What have you experienced on patrol that you can't explain?
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A question posted on Quora asked, “As a police officer, what have you experienced that you can't explain?” Former officer James Culpepper gave his opinion on the topic, below. Check it out and share your thoughts in the comments.
In Memphis, off of a street called Metal Museum Drive, there is Chicksaw Heritage Park. In this park there are Native American mounds. One of these, during the Civil War, was hollowed out and cannon fortifications were placed on top. Across the street from these mounds is an old Army hospital. This old Army hospital is derelict and run down. The hospital has a 10-foot tall fence and the gate is locked. Next to it, on the river bluff, is an active and cool international metal museum. (You can Google any of these for more information.)
In the summer of 2005 or 2006 around 2000 hrs or so, I was dispatched to a call to this old Army hospital. I was told that the Native American mounds were burial mounds, the cannon fortification had been where Confederate soldiers had died and the hospital had been where a lot of people had died from the yellow fever epidemic. I don't know if any of that is true, but at the time I believed it.
Anyway, someone leaving the museum had seen a light on inside the Army hospital.
Now to myself and some other officers, this sounded strange since power to this hospital had been turned off for many, many years.
As I made it to the scene, sure enough in the west wing on the third floor there was a light on.
I got on the radio and had dispatch contact MLGW (the local utility company) to see if power was on to the location. While I waited three other officers pulled up.
We were staring at the light when dispatch came back to us and said, “Negative, MLGW advises that no electricity is going to that building." The closest hot source of electricity was from the metal museum. It was far enough away to make stealing electricity doubtful.
Now the three other officers were all younger than me and started chomping at the bit to get in there to check it out. I believe my response was “Hell naw! I will watch from here."
The three were disappointed but I didn't care. They quickly hopped the fence and made their way into the building. The three advised that they had found the west stairwell and were going up it. I could see flashlights in some of the windows as they climbed the stairs. As they reached the third floor I heard some yelling and the light went out. All I could see were flashlight beams.
A couple of minutes later they got on the radio asking me to verify they were in the right room and a flashlight shone down on me. I could see they were and confirmed that they were in the correct place. There was no sign of squatters or that a light was ever on.
Ten minutes or so the three officers emerged sweating and covered in dust. They climbed back over the fence and one of them swore to me that the third floor was cold, like an ice box. Then the last one over the fence blurted out, "When I got to the top of the third floor someone pushed me." The other two looked at the officer like she was crazy. “No, I swear something pushed me,” she repeated.
The second officer who proceeded this officer pulled out a small tape recorder. He explained how he's been watching some ghost hunter show and how they record ambient sounds and sometimes hear crap or something like that.
So we gathered around the trunk of a squad car and started listening to this recording.
For the most part it was nothing…
Until they reached the third floor, then we ALL heard a wailing, forceful, female voice saying “sit there please.” Then on the recording we heard the last officer falling and yelling that someone had pushed her.
Three of us stared at each other and wondered WTF was going on. Then we noticed the 4th officer looking back up at the hospital … the light was back on in the room and now we could see a shadow moving in that light.
I believe that my response was “Eff this. I'm outta here.” All the other officers agreed.
Calls went out about lights on in that old hospital as long as I worked in that area.
One afternoon I stopped into the metal museum and was told that the light changed from room to room occasionally. The museum staff claimed to hear voices and even screams coming from the buildings.
If you go to the live google street view of the hospital (360 Metal Museum Dr, Memphis, TN 38106) and look just above the white car, you can see the room. Third floor second from the left. You can also see the Native American mounds across the street.