January 17, 2011

The Midnighters

For over thirty years, Jerry worked as a police officer in Pittsburgh. In his time on the force, Jerry has seen some bad things, some worse things, and some downright evil things. Cleaning up when people got mad or got crazy was part of the job, but there were other things that Jerry saw, things that most people never see, things that prowl the night, things that refuse to die.

I interviewed Jerry several times in 2002. The following incident is just one of the many stories Jerry shared in hours of audio recordings. I have transcribed them just as they were told to me by Jerry.

“This was back in ‘62, I’m thinking. It was just after midnight, and me and Frank – that’s my partner at the time, Frank – we got a call about a burglary in progress. Now we don’t get many of those, or we didn’t get them back then when people didn’t have home alarm systems and that. So Frank and me, we hit the gas and got right over. Yeah, we was pretty stupid to want to get there fast, huh?

“It was a small apartment building and there was this girl, not more than 20 – nursing student, I think – that lived up on the third floor. She comes running out when we pull up. We think the guy must be inside already and we rush the stairs, but the place is empty, right, and the girl comes in behind us and says, 'No, he’s out there,' and she points out the window.



“Well, there’s no fire escape or nothing, just a big drop. I turn to Frank and I says to him, 'He must be one tall son of a bitch.' Well, Frank bust a gut over that one, but that girl was having none of it. She says that some weirdo was peeping through the window at her and making faces and stuff. So, it weren’t no burglary, but this girl, she was real upset so I knew there had to be something to it.

“‘Okay, honey,’ I told her, ‘My partner and I, we’ll go out back there and make sure this guy’s gone.’ So Frank and I head to the back for a quick looky loo. Behind this building they got a little field and behind that, some woods or what we call an undeveloped property nowadays. Next door there’s some houses, I guess. It’s pitch black out there and Frank and I are looking around with our flashlights thinking, ‘There ain’t much to see out here and no place to hide.’
“Frank and I are ready to call it a night on this one ‘cause whoever this guy was, he’s long gone, right? Well, Frank looks up to this girl’s window and says to me: ‘Jerry, how do ya suppose this peeper got up to that window?’ And I tell ya, I don’t know what to say. We didn’t see any signs of a ladder in the grass and there weren’t nothing to climb on.

“So we’re standing there scratching our heads, looking up at the window and the girl, she’s looking out the window at us now, and right above the window – she’s on the top floor there, they got three stories and then a flat roof, right? – so, right above the window that we’re looking at and she’s looking out of, there’s our guy. He’s up on the roof and he walks up to the edge and now he’s looking down at us.
“Frank says to me, ‘Get your lights on him, Jerry, I’m going up.’ And I put my flashlight on the guy and Frank starts to head back in the building, but of course he stops as soon as he gets a good look at the guy. We both stand there with our jaws flapping ‘cause this guy, he don’t look like no regular guy, you see? He’s dressed like in a scuba suit, right? It’s skin tight and silvery-blue and he’s got this face that looked like some kinda Halloween mask but I know for sure it ain’t no mask. It was like his eyes were wide open, right, but wider than a person’s eyes ought to get, and they were shiny like an animal’s, like they were reflecting the light from the flashlight. And he was smiling, but just like his eyes, his mouth was way bigger than it oughta be, his smile was stretched around the side of his head, and you couldn’t tell whether he was laughing or crying.

“Well, we was on the ground and he was three stories up, so we couldn’t tell that this weren’t no Peeping Tom, we thought this guy is some messed-up wacko. Frank takes out his gun and I do the same ‘cause now we’re scared, too. The girl backs away from the window maybe ‘cause of the guns or maybe ‘cause she figured out what we were looking at. I aim my gun at the guy and start screaming at him to put his hands up or something, I don’t even remember, ‘cause at that point, he jumped.

“Now three stories, what is that? I guess like 30 feet, right? Well, this guy, first he jumps up – up from the roof – about 30 feet and then he comes down in the field behind us. That’s like 60 feet he drops and he lands on the ground like it was nothing. So, Frank and I spin around, guns on the guy, I’m still screaming I think, and Frank starts to get closer, but the guy, he starts making this weird noise. It sounded like starting up a lawn mower, pulling the cord on one, but kinda like the lawn mower was a real heavy smoker, right? Like a gasping and scraping and buzzing sound all at the same time.

“Now this time I got a good look at the guy, and I could see he's wearing this tight one piece number and it even had a little cape that I didn’t notice before and it looked like he was wearing like a helmet same color as the suit. So, this is looking really crazy and I’m starting to think this is some kid from the art school or some actor out of work, and I’m not so scared now as I am pissed. Well, then these sparks start shooting outta the guy’s mouth, these blue sparks just start raining down all over him, all over the grass, and then he jumps again.

“This time he goes up, up, up and lands in the backyard of the house next door. Now there’s a fence, see, so we can’t see him anymore, but Frank and I hear that noise again and then the guy jumps and we see him take off away from us and come down in the woods out there. Well, Frank and I didn’t know if we should call this one in or not, but since the girl’s a witness to the whole thing, too, we figure we got some cover.

“We spent that night going through the woods and all the backyards and it took two hours for the super to find the keys to the roof. Ain’t nobody been up there for a long time, but there were some deep scratches around the part where the girl’s window was. Don’t know if that was related or not. Anyway, Frank and I took a lot of ribbing from the guys for this one, and I started to think it was just our imaginations, too, but over the years, I seen some things I don’t know what they was. Frank and me, we always worked the night shift, and it seemed things always got a little weird after midnight, so we took to calling the weird things we seen the Midnighters, but it sorta got flipped around by some of the guys, I guess, and we started calling ourselves the same thing.

“So, Frank and me, we were the Midnighters, and Frank ain’t with us no more and I guess I’m the last Midnighter, so I think I should share these stories, tell about Frank and the things we seen together, let people know what happens while they’re home sleeping in their beds, you know?”

Read more stories of the Midnighters here.

Got a scary story? Email wannahearascarystory@gmail.com.

6 comments:

  1. Mate, that was intense! I do hope you share more stories from The Midnighters, especially if they're as cool as this one.
    When I came to Uni' we were told an urban myth about this guy who'd crawl into young girl's rooms while they were sleeping and just stand there, watching. It caused quite a scare among the freshmen girls but it was nothing compared to this.
    Cheers!

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  2. I think the Midnighters have a few more stories we can share here on Scary True. Glad you liked it.

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  3. I can't wait to read more!! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Check back in February for another tale from The Midnighters. Until then, please take a look at our other scary stories.

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  5. Wow...that was a good one! Could you imagine being home alone at night & seeing that face staring at you, making faces at you, through your 3rd story window?!? Creepy as hell...I love it!

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  6. Thanks for the comment. I think it's creepy as all get out, as well!

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