I work a janitorial 2nd shift at a high school located downtown. It’s a bit populated school, just a little over 1,000 kids. The building is somewhat retro designed being it was built in 1910. It hasn’t had many renovations due to its somewhat ancient design. It looks like an old building, definitely like no other. Other than the fact that it’s kind of a spooky place at night, there’s not too much to say about it.
But after one winter night, I had never felt the same way about it ever again.
One afternoon, during Christmas break, I was working with the other janitors after school hours. We got called into the main office near the end of our shifts. We walked in and the senior Janitor was there with the assistant principal. He asked if three of us would do some late work starting at 10:00pm until 12:00am at the latest. We would be paid extra for working unusually late. The floors were going to be waxed and so he wanted some of it to be done tonight before a few important meetings a couple days after. The school board was coming and requested it. Four of us agreed to do it since we could have used some of the money and out of the kindness of our hearts. The senior janitor and principal thanked us and left shortly.
At 9:48pm, all of us had arrived at the school. It was very dark and barely any of the lights were turned on inside. It looked quite eerie from this view. We walked up to the front doors. One of the janitors, Elliott, exclaimed “Ready gentlemen?”.
“Ohh sure.” I said.
“It looks kinda strange from out here.” Said Gus.
“Yeah well someone’s gotta do it haha” I said.
Elliott unlocked the door chains with the keys and pushed the doors open. It made a loud creaking sound much more noticeable because of the dark void and silence from the inside. It felt just a little insecure. We walked in. The lobby was dark and the only light was coming from the two halls going diagonally left and right. The others were completely dark.
“Ahh shit. Seems like the other guys forgot to leave the lights on for us” Said Elliott.
“Oh well, I’ll find the switch.” Gus.
He turned on his mag light and searched for the fuse down the right hall which was very dark. We waited in the lobby for about five minutes and nothing happened. We heard slow steps coming from the end of the left hall which was pitch black. No light was visible.
“Oh God, what is he doing? The fuse isn’t that way. Hey, Gus! The fuse is that way!” yelled Elliott.
No answer. About 30 seconds later, the lights came on and Gus showed up from the right hall. All I was wondering was how he got there so fast.
“Having a little trouble finding the fuse?” I joked.
“Yeah right.” He answered.
“Alright let’s get started. We just have to do the halls and cafeteria for now. And remember to take out the extra recycling in the classrooms.” Said Elliott.
We got right to work. I made my way towards the ground floor, Gus took the first floor, and Elliott had the second floor. Not going to lie, it was pretty creepy making my way down the stairs. The classrooms were dark and the lights weren’t fully on. Some in the ground floor flickered from time to time. I guess it must have been the power saving mechanism. I found the utility closet and grabbed the appropriate tools. I began on the floor in the hall. It was quite a tedious task going over the floor multiple times. While I was waiting for the first layer to set in the hall, I went into the classrooms to take out the recycling. Only two of them contained enough to have to go in with a bin. I unlocked one of the classrooms and began collecting the trash. Most of it was cardboard boxes. I gathered them and everything seemed fine.
When I went into the room next to it, I started on the next stack of cardboard. As the stack lowered, I noticed I was in one of the Nursing Careers classroom. What I saw ahead of me caught me off guard. Along the back wall were four replica hospital beds. Each a resting place to a semi-realistic mannequin. I really don’t like mannequins, dummies, or dolls. Anything of that matter. It distracted me for a good long moment but I resumed my work. At the same time I was taking out the recycling, I felt a chilling feeling. For some reason, it felt like I was being watched. Being the spooked person I was, I occasionally peeked over to where the mannequins lay, just to reassure myself that they were still there. I felt stupid doing it, but it was the only thing that was going to help keep myself calm. I left the room to get another bin.
When I came back, I looked towards the beds again. For some reason, I felt like the mannequins had moved. I can’t remember if their faces were facing straight up or slightly looking down towards their feet, but it was still scary to think about. I quickly gathered up the cardboard and left as fast as I could. I went down the corridors and checked the classrooms.
One of the classrooms I went into had a window where you could see the outside of other windows near the Nursing room. I gathered up some more recycling in the room. Some school supplies that were labeled to be taken out were gathered up. But when I looked out the window, I thought I could see something move through the other classroom. I’m not sure what it was, maybe I was seeing things. But it looked like the top of someone’s head. I was getting ridiculous. I just shrugged it off and went on my way, but not entirely.
