The Ghost in the Hospital ward

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The Ghost in the Ward

The Ghost in the Hospital Ward

One of the first encounters of an unusual kind was on night duty in 1971. An old ward that had been one long ward, but altered to make smaller ward areas. One still had the original coal fire with a large guard surrounding it.

In those days, the bedpans were stainless, and after cleaning, went individually into a special sterilising steam chamber, coming out red hot, and had to be handled with care. After the ‘bedpan round’ one night, I was busy with this task, happily working on my own in the sluice area. Usually this happened uneventfully, but on this occasion, I suddenly felt there was a presence in the small room with me, and that I was definitely being watched. I had been ‘humming’ a tune whilst I worked, but when I felt the atmosphere change, I stopped ‘humming’ and looked around, but could see no one. Needless to say, I quickly finished what I had to do, and moved away.

Another time, on the same ward, I had gone into the kitchen to speak with the nurse with whom I was working. She had worked on that ward on night duty for a long time. I think it was my first night on there, when at break time, around 12.30 am, she asked me if I would be happy to be on my own, whilst she went off the ward for her break. I wasn’t bothered, so off she went. The kitchen area at that time was more or less centralised in the ward, with a partition surrounding it. The top half of which was glass so that anyone passing through could be seen.

Not long after my colleague had left, I heard footsteps going past and heading in the direction of the sluice. The footsteps sounded like those of the nurse, as it had a limp. When I heard these footsteps, I fully expected to see her, but to my surprise, there was no one to be seen. I immediately went out to investigate, thinking that possibly a confused patient had got out of bed. All the patients were in bed asleep.

When my colleague eventually came back, she enquired if everything was OK. I simply told her ‘yes’.

On another night, the same nurse was on duty with me, and we were quietly chatting and sitting in a chair. Suddenly, I felt my hair being stroked by an unseen hand, and my hair felt to part down the middle of my scalp. Needless to say, that cut the conversation right in its tracks.

On the same ward, in the early hours of the morning, I was sitting in the office, writing up the night duty reports ready for the morning handover. Suddenly, I became aware of heavy breathing right behind me. This was impossible, as there were no beds anywhere this area at that time - but there would have been before the alterations had been done!

The last episode I experienced on this particular ward, was the strongest of them all. I was by the lift in the corridor, clipping up the ‘dirty’ laundry bags, which in those days were made of heavy-duty brown paper. It was around 5 am, when all of a sudden, I felt a strong wind blowing towards me from the right. I just paused there, not knowing what to expect. Suddenly, the wind came to a halt, right next to where I was stood, and then I felt a hand gently stroke down the whole length of my right arm, slowly. The next instant, it was gone.

I immediately stopped what I was doing and went into the kitchen, where my colleague was standing. She looked up at me as I entered, and she asked ‘What’s the matter? You look as though you have seen a ghost!’

I don’t remember much about going ‘off duty’ that morning.

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In many cases, human psychology plays a major role in ghost sightings. In chilling situations where ghosts are associated with a natural animal response may make the hair rise which could be mistaken for a chill. Illusions can be created by one by seeing an eerie figure. According to a poll conducted in 2005 by the Gallup Organization, about 32% of Americans believe in the existence of ghosts. Such a definition always makes it difficult to explain about the ghosts that tend to answer questions and those which foretell the future etc. Ghosts are often associated with haunting, which is, according to the Parapsychological Association, "the more or less regular occurrence of paranormal phenomena associated with a particular locality (especially a building) and usually attributed to the activities of a discarnate entity; the phenomena may include apparitions, poltergeist disturbances, cold drafts, sounds of steps and voices, and various odours. This definition is used commonly among all! There have been several doubts regarding the existence of the ghost and disputes too whether ghosts are just imaginations or part of objective existence.