Hospital Workers Admit The Spookiest Things They've Ever Witnessed While On The Job

October 6, 2023 | Delaney Caulfield

Hospital Workers Admit The Spookiest Things They've Ever Witnessed While On The Job

Have you ever had an unexplainable experience? Something that gnaws on the side of your vision, but is unable to be seen? Have you ever felt someone’s eyes on you only to turn to find nothing? That absolute terror that shocked your system in response to a feeling? Perhaps a premonition. The paranormal is something that fascinates us, it’s the answer to the ultimate question. And where better to explore that than at the one place that hinges on the plane of reality and the beyond. Where spirits pass daily.

Hospitals are perfect for having devastating, weird, uncomfortable and strange experiences.

The creepiest stuff happens in hospitals. Some believe the veil between the living and the perished is thinnest there. Doctors and nurses are on that front line. From the paranormal to the supremely uncomfortable, these are 25 stories that’ll keep you up at night.

1. Hallucinating Religious Music Is One Of My Greatest Fears

About 2 years ago we treated patients during a fungal meningitis outbreak. Our acute care floor has a census of 20. During this, at least 10 to 15 were meningitis patients, age ranging from people in their 20s to their 90s. There are no shared rooms and all the patients were in isolation, no contact with one another. Many of them had the same hallucinations of children in the corners of their rooms and auditory hallucinations of religious music.


2. He Came Back For His Wife

For the last 4 years, I've worked summers and weekends at a nursing home in my hometown. Two years ago, we had a married couple in their 90s (He was 95, she was 96). I always found them adorable. They spent their entire days together, and it was clear to me from the first day I met them just how much they cared for and depended on one another. She always waited for him at the table so they could have breakfast together, and made sure the staff made his coffee the way he liked it. They slept in separate rooms because he was suffering from (relatively mild) dementia and would occasionally get up during the night, confused, which disturbed her sleep. Yet they would always end the day sitting in her room, drinking tea and talking before we helped him to his room to go to sleep.

A few months after celebrating their iron anniversary (70 years!), the husband was gone. It wasn't really unexpected, as he had been sick for a few weeks, and the nurses knew he wouldn't recover. Two weeks later, his wife got weaker and mostly stayed in her bed. Now, she was not demented at all. At times, she seemed brighter than me—she kicked my butt at crosswords—which is why something that happened while she was on her deathbed creeped me out.

I was in her room helping her adjust her blankets, near the end of my shift, around 10 pm. She had been sleeping before I came in to check on her, so the room was dark. She had complained about being cold, so I closed and locked the window. As usual, we were making small talk, when suddenly, she went silent, looked towards the door and said "John?" (her husband's name). "John, is that you? No, John, wait". Then the door to her room slammed shut at tremendous force. I honestly do not believe in ghosts or anything similar. I'm not a very spiritual person. Yet that terrified me to no end. I had just closed her window, and all doors in the nursing home automatically closes and locks at 8 pm. There's no way it was the wind. I only worked with four other people that night, all of whom were in the staff room at the time. All other patients who might be able to walk around on their own were sleeping. There was literally no one nearby.

She barely seemed to notice, not even jumping from the loud noise the door made and told me "It's ok, you can leave now. Good night!" She perished two days later, in her sleep.

I barely ever tell anyone about this, ‘cause I never thought anyone would believe me. And because to this day, I don't understand what happened, and it creeps me out.

 The Coldest DoctorsFreepik, DCStudio

3. Totally Normal, Someone’s Just Touching Your Feet

I was looking after a patient who needed one on one care when I still worked at one of the public hospitals, who had vivid hallucinations of people crawling on the floor and touching the feet/legs of anyone not in bed. She went on to describe in great horror-story type detail the person she saw touching my feet, while I sat in a chair next to her for part of my shift.

It was actually made worse by the fact that she was a moderately good storyteller and the fact that I knew she was mentally ill/actually hallucinating and not just pulling my leg for something to pass the time...


