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The Old Maternity Hospital

 

This particular account took place in the mid to late 1970's. I was still a relatively newlywed to my first husband, Bill. Bill worked on and off, but 'mostly' off. Therefore, I 'had' to work. I found employment as a Nurse Aide in a fairly large hospital (leaving out the name) in Willoughby, Ohio. I started there in 1974 and worked until 1977. We had moved from our first apartment (due to the fact that it was haunted) to a very nice apartment in Euclid. However, having moved further away made it harder to commute to my job. So, I had to secure new employment closer to our new residence making it easier to transit back and forth.

I found work in another hospital called Booth Memorial Hospital (it, no longer exists.) They didn't have any openings for nurse aides, but needed housekeepers. I figured, I'm not too proud. Work is work, and a paycheck is a paycheck. They hired me. I started there in the latter part of '77'.

Let me supply a little background on this hospital. It originally opened as a charity maternity hospital in 1902 and was expanded upon in 1904. They also opened a Home for Unwed Mothers in 1907 that was operated with the hospital. It was called Booth Hospital at first, and the unwed mothers home was separate and built slightly adjacent to it on the right side of it behind the hospital. The hospital's name officially changed in 1923 to Booth Memorial Hospital. It was named after William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, who operated the facility.

It was originally a small hospital having only 54 beds when first opened, but when I went to work there in 1977, it had 3 floors, and about 100 beds by then. Low-income families could, also, go there to have their babies, and they could temporarily house the husbands, and other children of the women patients thus allowing them to be close by.

The unwed mothers home had 3 floors. The girls living there were expected to do chores to earn their keep. They, also, were given education, and job-training in the event that they decided to keep their babies. For the most part though, back in the 1900's-1950's, unwed females were often viewed by the State as unfit mothers. Thus the children became wards of the state and were placed in foster homes, or adopted out to middle-income families that could afford to raise and educate them and the like. You have to understand that it was a much different time period and they frowned on unwed mothers back then. We scarcely raise an eyebrow about single parents nowadays, but back then it was a whole different mind-set.

I could tell that the building had a lot of history behind it by the architecture. I met, and made immediate friends with a woman I'll call Trish. She was a divorcee' with a young son. Her ex wasn't giving her any child-support, so she 'had' to work to make ends meet for her son, and herself. Back in the 70's the state didn't go after men to make support payments like they do now.

Trish and I often worked together on the same floors. We encountered many S.A. Personnel with their navy blue uniforms on. They had captains, sergeants, and corporals. Not unlike the military. They, mostly operated the home out back, but would come to the hospital to assist the nursing staff with the patients, or to work in the nurseries. They had 3 nurseries. One on each floor.

We had utility rooms to store our carts/supplies in on the first floor. There were about 4 utility rooms. One in each wing. We had additional storage for our supplies down in the basement.

Like I said, Trish and I connected, and got along right away. My first couple weeks there Trish would always insist on our going to the basement together, and not alone. I didn't really question her about that as I thought she was just being concerned about my getting lost down there. That was a definite possibility since it was a maze of hallways with a multitude of rooms on either side of the halls. Not to mention the shipping/receiving docks, boiler rooms, kitchen supply, housekeeping articles, and, yes, the morgue was located down there. We could access the basement via the elevator, or the stairwells.

However, I learned quickly where everything was located. One day I was headed toward the elevator to go down to fetch some supplies when Trish noticed me and asked me where I was going. I told her I was just going to the basement to get some things for the utility room. She told me that she'd come with me. I exclaimed that she needn't bother since I knew my way around down there, but she 'insisted'. About then she piqued my curiosity and I asked her why. She said she'd explain 'after' we got what we needed and came back up.

We got our supplies, and came back to the first floor, at which point I awaited her explanation. She invited me into the lounge because she said we could talk better in there. The lounge was empty. We seated ourselves on a couch by the window. She, then, let out a nervous sigh and told me that her 'reason' was because 'strange' things have happened to her when she went down there alone.

I must've read her mind because I said "You're going to tell me there's a ghost down there. Am I right?"

