Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why Don’t They Haunt Working Hospitals?

I worked in an ER for three years. Not one ghost. Oh, plenty of folks died (not at all a statement about ER’s but about the condition of folks arriving—I’ve seen them work a body for 35-45 minutes trying to revive—I love those guys, they’re heroes!). Still, not one supernatural event reported. Amongst the workers, nothing reported when asked. It didn’t feel particularly haunted either.

Why do you suppose that is?

Let’s look historically at death. Death used to occur when someone got an infection, had childbirth, caught the flu, or had their appendix burst. They died at home. They died with family around them saying a proper goodbye, but often times taking days and weeks to die in suffering. It was not a well-medicated death. Sometimes they died in battlefields or makeshift hospitals. That’s quite a different death with strangers around you and great pain and anguish and sometimes even posttraumatic stress, as well. Abandoned hospitals seem to be more haunted.

Why do you suppose that is?

Well, older hospitals had archaic ways of dealing with death from bleeding someone with leeches, lobotomizing, to anesthetizing with liquor. There weren’t a lot of ways to relieve pain or put someone in a haze or even a drug-induced coma to work on them. They had to buckle down and deal with it and the anguish associated by those witnessing it and those experiencing it. Talk about leaving an imprint.

Today’s hospitals provide enough painkillers and anesthesia to ward off the worst of the anguish and ways to help someone pass over that are humane and comforting.

My own mother died at home, the same house her mother died in, as she requested. She was placed on a pain pump that we were able to provide her medicine any time she showed signs of discomfort. I seriously doubt either she or grandmother haunt the house and there are no reports of activity.

What sort of death would leave an imprint or a haunting? Well, here’s a sad example. As a teen I once went drinking with some friends who lived in a fancy neighborhood on the mountainside. I wasn’t a drinker, so I got drunk fast after trying four different kinds of liquor. What does a 16-year-old girl do when she’s drunk? Well, this one decided to go streaking. I walked (I’m telling you, I strolled) through the entire neighborhood at night buck-naked. Yup. I admit it. Then my friend, who I convinced to go with me, yelled “There’s a car coming!” Headlights hit me and I dove to go under cover and rolled down a gravel front yard’s hill and into a cactus patch. Oh, not just any cactus patch, one with every kind of needle imaginable. From head to toe, even in my gums and fingernails—I was a fuzzy teddy bear. I stumbled to stand and told my friend, “I think I might be in trouble.” She looked at me and sobered up real quick. She took me home and my good friends spent the evening pulling spiny needles out of my butt so I could sit in a hot tub and soak the rest loose. (Those are real friends). I didn’t feel a thing.

Death is kind of like that. The body has a way of throwing in hormones (or the hospital provides drugs) that made it extremely humane. In these instances, I believe someone doesn’t necessarily linger. My father, when he died for four minutes and they brought him back with the paddles, told me that he was in a beautiful place with a lake and flowers that don’t exist and colors that don’t exist and his parents were there. He was quite pleased those last days in the hospital knowing where he was going.

The question then becomes, does our anesthetic death of modern day negate hauntings? When one of our modern hospitals closes down, will it be haunted like the old decrepit ones ghost hunters now investigate and find phenomenon? That’s a big question.

I suppose, only time will tell when it comes to modern facilities.


  1. That's a good question. There's so many questions in this field and we can only have theories. I wish we had the answers.
    I've had relatives run into people, spoke to them, then find out that they had been dead for a few months, days, weeks prior. Why does that happen? My mom and my sister have seen demonic looking entities, no interaction, they were just there and then they were gone. What's that about? I can go on about all the experience different family members have ahd and all we're left with are questions.

  2. Sorry for the troubles you underwent when your tried the alcohol cocktail.
    I do not have a good experience on ghost haunting apart from reading them in books, blog like yours or even watching on some TV Channels.
    When people they start saying.. I have seen... who passed away sometimes ago, most usually are referred to psychiatrist especially if it happen in several occassions!

