The Creepiest Security Guard You’ll Ever Meet

Story preface: Security guard Art graciously agreed to pose for these pictures so I could recreate this story for you.


When I went into the office building lobby, I saw him immediately: watching me from a booth in the back corner, arms crossed…I knew there was going to be a problem.


Security guards at big office buildings always get suspicious when they see me come in with my big camera hanging around my neck, especially with the whole Occupy Wall Street thing going on.


But hey, this is my job. So I went up to the window, big smile on my face, and started explaining how I was a movie location scout looking for a shooting location and would the owners perhaps be interested…


That’s when I realized he didn’t seeming to be listening to me. In fact, he seemed to be looking over my shoulder, watching something intently. I turned to look, and…nothing was there.


Now I started to get annoyed. Was this guy blowing me off? I began telling him that I was really sorry to bother him, but I just wanted to speak to management. And then I realized…


This guy wasn’t moving…


…at all:


Holy. Shit.


This is one of the greatest things I’ve ever run into while scouting. I was completely, 100% fooled! And the attention to detail is insane – the shirt was somewhat dirty and wrinkled…


…the veins and freckles looked totally convincing…


He even had a gun in a holster worn with age:


This totally made my day. Can more office buildings please start incorporating things like this over the typical soulless lobby sculptures you tend to see? I’d tell you where this was, but I’d hate to ruin a chance encounter you might one day have with Art.


Haha, “Art.” Is there a more suitable name?


PS – Thanks again for posing, Art.

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  1. “So I went up to the window, big smile on my face, and started explaining how I was a movie location scout looking for a shooting location and would the owners perhaps be interested…”

    That’s embarrassing.

  2. Yup, what Cameron said. I remember seeing a show of his stuff at the Whitney when I was a kid – including the security guard!

  3. Are you guy sure that is Hanson? I am almost positive that this one is by Marc Sijan, not Duane Hanson. This looks very similar to one that I saw by Sijan that was modeled after his father.


    Cameron beat me to it, but there are a few more guards in this selection. Where I grew up (Milwaukee), the museum had “Janitor” in the permanent collection, and it was always a highlight of our school tours.

  5. Lots of years ago, I was tripped up by one of these in an office building in Garden City. It was a similar setup, with the guard behind glass, and we had ‘yoo hoo’ed several times before we realized he wasn’t guarding anything. Too funny! I’m glad someone as experienced as you was also fooled – makes me feel better!

  6. My office is in this building I will go double check the credit

  7. is that at the omni in garden city? there’s a 50’s diner in the basement…i’ve gone to many parties there!

  8. Yes it’s the Omni Building. Unfortunately, there is no credit marker identifying the work. But I guess that would have killed the illusion. The family behind the development company of the building are supporters of the arts, so I would be confident The provenance of the work is first rate. As Nick has documented for us in the past, Real Estate people usually have an eye for art, as it’s a “real” or “hard” asset.

  9. That is the creepiest thing ever! I was traumatised as a child by some similarly creepy (what I thought) models in a jail museum…just as I was peering at their realistic features they came to life and scared the bejeezus out of me! They were people pretending to be dummies pretending to be people; weird!

  10. Funny!!!! They probably have cameras to capture people’s reaction .. I would love to see the vids. Hmmm, I wonder if his eyes are vid cam .. haha. What an APPROPRIATE NAME too! Thanks for scouting and sharing!

  11. Dude, totally priceless.

  12. When I was a kid we went to Quebec where there was a statue of Jesus Christ in a glass tomb it was so lifelike that I refused to go into any more churches.

  13. Scout, you’ve done it again 🙂 I’m always amazed!

  14. I know where this is! I had my Bat Mitzvah in the 50’s diner and the cocktail hour was in the art gallery/lobby.

  15. I still believe this to be Marc Sijan’s work as opposed to Duane Hanson. I just found this photo on Sijan’s homepage. It looks A LOT like the piece in the Omni Building. It looks to me like the same “person” just in a different uniform

  16. I went for a meeting in this building awhile ago, I knew they guy was fake the minute I saw him.

  17. I think you’re right Dan. I stand corrected.

    Aaron – I grew up seeing the janitor too. It took years for my sister and I to become comfortable enough to get anywhere near him. I work in a museum in Minneapolis now and the Janitor came to visit me recently!

  18. There was an amazing Trompe L’oeuil exhibit at the National Gallery in DC a while ago. Mixed in among the many tourists were fake security guards and fake onlookers. I guarantee that 95% of the people never realized it.

  19. This reminds me of the speed trap in Hillsboro, NM. Sierra County is about the size of Connecticut and, when I lived there for about 5 years, had one traffic light (they have since installed a couple more, but Hillsboro doesn’t have one yet). Hillsboro, though a former County seat, had lost most of its population many years ago when its gold mine became mined out, and was a sleepy semi-ghost town. The one highway through town had a speed limit of about 30 in midtown, but people generally ignored it. The sheriff’s department couldn’t afford a lot of manpower to enforce the limit, but they parked a patrol car at the side of the highway with a manican in a deputy’s uniform inside. Visitors to the area were constantly knocking on the window of the car to ask directions.

  20. I love it! Maybe we could hire him to work for us. Thanks for making me laugh out loud today!