Chapter 1: An Unusual Call
AT half past midnight, a public safety dispatcher received a familiar but unsettling call. Amid the static and crackle, a voice uttered, “Send help.”
The strange calls started nine months ago, and they always occurred on or near the full moon. The voice supplied only their first name and location. The caller’s name changed every month, but the location stayed the same—Shoreline Hospital morgue. The police officer who responded to the first dispatch spoke with Matt Faulson, the morgue’s overnight security guard. He denied dialing for assistance. The officer walked around the perimeter of the building and witnessed nothing out of the ordinary.
But after three monthly calls involving the same person on duty, the department assigned Officer David Jackson to patrol around the time of the full moon, when they estimated a call would occur. They suspected the twenty-seven-year-old Matt to be the prankster.
Police interviews failed to pin him. Instead, the detectives saw video footage of stationary objects moving randomly in various rooms in the morgue late at night.
The young man admitted to seeing strange activity during his shifts. Adding to the mystery, the city’s emergency dispatch system saved the calls, but the hospital had no record of any of their phones being used.
David arrived at the parking lot with another patrol car at 12:25 a.m. He saw a lone figure sitting on a bench near the morgue’s main entrance.
“Matt.” He approached the security guard with friendly caution. As the guard greeted him, the officer couldn’t help but notice the dark shadows under the young man’s eyes and the ruffled hair. “Man, you look terrible.”
Matt sighed. “There’s not a lot of sleep with the graveyard shift, as you know. I don’t like walking the floors between midnight and one a.m., but I took too long answering an email, and I forgot the time. I rushed through the hallways, and let me tell you, I had more than one sighting,” Matt said. “I guess you received a call?”
David nodded. “You have to get me in there one of these nights. I want to see for myself.”
“I’ll call next time. But I didn’t make the call tonight,” Matt replied. He stood up and prepared to go back in the morgue, but froze. “Oh.”
“What is it?” David asked. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the second officer took a defensive stance.
“A gray entity floated out of the wall to my left,” Matt said softly as he kept his head very still.
David looked as soon as Matt spoke. “I don’t see anything.” He glanced at the other officer.
“I don’t see anything either.”
“Really?” Matt asked as his shoulders dropped. He gingerly turned his head and looked. “Am I the only one who sees ghosts?”
“I’m beginning to believe that,” David replied.