There can be no doubt that terrifying things can happen in a hospital, as this is the place were human beings sometimes breath their last. What happens when supernatural forces creep into a place meant to give succor?
What are nurses and doctors to do when faced with ghosts, phantoms, apparitions and entities which many of them do not believe exist until the moment they witness an encounter with someone they know is not among the living? Hospitals have attracted tales of supernatural occurrences since time unremembered. This is a place where humans fight for their lives, and where strange forces set in motion by these moments create shadows of those that lost their battle with ill health or bodies that could no longer sustain life.
Several mysterious reports come from hospitals all over the world. Most witnesses opt to be secretive about their encounter. In one story a nurse described working on night duty at a ward. He was busy writing down each patient's name. He looked up and saw a patient that he had not seen for over a week, and knew that he transferred over to the surgical wing of the hospital. The patient made eye contact with him and smiled, and he noticed that the patient looked better than he remembered. When updating his notes, the nurse could not find this patient's name, and when he looked him up found that he had died two days before. Had he come back for a final good-bye?
Another story is about an employee:
In the district hospital I previously worked at, it has been very usual for us staff nurses to see a lady in white walking down the hallway in the early hours of the morning-patients would see her too. We lost one of our nursing supervisors a couple of years ago, she died unexpectedly. Our med room call light frequently goes off when absolutely no one is in there or has been near the room. We all believe it’s this supervisor checking in.
Another incident in the very same hospital happened one evening at around 11 P.M. The RN claimed that she was alone doing her rounds. She saw an elderly woman dressed in a hospital gown at the opposite end of the hallway. She went to investigate thinking the patient was unable to sleep or had gotten lost. She signaled to gain the lady's attention with the intention of asking what was wrong, however at the time she had a very strange feeling of being watched and that it felt quite unsettling. Then the patient turned to face her, smiled and walked through a wall into another patient's room. Not believing what she had just seen, she froze. Later the nurse found out this same woman had died three days before after being involved in a serious car accident. The room she had disappeared into belonged to her husband who was alive and recovering from injuries sustained in the same accident.
Another hospital employee describes an incident with a trapped soul.
I was working on night shift when a call light went off for room 120. For all I know, this room has no one in it, so I canceled the light from the desk but it wouldn’t cancel. I walked down to the room just to check. Upon entering the room, I heard a budging sound on the window, like something or someone is trying to get out. Knowing what might be happening, I took up all the courage I could and took a deep breath, turned on the lights, walked to the window and opened it. I felt weird because a soft breeze flew by me and then out of the window. I later found out that a patient had died during the morning and apparently, the nurses before my shift didn’t open the window. Weird as it may sound, when someone passes, let them go and open the room’s windows!
Another nurse reported a strange, eerie encounter when she worked the night shift by herself at one of the oldest nursing homes in the area. She held this job while attending college. She went into a room where bed linens were kept, and she stopped to sneeze, then from behind her she clearly heard, "Bless you!" Scared by the encounter she was about to start a prayer, and then a voice whispered in her ear, "Our Father in heaven ... " She could never explain who was the solicitous ghost.
Another report of a ghostly figure comes from a registry nurse, who worked the NOC (overnight) shift. It was a peaceful night and at 3 A.M. she started her floor rounds. She turned when she felt something behind her, and saw a slim, shadowy figure wearing a white hospital gown run into a resident's room. She believed it to be one of the patients. When she entered the room, which belonged to an Alzheimer's patient, she found her up and she immediately commented to the nurse, "Did you see that?" The nurse responded, "Did I see what?" The patient then pointed to the closed bathroom. The nurse waited, and then called for another nurse and security fearing it was an intruder. The entire unit was searched and found to be clear. She could never explain what she saw, and oddly enough what the Alzheimer's patient saw despite her mental status.
Another hospital employee witnessed described another eerie scene:
It was my second year working in the institution as an RN, I worked night shift on a pediatric unit. Our patients were often preschool and school-age children. We had a patient who would always want her visitors to bring balloons whenever they come to visit her. She died earlier after her long stay in the hospital. Days passed, one of my co-workers celebrated her birthday to which we had several balloons in the station. We noticed two balloons floated slowly bobbing–up and down. Now this would not have bothered me but those balloons then stopped by the girl’s previous room just right in front of the door and slowly went BACK INTO THE NURSES’ STATION! This cannot be explained by air currents!
