Haunted hospital ghost stories are the stuff of legends. Hospitals and other health care facilities are often places of emotional trauma, as well as death. This makes them a deep source for many a ghostly tale.
When one reads accounts of hospital ghost stories, it is not uncommon for certain areas of the hospital to be deemed "active." In other words, certain areas within health care buildings seem to be more active than others. And, the active areas are more likely to be certain patient quarters, operating rooms and morgues that are the most haunted.
Haunting activity by ghosts within hospitals seems to be centered around places where death has taken place. Interestingly, areas that are especially known for mental disorders may also be more actively haunted. There are no boundaries or written rules that ghosts must follow, however, for ghosts may haunt whatever areas of a hospital that please them most, should they choose to haunt a hospital at all.
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Why do hospital ghost stories persist? Well, what makes a ghost? A ghost is a disembodied human being who is "lost." Medical facilities may be the last place a departed soul remembers, and a place where their last state of mind was not so good. Hospitals are places where heavy drugs may be administered, along with the possibility of strong physical and emotional suffering by the deceased (and loved ones, too). It could be possible that the mental condition of the disembodied spirit may still be off-kilter and searching for help and direction. Could this be the reason so many nurses have ghost stories from within the hospital walls? Could ghosts be asking for staff help?
Some nurses do report that when dealing with death, they often want to help the person "cross" over. Some caregivers willingly stay as the person's soul departs, providing comfort and guidance. Some nurses, when they realize the spirit of the room's occupant has not moved on, will speak out loud to the deceased, letting them know their body is now expired. This way, the ghost (a human spirit without a body) has some direction and might understand their condition. The goal is for the person's spirit to move on unto the light, leaving the earthly realm behind.
It should be surprise that many hospital ghost stories can be found circulating about now-defunct hospitals. One such notoriously haunted (former) tuberculosis institution is Waverly Hills Sanitarium in Louisville, Kentucky. The abandoned hospital is said to have ghosts that manifest as moving shadows, see-through apparitions, cold spots and disembodied voices. Many deaths due to tuberculosis occurred there, as the place could only use natural and experimental cures to attempt to heal the ailing.
After tuberculosis was cured, Waverly Hills became a geriatric and mental hospital. In-humane treatments, such as electro-shock, were administered at the hospital until it was closed in 1981 due to patient abuse.
Almost every hospital has some sort of ghost story attached to it. For example, an old military hospital in England had an oncology ward that was known for one strange occurrence: the nurses' keys would turn up missing, only to re-appear in one of their pockets after quietly searching the entire ward. This ghostly event happened more than once and to more than one nurse! Yet, it was not the only ghost story to be found in the same ward. There was another ghost story about two soldiers who were both sick with cancer became friends, both surmising that if they both passed, they would leave this Earth together. When one of them died, he appeared to his screaming soldier friend, who was said to have screamed in terror, "I'm not ready to go, yet!"
A Derby (UK) hospital recently had it's own ghost story come to the forefront. A mysterious apparition has been seen regularly by both patients and staff, so much so that a chaplain was called in to help the situation. This is a new hospital, but it was built on the site of an old hospital. Could former ghosts still haunt the same grounds? Apparently, so!
More Stories About Ghosts in Hospitals
Another hospital ghost story involves a nurse working in oncology one night. A female patient in the cancer ward, who was near-death, was given to her to look after. When the nurse entered the room, the patient was standing at the top of her bed exclaiming, "Don't let them take me!" She was pointing to a black mass the nurse could physically see up in the corner of the room. The patient died a few minutes later.
This next ghost story is from a hospital nurse who wrote us about seeing something similar. She was caring for a dying man. He was frightened and so the nurse spent quite a bit of time calming and reassuring him. Eventually, the man calmed down and the nurse left to go to her station, which was very close by. As she glanced over to him, she saw a shadowy-shape standing over his bed and looking down at him. Needless to say she was terrified!
Another true, hospital ghost story tells of a nurse who worked in a labor and delivery unit. Being a small hospital, the nurse was often there by herself. To keep things quiet, the lights were often kept low in the delivery unit behind her. Back in the unit, the nurse could often hear metal objects clanging and doors shutting; sounding similar to somebody who was being prepared for a C-section. There was also a presence always within the small room, though no one was there. If that weren't enough, a patient room nearby, that had been converted to a storage room, had a nurse's call light that would go off in it. Was the delivery unit haunted by a former patient, a deceased doctor, or both?
Speaking of nurse call lights, some nurses report having answered them to find patients asking, "Who is the man in black standing at the foot of my bed?" When asked if the man is "scary," patients typically reply, "No." This is said to really freak a few nurses out! Interestingly, dark, human-like figures standing at the foot of hospital beds do nicely parallel near death experience reports of loved ones coming to help the dying cross over from this plane to the next. (See: Near Death Experiences)
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