Paranormal Stories Factsmedicosencancun

4. Phantom Bell Rings And An Apparition Appears

Used to work in a personal care home. A couple of times, a day or so after a resident had passed, their call bell would go off in their room. No one was in the room when the call bell went off on any of the occasions.

We had one resident die pretty traumatically—nurses had to perform CPR because he was a full code). That night, the midnight staff said they saw him at the end of the hall just walking down like he always did. Then, the alarm on the door to the outside—it was a secured unit for Alzheimer's/dementia—went off. It was the door he always tried when he was looking to get out.

Paranormal Stories Factszlwinc

5. They Were Afraid Of The Dark

I was pulling a guard shift in the CHS on FOB Speicher one night in Iraq. There hadn't been any action for the whole previous week so the staff was all racked out. I was walking the halls and everything was supposed to be off or on standby. I walked passed one room that they used for locals who were victims of trauma. The lights were on so I toggled the switch down to turn them off. I started walking down the hall again and I saw the lights come back on out of the corner of my eye. This is when I went into alert mode. I cleared the corner and looked into the room. Nothing. I put the switch back in the down position again and went to call it up on the icom. The radio was on the fritz. So I began walking back to the CQ desk to report it in person. The lights turned back on. At this point, I'm a little on edge. I can't radio in for help, there is nobody on this side of the compound that would hear me yell, and the light switch position keeps changing when the lights go back on. Keep in mind that I'm on a Forward Operating Base in a combat zone. I don't know what I was expecting when I went to clear the corner and look into the room again, but I saw nothing but an empty room, a gurney, a heart monitor, and a crash cart. I couldn't tell you to this day why I said what I did, but I was worried that if I didn't, the lights would keep switching back on. I said: "If you're scared of the dark, I'll leave the light on for you".

I finished my shift and left the light on. I left a note with the desk that one of the surgeons had asked me to always leave that light on just in case they had an emergency come in. For the remainder of my shifts, that light always remained on.

Paranormal Stories Factsavrotros

6. Of Course It Was In The Basement

Worked at a hospital doing transport for a couple of years. The transport home base was in the basement of the hospital, where all the laundry is done and supplies are also sorted there. I hated working late nights after this incident.

On this particular 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. Next thing I know, I hear a loud bang. I walked into the hallway and a bed is rolling down the hall bumping into the sides. At this point I think that my coworker is lying to me. I radio him and he says he's upstairs in the cafeteria. Ah, I still don't believe him and think I'll catch him in the act. I walk past the laundry room and the machines start. Pop my head in there expecting to find him but it's completely empty. Okay... Starting to get a little nervous. I walk into the laundry room, and the machines completely stop. I freeze, then run out and head towards the elevator when I hear whistling again. At this point, I know I am the only worker in the basement. As I am standing there waiting for the elevator, things start falling off of the shelves down the hall. Boxes of gloves, tissues, packages of tubes. I am literally 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'm getting into the elevator, I feel what feels like someone brushing my arm. Went upstairs and found my coworker in the cafeteria, freaked out to him. I got the eff out of there and transferred soon after that. The creepy thing to add to it is that I usually whistle mindlessly to myself at work, it was almost as if the spirit was mimicking me. Creepiest feeling ever.

Edit: Transferred to the operating room soon after that, I was part of an emergency C-section where a baby was lost. My coworkers and I occasionally heard a baby's cries in the hallways at night. The security workers have also witnessed crazy things but my post is getting long now!

Scared man biting his nails looking left in gray t-shirtkurhan, Shutterstock

7. Scared Back To Life

First story: Patient had been in the Continuous Care Unit, where I worked at the time, for a long period of time, about six months. We had finally been transferred to med surg floor and he coded. We worked on him for 45 minutes to an hour and he had no pulse or heart rhythm the entire time and the docs had decided to call it. His family walks in the room, leans over him and rubs his chest lightly and says his name and immediately regains a pulse and regains consciousness.

