Photo: Hospital Ghost by Dionizije

Did you know that nurses witness “unusual” occurrences that they rarely talk about with others? They won’t discuss these events because they are afraid you won’t believe them, or you’ll think them mad. At the risk of sounding crazy, I’ll let you in on a secret. I believe in ghosts, and a lot of other doctors and nurses do, too.

When I was a young girl, I went to nursing school at a very old hospital in the Midwest. The hospital celebrated it’s centennial the year I entered its nursing program, and I worked the evening shift on the weekends as a nurses aid to help pay for my education. I worked under three veteran nurses; Lilly, Norma, and Ruby. They were “old school nurses,” and they had seen it all. One night while I was charting vital signs at the nurse’s station, a call light came on at the end of the hallway, but the room was empty. Lilly looked up and said, “Girls, she’s at it again.” “Who’s at it again?” I asked. The three nurses quietly looked at me and at each other before Norma broke the silence. She asked, “Do you believe in ghosts?”

Norma told me that an old woman had died in that room years ago, and that she didn’t know that she was dead. Each of the nurses said that they had seen her spirit walking the halls, and that the call light started lighting up whenever she was restless. Ruby added that this sort of thing isn’t unusual, especially in old hospitals. She told me that while death is a part of life, not everyone is willing or able to leave the earth after they die. She also told me that I could expect to see supernatural things during my nursing career. Fortunately, our ghostly patient calmed down, and there was no further activity in the empty room that night.

After I graduated from nursing school, I moved to a new town and settled into a job working as a med-surg nurse. One of my favorite patients was a young woman name Dixie. She had multiple surgeries during her hospitalization, and I had been her primary care nurse during her extended stay at the hospital. The night before she was supposed to go home, Dixie called me into her room. She asked me to escort the woman who was sitting in the chair by her bed back to her own room. The chair was empty. Dixie was adamant that an old woman wearing a black dress was in the chair, and that the woman was telling her “she had come for her.” I went to the desk and called the surgeon. I prayed he didn’t think I was nuts when I told him that Dixie was having a conversation with the Angel of Death in her room. He didn’t question me, and said that he would be right in. When the doctor arrived on the unit, Dixie started bleeding internally and went into shock. Fortunately, she survived surgery and was discharged from the hospital several weeks later. Dixie’s surgeon told me later that he also believed in the Angel of Death.

Every nurse has a story. Check out these links for more hospital ghost stories.

Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps

Hospital Ghost

The Operating Room

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