Hospitals always manage to give us the creeps. Despite the hustle-bustle of daily surgeries, appointments, and baby deliveries, you almost forget that many of the people who pass through those doors never get to leave. But it’s not always the end—some patients apparently decide to linger and stay amongst the living. Don't believe us? Well, don't take our word for it, just ask these healthcare professionals who have shared the eeriest, most inexplicable things they've ever seen.
1. Helping out a Roommate
I worked on a ward once that had a patient who was a psychic/medium. We had a bit of a laugh with her as she was on the ward for a while because she'd had a stroke which affected her mobility, and she would do “readings” for the staff from time to time. I took it all as just a bit of fun until one chilling evening that I'll never forget. She pressed her nurse call buzzer and told us to go check on a patient in a side room. She said he was dead.
We went to check and sure enough, found that the gentleman had passed. Later on, we asked our psychic patient how she had known, and she told us she had seen him coming out of his room obviously distressed. She realized he had passed and had to explain to him what had happened and help him to go to the light...Now, I am not a believer, but that gave me the creeps.
2. Thanks for Being There
I was working at night, and one of the patients passed while I was in the room. We tried everything to revive this person, but it didn't work. So, after doing the papers and everything, I went to another place in the hospital, and I swear this patient who I saw die touched my right arm. I think that I have never cried that much in my life.
3. Say Goodbye to Your Brother
My sister’s step-son was in a bad accident. We had gathered at the ICU before he passed, and I went in with my sister and her two kids. They fell apart seeing their brother in such a bad state. They had already made the decision to take him off life support. Now they were letting family in before he passed. My niece and nephew didn’t want to go to his side.
I brought them forward and told them this was the last time they would see him and the only chance to say good-bye. I was crying a little bit myself. I had to bring them up to his bedside. Later that night, after he passed, I was driving home, and as clear as if he were sitting right next to me, I heard him thank me. I told him he was welcome.
4. No More Shortcuts
I worked in a pediatric hospital and had always heard that the fourth-floor right outside our oncology unit was haunted. I never believed it—but I can't forget that chilling night. I worked three twelve-hour shifts normally but would pick up over time and picked up a night shift. I was working in the NICU which happened to also be on the fourth floor but on the opposite side. The oncology unit had a staircase that was a short cut down to the cafeteria which was on the second floor.
At about 3 AM, I was ready to take a short break and wanted a cup of coffee from the cafeteria, so I decided to take that staircase. I walked through the automatic double doors and saw a small child skipping down the hall. Not wanting him to get in trouble, I called out to him as I was afraid a little kid had snuck out of a patient room.
As soon as I called out to him, he turned and, in the blink of an eye, totally vanished. A lot of other nurses and doctors had seen the same little kid skipping in that same hallway. Of course, I chalked it up to just exhaustion and didn’t really think about it much after that. But I for sure didn’t use that hallway at night ever again.
5. Not Going Down That Easy
There is probably some medical explanation for this, but it’s still the weirdest thing I’ve seen as a nurse so far. We had a very robust, confused, elderly lady on our floor. Her room was in front of the nurses’ station so we could keep an eye on her and had one of our nurses’ aides as a sitter in her room too.
She was always fighting, kicking, and trying to get out of bed. She was very restless and agitated, which happens before the end just as some patients I’ve had before. One day, we were called into the room as her heart rate was going down, and she laid still with her eyes open. It was 30...20...then flatlined.
We checked for a pulse and did not find any. She was a DNR, so we did not attempt resuscitation. We closed her eyes, prepared to get the body bag, and called the family. The sitter remained in there to start getting the body ready. Less than 10 minutes, later she calls us back in. The old lady is at it again.
She was hitting, kicking, and trying to get out of the bed again. She’d somehow came back to life! Honestly, we found the situation pretty hilarious because she had literally flatlined, and I still have never seen any patient come back like that on their own. I think she even made it out of the hospital too.
6. No Closed Doors
I used to work in a nursing home as both a CNA and an LPN, and while nothing too crazy happened, there were definitely things that happened out of the ordinary. I remember one time after someone had passed, I was cleaning up her body, and the door to the room swung wide open even though it had been firmly latched nobody was there. It gave me the creeps.
There were instances of furniture being moved, lights turning on and off by themselves, and toilets randomly flushing by themselves as well. I also remember I had one resident one night who asked me to make sure I closed the door to the closet that was at the end of her bed. She told me that when it was open, “that woman” kept going in and out of it all night, and it kept her awake.
7. Give It Back
When I worked at the funeral home, I was told a story about an elderly lady who had passed. The husband said he wanted her to be buried with her ring as she never took it off. My co-worker was in the morgue and was washing the body. She removed the ring to mark it down on the paperwork. As soon as she did, a styrofoam head they used for wigs went flying across the room. She just said out loud, "Alright, alright. I'll put your ring back on." There were no more disturbances.
8. It Isn’t Over
I did a rotation in a burn unit. A man lit a woman on fire, and she immediately bear-hugged him, causing them to both suffer pretty severe injuries. Unfortunately, hers included an inhalation burn. They both were being treated in the same ICU but on opposite ends. Weeks later, she ends up coding and passes away, and after about 30 minutes, as things start to quiet down, the guy starts screaming from his room, “Get her out! Get her out of my room!”
