Psych ward stories have a spooky glamour to them, unmatched by any other spine-tingling tale. Haunted mental hospitals, spirits in captivity, sadistic nurses and orderlies - it's enough to make the hardiest of hearts consider a nightlight. Many consider abandoned mental hospitals to be scary or straight out of a horror story, but based on the stories from actual psych ward workers below, the ones still populated with patients are far worse.
My mom told me this story from her time at a neuropsychiatric ward while she was in grad school. She was making her routine room checks and happened upon the most horrific scene I've ever heard.
This was during the night shift, and generally all the patients' bedroom doors should be closed. So my mom turned a corner and noticed an open door. She saw a staff member's legs on the floor, halfway out the doorway.
When she looked into the room, she saw the patient, a woman with a severe postpartum psychiatric disorder, who had just gouged both of her own eyes out with her bare hands. She was sitting cross-legged on the floor, holding her eyes in her hands.
The first staff member to witness the scene, who was now lying face down on the floor, had a heart attack when he first witnessed the woman while he was making his rounds.
My mom screamed for help, and frantically tried to perform CPR on the staff member. All the while, the woman just sat rather calmly, holding her own eyes.
We had a young lady in our custody with quite a few issues. We'll call her Jane. On Jane's first night at our facility, staff performing a bed check found Jane in a puddle of blood. Turns out, Jane had been slicing the skin around her shin with her finger nails and was pulling her skin up her leg, essentially de-gloving her calf.
Jane also had a ritual she performed every night before bed. While in her room, she would walk to every wall and touch them in a crucifix pattern. After doing this for a few hours, she would sit on her bed and go to sleep. One night, Jane's pace was frantic. Our night staff observed the entire interaction, and reported Jane screaming late into the night. When one staff member went to check on Jane, she reported Jane standing in the doorway smiling. The staff asked what was wrong, and Jane replied, "What makes you think you are speaking to Jane?"
I was a pharmacy technician at a hospital with a psych ward for some time. We would have to go around with a cart and dispense the patients' medications, and being a 5'2" girl, a security guard or male nurse would accompany me, just as a precaution. I never had any real issues other than the occasional death grip onto my arm or manic outbursts, but there was one boy who was entirely different.
His chart said he was nine and he had pale skin, dark hair, and huge bright, green eyes. He always greeted me in the most polite way, asked how I was doing, and always found something different to compliment me on every time. He was extremely well-spoken and mature for his age, so I began looking forward to seeing him, as normal small talk is definitely cherished in that setting. If he saw me outside of his room in the halls, he made sure to say hello and always called me "Miss Jones" or "ma'am."
One day, a couple of our female nurses saw me pause to chat with him in the hallway, and waved me over to ask if I was out of my mind. Apparently, when he was in kindergarten, he grew an intense attachment to his young female teacher.
This escalated to the point of him calling her "Mom" and leaving notes for her about how he wished he were her son. He had a normal home-life with both parents, and the teacher tried to explain to him that she couldn't be his mom because that would hurt his real mother's feelings, and that she already had that job covered.
So, he went home and, killed his own mother in her sleep by cutting her throat, so his teacher could be his mom. The female staff had a general rule of not interacting with him excessively to prevent any kind of attachment from forming.So, don't judge a book by its cover, I guess.
I was working an overnight shift on an Alzheimer's ward at a nursing home. It was about 2:30 am, and I was making my rounds, peeking into the rooms to make sure the patients were where they should be.
I went into one room, and this 83-year-old woman was sitting straight up in her bed, staring at the wall. I slowly walked into the room and calmly asked her if she wanted to lie back down. She turned her head slowly, looked me right in the eye, and said "They're coming for you, dear." Then she started laughing - I'm talking full-on hysterical, insane cackling. I almost pissed myself right there. She finally calmed down, and I got her to lie back down. When she was just about to go back to sleep, she looked at me again and said "I'm going to miss you when they take you," and went right back to sleep.I was terrified the rest of the night.