I have a great deal of admiration and gratitude for police officers and their families. These are men and women who leave their homes every day to protect us, and they never know if they are going to come home or not. I’ve had the honor of receiving a number of emails from officers or their family members who have read the Mary O’Reilly series and are grateful for my portrayal of police officers as people first, law enforcement professionals second. Amazing people first, I might add.
A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast about the famous Chicagoland ghosts, Resurrection Mary. During the podcast, a listener emailed about his father, a Chicago police Officer. This listener told the story about his dad coming home from work with a look of shock on his face. The entire family gathered around him, they were so worried, to ask him what happened. He explained that he’d been driving down Archer Avenue and saw a woman walking down the road, dressed in a white ballgown. It was freezing outside, so he turned around to ask if she needed help. He pulled alongside, looked out the window and realized he could see through her. Then she disappeared before his eyes. He had actually seen Resurrection Mary.
I decided that police officers, just like nurses, probably have these kinds of encounters more often that the average person. So, this Freaky Friday is dedicated to those who stand on the Thin Blue Line – protecting all of us and keeping us safe.
Here are their stories:
This story was from a Facebook page called Jim Harold’s Virtual Campfire.
My niece’s husband is a Police Officer, he talked about a weird case they had where a guy walked into the station and turned himself in. He admitted to murdering a young girl sometime back in the early 2000s; he then threw her body in the trunk of his car, took her to a wooded area where he used to go fishing and buried her. The police wanted him to take them to the spot but he refused, he would only agree to draw a map of the area and mark the spot. He wouldn’t go under any circumstances. When asked why not? He claimed that the last time he drove up there in his headlights he saw her ghost standing near the spot he buried her! Upon seeing her he said that he immediately turned the car around to get out of there. As he was fleeing, he heard a banging sound coming from the rear of the vehicle as though someone was pounding from inside of the trunk. He said that he would never go back there again!
PoliceOne.com has a whole section on scary things that cops have seen on the beat. Here are a few of them:
I’ve seen a lot of things in my career, things that would make a citizen doubt my sanity. From being dispatched to chase a UFO to responding to calls of ghosts. But the most unusual thing that happened to me was witnessed by several officers and a dispatcher. One evening I had brought in a guy for domestic violence and as he was a bit rowdy, I was joined in booking by the sergeant and another patrolman. I’m in the process of booking Mr. Tuffguy when I glanced into cell #1. There was a guy in there, short haircut, glasses, and a white t-shirt just staring at us. I ignored him because I didn’t want him to start banging on the window demanding a phone call or something.
So, I finish the booking process and escort Mr. Tuffguy to his cell, walking past cell #1. Guy in the cell just stood there never saying a word or moving. We all then leave booking and go about our business. Sometime later sergeant asks me to check the paperwork for the prisoners to see if any were ready to transport to county jail. I grab the paperwork and go into booking to do a headcount. Cell #1 is empty. I panic and tell the sergeant who also panics, and he and I begin to make phone calls to the detectives to see if they had moved the guy or had released him. They all say they didn’t go into booking at all. I then checked the computer and paperwork again and the headcount was accurate, no one had been placed in cell #1.
We go to the dispatch office to check the surveillance video for booking. We rewind the footage to where I can be seen booking my prisoner. We fast forward to the point in the video where we all walk out. As soon as we walk past the door the guy in #1 “blinks” out of existence. We were all freaked out by the occurrence believe you me! When we tried to transfer the video to a DVD and USB drive the guy in the cell did not appear. We still hear and see stuff every now and then and prisoners in the detox tank can be seen talking to someone in the direction of cell #1 even though it appears empty. To this day I’m wary of going into booking alone. — Marco Castillo
Over twenty years ago I took an alarm call at the old PTA building across the street from a courthouse in Austin, TX. The alarm had already gone quiet when I showed up with a senior officer. We found an unsecured door slightly open on the east side, so he posted me there while he finished the perimeter and other officers arrived. I was staring right at the door when the alarm activated again and the door slammed shut in my face, loudly. The senior officer ran back to my position and asked why I closed the door. I told him I didn’t.
