Things that go bump in the night. Scary moments.

Nurses General Nursing


One early evening during clinicals, I was tending to an elderly gentleman who passed away during my shift. I went into his room to retrieve some personal effects that his daughter had left behind. I had my back turned towards the corpse. I felt as if he were watching me. I turned around and I swore the dude was blinking his freaking eyes. I got the hell out of there ASAP! I never told anyone about this until now. I still get chills when I think about it.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,525 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Wait until you hear a dead body gasp. That's a scary sound. You're doing post-mordem care and their lungs spontaneously empty. Makes me wanna scream.

Specializes in Interventional Pain Mgmt NP; Prior ICU and L/D RN.

I agree with you 3rdShiftGuy....only thing is I just laugh my tail off when it is a new nurse and they hear it for the first time!!:)

CashewLPN, LPN

348 Posts

hmm... I know that feeling...


worst thing though.... when I was in school.. we were bad to the teacher... we had the 'stiff cart' (sorry, its what we called it it was the deep stretcher...) in a room, had a girl lie in it, and, called in the teacher, and, she sat up....

tee hee... it was somthing else.... we got in so much trouble that day...

um... althugh, a little tape on the lids often does wonders....


Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

Final care would be a little easier on me if i could cover the face up.


258 Posts

Thanks alot guys- after just watching Freddy vs. Jason, this isn't quite what I had in mind to "distract" myself before bed!

Why oh why do I let my hubby talk me into this crap....:)

I could tell tales of post-mortum care, but they wouldn't really be much different. How about just spooky?

As an new STNA on midnights, we had a little lady who was very confused/delusional-and ambulatory (see where I'm going here....) Found her laying under a bed on the floor during second rounds about 2:00 A.M. (Anyone care to guess how we found her?) Yep-she grabbed my ankles. I screamed and almost peed myself. Than laughed so hard I had tears streamming down my cheeks.

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

I WOULD have peed myself lol.


185 Posts

Originally posted by 3rdShiftGuy

Wait until you hear a dead body gasp. That's a scary sound. You're doing post-mordem care and their lungs spontaneously empty. Makes me wanna scream.

I have been nursing for 15 years and never heard of this. Thanks for the heads up, now maybe it won't COMPLETELY freak me out if it happens.


258 Posts

It will send chills down your spine. It's just an eerie, freaky sound-every single time it happens.


276 Posts

The last patient whom I looked after who passed away, gasped when we were washing her. It was the middle of the night (as usual!) and it was weird.

I am a sceptic, but a while back, our ward used to be "joined" with the ward next door, in a "L" shape. People have always said that it's haunted. People told stories of weird things happening, such as patients and nurses which didn't exist appearing in the kitchen etc and strange bumps in the night. I never believed them, as it always happened during the night and I said it was just an active imagination when you're tired. However, I was walking up the ward round the corner (2am) and suddenly heard a very distinct sound of someone running, the nurse buzzer came on, then a TV suddenly came on REALLY loud. I went into the room where the buzzer sounded and the TV was turned right up. The room was unoccupied. We were on the top floor so no-one could have been running on the floor above. No patient had occupied that room all evening. I can't think of a way that people would have played a trick as there was no other way of someone getting in or out of the ward without me seeing. If it WAS a trick, someone would have come and told us so eventually.

Being the sceptic that I am, I've put it down to an electricity surge or a fault with the buzzer system as buzzers often go off down there without a patient in the room. But the running???.......(insert dramatic music here) speechless-smiley-040.gif


1,250 Posts

I was a tech in an ER and we were working a code on an elderly lady. The family was waiting in the hallway anxiously because this was "unexpected" as the person had just been given a clean bill of health. After a little while, the doc called it and everyone except me and another tech left the room. We had started to "bag and tag" the body when all of a sudden, the other tech said "HEY! Look at this!!!!". I turned around and you could literally see the patients heart beating through the chest wall and breathing was taking place. I ran to the door and called the team back in. The doc came in and checked and sure enough, the person was alive. We allowed the family to come in to the room at that point and they said their good-byes and at that point (about 1/2 hour later) the person coded again. This time they "left" and that was the end.

In health care, we are always witnessing miracles, some seen, some unseen. This particular case I just chalked up to the patient wanting to say their official "good bye" to the family before embarking on the next leg of the journey but it was still the strangest thing that I'd ever seen!

Ruby Vee, BSN

47 Articles; 14,024 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

I've worked in several hospitals over the past 25 years, and I've never worked in one that didn't have a ghost or two. (The worst was a hospital in the east that had been there since the Civil War. That place seemed to have as many ghosts as "frequent fliers!") Even the relatively new institution I work in now has a ghost or two.

The thing that scared me the most, though, is the poltergeist that seemed to reside on the rehab floor of the last hospital I worked in. That thing was malevolent! I floated up there one night, and was told, "Whatever you do, don't check the "patient" in Room 4 bed 3." When asked why not, the charge nurse said (and I kid you NOT!) "Because he died several years ago, and he's still pissed about it."

Sure enough, I checked the patient in room 4, bed 3. (The way they numbered their rooms was opposite of ours, so I thought I was checking the real patient in bed 2!) I could hear breathing coming from the bed, but when I parted the curtains slightly to step closer to the bed, a pillow came flying at me, and I could *feel* waves of hatred coming from that bed! I high-tailed it out of the room and back to the front desk as fast as I could. Wasn't fast enough, though. When I got to the front desk and peered through the glass into the locked med room, the place was a shambles! All the drawers had been pulled out and meds were dumped everywhere! Syringes, needles, IV tubing --- everything in the room was strewn about. But the door was still locked, and the only other key was in the hands of the charge nurse who came up behind me, sadly proclaiming "You checked the patient in room 4, bed 3, didn't you?"

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