The Ghost On The Cancer Unit

I was a nurse on the oncology floor at my local hospital on the night shift. We had a patient who was in the process of what is termed "actively dying." This means that the patient is in the final stages of dying and is not expected to live more than 24 hours. They are typically comatose at this point and heavily sedated for pain.

As usual, this man’s family was present at his bedside and had been for nearly a full day. The nurse who was in charge of his care was very conscientious, but fairly new on the cancer ward. At one point she checked his vital signs and general appearance. Noting an improvement in his condition, she suggested that the family go home and rest for a while. They lived several hours away and were exhausted, so they jumped at the chance to shower and rest at home.

Unfortunately, it is very typical of oncology patients to rally just a few hours before death, and this nurse wasn’t familiar with this fact.

The family left and the patient died about an hour after they had gone. The poor nurse was devastated at her mistake, but dutifully called the family and told them that they needed to return immediately. Of course, it took them another hour to get back.

About 5 minutes after his death, the nursing call-light lit up in his room. Then the light in the room next door lit up and so on up the entire hall toward the east. This took just about the amount of time that it would have taken someone to walk into each room and pull the light cord. Then the light across the hall to the north came on.

Once again this took just about the amount of time that it would have taken someone to walk across the hall and enter that room to pull on the call-light. After that, the lights started coming on back down the entire length of that side of the hall. You guessed it, just about the amount of time it would have taken for someone to walk into each room and pull the chain. Of course, there was a short pause and then the light across the hall came on. After that, they each came on successively up the rest of that side until the circle was completed and they came back to where it had all begun, at the dead man’s room. Now every nursing call-light on the wing was lit, even in the empty rooms.

We nurses were just about to get up to check on our patients when our resident prankster walked up to the nursing station. Realizing that he hadn’t been there when the lights had done their stunt, we all accused him of being the culprit. He adamantly denied it, so we each went to check on our patients, turning off their lights and those in the adjacent rooms that were empty.

About 10 minutes later, the lights all came on again. It happened exactly the same way, one at a time in succession until every light on the ward was on. It started in the deceased man’s room and circled back there again. This time, our prankster nurse was sitting next to me, so we knew he hadn’t done it.

Once again, we all went to turn off the lights. The charge nurse called building maintenance and they sent a technician to check out the light system. Of course, he found no problem with it and left.

About 5 minutes after that, the lights did their thing again. By this point we were all starting to half-jokingly speculate about the deceased man’s ghost playing pranks. No one wanted to admit that it might be true, but obviously, everyone was thinking it.

At last, the family returned, the funeral home was contacted and the body was removed. We all figured the problem would end then. But we were wrong. The lights did their thing once again.

This time, after checking my patients and turning out their lights, I went to the dead man’s room. The body was gone, but the room had not yet been cleaned and prepared for a new patient. I stood there and talked to him. I told him that I was sorry his family hadn’t been present and that the nurse had made the mistake of sending them home. I told him that she regretted her mistake. I also asked him to quit messing with the lights because it was compromising our ability to care for the other patients. I then prayed for peace for his soul and left the room.

The lights did not come back on again after that. I can’t swear this was a ghost because I never saw, heard or felt anything strange in the room. I just observed the situation with the lights as it started immediately after his death and stopped immediately after I talked to his spirit and prayed for his peace.

Submitted by Carla Foft, TX, USA