We called for K9 and the dog arrived shortly. I went in with K9 to clear the building. We found nothing, but the entire time the dog was acting very hinky, like someone was in the building but he wasn’t picking up a scent. We secured the building and a keyholder showed up. He said, “Well you know the place is haunted, right?” There was a secretary that worked there for about thirty years and after she died, she keeps showing up for work. Papers fly off the desks, doors close, sightings, the works. We both told the keyholder the next alarm call there was all his. — Joel Pridg
A couple of years back I was patrolling around 0300-0400. I drive by a small airport in my jurisdiction that is in the middle of the woods which has several hangars and one main office building. I drive by it a few times a night, as it has been burglarized in the past. On this particular night, I’m driving by and hear an audible alarm sounding from inside. I was not dispatched and did not receive any other calls about it. I call it in and walk up to the building which is completely dark and not occupied. Every point of entry is secure, so I am now waiting on the key holder to let me in to clear the inside. I figure a loose door, the wind, etc. tripped the alarm. The key holder comes out with his wife in a couple of minutes and they open up the door for me. I clear the entire office, a garage, etc. Nothing is disturbed. The key holder is confused, as the alarm is not a motion alarm nor an alarm system.
The key holder explains to me that the alarm is coming from a cash register that was opened inside of the office. The cash register could only be opened by pressing a hidden button, which I’ll say was extremely well hidden without going into too much detail. The only people who knew where the button was located was he, his wife, and his deceased father. He told me the cash register closes and locks and without pressing this button, it couldn’t possibly open. It was not an oversight neither, as I had driven by several hours before and heard nothing. The money was not disturbed; however, the register was all the way opened.
The key holder smiled and told me that his father had created and owned the airport before he passed away and that airplanes and this place in particular were his passion and life’s work. The key holder told me that he believes his father does things like that to bring his family to the airport just to say ‘hello’ and make his presence known. I don’t have any other explanation for it. — Billy Bravo
I was working at our jail and while doing my watch tour I was heading into medical and heard two people having a conversation and thought it was two inmates in a cell talking. I went to the first cell and no names on the door, so I didn’t look in. I went to the next door and had one name on it. I opened the hatch to look in and there was a guy in there. I didn’t say anything at first to him and as in closing his hatch, he asked me if I could move his neighbors over because he was alone and would like some company. I then went over to the previous door and checked in the window just in case someone didn’t put the names on the door. I looked in and nobody was in the cell. I went back to the guy in the other cell and asked him if he had heard people talking and he stated yes, they had been talking a lot. I informed him that there was nobody next door and got out of there. — Scott Rowlison
Worked security in a med center after retirement. Opened the place one morning at 0500. As I passed an alcove, for an instant saw a boy about 9 years old, barn hair, striped shirt sitting on a bench then he was gone. Anyway, out of embarrassment I never told a soul about it. I had eight retired detectives working for me and one day I was having a conversation with one of them. Very sheepishly he asked me if I ever saw anything strange in the place when I opened in the morning. When I asked him why he said that he saw a young boy wearing a striped shirt sitting on a bench then he was gone. The same location where I saw the kid. Other things that happened were coffee pots being knocked over and footsteps late at night when closing. Later found out that the med center was located adjacent to the most haunted cemetery on Staten Island. — Buddy Smith
I responded to a suicide as the co-lead detective. A male had hung himself in the tree in the backyard. We checked the residence and it was locked with deadbolt thrown on both entry/egress doors. I called for entry tools and a supervisor for a breach because the decedent’s girlfriend was not accounted for and they lived together (possible murder/suicide).
Several patrol officers and I were standing at the back door of the house (south side) which had been checked multiple times waiting on entry tools. I look at the door and there’s a gap in the frame and see there’s no deadbolt thrown anymore. I check the door and it’s now open.
We clear the residence, and no one is inside. I even had them clear the attic space.
Inside the door that “magically” opened were multiple notes to family members from the decedent.
We all walk outside and are waiting on NOK to arrive and try to walk back in. The door is secured again with a deadbolt.
It should be noted no one had keys and there were key locks on both sides of the door.
The lead and I were now discussing how we were gonna have to call for entry tools, and again the door was open. No one going near it.
I again had the residence cleared and no one inside.
The lead detective and I did not go back into that house that day. — Rob McGinley
The website, The Thought Catalog, has an entire webpage dedicated to police officers and frightening paranormal calls. Here are a couple of my favorite ones:
My uncle was the sheriff of a small town in New Mexico. He was the most hardcore person in our family, super strait-laced, never really BS’ed and wasn’t at all a joker.