Second story: Patient comes in coding and we are working on him and we are getting nothing, so we bring in his wife to say goodbye and she starts yelling at him at the top of her lungs and he comes back so we arrange transfer to a tertiary hospital and he codes again so she comes back and yells at him again and comes back again, cut to they are loading him into the helicopter and he codes again, so they bring him back into our ER after working on him for a bit on the helipad and his wife yells at him again and once again he immediately comes back. Eventually, they decide to have his wife ride in the helicopter with him to make sure she can scare him back to life if he were to code again. The guy ended up living and received at heart transplant and is still alive to this day all thanks to his wife scaring the life back into him.

Paranormal Stories Factscommitment connection

8. That’s One To Add To The Nightmares

Psychiatric RN here...I worked in an acute care adult unit, but was sent to work with the kids one evening shift. It was after 10 pm, all patients were in their rooms and in bed. I heard a child screaming and a psych tech trying to calm him. I ran to the room, the 7-year-old boy was uncontrollable. He was crying, sweating, and shaking. He said he saw 'something.' After he settled down, he told me that he saw a white man with gray hair in a hospital gown in his room. While we discussed what he saw, the child froze in fear, tears rolling down his face … he said "Ms. Whoawhoawhoathere be still. Oh my God he's right behind you". We decided to address 'the man' and tell him that the little boy was scared … the boy said the man turned around and left after that. The only thing anyone in the unit would have heard was the boy screaming at the beginning … all other discussion was in his room and quiet. Not even 3 minutes later, a 17-year-old male at the end of the hall started screaming. I ran to his room … he was standing on his bed trying to get away from a white man in a hospital gown.

Medical OMG EncountersFreepik,wavebreakmedia

9. Sure, Let’s Provoke The Spirit

CNA here, have been working the night shift at hospitals for 7 years now and I have quite a few stories. Came into work one night and Jen, one of the nurses, told me and my other coworker Jay the creepiest thing happened a few hours earlier. A patient had passed in one of the rooms abruptly. The room was cleaned and was quickly occupied by another patient who had coded, was pronounced deceased, but was resuscitated.

Soon after being admitted to his room he complained to the nurse, "I can't be in here. This man won't stop looking at me. He's really worried about his dog. His dog doesn't know that he's deceased". She had assumed he was just seeing things and said, "Oh yeah? What does he look like?" He described the deceased patient perfectly. I could see the chills running down her spine as she was telling us the story. Turns out the man did have a dog as well. The new admit was moved to another room.

Jay said, "I don't believe in ghosts. Those aren't real. I wanna see it. Tonight I'm gonna provoke it so it can show itself". 3 am rolls around and all 3 of us are at the nursing station. Jay starts playing YouTube videos of various puppy sounds. Soon after two lift team guys come up, we forget what we're doing and start another conversation. Suddenly, we all hear it, except for Jay. A dog bark. In the same room. Loudly, clear as ever. The lift team guys say, "Does someone have a dog in here?" Jen and I simultaneously lose it.

I have other stories if anyone is interested. Shadow men are real, I've seen one firsthand. And spirits love playing with elevators.


10. Maybe Let’s Brick That Room Off

We have a cursed room on my floor. Two of the most distressing deaths I witnessed happened in this particular room.

A patient arrived to us stable but unresponsive. Out of nowhere, wakes up in the middle of the night, walks to the bathroom, locks the door, and hangs himself with his belt.

Had a patient suddenly and unexpectedly bleed out when a tumor caused an artery in his neck to burst.It appeared to be the scene of an incident. Wasn't a DNR, so we had to do compressions for a good 30 minutes in that bloodbath. Sad too. It was a man who had been on the unit for a couple of months. We all really liked him.

Also had a patient go crazy in there. She started throwing stool from her colostomy at the nurses and smearing it around her room. She was a middle-aged woman and did not have any evidence of trauma to her brain and no psychiatric history, or other chemical imbalances.

Medical OMG EncountersShutterstock

11. He Made A New Friend

I work on a pediatric bone marrow transplant unit, and sadly we have a lot of kids that pass. Our kids stay here for longer periods of time (usually 1-6 months inpatient) so we have to rotate them to different rooms to make sure everything is clean.

