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Regina's Family is Watching

October 2005

I am a home health nurse, 45 years old, and reasonably sane. I am a Christian, believe in God and an afterlife, and as such, feel a bit guilty also believing in "ghosts", so I try to be very skeptical, and find reasonable explanations for the seemingly paranormal things that happen.

This is something that happened to me which defies all rational explanation.

I worked midnight shift with an 88 year old woman, Regina. Regina had Alzheimers Disease. She still lived at home, due to the fact that we were there 24/7 to take care of her, and she was rich, and could afford us.

Regina remembered things from her past, her husband, her parents and sisters, and would talk, and sometimes yell at them as though they were right there in the room with us. Well, we all attributed this behavior to the Alzheimers.

Regina was a (usually) sweet, co-operative woman with a wicked sense of humor, but was very much oblivious to the passage of time, and so stayed up all hours of the night, wanting to eat, or watch TV, and wouldn't go to bed until she was exhausted. She was also oblivious to what year it was, her age, any of our names, even if we had been with her for years, as one awful woman had, and even the things she had done that day, ie. eaten, showered, etc. She sometimes seemed to remember our faces, only if we had been with her often and recently, and she was glad to see most of us, but always complained about the awful woman, and begged me not to leave her there alone with this woman. Regina would end up with a lot of bruises and injuries that were explained away by this awful woman.

I tried everything I could to get my boss to believe me, that there was abuse going on, but the boss blew me off saying that that was the nature of the disease, and that it was all in Reginas imagination. I have worked with enough Alzheimers patients to know when the abuse is real or imagined, and that my boss just didn't want to lose this patient and her money, so she just let the matter drop. I even confronted the awful woman, and was told, in a not so nice way, to mind my own business, that Regina was crazy, and didn't have a clue what she was talking about (and this was said in front of Regina), that she had been with Regina for years, and that if it came down to me or her, she would win, so I might as well give it up.

The awful woman left for the night, leaving Regina and I alone from midnight till 8AM. Regina still seemed shaken up by what the awful woman had said, and was calling for her husband, and her sister, (Reginas whole family is deceased other than a nephew who lives in another state and takes care of Reginas paperwork via computer) so I reassured her that there was nothing going to happen to her while I was there, and started to talk to her about other things.

She calmed down and started making jokes, and laughing. Regina decided that she was hungry, so I told her I would go to the kitchen and cook for her.

I need to explain Reginas house here. It was a split level home, built, I'd guess, sometime in the 60's, from the style of it. It was a very nice home, furnished with all sorts of antiques, and things from all over the world from Reginas travels with her husband. We would enter the home via the front door which went into the foyer, and from there into the TV room, or den, which is where Regina sat in "her" chair, and we sat on the couch and usually watched TV.

Regina did remember Oprah's name, and loved the show.. If you went in the front door, and didn't go through the foyer into the TV room, but turned right, there were 4 steps up into the living room, which was furnished elegantly with oriental antiques, and a very old Hammond organ. We never went into that room if we could avoid it, as it just felt "creepy". Through the living room, there was an also elegantly furnished dining room, with sliding glass doors leading to a sunroom off of one wall, in which the lights would flicker on and off for no reason. Going straight through the dining room you came out in the kitchen. Once in the kitchen, there was a hallway off to the left, which either went back into the living room, or up a staircase off to the right, which led to the upstairs, where there were either 2 or 3 bedrooms, all also furnished very richly, and a huge bathroom.
A side note here: None of us, except the awful woman, EVER went upstairs willingly. I think we had all ran out of toilet paper or something, and had HAD to go up there once or twice, but even the most skeptical of us had reported feeling like there was someone there with us. During the one time I had to go up there it had me spinning around in circles,because the feeling of someone behind me was so strong, I couldn't stop looking long enough to do what I was up there for, so I ran back down the stairs. It always had a cold feeling up there and a feeling of being very very scared, and feeling an overwhelming need to run and to get out of there as fast as possible came over us.
When sitting in the TV room, we would hear noises that sounded like someone walking around upstairs, and just try to ignore it,or blame it on the house being old. Going straight through the kitchen, without turning to the stairway, there were 4 steps leading down to the TV room. Off of the TV room was Reginas bedroom, the laundry room, and a bathroom, the only rooms in the house that didn't have an old, creepy feeling, and no unexplained happenings. There was also a basement door off the TV room, but it was always kept locked by the awful woman. The whole house made a kind of figure eight.

