A Strange Man

When I was in uni, I worked several jobs all the way through. One of them was a really easy gig as the night manager of the university student center. I basically sat around from 10PM to either 3AM or 5AM depending on the night of the week. At the end of the shift, I would have to roust the security officer from his cruiser so that we could walk the building and lock all the doors, making sure that any remaining students were gone. So one night at 3AM Bob and I are doing our walk-through and lock-up. The building was basically a big square, so I walked clockwise and Bob walked counter- clockwise. We kept in contact via radio.

I was doing my lock-up when I saw a man walking away from me down the hallway. He was not wearing a policeman’s uniform, so I knew it was not Bob. I called after the guy, but he ignored me and just kept walking towards the end of the hall, where it turned the corner. After I locked the door, I radioed Bob to be on the lookout for this guy, and I went after him, asking him to stop the whole time. He rounded the corner, and I started jogging to catch up with him. I rounded the corner and ran straight into Bob. Bob’s like, “So where’s this guy at?” I told him the whole story, and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Quit fucking with me. I’m not in the mood.”

I checked the doors along the hallway where he turned, but they were all locked and Bob swore to God that no one was there when he entered the opposite end of the hallway. I told this story to a friend of mine who is really into all sorts of whacky shit, and he suggested that sleep deprivation might have been the culprit, but, uh, it was pretty vivid if it was a hallucination. TWO When I was around nine years old, one of my jobs was to take out the trash. The trash cans were behind our house in a sort of alley-type thing. There was a normal door right next to them, and then around on the other side of the house was a sliding glass door that faced our backyard. It was a big “L” shape, with the trash area at the top of the “L” and the glass doors at the lower end of the “L”. So one night, as usual, I put off taking out the garbage until the last possible minute, until my older brother brow beat me into taking it out.

So I’m out there with the garbage bags tossing them into the cans when I hear a rustling noise coming from some creepy fucking bushes behind me. I hated those bushes, especially at night, partly because they were full of spiders and bugs, but mostly because they were just nasty and really ominous looking. Being nine, I was scared shitless and bolted for nearest door, but it was locked. I can hear my shit-heel brother from the other side laughing and saying, “Have fun spending the night outside!” But over his voice I can hear this rustling noise, like something is rolling around in the leaves under the bushes. So I run like hell toward the glass doors…I fucking fly because I’m scared shitless of whatever in the bushes: rabid dog, rats, vicious possums, whatever- I’m scared so I run like a motherfucker for the glass doors.

Just as I start my run, I hear something lunge out of the shrubs behind me, and it sounds big. Like a fucking bear or something, I don’t know what, I don’t even look behind me I just run like fuck. I make to the glass doors and they’re unlocked so I rush inside and slam them shut and just as I turn the lock on them something slams into them so hard that they shake. but nothing is out there. There’s a little scratching at the lock and then a *BAM* *BAM* *BAM* on the glass as if someone was slamming their hand against the glass. BUT NOTHING WAS OUT THERE! I could see the fucking glass vibrate every time. They say people who are terrified wet their pants. In this case, with this nine year old, it was true. I wet myself. I was fucking terrified for years after that. I would not go into the back yard at night after that incident. For years. Literally. My parents house had a TV watching ghost, or maybe the TV was (is still? It’s my TV now that I’m all moved out and whatnot, and it’s done shit like this again) possessed.

It wanted desperately to watch an Indiana Jones movie. Some late night infomercial for a Three Stooges collection was on, and I was reading a book, so I shut the TV off. After I sit down for about half an hour of reading “The Count of Monte Cristo” (great book!), the damned thing turns itself on and scans channels until it stops at the opening credits of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Miffed, I get up and turn the TV off. I sit back down and get back to reading. As soon as I pick the book up, it turns itself back on again. Couldn’t be sitting on a remote, the TV didn’t HAVE remote control (it’s 10 years old, for fuck’s sake!). I’m pissed now, and get up to see if the button’s stuck or something. I turn off the TV, and check the button. Nope, working just fine. I head back to the couch and the fucking thing turns on again.

More than a little creepy out at this point, I just think “fuck it, if the TV wants to be on, let it,” and get back to reading. The movie plays through. As soon as the end credits finish rolling, the TV turns off. “What the FUCK?” I’m thinking. I got the chills, and turned it back on. I sat down to read more and the TV turned itself off again. That was fucking it. I left it off, killed the lights downstairs and went to bed all creeped out. My friend and summer roommate (when he’s not away at college), Jimmy worked at a Food Lion (grocery store chain in the Southeastern US) that he, my roommate (who used to work at the same store but got promoted to Grocery Manager at another store), and our friend Barrett Barbie said was haunted by a ghost they all called “Blue.” Blue made a lot of weird shit happen around that store. Some examples: -Barrett and Wes (my current roomie, the GM) were walking down an aisle toward the stock area. Barrett said he was looking down at the ground while he was walking, and then saw a pair of blue legs appear in his field of view and stopped short like he ran into someone.

He looked up to apologize and the only person there was Wes, about 10 feet ahead of him wondering what the hell was going on. -They frequently heard snoring from in the break room when no one was in there. Even when they checked to make SURE there was no one there, snoring. -The frozen aisle has had all the doors fog over at once several times, right before their eyes, and no one opened even one door. Even if they had opened one, the fog should only cover two doors in either direction, max. -The whole stock crew (and the only people in the store at the time) was sitting by a spilled bag of dog food one night, taking a back stretch break.

They started throwing pieces of dog food at each other. Suddenly, one guy got hit in the back of the head with a piece. He was sitting FACING EVERYONE, and all people were present and accounted for. Even after they stopped throwing food, all kept getting hit from behind with food, and saw a few whiz past their faces. -Once, Barrett and Jimmy were alone in the store, as Wes had stepped out front for a smoke, and the rest of the crew was off (small truck night). They were headed to the back to start unloading pallets when the two swinging doors 20 feet in front of them just opened inward, and started swinging on their hinges as though someone had pushed both wide open and let them swing shut.

The freakiest tale involves Barrett and Jimmy again, as Wes was ringing up the last customer of the night, and taking her groceries to parcel pickup for her. Same setup as the above story, Jimmy, Wes, and Barrett were alone in the store for light-truck stocking. Jimmy and Barrett were in the back, shooting the shit, when they heard a light, but desperate pounding on the walk-in freezer door. From the INSIDE. They got closer and heard a girl’s faint voice asking for help. The pounding got a little heavier when they asked who was in there. Well, they opened the door and WHOOOOM! The big fans in the back just spun down immediately with a loud noise. They’re supposed to be on a five minute delay after the door opens. They turn on the light and look all over it, saying things like “come on, Wes, quit fucking with us!” and stuff. They didn’t find Wes, or anything, so they got creeped out and left. As soon as they shut the door, BOOM! BOOM! Two huge pounds on the door and a girl’s evil laughter (like a child that knows it did something wrong and liked it) resonated in the back. They ran out of the back like hell, only to smack into Wes coming running through the double doors wanting to know what the hell that loud noise was.

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