9. Do I Know You?
A staff member who worked at the nursing home with me was sitting out in her car during a night shift when some woman knocked on her window and quickly disappeared. The next day, she was discussing this out loud with the oncoming shift when someone pulled out a picture from old files based on the description provided. Apparently, it was a match to a former patient who had passed at least 10 years before that staff member was hired.
10. Following the Footsteps
My mom worked at a hospital in our town that shut down around 15 years ago. They were having a sort of farewell party with all the staff. She, my sister, and I took a walk around at the end to take a last look. We went to the 4th floor and were the only people up there, which was easy to tell since it was such a small hospital.
As we’re walking down the hallway, we heard footsteps that sounded like men’s dress shoes walking next to us, and it was louder and different than all our sneakers. When we stopped, the footsteps kept going down the hall. Once they got down the hall, the emergency light and alarm over the room started sounding. My mom went over and couldn’t turn it off because the system was disconnected/turned off.
I think she tried really hard to keep it together for us because all she said was, “Hmm that’s weird. This whole system is already off,” but I do remember us noping to the elevator right after that. When we got in the elevator, the button for the ground floor was pushed already, which is easy to explain away as some other kid pushing all the buttons, but still weird given the circumstances.
11. Silly Little Girl
I’ve worked in a small family-run nursing home for 6 years as a nurses’ aide. Before it was a nursing home, it was an orphanage. Unfortunately, before it had shut down, the orphanage had a poor history of severe neglect. We knew it wasn’t just small-town gossip because the owner had told us about it herself.
When senior residents are close to the end, they always see a little girl. One of my patients was a very alert gentleman and knew all our names. I was passing dinner trays and saw that he had his back turned and was talking and laughing in the corner. I knocked and asked him who he was talking to, and he chucked and said, “This little girl came into my room. She was scared.” He passed three days later.
The most terrifying incident happened about six months later. We had another patient screaming about a little girl grabbing his feet and she needed to leave him alone. He passed that night. She’s come up over the years. And it’s always the same thing. They see her, and then they die. Other coworkers have had the same experience. It’s very unsettling.
12. See You Soon
Back when I was a paramedic in Oakland, I was taking care of an elderly gentleman in the back of my ambulance. He looked up into the upper corner of the ambulance and said "It's okay Lulu, I'll be with you soon." His daughter was with him and told me that Lulu was his wife who passed 20 years earlier. A few minutes later, he went into cardiac arrest and passed on.
13. Most Gracious First Lady
At the old Walter Reed Army Medical Center that was moved in 2011, there was a VIP ward. Any higher-ups in the government like retired General Officers, Secretary of State, and other cabinet officials. However, the most exclusive, VIP room was, of course, reserved for the First Lady and the President. It was private, had all of its entrances locked, and was overall very nice.
First Lady Eisenhower, wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, had decorated the room herself. Only the best could outfit this room with high-end furniture, a lot of which was donated by Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower. Known as the most gracious first lady, Mrs. Eisenhower was quite particular with who got to stay in the room.
Well, the ghost of Mamie Eisenhower is no different, and if anyone did sleep in that room who she didn’t approve, she would yank off the bedsheets. Decorative pieces would randomly fall off tables or fly off the walls when no one else was around. Mamie would also apparently constantly page the supervisor who would then call the ward back to a very confused nurse who wouldn’t know who paged them.
14. She Might Need Help
I worked as a medical technician at an assisted living facility. One day a resident, Margaret, suddenly passed, and her family left all her belongings in the room that night, including the pendant she had used to call the staff for help. The next night, Margaret’s neighbor called the staff because someone was talking in the room next door and keeping them awake. We brushed the resident off, knowing that Margaret’s room was empty.
About an hour later, Margaret’s pendant started going off from her empty apartment. I was the only one willing to go turn it off, so I walked into the room, and it was FREEZING COLD in the middle of summer with the air conditioning off. Suddenly, the bathroom door slammed as I was turning off the pendant light. I locked the door and ran back to the nurses’ station. We forced one of the older male staff members to go check out the entire room, and he claims the door was still locked when he got down there, and no one was in there.
15. Dead Silent
I'm a psychiatric nurse, and early in my career, I worked at a residential mental health facility. There was a resident I'll call Marion Duchene. He was an elective mute, which simply means that he didn't/wouldn't/couldn't talk, but there were no pathological findings as to why. He had actually spoken earlier in his life.
In fact, he seemed quite normal back then with the notable exception of being close to 7 feet tall. He'd been raised in the Deep South and went to boot camp when he was 19. He was stationed somewhere in the south. One night, he just vanished. It was declared an AWOL for years, and finally, he was declared missing and dead.
10 years later, a 7-foot-tall man walked into a VA Hospital emergency room in my part of the Midwest. He said to the receptionist, “My name is Marion Duchene, and I've been dead for ten years.” Those were the last words he ever spoke. He was covered with dust and was wearing the same clothes he'd been reported to be wearing the night he vanished.
