Nosocomephobia, or the fear of hospitals is a common phobia. Millions of people have hospital anxiety. But is there a reason to be afraid?
Reddit user lizashea asked "Nurses/Hospital Workers of Reddit: What is the most paranormal/weirdest thing you have ever experienced while working?"
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I'm an RN and while I was a student I was caring for a lady who had end stage renal failure, had a DNAR and was shutting down. We were having a little chat when she stopped, looked over my shoulder and said "Bill's here love, I've got to go" and swiftly stopped breathing. Read her old notes and Bill was her deceased husband.
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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 10-15 were meningitis patients, age ranging from twenties to nineties. There are no shared rooms and all the patients were in isolation, no contact with one another. Many of them had the same hallucinations, children in the corners of their rooms and auditory hallucinations of religious music.
Night nurse for 4 years now at an old folk's 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) started seeing them in her room too.
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Every night before the next shift comes in, I check on all my patients, make sure their briefs are clean, refill water pitchers, etc. This is usually right after sunset. Three different patients in three different rooms have told me they're frightened of the tall, thin man standing in the corner, pointing right over my shoulder.
I worked night shift when a ward patient's relative came running to the nurses' station in a panic.
"Nurse! Come quick!", she cried.
"You have to see it for yourself!"
I ran to the ward when this little old lady patient was crying and holding on to the bed for dear life. Her bed was shaking.
Now, you're probably thinking that the lady was the one causing all that shaking. But she was this frail, practically emaciated thing. She couldn't have barely rattled the bed rails. The ward had only two other patients in it and their respective watchers. Everyone was huddled in a corner, shaking in fright.
Apparently that particularly ward was seldom used, and the bed that old lady lay in was rarely occupied. People who have layed in it complained of nightmares where they hear screams and laughter of angry children.
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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 was she was a moderately good story teller and the fact that I knew she was mentally ill/actually hallucinating and not just pulling my leg for something to pass the time...
The other day, we had a patient on my floor (DNR thankfully) die around 3am. A few hours later, his call bell went off and everyone freaked out. Turns out it was just housekeeping unplugging the bed, which sets off the alarm.
However, we've had multiple dementia patients say they see children playing in one specific room on the unit. That's freaky as hell to hear at 3 in the morning.
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I was pulling a guard shift in the CHS on FOB Speicher on 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. [safety off, at low-ready] 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 had always remained on.
Memory care unit. I'm a CNA. We have a room that's a solo bed at the end of the hall with a woman who can not move her body. She's pretty far gone memory wise. So when her call light goes off, it's terrifying to go reset it. She can't push it. We blame the cat a lot but several times times it was locked in another room.
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Had a very young girl who had tried to hang herself a couple times. Normally don't see such serious attempts in kids her age. She was a very talented artist, but her parents brought in a couple pictures she had drawn that looked nothing like her work. They were very crude stick figures hanging, stabbing people, strangling people, etc. This girl was Native American, so her uncle came in to perform a smudging, which is a native demon exorcism ceremony. I supervised the smudging because we had to bring her outside. When we came back inside, she started giggling high pitched (after not smiling in days) and the television next to her zapped off; all the lights above her were flickering.
I work in long term care currently, a lot of palliative residents always claim to hallucinate either small dogs or its either children eating ice cream before they die... It's always facility specific too. One facility I work at I have had about 6 - 7 residents claim to see a little girl eating ice cream than they die that night. Im going to find that little sh*t, she is causing me so much paperwork.
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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 fuck out. Of course there was no one behind me. She died the next night in her sleep.
When I was a student, I got called in on a stroke patient. She had coded and they were doing cpr. They worked for 45 minutes, but she died. They cleaned her up, and called on the family to say good bye. By the time the family left. She had been both brain dead 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 good by to her family, and promptly died a second time.
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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.
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My town has two really old hospitals. One no longer functions as overnight, and the stories are unsettling. No one cleans the old ER alone, because all the lights and call bells go off. On other floors there's a kid with his ball, a lady in a white dress, etc. A coworker was cleaning an entire floor utterly solo (the norm) and bounced between rooms because the cleaning solution stays wet for a few min. Upon returning to a freshly wiped bed, hand prints were clearly visible.
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This is actually pretty funny.
I was doing nursing clinicals at a small hospital that used the same type of telemetry throughout the entire building. Occasionally patients would be put on some other equipment if they had specific needs. The standard telemetry would not make any sounds in a patients room, but some of the other options that were used did.
So this one morning I am walking down the hall and I hear "Beep, beep, beep, beep" going super fast like 160BPM coming from a patients room. A moment later I heard it start to slow down "beep... beep... beep... ... ...beep" then it just stopped. I ran into the room expecting to call a code when I saw the patient watching The Price is Right with the volume cranked and someone just spun that fucking wheel.
I did my clinical as a CNA in a memory care unit. I helped feed this woman. She never really moved. Never talked. It was like she was in a coma or something. I would wheel her into the dining room. I can hardly get any real food in her. I'm able to slide in some special ice cream. For days she doesn't move or have any response.
I'm feeding her and talking to myself pretty much. After about ten minutes she slowly turns her head and says "oh hello" then she rotates her head back her blank staring position.
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The call bell story really creeps me out. It's like their spirits are still calling out for help in the only way they can.
Not that I believe in ghosts or spirits or anything, but the idea of a human calling for help beyond the grave still gives me the weird tummy wiggles.
