Hospitals are places of intense chaos and drama. While no one wants to be there as a patient, every single day, hospital workers willingly slog through the stuff of nightmares to make our lives better. Needless to say, they’ve seen things. From traumatic injuries to nerve-wracking procedures to supernatural encounters, these Redditors share some of their creepiest experiences while on the job.
1. From Sweetheart To Psycho
I cared for an elderly woman with no family who came to us when her husband passed. She didn’t speak often, but when she did, it was usually just words that made no sense. I felt so bad for her because ever since she arrived, many of the residents in her area that she seemed to enjoy spending time with began passing in such short timespans.
To remember them, she’d put up their pictures next to her pictures of her husband, as well as several others who were probably her family. I always felt sorry for her and showed her extra attention, and we became close. It just seemed so unfair that she had such luck and kept losing the people she cared about.
Then, one day she looked at me and said, plain as day, “Sweetie, I think I’m done now,” and she handed me a picture. It was a picture of me, and I smiled because it touched my heart that I was that important to her. She passed nearly a week later, and I cried for days. It hit me really hard. She knew it was the end for her, and she said goodbye as best she could.
A little less than two years later, the elderly woman came up in conversation while talking with a colleague. My colleague referred to her as “that crazy witch,” which seemed very out of character for her and it shocked and offended me deeply. I not-so-nicely expressed this to her, and she looked at me with this surprised expression and said, “Oh dear, do you not know?”
As it turned out, it was discovered sometime after the elderly woman passed that she’d taken her husband’s life with poison. Following an investigation, it also appeared that she had a ritual of befriending someone, obtaining a picture of them, and hiding their picture until she could slay them (usually with poison). Then, she’d display their picture as a sort of trophy.
It was suspected that this may have been the reason for the spike in our mortality rates during her stay, as well as the considerable number of photos in her “collection.” The last I heard, the people in her old “family” photos weren’t of any relation to her, and the cops were still trying to ID the individuals and compare them to several cold cases.
2. Everyone Probably Had A Stoke
When I was a student, I got called in on a stroke patient. She had coded, and they were doing CPR. The staff worked for 45 minutes, but she passed. They cleaned her up and called on her family to say goodbye. By the time the family left, she had been without a pulse for more than 45 minutes. Blood had filled her brain, and she was completely grey and starting to smell. But then something impossible happened.
The woman sat up and called for her family. The nurses rushed to get the monitors and equipment back on her. They started working on her again, and she stabilized. She said goodbye to her family and promptly passed a second time.
3. The Night Terror
I’m not a nurse, but I used to work in group homes and facilities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. One night I took an extra overnight shift, and I heard a door slam. It was odd because all the clients’ doors got shut once they went to bed, and they all had alarms. I investigated…Nothing. So, I sat back down and started doing some paperwork from the shift before. Then I heard the alarm for a client’s room.
I froze and just looked up; it’s not uncommon that someone wants a cup of juice. BRO, I TELL YOU, I NEARLY POOPED MYSELF. This client, with super long straight hair, who had wildly active Tourettes and was never quiet, was standing at the edge of the hallway IN THE DARK COCKING THEIR HEAD AND JUST STARING STRAIGHT AT ME, LOOKING LIKE SOMEONE FROM THE FREAKING GRUDGE.
The house was dark; I kept it that way not to bother the clients at night (but I kept the TV on for light). This client just stood there and stared into my soul. Nobody moved a muscle for like 10 minutes. Then the client just slowly backed away and went back to bed without breaking eye contact. I turned a lamp on after that.
4. That’s Toe-tally Gross
I worked in the kitchen, so I was the lowly guy delivering food trays. I made a delivery to one guy who had a horrendously infected foot. Most of the toes were necrotic and black, and the rest of the foot wasn’t doing much better. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was waiting for an amputation. His dietary requirements were diabetic, so it was likely. The room smelled AWFUL.
Anyway, these rooms are small, with typically two beds in them, but the other bed was empty because of the smell from his infection. However, I still had to squeeze by the foot of his bed. Because I was paying attention to the tray (so I didn’t knock it into the equipment), I accidentally brushed my leg against his infected foot, which was sticking out of the covers and hanging off the bed. BIG MISTAKE.
His big toenail came off onto my leg. It was just…stuck to my leg. We looked at each other in horror. I cleared my throat and asked my usual questions. I cleared and adjusted his table, gave him his tray, and wished him a good day. I left calmly and then ran to the nurse’s station and asked for help getting this dude’s entire necrotic toenail (with bonus flesh) off my freaking leg.
The nurse who finally got it off ended up soaking that portion of my pant leg in some disinfectant liquid that smelled like it could take the paint off a car.
5. Whistling In The Dark
I worked at a hospital doing transport for a couple of years. The transport home base was in the hospital’s basement, where all the laundry was done, and the supplies were sorted. I hated working late nights after one particular incident. On that fateful night, I was the only one in the basement when I heard whistling at the end of the hallway by the elevator.