He was well-fed and in good health except for his refusal to speak. His social security number had not been used, and he had no identification on his person. They finally identified him, through fingerprints, I guess. When they finally tracked the family down, they notified them about his sudden reappearance.
The family wanted nothing to do with him and said they had already grieved their lost man and that whoever was claiming to be him simply could not be. They said he was a "haint" and a stand-in for their deceased relative. They demanded not to be contacted again. So, Marion was left alone and sent to live where I would eventually work.
Marion paced all day every day, not frantically, but he’d just lumber up and down the halls and outside. He smiled all the time and would be moving his mouth in a way that indicated talking or muttering, but he was dead silent. He had an unnerving habit of throwing his head back with his mouth wide open as if he were laughing heartily.
The unnerving part was that not even a breath could be heard. If told to go to the dining room for a meal, he'd go and eat. But if nobody told him, he just kept pacing never indicating hunger. If offered, he'd smoke in an oddly formal way, almost delicately, if that makes sense. But he never seemed to crave doing it. The man wanted nothing. It was so unsettling, I still think about it.
There was nothing to do for this man. Many times, various medications were tried with him, but they did not affect him either positively or negatively. Occupational therapy did nothing because Marion would just grin, and unless he was told to stay put, he'd get up and start silently pacing the facility again.
When I talked to him, he appeared to listen, periodically throwing his head back in that laughter-mimicking way of his. On my last day at that job on my way to something better, the last thing I saw was Marion, pacing in the parking lot, throwing his head back to "laugh." Later, I wondered if all along I'd been dealing with a ghost. All these years later, I still don't know.
16. This Old Man
One of the rooms we have is obviously having something of a haunting. A man in a gown gestured one of the technicians to come in, she went in, and he was gone. One week earlier, a female patient was asking to get a different room because a man wouldn’t leave her room. We just thought it was some sort of delirium. Multiple others have seen him too.
17. Not a Stitch Left
One day, a patient had to go to the X-ray room, to which he would be taken in a wheelchair. About 5 minutes later, the notification from the patient’s room went off, my favorite work buddy and I went to the room. As we stepped in, we saw that the room was empty and the windows were closed. Empty. There was absolutely nothing and no one left.
The bed in which the patient lay was missing along with the patient himself who apparently did not go to the X-ray. We both told a fully examined nurse, and even she had no idea where the bed went. At the end, we had to fill the room with another bed. I’m still a nursing student, but this was the most paranormal thing I witnessed so far.
18. Rock-a-Bye, Bye Baby
I’m a nurse in the labor and delivery/nursery wing. Mostly the spooky things are just call lights alarming from rooms that are completely empty. Sometimes it would coincide with the approximate time of the loss from another unit or be the anniversary of a fetal demise. However, my creepiest experience was with a button that’s pushed after a delivery and plays a lullaby over the PA system to announce a birth through the hospital.
One night, no one was even in the same room as the button, and the lullaby started playing. It did that twice, and then we unplugged the entire thing. It still went off once more that night and again a few days later despite being entirely disconnected. That was a few years ago, and no one ever heard it do that before or since.
19. Father-Son Disconnection
I'm an ICU nurse. A patient's son rang the hospital at 11 PM on a Saturday night saying he was sure his dad was dying. His dad had had a severe stroke and was doing okay. Recovery would be difficult, but he wasn't expected to die and was pretty stable at the time. I was looking after him, and he was a lot of work because of the stroke.
The son really wanted to come in even though it's way past visiting hours, but y'know, I'll bend the rules for a good cause. I figured, what the heck, it's his Saturday night, come on in and sit with your dad. Patient passed about 2 minutes before the son walked in the door. It was like a switch was turned off.
He just passed. The last thing he said to me was, "Am I bothering anyone?" I told him of course not even though he had some very frustrating behavior because he would try to get up but couldn't walk, so he'd fallen a lot. The son just started crying and screaming, "I knew it!" We were all a bit freaked out wondering how he knew.
20. Speaking of the Paranormal
We were on a night shift standing and sitting around the nurses’ station and talking about “weird” things that had happened. We talked about when one of the HCAs was in a ride room doing last offices and then the lights flicked on and off twice. We talked about the call bells that would start ringing by themselves.
Then some of us mentioned hearing a cough when there was no one there, and other creepy things like that, etc., etc. As we were talking, there was a pause in the conversation, and very clearly, we heard typing from the keyboard at the doctor’s desk, which was just around the corner from us. We all knew no one else was around.
Usually, the doctors would check in with us before sitting down just to say hello and to see if there were any jobs to do. I stepped and looked around the corner after hearing the keys being tapped only to see no one there! It was very freaky, and we had to change the conversations as we all felt too uncomfortable after that!
21. Who Called?
When I was a nursing student up on an ICU floor, I was hanging antibiotics in my patient’s room when I heard an audible “Hey.” I turn around, and there is no one else in the room. Mind you, my patient was intubated and sedated, so there’s no possible way it was them. It was a woman’s voice as well, so I thought it was my preceptor. I go back out to the nurses’ station, and I asked my preceptor if it was her in the room trying to catch my attention. She told me no. I’ve never seen someone’s eyes get so big.
