I’m guessing it’s not always this interesting being a cop. But every now and then, they get some calls that raise your eyebrows.
This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link on the last page.
1. Shadows in the attic.
When I was younger, I worked as a police officer for the Tucson PD. I was sent to a home where the mother claimed shadow people were stalking her in her house. Upon arriving, I searched the house and came to the realization that the “shadow people” were actually a homeless man who was living in her attic.
2. Who haunts a dorm?
I work on a university campus. Got a 3am call of a haunted dorm room. Girls were in tears. They googled instructions for a home exorcism, made homebrew holy water, crosses and photos of Jesus plastered all over the walls. They said they would hear things like footsteps, a child’s laughter, a whispering voice saying “hey can you hear me?”
As we interviewed them, we heard it once; they screamed and burst into tears. Their RA, bless his heart, tried to help by offering the advice that at least the ghost wasn’t threatening or malicious and probably meant us no harm. We asked him to leave rather than feed into the whole hysteria.
Took us a while to pin down where it was coming from but to make a log story short, someone took one of those novelty motion activated prank things and stuck it to the inside of one of the bed frames. When we were done, we asked the girls if they minded if we disposed of the thing, to which they enthusiastically agreed, and we promptly hid it in our dispatchers locker and watched the cycle continue.
3. I just wanna fly.
I was dispatched to a report of a woman who claimed that there was a flying saucer hovering near her house. I query our database and she had no previous history of delusions or mental health issues.
I head on over, it’s in the affluent part of town. I walk over and talk to the woman. It’s about midnight at this point. She seems totally normal and tells me she must be going crazy but there was a giant flying saucer. She points in the direction and I agree to check it out.
I’m driving towards the area, which is totally remote with a mix of forests and farmland on the outskirts of town. I suddenly see this blinding light in the sky. I look up and guess what I see? (continued…)
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I see a flying saucer with all its lights on full blast. So there I was in my cruiser thinking what the hell is going on?! and then I see it. The UFO is suspended by a crane. They were filming a movie.
4. Winner winner chicken dinner.
I had a funny one where a woman was making dinner for her husband, warming it in the microwave. He wasn’t supposed to be home for another hour or so. She came back down to the kitchen and what she was heating up was gone, same with the cutlery she left out.
She called 911 and said there was either a ghost or someone broke in and stole her husbands reheated left overs. We went and found the husband out on the deck enjoying his meal thinking his wife had already left so he didn’t bother looking for her. Innocent story that had good timing for it to happen.
5. Who you gonna call?
We had a woman complaining of ghosts in her attic, and after checking for animals and other unwanted guests, she still was adamant about there being ghosts up there. To solve this, another officer went to his patrol car and got a lidar gun (a radar gun that’s more accurate due to using lasers).
He spun around while making it beep constantly, then confidently told the old lady “You should be fine ma’am, I’m not picking up the presence of any spirits.” She fully accepted that we carry paranormal activity equipment and was completely put at ease.
6. Nothing like a good forcefield.
An older lady was convinced aliens were watching her and so on. She would call so much we got to know her pretty well. The last time she called the dispatcher said they did some studying and found a way to protect her from aliens.
They pulled out her fridge, unplugged it, tied they cord in a knot and plugged it back up. They explained to her that the fridge was so big it pulls more current. By tying the knot it causes the current to run in a way that if an alien life form came within 500 feet it would set off an alarm and she would be safe because of the shield around the house.
We never heard from her again. So either A) it worked or B) it didn’t and aliens got her.
7. Strangers in the night.
This was three weeks ago. I was responding to a call around 3am made by a woman who said there was a “thing” in her house. Here’s the thing: she wasn’t wrong. (continued…)
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When we got to the house, we found the door cracked open. We heard clattering noises as we walked up, but as soon as we creaked open the door, it went silent. All the lights were off, so we turned on our flashlights. My partner went upstairs to find the woman.
I walked into the kitchen to find a whimpering dog. The kitchen was completely trashed. I heard a crash coming from the other room. A home invader had broken a window and climbed out.
I had to chase him through 6 or 7 blocks before he collapsed and started seizing. By the time paramedics arrived, he was gone. Autopsy revealed a massive overdose of PCP, meth, and bath salts. I can kind of see why she thought he was a zombie.
8. Two VERY different things.
We once received a report of “either a fox or a werewolf” standing on a busy street corner in town. Tragically, neither was found.
9. No buyers?
We recently attended a woman who had run into her neighbour’s house at 3am, screaming that she was being haunted. We talked to her while officers went through her house.
Apparently she had been on the computer when her blinds opened themselves. While she was up looking at the blinds her computer chair spun itself. She ran back over to her computer and found that something had put gum on the seat. Not the most threatening item, but she was panicked.
The officers had found nothing (no gum) and we decided that they would take her some place safe for the evening. We were just pulling away from the scene when a cruiser pulled up next to us. Turns out the back seat of that car was haunted as well, and she ended up taking a ride with us to a comfy hospital bed. The house went up for sale that week but never sold.