I poked my head around the corner, expecting to see my only coworker on duty that night, but there was absolutely no one there. I shrugged it off; I’m not easily spooked. Nights are slow, so I ate some snacks and hung out in the break room for a bit. The next thing I knew, I heard a loud bang. I walked into the hallway and saw a bed rolling down the hall, bumping into the sides.
At this point, I thought that my coworker was messing with me. I radioed him, and he said he was upstairs in the cafeteria. Ah, I still didn’t believe him and figured that I’d catch him in the act. But as I walked past the laundry room, the machines started. I quickly popped my head in there, expecting to find him, but it was completely empty. Okay…I started to get a little nervous.
When I walked into the laundry room, the machines completely stopped. I froze, then ran out and headed toward the elevator when I suddenly heard whistling again. At this point, I knew I was the only worker in the basement. As I was standing there waiting for the elevator, things started falling off the shelves down the hall: boxes of gloves, tissues, packages of tubes, etc.
I was literally just standing there, watching them fall off one by one at the opposite end of the hallway. I kid you not; my entire body broke out in goosebumps. My hair stood on end, and I had this strong gut feeling I was being watched. I was not alone. As I got into the elevator, I felt someone brush my arm.
I went upstairs, found my coworker in the cafeteria, and freaked out to him. I got the heck out of there and transferred soon after that. The creepy thing to add to this is that I usually whistled mindlessly to myself at work—it was almost as if the spirit was mimicking me. Creepiest feeling ever.
6. There In Spirit
I used to be an army combat medic, but now I’m a firefighter/medic. I’ve seen some things. The oddest one involved a transport from a horrible car crash/rollover. It took the jaws of life and all to get this woman out, but we kept her stable the whole way to the hospital. I personally held her hand as we wheeled her gurney inside to the doctors. I had a feeling she wouldn’t make it; she lost a metric ton of blood.
After the handoff, the paperwork/documentation went fairly quickly, so I went to the vending machine to get a much-needed caffeine boost. But as I walked out the ER doors, I got the shock of my life. I swear the same woman that we’d just wheeled in had walked out of the ER fully clothed, with no blood or damage to herself.
She looked me in the eyes and gave me a smile! I freaked the heck out! So, I checked back with the nurses’ station, where the nurse told me I was crazy because the doctors declared her deceased 10 minutes ago…
7. In The Blink Of An Eye
I saw a mannequin blink. This was when I was still training to be a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) at our local community college. Now, we had these regular, non-horrifying mannequins we used for all the dressing, bathing, and bed-making practice. They even had…err…attachments for the catheters. But we didn’t store all the equipment in the classroom.
There was a small, locked-off backroom that we had to get some stuff out of one day. I volunteered to go grab it (it was some clothes for the mannequins, I think), but when I unlocked the door, I immediately got a creepy feeling. It was pitch black inside. It was like the room was sucking out the light that should have been coming in. Then, when I flicked on the ceiling light, I saw it.
Before me, on a ragged old stretcher, lay the most inhuman, terrifying-looking freaking mannequin I have ever seen. I don’t know what the manufacturers used for reference when making the faces, but they couldn’t have been human. The face was so twisted, and it looked like it was in agony. Dang dude, this thing looked like it was in PAIN. It was freaking creepy.
Anyway, I grabbed the stuff our teacher wanted. But when I took a look back, I saw one of its plastic eyelids close and open again. It freaked me the heck out. I didn’t go in that room again for the rest of the course.
8. A Cringey Mistake
While working nights in the operating room of a level one trauma center, you run into many awful things. Including the worst of society. But something that sticks with you is seeing a severely injured person in complete shock. Not like “WOW, my arm is off,” but like body shock. They’re barely aware of the world around them. Eerily calm. Pale, sluggish. Not at all bothered by the bustling room around them.
I remember one person who had a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Due to a communication breakdown, we incised before the patient was asleep (surgeons get tunnel vision in moments like that). But the patient was just like, “Hey, that hurts,” in a very chill, almost bored manner. It was wild.
9. Gut Instinct
My mother had a student teacher who—after eight miscarriages and finally IVF—was at last pregnant. She seemed to be having a perfect pregnancy, too. But when she was just over eight months pregnant, she was halfway home from a hospital check-up when she suddenly screamed out to her husband, “We have to go back to the hospital, NOW! Something is wrong!”
One hair-raising unlawful U-turn later, they sped like crazy back the way they came. She said they raced up to the emergency department, and her husband was yelling for help as they went inside. She was then rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section just seconds before the umbilical cord detached, and the baby was about to pass due to oxygen deficiency. They saved the baby.
The doctors later said, “Three minutes later would have been too late.” She had no idea how she knew something was wrong, but she said it was such a feeling of dread and foreboding that she knew it was life-threatening for her baby. Had she ignored it, her baby would not have made it.