  3. Sandra;
    Yeah, I've had some relatives who saw people after they were deceased. My mother saw a good family friend after he died but we didn't know he'd passed yet. She saw a version of him that was 3/4 his normal size and wearing a robe. Very strange, but then her vision of him was when she woke up from a nap--any time people see things around sleeptime, I usually dismiss it. But, the people who lived in our home did quite clearly see my father when they didn't know he was dead and described the clothing he wore in the casket. I suppose the bigger question is, are we seeing something actually or are our minds perhaps influenced by the right conditions to "see" (psychically) something that isn't there actually. I usually have my doubts when teams think they've made interactions with entities. I'm highly doubtful about it. It's kind of like an 8-ball. The answers always fit your questions and when you ask an entity a question, you can make the EVP fit. As far as the seeing of demonic like faces, I think it's hard-wired into our brains. I've had alien abduction dreams before and woke up seeing the gray face in front of me (screaming my head off, of course), some of those demonic faces in early art are probably a part of that primitive brain that still gets flashes of faces and images that confuse because they're not human. It might be some form of face recognition so we know our own kind. I don't personally believe in evil and demons and angels and noncorporeal beings and all that, so I'm probably not going to do like other investigators and classify entities and their supposed motivations.

    Yeah, if nothing unexplained has ever happened to you, it probably all does sound kind of weird. And, yeah, I never mixed my drinks after that night. Still have some scars to show for it. I went back to school the next Monday with slash marks over my entire body. There were a lot of rumors about what happened to me, but we all kept it hushed. I told my mom I was playing frisbee in a swimsuit and went to catch it and landed in the cactus. Mom was pretty gullible. She thought my first hickey was from a curling iron burn.

  4. Thanks for posting this. The mental image of a drunk & naked Autumnforest strolling down the avenue really helped brighten up my day. And if pulling needles from your tush for you is your definition of a friend, I'll happily volunteer!
    I did a brief stint as a security guard at a local hospital. It's divided into two sections, the "old hospital" and the "new hospital" (recent additions and renovations). The fourth floor of the old part was formerly the mental ward. The other guards told me that the ghost of a nurse haunts this floor. They said you can rearrange the furniture and when you come back later it will all be back in place. At this time, that part of the hospital was closed off and noone had access to it. (except other security guards who could easily sneak up there and move the furniture between rounds, so I never put much stock in the story.)
    Another guard said that one night he heard an ear-piercing scream from the fouth floor, but after searching and questioning, no one could determine where it came from.
    But I wonder if all the human activity going on in working hospitals 24/7 keeps any activity at bay. Maybe, as you suggest, once they're closed down, there may be evidence of spirits roaming the halls.

  5. Gummerfan;
    I doubt you could have stopped laughing long enough to pull needles out. The girls were hysterical the whole time. I literally looked like a teddy bear. I have a serious reverence for cacti now--and mixing booze. You're right about the activity keeping things at bay. If you think about haunted museums and theaters and libraries, they dont show much of anything to visitors and even ghost hunters go at night and it's still hard to stir up much action. In fact, when I heard "Ghost Hunters" is going to a museum or a theater, I usually don't even bother to watch. I think that all living things have a lot of energy (aura, chi, whatever) and we can actually be a source of annoyance to the other side as much as their presence can give us the chills. In a very lonely abandoned place, however, we might actually be a beacon.

  6. That reminds me of a few incidents in my early drinking years Autumnforest:) altho I never streaked but the things I pulled were bad enough! That is a great question about the modern hospitals-and I agree with your thoughts-I have rarely and I mean rarely heard about a haunting at a modern hospital-the closest I have come is folks having NDEs in them-but of course that is a different-yet interesting topic-really appreciate all the hard work on your blog-and I hope you have a beautiful weekend!!

  7. Devin;
    Thanks. You know, I have to admit, getting my thoughts written down and typing over 100 wpm makes writing a blog extremely fun and easy. It's the readers who make it really great. You guys get me off on tangents and then I'm writing something I hadn't thought of before because of something you said. You keep me on my toes. You have a great weekend too. I'm hibernating since it's hitting 113! I've got my craft supplies and am carving and painting up ancient-looking headstones for my Halloween party. Since I'll be housebound, I figured I'd get something done. And I do so love making headstones with fake moss and lichens.

