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The Old Maternity Hospital Part 2


This is a continuation of my last post regarding a very old maternity hospital, built in 1902, and was operated by the Salvation Army named after their founder, William Booth. The hospital operated until it closed in 1991. I worked there as a housekeeper in 1977.

They, apparently, had a female ghost that resided in the basement of the facility. A fellow employee, Trish, is the one who told me about it.

We had a brief encounter in the basement while trying to find some paper towels to stock the utility room upstairs. The ghost brought a case of them down off a shelf that was so high up that neither of us could even see them. Therefore, this woman ghost 'helped' us locate exactly what we were trying to find. We thanked her. After that episode we didn't seem to hear, or see her again. Possibly she finally moved on.

Kitty corner behind the hospital was the unwed mothers home that housed the girls/women until they had their babies. The home was primarily where the S.A. Personnel worked. They ran the offices, made the meals, taught school courses, and did job-training for the girls.

I used to go outside sometimes for my lunch break and walk around to unwind before going back on duty. On some of those occasions I would be looking at the home. I would notice an older woman come out of the side onto the concrete stairwell outside of the building. She would then descend the steps and go over to little brick out building that housed old furniture, and what have you. She wore the traditional navy blue uniform with a blue cap on her head that the S.A. Personnel wore.

I never gave any thought to it. I knew that the salvation army personnel operated and worked over there. So no big deal. I 'thought' it was no big deal. She looked rather matronly with her graying hair pinned back. She always seemed focused on doing a specific task. She didn't even notice me standing in front of the building, and I saw no reason to disturb her from whatever she had to do.

Trish and I were on the hospital's second floor cleaning one time. A couple S.A. Captains came walking through chatting with the nurses, asking about how many beds were occupied. How the nurseries were doing. If there was anything they were needing that they could order for the stations. That kind of thing. After talking to them they gravitated over to Trish, and me. They were very polite. They asked us how we were doing? Did we like working there? Pretty much just casual small talk after which they departed to go to another area in the facility.

We still had more work to do though. We entered the nurses lounge to begin cleaning in there. Trish did the waste baskets while I cleaned the restroom, and we both began dusting the lockers and mopping the floors.

We were having a conversation about the facility, and the other floor we had left to clean. I wondered why we never had to go to the home in back of the hospital to clean over there. Trish told me that the girls/women that reside there are responsible for doing that, so we were not required over there.

Neither Trish nor I had ever been 'in' the home, but we wondered about it in our conversation. I told her about the uniformed lady that I kept seeing over there. About that time one of the nurses came in to retrieve an item from her locker. She overheard me describing the lady I kept seeing. She got a funny expression on her face, and went over to the door and closed it. She, then, introduced herself to Trish and I. She inquired about the lady I was talking about. I told her what I'd noticed frequently about the woman. How she comes out of the building down outside step, and goes into the little brick out building. I described her to this nurse who began getting a little pale.

She told me that 'she' had seen this woman periodically. So what was the big deal? The following is the conversation relating to this woman that we saw. This is where it got interesting and a little bit scary.

Nurse: Did you ever notice the 'side door' of the home open, or close when that woman walked out?

Me: Uhhhhhhhh! Now that you mention it. I don't think I have.

Nurse: Did you ever 'see' her walk through a door on the side of the out building she went into.

Me: Ummmmmmmmm! I don't recall seeing her open a door to go inside.

Nurse: It took me a while before I noticed those seemingly innocuous little details, but once I took note of 'what' I was 'seeing' it dawned om me that I was seeing something far from normal.

She told us that she was embarrassed to discuss it with her co-workers so she did some research on her own. She knew a nurse that regularly worked over in the home. She asked questions, but was trying not to sound ridiculous. Apparently, the nurse that worked over there figured out what the questions were leading to. This other nurse confided in her that she was seeing Sister Doris. Suddenly the inquisitive nurse felt a bit sheepish. So, she was seeing a lady that works there. The reply she received just about floored her. The other nurse told her that Sister Doris had passed on over 50 years ago. Her picture was on the hall wall inside as one of the 'dedicated salvation army personnel that devoted her life to the well-being of those who enter here.'

In other words. She was really seeing the ghost of Sister Doris, and so was I. She told her that sister Doris was a Saintly, and kind woman.

She never bothers, or hurts anyone. In fact, they were very fond of Sister Doris. Say what?