I was a supervisor over the admissions department of the emergency room in a very small hospital in a rural area. I had two people call in one night, so I had to go in and work by myself. Around 3 am, EMS arrived with a patient that should never have been brought to our hospital. She was DOA. Being in the admissions department meant I had to do all the paperwork whenever patients came to the hospital.
So, I walked into the room with my clipboard and saw a woman on a stretcher with a dog chain around her neck. She had claw marks all around the chain where it looked like she had tried to get the chain off. EMS stated that she’d changed her mind while in the process of hanging herself, but it was too late. Looking at her gave me chills.
11. Those Parents Should Be Jailed
I once saw a kid whose flannel shirt was literally welded to his chest because he fell into a campfire. But you know what made it even more horrifying? His parents waited a day or so to bring him to the ER so that they could finish their camping trip. The poor kid was in shock, so he wasn’t even crying or screaming. He got airlifted to a burn hospital in Houston.
12. The Lady In Red
I worked in an ER for a long time overnights while I was in the air force. All of the housekeepers would talk about the lady in the red dress. They would often see her down in the basement where the morgue was. We would have to go down there to the place where they did sterilizations to drop stuff off, which was right by the morgue. No one ever saw anything.
One day, a patient came in for a knife cut on his finger and needed stitches. He was a young guy with no history of mental illness or anything—but what he told me was absolutely chilling. He’d found it difficult to get to the ER and ended up wandering the basement…until a nice lady in a red dress told him to go the other way and up the stairs, and he found us. We believed the housekeepers after that.
13. They Needed An Old Priest And A Young Priest
I used to work in a Catholic hospital. While on night rounds on the orthopedic floor, I finally asked a nurse why the patient room right off the elevator was used for storing extra beds/IV poles. I assumed it may have been too noisy and had patient complaints from being by the elevator. But the truth was much more disturbing.
The real story was that the room was haunted by this woman who acted very strange, and apparently, they had to call a priest in to see if she was literally possessed. He said she was. The patient accused a nurse of stealing her baby (the patient was 70ish, and her son had sadly passed as an infant). Shockingly, it turned out that the nurse was indeed pregnant but didn’t know it yet.
Anyway, the patient apparently “levitated” and passed a few days later. They hung a cross outside the wall of the room, but it fell off and broke. Inside the room, the automatic paper towel dispenser (the one you wave your hand in front of) would constantly spill out paper towels, and the automatic sink would also turn on and off randomly.
So, they quit putting patients in that room. I never witnessed it myself, but I also never went into the room after that.
14. Nope, Nope, Nope
I’m a Mexican nurse, and my worst experience occurred when a female in her 70s came to the ER. She referred that her leg hurt, and she had a bandage above her ankle. She said she had cut it with glass three weeks ago, so she put the bandage on, but that’s all she did. So, I took off her bandage, and at first glance, I saw that she had two small cuts. But as I looked at it more closely, I was something that made my face go white…
She had two little white things moving in the wound. They were small larvae. I was already shocked at this point, but then it got so much worse. The woman said she felt a lot of tingling in her leg, so I squeezed the wound on her leg a little, and like 50 larvae came pouring out. They said a fly probably laid eggs on her wound, and she didn’t notice.
I squeezed a second time, and another 50 larvae came out. She had to be taken to the OR because the holes were really deep. So, that’s the worst one.
15. Beyond Any Shadow Of Doubt
I was working alone overnight on a call out for a radiology exam. The time was about 3 am. My department was empty, and no one else was around except for my patient and me. I heard something wheeling down the hallway, which would have been odd for that time of night and the location of the department. I poked my head out of the camera room, but no one was there.
So, I turned back to my patient and camera. But then again, I heard the wheeling. I looked back down the hall once more, but still, no one was there. So, I was standing near my patient and moving the camera to the next position when I got the feeling I was being watched. I turned around and saw something strange.
There was a completely dark human-shaped figure standing in the doorway, watching. I immediately turned to go investigate who else was in the department, but there were no signs of the human-shaped figure, and no one was in the hallway. It was very quiet after that, and there were no other strange sounds that night.
It made for a very unsettling evening.
16. Welp, When One Door Closes…
I worked overnight security in one of the largest, best, and oldest hospitals in the US. Built in the late 1800s, this was the original psychiatric building. Now, in the late 1800s, not much was truly known about psychiatric disorders. On top of that, this hospital was known for its medical research. With both of those facts combined, you can infer that the doctors probably did some terrible stuff to the misunderstood psych patients in this building.
A couple of years before I started working security there, this old building got converted into offices after the newly built part of the hospital dedicated a section for an updated psych ward. My rounds for that night happened to include said building. At night, this building was empty due to its recent conversion into offices, and the drones who worked there wanted to leave promptly at 17:00, if not earlier. But in their haste, they left their office doors unlocked.
