Do you ever get the eerie feeling that someone's watching you? Chances are, someone really is. Security cameras are everywhere, and the people watching them have plenty of stories to tell. Here are some of the top ones security guards have to share about the unsettling things people do when they think no one's watching.
"Years ago, I worked overnight at a homeless shelter for men. A good portion of the regular guys that stayed there had mental health and/or substance problems. There were a lot of fights and the occasional stabbing, but for the most part everyone was relatively behaved and most were good people at heart. I received a lot of threats, but no one ever acted on them.
One night when I arrived for my shift, I noticed there was a much larger police presence than usual. I walked into our office and the officer in charge started asking me if I had noticed a guy 'Richard' behaving unusually at all lately. I had not seen anything out of the ordinary and I told them such. I looked at the dorm list and noted that he was marked as no longer staying at the shelter. He was a long term resident so I thought this was odd.
The police left without telling me anything except the fact they needed security footage from two specific cameras from the night before. I did not work the night before and the guy I normally work with pulled a no-show. We were the only 2 people besides the manager, who was on a holiday, that were trained on how to burn footage to a DVD.
I spent the rest of my shift in shock. When I found the footage they were looking for I felt physically ill. 'Richard' had gone out onto the second floor smoking deck, finished a smoke, got up on the railing, and dove to the cement below.
The first camera on the second floor showed him jump, but the second camera on the first floor was much more gruesome. I quickly put the footage on DVD and went to throw up.
I was given the next day off. No counseling. No nothing. I will never forget that one. He was a pretty good dude as far as I knew him. Some mental issues, but no one knew where his head was at or why he did it."
"I was working in a rehearsal studio for bands and we had a camera at the front desk that pointed down the hall with the entrances to all the rooms.
One day I’m sitting there, minding my own business, when I noticed there was a girl sitting in the hallway outside one of the studios. She had come in with the band that was practicing and I just assumed she didn’t feel like sitting in the loud space with the band. So I got up and went to tell her she was welcome to sit in the lobby where there was a couch and TV. I got around the corner and she wasn’t there. I went back the desk and there she was, sitting in the hall waiting outside the room. So I went back out to find her not there again.
I assumed she had gone into the room so I went and knocked and they informed me that the girl had left a while before, just after they had started practicing. So I went back and there she was, still on the camera.
It was only then that I realized I had accidentally bumped the freeze frame button for the monitor..."
"I work in a retail store, and for a while I worked security here. Watching the security cameras wasn’t technically my job, but we were consistently short handed in that department and the manager was grooming me for promotion, so I got to fill in and watch the cameras occasionally. One day when we were reviewing footage from overnights, we saw this teenager calmly set down his shopping basket, take off his hat and glasses, and just charge at a wall. Hit it head on. He did this two more times. When he was done, his face was a bloody mess, and he put his hat and glasses back on and just left. Weirded me out."
"I work on security for a popular UK supermarket and came into work one day to find a note asking me to burn an incident off the cameras onto disk. It was something from the car park the previous night, so I figured we'd had a shoplifter in or an accident in the car park, but no, it wasn't anything as pleasant as that.
We'd had a situation where a couple had been in-store and the night security guy just thought they were acting a bit funny, so he follows them around store on CCTV in-store to see if anything went on. Nothing really happens during this time, though the guy seems to become more and more aggravated.
They go outside having purchased their shopping to pack it into the car boot, when a clear argument occurs between them. He suddenly turns round, kicks the empty trolley across the car park and then smacks her full force in the face outta seemingly nowhere. She recoils in pain, a bit more shouting takes place but she seems to dutifully take her seat in the passenger seat despite what just took place.
During the process of burning this to disk for the police, since our security guy had called it in as an assault, I had to rewatch the moment where he hits her over and over again, but watch helplessly as she seems to calmly get into the car of the man who just assaulted her. Long story short, she was a mail order bride who was trafficked here. As well as assault, the man got done for human trafficking, so a pretty wholesome ending to an otherwise awful story."
"I worked as a harbor master a while ago. One time I had to check the marinas cameras after a boat was abandoned at our docks. I was looking for the owner. I looked on the tape from the boat's first night in the marina. The man who had sailed the boat in was standing on the end of his boat for 2 hours, barely moving. Then at 1:30 am, he just walked off the back and dropped into the water. He never came back up. Never found his body. Freaky."
"I used to work Loss Prevention for a big box store. We had a lady get arrested for public indecency and I was asked to investigate.
I had to follow her backwards from the point of arrest and it was a trip to say the least.
She arrived at the store swerving and nearly hitting several cars. She entered the store with 2 young children, both of whom are mentally handicapped. That lady literally dragged those kids around the store, slapping them and tugging at their ears/collars if they didn’t obey.