Apparently, the room I was in has had the most paranormal sightings and activity out of all the rooms on the unit. Sightings like shadows sitting in the corner of the room, voices being heard, and curtains being flung violently across the railings. No one ever told me about this room prior to my preceptorship, so it just added to everyone’s beliefs it was really haunted.
22. Nope, Not the Time
I am a nurse in a hospital, and my patient was a well-known card reader in town, which is not too unheard of in Louisiana. I had actually gone to her about 10 years prior, and she was eerily accurate. While caring for her for a few days, I walk into her room, and she is unresponsive. She had been very lethargic all day, but now she was out. Her daughter is at the bedside and is trying to wake her up.
I sternal rub her and inflict pain with no response and a very weak pulse. I call a rapid response. This woman then wakes up randomly and was full of energy within a 30-second span. She told me she was dead and watching me in the room the whole time. She knew exactly what happened. She said God told her it wasn't her time and sent her back. She went home a couple days later, and she is still doing card readings. She’s in her late 80s.
23. Going Through the Baby Blues
I'm a night shift nurse on a labor and delivery/postpartum unit. Everyone who works there has stories of it being haunted and whatnot, and some of it, I believe, comes from being all alone on a quiet unit. I was down there by myself taking care of 1 mom with her baby. The patient knew that it was just me and her down there.
Well probably around 2 AM, she put on her light, and when I walked in there, she asked, "did another mom come in and have a baby?" I said, "No? Why do you ask?" She looked really confused and said that she had woken up because she heard some loud banging, a baby crying, and mom crying coming from the next room. I told her that no one had come in tonight and we were still both the only ones there. Both of us were a little uneasy after that.
24. Baby Talk
We had a little boy come by ambulance. His parents had put him to bed, and he was with a cold. It was nothing serious but tragically developed into more. He started fading in and out of consciousness. We had to do a rapid intubation, but it wasn't enough. Unfortunately, he ended up passing away a few days later.
Before Mom and Dad made it to the hospital, he kept talking about his baby sister, Hannah. Not long after that, we had to perform life-saving measures. After losing him, I was distraught because I had a son similar in age and a daughter named Hannah. I thought that was the end of it, but I was so, so wrong.
Two years later, the same family comes in with a different sick infant and they re-introduce themselves to me. Their daughter's name was Hanna. It startled me, and I recalled with clarity the boy speaking of his sister, who I assumed was alive and at home. Nope, she hadn't even been conceived yet. Baby, thankfully, went home with her parents and is doing well, but I'll never forget that—a little boy and his baby sister.
25. Lifting Her Spirits
While my mom was in nursing school, she worked as a home health aide. She got a pretty cushy gig working with this disabled woman named Mary. I was too young to know what was wrong with Mary, but looking back now, I would guess she was someone who was mentally five years old though she was in her 50s. Mary's parents had provided well for her. They left her with her own giant, beautiful home, fully-equipped for a handicapped person and enough money in a fund to finance care, etc.
So, mom was one of only 4 staff to work with Mary because she did NOT like new people. She had 2 night staff and 2 day staff. She received around the clock care, but mom was able to bring Mary home with her, so we spent a lot of time with Mary as a family. Mary was sweet and very kind. I actually have an old photo of me, her, and mom when I was dressed for one of my dance parades. We all loved her a lot.
One morning on a day mom was off work but had school, she got up in a rush and ran downstairs. I thought she was late for school, so I went down with her to help her get what she needed to leave. But she was on the phone dialing people who were not answering her. I will never, ever forget this. Mom was shaking and crying and blubbering to herself without making any real sense. She finally slammed the phone down on the table and put her hands on her face, and I asked her what was wrong.
She told me she had woken up to Mary at her bedside patting her hand the way she did when she was very pleased with something mom did, but when she sat up in bed, Mary was gone. The phone rang, and it was the nurse at the house to let my mom know that Mary had passed the night before. She came to tell mom goodbye.
My maternal grandmother and I were always pretty sensitive to paranormal stuff, but my mother was NOT. She thought her mom was a crock, and she was sure I was making stuff up. After Mary, she still never believed in the paranormal, but she did quit nursing school and never worked in home health again. She never said, but I got the sense she couldn't handle another Mary happening to her again. My mom was pretty stoic, but that broke her.
26. Warm Caretaker
My mom used to work as a night nurse in the burn unit at a hospital in Dallas. She told me that people would always talk about the burn unit and how it was apparently haunted. She wasn’t really sure whether or not to believe this until a little girl came into the unit with horrific burns. The little girl did not always have her parents stay the night with her, so my mom would try to check up on her pretty often when she worked.
One night, my mom asked the girl if she ever got scared at night. The little girl responded, “No. I don’t get scared because an old woman comes to read to me every single night and sits beside my bed while I fall asleep.” This shocked my mom because there were no older women working in the burn unit at night, and she would usually be the only person on duty during those times. It isn’t that scary, but she always recalls it being one of the craziest things that has ever happened as a healthcare worker.
