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Things that go bump in the night: nurses recount ghostly stories

When Nursing Standard asked nurses to share their experiences, spooky tales came flooding in
Nurses recount their ghostly stories

When Nursing Standard asked nurses to share their experiences, tales of spooky spectres, strange noises and unexplained visions came flooding in

From footsteps in empty corridors to ghostly nuns at patient bedsides, many nurses can recall a brush with the supernatural.

When Nursing Standard asked readers to share their ghost stories for a recent article, tales of things going bump in the night flooded in.

Spooky things have happened in care homes and patients’ homes, psychiatric wards, cottage hospitals, maternity hospitals and general hospitals, it seems.

So many of you came forward with your

When Nursing Standard asked nurses to share their experiences, tales of spooky spectres, strange noises and unexplained visions came flooding in

Nurses recount their ghostly stories
Picture: iStock

From footsteps in empty corridors to ghostly nuns at patient bedsides, many nurses can recall a brush with the supernatural.

When Nursing Standard asked readers to share their ghost stories for a recent article, tales of things going bump in the night flooded in.

Spooky things have happened in care homes and patients’ homes, psychiatric wards, cottage hospitals, maternity hospitals and general hospitals, it seems.

So many of you came forward with your stories – in fact, there wasn’t enough room in the original article. Here, we share further tales of the unexplained.

Drips stands moving on their own and a whistling ghost in the corridor

Carol wrote about sounds coming from an attic in a building that was once a Victorian psychiatric hospital.

‘The attic was used only for storage of archives,’ she said. ‘On a night shift we would often hear a noise like a trolley trundling across the floor above followed by footsteps. We got so used to it we'd just say: “There's matron on her rounds’’’.

Michelle works in a building that used to be a workhouse before it was a hospital.

‘We have drip stands that move on their own, and a little girl has been seen walking the corridors,’ she wrote.

Bev shared two experiences: ‘Once as a student on nights I saw a nurse in strange uniform sat by someone dying, and then again in 2002 a nun talking to a patient who died shortly after.’

Sharon recounted an eerie experience when going to collect her bag at the end of a night shift.

‘Along the corridor was the sound of footsteps and a man whistling and he was walking towards me, but there was no one there. It was an empty ward.

‘A few weeks later my colleague heard a whistling man walking past her on the same corridor and no one was there.’

Annette shared a story from a patient perspective while in hospital recovering from an operation.

Nurses hallucinating after long shifts?

‘There was a very sick young man in one of the bays further down the ward. Curtains drawn. I was wide awake post op and was about to get out of bed and use the bathroom.

‘I saw him come out of the bay, flinging the curtains back. He waved to me in a triumphant way, went through the doors, pushed them open and went through the corridor. I presumed he went to the bathroom.

‘When I came back several nurses were gathered by his bay. I said: “If you are looking for him I think he went to the bathroom”.

‘They went pale and said he couldn't have as he had just passed away.’

While Emma offered a different take: ‘Our shifts are so long we start hallucinating.’


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