Cops share their creepiest paranormal encounters

Cops have to deal with a lot of weird shit, and the paranormal—or what seems to be—is sometimes part of it.

Remember that old viral video of a police chase that ended when the car apparently disappeared into thin air?

Cops have to deal with a lot of weird shit, and the paranormal — or what seems to be — is sometimes part of it. We trolled Reddit for the freakiest paranormal encounters ever put to print by former and current cops, and here are the results.

The indian procession (u/darthsantaclaus27)

My dad used to work as a CO (corrections officer) at a rural prison. He drove perimeter, which just means he made circles around the jail in a truck, checking empty buildings for runaway inmates and just generally being bored for eight hours every night.

One night, my dad is parked on a hill just reading a magazine when he starts to feel a thumping in his body. He described it as the feeling you get when speakers are playing a song with really heavy bass and you can feel the bass in your whole body.

Anyway, he puts the magazine down and checks his rearview, and he sees someone outside the truck. He grabs his pistol and jumps out of the truck, weapon drawn. When he gets outside, he sees a procession of Native Americans walking through the truck (and directly through his seat) only to disappear at the exact spot he was sitting. He said it was clear they were ghosts because many of them appeared injured. This went on for a few seconds, and then whole procession disappeared.

He called the other perimeter guy on his walkie to try to explain, and the other guy almost immediately stopped communicating. Turns out the other guy had seen this happen before, but didn’t believe in ghosts, so he wouldn’t talk about it.

The smoke thing (Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards)

[Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards] said he and [deputy] Mike later were looking at a video monitor and witnessed a white mist hanging in the air around the hospital cell.

“It looked like someone was blowing out cigarette smoke,” Edwards said.

Mike went down to investigate, but he couldn’t see it. But Edwards could still see it on the monitor. Mike raised his hand to see if he could feel it and the mist shot off the screen.

“I had massive goose bumps,” Edward said. “Here I am, a big tough detention officer in charge of 200 guys in jail and I am worried about this mist.”

The mysterious mist never returned again.

A few years later, the sheriff’s Explorer’s Post, a program for young people interested in a career in law enforcement, would put on a haunted house at the old jail.

Edwards said one of the more seasoned detectives went down the night before and was doing some finishing touches on the main floor.

He then heard a big metal cell door slam shut and echo through there. He thought there might be a transient in the building and unholstered his gun.

Later, he told Edwards: “Bob, I went down those stairs, shut off the lights, and I will never go down there alone again.”

I took a call from a ghost (u/SmoakyBonaparte (911 dispatcher))

Received a call from an elderly lady who had trouble breathing. I had taken several calls from her and her husband in the past so I recognized her voice. I dispatched an ambulance to her residence and held her on the line trying to keep her calm while the ambulance was responding.

Ambulance advise that they a 15 minute ETA (She lived in a very rural part of WV.) I’m talking to her asking about her husband and how he was doing and just making small talk with her. The ambulance calls in and advises they are on scene and I let them know that she is in severe respiratory distress and I still had her on the line. I let her know the ambulance is coming to the door to go answer the door and she says okay and hangs up the phone.

Pretty normal yeah? Well here’s where it gets weird.

The EMT and Paramedic on scene call back about a minute later and advises no one is answering the door. We have a Sheriff Unit who was in the area pulling on scene about that time. The Sheriff Unit confirmed the address and advised he is breaching the door to make access to the PT.

5 minutes go by and the Paramedic on scene radios in asking who the caller was. I advise it was the elderly female who lived at the residence. He tells me that he’s going to call in and needs to speak with the supervisor on shift. We get him over to the supervisor and the supervisor confirms the information that I gave him and asks what’s going on.

Apparently the elderly female had been dead for a while and was in already in full rigor mortis. They thought I was wrong on the caller but the other dispatchers played it back and confirmed that it was the female who called. The ambulance transferred the hospital and we got the same calls and disbelief from the doctors.

So… I took a call from a ghost!

The dark figures (u/landy0034)

I had a back up officer with me, who witnessed everything.

Dispatch sent me to a call in a mountain area late one night. Dispatch said the caller reported several people holding a baby above their heads, and chanting, while standing on her property. The call sounded ridiculous and I smirked as dispatch gave the details. I arrived at the proper address after driving about 20 minutes along a mountain road. There is not much else up here, and it was extremely quiet. No one walks around out here, and there arent very many cars driving this late. I walked along a gated driveway, through a light wooded area. I found the callers house, with two dim lights near the front door. The house was surrounded on three sides by heavy woods. I felt a little uneasy, just looking at the house.