One particular 3-year-old boy doesn't have family come to visit. He never really communicates with staff and would only occasionally chatter to himself. We moved him to a room where a little girl had recently passed and we started noticing him talking to different places in the room and staring/nodding when alone. Then he started saying new English words though he hadn't had an increase in visitors.

My coworkers are convinced he's talking to the little girl that lose her life there, and though I'm a pretty skeptical person, I still get the creeps when I walk by and see him talking to himself.

True Medical Plot TwistsWikimedia Commons

12. Listen To The Faucets

My mother trained as a nurse at the old Westminster Teaching Hospital in London in the 1950s. On one of her first night shifts, she was doing rounds in the children's ward. Everything was fine, all the kids were asleep, but in one of the rooms, she found the sink faucet running, which was a bit weird, because it had been fine when she'd been by a few minutes before. She figured that one of the kids had got up and been thirsty or something, turned it off and carried on with the rounds.

When her shift was over she checked out with the Matron, who asked if she had anything to report. She said there was nothing, except that someone had left a faucet on in one of the rooms. The Matron looked horrified and gasped out "oh no!" She then explained that the ward was haunted by a ghost which washed its hands - leaving the faucet running - whenever a child was going to die.

My mother laughed this off, pointed out that none of the kids in the ward were seriously ill and went home.

When she came in for her shift the next evening she discovered that a previously perfectly fine child in that room had had a sudden seizure and lose her life only a few hours after she'd found the open faucet.

Paranormal Stories Factslentheplumber

13. Voodoo People

Night nurse for four years now at an old folks home. Had a palliative who couldn't sleep because of incredibly vivid hallucinations. She would describe voodoo people around her room that would just stare at her waiting for her to die. I didn't take it seriously until the lady across the hall—who rarely ever spoke—starting seeing them in her room too. Legitimate shivers.

Psych Ward Nurses Tell AllPexels

14. Scariest Words Ever: “He’s Right Behind You”

Used to work in a skilled nursing facility. I was usually assigned to the Alzheimer's ward. One night I'm in the linen room stocking my cart, and I heard someone shuffle up behind me, then I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around and there was no one else in the room. The door was still shut too.

Another lady started to complain that a man was coming into her room at night (again, Alzheimer's so I didn't think much of it) so to reassure her, I told her I'd check on her throughout the night. She complained of this man for every night for 2 more weeks when I asked her to describe him to me".

He's real handsome, and wears a black suit. Oh. He's right behind you now, honey".

That freaked me the eff out. Of course, there was no one behind me. She perished the next night in her sleep.

Paranormal Stories Factsimgankes

15. Annoyer In The Corner

This might get buried and is not really nurse related other than the fact my grandmother's nurse told me. My great grandmother was 94 and just started suffering with dementia. She told the home nurses and me that there was a little boy in the corner of the living room who would taunt and tease my great grandmother while laughing at her telling her she was going to die. Well at first it was a little disturbing and we all shrugged it off because of her dementia. But then everything got real when my best friend came over with his little boy who is about 3 or 4. 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 is not nice! We flipped the f--- out! I got shivers just typing this. Maybe Nana wasn't hallucinating.

Blurred boy hugged his knees in a corner of the room.ETAP ,Shutterstock

16. I’m Convinced It's The Kid From The Grudge

Private duty home health nurse here. I worked third shift in a patient's house. The patient lived in a very old house with their parents. I often saw flashes of light in the hallway between 2 am and 4 am. Sometimes I would see a figure move by the open door. Everyone else has seen it as well.

The creepiest thing has to be when I heard the dad scream at about 2 pm. Middle of the day. He was in bed with the windows covered so his room was dark. He claimed he felt someone sit on his bed. He assumed it was one of his kids, so he told the person to get out so he could sleep.

The bed kept moving, so he sat up to see which kid it was. He said he saw a small pale kid with black hair and black eyes staring at him. He screamed and tried pushing the thing away, but his hands went through it. That's when he ran out of the room screaming. Pretty creepy.

