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Hospital Haunts or Too Much Caffeine?

October 2002

I have worked as an Administrative Assistant in a very large, very well known medical center for the last several years. During my time here I've had my share of run ins with the other side. I know I'm not alone in this, because coworkers and colleagues and shared their experiences with me.

In my current position, I've had a few humdingers. My current office is located on an ICU floor. It is usually pretty active on the floor, but one day about a week ago it was unusually quiet, with the exception of a patient who went into cardiac arrest earlier that morning. About twenty minutes after I heard the code called, I was sitting at my desk transcribing a letter when I heard someone "scratching" at my door, which I had propped open a few inches with a door stop. I turned and said "Come in!" but no one answered. I went to the door and opened it, but no one was in the hall.

A few minutes later I heard the door open. I turned and saw the door sitting wide open without the benefit of a door stop and no one standing there to hold it open. I stood up and when I did, the door closed. I was very unnerved, but decided to ignore the occurance. I propped the door so it was all the way open and went back to work.

About 10 minutes later I heard the door close. I stood up, opened the door, saw the door stop on the other side of the hall, and no one even close to the door. At that point I was so unnerved, I had to leave the office, so I decided to run a few errands.

When I came back into the unit, I heard a few nurses talking about the patient that went into cardiac arrest that morning... he had passed away about 30 minutes before my experiences with the door. My door is caddy corner to what had been his room. Maybe he was just lost and trying to find his way out?

Here's a few other experiences:

My first position had me located in a building seperate from the main Medical Center. This building over time had many lives: a morgue, laboratories, physician's offices, and finally an office building for non-clinical offices.

The office was on the first floor and my and my coworker's desks were located in the reception area. My desk was by the window and my coworker's desk was facing the long hallway leading to other offices. One day my coworker kept looking up from her work, down that hallway with a very perplexed look on her face. Finally, I asked her what was wrong, and she said that she thought she saw someone walk from one side of the doorway to the other and back. There is no way to walk from one side of the doorway to the other because it is immediately perpendicular (within 2 to 3 inches)to a wall. However, there is a on that wall about 3 feet down that is now blocked by a bookcase.

Other times we would be sitting at our desks and hear someone knock on the door, but when we looked up no one was there. The door was had a large glass window, so you could see anyone standing on the other side. This door would not close completely unless pulled hard from the outside. You would literally have to slam the door to get it to close all the way. But, somehow or another, the door would just "click" close while we were sitting there. Strange.

One time when walking in the basement of the hospital, I heard someone wearing high heels or dress shoes walking behind me. I realized I made a wrong turn, so I turned around to go back the other way. Just as I turned, the footsteps stopped. No one was standing there. To say the least I got the heck out of there!

And I have saved the best for last...

At the end of my first week as an employee, I was taken on the "grand tour" of the hospital and the associated university. My position required me to know most of the hospital and it's departments, so the tour included a few areas I would have rather avoided, such as the Pathology lab and the morgue.

The person giving me the tour just scoffed when I said that I really wasn't comfortable with the idea of going to the morgue. He just laughed and said, "Don't worry. It's just a bunch of dead bodies. No ghosts or anything."

I just shook my head and followed him down the long hallway leading to the morgue. As we were walking past a set of double doors, they opened suddenly, causing me to jump. It was only a housekeeper and my guide laughed and told me that I needed to lay off of the caffeine.

We finally reached the morgue, and he quickly showed me around. Just as we were about to walk back out of the doors, I heard a male voice very clearly say, "Get me out of here. I don't belong here."

My guide turned to me and said, "We are leav-" and stopped dead in his tracks. "Who said that?" he asked, obviously shaken. It seems it took him a moment to realize that the voice that had spoken was male and that I was very much a female.

I was startled, but my guide looked down right frightened. I couldn't resist and so I said, "I don't know. Must be the caffeine." I almost had to run to keep up with the guy he got out of there so fast.

I have so many other experiences, but they are just to numerous to list. If you are at all interested in hearing more, e-mail me.

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