benicek: (Default)
I was joking with an older nurse colleague that there 'should' be thousands of ghosts in the hospital where we work, and that they must be very lazy if we'd never seen a single one. She asked me if I believed in ghosts and I said that I found most supposed ghost stories unconvincing for various reasons, with the exception of one account I heard a few years ago. She mostly felt the same way, but had had one experience which was so vivid that she couldn't explain or dismiss it. This is what happened:

She was driving her car in the middle of a sunny day along the A2300 towards Burgess Hill, here in Sussex. Her little dog was riding in the front seat next to her, as was his habit. Then suddenly the light in the car became inexplicably dappled. She found this very strange. It was the kind of flickering you might experience if you were driving in the shadow of leafy trees, except there were no trees to cast such a shadow. At that same moment her dog vacated the front seat and climbed into the back. She's not sure why, but she found herself saying aloud, half to the dog, half to herself "has someone just joined us?". Then, to her great astonishment, a figure materialised in the seat next to her. It was a very small female, about 4ft tall, wearing an old fashioned blouse and long blue skirt, her head turned away, looking out of the side window. My colleague continued driving, unsure how to react, for about two miles, and then the apparition simply disappeared.
benicek: (Default)
I was somewhat bemused to discover than many of my colleagues believe the changing room in the Intensive Care Unit to be haunted by an aggressive ghost. This turned to scorn when I heard that they'd even persuaded the hospital chaplain to try and exorcise it. I felt that the chaplain should be looking after our patients, not catering to the superstitious hysteria of perfectly healthy employees. However, given the the formidable intelligence of that man and his strong service ethos I imagine that he saw it as his duty to do whatever was necessary to help keep the peace, literally as well as supernaturally, no matter how bizarre.

Now, even if you do believe in ghosts, why on earth would there be one in a small changing room, in a building built in 1993? Nobody has ever died in that room. I guarantee that.

I don't believe in the supernatural, particularly not the religious variety. I would say on principle that I don't believe in ghosts. The problem is I'm English. Yes, I was brought up on a diet of ghost stories and, despite tiny church attendance figures, we English do love to believe in ghosts. So, I am soaked in it. Ghost stories genuinely scare me, though I try to deny it.

I wanted to gather witness evidence. What had this ghost been doing? There's a folding bed in the changing room which we used to sleep on during our breaks on the night shifts. Nobody will sleep on it now. Two of the nurses I was working with last night had had 'experiences' while sleeping on that bed. One said it took the form of  'something' touching his face. Now, I found this fairly lame. Hardly a grey apparition dragging chains (or IV lines). But my other colleague, a sensible woman, had a more dramatic story. She said she had been woken up by something slapping her around the head quite hard. I was incredulous. "How hard?" I asked. And so she slapped me around the head, to the amusement of everybody present. My ear was still glowing ten minutes later. She said she was sorry. "Was it really that hard?" I asked.

"Yes, it was" she confirmed.

So now I'm scared of the changing room too. Damn it.

June 2017

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