This was a big no-no due to the medical information stored there. Working security, it was our duty to go to each floor and make sure every door was locked, and if it wasn’t, to secure it ourselves. I did my initial sweep of the building to make sure it was clear (nobody in the building) and then proceeded to do my door checks.
The hallways were pretty narrow, so I could check both sides of the hallway’s doors at once. At the end of this hallway, you had to go through two sets of doors to reach the final office, which was a dead-end. Everything was secure. Awesome. Time for the next floor. I exited the two sets of doors from the final office, and then I stood absolutely frozen from what I saw.
Every door was ajar. They were set perfectly so that their own weight wouldn’t cause them to shut again. There was also now a wheelchair at the end of the hallway, facing toward the steps. I had heard other security officers outrightly reject that set of rounds due to strange stuff happening there, but I laughed it off until that night happened. I never took those rounds again.
17. Squeaky Shoes
I once discovered a dead mouse in a patient’s shoe. She had neuropathy in her feet and couldn’t feel anything—including the weeping ulcers covering both feet, her gangrenous toes, and apparently a less-than-recently deceased mouse. After a few small amputations, two months of IV antibiotics, and many wound dressings later, all was well again.
There should be a Foot Watchers group for diabetics to check each other’s feet using the buddy system. Neuropathy is serious business.
18. Poor Cujo
I work in an operating room, and we frequently get dog bite victims. Once when I went out to the waiting room to update the parents, the child’s father handed me something that made my jaw drop: A trash bag with the head of the dog that bit his son in it. He said he thought we’d need it to test for rabies. Hmm…No, animal control would handle that particular task, thank you very much. I took it, though.
19. Health Scare, Don’t Care
I’m an RN. This was my “Oh, dang” moment. I went to check on my patient for some routine observation, and my patient proceeded to calmly tell me, “I can’t pick up my phone.” My patient then lifted up one of their hands with the other and let it limply drop down to demonstrate that it was “gone.” Shocked, I immediately called a code stroke, and they were rushed to the theatre.
It was just so disconcerting how nonchalant and unconcerned the patient was about it.
20. Toss A Coin To Your Watcher
Every hospital has a couple of rooms super close to the nurses’ station to put the patients who need extra eyes on them. So, the ones who are crazy due to drugs, dementia, being close to passing, etc. The first hospital I worked at was special, though. I’m a skeptical person, but I saw dozens of patients react to “Watchers” in those rooms.
The Watchers came in two flavors. First were the patients who were detoxing from drugs/booze or were violent and unpleasant toward staff. They would talk about a menacing shadow figure who was there to keep them in line. There were also a couple of frequent flyers who would attack staff during admissions to other rooms, but not the Watcher rooms.
Second were the patients who were passing, confused, or experiencing non-violent mental health issues. They would also see a shadow figure, but this one was calming and protective. I had patients talk about how the shadow kept them from falling out of bed or would pick up the call light if they dropped it—all sorts of little things like that.
It didn’t happen with every patient, but it was enough to make me wonder…
21. Didn’t Need To See That
I walked into the morgue one time to find someone holding a guy’s eye in her hand. It was still attached to the body’s head by the nerve. It turned out she was removing the cornea for a donor transplant into a living person, but it still caught me off-guard. I looked outside the door, leaned back in, and said, “You know there’s a slider out here that says ‘in use,’ right?”
Then I slid it to read “in use” and left to come back after she was done.
22. Scared Stiff
I recently had to confirm my first deceased patient. It was late at night, and I had to deal with quite a few things first that were of a higher priority, so it took a while after the person passed for me to get there. I’ve seen dead bodies before, but this was my first time getting really close to one. If you don’t know, there are certain things you need to do to confirm a patient’s passing.
You have to check the pulse and breathing for a decent amount of time, which means that you’re in contact with the deceased for a fair while. I don’t like calling the experience creepy because passing is natural, and I don’t want to feel as if I’m in any way being disrespectful, but this was certainly unnerving.
For one, his skin was very cold, and that’s a really big deal when you’re so used to the warmth of living people. Second, the patient was caught in the position of their last breath when he passed, and I kept sort of hoping that he would complete it. Also, because it was late at night and I was near the end of my shift, I was rather tired and a lot anxious…Because, out of the corner of my eye, I kept seeing movement.
I’m still sure he was gone because I thoroughly checked him over. But that messed with me a little.
23. Wormed His Way Out
While working at a skilled nursing facility, I came in for my shift and walked past a patient’s room. Noticing something seemed off, I asked him when his NG tube (a nasal tube that extends to the stomach for feeding purposes) got put in. Lo and behold: There wasn’t one. He had a worm coming out of his nose reaching down to his chest when we went back to check.