I was met with a stunned silence for a split second, and then she nodded her head. She told me not to think she was crazy, but something happened to her that frightened her to the point that she won't go there alone. I told her that I did not think she was crazy because I had my fair share of paranormal encounters myself. I asked her to tell me what happened.

Trish had already been there a couple years when I started. She said that shortly after she started working there, that she went to the basement to get supplies one day. She wasn't thinking of anything except getting what she needed and getting back to the floor to work. She had collected a bag-full of items, and turned around to head back towards the elevator when she 'saw' a young woman with blondish hair staring at her with a startled look on her face. She noticed that she could almost see 'through' the woman. Trish screamed and dropped her bag and ran full-steam ahead to the elevator. When she reached the first floor she grabbed a security guard and pleaded with him to escort her back to the basement. He could see that she was visibly shaken, so he didn't ask any questions. He just went with her downstairs to retrieve her bag of supplies and bring her back up. Trish said the guard must've thought she was either certifiable, or just an hysterical woman. She didn't care, but felt better when he went with her.

By this point Trish was wringing her hands nervously. I told her to calm down. I told her that she shouldn't so much fear the ghost as the living are much more of a problem. I was attempting to inject a little levity into the situation to get her to relax a bit. She wasn't amused. I explained that the woman was once a living, breathing person, and possibly her life was cut unexpectedly short by a medical mishap. After all, this 'is' a hospital and people do die here. Not very pleasant, but a fact. She, then, eased back onto the couch with an understanding grin on her face. She said that she still did not want to go down there alone, but wanted to know if we 'talked' to the ghost if it would help. My reply was that we'll find out the next time we head that way.

Of course, the situation arose when we needed more supplies again. We went 'together'. Trish wouldn't have had it any other way. I introduced ourselves to our unseen hostess and explained that we were not there to harm, or bother her, but we, merely needed some important items so we could do our work.

We began gathering some supplies when Trish sounded annoyed and announced that all the paper towels had been moved. They were always in a specific spot on a certain shelf, and now she couldn't find them. We conducted a search of every shelf and could not locate the much-needed paper towels. By then I was slightly exasperated. I wanted to know what idiot moved something that we go through so fast, and absolutely needed to find. After that statement, we both heard a muffled, but heavy thud on the floor several feet behind us. Trish let out a small shriek, and I admit that I gasped. However, when we looked behind us, there on the floor was a large banded together carton of paper towels. I uttered a special 'thank you' to our unseen benefactor for her kind assistance. I told her that we never would've seen them way up on the top of the shelves where they were had she not helped us. It may have been my imagination, but I almost thought I 'heard' a soft feminine voice respond saying 'you're welcome'. I'm not sure, but I thought I 'heard' it.

We complained to our supervisor when we got back to the floor. We told him that we would have to be 7 feet tall to see where those paper towels were moved to. We told him that we used a long broom to knock them down to retrieve them because we thought a ladder would be too shaky for either of us. He apologized, and promised to have them placed back where it would be convenient and safe for us to access them.

No way were we going to tell him that a ghost helped us to get them. Not too sure he'd buy 'that'.

Thanks for reading!

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Linjahaha, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Linjahaha (24 stories) (137 posts)
+4
6 months ago (2023-11-17)
Rajine, that's a huge possibility. After all, the unwed mothers' home was located in back of the hospital.
She kind of frightened Trish when she first saw her, & startled 'me' when she brought down the case of paper towels. I think she was trapped, or confused, & no doubt lonely wondering 'why' she was there. I didn't 'see' her, but I felt her there.
Once I explained to Trish the possible reason for the ghost's presence, she felt rather sorry for her, as did I.
At any rate it was an intelligent haunting. She 'knew' about 'us', & helped us with our search by finding, for us, exactly what we needed. Didn't seem to hear, or see her too much after that episode. Maybe we helped her to move on!

Thank you, & all the best!
😊 😊
Rajine (14 stories) (797 posts)
+4
6 months ago (2023-11-17)
Hi Linjahaha

Back then single mother's were heavily frowned upon, however even though now the world has progessed there's still groups of people all over that finds it disgraceful/amusing,

I feel that ghost could be a unwed mother from during that era.

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