I am currently studying a Bachelor of Nursing. For our first year, we had a placement at a rest home where we were allowed to interact with patients and nurses alike to help us learn new skills. Among all of our duties, we each had one patient who we were to care for throughout the duration of our stay. My patient was called "Mr. X" (I changed his name to protect his privacy.)
Rest homes can be creepy enough, even at the best of times. The particular place I was situated at was an old villa that had been a hospice during the late 30's, but was renovated in the early 90's and a rest home wing was added to the original structure. The laundry room was the worst place to be alone. In the far end of the original villa, the laundry was cold, dark and always secluded. When asked to venture in there, I would always run in and run back out.
Whenever I took Mr X to the laundry to gather his belongings, he would say in an eerily casual voice, "Look's like Steve is here to see you today. He told me he loves when you visit him in here. It gets awfully lonely in the boiler room." And he would wave at the corner near the door that lead to the old boiler room (it's just storage space now). I could never tell whether Mr X was joking or not, but I would laugh anyway, not wanting to seem afraid. Mr X always joked around with me. He wouldn't let any of the other nurses look after him if I was on duty because he always had so much to tell me about his week. He would tell me that I was his favourite nurse, and he was easily my favourite patient.
One Tuesday I was doing my first night shift, I was very excited as patients in the day are much different than at night. It was one of those nights where the dark seems to press in on every corner, almost like a blanket. I felt a little uneasy as I was doing rounds on my own in the original building. When I walked past the laundry room I seemed to get the feeling I was being watched, thinking of Mr X, I chuckled to myself trying to think of Steve as a joke. I finished my round and headed back to the nurses station.
When the charge nurse asked how my rounds had been, I told her about how I always feel uneasy when I go near the laundry. She laughed and told me not to be silly. She said, "As a nurse, you will get used to creepy places, our main concern is the living, not the dead." She and the other nurses laughed for a bit then she looked at me again, "Since you love the laundry so much, there are some sheets that needed to be cleaned for tomorrow, you can run them down." I thought she was joking. Unfortunately she wasn't. (As a new nurse, you get picked on a bit. It's all fun and games and you eventually learn to live with it.)
I decided to just get my trip to the laundry over and done with, so I grabbed the sheets and went on my way. It was so dark in the old building. It wasn't a cold night, but the breeze snuck through small gaps in the old panels creating a chill. I pushed open the door with my foot and reached my hand through the door to turn on the light before I went in, not wanting to enter in the dark. I felt a small breeze on my hand. I figured it was just coming from the paneling, and heard a small creak, which I again put down to the breeze against the old building. I walked into the room and out of habit, looked toward the boiler room. To my surprise, the door was slightly ajar. Knowing that doors in a rest home should always be closed, I walked over to close it. That was when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something, a light, move behind the door. As much as I didn't want to look, I peeked through the gap and saw a man, sitting on a bucket with a wild grin on his face. I slammed the door shut and fled out of the room, leaving the sheets on the floor.
As I sped round the corner, I ran into a very welcome face. Mr X smiled at me, startled, and asked what was wrong. When I was done explaining what I saw, he laughed and walked towards the laundry. I reluctantly followed. Mr X walked up to the boiler room door and opened it. It was empty, "Nothing can hurt you, Dear" he said. "You are well protected. I can tell." He winked at me. I smiled awkwardly and told him it must have been my eyes playing a trick on me, he laughed again and turned to me. It was at that point I remembered Mr X wasn't supposed to be walking around on his own at night. I offered to walk him back to his room. He walked towards me, stopping first to pick up the sheets I had dropped. "What kind of wife will you be if you leave your sheets all over the floor?" he teased. I automatically chilled out and laughed. He knew how to make me laugh, Mr X did. I walked Mr X back to his room and got him settled before bidding him goodnight and telling him I would see him on Thursday. The last thing I saw as I closed his door, was him smiling at me lovingly and then turning his head as though to talk to someone.
Thursday morning, I showed up at placement ready to start my day. At handover, the nurse didn't mention whether or not Mr X was due for a shower so I went to ask her. She looked at me with surprise, "Mr X passed away on Tuesday morning. I'm sure you must have been told when you had your night shift. Didn't you think it was weird he didn't come to see you?" She then smiled sadly at me and walked off. I didn't think it was weird he hadn't come to see me, because he had.
I had 3 more weeks left at that particular placement. For those remaining weeks, I was no longer afraid of the laundry room. In fact, I felt a calm warm feeling whenever I walked past.
I'm sorry my story was so long, I hope it entertained you or gave you chills. It is 100% true, whether you believe it or not.