By Michael Jordan
The night-shift nurses were sitting in the Nurses’ Station when the girl entered. She appeared to be about nine, and she was wearing a pink nightgown. They didn’t see her face, since she was turned slightly away from them. The nurses were puzzled. What was this child, unaccompanied by any adult, doing in the nurses’ room?
They were even more puzzled when the child said “Good night,” in a voice that was like no child’s voice, then hurried into the nearby Injection Room.
Even more baffled, the nurses followed the child into the room…
But there was no child there…not under the table, not anywhere that the puzzled and frightened nurses searched.
Something that they had all seen, something that had appeared to be a living, breathing human, had entered the
room…and that something had vanished…
It was one of the many strange experiences that I have recorded over the years, from stories told to me by medical staff on the night shift at hospitals around the country.
There were tales about a clock that brought death…about chairs that appeared to move, untouched by hand or breeze…figures that flitted along passageways…
Take the story about the clock. This was a clock that once stood at the top of a tower-like structure of the now demolished medical ward at the Georgetown Hospital. In the old days, that clock, and the ward in which it was located, drove fear in patients who were sent there. The legend was that anyone who went to the ward ‘under the clock’ was likely to die.
For some, the term ‘he deh under the clock’ not only meant that a patient was in the medical ward, but also that this patient didn’t have long in this world.
Some patients were so terrified of being placed ‘under the clock’ that they took every possible ruse to avoid being taken there. I heard one story about a man who so dreaded being admitted to this ward that he opted to have himself discharged prematurely—only to die at home after falling off his bed.
But I learned that there was a simple answer to these stories.
An old staffer explained that back then, many of the patients who were admitted to the ward ‘under the clock’ were terminally ill, and this explained the high incidence of death in this ward.
But the other stories about the Georgetown Hospital weren’t so easy to explain.
For instance, there was something that nurses called ‘the pressing.’
According to some nurses who spoke to me, this is something that occurs when nurses are either asleep or on their rest period.
“You feel as if something is pressing you down,” one nurse said. “You are unable to talk or move.”
Claiming to have experienced ‘the pressing’ several times, the nurse said that she was resting in the nurses’ room one night when she suddenly became aware that the door had suddenly swung open. However, she saw no one enter the room, and she was seized with a terrible fear, and try as she might, was unable to move. She remained in this state until another staffer entered the room.
On another occasion, the same nurse said that she was sleeping in the rest room when she dreamt that a ‘fat dougla man’ had entered the room. She said that in her dream, the ‘man’ began to touch her breasts, and she was unable to move.
The staffer said that she eventually forgot about the incident until a male nurse confided in having a similar dream about a ‘fat dougla man’ approaching him with sexual intentions.
Another male nurse said that he was sleeping in the Medical Ward when he had a nightmare of a tall man standing over him. “I awoke with a terrible fear and slept no more that night.”
Some old staff also claimed to have encountered ‘ghosts’ during their nightly rounds. One male nurse spoke of ordering a ‘boy’, whom he assumed to be a patient, back to bed, only to have this ‘boy’ vanish before his eyes.
Others claimed that the spirit of a long-dead ‘sister’ wandered about the now-demolished Lady Thompson Ward.
But it’s not only at the Georgetown Hospital that nurses and other staff claimed to have experienced the unknown.
The incident with the ‘child’ in the pink nightgown, for instance, happened at a new hospital. At that hospital, also, a doctor, sleeping in the rest room, awoke to see what appeared to be an elderly man staring at him. He bolted from the room.
And some patients also claimed to have been tormented too.
One woman claimed that a young girl repeatedly stood by her bed, while claiming that the woman was lying in ‘her’ bed.
Hospital staffers have different theories about these incidents.
One claimed that they were caused by ‘spirits of the dead under the influence of the devil.’ And hospitals are places of death. In fact, back in 1991, carpenters uncovered an ancient tomb while doing renovations at the Georgetown Hospital.
Others scoffed and said that they were Christians and didn’t believe in such nonsense.
A psychiatrist had a different explanation. He said that hospital staffers encounter many traumatic situations, including death, when on duty. When they are asleep, these memories surface in their subconscious mind, and manifest themselves in various manners. The nurses who saw the ‘child’ while they were wide awake were told by a senior staffer that they had suffered “mass hysteria.”
And the victims of ‘the pressing,’ may actually have experienced a phenomenon that scientists call ‘sleep paralysis.’ One website said that sleep paralysis consists of a period of inability to perform voluntary movements either at sleep or upon awakening.
“In some cases…people feel that someone is in the room with them, some experience the feeling that someone or something is sitting on their chest and they feel impending death and suffocation. That has been called the “Hag Phenomena” and has been happening to people over the centuries. These things cause people much anxiety and terror, but there is no physical harm. The hallucinatory element to sleep paralysis makes it even more likely that someone will interpret the experience as a dream, since completely fanciful or dream-like objects may appear in the room alongside one’s normal vision.
Another website said that “some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for alien abductions and ghostly encounters.
But whether one chooses to believe in the supernatural or not, one thing is for certain. There are indeed more things in heaven and in earth than are dreamed of in our philosophies.
If you have information about any unusual case, please contact us at our Lot 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown offices.
You can also reach us on telephone numbers 22-58465, 22-58458, 22-58473 or 22-58491, or contact Michael Jordan at [email protected]
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