At some point, she just abandons them in the clothing section, walks through the back doors (to the break area) and I’m assuming she thought it was the bathroom because she proceeds to pull down her pants and defecates all over the fire exit door. She pulls her pants up (without wiping mind you) and goes back to the floor like nothing happened. Someone saw what she did and followed her. Luckily there’s an officer in the store at the time and quickly approaches her when the associate tells him what she did. Needless to say, she was definitely under the influence of something and was arrested.
The scary part is, she did not mention those kids, not one time. It wasn’t until I reviewed the tape that I saw they were just still waiting by the shopping cart completely oblivious and afraid to move. Child services was later called and I still think about those kids often. Breaks my heart to think about what those kids must still be going through."
"I had a job reviewing hidden tape footage looking for people sabotaging food product in a factory.
The entire idea was creepy on one level. They made pasta, they were finding things like glass, nails, staples, etc. in the product. Thankfully none of it made it out of the plant (they had metal detectors at the end of the line, because it's common for things like metal shavings to get in the product given the machines, so they want to catch that and stop the product). But machines went off and they'd inspect the product to find ridiculous things that there is no way could have made it in unless someone put it there.
That's creepy because think about how possible terrible it would have been had that product ever made it to the public. You aren't paying attention, you throw your shells in the pot, boil them along with a nail, then feed it to your kids who just chomp down? Thank god for the fail safes.
Anyways, they need to catch whoever is doing it. They install the cameras in the areas where most of the affected product is made and packaged. They record it all. Then they hire me to go through the tapes on high speed, looking for alarms going off on the machines or anything weird.
So I see a ton of stuff that's notable, some of it funny, some of it cruel, some of it just plain terrible. Eventually I do figure out who the saboteur was.
But the creepiest thing was this guy driving a forklift around with his kid not only on the forklift with him, but hanging out of the sides of it waving at people. It's creepy because at some point not long after that, the guy killed his kid somehow in a forklift accident (thank goodness the accident wasn't on tape or at least my tapes). Kid never should have been allowed even in the plant, certainly not on the forklift. And this guy killed his kid.
So it was like I was watching a ghost. And I kept wishing I'd had those tapes to review a week or whatever earlier, because as soon as I would have said something they would have disciplined the dude, and maybe saved the kid."
"We had a little cottage about two hours from home when I was younger. This was before DVR’s and WiFi.
The property was 27 acres. 3 acres was high and dry. There was our nice cottage, a two car garage with an apartment above, and a dilapidated house off to the one side being overtaken by the forest. The rest was very low and almost always kind of like wetlands. There was a big pond with a deep channel leading to the St. Joseph River. We had a small pier in the pond and our property surrounded the pond, so no one else should have had access.
We used to go up there every other weekend to pick berries, go fishing, or whatever. My dad kept noticing that 'something was wrong' down by the pier. I was just a kid, so I never paid attention, but almost every time we’d go down, he’d tell me to run back up to the house to check if we locked the door. This was about a 5 minute climb uphill and back.
Fast forward to a couple years after my father died. I was cleaning out some old boxes and I found some VHS tapes marked 'Michigan Farm' (that’s what we called the place even though it wasn’t a farm). They had a Michigan State Police stamp on them.
I asked my stepmother about them (because I didn’t have a VHS player) and she explained that there were strange things going on and my dad had set up a camera and motion sensor back then (this was in the 80’s, so this was very expensive back then). She said, 'You probably don’t want to look at them and you should probably throw them out. I couldn’t watch them.' I asked. She explained what was on them. I watched anyway. I shouldn’t have.
I popped in the first tape and it’s a view of our pier, the open boathouse (like a carport - no sides), and our pontoon boat. The screen flickers a lot because of birds setting off the motion sensor, but eventually, you see a man dragging a body. The body is alive, but pretty limp. Obviously under the influence of something. The man undresses the body and we can see that it’s a male. Probably about 20-25 years old. The man then assaults the body multiple times. The victim is obviously in pain and trying to fight back but can’t. When the man is done, he punches the young guy in the back of the head five or six times. He drags the younger guy off the boat and then pushes him into the water. He holds the guy by the hair and dunks him several times. He pulls the younger guy halfway up onto the pier. He looks dead. The older man then walks off camera. He comes back and drinks a couple pints. The younger guy moves. The older guy helps him up, walks him off camera naked. They head toward our cottage which is up a really steep hill. The end of tape one.