As I walked on, I could faintly hear a classroom door on the opposite side of the ground floor open and slam. That’s odd, why are one of them down here? What really threw me off guard and raised my suspicion was I also heard one of the double doors in the corridor bang open, then shut violently. I’m thinking to myself “What the hell is going on?”. I decided to make my way around back towards the noise, still feeling a bit scared also being reminded of how dim the lights were. I walked over to where the noise was heard. Nothing. Just empty darkness with flickering lights. All of a sudden, there was thumping coming from the upstairs floor. Something must have been slamming down pretty hard on the floor to be causing that loud of a noise. At this point, I demanded to know what the hell was going on. I walked down the hall towards where I left the previous recycling bins. They were right next to the Nursing classroom. The door was open. Now, I don’t know what compelled me to look back inside again, but I looked.
My whole body shivered… There were still four beds by the wall, but only three mannequins. I’m sure there was four despite my hazy memory. I looked around the room to see if it fell or anything. No sign of the fourth mannequin. I immediately left the room, locking it with haste, feeling like something would follow me out. I rolled the trash cans down the hall.
Just then, something caught my eye right from the side. Something moved along the door window to the right of me and made a sound. I shined my light in the dark room. Oddly enough, I saw a pair of legs. I unlocked the door and slowly opened it. It was still too dark to see. I flipped the light switch.
Instantly, with no warning I was greeted by 7 beds. All with mannequins that arose sitting straight up looking at me in the eye. I froze still dropping the mag light. Their faces were illuminated by the red EXIT sign inside. They looked enraged and very displeased. They stared at me so angrily. I didn’t know what to do! I quickly grabbed the mag light and pushed up against the door behind me which was already closed. I bashed the door open swearing I could hear not just me rushing the fuck out of there. It sounded like three other things were following me. “Don’t look back… Don’t look back!” I thought to myself. I slammed the door and locked it. I ran down the hall breathing heavily, already drenched with sweat. I opened a pair of double doors and ran out. I stopped and shouted,
“Guys, I’m not fucking kidding. This isn’t funny at all. You almost gave me a heart attack back there. If you guys are fucking with me, then it’s not funny anymore. KNOCK IT OFF!”
I listened. Nothing but the silent flickering of the lights. Suddenly, they all went out. I must have said every word in the book at this point. They came on again two minutes later but they were even dimmer. After my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I made my way down the hall. More thumping could be heard upstairs. I tried to find the nearest stairwell. It was jammed shut.
“You son of a bitch”
I attempted to break the door open. After 3 bone crunching kicks, it broke open. I looked at the door. Someone had tried to jam big wooden splinters into it. As I was about to take the first step, I faintly heard something pitter patter from a distance. Then it opened a pair of double doors. I rushed upstairs and opened the door to the first floor.
“Gus! Elliott! What the fuck!”
“You can stop now, it’s not funny anymore. I’m gonna kick both of your asses.”
No answer other than the response of my echo. At this point, I was very creeped out. I shone my maglight, thank god I hadn’t forgotten it. The lights were the same as they were when we first arrived oddly enough. I thought they would have at least turned on the hall lights. I made my way down the middle hall. I broke off into the left wing to look for them. Where they hell are they? Whatever sick crazy joke this was, it really wasn’t funny. It was working too. It started to get darker the further I went. The school was eerie itself being in the middle of downtown and somewhat ancient. The corridors got colder and appeared much more void.
I peeked into the security room which always had running cameras. On the third floor, there was no sign of Elliott. No sign of Gus. I scanned the screens for more info. They changed cameras every 10 seconds. I found nothing except when I saw me peeking into the room. But then I saw something swiftly appear and dart around the corner that would be to my right. Before its figure could come clear, the cameras switched again. I turned to my right instantly. Nothing. I listened. Still nothing. I began to work my way down the hall again.