27. Don’t Let It Get Me
There was an old lady who insisted on being strapped down at night in her bed. She told my aunt who was her nurse that there was a dark figure that was trying to grab her and take her out of the room where she would die. My aunt and other nurses oblige, and for the next few nights, she would check on her, and it would look as though someone was trying to pull her from the bed randomly while she slept.
My aunt is then off, and whoever is this lady’s nurse does not strap her down at night. Nurses find the old lady lifeless, laying on the floor by the door with her hand stretched out past the door and into the hallway.
28. Meeting the New Patient
I worked in geriatrics for years, so most of our patients passed within a few years of being with us. I had a new patient move into one of the rooms in my hall that my previous patient had just passed in. My new patient kept calling at night saying that there was this woman who kept coming into her room and trying to talk to her.
At first, I just passed it off as her being in her 90s and struggling with dementia, so I assured her that I would lock her door at night to make sure no one could come in. After about a week of this continuing to happen, I sat down with her and was asking what this woman looked like thinking she may just be hallucinating her daughter or sister or something.
She proceeded to tell me that this women had a pink robe on with blue fuzzy slippers and her hair up in curlers, and the women would come in sit at the foot of her bed, pat the new patient’s feet and try to talk to her, but she couldn't understand what she was saying. I almost peed myself. The patient that I had had in that room prior to my new one went to bed, EVERY NIGHT, in her pink house robe, blue slippers, and her hair in curlers. It stopped after about two weeks.
29. The Universe Sent Me
My mom used to do in-home care. One day, she was at a man’s house feeding him his supper. She cleaned up, made sure the man was set up, and said goodbye before leaving. He seemed perfectly normal to her. As she walked down the front driveway to her car, she got a weird feeling. She kept walking until a random huge gush of wind stopped her in her tracks. She tells me she heard someone telling her to go back. She turned back and went inside to find that the man had passed. If she had left, he probably wouldn't have been found for a couple days.
30. Student Shadowing
Student nurse here, I once had a patient say, "Do you ever feel the chill whenever you're on the computer? Don’t worry. It's just a nurse who worked here a long, long time ago. She doesn't understand your technology, so she’s trying to learn." I always felt like someone was looking over my shoulder when I used the computer, so this freaked me out.
31. Scanning the Scene
I was working transport in the hospital, and I got a call to take a patient to the sonogram wing. Keep in mind, it's 2 AM, and the patient I'm taking has pretty advanced dementia, so I couldn't really make any conversation. Plus, the sonogram wing is down this long hallway away from the main part of the hospital. So, while this patient is getting her ultrasound it's just me, the patient, and the sonogram technician.
The sonogram technician and I are making conversation about how creepy hospitals are at night, and I'm telling her about weird noises I hear that I assume are just the tube system. And I ask her about her end of the hospital since it's so secluded. And she says, "Yeah, sometimes people can hear a young girl laughing or a dog barking. But otherwise, nothing major."
About 15-20 minutes go by with nothing, the patient is sleeping, and then I hear it. The dog barking. And I look at the sonogram tech, and she hears it too. Then the patient’s eyes shoot wide open, and she starts to sit up, and she goes, "You have to let her out." Keep in mind, this woman has not formed a coherent sentence since I've seen her.
Of course, I did the obvious thing and said, "What?" And she goes, "That little girl in the corner. Is that your daughter?" And then she starts mumbling and goes back to sleep. The sonogram technician cleaned up her stuff and noped out as did I, and we never spoke of it again. Nothing else has happened since, but I still wonder about that patient and how she's doing these days.
32. That’s Really Not My Preference
I had a six-year-old patient who fell from a tree and had a significant head injury. She didn’t respond to voice commands or painful stimuli, but she was having a conversation with someone. The only part that I could clearly hear was when she said, “Well I know, but I don’t WANT to be dead.” She then went unresponsive.
Fortunately, the neurosurgeon was there. He hurriedly told us that we’d have to get her in the OR in time and take care of her epidural bleed as soon as possible. She survived with mild deficits and came to see us after being discharged. She didn’t remember having the “conversation” or any conversation at all.
33. All Things Terrible
I was working as an RN and there was a long-term elderly patient who was extremely difficult, and none of the staff's efforts were good enough. According to those who knew her, that was just how she was. Her daughter was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and became a patient on the same floor as her mother.
I had worked with people at end of their lives dozens of times and was well versed in providing comfort care. No matter what medication we gave, how much emotional support we provided, or any and every holistic intervention we came up with, she was persistently agitated. I finally decided to ask her what was wrong—her response sent a chill down my spine.
She said, "...I know where I’m going. I've been a horrible person to everyone. I'm definitely not going to heaven." The look of fear on her face was like nothing I've seen before. We were able to manage her physical pain, but I don't know that we were ever able to manage her emotional distress. It was heartbreaking.
34. And I Mean It!
I used to work in an old nursing home. There was a patient I had who was just a mean guy. He was actively dying when I went in to give him some comfort medication. He was non-responsive at this time and had be for a while. All of a sudden, he sat straight up and pointed behind me and said, "Tell him I am not going with him. I am not going with him!" Then he laid back down and went to sleep. Found out later, he passed two days later while it was my weekend off. When I think about, it still gives me chills.