There are 7 tapes. According to my stepmom, my father had asked one of the neighbors to check on the place (I remember this) and change out tapes every whenever (I had no idea about this recording system). Anyway, each tape includes very similar behavior by the same older man. However, his victims are very different. I didn’t watch them all at length, but I sped through to see if any of the victims were the same. Nope. 7 different victims all ranging in age from probably 10 or 12 up to maybe 30. And there were males and females.
After watching and almost vomiting, I called stepmom. She didn’t want to talk about it, but she said she never heard of anyone being arrested or anything.
I called the Michigan State Police and explained that I had evidence videos with their stamp and a number. I gave them the numbers on the tapes. I got a call back about an hour later. They asked me for my contact information and I asked about the case. They basically said it’s still an open case but they really had nothing to go on and no new evidence since the mid-to-late 90’s.
The video wasn’t super clear and they think the perpetrator was probably a migrant farm worker. This area is crawling with migrant farm workers in the summer. That’s when these events took place for us. They mentioned that they’d had reports of suspicious behavior that was noted in this file and could be similar, but wasn’t confirmed (he said one report was two guys doing it down by a creek on the edge of his farm. The farmer didn’t stay to watch, so wasn’t sure if it was consensual or not. He just wanted to get out of there). Again, this was late 80’s and some reports in the early 90’s, so anything 'gay' was 'weird' and most people turned the other way as fast as possible. Especially old farmers. Anyway, those other reports were in the summer as well.
I tried looking it up in Michigan. The town was called Sodus. Can’t find anything. The property was on River Road. It was near a cherry orchard owned by a guy named Andre (last name). He was down the road from us. The manager of Tabor Resort made a complaint about it in the 80’s too. The resort was just up the road from us. Can’t remember his name.
Anyway, seeing some old perv assault a half-conscious guy was disturbing, but seeing him do that to a little boy and a little girl is what still haunts me. That’s what I can’t unsee.
And by the way, the Michigan State Police called the next day and asked me to give the tapes to my local police department. They even came and picked them up."
"I saw a guy at my old job have a seizure on camera. It was at a store that exclusively sold adult beverages. He was a town regular and never took care of himself. He looked off, but not even under the influence. In the middle of counting his change, his head snaps up in the air like he's looking to the heavens above. Then he just falls right onto the ground. His head missed this wooden display by an inch or two. He flailed around and all the change he had was scattered along the ground, while one of the guys I work with called 911. Paramedics ended up coming and taking him to the hospital. He was okay, but ended up spending a couple days there.
The best/worst part of the story is while this guy is seizing out, he was in front of the cooler of 40's. So this one impatient customer, you can see his head sorta looking for a way around to get his drink, steps over this dude, gingerly opens the cooler door, and grabs his Old English 40, before walking up to the register."
"I am a correctional officer on the night shift, so my job involves a lot of watching cameras and performing cell checks.
One night, I'm sitting in my office around 3 AM and some movement on the CCTV catches my eye. I look up and there is this big dude walking through my jail, looking like he was on a mission. The only way into the jail is through the booking room right next to my office, and I was 100 percent sure nobody had walked past me.
So my mind starts racing. Did I leave a cell door unlocked? Has a violent inmate escaped? Our cameras are old and the halls are dark at night, so I couldn't see many details on the guy. Just that he seemed to be scoping all the other inmates out as he made his way through the cell blocks.
As I'm trying to process all of this, I see him suddenly stop and change direction, making a bee-line straight to my office. With no time to do anything else, I jump up and run over to the door, and get ready for the fight. I waited for what felt like an eternity for this guy to bust my door in, with a full-on adrenaline rush.
But he never showed up. I glanced back at the cameras and he was gone, disappeared into the aether. After scratching my head for a minute, I went to review the footage.
That's when I realized that there was a glitch in our camera's playback that had caused a half-hour delay, and the guy in the video was just me doing a cell check and heading back to my own office.
Never been more relieved in my life."
"I was a security coordinator for a large electric company and had access to like 80+ facility CCTV infrastructures. I was doing maintenance check on some random train station at like 3 AM, panned a camera as far to the right as possible to check that it was functioning, and this dude was on all fours eating a deer in the middle of the tracks.
I watched him for like 10 minutes and went to get the other guy on shift. When I came back, the dude was gone. Rewound it, and the dude stopped munching on the carcass, wiped the gore off his face, and walked into the woods like he didn't have a care in the world."
"Some of the patient rooms in our hospital on the 'psych' floor have cameras to help monitor patients so they don’t move around too much or hurt themselves since they are often confused, etc.
Obviously the 'night vision' low light camera makes everything look creepy. One night a phlebotomist came running out of a room totally freaking out.