24. Kids Are Creepy
My great-grandmother was 94 and had just started suffering from dementia. She told the home nurses and I that there was a little boy in the corner of the living room who would taunt and tease her while laughing, telling her she was going to pass. Well, at first, it was a little disturbing, but we all just shrugged it off because of her dementia. But then it all got real when my best friend came over with his little boy, who was about three or four years old.
The little guy pointed over to the same corner and yelled, “I’m going to beat you up!” When we asked him what that was about, he told us that he saw another little boy in the corner—and he was not nice! We flipped the heck out! I got shivers just typing this…Maybe Nana wasn’t hallucinating after all.
25. An Eye-Popping Experience
As a student, I was given the opportunity to attend a donor enucleation (the removal of eye tissue). The patient was deceased, and the donation was for research. I had never witnessed such a thing in training as it’s rather specialized, and I tend to work with living patients. Also, to be completely transparent, I thought my preceptor had said, “*Colleague name* is going to get some ICE. Did you want to assist?”
I literally thought I was going to help him get ice—not EYES. In retrospect, it made zero sense, but I was very new to the placement, and I was keen to impress, so I immediately jumped aboard. When we got to the morgue, I realized something was up. It took no time for me to reassemble the word I had misunderstood as I donned the appropriate PPE and got escorted into the cold room to retrieve the eye tissue.
Thankfully, my mentor was not expecting me to participate as I stood frozen next to the deceased patient who was post-autopsy (i.e., not covered up on her slab, with a Y-incision just kind of laid back in place on her torso). I spent the next 20 minutes nodding enthusiastically and attempting to appear as if I had knowingly engaged in this lesson from the start.
The actual removal of the eyes was not too distressing (the tissues, fluids, and procedures were not unfamiliar to me from my training with live patients), but the view left behind haunted me for a few years. There was something so unsettling about that patient’s body lying there exposed on a narrow metal gurney, a Y-incision across her torso, with her eyeballs removed from her head.
Because it was, well, post-mortem, the eyelids could be pulled down respectfully, but with nothing beneath them to hold them closed, they just kind of popped back open.
26. That’s A Lot Of Grape Juice
I’m a med student, and I get to see pretty gross stuff on a regular basis. But this one was unusual. In came a 16-year-old girl with a belly as large as someone who’s about to give birth. The only thing was, she denied any history of intercourse. We did a scan just to be sure, and dang, she was right. It was just fluid. It was difficult to determine what it was, actually.
The senior doctors suspected it was an ovarian cyst. So, later in the operation theatre, they went for exploratory surgery to try to relieve the girl of the pain and the other problems that accompany having such a huge abdomen. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened next. They suctioned out a total of 11.5 liters of blackish turbulent fluid.
It just wouldn’t end. I like to joke about it with colleagues as she lost almost 12 kilos (26.4 lbs) in there. Trust me; it must have been so difficult for her.
27. When Patients Rally
I’m an ER nurse. I had an old lady come in by ambulance, nearly deceased. She was a DNR, so we weren’t going to do much for her. She didn’t have any family that we could find. The hospital was full, so we had to keep her in the ER for the night. Again, she was nearly gone. When you’ve seen enough people pass, there’s no mistaking it, and she was almost there.
She was barely responsive: pale, cool, and her breaths were really irregular. Her heart rate was up and down, too. We just turned the lights down and kept an eye on her monitor, basically waiting for her to pass. About an hour later, she was standing at the door of her room. She’d gotten up and put on all her clothes. We were all like, “What the heck!?”
One of the nurses went to check on her, and she said she was hungry. Not really knowing what to make of things, we got her a chair, a bedside table, and we went to the cafeteria and got her a tray of food. The lady just sat there, ate all of her food, and even talked with the staff a little. After about an hour, she told her nurse that she was tired and wanted to lie back down.
We helped her back into bed, and within 30 minutes, she was gone. It wasn’t exactly paranormal, but in my 22 years working in busy, inner-city ERs, it’s the weirdest thing I’ve seen.
28. A Zombie Origin Story
I am an ICU nurse. I had a patient who was declared deceased. The family did not want him to become an organ donor, so we withdrew treatment. I switched off the ventilator, pumps, etc., and extubated the patient. A few moments later, the patient suddenly displayed the “Lazarus Sign,” which is a reflex that causes the patient to raise their arms in the air.
I was by no means new to the role, but this really scared me as I had never even heard of it, let alone witnessed it.
29. White Noise
This isn’t a “seen,” but a HEARD creepy thing. I worked as the administrative supervisor (nursing supervisor) one Sunday morning shift (0700–1900), and I also covered the first four hours of the NOC RN shift for a coworker. I got a call from the Med-Surg unit asking for a specific catheter for a urologist who needed it for a post-op patient. I knew they had them stocked in the OR department, so I went in to get one.
I was working in a small area (116 beds), so the OR there was closed: locked and dark. Fine. I went down the hall past the first two operating suites toward the other two suites. They had a small office between them and a large supply area on the right. But when I got halfway down the hall, I heard something strange. I heard what sounded like muffled, static-like conversation.
