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Home Archives Graveyard Shift at the Water Plant

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Witness: Jeff Revis
Location: Dayton, Tennessee
Date of Encounter: 1985

I would like to share with you one of my own true experiences, which happened right here in Dayton, Tennessee approximately 20 years ago. This story is true. I don't have a witness and I can't prove it, but it happened.

When I was about 25 years old I was hired on at the City of Dayton as a laborer. Due to medical problems, I requested a transfer and wound up working at the water plant. This is where water is sucked in through huge pipes from the Tennessee River and treated with chemicals to make it safe for drinking. Since it had to be located near the river, the water plant was rather secluded and far away from any houses. It was a lonesome place on the graveyard shift, from 11:00 PM until 7:00 AM. Nobody there but me and sometimes my little dog, Rastus. But it wasn't really scary, either. It was spotlessly clean and well lit, there were no cobwebs or dark corners, and best of all, it was easy! The only place in the plant that made me nervous was the basement. That's where the huge pipes from the river entered into the building and the atmosphere down there was just creepy. Or maybe menacing is a better word. Anyway, I have always been sensitive to spirits, somewhat psychic, and I know my way around a deck of Tarot cards, and that intuitive voice… that gut feeling… told me that I should stay on the upper floors — at least above ground level. So I did, and everything was cool for a long time. But then, things changed.

I went into work that night at 11:00, same as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on and after saying goodnight to the guy that worked the evening shift I started the filters, checked all the chemicals, and then settled into the chair behind the desk in the office with a book. It's kind of strange, the little things that we remember. The name of the book was One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey. Why do I remember that? Oh, well, not important.
I was really getting into the story. You know how sometimes you can get so absorbed in something like that? You forget about everything except the book and the next thing you know, a couple of hours have slipped away without a whisper… well that's what happened. I looked at the clock and it was 3:00 AM, straight up. The true witching hour. That's exactly when I heard the noises begin. Slam! Something in the hall had fallen hard onto the tiled floor. Bang! It happened again. But that wasn't possible. I was alone and there was nothing in the hall that wasn't bolted to the floor. So, I took a deep breath, slowly eased out of my chair, and peeked through the doorless opening into the hall. First to the left I looked… nothing. Just the closet door, which was open slightly. Then to the right, and there, about halfway to the door that lead down to the basement, were two of the cabinet doors laying flat out on the floor. The same two cabinet doors that I had carefully closed and latched earlier. I decided that they weren't hurting anything by being there instead of on the cabinet, at least until the sun came up, I reasoned, would be ok and I could just stay in the office in case the phone rang or anything. I turned back to my chair and book and wished that there was a door that I could close. And lock. But there was no door. It had been removed years earlier by Charles, an enterprising ex-employee who would never tell where he hid that door after he got fired for trying to disassemble the whole building in eight hours. When questioned by the supervisor, Charles pulled a knife and began to babble about the Bible, the Great Beast, and the book of Revelations. Charles is still in a mental institution today, 20 some-odd years later.

But back to it… my chair and book. I sat back down and tried to read more, but it was impossible. Y'see, I began to feel that I wasn't alone. I knew that there was someone else in the building. In the basement, to be precise. And I knew that it was not friendly. So I just sat there behind the desk looking through the doorway… waiting. I didn't have to wait long. 
I felt it before I saw it. A terrible air of hatred and evil seemed to settle in like fog in a graveyard. I was scared. Really scared. And then I saw it. As I sat in the chair, looking out into the hallway the shape drifted into view. It came from the direction of the basement, floating slowly about 6 to 12 inches above the floor. It was the shape of a man, solid, but at the same time not solid, and it was totally black. Like a human body dipped in tar. I saw the arms, the legs, the head, but no face… no eyes.

When it was exactly in the center of the open doorway it seemed to notice me for the first time. It turned in my direction and when we were face-to-face, with no more than 8 feet of open space and one small desk between us, it almost killed me. It very nearly scared me to death. It began to scream and reach for me, but for some reason it seemed that it could not cross the threshold from the hall. So it reached and reached, and the arms started to get longer, getting closer with every effort, but never quite touching me. The monster leaned inward through the door and screamed its frustration. Now let me explain that it never made a sound that I could actually hear. It had no mouth. When I say it "screamed," I mean that it sent wave after wave of negative energy toward me and through me. Hate and fear of such intensity that I had never felt before and never want to feel again, pulsed through my body with every lunge of that black demon. I truly thought that I was going to die from the fear, but I didn't want to die in the presence of such a creature. So I sat there for the duration of the attack, at least 30 seconds. I know that 30 seconds is not usually thought to be a very long time, but in my situation it seemed to be considerably longer. Finally, after my half-minute of terror was up, the thing turned its head to its left, as if it had heard something. It then looked eyelessly back at me for just a moment, then it turned away and floated back toward the basement.

It was several seconds before I could breathe again. When I regained my senses I was in a fetal position in the chair, with my legs in front of me for protection. Only my bugged-out eyes were above my knees as I watched for any reappearance of the spirit. But, thankfully, it did not return. As soon as I was able to speak again I was on the telephone, calling everybody, anybody, I didn't care who, just to hear a human voice.

I finished my shift that night and I didn't say anything to the day-shift guy when he got there at 7:00 AM. I immediately applied for a transfer back to the "chain gang" and soon received it. I never went back to the water plant.

I now know the reason that Charles lost his mind. He thought his religion would protect him, but somehow the evil got through. And I know why the people that work there now, 20 years later, carry handguns at all times. They're scared, but they don't know what is scaring them. And you and I both know that if that monster ever returns, their bullets will not protect them. I still don't know what protected me, but I'm glad that it did.

In the 20 years since this happened, I have done a little research and talked to several psychics and I have learned that other people have seen these black spirits in various places and that they are indeed dangerous.

So, if you go out ghost-hunting (and I still do)… watch yourself. These spirits are real and they are nothing to play with. But, if you really want it… hee hee hee… I know a nice little secluded spot on the Tennessee River that you can visit.

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