I haven't posted anything in a while, but I had some time today so just thought I'd share some stories about the hospital where I work. First, just to give some history of the hospital, it was originally "built" in 1918 as a TB sanatorium. I say "built" because it started as a camp with tents that the TB patients lived in because the prevailing thought was the fresh air would combat the disease.
In 1926, the camp burned so construction began on an actual hospital building. Because of the large number of patients seeking treatment for TB, a second hospital was built (which is the one I now work in) in 1953. This was built across the street from the original building. Of course, with new TB treatments, hospitalization was no longer necessary by the mid to late 70's and by 1979, the hospital staff began focusing on other diseases such as black lung and diabetes and was also converted to a residential detoxification hospital for alcoholism. With the increasing changes in TB treatment requirements, many beds were empty and staff opened up their doors to accept patients with mental illness.
The hospital eventually expanded its treatment from just alcoholism and disease to a type of follow up program and for a time also operated as sort of a nursing home. The hospital later expanded this care to include a children's treatment unit in 1990 in order treat the emotional and behavioral issues in children. Then, in 1991, the doctor who I now work for bought the hospital and focused solely on psychiatric services and behavioral health services as well as detox and drug and alcohol treatment. The original hospital that was built in 1926 was later removed, I think due to disrepair and possibly fire, and the space was converted to a parking lot.
So, there's the somewhat long history of how the hospital started. And I know what everyone is thinking: psych hospital, hospital in general, of course it's haunted. I know those are just the stereotypes long-associated with mental health and mental health hospitals, but thankfully for us, the psych hospital wasn't really established until the early 90's so there was no room for the nasty experiments and horrible treatment of people who did have mental illness. Our ghosts are from the TB-era.
Anyway, these are just a few stories that I have experienced first hand and experienced by some of my coworkers who I work very closely with. I have been with the company for about 6 1/2 years, but worked at a different office in another city before transferring to the hospital about a year ago. I had of course heard the stories about how it is haunted, but I'm the type of person who doesn't want to just believe something just because I've been told something and I like to look for explanations. Sometimes there just aren't any, but that was my attitude for the most part, even once I transferred to the hospital.
It was last August/September and I was working as a floor tech on the adult unit. I had to check on all of our patients and fill out what we call a hall check every 15 minutes, just to make sure our patients are safe and are where they should be (in their rooms, the lounge, game room, etc.). So I'm sitting in the hallway, sort of taking a break. Our patients were in group at that time, with the exception of maybe one or two who were in their rooms. I was able to sit down for about 45 minutes just waiting for group to be over, but I could still see through the window into the lounge and keep an eye on who was in the group. I could also see all the way down the hallway and would know if anyone walked out of their room.
While I'm sitting there, I see out of the corner of my eye someone pacing back and forth at the far end of the hallway, right next to the fire door. I looked over really quickly and didn't see anyone, so I just blew it off as my eyes playing tricks on me. Well, as soon as I turned my head, out of the corner of my eye, I see this person pacing the floor again. This time, I'm thinking, what are they doing? They don't need to be messing around with the fire door, because we keep it locked for a good reason. If they mess with the door, there is the potential for the fire alarm to go off, if they're able to figure out how to unlock it, they could escape down the fire escape causing us to call a code and have to search the hospital for them... You get the idea. So I get up and head down the hallway just to check on the two who were in their rooms, just to be sure. When I stand up, I don't see anyone at the end of the hallway, but I'm going to check anyway. Besides, it's close to the 15-minute mark and I need to make sure everyone is ok anyway. I walk down the hall and knock on the two room doors where I know patients are in. They are laying on their beds, sleeping or just relaxing. I checked the fire door just on the off chance it could be unlocked. Locked tight, just the way it was when I checked it that morning. I looked in all the other rooms and bathrooms, just to be sure I hadn't missed someone. Nothing. I just shrugged my shoulders and went back to my post. If it was a ghost, I wasn't too worried about it. As long as he didn't bother me or my patients, I'm ok with him walking around.
I'll post some other stories later, because I know this is pretty long as it is. These are just more interesting to me than scary. And like I said, I'm ok with the possibility of sharing my space with ghosts. To my knowledge, they haven't bothered any of us, so we're all pretty cool with it.