Coma Survivors factsShutterstock

17. Silent Shrieking

I am an RN and have had my share of odd happenings. One of the creepiest took place on the night shift at a hospital in Texas. I was caring for a man who was dying from liver failure. He was fairly young and his mother and girlfriend had been staying at his bedside for days. He was nearing passing and had been unresponsive for days. Late one night, I realized he was going to die shortly and woke his mom and girlfriend so they could say their goodbyes. His girlfriend sat next to his bed to hold his hand. Suddenly the man, who had been completely unresponsive for days, sits upright in bed with the most terrified expression I have ever seen. His eyes were huge and terror-filled, his mouth was curled into what I can only describe as silent shrieking, and he was staring up at a ceiling corner. His girlfriend, of course, was thrilled, thinking that he was suddenly ok. She puts her hands on his head and tries to turn his head towards her so he could see her. She's telling him she loves him and to look at her but he just continues to have the most bone-chilling look of pure fear on his face. When she manages to turn his head, his eyes continue to focus on the same spot on the ceiling. So there she is, holding his face towards her, shrieking at him to look and her, but he won't take his eyes off the same spot on the ceiling in the corner. And then he just simply fell back and perished. It was awful.

Doctors how did they happenShutterstock

18. The Handprint That Haunts Dreams

I used to work as a CNA in an Assisted Living Facility. First year working with a patient privately and there were no issues, nothing weird happened at all. Then I get asked to work overnights and at first it's still all good. I try to nap throughout the night as much as I can, but a couple months in I keep waking up in the middle of my naps. Like being startled into wakefulness. Then I start to wake up to what feels like someone whispering my name in my ear. Okay, creepy, but maybe it's a dream. Then a week later I wake up to something just completely neutral, like not exactly male or female, just a voice violently shouting my name, like it echoed across the room when I was fully awakened. Maybe it's still a dream? I don't know, folks. I try my best to rationalize. Right after this, my patient starts seeing things, of course. Talking to people that aren't there, accusing me of drugging her, seeing strange men in the window and people hiding in her closets. I suspect she has a UTI, but apparently, she actually had pneumonia and was hospitalized for a few days.

The worst thing, though, after all this happened? Every day at 5:45 PM my patient scoots on down to the dining hall for dinner and I get an hour's break. So one day in mid-January last year I wanted to take a shower because I did a lot of cleaning that day and just felt a bit grimy. I take a long, steamy shower that fogs up all the windows. Exit the bathroom, dressed and dried and for some reason, the first thing my eyes get drawn to is the window near my patient's bed. There's a handprint in the upper right corner, clearly outlined. Not only had the door to the suite been locked, but my patient is incredibly short and immobile without her scooter (due to paralysis caused by polio). Not to mention she has five fingers, handprint only had four... Unadulterated, absolute anxiety sets in when you are faced with the physical truth, and that handprint will forever haunt my memory. Taunting the logical, cynical side of me. I'm not a religious woman, but I'd have prayed the rosary at that moment if I could find the right beads...

My patient moved and no longer sees people in her windows and closets. Turns out she doesn't have dementia either, after all. And I no longer get that terrifying, hair-raising feeling that something malicious is following me home from work at night...

Paranormal Stories Factstwitter

19. Nope Not Today

My friend's daughter fell off a chair and banged her head on the floor. They took her to the hospital to check for a concussion.

Once they were in the room, she kept crying. The nurse was in there trying to talk to her. She was just freshly 2 years old, and sometimes needed a bit of a translator from what she says and what words she's trying to say.

Anyways, the nurse was asking her about if she was in pain, etc., and my friend was translating her responses. Finally, perfectly clearly, she said that she wasn't hurt, she was scared. The nurse asked why she was scared, and the girl responded that she was scared because the little boy in the corner was scared.

The nurse looked at both of them and just left.

tl:dr - friend's daughter being checked out for a concussion at the hospital tells nurse she's scared because the little boy in her room is scared. Nurse noped.