  8. The demonic looking entity my mom saw was when she was in her early twenties. She was outside in her neighborhood walking to a neighbor's house and was wide awake. It was night time. She was walking and she felt (not heard) something tell her turn around. She said she felt the hair stand up on her neck. When she turned around she saw this thing. It was very tall and very very skinny and had a face like nothing she had seen before. There's was construction going on and there were big dug out holes in the area and my mom says she saw this thing cross over one of the very large holes with one step. Which would not have been humanly possible. She ran to her neighbor's house where her mom was and her mom convinced her that it was late and that it was just her nerves and convinced her that it was probably her mind playing tricks. Years later my grandmother finally told her that what she saw that night was real. That other people in the neighborhood had also seen it on different occasions.
    My mom is not some crazy person and she is quite level headed.
    On other note, I mentioned that I've had relatives who have spoken to people that had already passed prior. These encounters took place in broad daylight, at the bank, on the street downtown, at a bus stop. And they too all said they had a different appearance somehow. One person looked shabby like she was down on her luck, the others looked solemn and didn't speak much.
    I do believe in demonic entities, because several relatives have seen them and I have no reason whatsoever not to believe them.
    And as my mom says, "I know I'm not crazy, because everything I've seen, other people have seen as well on different occasions. So I've never been the only one to experience these things"
    The one my sister saw was early in the morning and the area at that time of the morning was not very busy, she was alone at the bus stop waiting for the bus. In the distance down the street, she noticed a person riding a bike toward her. Of course she didn't think anything weird about that. But when the bike rider rode passed her she saw that it wasn't a person, but some demonic creature. She freaked out so badly, she became very ill afterward.
    Autumn, do you have any ideas?

  9. Sandra;
    Although I admit I have no belief in evil or demons and such, I do believe that when a family line sees these things we might be talking about psychic abilities, sensitivities. That's something that can be passed on. Whether we're talking about the ability to see things that are there but we normally have not ability to see (other dimensions, other life forms, other time periods, other civilizations elsewhere) is hard to determine. Of course, ghost hunting theories are just that--theories. Should demons be amongst us, we'd all be screwed. It's really a religious notion taught to us to keep us in line, and a concept man invented. But, had
    a person never seen a possum and then saw one, it could be a demon to them, as well. It's our explanation for things we don't understand. But, I do think it's entirely possible for people to either see the intent of a person (their true insides) or be able to pick up on perhaps other time periods/other life forms/other dimensions for a fraction of a second. The construction site intrigues me because most often when you stir up the ground, you get shadowpeople and other strange phenomenon. I wonder if somehow that's tied to releasing things. When I see a family experiencing many of these things, I find that it's most often an inherited talent. Some wouldn't call it a talent, but one thing I feel very firmly about is that nothing they see could possibly hurt them, but they could hurt themselves in their rush of fear and hysteria that often accompanies seeing such things. As humans it's in our nature to believe that if we think it, it's reality. Not so. You can imagine picking a lemon, feeling the waxy outside and the bumpiness, smelling the clean scent, and then biting into the flesh and your mouth waters. You didn't actually eat a lemon, but your mind believes the input and starts to make the body react. Sometimes we see or hear things and the body takes that as proof of threat and pumps adrenalin. That's why as a ghost hunter, it's important for me to stop and say "there must be an explanation" and debunk first. This is much harder for people who truly think everything is a ghost. They can't calm themselves to do it, and often times more religious people have a hard time with it too because everything they can't explain is evil. I myself have seen alien faces -- big gray heads, large dark eyes, many times in dream state and then again when I was hypnotized once. Had I been a fearful person,I might have believed I'd been abducted and steeped myself in the alien mythos, but my logical mind tells me that it was a glimpse of something and not part of my daily life or my regular existence, just a chance passing of information for a few moments. If any of this could hurt us, many people would be abducted, missing, and injured, but they're not. We live in the "real" world of getting up and going to work and feeding the kids and such. That world is not part of ours. We are not part of its. But, upon occasion we might glimpse each other and more likely than not if these creatures exist, they're just as frightened by what they saw when they gazed upon us. I liken it to going into a haunted house on Halloween. You know the attendants can't hurt you, so you can be scared but safe. That's what seeing these things is like, scary but you're still in this world and safe. I don't know if that helps any, but it's probably the best explanation I can give as far as my own knowledge, experience, and point of view.