I knocked on the front door of the house, while standing on a large patio. I heard something move to my left, which startled me because it was close. It sounded like a person, something big. I looked to the left and used my flashlight to light up the patio….I didnt see anyone.

I continued to knock. I could hear two voices inside the house. I clearly heard a male and a female. This made me feel a little better. I thought I heard someone on the patio, but it must have been someone inside.

The female eventually opened the door. She was terrified, almost crying. She asked me to come inside and to close the door. She led me to the living room, where I saw a very cheap security monitor, almost like a baby monitor camera setup, with audio and video playing. The camera setup only provided live feed. The camera was positioned to view the front door and patio area where I was just standing. The audio was silent as I watched the monitor for a few seconds.

The woman began to explain, when I interrupted, and asked where the male was inside the house (I heard his voice). She looked confused and said she was here alone. I was suprised because I know for a fact I heard a males voice when I knocked. I asked her several times, and initially thought she was lying to me. My partner checked the house and did not find anyone.

The woman said she was reading while sitting on the couch, when she heard something over the security camera. She looked at the display and saw two people on the patio, standing at the front door. She heard knocking at the door and called the police. I looked at the monitor, and although it was low quality, I could see the patio and front door area with decent clarity. As the woman continued to explain, the audio on the monitor went from quiet to extremely loud. We all stop talking. The caller was shaking. I looked at the monitor, but didnt see anyone. Loud audio continued to blast from the speakers. The audio sounded like wind…..but it was not windy that night. I asked the woman “what is that?”, and she said she said “its them.” I looked at my partner who was nervous.

The woman gives me her cell phone, stating she took pictures of the monitor, showing the two people on her patio. I looked through several low quality pics and didnt see anything. I continue to scroll, and sure enough, I see what looks like two tall figures standing at the door. One of the figures is holding something. The figures looked strange, all dark and featurless, in contrast to the video I saw on the monitor.

I was in disbelief, and thought “oh my god, shes telling the truth.”

I continue to scroll and saw one figure holding something up over its head. Another picture showed the item at the base of the door with both figures standing near it. I tried to reason, to explain what could have caused these images…..but it was pretty apparent that there had been two subjects on her patio.

We check outside, walking the property to the tree line. I mention the movement on the patio, and the males voice from inside the house. My partner asks me to stop talking about it.

We finish checking and return to speak with the caller. She says she will be driving into town and staying at a hotel because she is too scared to stay here tonight.

We walk along the driveway back to our cars… partner jumps into the patrol car and takes off. I laughed, but I felt really uneasy, standing there in the dark. I leave shortly afterward.

The basement light (u/defnotacop-)

I was dispatched around 3am to attend a house where the caller was concerned that someone had broken into the basement and was still inside. The caller was a very old lady and she lived alone. As far as she could tell, she woke up and noticed that the basement lights were on, and she hadn’t been downstairs in years.

My partner and I get to the call and the lady is standing at the front door with her walker anxiously waiting for us to come inside. My partner and I go into the basement and you can tell that no one had been down there for a while because as I walked I kept hitting cobwebs that were dangling from the ceiling. Anyway, everything appeared to be in order, and eventually I found the light switch further into the basement and turn it off. We shut the basement door behind us and clear the main floor too, since she was so adamant that she heard rustling and coughing in the basement (the basement was relatively empty, and I assure you no one was down there).

As we are about to leave she asks if we turned the light off. I said yes, and opened the door to show her, but the light was back on when I did. I kept my composure and asked her if I could turn the lights on/off from upstairs as well. Negative. My partner and I exchanged looks and I went back down to turn the lights off again, and gtfo. We met up after the call and dug a little bit into the history of the house, and it turned out that a year ago on that day we attended to help paramedics because her husband had fallen down those stairs. Not sure if he made it or not but… nope.

Slow, careful steps (u/Officerbad)

I was supervising on evening shift in a small town in rural Australia. We have a large river that snakes its way past the town and runs close to some of the residential areas. Its a kilometer wide in some parts, has steep banks and thick bush in the bed when its dry

One of my crews were tied up with something and the other was attending two brothers threatening suicide after having a fight at a residence near the bank of the river. I heard the job and attended to give my crew a hand.

Upon arrival we found one brother who was self harming and on drugs. We restrained him to prevent him from harming himself. He was telling us he wanted to kill himself and was taken to hospital via ambulance for mental health. As we had made the apprehension, my crew had to accompany the ambulance for everyone’s safety.