Paranormal Stories Factspinterest

20. Ghost Relatives Are Totally Normal

When my grandma was in assisted living for a short time one of the nurses told me this story. They had a lady who had mental issues. She would get up, make a mess, talk loudly, and normally hated being in bed. One day, the nurse walked in to find a guy in his 40s or so sitting there while she slept during the day. She addressed him and he said something like, "I'm just making sure she makes it ok". The nurse goes about her business. Lady dies that night. She has no family so they clean her room. First nurse was looking through a photo album and found a picture of the guy with the lady. The second nurse sees the picture and mentions "oh that was her father, he brought her here before he lost his life from cancer X years ago".

Dunno what to say, but that is what she told us.


These Patients Told The Dumbest LiesShutterstock

21. Umm, That’s Not Concerning At All

Not my personal story, but when my mom worked as an ER nurse a guy came in from a car accident and was losing blood. In the midst of resuscitation, the man jolts awake and screams "Don't let me go back there! Please, please, please don't let me go back!" A few seconds later they lost him.

 Hospital Horror Stories FactsShutterstock

22. Bedside Specter

I posted this a while back while I was still a lab assistant, as a nurse I have never had a scarier experience. I had worked in a hospital for almost 7 years then and I've seen the life leave people's bodies and felt a presence/connection with people but I've only had one experience that truly terrified me. I used to work nights. Thinking about a large dark hospital full of quiet sleeping people is kinda creepy but I never felt that way. My job is to wake people up and draw their blood, I know I'm super popular at the hospital. There has always been a wing of the hospital that makes me uneasy. I'm an amazingly upbeat person, I love my job and the patients. But the minute I walk on to that wing I'm uneasy and something makes me look over my shoulder and want to leave. So one morning around 3 am I go on to this wing to stick a patient, feeling queasy, I walk into the patient’s room, not knocking because it's so late. The lights are all off and I see someone standing in the far corner away from me, I'm immediately taken aback but quickly think it's a nurse hanging blood or something. I look at the figure and ask "do you need me to come back" no response. It turns towards the corner and just stands there with its back to me. My whole body is on edge and I have never felt so scared in my life, I knew without a doubt it wasn't a nurse, I back out of the room and walked towards the nurse’s station. I just lean against a wall trying to catch my breath, a nurse asks if I'm going to be sick. I had to go back into the patient’s room and draw her blood, this time I turned on the lights before I even stepped in. Of course, no one was there except for the sleeping old lady, I quickly drew her blood trying to ignore the sinking feeling that I had. I hate that wing and that room will forever give me the tingles when I have to go in it, it's been years but I won't forget it.

Paranormal Stories Factspararational

23. Hello From The Other Side

When I was a student, I got called in to a stroke patient. She had coded and they were doing CPR. They worked for 45 minutes, but she was gone. They cleaned her up, and called on the family to say goodbye. By the time the family was on their way, she had been both brain deceased and without a pulse for more than 45 minutes. Blood had filled her brain, and she was completely grey and started to smell. Suddenly, she sat up and called for her family. The nurses rushed to get monitors and equipment back on her. Started working on her again, she stabilized, said goodbye to her family, and promptly perished a second time.


Paranormal Stories Factslife hack

24. The Lady In The Pink Cardigan

My mother in law is a nurse in palliative care. One night shift there was a disturbance in one of the rooms. One of the little old ladies was sitting on the edge of her bed trying to dress herself, when asked what the matter was she replied 'the lady in the pink cardigan is telling me I have to get up and go now.' As the night progressed patients in other rooms started doing similar things. They all described the same lady, and said she was telling them to 'get up and go.' Another patient said that she didn't want to go with the lady because she wasn't ready to go anywhere yet. Another patient said the lady was pulling and tugging at them to get up. After a couple hours into this shift, a lady a few rooms down from where it all started perished. Amongst her belongings was a picture of her with a lady wearing a pink cardigan.

Paranormal Stories Factsfablefrique


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