I was doing night duty in the Male ward in Newcastle provincial hospital, NKZN, South Afirca. With me, was the ward sister and myself (staffnurse) and the nurse. We weren't so busy that night. We had four wards with six beds each in them, then two sidewards without ensuite and two with ensuite. The front two wards were full and the 1st two sidewards, each sideward flanking the open duty room.
It was a funny day to start with. I was asleep in my flat for my night shift for the week. It was about half past 2 pm, that I woke up with a bang in my room. I could not understand what was going on, as no windows were open - to close out the noise from outside. Half asleep, I looked around and tried to see what caused the noise. I found out soon enough. On the carpet on the right hand side of my bed end, lied a heart shaped little photo holder. I looked down at this thing and wondered how did it get to where it landed, as it was on my small portable tv in front of the bed. As I said, no wind blew and that thing had been standing there for ages. I looked down, and with a shock I realised the face in that photo was not the face of the person who was in that frame. It looked hideous. Like an evil grin. I got such a shock, and craweled right into bed again, eventually falling asleep.
When I came on duty, that night, I asked the sister in charge where Mr. So and So was. She said he passed away... I asked her what time. Lo and behold, it was the same time that frame flew off the tv in my room! I felt a bit creeped out. She looked at me and asked me if I was okay, so I told her what happened. She just gave a funny look at me and shrugged it off as co-incidence. I felt differently about it.
It was very later that night, after all the work was done for the night, that we settled down in the open duty room... There was a smaller room where the floor sister used to sit in the day time. The nurse sat behind the door as you came in from the duty room from the front part. Siter sat opposite her, and I sat with my back towards the other door leading to the back wards. From where I sat, I could see if someone was about to come into the ward.
I was busy with some stats for the night, writing down in the patients files when I did their wounds or changed their drips etc., while sister did the ward stats for the night. It must have been around midnight or just after, that something caught the corner of my eye. I saw that the night light about bed 3 was on, through the curtains of the closed door. I did not think anything of it. It was about 5 minute later, when I looked again, and it was off. I thought it was funny, but did not say anything. I realised the ward was empty, as all the patients were moved to the first two wards.
Eventually I finished my paperwork and looked up again and the light went on again. Now it freaked me out. I mentioned it to the other two and they were very curious what was going on in the ward. I was on high alert by now, as the light went off again. It could not have been a malfunction of the lights, as the whole side would have done that. We watched in anticipation to see when the light will go off again, and it did. Me, being religious, thought this was very uncanny. The sister and the nurse became scared and said I must go in there to do something, like a prayer or something. I refused, but when this light went on and off the most of the early morning hours, I decided to wake up a priest who was one of our patients in the 2nd side ward just next to me. He was half blind, but a gentle old soul. He told me not to be afraid and to go in there and just pray. As I went out of his room, I swear I could smell something like sulphur.
That light went on and off the whole night. At 5 am, we woke the patients for the medications and bedbaths, etc. We handed out the coffees and tea and after we all had our cup of coffee, I said I will be brave enough to go in there. As I came into the ward, I heard a swishing sound to my right and saw that the fan on the cupboard was blowing full force. I put it off... I went to that bed and started praying after I pulled open the curtains. I felt very funny. Then I went out and did the patients reports in my ward that was allocated to me and I was just busy with the last report, when I saw the day sister came on duty.
I waited for all of them to come on duty then I asked them about the ward. I immediately realised that the dead man was in that bed before they moved him out to the 4th sideward, right at the back... The only open one. The daystaff were astounded to hear what happened during the night. The one nurse said, after they have moved the patients, she was standing there looking out to the gate at the bottom - the ward was on 4th floor - because there was some drama with the security shouting, etc. She felt someone come to sit on the bed behind her, thinking it was one of the nurses, also wanting to see what was going on, and as she turned around, there was an imprint, but no one sitting on the bed. She also said she put the fan off herself before we came on duty! It was ward policy, when a ward is not in use, the lights in the ward and every other appliance, should be switched off. I told the day sister was it a co-incidence again? She started to smile and just shook her head. She could not believe what happened.
The next night, female ward was full and asked us to admit this patient of theirs. She will go to their ward as soon as a bed opens up. Our 3rd ward had men in it, so we could not place her in there. Sister and myself walked over to the 4th ward and it was opposite the 4th sideward. What did we find? The light in that sideward was burning, when it wasn't on before! I just told sister I will leave that light on and I am not going in there. We adimitted the female in the 4th ward that night, but we never touched that light in the 4th sideward and did not say a word about it to day staff when they came on duty the next morning.