We looked at the camera footage to see what had happened. Patient was an old lady. Video shows a dark empty room, the phlebotomist walks in and sees that the bed is empty and thinks they must have moved the patient. At that point, as she turns around, the door swings and standing behind the door looking at her with what I can only describe as pure hatred in her eyes is the patient, naked, with her long hair down to her waist.
The phlebotomist was scared as anyone would be. She finally managed to say, 'Mrs. Shelby, I’m from the lab and I’m here to draw some blood, is that OK?'
And the patient just said, 'No. GET OUT.'
Phlebotomist didn’t need to be told twice.
We walked over to the room and the old lady was back in bed sleeping as peaceful as could be, never remembered a moment of it."
"I used to do asset protection for a Walmart in a heavily addicted area. The creepiest thing was seeing how fast someone would go from completely normal to absolutely out of it in the span of a year because of their addiction. You could build a timeline of their demise through CCTV pictures and video.
One man in particular really stood out to me. The first time I apprehended him he was very polite and intelligent. Just stealing to get his fix. A year later and the fourth time I caught him, he was basically a shell of a man. He tried running from me and I looked him right in the eyes and said, 'I know you, Gary Last Name, please don't run.'
The look on his face of someone knowing him who he couldn't even remember will always stay with me."
"I used to do IT support for a company that had a lot of heavy machinery moving around inside a big warehouse type area. This giant front end loader would scoop up material and dump it into a hopper. Along the sides of the floor were these huge concrete barriers, (I've heard them called Jersey Barriers and Mafia Blocks, but they are about ten feet tall) and this one guy's life was ended when the front end loader inadvertently scooped the base of the barrier and landed on one of two guys walking shoulder to shoulder through the plant.
I was tasked to review the footage, then make copies...six of them, to be exact...and then to ensure that the footage worked and was self-executable and able to be run from a USB stick. So I had to watch the footage of this guy getting killed over a dozen times.
I was offered counseling for just watching the video."
"This was my mom's experience. She works on a cruise ship and has to go through surveillance footage and put the footage in different folders. She said she has nightmares of one simple but creepy thing. One night a guy walked out of a cabin into the view of the camera and stood for a few minutes, doing nothing. Then looked up at the camera, moved as close to it as possible and smiled into the camera for about 5 minutes, but she said watching it felt as if he was looking into the camera for hours. She said it's just something she can't get out of her head and it made her feel so uncomfortable."
"I used to work 7pm-7am in a building pretty much made entirely of glass. I'm on the first floor in the lobby watching cameras at a desk next to the front door and I have a view of the whole property (about 4 buildings).
Usually around 3 or 4 am, I would start seeing things from isolation and lack of sleep. There were many times I jumped to the cameras to see if what I was seeing was real or not. I often thought I saw people watching me and jumping off the parking garage next door, but it was never real so I stopped worrying about it. One night I see someone watching me and think nothing of it... until I go to do a patrol and it turns out that person is real and has been staring at me for 20 minutes.
He was over by one of the further buildings staring through the window at me. It's not uncommon for people to stare as they walk by since it's a large glass building and is very lit up, especially at night, but people don't just stand and stare. Except he did.
At that point, I just ran back inside and decided I was done with my patrols for the night...kinda freaky."
"I spent a few years working the front desk for various shifts at a few hotels (I moved a lot during this time, so I got a pretty big sampling of people from here and there), but the one thing I will never forget was right here in my home state of KY, in broad daylight.
A woman who did not have a room with us walked into the pool area from the large, sliding glass window, speaking on her cell phone with a bag hanging from that hand, and a toddler walking with her on the other hand. She let go of the toddler, then proceeded to get completely nude and continue her conversation standing in the pool area; not the pool itself, just the pool area.
The maintenance man actually walked in on her and asked her to leave."
"I worked for a Christian based university for security for a brief period. It was easy. 90% of the job was unlocking doors for people.
I was working a Friday night shift and noticed a couple in the sitting area off the lobby, which is a common place to see couples lounging around. I only started watching them because I could tell they were in an argument. I could tell it was getting loud so I thought I should walk over there and tell them to calm down. It was a small university so I was the only guy on duty.
When I got there (the security office was maybe a 5 minute walk), he had left and she was hunkered down in the corner near the steps. I calmed her down and asked her what happened and she said it was nothing, just an argument. I did notice her face was red and thought it was from crying and I walked her to the security car and drove her to her dorm and dropped her off.
When I got back to the office, I rolled the video back and copied it and saw that he had punched her in the face and kicked her on the ground several times. I called my boss, which is what we were supposed to do. He took the copy of the video and you know what? The university actually did something about it. They kicked him out, which I was surprised about.
But... he got back in after his parents lawyered up and the girlfriend confessed that 'she agitated him to the point of violence.' He got back in. Life went on. They probably got married."