on the street and then she suddenly disappeared, there were no time skips on the camera, she just vanished from one frame to the other. Both my father and his brother were watching it too, we couldn’t understand what happened. One week after the news show seemed to have been canceled and never saw it or heard about it again, tried to look for the woman who disappeared and found nothing on the internet.” — singular1tyk

13. I have witnessed multiple deaths

“I work for a CCTV installer, seen multiple deaths and seen a bus driver sexually abuse a child on a hidden cam, twice. Not a good time.” — BMWHead

14. Dead animals started appearing all around our town

“I don’t work in surveillance but I had a home security system at my old house, I hope that’s close enough.

About a year ago there would be a dead animal every few days in someone’s yard or on the street, nothing too gory. Eventually someone’s cat went missing. Living in a small, rural town we all figured that it was probably coyote, fisher or some kind of wild animal.

Wanting to catch the thing, my stepdad set up a camera attached house and just above the gate to our backyard. After a few days of nothing but rabbits and rodents, we caught a blurry man walking to our gate.

With our detective skills we had decided to check the front of the fence to see if the guy had messed with the lock or had done something to the fence itself. Upon inspecting the fence we found a little, bloody dead bird with a rope around its neck hanging from the handle.

We reported it to the police and nothing odd happened on our street that wasn’t drug induced.” — Junkyard_Pete

15. A man got caught speaking to a ghost on camera

“Work as a doctor in a hospital in the UK, was on a night shift that was particularly quiet and some of the nurses were sitting around telling this story:

A young doctor was running to a crash call. Our hospital is a giant L shape, with the front entrance being at the bend. A woman stopped him and asked him which way the exit was. He directed her and kept running. When he got to the patient, it was the woman who asked him for directions. She died.

Apparently it got caught on the CCTV — that that doctor stopped mid-running down the hallway, and gestured toward the exit while saying something to no one in particular.” — DrBasia

16. A glass unexplainably flew off of the shelf

“I work in a nice casino as a bar manager, and was standing next to one of my bars one night talking to the bartender. I saw a glass fly off the shelf behind him and it broke at his feet. I swore that I saw it go out before it went down, so I went to the surveillance room to double check. Sure enough, the champagne tulip was completely still, and the suddenly shot out about a foot before going down. No other glassware moved, and then I saw myself freak out on camera. Bartender is a seasoned old guy, but that one got to him.” — release_the_hound

17. We found blood in our backyard

“Not surveillance but a home security footage.

I had been living with my godparents at the time. It was around 6 PM and my godfather gets back from work and asks why there is blood near the pool in the backyard. I had been in the room right next to the pool the whole time so I had no idea what he was talking about.

We pull up the security footage and it shows a man jumping the fence in broad daylight, cutting himself with the barbed wire, and looking for ways to get into the house through the back.

I was maybe 10 feet away from him at one point and did not hear a thing. Scary to think what could’ve happened if a window was open.” — just-stoic

18. A big group of people all disappeared into thin air

“This happened a few years before I started working at my current job. The elevators in my building go down to the first and second basement. Late one night, one of our security guards spots a group of people heading into the elevator at Level 4. He thinks it’s curious because nobody is supposed to be in the building after midnight, so he keeps a close watch on all the lobby cameras to see which floor the group alights at.

The doors open at Basement Two, but nobody comes out. The second guard scurries down to the elevator doors while the first guard keeps his eye on the cameras to make sure no one has left. When the second guard gets to the basement elevator, he looks puzzled and searches around. He comes back to the guard station to confirm that it’s empty.

Putting the building on lockdown, the two guards spend the rest of the night combing the building together but they were unable to find anyone or anything. They decide to call the police, who review the footage and see the same thing. In the end, the sighting was still unexplained but my workplace decided to stop being cheap and install security cameras in the elevators too.” — planet__express

19. Strange things happened inside of the psychiatric hospital

“I worked in a government-run psychiatric hospital. More specifically, a forensic psych hospital. That means the loonie bin for people who committed (sometimes serious) crimes and are being evaluated for sanity or are in “rehab” after a successful insanity plea (they don’t just walk free with a successful insanity plea, they go to an asylum).

Although I did direct patient care, I sometimes picked up shifts to work nights and man the “control center,” which contained live feed of all the security cameras, opened locked doors, etc. For our highest-risk patients, there were cameras in every room. A couple things I saw:

  • Patients having very animated/emotional conversations with “unseen others” (thats what we were trained to call them) in the middle of the night in the dark. I don’t believe in ghosts and I know it was just schizophrenia, but it was still kinda spooky.
  • A guy who was in “full bed restraints” after assaulting another patients had flailed so violently that he flipped the bed over on himself. It was a heavy plastic bed that wasn’t bolted to the floor so we could adjust/position it. That one sucked because some of the restraints came loose and my coworkers still had to flip the bed over and re-restrain him. He got a nice shot of haloperidol/ativan after that.
  • Guy painting pictures with his own feces. We didn’t stop them – everything could be cleaned so we just let him finish and then we put on special suits for restraining him and forcibly cleaning him.
  • Guy laying down in his room on the floor, flips his legs over his head and starts peeing into his own mouth.
  • Suicide attempt via smacking their head against a concrete wall. Those suck to watch…a brutal way to try and off yourself.