I work a stroke/telemetry floor on the bought shift. Most of our patients are elderly. Apparently, there are two things that patients see before they pass away. Some will say that two men are walking in their rooms and telling them to get ready to leave. The patient will call and tell us that these men are big and abrasive in their demeanor. They are either terrified or annoyed when they see the two men. The other thing they will see is a little boy who will go into their rooms and try to wake them up. The boy is usually loud and runs around their rooms. The patients will call and ask who's letting children just run around late night. Several nights or even that same shift we're coding or cleaning the patient for the funeral home to pick up.
I work in maintenance in a hospital but this story comes from out of work hours.
Back in November my grandfather passed away. He had been living in a care home for several years now, and as we were from a smaller city, his main care aid was actually an exes mother who I am still close to.
Nearing his final days she texted me that things weren't looking good and to get my mom(who works out of town) and myself to see him ASAP.
The next two nights were exhaustive. Her and I barely left his bed side. We were wetting his lips, rubbing his head and singing Charley Pride and telling him stories from my childhood and from my moms. At one point Is Anybody Going to San Antone comes on the CD player and mom tears up talking about how this song reminds her of her father th most. He wasn't really coherent besides a glimmering moment the first day we had gotten there.. And by the final day we were sitting, watching the breaths turn to choke breaths.
As the hour got nearer, my exes mom was contacted and came in on her day off to sit with us for that final hour. My mom had her fathers head in her lap and we still had Charley Pride on the radio. She was whispering in his ear to stop being stubborn, that she would take care of her brothers and that she had me to take care of her. The gaps got longer and longer in his breaths. My exes mom was sitting next to me, the CD player playing behind us and my mom laying on the opposite side of the care home bed.
All of a sudden his breathing stops and in that moment, so did the CD player. It hadn't skipped once the whole weekend. My mom, figuring Taryne had turned it off,starting sobbing assuming it was to signify he was officially gone. I just sat and looked at Taryne like... "Did that just happen?!" After a good 20 seconds...Out of nowhere he took a shuddery breath... And The cd scrambled forward... And the song just before Is Anybody Going to San Antone--not sure if that's the name of the song but it was about not wanting to miss someone-- started playing. And then he was gone by the end of San Antone; the song mom remembered him most by.
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In the morgue at my hospital, I would always hear knocking coming from inside the freezer. It really creeped me out, especially when the pathologist looked up, grabbed me by the shoulders, stared me straight in the eye and said "you hear that? You never open that door when they're knocking. Never." It turned out to be some loose pipes, he thought it was hilarious I didn't sleep that night.
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I work in a cardiovascular surgical ICU. We have a lot of fucked up people (both physically and mentally) that come through our unit.
We had a stretch of nights were each corner room of our unit (it is a perfect square) reported seeing a cat walking around.
Not a friendly cat either, apparently. The thing was hissing at them.
The accounts were so similar to each other we actually spent probably a half hour looking around for a cat and then had security/plan ops come look as well.
No cat was ever seen or found. 2 of those 4 patients coded the next day.
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 bullsh*tting 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 sh*t 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 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.
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Not my personal story, but when my mom worked as an E.R. 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.
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When I took my EMT class he said they had a guy that they worked after he had "drowned" said they were in the process of zipping up his body bag as he had been dead for about 15 minutes, and he sat up and asked what they were doing to him.
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My Grandmother had Parkinson's and the medication made her see people that weren't there.
Most of the time it was pretty benign. She'd ask who the cute kid was that came in with me, or tell us "Watch that baby, dont let him fall off there" while pointing to an empty stool.
Once though, i was at her house fixing a door and she told me "That mean looking bastard in the loungeroom doesn't like you. Keep an eye on him. The way he's glaring at you he might try and belt you".
Even though I knew it was just the drugs, I sh*t bricks for a moment thinking about the invisible man who hated me.
Therapist in an acute/long term care facility. We have 4 main hallways, a lot of the action is on 300 and 2B. Residents will hear this little boy laugh. Some see him, some just hear. They play with him and let him sit on their laps. It's very strange to see how comfortable a 98 year old woman feels when talking to a little boy ghost. Grandma instincts kick in I guess.
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Patient had passed away during my shift. The patient was well known and liked on the ward. At handover that evening. I mentioned the patient had passed away..the door to the handover room (which I had closed) opened and shut just as I mentioned she had passed away. She was totally saying goodbye. Later that month on nights we were chatting about said patient at the ???????nurses station. Weirdly a card which was pinned on a notice board fell just as we started talking about her. Went to pick it up. It was a card from the patients family saying thanks for caring their parent.
I thought it was quite nice.
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I saw a mannequinn blink.
This was when I was still training to be a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) at our local community college. Now, we had these regular non-horrifying mannequins we used for all the dressing, bathing and bed-making practice. They even had err, attatchments for catheters. But we didn't store all the equipment in the classroom, there was a small backroom that was locked off that we had to get some stuff out of one day. I volunteered to go grab it (some clothes for the mannequins I think), and when I unlocked the door it was pitch black inside. It was like the room sucked out some of the light coming IN THE room. When I flicked on the ceiling light, before me on a ragged old stretcher, lay the most inhuman, terrifying looking frieking mannequin I have ever seen. I don't know what these manufacturers use for a reference when they're making the face, but they can't be human. It was so twisted and looked like it was in agony... Anyway, I grabbed the stuff our teacher wanted, and when I took a look back, I could see one of it's plastic eyelids close, and open. Freaked me the fuck out, didn't go in that room again for the rest of the course.
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