Working late is not the ideal recipe for sanity or success.
Night time gets creepy. It just does. Especially in the wee small hours of the morning, when everybody else is asleep, your chances of encountering something weird skyrocket.
Here were some of those answers.
A Pizza, A Pizza!
I worked overnights at an isolated gas station the summer after I graduated high school, way back in the late 1980s. This gas station had hot pizza in a clear case, and this case opened from the back. You'd open the case, pull out a slice, put it on a plate and hand it to the customer. One day when I came in at 11 pm, there were 3 slices left in the case, which was 3 or 4 feet down the counter from the register. I had one piece for dinner, then went about working my shift, which consisted of standing at the register waiting for people to wander in.
It was a slow shift, I had only 4 or 5 customers in a couple of hours. Not a busy shift by any means, and most just wanted lottery tickets or to pay for gas or grab a pop. But by 1 am, there was no one in the store or at the pumps, so I got started neatening the store, always in eyesight of the front counter (the register, the lotto machine and the pizza case) and no one came in for the hour I was shlepping around trying to make it look like I was working. Figuring the pizza was pretty well dried out by then, I went to throw it out.
Opened the case and there was just an empty tray. Somehow 2 slices of (probably 5 hours old pizza) disappeared. Now, the only way to get into the pizza case was to get behind the counter and to do that, you had to punch in a code and then the door would buzz really loud and unlock. In other words, you couldn't just reach around the counter and get to the pizza. I scratched my head, spent the rest of my shift nervously worrying that there was some rando pizza eating killer hiding in the store, and when a sheriff's deputy came in around 4 am, I asked him to check the building for any intruders. He didn't find anyone.
Before leaving at the end of my shift, I wrote a note to my boss detailing what happened, then went home. When I came in for my next shift, he was there waiting and told me he reviewed the video (there were cameras aimed at the front counter, door, and over the store) and played it back for me. It showed me ringing out a customer, then going and neatening up the shelves. Meanwhile, on the front counter camera, a couple of minutes after I left the counter area, the camera got shaky and then went to static for 30 seconds or so. When it came back on, the pizza was no longer in the case.
Never happened again while I worked there (which was for another 6 months or so) and we never did figure out what happened.
Livin' La Vida Loca
A shirtless man standing in the pouring rain in the middle of the parking lot for what seemed to be about 3 hours.
I don't know about creepy but it was weird. I worked the graveyard shift in an inner city gas station. There were a few homeless guys who would come in, mostly they were older and nice guys to deal with
One guy would come in every night about the same time and stand in front of the drink fridge for 10 minutes or so. He would agonize over his choice, he would go to pick up a can then change his mind and shut the fridge door. Then stand for a few more minutes and stare. Eventually he would choose a drink, most often a can of Fanta, then he would pay with 5 and 10 cent coins
One night he came in and the usual dance ensued. He eventually picked out a Fanta and paid with his low denomination coins then left
A few hours later he came back, this was unusual. He went to the fridge and grabbed 3 cans of Fanta, no waiting staring. He had never bought more than one can at a time before. He put the cans on the counter and went back and got a few bags of snack food, chips, chocolate bars etc. then he came back and pulled out a stack of $50 notes, had to be a couple of thousand there. I was a bit stunned
Next day he was back with 5 and 10 cent coins again
At about 3am one night I had a woman come in. Insanely skinny, blonde thinning hair and wearing what looked like pajamas. Nothing really out of the ordinary about her so I only really glanced up as I buzzed her in, called out a quick greeting and went back to cleaning.
After about 2-3 minutes though I look up and she is standing about 4 feet from the counter just staring at me. Completely blank, unwavering kind of stare. It startled me a little and I asked her if I could help her with anything. But she didn't reply and just continued to stare. She eventually began looking around the store but she didn't take her eyes off me the entire time. Even walking backwards at some points so she wouldn't break eye contact.