This nurse worked in a Japanese hospital on the overnight shift. The main office during these hours was locked, and only administrators, RNs and LPNs had keys. That night she was at the nurses' station, adjacent to the office. She checked the time and saw it was 3 A.M., when suddenly she heard a loud crash coming from this locked room. The next day they found a filing cabinet had fallen over and papers were scattered all over the floor. The windows were closed, and there was no explanation how this could have happened.
Another story comes from a nurse's aid who worked at a nursing home. One night she went to check on a patient who happened to be a nun. She then saw a group of nuns go into the room, however they never came to speak to her, and she only made eye contact with one of them. No other employees on the floor had seen the nuns arrive or leave. Later she found out the nursing home was built over an old convent building which had burned down in the late 1800s.
Another story involving a phantom nun is the following:
We closed room 12 in our MICU (Medical Intensive Care Unit) because just about every patient there complained of seeing a woman wearing a white hat rocking back and forth by their bedside. Apparently, this nun never made eye contact, she just stared out the window which happened to be on the patient’s left side over their head. This window overlooked the hospital cemetery where nuns that died were buried. Mary was a nun that died in a car accident outside of the hospital in the 50’s. She was about 30 years old and all of the patients described her as a young woman. We thought that it was the “sun-down syndrome.” Anyways, since then room 12 became our storage room where no one goes in by themselves unless it is absolutely critical.” via allnurses
A nurse (via reddit) described where she was attending a patient who was close to dying and was CMO (Comfort Measures Only). A few days before her favorite cat Pippin died, and she felt heartbroken over the loss. That night she walked into the patient's room and the woman said, "Oh, you brought your kitty with you." Surprised the nurse asked, "What?" Prior to this conversation she had never attended this patient before or spoken about her cat. The patient replied, "Your kitty. It's right by your foot." She felt a shiver go up her spine, and then she asked, "What color is the kitty?" The lady responded, "Black, with some white." Pippin was a black tuxedo cat with white paws and a white bib. The patient died that night.
Another story comes from a nurse who worked in the maternity ward:
There’s a floor in our hospital that’s closed down. It isn’t used except for clinical training on rare occasions, and only one room in the front of the hall. The floor used to be for postpartum moms and the newborn nursery. Sometimes when you go down there, you will see a hazy white female figure at the far end of the hall. It’s rumored to be a mother who died during childbirth.
The next story took place at a Canadian hospital (Hotel Dieu). This hospital employee described that the hospital no longer functions overnight. Employees refused to clean the ER (emergency room) alone because the call bells and the light would go off by themselves. On other floors there was sightings of a child with a ball, and a lady in a white dress. Another employee described where she was by herself cleaning an entire floor, after cleaning one room she went to the following one. When she returned to retrieve something she forget in the room she had just left she saw hand prints on the freshly wiped bed.
The following story occurred in the U.K.:
My mother trained as a nurse at the old Westminster Teaching Hospital in London in the 1950s. On one of her first night shifts, she was doing rounds in the children’s ward. Everything was fine, all the kids were asleep, but in one of the rooms, she found the sink faucet running, which was a bit weird because it had been fine when she’d been by a few minutes before. She figured that one of the kids had got up and been thirsty or something. She turned it off and carried on with the rounds. When her shift was over, she checked out with the Matron, who asked if she had anything to report. She said there was nothing, except that someone had left a faucet on in one of the rooms. The Matron looked horrified and gasped out “oh no!” She then explained that the ward was haunted by a ghost which washed its hands-leaving the faucet running-whenever a child was going to die. My mother laughed this off, pointed out that none of the kids in the ward were seriously ill and went home. When she came in for her shift the next evening, she discovered that a previously perfectly fine child in that room had a sudden seizure and died only a few hours after she’d found the open faucet.” via reddit
Ultimately it appears that hospitals are as haunted as the old house on the hill or other places you expect to find ghosts. However this should not be surprising since the shadow of death stalks the hallways everyday within its walls. Is it because perhaps so many there are not resigned to go into the hereafter or the anguish of unexpected death tether them to where they lost their battle with the grim reaper?
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by M.P. Pellicer