I thought maybe there was a radio on. Nope. The office was dark and quiet. The sound, however, continued. It sounded vaguely like it was coming from OR 2, the one on the right, but there was no way I was going in. By this time, the hair on my arms was standing straight up! Something about that sound was WRONG—static mumbling.
It was so faint, but it was there. I was completely freaked out by then. I grabbed the catheter and got out of there ASAP. My relief RN arrived shortly afterward, and when I started to tell her what happened, she stopped me and said, “It was OR 2, right?” Yup. She told me that she had heard talking and whispers in there too.
She even saw a face in the shadows in the small round window on the door to the suite. She told me she always took another person with her when she had to go into the OR department at night. I don’t know what it was. I have seen A LOT in my career and in my life, but THAT was one of the truly CREEPIEST 10 minutes of my career!
30. A Touch Of Terror
I’m a scrub nurse. My job is to assist the surgeon during surgeries. About a year ago, one of the very first surgeries I ever sat in on was a hemicolectomy (the removal of part of the large intestine). Suddenly, halfway through the surgery, the patient’s arm came up and hit me in the leg. I screamed and jumped. Panicked, I immediately thought the patient had woken up mid-surgery.
But the surgeon performing the surgery just sighed loudly and said, “While body twitches during surgery are not common, they are not impossible. Please calm yourself.” It was the creepiest moment, feeling someone who I thought was unconscious touch me. But then it quickly turned into an embarrassing teaching moment for me.
31. They All Heard It
My wife is transitioning away from working nights at an assisted living facility. She said for about a week after one resident passed on, all of the nursing assistants on the memory care side would randomly hear someone with a walker moving around (walkers make an extremely distinctive noise when one walks with one).
They have sensors everywhere, so they know when a resident is up, but every time it happened, nobody was up. So, the nursing assistants would walk around looking for the source of the strange noise, but they could never find anybody. She also told me that this job has her convinced that ghosts are real.
32. Ignorance Is Bliss
I’m an EMT for the ambulance service. We have two hospitals in our county: One is a general hospital, and the other is a level II trauma center that most people go to. Last week, both ERs filled to the point where the general hospital told us they could no longer accept patients, and the level II trauma center would only take patients under certain circumstances. Here’s where it gets creepy.
While my partner and I were in the ER, we kept noticing a man lying in a bed out in the open. He looked so peaceful as he slept. But then, we found out from an RN we knew that the man had actually passed from unknown circumstances—but they had nowhere to put his body. The morgue was full, and no one could track down the county coroner.
All they could do was make it look like he was sleeping, so the other patients wouldn’t take notice. I thought it was very unethical, but the RN kept reminding me that they had absolutely no room for his body unless they put it in the janitor’s closet.
33. It Cod Them By Surprise
I worked the ER as an AF medic at the Eglin AFB Hospital in Florida. It’s a resort area, with pristine white beaches, sport fishing, etc. I took a body down to the morgue with another medic and shift supervisor. He had the drawer assignment and paperwork responsibility. We pulled open the drawer, and there was a monstrously large sailfish. It was so big it could hardly fit without its body curved and tail pushed down.
We stood there in surprise. Um, procedure? No idea. The NCO said, “It would be a very good idea not to remember this. I’ll deal with it in the morning. Let’s see, how about this drawer?” Later it was rumored to belong to one of the senior surgeons.
34. Don’t Turn Around
I used to work in a geriatric psych unit. We had one patient who was declining physically and mentally, so orders were put in for this patient to be watched 24/7 for safety reasons. I was in the room with the patient, and she was lying down on her bed. I then watched as her eyes opened wide, terrified, as she stared at the end of her bed. Slowly, she moved her eyes up to the ceiling and pointed at it.
She then murmured something and was showing visible fear with whatever she was seeing. I assumed it was a hallucination and tried to comfort her, but she seemed fixated on whatever she was seeing as she pointed at it. Then her eyes slowly moved from the ceiling to right behind me, and she looked terrified. It scared the heck out of me.
35. Pathological Pathology
I’m not a hospital worker, but I have a disorder that caused me to be in the hospital for multiple nights in a row when I was younger. I remember one night, I got woken up so a nurse could take my blood pressure. I looked out into the hall and heard another patient a few rooms down screaming. I then saw a nurse walk by with an empty wheelchair and blood-soaked scrubs right as it stopped.
It could have been completely unrelated, but in my 13-year-old brain, some guy just got offed down the hall.
36. This Sounds Very Silent Hill
I worked in general surgery, and I got called to the ward at 3 am to resite an IV that had come out. When I got to the ward, most of the lights were off because the patients were sleeping. There was some dim light from the nurses’ station, but you could still barely see anything. I greeted the nurses and asked them which room the patient for the IV was in before venturing into the darkness.
