As most of you know, I spent some quality time at a hospital in Fort Worth earlier this week welcoming a new grandson to our family. There is no nursery, so the newborn “rooms-in” with the mom. So, I got to “room-in” with mom and baby, and “dance” with little Noah while his mom got some much-needed sleep. Anyone who’s had a newborn in the house knows that not much sleep happens during those first few weeks of life, so Noah and I got to listen to the sounds of the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. It reminded me of a Freaky Friday I did a couple of years ago – about what really happens in the hospital corridors through the evening hours. I thought I’d share some of those great stories with you – and add a few more.
These stories come from the website All Nurses.
“Man, I love these! Can’t believe I just found this thread. It’s my first nursing job in med/surg, code blue a few doors down, not my patient but I run to help. CPR has started and the nurse doing compressions is this tiny little thing, so I ask if she wants me to take over, she doesn’t hesitate to take me up on the offer. The patient is an older gentleman, I guessed mid-eighties, there are these two middle-aged ladies who quickly leave the room (later find out that they’re his daughters). The code team shows up. The doc walks up to the opposite side of the bed from me and starts to ask me questions about the patient that I don’t know the answers to. So, I look at him, and while I tell him that I’m not the patient’s nurse, I notice this older lady standing by the window that I didn’t see when I first walked in. She’s in her eighties, wearing this blue and black sweater with a gold chain around her neck and we meet eyes for a second. She smiles at me. Now, you know that smile you might give someone that’s kinda subtle and is really more a sign of sympathy than anything else? This was not that kind of smile, rather this lady actually appeared joyful, which I thought was weird. So this happens in just a short second or two and I get back to doing compressions. The guy never ends up getting ROSC and the efforts are eventually terminated. I hang around to help this nurse out with cleaning everything up. By this time the whole team is gone and it’s just me, this nurse, the two daughters, and this man’s body. The lady I saw, who I just assume is this guy’s wife, is not in the room anymore. I’m gathering some of his things and I come across his glasses, I turn to the daughters and ask if Mrs. X would like to take them. They say no and begin to tell me that Mrs. X died just the summer before. So I apologize and explain that I just assumed that the lady with them was his wife, to which they appear confused and tell me that they came by themselves and that they were the only people in the room the entire day. No one recalls seeing a cheerful elderly lady standing by the window, or anywhere else for that matter. I like to think that maybe it was his wife just happy to be together again.”
“Allow me to begin by saying that, I’m not a superstitious person nor I believe in ghosts. With that being said, right after my graduation and receiving my license I began to work at the same hospital where I did my clinical at. At this level, I managed to work the night-shift from 11 pm to 7 am once a month, one night during report I was told that we had one room empty which was 209 a private room. At around 2:30 am, as I was making my rounds the call button came on loud and clear from room 209. Needless to say, I went to investigate since it shouldn’t have been occupied, and as I entered the room the light from the street allow me to see without turning on the lights, that’s when I saw a man sitting on the bed reading a book. Naturally, I ask did he call for a nurse and why was he reading in the dark? but he didn’t respond, so I went for the light switch and looked back to request an answer from this pt. but my heart stood still for a second, as I realize there wasn’t anyone there!!!
Unquestionably, I never brought it up during my report nor I mentioned it to anyone, not even to my coworker who was working on the other side of the floor. Nonetheless, the rest of my shift went on without any major events.”
“Years ago, when I was working nights at an LTC facility, there was a resident who was a former nurse and she used to make rounds with me. She was still hale and hearty at 100, and she had so many stories! But one night as she followed me on my rounds, she began to talk about her children, all of whom had predeceased her, and mentioned that she had seen them recently; knowing her to be of sound mind, I got a UA just in case a UTI was making her loopy.
She didn’t have one. But she continued to talk about the conversations she was having with her oldest daughter, and finally one night she called out to me from her room: “Look, here she comes…she’s coming for me!” Her voice was full of joy. Then, silence.
I ran to her room and there she was, dead. She had the most amazing smile on her face, though, and I could feel a presence in the room as if someone had really been there. Maybe they were…who knows? All I know is that she was happy as she passed away. I’ll never forget it.”
“I used to work in a state institution for developmentally disabled. We were temp relocated to another building for remodeling of our bldg. Anyways…I was working one night, 2nd shift. We had a locked pica unit. I saw one of the residents walking down the hall. Very distinct gait and very distinct yellow t-shirt w/ a happy face on it. I went into the ward to let staff know that they had an escapee. This was a serious situation because this particular resident, Larry, would ingest absolutely anything (from clothing to pens to belts to “ugh” a bird’s head) …literally anything. He was also very reluctant to go back to his home ward (hence why I didn’t bring him back myself…he needed two escorts). When we got back into the hall, less than 15 secs later, Larry was gone!! We searched the entire building! Outside, downstairs, all wards…he was NOWHERE to be found!!! This whole search lasted less than 10 mins because I had all extra staff looking for him. I was just about to call the house supervisor to let her know that we “lost” someone when out from the bathroom walks Larry w/ one of the staff. He had been getting his bath in the bathroom for the last 30 mins or so. Kind of freaky! I absolutely, without a doubt, saw Larry in the hallway. I never would’ve short-staffed the wards like I did if I hadn’t seen him! Like I said, very distinctive gait, look, clothing. I took a lot of razzing that nite! They all thought that I was crazy. Anyways, come to find out the next day, after the story goes around that I am crazy (haha, giggle giggle, funny funny)…………..Larry had an identical twin brother who died in that building 10 years previously.”
