As a profession that handles the most joyous times of life and the most heartbreaking, many physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants have experienced some sort of spooky story while on shift. With Halloween just around the corner, we have gotten a collection of scary stories going with a few that were posted on “Allnurses.com.” Whether they are true, or whether you believe, we can all agree that these stories are truly terrifying.
The Elevator Ghoul “I was at the nurses’ station and we heard the bell in the elevator ringing. Someone was yelling ‘Help!’ and we heard pounding. We called security to tell them someone was stuck in the elevator. I then walked over to the elevator doors and was shouting to the person to try to stay calm and help was on the way. She just kept yelling for help, banging, and ringing the bell. Security called the nurses station to say all of the elevators were working and they didn’t find anyone stuck. At this moment, whoever was in the elevator was suddenly quiet. A few times I have been on the elevator and for no reason it went to the 5th floor. The 5th floor is totally unoccupied, but used to be a hospice unit. I would be going up from the ground floor and the only button lit up would be 3. But the elevator would pass my floor, go to 5th, open …. no one there. I never was brave enough to step foot onto the 5th floor.”
Ghostly Reminder “I was looking after a pediatric patient who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. One night, he was especially restless and irritable and could not be consoled. I was worried that his intracranial pressure was rising, and had the resident at the bedside with me for pretty much the entire shift. The charge nurse relieved me for my break and told me to go lay down for a short nap (it was OK for night nurses to nap in this facility). As I gathered some blankets and stretched out on the cot, I heard a voice say ‘why aren’t you watching him?’ I jumped off the cot and ran into the patient’s room just in time to see his HR drop into the 40s. The nurse relieving me had stepped out of the room to answer a call bell. Needless to say, I refused to leave his side, had the resident move into the room with me, and [the patient] went for a VP shunt first thing the next morning.”
We heard someone calling for help…No one was there “I was in charge one night (we charge LDRP/nursery/antepartum). I went to check on the ante unit and the CNAs were acting goofy. They were giggly, but not middle of the night silly/tired. I asked what was up and they said they heard the ghost talking and the nurse with them was calling them names and saying she didn’t hear anything. We stood and laughed about it for a little while, they never did tell me what they had heard it say. By this time the unit secretary was with us. Suddenly we all heard a scream and a man (no men on our unit EVER) saying ‘help me.’ The nurse on the unit said, ‘OK, I heard that one.’ I looked at the techs and said, ‘what should we do.’ Then, we heard it louder and clearly coming from the end of the hall. We all took off down the hall. I assigned a tech to each side of the hall and told the secretary to stay at the top of the hall. The other nurse and I went to the back to check the stairwell. We all ended up meeting at the last room on the unit. For the 3rd time, coming from that room we heard a man say, ‘help me’ and scream. We all went flying in there. [The patient in the room] sat straight up in bed and said, ‘What? What? What?’ I said, ‘Are you ok? We heard someone calling for help.’ She responded, ‘I was sleeping, it wasn’t me.’ I played it off and said, ‘Let’s go check the staircase it must have come from the other side of the hall’ (remember, I had personally checked the stairs) and I apologized and apologized and apologized.”
Louella’s Room “[My husband] was working at a small private hospital on a med/surg unit in a large metropolitan city. One of their ‘frequent fliers’ was a woman named Louella who always requested the same room at the end of the hall … Louella’s husband Roy was very loving & doting and they refused assistance with her personal care when she was a patient as Roy did everything for her. The only time Roy left the bedside was to step to the nurse’s station for a cup of coffee & inevitably before he returned to her side, Louella would be heard calling ‘Roy….Roy…’ Eventually Louella died at that hospital in ‘her’ room. Many months later a salesman is traveling through the state, experiences chest pain & pulls into the hospital. He was treated & placed in the same room that Louella had always requested. Younger, awake, alert, oriented & non-medicated. My husband said that during the night the patient called the nurses station and asked if someone could ‘please help that lady so I can get some sleep.’ The nurses hadn’t heard anything but quickly made rounds to see if someone needed assistance. No one claimed to have called out and no one else heard the disturbance. Shortly thereafter the patient calls the nurses’ station again requesting that someone ‘Please make her shut up so I can get some sleep.’ Again, made rounds, didn’t hear anything, and didn’t see anyone that needed help. The next call to the nurses station the patient asked if someone could ‘Please help her find Roy so she will be quiet.’ My husband said that even then the staff wasn’t unusually alarmed & even discussed the possibility that it was coming through the air conditioning vent & was maybe someone on another floor that was calling out. The NEXT call to the nurses’ station, the patient says, ‘She says her name is Louella & she needs help finding Roy.’ Everyone at this point is quite freaked out having known Louella and the history. Hubby says that a seasoned nurse walked into the room in question, opened the window … and said very loudly ‘Get out Louella! You have to leave now.’ My husband worked at that facility for another year and they never heard another peep from Louella.”
The Railroad Tracks “Working the 3-11 shift in a nursing home, I was doing my med pass when I was summoned by a CNA to a room. Upon entering, the CNA states, ‘I think she just died, while I was changing her!’ I checked for breathing, circulation and the patient’s orders. She was a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). [I] then attempted to get a B/P. NOTHING…. So, I called to notify the Pt’s son, who requested for Mom to be sent to the ER to be Pronounced… I contacted 911 (our protocol for transferring for pronounceal) and summoned the ambulance. Approximately 20 minutes passed before the ambulance arrived. The Paramedic and EMT followed their protocol, and followed the same steps I had (breathing, circulation, and BP) and got NOTHING. By the time they loaded my patient, covered her, and set on the way to the hospital, 30-40 minutes had passed. In transport to our local hospital the ambulance had to cross a railroad track. When the ambulance crossed the tracks, the patient sat up, pulled the sheet from her head, and proceeded to point and shake her hand at the Paramedic screaming, ‘TAKE ME BACK, TAKE ME BACK RIGHT NOW! I MEAN IT, TAKE ME BACK RIGHT NOW!!!’…The paramedic then continued to the hospital, and phoned the nursing home to tell me what had happened…When the family was told of this incident, they simply said, ‘It just wasn’t her time.’”