Prison poltergeists: The scariest things COs have seen behind the wall

Most COs will tell you they’ve seen it all. But what about the paranormal?

By C1 Staff

Most corrections officers will tell you they’ve seen it all. But what about the paranormal? We asked our audience to share the scariest, strangest, or most unexplained thing they’ve seen in their career, and their stories were downright spooky. Check out our roundup of the best responses, and if you think you can top these, share your story with us in the comments section.


If you think you can top these, share your story with us in the comments section.
If you think you can top these, share your story with us in the comments section. (Photo/Pixabay)

In the mid 2000's we had a male suicide in a pod that had always been exclusively male inmates since the building was built. This was our facility's first suicide since its construction in the mid 90's. A couple of years later, females were moved into that pod.

I was passing meds one day and a female inmate was telling me how she had been hearing noises in the middle of the night in her cell. She went on to tell me that she would wake up and see a shadow "walking" through her cell and then through her wall into the cell next door.

What she didn't know was the cell next door was the cell where the suicide occurred. Joe Walker


I came in on overtime on midnight shift at 3 a.m. and I wound up doing 15-minute medical cell checks. Three weeks earlier we had a hanger. On my 4th pass I see a young male hanging in the cell. I called on the radio for the control center to open the door and turn on the cell lights. When they did he disappeared. I then realized what cell I was at. When I returned by the control center they asked if everything was OK. Apparently I looked a little pale from the experience because my Lt. asked me if I saw “him.” I said yeah. He said rest of the staff working the unit have too. Michael Garrett


A few days after we had an inmate pass away we had a flood on our medical unit and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Finally found the sink in a back room of the dentist office was flooding. The plug had been put in tight and the water turned on full blast. When the camera footage was viewed it showed that not a single person had gone in that office at all that day. Tish Heeley


One night around 1:45 a.m., back when I first started on night shift, I saw an inmate in the top tier day room with just a white t -shirt on staring at me though the day room window. I jumped up from my chair and checked the day room and nobody was in there. I checked the doors and they were locked. I went back to the desk and started writing in my logbook. When I looked up, the same inmate was in the bottom day room laughing at me. I went to the other wing and didn't go back to that wing alone! Tyler Hauptman


There was a female inmate in the segregation unit. One day when I took over shift, she told me that there was a man standing by her bed the night before. That he was very tall, heavy set and looked Native American. I told her there was no way because no men could be in the pod without another female present. She said she thought it was a dead person. I offered her a bible and she refused to take it.

The next day I came in she called me to her cell and told me she had been hurt by the ghost. She said she was awoken by this figure and she got scared and covered herself with blankets, then the ghost grabbed her leg and squeezed really hard. She then showed me the hand print on her leg and I believed her; this female inmate was so tiny and the hand print was like three times bigger than her little hand. She then asked for the bible and requested to be moved from her cell. Gloria Jay Arguello


Working first watch can always be interesting, especially in an old pen like the California Training Facility in Soledad. One night working alone in F wing, I finished my walk for count and returned to the office. As I waited for count to be called, I began to hear keys jingling on the tier. I exited the office to investigate. I started to climb the steps when the keys stopped. I flashed my light around the second and third tier and, seeing nothing, I returned to the office. Again I heard keys jingling and went to inspect. The sound stopped again as I reached the second tier. I walked both the second and third tier and, finding nothing, I said, "I have completed my count, so you can finish yours." I didn't hear anything else all night. Micheal Lewis Robb


Once while working the main gate post at Saint Mary's Correctional Center in West Virginia – a facility that used to be a home for mentally ill children – I saw tiny hand prints about the size of a toddler appear half way up the glass (about face level of a 6-foot person). The hand prints were in a perfectly straight line across the windows. It was mid-week, no visitors and in the middle of the night... Jeremiah Willey


While working a tower at the Garza East Unit in Beeville, Texas, I was sitting on a small chair leaning against a bigger chair that looks like an old wooden electric chair. While sitting there I had my left leg extended and on top of the trap metal door where you enter and exit. After about 30 minutes of peace and quiet, I heard what sounded like someone enter through the door down at the bottom of the tower, then a minute later something hit or pushed against the trap door so hard the door lifted a few inches and kicked my leg off the top. I got up quickly, thinking someone was trying to come through or was playing a joke. I turned the light on and opened the door expecting someone to be there. Nothing or nobody was there ... just dust that was recently kicked up blowing into my face, as if whoever it was vanished! That is one night I will never forget! Jen Snyder

Recommended for you

Copyright © 2023 Corrections1. All rights reserved.