  10. what about the thing my mom saw. It was not a one time occurrence that just happened to her. Other people in the neighborhood saw the same exact thing on several occassions. Wouldn't that mean that something actually did exist there.
    I understand what you're saying about the mind thinking something and your mind/body feeling the results. But in my mom's and sister's case they weren't thinking about anything spooky and just happened to witness these things. And they were both solid entities, not transparent or smokey or "ghostly"
    It just makes my mind crazy trying to understand what these things are and how they occur.

  11. Sandra;
    This is where ghost hunting investigations can get difficult. Unless someone actually interviewed all the others for the exact details of what they saw, they might be seeing many different things or even jumping on the bandwagon. I run into this in investigations of homes where the children mimic what the parents said, even using the same words. The disturbed earth in the area makes me think it could have be a shadowperson phenomenon, but it's not something you can verify this late from the event. The really difficult thing that I find as I'm researching haunted places is that few people get solid evidence and it becomes hearsay and that's impossible to validate or use as proof, but it can show trends. If others saw something similar, then what's occurring could be what I'd describe as something interdimensional perhaps having found an entry in and out of its world. These events are time-limited and don't last for more than a few months maximums usually, although one event in Skinwalker Ranch in Utah supposedly lasted longer. That's the best description I can give for such an event. These things are extremely rare and often occur in mining areas and other places where ground is greatly disturbed. The events are usually short-lived. Maybe I'm not being specific enough about your mother saw, but I believe that she has the ability to see things others can't see, just like other psychics hear things or feel things or know things. It doesn't mean what she's seeing isn't real, but it also can mean that what she's seeing isn't physically there but perhaps a land memory or a portal, a premonition or another dimension or as I mentioned before, she could be seeing someone's true character in their face. Should there be something (evil/demon) with complete access to our world at will, we'd all be in grave trouble, but that's not the case. The fleeting moments of glimpsing something can be caused by many things but more often then not are psychics who haven't defined their skills yet. If a person is an auditory psychic and hears a voice, it can be quite startling and lead them to believe they're losing their mind. If they stop and listen to what they just heard, they learn that it's not a command or suggestion and so they realize maybe it's not mental illness but perhaps that they picked up on something at the right "frequency." But, whether that word was actually spoken to them directly or had been spoken in that place long ago and they picked it up--that's the great debate in ghost hunting. I have no doubt your mother has an ability to see such things, but until she reviews her past sightings, she won't know if she's discerning someone's true character when she sees these faces or if she's seeing something otherworldly. That none of it has done her any harm is another thing to take notice of. I know from having psychic abilities that it's really important that I use logic constantly to monitor the information. She would need to ask herself exactly what she saw, what context she saw it in, whether it actually did her harm, how long it lasted, and those other questions. It would relieve her anxiety, as well as help her understand how to use this ability. If you're looking for a final answer on the phenomenon, you won't be getting it any time soon. This is what I go through with ghost hunting. I can't get final answers. But, I can use my logic to ask myself what correlations it has (such as in my research). Once she stops and asks herself more questions about her experience, she won't come to any conclusions that "fit" for her. That it happens rarely should be a comfort to her and knowing that it doesn't harm her to see such things should comfort her too. I have airline disaster dreams regularly and I've learned in the dreams to know that I'm only a witness and won't be hurt. That kind of lucidity is important. Hope that helps.

  12. Thanks Autumn, these are new things to consider. I will talk to her, we haven't talked about these things in a while.