10. Monster mash.
This story takes place in winter of ’13. For three straight nights, our communications center had been receiving phone calls from a particularly upscale condo complex claiming to hear “Monster noises” and crashing from the pool area. (continued…)
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We would send deputies out, nothing would be found except occasionally overturned tables and trash cans. Residents would claim that they heard growling, howling, and screeching of all types, and sometimes even clawing at the window. One witness saw the shadowy figure of “something the size of a bear, but walked like a rat”
On night four the shift’s sergeant sat on the site himself for a little while, and the culprit was revealed. There were three raccoons sneaking into the complex and going through all of the trash cans. The biggest of them was the size of a large dog, huge and fat. Animal services was called out, but unfortunately the raccoon evaded capture. He never reportedly came back to the condos, and legends still say that raccoonasaurus looms large in the swampland, ready to strike again.
11. She could have done that herself.
I took a few criminology courses in college. One of my professors was a retired local cop. He told us about an older woman who would call weekly because aliens were jumping around on her roof. They would send out an officer. The officer who went usually just stood outside in her front yard waving his baton and yelling at the aliens to go away until the old lady was happy.
12. Going green.
The guy sitting beside me got a call from an older woman who said there were little men climbing out of the wall receptacle. He asked if the men were wearing blue or green hats. The lady responded “green!” excitedly (probably because someone finally knew what she was talking about). He then said, “the green men are the responsibility of the utility company. Call them.”
13. Naked ambition.
I worked a mental health assignment for a few years. Had a call from the family of a man running around naked all around the neighborhood screaming that he had been abducted and had the knowledge of the ages or some such nonsense.
We get there and get the guy contained and clothed and start trying to get some type of story out of him besides him being just out of his mind. He mentions that he had received a large court settlement the week before from a work related injury and that’s why the aliens took him. For his money. It’s not super uncommon for there to be some truth to these stories so we go to the guy’s wife to talk to her.
She confirms that he had in fact received a very large settlement a week prior. No history of drug use. No history of mental illness. He just “lost it”. She then proceeds to ask us how she can go about accessing the money legally since he obviously had gone off the deep end. That’s a little strange. (continued…)
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We take the guy to the hospital and they do their normal panel of tests. Turns out the guy had a near-fatal dose of some type of poison (I can’t remember what it was) which generally will kill you.
Detectives get involved, wife ends up getting arrested for attempted murder. Guy made a full recovery too.
14. Noises from nowhere?
I did not receive too many paranormal calls in my years as a police officer. However, one day I was called in to day shift when the supervisor was out sick. We always had a unit watch the school zone in the morning and afternoon because it was on a strip of road that people frequently sped through. The weather was nice so I got out and walked along the sidewalk. I enjoyed talking to the kids and giving them the chance to interact in a positive way with the police.
One little girl walked up to me and asked me why we were not arresting the “ghosts” in the haunted house. Jokingly I told her that was the Ghostbusters job but since they were all the way over in New York I would see what I could do. By now a small group had gathered around and they all had stories about the same haunted house (which was along a street adjacent to where we were).
The complaints were typical, banging, voices, screams. Typically in the afternoon/evening when the kids were walking home from school or out in the area playing.
I assumed it was just one of those school yard legends that grows out of nothing, but there were enough of them who swore they heard something I decided I would check it out.
The house turned out to be owned by a family in another state. The mother had passed away many years ago, and though the family owned the house and paid taxes they did nothing with it. Years of neglect had made it look pretty rough on the outside.
We called the owners, explained we had received some noise complaints, and upon inspection we observed the rear entrance was unsecured. They gave us permission to enter the residence and asked that we secure it if possible when we left.
I worked the swing shift, 8PM to 4AM normally, so I drove by that evening at around 10PM. I parked out front and approached the house and sure enough there were some muffled voices inside. I called it in, and made entry (my other two units were tied up and the noise was getting louder). I knew what I was hearing by now and had a good idea this would be a quick in and out. (continued…)
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Sure enough I cleared the first floor and moved up to the second, where I found a couple of high school kids on a nasty looking mattress. You can guess what they were up to. I told them to get their clothes on and meet me downstairs. Did a cursory check of the remaining rooms and went on down. Turns out the house that the grade school kids thought was haunted had become a love/party nest for a group of high school kids.
The kids were of age, so I sent them on their way. I did have to ask the owners if they wanted to press charges, but I was glad they didn’t. The house had been left to rot and it was in seriously bad shape. Who knows which group of kids first broke the windows and/or kicked in the back door. They demoed the house and sold the lot about a month later.
15. April showers.
Had a lady used to call all the time, say there were people in her house. She would make up bizarre stories like someone came in and had a shower. Some money was missing from her handbag, etc. Id only been working in the area for about a month and had taken probably 15 calls from her. Anyway eventually I cracked because it was taking up so much of my time. We have some cameras you can set up, so I put one in a tree facing the front door.
Lo and behold, her neighbour walks in the house, and comes out about 15 mins later with wet hair.
16. Your tax money at work.
Had a woman call at 10:30 at night saying there were spooky faces on her TV, with names like “Matt” and “Amber” underneath them. The calling party was convinced that Matt and Amber are ghosts and had made it into her tv. She began to get more upset the more I asked her about the situation.
When I asked her to describe the faces, she explained that one was green, and one was blue, and there was another nonsense word on the screen she had never heard before. I asked her to spell it for me. “N-e-t-f-l-i-x”.
Turns out she had accidentally hit the Netflix button on her new Smart TV her son bought her on Craigslist and it had the old owners Netflix information showing on the screen.
When I explained it to her she got even more upset advising me “I don’t want these filthy people’s names on my television, I pay my taxes!” We ended up having to send an officer to check on her.