So, when he told this story (backed up by my aunt) we all believed it without question.
A local reporter named Bob D. would always show up at any major police activity from the police scanner. Big car wrecks, fires, anything worth maybe reporting in the local paper. Everybody on the force knew Bob D., he was around at least once or twice a week at various police activities. Bob was a bit of a joker himself; he would mess with people by flicking behind their ears. People would react to the flicks thinking it was a bug only to turn around and see it was Bob jerking around. Everybody liked Bob. Unfortunately, Bob had bad lung cancer and died pretty suddenly. His wife buried him (against his wishes, he wanted to be cremated).
For the next couple of weeks, after his funeral, people kept talking about “seeing Bob” at car wrecks, fires, all the same stuff he used to report on. There were 20-30 reports like this from civilians and members of the force. My uncle didn’t buy it.
Until the night he and my aunt showed up at our house, gun drawn, pale as paper. We asked him what the hell happened, and he had to sit down, take his breath, compose himself and start to outline what happened. Note: This is a guy that I never saw get rattled, by anything.
He said. (My aunt) and he were sitting on the couch in their house watching tv. My uncle kept scratching at his ear, over and over. Finally, my aunt asked him what the problem was and he turned around just in time to see their bedroom door open. Bob D. standing there in the doorway. Clear as day. My uncle jumped up, cussed or something, got my aunt’s attention who turned to see him there too. As soon as they both made eye contact with him, Bob smiled, turned, walked across the living room and out their front door. Closed the door behind himself and was gone.
My uncle got control of himself and ran outside. Gun drawn looking for Bob, but he was gone. At that point, they ran over to our place. We went over there and didn’t see anything, but my aunt and uncle stayed at our place that night.
At work the next day, all the guys on the force were giving my uncle lots of “we told you so.” People around town said they saw Bob D. show up at police scenes for at least another 2/3 months. My dad saw him in our darkroom in our basement with a friend. He was flicking their ears in the dark.
During the 3rd month, people that saw him kept saying he was looking worse and worse. My uncle saw him two more times, each time confirming he was looking more and more worn. My Dad had concluded that he was decomposing, and his ghost was reflecting that process.
Every time my ear itches, I get goosebumps.
Worked as a police officer in a small town in rural Nebraska. Back in the ’90s, I was patrolling through town in winter. We had several abandoned houses in town, but one seemed to have the attraction of copper thieves, so we were told to keep an eye on it. Drove by it around 7:00p, since it sat on a corner lot, I had a clear view of all four sides of the house. As I drove around the corner. Nothing looks out of the ordinary. About two hours later I drive by again and the back door is wide open. I know that the back door was not open when I drove by it earlier. Looking at the snow on the ground around the house, there were no footprints. So I think “What the hell?” Call dispatch, tell them I’m investigating an open door at that address and ask for a county sheriff to start my way. I walk to the open door, pull out my flashlight and shine it inside. The house has obviously been gutted for the most part. The plaster walls have been torn down, debris piles everywhere. Since there were no footprints in the snow around the door other than mine, and with all the dust on the floor not showing any footprints, I chalk it up to the wind or maybe the door just opened on its own. I was about to secure the door when I heard a loud thump come from upstairs and what sounded like kids laughing. So I enter the house and yell out “Police department, come downstairs!” More of what sounds like kids playing. I tell dispatch that it sounds like there are kids in the house and start making my way through the kitchen into the living room where the stairs are. All the while cautiously checking the main floor. Two more times I hear something upstairs, but since I’ve had no response, I start thinking maybe it’s an animal. Still, I hear what I’d swear was kids laughing. I head upstairs and it all gets quiet. The upstairs is relatively small with a hallway at the top of the stairs that has one bedroom on the right, one straight ahead at the end of the hall, and a bedroom on the left. As I get to the top of the stairs, I hear a thump in the bedroom to the left. I carefully peek around the door and it’s an empty room with a small pile of plaster and wood debris in the middle. No kidding, sitting on top of the pile of debris was a page torn out of a child’s book with a picture of a police officer on it. The hair stood up on the back of my neck, I got out of that room, quickly cleared the other rooms upstairs and got the heck out of there. Told dispatch nobody was in the house, locked the back door and never went back in there again.
Serve and protect – both the living and the dead, it seems.