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Weird stuff in Weirton

Robert Denham, Indiana, USA
September 2004

For five years, I worked 3-11 in the Housekeeping dept. at Weirton Medical Center in Weirton, West Virginia. There were several restless spirits in that building, and I have a few short tales here.

My ghost tales are amusing in a way, but weren't at the time.

My job at WMC was as a "Floor Tech", that is, I cleaned and buffed floors and cleaned carpets.

One evening, I was sent up to a room on the fifth floor, in Cardiac Care. As I went about my job, mopping the floor in preparation for buffing, I noticed a heart monitor in the corner that was beeping. Now, that monitor wasn't hooked up, and if anyone out there knows what I mean, when a heart monitor is left unattended, it will beep, but only as a signal that it's been left on. This monitor, however, was beeping in a normal rhythm...."beep-beep....beep-beep....beep-beep...." As I worked, it kind of started to give me the creeps. I went out to the nurse's station and told a nurse about it, and how it was weirding me out. She only smiled and came in to remove the monitor. She explained then that heart monitors are not normally left unattended in that particular room. It seems that they have an odd tendency to come on by themselves. Needless to say, that room's floor got only a cursory job that night.

Another experience I had was in the Cardiac Catherization Lab. Now, the Cath Lab area used to be part of the larger Surgery area, but some remodelling was done several years ago, and it was given its own smaller set of rooms. I went down one evening to do the Cath Lab floor, and found the area locked up. Everyone was gone. No problem, I had a key. I went in, started moving stuff around and mopping, as I usually did. I noticed some dust in a corner behind a heavy shelf, and got a vacuum cleaner with attachments to suck it out. As I was bent over, trying to get at the dust, I noticed something moving, out of the corner of my eye. I stood up and looked around, thinking a nurse or doctor had come in. There were always emergency catherizations being done, and if that was the case, I'd have to leave. No one was visible, however. I even shut off the vacuum and called out, but no one answered. I went back to work. A few seconds later, another glimpse out of the corner of my eye. This time I turned fast enough, and saw one the of the bed tables move, just a bit. I thought little of it, though. the tables were on wheels, and would often shift when moved.

Several minutes went by, and as I went about mopping the back of the room, I bent to move a chair. At that moment, something slapped me hard, right on the butt! I turned, but once again saw no one. I knew that there was a ghost in the Surgery area, often seen by the nursing staff there and by one of my fellow housekeepers, the woman who cleaned the operating rooms every night. The ghost was playful, a younger woman, and she appeared most often in ORs 5 and 6, for some reason. She could also often be seen walking alone in the Core area, the large surgical supply room which opens to all the operating rooms. I think that, since the Cath Lab was once part of Surgery, the good lady considers it part of her domain, as well. Perhaps I irritated her for not paying attention to her antics.

I had a another little run-in with the OR ghost myself one night.

I had volunteered to work a double, to cover for the guy who usually worked 11-7 as a Housekeeper. At about 2AM, I got called to clean up OR 6 after an emergency surgery. Great. OR 6 at 2AM. The whole area would be empty by the time I got there, and it was. I got the Housekeeping cart set up and went to the open door. They had graciously left the light on for me. The floor was spattered here and there with splotches of congealed blood, and various disposable items used in surgery were left lying around. I had to wipe everything down and thoroughly mop the floor. I went into the Core, just outside the OR, and switched on the stereo, which I blared. I tuned it to an oldies station, and started singing loudly along with the Beach Boys. My eyes kept wandering to the small observation window to the right, where Connie (the housekeeper I mentioned earlier who usually cleaned in the OR) often saw the woman's face staring at her. Thankfully, I saw nothing. Playful ghost or not, I probably would have ended up cleaning my underwear out as well if I'd seen her.

I finished up and put everything away, then went back into the Core to turn off the stereo and turn out the lights. I lowered the volume and switched off the stereo, making sure the "power" light was off before I left (the hospital was very petty as to who used this equipment; we used to joke that if you made less than twenty dollars and hour, you weren't good enough to listen to music while you worked. But, I digress), then hit the lights, plunging the whole area into darkness. The only light came from a dim light way up the hall outside OR 6. I walked into the OR, and suddenly, as I reached the middle of the room, the strains of "Louie Louie" thundered out of the speakers and into the darkness that surrounded me. The stereo had come back on by itself, louder even than I'd had it. That meant that I had to stand there in the dark, waiting for my eyes to adjust, then head back into the Core and turn it off again. I swallowed hard and did this, then hauled tail out of the OR, hoping there's be no more ORs until the next shift came on at 7. There weren't.

I wasn't the only one to have stereo trouble in the OR. As I told my story at work, two other women volunteered their tale; a similar incident had occured as they finished up in the surgery area late one Saturday evening. They called the supervisor, who refused to come shut it off. "There's two of you," he said, and hung up.

Another housekeeper friend had to go up to Psych to clean a room; when she arrived and started cleaning, the nurse at the desk called her out. "Look here," he said, pointing at the television monitor (there are cameras in each room, on 24-7, occupied or not). There, on the monitor, was a cloud hovering over the table she'd been cleaning. They rose and went to look in the room, but of course saw nothing, except that several of the bottles she'd brought with her had been moved. The guy said that they often had trouble with patients in this room seeing odd things or hearing voices.

There were other odd things at that hospital.

The "Whistler" was a guy in work boots, jeans and a flannel shirt that hung out in the laundry. We often thought that maybe he was an employee of the old city dump, on which the hospital now sat. He didn't come around often.

There was a voice in the morgue that was actually recorded once on a security guard's tape recorder. Over the sound of the vents and faint machinery of the Boiler Room, a voice could be heard saying "Help" several times. I heard that tape myself, and believe me, either the guy was an actor worthy of the mantle of Olivier, or he was really freaked out by it.

I guess that's all, or at least all I can remember right now. Hope you enjoyed it and that it wasn't too long.

Robert Denham, Indiana, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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