After she grabs some things she comes back to the counter. Still staring but also muttering something under her breath. It was really hard to hear what she was saying but I managed to make out a brand of smokes after getting her to repeat it several times. I get them for her, scan all her things and she pays. Eyes still locked on me and showing no emotional at all. It was getting pretty unnerving at this point and I was looking forward to getting her out the door. As I'm handing over her change though she suddenly smiles. Which would ease the tension if she didn't also start to laugh. It was a really raspy laugh, kind of a cross between that croaky noise the grudge makes and a typical witch's laugh. Kind of a cackle I guess. I tried not to react too much and told her to have a good night and took a few steps back from the counter. We were both kind of frozen. Her laughing and me having no idea what to do.
She continued her cackling and staring for a few minutes and then left, walking backwards again so she could keep looking at me. I felt really freaked out at that point but figured she was probably just drunk or high or just had some stuff going on. She was outside now and had wandered off so I went back to cleaning and tried to shake the whole moment off.
I was out in the store mopping about an hour later when I heard a thud against the window. The whole front of our store is just glass panels and the noise came from right beside me. I looked up and this damn woman is back. Her hand is pushed up against the window and she is laughing again. I could just hear it as I was so close to the door. I must have really jumped at the sight of her because she seemed to get a kick out of it laughing even more and smacking her hand on the window repeatedly. I thought bugger the mopping and went back behind the counter. I ended up staying in the back room where all of our security screens are and waiting for her to leave. It took around 45 minutes for her to clear off. The whole time just banging on the window and I assume still laughing.
I'm really glad our doors are locked over night because I wouldn't have liked to have been on the same side of the counter as her. I'm not sure what her deal was and I doubt she posed any real threat but dang it really freaked me out.
I've seen her a few times since then. Just wandering past on the foot path outside but she has never come in or hung around again.
Psych Ward Escapee
I had a 300lb man come in and tell me he was looking for god. He walked over to the soda and started downing mountain dews, Then he got butt naked and laid on the floor and pissed everywhere (including on himself).
When the police arrived they told me he was apparently off his meds and they'd been searching for him for a while, He broke the windows out of a church a few blocks down the road. That was one of the stranger nights of my life.
The Circle Of Life
I wasn't working, but my mom worked the graveyard shift and would have me sleeping on a cot behind the counter by her so she could take me to school right after work.
I woke up to use the bathroom, saw an old, probably homeless man walk in. A rat fell off of him, scurried after him for a second, then died.
Not creepy but indeed scary. My first job, 2nd night of working nights (So I still had a trainer working with me.) A guy walks in with his throat slit asking to use the phone. Pretty stunned I just said "Yeah but I'm gonna call 911 first...." He told me that that's what he was going to do, so he'll just be outside sitting in his grey van. I guess his wife got mad and tried to kill him and he somehow got out. Never heard more from it. A few months later a big biker guy came in with road rash all over his bald head and face, I freaked and was like "DUDE ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?" He then informed me that he was fine, he was just on break from the haunted trail down the road. For some reason it scared me worse than the guy who was actually injured.
Just Goin' About
I had a guy come in covered in blood one night. He got a cup of coffee and a candy bar. He paid and then saw the face I was making. Only said "Don't worry it's not my blood" and walked out.
Nearby Criminal Activity
Worked for 7-11 corporate. Every employee has to spend 2 weeks working in store.
Overnight shift came, and we were helping but typically it's a single person unloading the entire truck, and loading the entirety of the donuts while assisting customers overnight....
Creepy part is that one night a guy came in to help as a customer. He was arrested just up the road being wanted for murder, that night.
Swarmed By Cops
It was not terribly unusual to have people pull into our parking lot when they got pulled over for speeding, because it was one of the few brightly lit, mostly empty lots on that stretch of road. So one night, a guy pulls into our lot with a cop car right behind him, and it seemed pretty routine until the cop got out of his car, pulled a gun, and started yelling at they guy to get out of the car. Then like five more cop cars pulled in behind them, some also pulling guns, some getting the K-9 dogs out, and I decided it would be wise to lock the door until this blew over.
The cops took the guy into custody without incident, popped their heads into the store to let me know they were going to tow the guy's car so it wasn't blocking the dumpster, and left. I checked the news a few days later, and apparently the guy had been dealing drugs in the Quality Dairy parking lot up the road, and led the cops on a high speed chase before surrendering in front of my store.