I figured I didn’t want to wake the entire ward, so I left the lights off and planned to just switch the room light on when I got there. As I was walking down the dimly lit corridor, I saw a shadow on the floor, moving towards me. I stopped and stared, trying to figure out what it was. It was bigger than a dog and moving weirdly, but my brain couldn’t figure out what it was.
So, I freaked out and ran back to the nurses’ station. I told them I saw a shadow crawling on the floor and didn’t know what it was. One of them looked extremely worried and ran to turn on the lights. I was standing well away, staring at where I saw the shadow. When the lights came on, we saw it was a patient with above-knee amputations on both sides, dragging himself across the floor.
Relieved, I asked him what he was doing. He then explained that he wanted to use the toilet, but he didn’t want to bother anyone in the middle of the night.
37. Haunting Howls
I work in a care home. We had a guy who used to call out to us at all hours of the night because he wanted his wife. He used to shout, “Darling? Darling?!” He’d call out in the most mournful way—almost like howling. Whenever we went in to see him, he usually thought we were his wife. She was his world and had passed over a decade ago. It was very sad, and sometimes when I dream, I can still hear him calling her.
38. WHY Do People Keep Leaving Those Laying Around?
I used to have to restock the medication machines down in the operating rooms. They used one of the rooms for storage for a while, and it can be a bit creepy down there by yourself. But I walked into the operating room they had stored some random stuff in, flipped on the light, and about had a dang heart attack. They had one of those full-sized CPR dummies laying on a gurney covered with a blanket, with just its head poking out.
My first thought was, “Oh my God, a dead person!”
39. Food Fight
I was walking into the hospital cafeteria when I saw a guy wearing a gown and holding his IV port, crouched down behind a trash can. He was an interesting-looking fella, sorta trashy looking, but he was ONLY wearing the gown. So, he was quite noticeable. I then saw security run in, and I watched him crouch down lower. Officer Man Pants (a female security guard I’ve affectionately nicknamed) finally spotted him and yelled at him to come with her.
The man jumped up and screamed, “Not YOU again, witch!” Then he pelted her in the face with an open carton of milk. A chase ensued, and I went back to get my breakfast. It turned out he was trying to leave with his IV port still attached to give him easier access to get high. It’s a pretty common practice of drug-addicted individuals in a hospital setting.
We always let these people go AMA (against medical advice), but we let them know we must remove the port, per hospital policy. It rarely works in our favor.
40. White As A Sheet
After a bad accident, I ended up with one of my legs in a plaster cast for 16 weeks. By the time the cast got cut off, my skin underneath was mega white and pale. The nurse told me to go home and take a long bath. She smiled (haha, she knew). It turned out that the white skin was actually the old skin that people usually lose every day in small amounts.
Mine had nowhere to go for several months, so it literally just peeled off my leg like wet cardboard. It came off in hand-sized pieces at a time. It suddenly looked like it was snowing in the tub as it broke up into a fuzzy mass in the water. It was both gross and seriously amazing at the same time.
Except for the multiple large surgery scars, the skin underneath was pink, perfect, and newborn baby soft. But my poor husband had the less-than ravishing job of cleaning the tub later because I couldn’t use my legs.
41. False Alarms
I used to work in a personal care home. A couple of times, usually a day or so after a resident had passed, their call bell would go off in their room. Yet, no one was ever in the room on any of those occasions. We had one resident pass pretty traumatically (the nurses had to perform CPR because he was a full code), and that night, the midnight staff said they saw him at the end of the hall, just walking down it like he always did.
Then, the alarm on the door to the outside (it was a secured unit for Alzheimer’s/dementia patients) went off. It was the same door he always tried whenever he was looking to get out.
42. IT’s Not Okay
I work in healthcare. Down the hall from the pharmacy was a boardroom/classroom. I walked out into the hallway to deliver an IV bag and immediately stepped into my worst nightmare…literally. Under my feet were multiple bloody, blue sheets, each sporting multiple severed limbs. My brain had to do a jumpstart before I realized they were fake.
They were holding a “Stop the Bleed” course in the classroom and had used the hallway to set up their equipment. I must have looked incredibly alarmed because I caught the eye of a student, and her face got really stony. But the horror didn’t end there…I also walked out into that same empty hallway to find a single, floating red balloon.
43. All Sweetness And Fright
I’m a long-term care provider for the disabled. We care for this super cute young girl whose only way of getting around is sitting on a chair with wheels and pushing her heels on the floor. She’ll be in this really contorted position, as she has spastic limbs. She’ll almost have her head bent completely backward over the seat of the chair. She also can’t talk and relies on these kinds of guttural grunts and screams.
As I said, she is super cute, but she only gets put in that chair later in the evening while wearing a sleeping gown. Our hallways were pretty dimly lit at that time, and there were tons of hidden nooks and corners. I’m used to it now, but the first time I ran into this weirdly contorted “thing” that I couldn’t directly place, I kinda freaked out. Even more so when the said “thing” kicked her legs and moved toward me while letting out a happy scream.