My crew leaves and then im told by the family that the other brother had run off down the river dry bank threatening to hang himself. The family said he was drunk but didnt have anything to actually hang himself with. I was concerned and attended the river bank near where they thought he went down the river steep bank.

Both crews were busy and I was by myself, at night and it started raining lightly. I parked my unit at the top of the bank with the lights pointed onto the bush hoping that if he saw my lights he’d come towards me. I got out my torch and made my way down the bank. I found a small clearing and a small distance away was thick bush.

I heard something moving in the bush. It sounded like something taking deliberate steps in the bush. I yelled out thinking it was the guy i was after. I told him i was here to help and pleaded with him to come out.

No response and when i was talking, whatever it was stopped moving. I kept talking attempting to make contact as my instincts told me someone was in the thick bush in front of me. No response.

My torch couldn’t penetrate the bush but i could hear distinct foot falls. I stopped making any noise, turned off my light and stood still listening…. I hear movement coming towards me in the bush. I remained still and listen. It came closer. Without thinking, my hand went down to my gun and i was ready to draw.

I turned on my light and walked forward and hear whatever it was move away from me. I backed off, turned off my light and remained silent. It started coming closer to me, probing my position. I repeated the exercise once more and once more it backed off and came back at a different angle.

By this stage i was on high alert. Something told me gtfo. I got this heavy eerie feeling. Any animal that was down there would have run off upon my approach. No animal i know approaches/probes a humans position at night like that.

Once i got the overwhelming feeling to leave i backed off, with my hand on my gun and i didnt turn my back until i had to climb up the bank.

Once at the top and back with my car i felt a lot better but i could still hear something moving in the bush. I stayed there for a while as i was curious.

I left and conducted enquires finding the missing brother on the other side of town fast asleep and fine.

To this day i dont know what i ran into down in the river bed that night…

Disappearing girl (u/GrapeJuice89)

My brother is a deputy and at the time I worked as an EMT for a few small towns in north east Colorado. I frequently went on ride alongs with him while waiting for 9/11 calls to come in. This took place in Amherst Colorado.

The town is very small (about 1 mile square), Amherst has about 50 people, a church, some houses, a grain tower, and a park.

It was about 3 am and we were about to call it a night. As we were making our last check on Amherst we noticed movement at the park but couldn’t tell exactly what was going on because it was pitch black. We drove up and stopped along side the dirt road, flipped on the spotlight and as we moved the light around the park it finally settled on the back of a young girl (maybe 13) sitting on a swing with her back facing us.

We left the spotlight on her, she wasn’t moving, she just sat there facing away from us looking down at the ground. Needless to say it was a very creepy situation.

We both looked at each other with that face you would make when something is out of the ordinary. I quickly suggested that we should call her over using the PA system. He agreed.

As we looked back over, she was gone. I mean no signs of anyone anywhere. The park was in a wide open area, she couldn’t have gotten out of sight in the amount of time that we had our exchange of words.

I remember saying, “should we get out and look for her?” Maybe she hid behind one of the park toys or something. My brother just looked at me and said “hell to the no” and drove away. It still creeps me out to this day.

A warning from beyond? (u/Grizzly_treats)

Police officer working the desk 1500 – 2300, fire alarm signal goes off (many many years ago the police department offered alarm monitoring service, still had 10-12 places that were hard wired and it would require pulling apart a lot of equipment to disconnect the system so we just kept it going). 1st shift dispatch is already punched in so she took it.

I’m headed out the door to the fire department when 911 rings from the same address, I answer it. No one in the other end, assumed they barely got to call before passing out, I bolt out the back door, hop in a squad car, radio in the 911 call on channel three that both police/fire can hear and that I’m going directly to the house.

Arrive just as another unit shows up. No signs of smoke…no sign of anything.

Older woman comes walking up the street pushing a wheelchair with an elderly lady (her mother). They live there and just went out for an early evening stroll before dinner.

Tell them what we have going on, nobody else lives there and as far as the elderly lady can remember the alarm was disconnected from the house years ago during some renovations. They don’t have any alarm system either, just a couple of smoke/fire detectors.

We do a walk around the house, get to the back door off the kitchen and you can clearly see and smell gas.

We turned off the gas at the main, set up some fans to air it out and find a cracked gas line going to the oven. Daughter said she spilled some coffee she was making for their walk and had to move the oven a few inches to clean, probably broke the line pushing the oven back in. Nothing else in the house is disturbed and both phones are on the hook.

Fire chief shows up about 15 minutes into the call. He goes over to the two ladies and gives them both a hug, he’s nearly in tears.

