As Halloween draws closer, we’ve been thinking about one of the most popular settings for scary stories: storage facilities. Whether it’s Clarice from The Silence of the Lambs breaking into Hannibal Lecter’s storage unit and finding a human head, or the brutal depiction of an organ harvesting business in the 2013 indie film Self Storage, it’s no secret that storage facilities have long served as a muse for artists enamored with the macabre.
In real life, storage facilities are very ordinary places. People rent units, drop off their stuff and well...that’s pretty much it. But every once in a while, weird things happen and occasionally, creepy things happen too. In honor of the spookiest month of the year, we’ve gathered true scary stories from All Storage facility managers and self storage operator confessionals on Reddit. Reading them will make you grateful for All Storage’s well-lit facilities the next time you have to visit your unit after dark.
A Peculiar Odor
“There was an awful odor in a building, like rotten meat. I made phone calls to all tenants in the affected area to come and check their units for something that could possibly cause it. After several weeks and an even more intense odor, I sent requests to enter units WITH tenants to see if perhaps there was a fridge or freezer with mildew or forgotten food items rotting. There were only two customers that declined looking in their unit or allowing me to inspect their unit, which grew my sinking suspicion someone was storing a dead body or an animal carcass. Too many CSI shows, I’m sure. One day, in the fall, odor still present, I noticed on the cameras that one of the tenants that had previously refused my entry to their unit, was moving some boxes. One of the totes had what appeared to be a face looking at the camera! Scared for it to be true, but hoping that it was just a trick of the mind, I set out to conveniently pass by the tenants and see for myself if it was indeed what I was hoping it was not. I took a clipboard and phone (to look official but to be able to dial 911 in case) and went into the building. As I approached the totes in the hallway, it became evident it was a FACE! Heart pounding, I walked closer and announced my presence to the tenants. I got within five feet of the tote and quickly breathed a sigh of relief. There was a face, but it was only a Halloween mask.” -Rebecca, All Storage
A Strange Beast
“I had just pulled up to the store and was getting ready to go into our golf cart unit. There was no reason for me to think this was going to be any different than hundreds of other times I had lifted that rolling door up. Little did I know... I pulled the rolling door up and nearly jumped out of my skin. I yelped and closed the door quickly, while my brain struggled to process what I had just seen. I realized after taking a moment to breathe that what I saw wasn't real, or should I say not alive. Turns out someone had left a large taxidermy bear in a unit the day before so it had been put just inside the golf cart unit until we could figure out what to do with it.” -Samantha, All Storage
A Bone to Pick
“One cloudy fall day I was in the office when I noticed police pulling up to my gate. I walked to the side door and asked the officer parked by the side door if everything is alright, since I did not call them. The officer asked me the location of a unit and if there was a blue truck on property. I told him that there was a blue truck by the unit he’d asked about. Twenty minutes later one officer leaves the property, then the second and third officers pull into my front parking area and talk. I notice they're laughing. About ten minutes later a tenant comes in the side door to make a payment and gives THAT unit number. As I'm pulling up his account, I ask "How are you today?" and he says "I'm good, but my wife is going to hear about it". I glance up and see he is grinning but turning 10 shades of red. The tenant then proceeds to tell me how he was moving boxes in the back of the unit around and as he moved a box away from the side wall in the back, he saw what appeared to be a human bone, like a finger, so he called the police. Turned out, the police officers went in with their flashlights, and one officer picked it up, turned to him and said, "It appears your box marked Halloween decorations is missing a fake skeletal finger.” I can only wonder about the conversation when he got home as well as among the police officers.” -Lori, All Storage
A Grave Situation
“No, we never did find any dead bodies in the units, but we did find a body outside of a unit once in a hallway though. It turned out the guy had been living out of his unit and left during the day but returned at night to sleep, then left again before the office opened. I actually spoke to him once before he passed because we caught him shaving and washing his hair in the bathroom. We wouldn’t have even known about it if he has cleaned up after himself, but there was hair, shaving cream, soap and water all over the sink and I wasn’t having that. Checked the video feeds and spoke to him politely asking him to take care of his personal hygiene elsewhere. That was before I knew he didn’t really have anywhere else to go, I thought at the time he was just being sloppy and rude. The location where the body was found had always been terrifying to me since it was the only one I worked at with an underground portion, it was in a horrible part of town across the street from a cemetery and the hallways were always an unearthly cold no matter what level you were on. That combined with the silence made it horrifying.” -u/TaylorKun, Reddit
“The local police force used our facility for their paperwork. Evidence was stored elsewhere. Anyway, we got a call one day saying someone had made a slight error. They'd put some evidence in with the normal storage stuff. And they didn't know which box. Or when they'd sent it in. So we basically had to start searching through thousands of boxes as we wouldn't allow the police into the facility without a warrant. A week of searching later we found it. In two sealed baggies inside a box with miscellaneous paperwork were a square of carpet soaked and now dried blood all over it and a large kitchen knife, again covered in very dark dried blood. We never knew what happened if it was an attack or a murder but I always figured the latter owing by how desperate and how much panic it caused.” -u/kvltdaddio, Reddit