Graveyard Shift
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18 Creepy Stories From People Who Work In Hospitals

Updated February 8, 2021 2.6m views18 items

The things that go on in hospitals can be extremely creepy - or downright terrifying. You might not expect it, but doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers see some scary things and have some horrifying stories. These 19 stories from doctors, medical staff, and psychiatric workers about patients (dead or alive) that we found over at AskReddit will keep you up at night.

Read these scary hospital stories at your own risk, and vote the creepiest ones to the top.

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  • Psych Staffer Has Dreadful Premonition In Dream That Comes True

    From a former Redditor:

    I'm not a doctor, but I'm a nurse. I work with geriatric patients and there was this incident about three years ago. Before I explain, let me say that I DON'T believe in ghosts.

    Anyway, this one time I was working the night shift and I was super sleepy so I decided to skip lunch because I wasn't hungry and go to my car and sleep for 30 min. I got inside my car, covered myself with my sweater, set the timer on my phone and immediately knocked out.

    I'm dreaming, but in my dream I'm still awake just sitting there. Someone taps on my car window and I see that its one of my patients (we'll call her Dee). Surprised I asked Dee what the hell shes doing outside and she tells me she is looking for her daughter. I tell her to go back inside and that we will call her daughter in the morning. My patient becomes angry and starts banging on my car window. I kinda freak out and try to reach for the door handle to get out and calm her down, but I quickly realize I can't move. Let me add that I frequently experience sleep paralysis, so even though I am asleep, I realize what is happening.

    I fight it and try squirming my body in an attempt to wake myself up. I finally manage to wake up and my heart is racing and my forehead is a bit sweaty. I sit there for about a min, realize it was all a dream and roll the window down to cool myself off.

    My break is over and I clock back in and see that my supervisor and two other nurses and huddled in front of a room. I am still by the station clocking when they see me and call me over. I walk over thinking maybe something was wrong with the ventilator or the patient fell, but my supervisor tells me Dee died while I was on my lunch break. Since most of our patients are DNR, I was not paged. It took a couple of seconds for the message to register and I freaked out internally. I got goosebumps but didn't mention anything to my supervisor about the dream.

    I don't believe in ghosts or anything like that and I mostly likely had that dream because she was the last patient I interacted with before my break, so she was still on my mind and I was mentally going over my patients charts in my head.

  • Paramedics Respond To Despondent Elderly Woman Who Just Witnessed Gruesome Suicide

    From a former Redditor:

    We got a call to go out to a scene for an elderly woman with chest pains. Arrive at the house, front door is open. We knock, hear the old woman calling out from the back "I'm in the back room" in a very monotone and calm voice. My partner and I go to the back of the house looking for this woman, and that's when we smelled it. Nothing prepares you for the smell of rotting corpse. I've smelled it a dozen times, and it never gets any less disturbing. We radio for police and ALS backup as we move through the house. We opened the door to the master bedroom, and there is our patient. She is approximately 80, and she is staring at the master bathroom with these cold, dead eyes. She never once looked at us as we approached her and began talking to her. I got to the bedside and got in front of her gaze, and she just looked right through me.

    I turned around to see what she could possibly be looking at, and there was the source of my smell. A man, about the same age as my patient, is on the floor with very little left of his head still attached to his body. A shotgun lay on the floor next to him, and most of his head was strewn about the walls and bathroom counter. We loaded the woman up in the ambulance, and our police backup pulled up. I don't think that woman blinked once the entire time she was in our care. Totally f*cked me up.

  • Psych Tech Meets Scary 7-Year-Old

    From a former Redditor:

    As a tech in psych years ago, there was a 7 year old kid sent to the floor because the mom didnt know what to do with him. Sadly common thing to happen, even if the kids don't have paych issues. Anyway, the mom was shaking and crying, and they had to take the kid into another room. She was genuinely afraid of her own son. She had suspected something was wrong when she kept finding mutilated animals in the back yard, but never heard or saw coyotes or anything around. The neighbors smaller pets started disappearing. The boy had an obsession with knives, hiding them around the house. Denying anything when the mom confronted him. Then when the two started getting into arguments, he would get really violent and hit her, push her down and kick her, threaten to kill her. On multiple occasions she woke up in the middle of the night with him standing beside her bed, staring her in the face. She put extra locks on her bedroom door to feel safe while ahe slept. The last straw was when she lifted up his mattress and found 50+ knives of all shapes and sizes under there. So she brought him to us.

    I remember talking to him, treating him like he was just any other kid that came through. He seemed remarkably normal, until you spoke directly to him. He had this way of looking right through you, or maybe like he didn't see you at all while you were speaking. He would respond like a robot, like he was just saying words because thats what we wanted to hear. And be would always put on this creepy, dead-looking smile. Like all mouth and no eye involvement in the smile. Especially when he would get away with something, like taking another kid's markers and they couldn't figure it out. Still gives me chills laying here thinking about him. I had to get up and close my bedroom door.

    I believe I met a 7 year old psychopath.

  • Doctor Has Frightening Experience Verifying Woman Is Dead

    From Redditor /u/edhb9189:

    Verifying death is always sad but my friend tells the funniest story about how creepy his first verification of death was. This is not meant to disrespect anyone; black humour is a huge part of doctors' coping strategies.

    He was on a night shift a few weeks into his first job as a qualified doctor and got a call from a ward to say a lady had passed away- an expected death hence he hadn't been called about her before- and could he come verify and do the paperwork. It's a busy shift with lots of sick people to see first so he takes several hours to get there.

    He goes up and they tell him she's in room 8. The door to room 8 is slightly ajar and the room is dark. Now, she was in a side room but most patients there were in shared bays of 6 beds so you get into the habit of not turning lights on. In his nervous haste to make sure it didn't look like he was nervous, he slipped into the room armed only with his little pen torch. The window was slightly open and (he swears) the blind rattled against the sill as he crept towards the bed, the tiny circle of light from his torch picking out the rumpled white hospital blanket, only a very slim rise showing where she lay as she was a tiny old lady, just skin and bone. Finally, the light plays over her face and he has to bite back a little scream, nearly dropping the torch.

    For whatever reason, her pose in death is one of a horrified and horrifying snarl, lips drawn back to bare (likely false) teeth, the whites of her eyes showing in a fixed blind stare, and both hands up close to her face curled into claws, slightly over-long nails shining grimly in the meagre torchlight.

    Now, to verify a death, the doctor has to listen for heart and breath sounds for two minutes while feeling for a pulse, check for pupil reactions and check for no response to pain. He flicked the torch dutifully across her glaring eyes, forcing himself to shuffle close enough to touch- first to check for response to pain and then to settle shaking fingers on her throat- so close to those furiously grinning teeth- to feel for a pulse. To get his stethoscope under the collar of her gown under the blankets, he has to lean in even closer, almost nose to nose with her now, unable to draw his gaze away from hers. And he has to stand like that for two minutes. The seconds crawling away as he stares into that screaming face.

    He says there's no way he would have heard heart or breath sounds even if she had been alive. All he could hear was his own racing heart in his ears and, on a loop in his head, "Please don't let her move, please don't move, oh dear god don't move..."