Back to my story. Regina was hungry, so I went up the 4 steps to the kitchen. As I stood at the stove, I could see into the TV room, and also see the hallway where the steps went upstairs. Believe me, at midnight, alone there with a woman who wouldn't have been able to help much in a crisis, I tried to pretend that the steps weren't there and just concentrated on cooking and keeping an eye on Regina. Well, Regina once again began to talk to her sister, Jane. Regina had told me all about Jane, how she wasn't quite like other people, was very shy and hid when she could, but that she was very sweet, and she and Regina had been very close. Regina talked pretty often to Jane, so it didn't bother me much. UNTIL Regina called me by name, which she couldn't have remembered any other time if she had been paid a million dollars to do so. It actually startled me so much I jumped. I know Alzheimers patients have lucid moments at times, but I just knew that wasn't the case this time. There was something going on, and it was scaring the hell out of me. I just kept cooking, trying not to let Regina see how badly freaked out I was becoming. I began to get that feeling again, like there was someone behind me. Regina started to laugh, which normally I thought was great, to see her happy, but this laugh wasn't like a happy laugh. I cant even explain it. Creepy doesn't begin to cover it, but its the only word I can think of. It still gives me shivers to think about it. Then Regina said my name again, well, at this point, I was shaking so badly I was sloshing grease all over the stove, and about to wet myself. I didn't know what else to do though, not being able to leave Regina alone, and not being able to call a co-worker at 3am to come and relieve me because I was scared, so I just continued to cook.

I finally got the nerve to ask Regina why she was laughing and saying my name for. She said, "Oh, I was just telling Jane about you." Freaked out doesn't begin to describe what I was, but I asked Regina, "Oh, so Jane is here with you?" Regina answered, "Oh yes, so are my parents. They watch out for me, they see who takes care of me and who doesn't." Still not knowing what to do, I asked Regina, "Where is Jane right now?" Regina answered, "Well, shes hiding under the couch, because shes shy, and scared of people, but she sees you. My parents are up there with you." WELL, food done or not, I was LEAVING the kitchen!! I hurriedly turned around to get a plate for Reginas food, because terrified or not, Regina was hungry, and I'm still a professional. Trust me though, I didn't want to do anything so much as run straight to my car and go home!!!

As I was heading for the cabinet, I had to turn toward the hallway with the steps leading upstairs. As I did, I swear I saw a white blurry figure pass by me and go upstairs. I yelled, and as I did, Regina began to laugh again, and said, "Don't be afraid. They like you. There are some they don't, and they WILL let them know."

I don't know how I got the food to the plate, or got back downstairs, but needless to say, I sat on the couch, with my back to the wall, shaking like a leaf and dizzy with fear, hearing the footsteps upstairs, and watching the light flicker off and on in the sunroom, and thought I'd never make it to 8AM.

Regina ate her food, and didn't mention her family any more that night. When I asked her my name, she looked at me like I was crazy and said, "How the hell should I know?" and then laughed her usual laugh. She finally decided to go to bed around 5AM, and everything seemed pretty normal after that.

I went back a few more times, and things were OK. I never quite got over that feeling, though, and even though I loved Regina, I was too scared to stay there in case "They" decided they didn't like me. I feel really, really sorry for the awful woman when Reginas family decides to give her what she deserves for mistreating Regina.

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