The elderly lady in the wheelchair, her husband was the fire chief 60+ years ago for our department. The daughter, her husband passed away a few years ago, he was also a member of our department.

Never believed in ghosts or spirits but that call made me think maybe people who spend their lives doing good are allowed by some power to look over their loved ones every so often.

A stitch in time (u/re_Claire)

When I first joined the police, during our first two days of training school we had a lecture from this old sweat (British police slang for an officer who has been in the force for a long time) who’d been in the job for about 20 years. He told us of his weirdest experience of policing.

He said he’d been out on patrol in a car, when they got an abandoned call to a house. He got there and it was a big house sort of isolated, and they knocked on the door and no one answered. He went to open the door and it was unlocked, and he walked in.

The house was empty. No people, no furniture, no possessions. Completely vacant. He looked around and found no one there, but then looked upstairs and thought he saw some one move.

He went upstairs. It was a really big house with a long hall upstairs. When he got up there he saw someone go into the bedroom right at the end of the hall. He followed the person there, calling out as he went.

Again, all the other rooms were completely empty of even furniture. When he got to the room he saw the person go in, he found it completely empty. No one was in it, and nothing was there apart from a big long mirror. He walked into the room and looked into the mirror.

He told us he saw something in the mirror that he said has haunted him for the rest of his life. He wouldn’t tell us what he saw, and said he’d tell no one ever, but that it terrified him.

He turned around and left the room to leave. As he walked down the hallway he saw that all the rooms were now filled with furniture. No one was there still, but the house no longer looked abandoned. He said he left the house that day never knowing what had happened, or who had called police, but absolutely 100% sure of what he’d seen.

He was completely serious and it was obvious that he really believed that was what he’d seen, and it gave me chills down my spine when he was telling us. I’ve never forgotten it.

The UFO (u/PoeticTriggerPull)

I was a few months off of field training when I received a call for a “suspicious incident” in southwest zone of our jurisdiction. Dispatch advised the caller saw “a single light” in the sky. I was a few blocks north of the location of the call when it came out, and heard what sounded like an electrical transformer blow just a few minutes before the call came out. I just assumed the caller had seen the flash that typically accompanies these little explosions.

While I was in route, dispatch further advised that the subject had made statements indicating the light was, what dispatch referred to as, “of the biblical variety” as it had made him “feel warm”. Great.

I request any prior interactions we have with the subject, and dispatch relates what you’d imagine. Numerous calls for people in his house when no indication of such was located, angels in his bedroom, civil disturbances for talking to himself on the train platform… pretty much the standard offering of someone suffering from a mental illness. Also an officer safety alert. Terrific. Stupid transformer.

I arrive on scene and find a man standing in the snow on the sidewalk with a good brown winter jacket, soiled blue jeans and a pair of white new balance shoes. I remember the shoes were just immaculately white, with heavy wear on the outside edges. The subject, we’ll call him “Tim” has the most peaceful expression on his face with his hands clasped in front of him in what I’d call the communion hold. If you’ve ever received communion and cup your hands to receive your Jesus wafer, it was like that. Tim waves to me as I park.

I walk up and introduce myself. Tim cuts in with a impossibly long run on sentence. The gist of which was him asking if I had seen the light and accepted God’s angel into my life.

I already “know” what happened and I don’t want to spend any longer then I have to, because psych committal paperwork sucks. So I launch into a perfectly reasonable explanation of how a transformer blew in the area and the light he saw was the explosion…blah blah blah. The whole time I’m talking, Tim is smiling and shaking his head at me.

That’s when he tells me, it was not a flash of light, but a large circle of light that made no noise. It floated above him “rather angelically” for what Tim perceived was hours and cast a light on him that warmed his skin, aka “God’s touch” that expelled his demons. As the large circle of light moved away, Tim told me that the “electrical box” exploded as the light passed over it.

This is where I tell you, I have a morbid fear of UFOs. Legit. I hate even talking about them. At this point, I am quick to disprove Tim, as I don’t want to even entertain the notion. I cut Tim off and ask for his ID. He hands it over and I find out he lives just a couple houses down. I am quick to try and convince Tim to return home as I’m sure it was nothing. I begin inquiring about his meds, illicit drug use, alcohol…the works. It all checks out, Tim is kind of just a standard crazy dude. Cool. Time to go.

Tim shows me his watch. Its a Casio with a velcro band and the face of which is on Tim’s inner wrist. Where the numbers would normally be there are these little “0”s. They are the little weird digital zeros that you get on a calculator, where they narrow at the ends and have little spaces between them. If you’ve ever spelled “80085” with a calculator you’ll know what I mean. There are some other dashes on the screen. No biggie. Tim has probably been wearing that watch for 30 years and its been broken for 29 of them.