I worked there about a year. Fun job, but I would never do it again.” — euripidez 

20. Someone entered the building and never left

“Last week we had to call the cops when my girlfriend’s cellphone was stolen off the porch of our apartment which is a room sectioned off on the first floor of an old mansion with a fenced in balcony/porch.

Officer asked to see surveillance tapes and the maintenance guy let us come along and watch to help with time frames and narrow down the footage.

Unfortunately we never saw the person who took her phone. Right about the time we expected to see someone grab the phone, however, we did see a man (not a resident, there are four of us and we all know each-other) who appeared to be running from something frantically and at full force enter the only door of the building and never leave even after over 24 hours of footage.” — muzau

21. I witnessed criminals robbing a bank

“I’m a personal banker now but at the time this story took place I was an administrative assistant for a banking executive. The office I worked at was our regional headquarters so there were a lot of different departments around. One such department was manned by a friend of mine who I would often take breaks with. One day, I went into the basement and towards his cubicle where he was reviewing robbery footage of a local branch. This was around Halloween and these crooks had watched way too much tv before coming up with a plan. If you know anything about bank robberies, there’s hardly ever a takeover situation. They barge into the branch wearing ‘scream’ Halloween masks and capes. A customer stood up from the chair he was sitting in and got pistol whipped by one robber while the other robber hopped the teller counter and pointed his gun at the teller. This poor teller was only on his second day and still training. He tried to open the drawer and it was locked. He didn’t have the keys. He got pistol whipped too and fell to the ground. I don’t remember exactly how much they got away with, but it wasn’t much. Something about watching all of that take place in silence and in black and white on my friends computer really creeped me out. They were caught a few hours later. They parked the get away car right in front if their apartment and were counting money with the curtains open. Idiots.” — AmazingWonder87

22. A mysterious man walked through our construction site

“I work for a security company, we install and monitor CCTV on construction sites.

One night (about 2am) our response officer gets a call from the monitoring station to say there’s a guy walking around one of the buildings under construction. They described him as tall, dressed in all black with his hood up, but couldn’t see his face because he had his back to the camera. He wasn’t stealing or vandalising, just wandering around (usually homeless looking for shelter).

So the response goes to investigate. When he gets there there’s nobody around, so he asks the station to check the camera covering the way in/out of the building to see which direction he went, but there’s nothing. He does a full patrol of the site and there’s no trace of anyone.

The only other way for this guy to get out was to shimmy down scaffolding and he could be hurt so the response officer asks the station to do a check on all of the camera footage through the night to see if there’s any sign of him leaving. Nothing.

The next day we ask the station to send over the stills from when they initially picked the intruder up. He’s not on any of them. Just footage of our response officer walking around.

We were pretty freaked out talking about it in the office and it was laughed off as the monitoring officer being sleepy and seeing things, except the cameras we use have IR beams and they only alert the monitoring station when someone breaks them.” — eiram777

23. I saw a black oozing mass in the art gallery

“I used to work part time doing surveillance work for an art gallery. I went in horribly sick one day because I worked on a contract and had to meet a quota for so many hours, otherwise I’d have to make it up elsewhere (which was borderline impossible for me because I only had free time on weekends, when they were closed).

So, here I am with a fever and a trashcan, dripping sweat and staring at these screens when, all of a sudden, on the lower gallery, I see this black, oozing mass creeping across the floor. It just kinda slithered across the brick, up the wall, pooled into a perfect circle in the middle of the room. Then, it stood up into this weird, elongated shadow person with spindly arms and no eyes, “looked” up at the camera, then very rapidly melted back into the floor and bolted toward the hallway that led to my desk.

I screamed bloody murder. Then, I threw up.

Also, no, that thing wasn’t really there. I was just way sicker than I thought; it was a fever hallucination. My boss came in and sent me home shortly after she came to see if I had died, and I actually still use that weird, gangly thing my brain came up with as a motif in some of my art.” — Ilunibi

24. A group of police officers walked through my yard

“I have cameras on my front and back doors that send video to my phone when they detect movement. I was out of town and woke up to seeing several police officers walking around in my front and back yard. I called my neighbor to find out what had happened and found out that someone had crashed their car through my back fence, which borders the highway.” — SuspectedCinephile 

25. A man vanished before I could reach him

“I work security. During the weekdays I’m doing parking, while weekends I’m at the desk solo.

I’ll always remember this one Saturday. It was the second shift ever working the weekend and i was watching the cameras when this one guy came to the side door. He looked around inside and just before I could activate the speaker to let him know he was on private property he looked directly at the camera and stared what felt like a minute. When I took my hand away from the button he started to walk away.

I ran to the side door to see if i could see where the hell he was walking and he was gone. The only thing that was in that direction was more freaking wall. So to this day whenever I’m watching the cameras, I’m waiting for this guy.” — ZelpherXeis Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Holly Riordan is the author of Lifeless Souls, available here.

Holly is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection.

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