Just then I heard some the sound of something scuttling across the hall. I shined my light in the direction it came from. Nothing. Not even a shadow. I walked fast after the noise. “Gus I swear to God, I am going to kick your fucking ass.” I made my way down the hall to find the utility closet open. I walked over to it and shined my light inside. It was a mess. Everything was disorganized, things were missing, and stuff was just hung over the shelves. I turned and was about to walk out when something dripped on my head. “What the fuck?” I turned the light on and looked at my hand. The drips… Were thick red. I looked up. I stopped breathing. My heart skipped a beat. My heart was the only thing I could hear…
Above me… Was the body of Gus hanging by a hook in his back which fed out through his mouth. His eyes were bulging out, looking straight at me in both eyes. The same enraged fiery eyed look the mannequins gave me in the basement. Both of his eyes were replaced with realistic porcelain mannequin eyes. He was tearing up blood dripping down his face and his nose was gushing blood. His teeth were mangled and broken into sharp crooked shapes. I jumped back and fell on my back with a scream. I kicked the door, slamming it closed. I struggled to get up. When I looked to the left, I swear on my life I could see something’s head peeking around the hall. I shined my light at it. It went away before I could light it up. I ran the opposite way, hearing not just my footsteps. I just kept running the down the corridor in fear not knowing where I would go. On the way, there was text painted in red on the wall. It said “DON’T RUN”. I saw the double doors to the cafeteria. I opened them silently, rushed inside, and listened. Someone was definitely on my trail. It was pitch black in the cafeteria. I shined my light and hid behind a bunch of tables looking around to see if anything was behind me. I could see outside but barely because it was so dark.
After about 40 seconds, I heard the door. Something slowly opened the door. It creaked and squeaked, then closed. Then I heard the sound of light steps walking around. It sounded as if a very light woman was walking on heels. I kept watching to see the shadow of its head covering the door windows which were slightly lit. It continued to walk to the right, thankfully away from my direction. However, I tried to shine light at it for a split second to see what I was dealing with. I pressed the button. Instantly I saw a lightly tan figure with bushy curly hair turn around. I turned the light off immediately. Then it started making its way towards me. I could no longer see it. I knew instantly that I needed to get the hell out of here. I thought of a quick plan to get myself out of here. I found a piece of one of the broken chairs from last week and threw it. It clanged and bounced along the ground directly to my right. I could hear the figure turn towards where it went. Once I knew for sure that it was headed in the opposite direction, I quickly snuck to the only available door. I opened it and sprinted out towards the hall. I didn’t look back. I kept running. I took the turn toward the hall with the utility closet. To my surprise, it was open… I remember shutting it. Something was not supposed to be here. I tried to radio Elliott, “Elliott, are you there? Where are you?!” I screamed. I couldn’t hear Elliott, but what I could hear was the sound of something moving against the receiver. It produced the sound at the same timing. The only idea I could think of was that it might have been his body swinging and rubbing up against an article of clothing. I needed to get out of here.
I sprinted until I spotted the doors in the lobby. With all my might, I took a deep breath and bashed into the double doors. I smacked my head off the glass and smashed my arm into the handle bar making me fall over. “What the fucking hell?!” I got up and looked at the door. Someone had chained the doors shut. I couldn’t believe this. Just then I heard the pitter patter of light feet from across the left dark hall. It came closer and closer. It was about to turn the corner. I went berserk, smashing the glass with my foot and chipping large chunks away with my light. I inched my way out. I didn’t care if I was cut or not, I just wanted to get out. I looked behind me… There it was…
The mannequin was running straight at me, arms flailing madly. It was looking straight into my eyes. It was extremely inflamed with rage. Its eyes widened to the point of insanity producing slightly bloodshot whites. Its pupils were blood red. Its mouth was open in an “O” shape with old faded red lipstick. Blood was trickling down its face from its eyes. There were guts splattered on its chest. If I had ever seen such desperate murder in somebody’s face, I was seeing it. I screamed as it caught up three feet away from me. I ran down the stair case hearing the bumping and glass shattering. I made it to my car and just went in. I tried to start the piece of crap when I looked out the window. It was gone. No sign of it. I looked around. I still didn’t see a thing. With my heart beating as fast as possible, I let out a long breath, still left with a dreadful feeling. I backed out screeching my tires along the parking lot. Just then I heard a loud *BUMP!*. It startled me and whatever it was, I must have injured it. I sped away towards the exiting road.
I hyperventilated all the way down the road. The road was going to lead to an intersection downtown. I was the slightest bit relieved but I still couldn’t believe what I saw. It couldn’t be possible.
I slowed down and stopped at the red light. It was the only light source within 100 feet away. I attempted to collect myself and regain my sanity after all the horrors that I endured. But then… I heard a very faint sound on the seat next to me. Already being paranoid and scared, I decided to slowly turn… There it was… Staring at me… Right up to my face filled with maniacal furious malice…