35. Life’s Final Stages
I knew the story of the man in the tall black hat. I’d just never seen him personally. I was reporting to a nurse about my recommendation for a diet and swallowing precautions I wanted for a patient who was nearing their end of their life. We were discussing how the patient wouldn’t likely make it more than a few days and had already been chattering to me about “the small kids at the end of the bed” and the “tall man.”
I was facing the nurse with my back to the hallway I had just come from, and she was looking over my shoulder. I felt a tap on my shoulder and saw a glimpse of darkness out of the corner of my eye. The nurse just grinned at me as I whipped around where I saw only an empty hallway. She said, “You just saw him too, didn’t you?” The patient passed 12 hours later.
I have to be honest. It’s not the tall man with the hat that freaks me out. It’s not the kids. It’s not the fact that the 100-year-old patients tend to congregate around the room of the next upcoming one to pass. Those are all informative and help me know when to call family in. The thing that freaks me out so much is the fact that they all see the same thing.
Regardless of their health, reason of passing, whatever, if their march toward the end of life is slow enough to see it in stages, they all talk about the same things that they see. Family members long passed calling out to them, the small kids standing unobtrusive at the edge of the room, in broad daylight mind you, and the tall man with the hat. It’s so consistent you can almost set a clock by it. Ask any nurse. They are made of steel and iron, but they all know the signs the other patients give off when someone is about to pass.
36. Didn’t Have to Point That Out
I was a CNA working an overnight shift at an assisted living facility. It was a pretty relaxing gig, just help people with the toilet, pass medication, and had stuff to do every hour. My co-worker radioed me about a noise complaint. I look at the clock. It’s the witching hour. Someone is probably sundowning. I’ll get them to bed.
I get in the elevator and head to the fourth floor. As I approach the second floor, I hear it. The banging and screeching. Fourth floor, door opens up. A 70-pound, 100-year-old woman is just making the most ear-piercing banshee wailing sounds and thrashing her walker around. I very gently start guiding and re-directing her back to her apartment. The entire time she is just flailing and howling.
Halfway down the hallway, she suddenly goes quiet. She turns around and lifts a shaking bony finger at me. “There is a man behind you.” Then I mess my pants and essentially carry her back to her room as she resumes her flailing and screeching. I take her to the bathroom. Clean her up. Get her to bed. All as fast as I can.
37. Delivering a Message
My aunt used to work as a labor and delivery nurse, and once, she was working a shift where the woman she was assisting in childbirth had lost her grandmother not long before her labor. However, they were not close as they had never met. But then something happened in the middle of the frantic moaning and crying during delivery.
The woman suddenly looked to a corner of the room breathing heavily and sweating. The only thing there was an empty chair. Nobody was there. She started talking to the corner seeming to respond to questions and generally just having a full-blown conversation with whom seemed, to my aunt and the other nurses, was just herself.
My aunt and the other nurses thought she was just delirious and tried to just soothe her through and ignore her. The woman’s husband and her mother would try and calm her down and say, “there’s no one there,” but she would continue talking to the corner. When she was out of labor and they gave her the baby to hold, her mother and boyfriend were there.
She turned to her mom and smiled and asked, “Did you hear her earlier? Is your new life everything you imagined it would be? An adventure?” The mother was shocked. Apparently when the mother immigrated from China, she left her family behind. Her mother passed soon after, but her last words exact same words her daughter just said.
38. Playing Broken Telephone
I used to work at an old hospital. The unit this happened in was in the oldest part of the hospital. It was getting dark, and there weren’t that many people on the unit that day. I was sitting at the nurses’ station charting, but I could see my block of rooms from where I was sitting. I saw the call light turn on above the corner room, which was one of the “haunted” rooms. My aide was by the call light phone, so he answered it, and the patient said they needed the nurse.
We both went to the room. I was able to see the room the whole time, but no one was in there, and it was totally dark. We were standing outside of the room talking about it because the aide swore someone answered and said they needed the nurses when the patient came walking up the hallway from the common room. I asked her if she had called for me and she, said she had over an hour ago but decided to go for a walk. I went back into the room to check the call bell, but it was broken.
39. Cold, Burning Presence
I’m a hospital doctor in Colorado, and when I was working overnights, I got a page that an old lady with dementia was flipping out. The lady said someone was in her room watching her around 2 AM. I got this page 3 or 4 times, and we decided to move her to a new room for other staffing issues. We moved over an elderly man to the room.
1 hour later, boom, it was the same thing. He didn’t have any cognitive impairments, but he said someone was in the room watching him and the room was cold. I called bull and went to check it out. I walked in, got this eerie feeling someone was watching me, and it was so cold that I could see my breath. I got out, moved the patient, and left the room empty.
At the same hospital, there was a big burn unit. People within a 5-state radius would be flown to the hospital. There was a Native American man that had a room for several months. Around 75% body surface area was burned. Keep in mind, every single day they are washing these burns out and going to surgery every few days to debride.
This guy eventually dies after months of this. Shortly after, weird electrical things started happening in there of which I personally witnessed. The lights would turn on and off, the TV would suddenly be on at full volume and won't turn off, the phone would ring and then it would be static on the other end.