“I heard a story once about a 5th-floor neuro unit. This was told to me first person. The nurse was at the desk and a guy in white nursing garb came through the double doors, walked into an empty room, and didn’t come back out.
The nurse thought it was weird so he went into the room, and it was empty. He went to the double doors and opened them and there were 2 resp techs talking at the entrance who swore they’d been there talking the whole time and that nobody came through the doors.
When one of his co-workers returned from lunch and he explained what happened, she was like, “Oh, that’s just Bob (actually I don’t remember the name, so the name was changed to protect my ignorance.) He worked here as an LVN years ago and was accused of molesting a child. He was sure he was about to be arrested so he jumped out the window in that room and killed himself. We see him all the time . . .”
“About twenty years ago, in a Long Term Care facility (before I was a nurse) I was going to assist the night nurse with vital signs. I told her I saw something white “floating” down the hall. She said it may have been a resident walking. I said, “No, it was floating.”
About the area where I saw this, we had a linen cart covered with white and I assumed maybe that is really what I had seen. The first room we went into, of course, was near the “spot.” As I was putting the blood pressure cuff on the resident, the nurse said: “never mind.” I didn’t get it, and continued to put on the cuff when the nurse said, “She’s dead, and I believe you saw her soul leaving.” Well, being easily spooked, that job didn’t last much longer.”
“My best friend’s grandfather died unexpectedly when we were in high school and her older sister, was very sad because she was 7-8 months pregnant and her child would have been his first great-grandchild. A few weeks after the baby was born, her husband was working 11-7 and she had the baby in a bassinet at the foot of her bed. She woke up suddenly and saw a figure at the end of the bed looking into the bassinet and she called out her husband’s name and asked, “Is that you?”
The figure looked up and she saw it was her grandfather, wearing the old plaid cap that he always wore and he said in his Scottish accent, “It’s ok – it’s just me, Granda. I just wanted to see my great-grandchild. He’s just beautiful.” And then he disappeared. The baby never woke up at all through all of this.”
“I work in LTC so we see a lot of deaths in our facility. One day we had a CNA on our wing who was walking with a resident from another wing. She hollered for me from down the hall that “Ann” was up in her room walking. (“Ann” had always been very unsteady on her feet and wore a pull alarm) I went down the hall quickly to see what was going on. “Ann” had passed away several days before. But this particular aid was unaware of it. Needless to say, there was no one in the room when I got there. But the feeling walking into the room was as if someone was there with you and a very distinct odor of her perfume. (Could have been left behind? Yes.) We both had goosebumps and the aid turned white as a ghost (no pun intended.) She swears to this day “Ann” was standing by the desk in her old room. Hmmmm.”
I want to add my appreciation and admiration for all those who work in this profession. Recently, some ill-informed politician made a disparaging comment about nurses and their work ethic. I believe anyone who has had to experience a hospital stay or go to a physician realized immediately the politician was incredibly mistaken. Nurses are some of the hardest-working people I know, and I am very grateful for the care they have given to all of the members of my family. And, I’m especially grateful when they keep doing their job, even under “unusual” circumstances. One last story:
“I was once stationed at a base in NM and the hospital was downsized to a clinic. We still ran ambulance services, Family Practice, Immunizations, Women’s Health, etc, just stopped inpatient care altogether. When I was working ambulance services, all doors to the building were locked except the door to the ambulance bay. We had a security camera that watched that door and anyone that come in after hours we saw them on camera and they had to pass by us and check in so we could account for them while inside. I was working one night and one of my coworkers was trained in sterilizing instruments so she said she was going up to Central supply to run the autoclave and get instrument packs ready for the clinic the next morning. She didn’t believe any of the crap the rest of us told her and didn’t believe the story about the night we couldn’t keep the doors and windows closed on the 2nd floor. She was on the 2nd floor 2 or 3 nights a week running sterile supply and had never seen or heard anything. We were in the military for crying out loud. Well, she came back down a little later and says to me “Who came in while I was upstairs?” I told her no one. Well, she had heard some children running around and giggling and heard someone tell them to be quiet. I told her no one had come in and ran back the videotape and let her watch. Nothing. She went back upstairs sometime later to get everything out and packaged up. When she came back down, she was obviously agitated and told me and the other tech that we weren’t funny. We didn’t know what she was talking about. When she went back up, all the doors and windows were wide open. And she closed them all and went on about the process of finishing up with the sterile supplies. When she came back out of there, all the doors and windows were wide open again and she could hear children giggling. We showed her our log, we had an ambulance call to a house on base and had been out most of the time that she was upstairs, alone. We had only been back a few minutes when she came down. I told her we even called her on the radio and told her we were going out on a run and that she answered back that she would be ok. She said she had put the radio down at the old nurses’ station when she was closing the windows the first time and forgot to take it with her into the sterile supply area. Needless to say, we were all freaked out by that. As far as I know, she never would go upstairs by herself anymore after that.”