I could scarcely believe what I was hearing. That they didn't mind sharing the home with a ghost. According to the nurse we were talking to, she said the unwed home nurse told her that sister Doris is extremely helpful over there. Sometimes, she straightens out the beds for the girls/women, or they'd get done doing laundry and leave to gather more only to come back and see sheets, towels, and what have you neatly folded. Some of the girls were even comforted by sister Doris a few times not realizing she was non-corporeal. Of course, the people working over there weren't about to 'tell' them. Sister Doris would go outside to bring in extra supplies that were needed inside the home. The little brick out building was once where the supplies were stored. Sister Doris often volunteered to go out there to bring in whatever was needed quite often. She was the type of woman that always went above and beyond in everything she did. What a lady.

When the nurse got done telling us this all I could say was

"Apparently, the good Sister Doris wished to remain in her capacity as a care-giver, and comforter." She wanted to continue serving a needful purpose even in the afterlife. They agreed with that scenario. I commented how very solid and real she appeared. I admit that was 'my' first experience seeing a solid looking, full-bodied apparition.

I worked there for 2 years and saw Sister Doris sporadically until I secured a better job elsewhere, but I wasn't alarmed at seeing her anymore. She was a fine lady.

I never confided those incidents to Bill. He was the type that wouldn't really believe it unless he 'saw' it with his own eyes. Even then, he would be a bit of a sceptic. I maintain a practical sense of rationale in regard to what I have encountered. I will evaluate all the logical possibilities before I concede that something is truly paranormal. Once you eliminate the logical, then what remains is beyond logic and should just be accepted as such. There is an unseen world around us if we only acknowledge it. Something to think about. That concludes this account. Thanks for reading!

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by 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) (126 posts)
5 months ago (2023-11-17)
Lost V., & Rajine, I always appreciate your comments, & do agree.
This haunting wasn't a problematical one. It just startled us a bit until we realized 'what' was taking place.
As for sister Doris looking so real & solid. Well, there could be 2 possible explanations for that. 1: her personal will & determination to continue serving others, or 2: coupled 'with' the personal will she was able to manifest enough ectoplasm to appear solid, instead of ethereal.
As you know, ectoplasm is the solid manifestation of the spirit form. Like I mentioned, these are 'possible' explanations. They aren't written in stone. In the field of parapsychology we can only come up with 'possible' explanations to a degree.
I'm glad that you enjoyed the account, & Thank you both!

All the Very Best! 😁 😁
Rajine (14 stories) (771 posts)
5 months ago (2023-11-17)
I do believe that there's a supernatural world out there that we barely know anything about, Sister Doris seems like she was a very dedicated and helpful person, so much so, that she couldn't move on it seems.
The_Lost_Voyage_11 (7 stories) (238 posts)
5 months ago (2023-11-17)
Hello Linjahaha, what a fascinating story! I will comment on both parts of your story here, since it's easier. It was so nice to see that from a few of your more harrowing experiences you encountered ghosts who were of a more friendly and helpful nature. I always enjoy these kinds of stories.

The first ghost from the basement sounds like she was just as surprised to see Trish, as Trish was to see her, although I'm sure she doesn't think so, I would almost find it comedic! Her helping you out with the hidden paper towels verifies that she's aware of her surroundings and able to interact!

I also know what is meant by those kinds of basements, my fist job was at a hospital and the huge basement was like another country, mainly used for storage. It could be accessed by the stairs and was part of the original hospital. It could also be accessed by an old elevator, the kind that had the brass gates you slid across with the old window that allowed you to see the floors as they passed. We rarely had to go down there, and though I never saw anything, I sure sensed it, it was not a comfortable place to be in! The elevator was hard to resist though!

It was also interesting, that you saw this Sister Doris, in broad daylight and she looked solid! It brings to mind the question of if it's easier for helpful, friendly ghosts to manifest than those of the more negative variety? Perhaps it has more to do with their intention? This story also reminds me of something I've pondered many times myself, how many of us have encountered ghosts in the fashion you have, even on busy streets or crowded stores and not even realized what we were really seeing? Sister Doris also seems to be somewhat aware of her surroundings, she knows where help is needed, but I get the feeling she's more focused on her 'tasks' so she's not fully aware and present if you get my meaning.

In either case, an enjoyable read, thanks for sharing!

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