I start to ask Tim if I can accompany him back to his home when I notice something that still gives me goosebumps even now as I type this. Tim and I are standing in a large circle of slightly melted snow.

I have a pain catch in my chest and what could possibly be my first ever panic attack. Internally of course. No one likes to see a cop hyperventilate and shit himself.

I look closely at the circle and seen a razor fine edge. The interior of the circle looks like melted snow and is kind of subset below the outer edge. It looks like someone turned a burner on underneath the snow and it was melting from the bottom down. Additionally, I see Tim’s footprints walking into the circle from down the sidewalk in the direction of his house. The footprints outside of the circle are fresh and have these nice sharp edges. The ones inside are rounded and look like they have spent a day or two in the sun. My prints inside the circle are fresh as well.

My cover officer arrives. One is usually dispatched whenever we have officer safety alerts on a subject. Its my former FTO. Good, me and him are close and I can panic a little in front of him. I pull him by my car and explain everything. He tells me he heard the transformer pop and believes the circle is due to gas, or a sewer…essentially something terrestrial. He’s calm about it and I want to believe him. He takes over and walks Tim back to his house after he makes sure no medical treatment is needed. We’re done here.

I get back in my car and try to clear myself from the call on my laptop, but the MDT is completely frozen. Not unusual, just annoying. I mic up and tell dispatch I’m 10-8. I’m asked to repeat as I’m all static. I drive down the road a bit and it goes through. Not unusual. Our radios suck.

I take my phone out to call my former FTO and tell him just how far down the rabbit hole I went with that before he got there. My phone is lockedup on the keypad screen. I have to pull the battery to reset it. This is a little unusual, that’s never happened before. After a reset, I call my FTO and he essentially tells me to think horses when I hear hoof beats, not zebras. I feel like an idiot and don’t tell anyone because as a probationary officer, I can be let go rather easily, and “UFOs” aren’t covered in department policy.

I don’t drive down that street for a couple months and really really try to forget it. I get a call for a burglar alarm at a house at the cul-de-sac at the end of that same street. The home owner tells me he only had the alarm trigger once before. I ask when and he tells me when he saw a large light glide over his house a few months back.

The ghost calls (u/Nevadadrifter (911 dispatcher))

There was an old couple who lived on a run down ranch house about 20 miles east of town. When the husband passed away, the woman would call 911 at least three times a week, asking for assistance with very mundane tasks not normally dealt to first responders. “I need help turning the thermostat up”, “I need help boiling water for my tea”, etc.

The woman developed dementia, and eventually it progressed to the point where she believed she was calling 911 to ask her deceased husband for help. All of the dispatchers would recognize the address immediately, even though all she could say was “(husband’s name), I need help. Please come home and help me”

One day she called, and again was only able to repeat her husband’s (I’ll call him “John”) name. “John, I need help. Please come home and help me John.” By the time the first responders arrived on scene, they found the woman lying dead in her bed. The first unit on scene called dispatch to confirm that it was the woman herself who had called 911, as rigor Morris had already set in. We wrote it off as the fact that the heater in her house wasn’t working, and the ambient temperature in the room was about 50 degrees.

We continued to receive 911 calls from that woman, at that address for just over a year after she passed away. Even after her home was vandalized, and burned to the ground, the phone calls did not stop. “John, I need your help. John, please come home and help me.” We were obligated to send a response each and every time, but not once did we find anyone on or near the property.

Multiple calls to the phone company confirmed that the phone line had been disconnected, and the call was not coming from another address.

The fairy invasion (u/AnxietyDepressedFun)

Years ago my uncle told us about a woman who would call the police station just about every night claiming that “fairies or elves” were breaking into her house & stealing her food. As is custom, every time she calls, they send a unit to check on her (my uncle gets it about 2-3 times per week). Every night they stop by her house & reassure her that no one has broken in & calm her down.

One night when he gets to the house she has poured powdered sugar all over the floor to “record their tracks” & my uncle says he literally has to do a double take. All over the floor of her kitchen are these little tracks, tiny like nothing he’s seen before. His partner starts taking photos & trying to figure it out. A few other officers come in, as most of them had gotten the call to her house too & want to see it. 10 police officers all completely baffled as to what these wierd little prints are…

urns out a possum had babies & they were sneaking into her kitchen for warmth or food. The prints looked so foriegn because most of the time baby possums are carried by their mother not running around. 7 are rounded up & released in a less residential area.