The RNs would literally walk in the room, say his name, and then, "cut it out" or "stop," and I kid you not, whatever was happening would stop. Every single patient in that room for months after talked about seeing a Native American man. It got so bad that the hospital administrators legit called in a Native American shaman from his tribe to "cleanse" the room. There was a ceremony and everything. After that, it never happened again.
40. They’re Only Playing
I’m a medical student. Back when I was doing internship at an obstetrics hospital, I usually ended my night shift around 2 AM. When I’d walk back to my quarter, I would occasionally see a little girl, probably 5-7 years old, running and playing in the hall. When I brought this up with one of my professors, he just told me to turn a blind eye. According to him, "they" were just playing and would do no harm if you pretend you didn't see them.
41. Terror Induced Strength
I've worked as a nurse in a cancer center for many years. I’m not claiming this was paranormal, but it was very creepy. The patient was rapidly dying of end-stage pancreatic cancer. They were too weak to get out of bed for many days. One night shift, we heard screaming coming from that room, and we all rushed in.
The patient was crouched in a corner pointing at the window yelling, "They are here! Stop them!" But there was nothing there that we could see. We had to use a hoist to get the patient back to bed, but the terror persisted. The patient passed that night, still terrified of something we could not see. A nurse stayed all night with the patient, and we never could work out how they got out of bed.
42. Admiring the Garden
I’m a CNA and worked in a nursing home that was nearing 70 years of operation, so that's a lot of elderly to pass away. One ward of the home had recently become a unit specifically made for individuals with Alzheimer's, dementia, and other mental issues. It was a creepy hall to work on, not because of the residents, but because it was locked down and dark. There was no TV and no sound except for the air condition.
The ward was T-shaped, and at the top of the T, there was the dining room, the door to the rest of the building, a door to a smoker’s deck, and the nurses’ station. The long part of the T was all rooms, and at the end, there was a door that led to a special garden for the residents. The halls had cameras on them that we could see on TVs behind the nurses’ station.
One night, I was working alone back there when we were short staffed, and I kept hearing the back door bang open and closed. I thought it was a resident who was still very much there and got up to go outside to ask her if she wanted a blanket only to find the garden empty. I checked all the rooms, and all the residents were in bed. As soon as I sat back down, I heard the banging again.
I looked up at the monitor, and I could see a very tall man standing at the door looking out through the window. There were no men on the hall able to walk, so I was pretty confused on who would be standing at the end of the hall. As slowly as I could, I rolled my chair into the hallway and looked down at the door, but there was no one standing there even though I could clearly see someone on the TV screen. I refused to work alone on that hall ever again.
43. Goodbye, My Friend
I work in a nursing home. At night, you will see people walking the hallways and sitting in the dining rooms, which are locked, then you would go to see who it was and find out everyone is sleeping or no one was there. The oddest thing though I can think of is one time a resident with dementia told her roommate she loved her and would miss her. She told her she was going to open the window for her so she could leave. Her roommate passed a few hours later.
44. No One to Hold the Elevator
My ex is a nurse. She used to tell me about this man that staff used to see in random places at an Austin hospital, and he used to vanish into thin air. We had one of our friends who was in hospital, and my ex was looking after him. I went to visit him after work, and then I was heading back home with my ex.
I remember after saying goodbye to our friend, we were walking in the corridor towards the elevators. There was a man about 10 meters ahead of us. As he got closer to the elevators, one elevator reached the floor, and its door slid open. My ex and I walked faster to catch the elevator. The man ahead of us walked into the elevator. We ran to the elevator, and both our jaws dropped! No one was in the elevator!
45. Meowing Through the Property
I’m not in human medicine. I’m a licensed veterinary technician, but our emergency hospital is haunted by a gentleman we refer to as Gerald. The clinic was built for us. We didn’t take over another business. We’ve all seen him, usually around 4 AM, and sometimes we see him at the same time. Once, I’d taken radiographs of a patient with my co-worker, and I thought my doctor had been standing outside the door, but just walked away.
I saw the figure walk away. I called out for the doctor since she’d JUST walked away, and my co-worker laughed at me and said she was still in the office. It was just Gerald. He also meows like a cat from our comfort room sometimes. We have two clinic cats, and they’re always with us and accounted for when we hear him. It’s also obviously a person meowing when we hear it. We have cameras. Nobody is there when these things happen and are seen. He’s just a part of the clinic.
46. Saw Someone with You
When I was in a rural practice late at night, I was checking a patient inside the office with the door closed, naturally. All of the sudden, I heard a thump sound from outside where the nurse's desk was, which was about five feet from my door. It was nothing strange really because the outside door was open for ventilation purposes, and maybe someone passed on the road or something. Whatever.
Next day, a surveyor for another government agency stopped by, and we chatted for a couple of minutes. "I see you work a lot here. We passed by last night, and we saw the door open and a person sitting by the desk." I froze because at no point during the night there was someone sitting there. "Maybe you mistook the file cabinet," or whatever, I was trying to make sense of it.