It seemed like something right out of one of those hospital horror flicks. She is the cutest, though, really. I love bumping into her and saying hi.
I went to the morgue to do a temperature check and received the shock of my life. One of the bodies had sat up on its own, but it was at a 45-degree angle, so at first glance, it looked like it was still in the process of sitting up. It gave me nightmares.
45. Things Got Out Of Hand
An arm fell out of the refrigerator while I was putting some pathology specimens away. It was late at night, so I didn’t turn the light on when I entered the room. I just opened the fridge door, and this hand started coming at me, then the forearm, and then the rest of the arm just rolled right out.
46. Losing Sleep
I’ve been a night nurse for four years now at an old folk’s home. I had a palliative patient who couldn’t sleep because of her incredibly vivid hallucinations. She would describe voodoo people around her room who would just stare at her, waiting for her to pass. I didn’t take it seriously until the lady across the hall (who rarely ever spoke) started seeing them in her room too.
47. Run, Don’t Walk
The nursing home I worked in used to be an orphanage. The seasoned staff would say offhand stuff like, “Sometimes the residents see kids,” and I’d always laugh it off. But then, one morning, I was getting some of the residents out of bed, and one of our ladies started staring out the window. She stopped me and said, “Give those kids a blanket. They’ll freeze out there.”
Then another night, we had a resident who wouldn’t stay in bed. She had bed alarms so we would hear her get up because it wasn’t uncommon. This woman shared a room with a non-verbal stroke patient named Maggie. One night, she was way more active than usual, with her bed alarm going off every few minutes.
So, I went in there, and I was like, “Mildred, what’s up?” She answered, “There’s a man under Maggie’s bed.” I squatted down next to Maggie’s bed, and I said, “I don’t see anyone!” Her reply made my blood run cold. This woman said, “I don’t see how. He’s looking right at you!” I was out of there immediately, and I didn’t go back in.
I once got a fast bleep (i.e., drop everything you’re doing and attend this emergency, please) one night to a side room on the ward, only to find no patient in the bed. I was just about to leave the room and go back out to the nurses’ station when something caught my eye. When I looked up, my blood ran cold: I saw a face with wide, slightly wild “psych eyes” peering down at me from a gap in the ceiling tiles.
It was a lady waiting for a bed in the psych hospital who’d clearly thought that the ceiling was the best place to hide from the people trying to poison her. I honestly can’t think of another occasion where I’ve been quite so terrified. The worst thing was that I had to walk (well, dash) back out underneath her to get help from the nurses and security to get her down.
49. Painting The Ward Red
I spent 16 years working in mental health and consequently saw a ton of traumatizing stuff. One of the worst was a woman who shanked herself in the wrist with a shard of plastic from a clock she broke in the doctor’s office. She then proceeded to run laps around the unit, spraying blood literally everywhere. The floors, ceiling, and walls were just covered in blood. But that wasn’t all.
My brain has blocked out some of the details, but I think she may have been naked from stripping her clothes off. We ultimately had to wrap a blanket around her and take her down so we could stop the bleeding. I felt terrible for all of the other patients who witnessed it.
50. A Lost Soul
I’m on an on-call victim support team, so I often end up at the hospital at odd hours. This was around 4:00 am. I’d just finished doing my thing, and I was sitting in my car in the parking lot collecting myself and writing notes for my report when I saw someone out of the corner of my eye. I clearly saw the blue of a hospital gown, but when I looked over, no one was there.
I figured I was just tired and riding out the adrenaline of the call, so I went back to doing my thing. But after a few minutes, I once again spotted something out of the corner of my eye. This time when I looked up, someone was there. Standing on the curb in front of the hospital, I saw a man in his mid to late 50s, with thin hair up top and no facial hair.
He was wearing a hospital gown and holding on to something metal, but I couldn’t tell if it was an IV pole or a crutch from my angle. He wasn’t leaning on it. He had this expression on his face of wide-eyed shock with his mouth slightly open, like he was trying to think of something to say and had totally stalled out.
At this point, I started glancing around for staff or something because this man didn’t look like he should be outside alone. His skin was a messed up pale color, and he was barefoot. I couldn’t see his feet well in the shadows, but his hands and fingers looked bruised. As I was looking around for staff, our eyes met, and I knew he saw me.
I started thinking, Okay, this guy can’t wander around alone, half-naked and unmasked. I had huge chills, but I turned to grab my mask and get out of my car to help guide him back inside. But when I looked up again, he was gone. I looked all over the parking lot for him, but he was definitely gone.
There was no way he could have vanished like that in the split second it took me to grab my mask. I don’t know how to explain this without sounding dramatic, but my skin crawled when he looked at me. He looked like a guy who was slowly realizing he’d passed and didn’t know what to do now. I still think about it.