Nursing Home Ghost Stories

Nursing home ghosts and their stories are legendary. Many people who have worked within nursing homes have stories surrounding the deaths of patients and ghostly encounters. 

Recently, a relative of mine who works at a nursing home, shared an interesting custom specific to the place she works. After a resident passes, they will often open a window in order to symbolically free the spirit of the recently deceased. I thought that was interesting. The following are stories of ghosts within nursing home and care facilities...

Some nursing home stories tell of animals, such as a resident cat or dog, that will instinctively notify workers of those who are about to expire. Often times, such animals will comfort the dying patient before they leave this world behind. How do they know what is about to happen, sometimes better than nurses and doctors?

Most nursing home ghost stories tell of disembodied humans witnessed within the facility. But, what makes nursing homes such a popular place to see ghosts? We can only surmise that the answer is the same for hospitals: many die within their walls. Does this mean that ghosts are trapped within hospitals and nursing homes? No, but it is likely that people who pass within hospitals and health care facilities may be disoriented due to failing health, mental disorders or even medication.

Could it be possible that some ghosts might not be aware that their body no longer exists, walking around as if in a dream? Or, do some ghosts remain behind due to unfinished business, attachment to a caregiver or resident, or maybe some other emotional trauma? We are sure that the reasons vary, but one thing is for certain: Nursing homes have their fair share of ghosts stories!

One particular ghost story from a nursing home worker does indeed point to mental instability as possibly being the cause of some ghosts experienced, for his experience took place within an Alzheimer's - Dementia ward of the assisted living facility. While working the ward alone, he would often experience movement out of the corners of his eyes. Nurse call lights would often go off in rooms that were unoccupied by patients. One room in particular seemed to have the nurse call light going off consistently. After it became bothersome, the caregiver accompanied by other nurses decided to check the room out together. When they entered, they immediately noticed the room was much colder than normal. After turning off the call light, they noticed the cupboard doors in the room were opening! Needless to say all nurses left the room promptly...

Another nursing home ghost story, a worker recalls hearing tales of residents being beaten by the facility workers. That was odd in itself, for she found it hard to be true. A few days later, she was working and heard patients screaming. As she walked down the hallway and searched the rooms, she could not find anything out of order, but yet the eerie screams persisted, coming from the hallways itself! Many times, this same worker would see ethereal people walking the halls, sometimes disappearing right into the walls! These experiences seemed to occur mostly at night. One particular patient told of being beaten and suffocated. When the worker checked on her the next day, she had died while having trouble breathing. One day, another resident, who was incapable of getting out of his chair himself, was found hanging by his neck. Were angry ghosts responsible for both of their deaths?

Many times, nursing home ghost stories are not believed by newly-hired caregivers. From the ghost stories we have read, many of them become quick believers. The nurse call light going off in unoccupied rooms at hospitals and nursing homes is probably the most common, ghostly phenomena reported. It happens so frequently at some places, that caregivers will typically enter the room, acknowledge the room's former occupant who recently departed, letting them know that their body has died. Reports are that this usually works quite well. Perhaps, the ghost simply wanted acknowledged - verification that their body has died and that they are not in a dream. By receiving confirmation, it is likely that the person understands that they are indeed alright (as a spirit without a body) and can move on in peace.

Other ghostly phenomena that is considered quite common would be feeling, hearing and even smelling former patients. Of course, cold spots and sightings of patients' spirits are also reported.

In Oslo, it was reported in the news that a Norwegian haunted nursing home's ghost story became quite public. The ghost of an old nurse has been seen so often, that staff and patients were very frightened and a priest was called in to help with the haunting. The nurse has made her presence so strong that even her scent remains behind. And, she is not the only ghost haunting this nursing home, for other ghostly apparitions have been spotted within its walls. Reports of two old ladies who ask if everything is alright, along with the sighting of a little boy ghost are part of this nursing home's legacy. The ghosts are not considered to be threatening, but still patients and caregivers are quite shaken by the encounters.

Yes, ghosts in nursing homes are a common occurrence. The next time you get the chance, ask a nurse or caregiver to share some of their "odd" stories with you. They may not believe in ghosts, but I am sure they will have a story or two of some strange occurrences!

Read More About Trapped Spirits: Hospital Ghosts