"No, no. It was right here, and when we passed, the office door was closed. We thought you were with a patient and another was waiting." Creeped out as I was, I dismissed it. That night, after turning everything off, I went to my room to sleep because we have to stay in our practices during social services, so we practically live there. For the first half of the night, I heard thumping outside and chairs moving slightly. I had to stay there for another six months.
47. Appreciation in the Afterlife
My friend is a nurse. A long time ago, her patient crashed. My friend ran out of the room to the closet to get more supplies. A while later, the patient was revived. The next day, the patient said, "thanks. I saw you running to get the supplies." But the weird thing was that she wouldn't have been able to see her because she was dead.
48. Do Not Enter
We swear there's a cursed/haunted room on our unit. Things that have happened like patients who stayed there would randomly turn for the worse there. These would be perfectly stable patients who would suddenly go into cardiac arrest or have some sort of freak thing happen to them. Then there are the “little” things like the lights turning on and off randomly.
We keep a cart with supplies in each patient room. Because they contain things like needles and syringes, each cart is locked and can only be unlocked by punching in a code. The cart in that particular room has been known to unlock and lock on its own. In most of our rooms, including this one, there are ceiling lifts. For some reason, it'll also click on and off on its own.
There is a supply closet next to that room. On night shifts, some nurses will lay out a floor mattress in that closet to rest while on break. One nurse was lying down in there one night just quietly watching Netflix on her phone. No one was around. All was quiet. She wasn't moving. All of a sudden, a box of gauze fell from a shelf onto her. We do not like that room.
49. Something’s Slithering
A nurse who worked in a nursing home in a small Texas town told me this story. Now, in this nursing home, there were two wings which were connected by one hallway. Compared to the front station, the back was always a bit heavy with gloom and maybe even spooky at times. There was certainly a darker atmosphere.
For this reason, the nurses disliked staying in the back, so after the residents were in bed, and the night’s last rounds were completed, they would migrate to the front nurses’ station. This nightly trek went on for a while until the administration learned of it, and for liability reasons, they instructed the back-wing nurses to stay in their assigned place of duty.
There were always ghostly happenings in the building, but nonetheless these incidents were mostly shrugged off as the imagination of tired and over worked employees. But there was one incident in particular that we thought the patients were imagining—but then terrifying things started happening that we couldn't explain.
This one resident, Mr. Gomez, was rumored to have been into brujeria, which is Spanish for witchcraft, throughout his life. Late at night, Mr. Gomez, according to reports from other residents, would creep into their rooms like a serpent born of underworld. He would slither on his stomach with both arms at his sides.
His eyes would be rolled back in his head and his tongue darting in and out of his mouth, flicking the air like a human snake. He would crawl under their beds and try to push them off. “He’s the devil” the other residents would claim. Well, the reports weren’t taken very seriously; the old folks were half out of their minds.
Realistically, how could feeble old Mr. Gomez who needed the assistance of nurses just to get out of bed be physically cable of such actions? The nurses all agreed that the reports were just imagined stories of old confused people. That is until the terrifying night that the nurses all became believers of the evil that lived within Mr. Gomez.
It was well past midnight, the residents were sleeping, and the halls were quiet. The nurses had gathered in the back lobby to sit and wait for morning. Most of them were at the point of dozing off when a loud gasp broke the silence. One of the nurses stood up with a frightful expression upon her face. She pointed down the hall towards the residents’ rooms.
As the others turned to look, a horrifying scene was unfolding. It was Mr. Gomez, slithering on his stomach, making his way down the hall and into the room of a slumbering woman. They just stood there, petrified, unsure of what to do. Mr. Gomez was now crawling through the hallway, heading right towards the lobby, and the fear struck nurses.
The stories were true. Mr. Gomez was slithering like a snake with his eyes rolled back and his tongue flicking in and out like a cursed beast. They watched as he snaked through the lobby furniture, crawling between chair legs, and hissing at the shocked women. The nurses all ran up the hallway to the front desk. The doors to the back wing slammed shut as the last one passed through.
They stayed up front for the next few hours. And as the sun began to peek over the horizon, they gathered enough courage to go check on the back wing. It was quiet, and Mr. Gomez was once again sleeping in his bed. A few nights later, he passed. As the nurses were attending to his body, thumps were heard against the window. They pulled the drapes to see what could have made the noise.
And just as they did, a lechuza, the Spanish word for owl, into which is believed to be what witches transform, flew at the window clawing at the pane as if trying to get in. The bird then flew into a nearby tree and landed among several other lechuzas perched high in the branches. The birds just stared down at the room where Mr. Gomez lay dead waiting to claim his soul.
50. How’s Your Boy?
My mom was a nurse and was walking through the nursing home where she worked and acting like it was a normal day. But it wasn’t. People were looking at her really weirdly. After a couple hours, someone asked her what happened to her child. My mom was pretty confused and asked them what they were talking about. The answer nearly made her scream.
They said that everyone had been seeing a bloody boy walking beside her all day. She looked behind her, but no one was there. Then all day after that, people kept asking what happened to her child. When she got home, she looked up every incident at her nursing home and read about a case, but she can’t remember what it was anymore.