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Conservatism is Stagnation and Regression

Jane Brogan

Jane Brogan
suburban Philly, Pennsylvania,
December 31
I am a wife, mother of 3, RN, and all for truth, not sound bites. I have Lupus, and several other autoimmune diseases and a stroke survivor. I am a very cheerful, optimistic and happy person, and always try to look for the best in the world! Also, I am an unapologetic liberal. Progressive ideas are what made this country and what continue to move it forward, without progress, we wither on the vine!


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OCTOBER 28, 2010 7:54PM


Rate: 25 Flag

 anna jeanes


As a nurse working the 7pm to 7am shift, there are many stories to be told of the strange happenings that occurred.  You have to deal with life, as well as death-it is part of the equation.   I worked at a hospital where original parts of a home were still utilized for the hospital building. There were several outbuildings, all connected to the main building by a tunnel. Rumors were that the tunnel had been used in the days of the Underground Railroad, as the hospital was founded by a Quaker.

I was a fearless night shift nurse, never worrying about traveling in the hallways and down dark corridors to go to the cafeteria. I became accustomed to not so bright light, especially in patients’ rooms-so as to not disturb their much-needed sleep(unless it was necessary). On one particular busy night on the med surg floor a patient expired.  There is a procedure to follow when someone dies- that is you have to place the deceased's body in a shroud. Then the body has to be taken to the morgue. There were no transport people on that late Saturday night, so we had to take the body to the morgue ourselves. We had been in an original part of the building, which was connected to the rest of the hospital by several ramps. So my colleague and myself were wheeling the deceased into the elevator. No problem with that. Then we hit the first of three ramps. The deceased was very tall so his feet were already hanging over the bottom of the gurney. We attempted to get him down the one ramp to the other elevator which would take us to the morgue. The body almost fell off of the gurney as we went down the ramp. We managed to stop it, but not without an uncontrollable fit of laughter that comes with a highly bizarre situation. It helps to have gallows humor when you are in the medical field! We succeeded in getting the body to the morgue, but there was no room for the body. We had to move the bodies already there around so we could place the newest occupant in the morgue. On our way back to the floor a code was called-on our floor. We rushed up and unfortunately the patient did not make it. Please do not think there is a lack of respect for the dead, I know I always treated my patients as I would my own family-with dignity and respect. But our first thought was -where can we put the body? We did manage to fit the deceased into the morgue, with some more maneuvering!

The creepiest event happened the following Friday night. It was 2AM, and I needed caffeine. I was never a coffee drinker, so Coca-Cola it was. I made a trip to the vending machine-from the third floor down to the ground floor. You also had to go past the tunnel entrance to get to the cafeteria. It wasn’t so bad during the day, but at nighttime it was downright eerie! Next to the tunnel entrance was a rarely used elevator-it was the only elevator to the maternity floor, so only maternity patients and their families used it. I was heading to the cafeteria when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman dressed in head to toe black. She was maybe 20 feet away-in the tunnel. I thought nothing of it. Went to the vending machine and was heading back past the tunnel again. I didn’t see the woman in black. I thought maybe she was a family member of a maternity patient and was on the elevator, but the elevator was still on the ground floor-it hadn’t moved. I started walking faster to get around the corner to the elevators I needed to use to get back to the third floor. I felt cold and shivery and turned around and saw the woman dressed in black again. She was about 20 feet away from me again, but at the entrance of the tunnel. I got on my elevator and went back to my floor. I was visibly shaken. One of my coworkers asked what was wrong. I replied that I saw a woman in the tunnel, which at 3AM is very strange. I thought it was a family member of a patient. My coworker said no, it wasn’t a family member. She told me to follow her. I followed her down to the main entrance of the hospital, which I had never been in before. She showed me a portrait-it was the woman I had seen. It was the founder of the hospital.  She had died in 1907.  It was her home that was used for the original part of the hospital. She was wearing all black, common garb for Quakers at the turn of the twentieth century. Apparently, there have been many reported sightings of her in the area around the tunnel. I just happened to see her because of my need for caffeine! I never believed in ghosts before that! 

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How creepy. Did you ever see her again? You must have nerves of steel if you are still working there.
This was great.. I am loving all these stories..
Rated with hugs and more
No, I never saw her again, but mainly because I never went back to that area again! I do not work there still, but know some people who do, she still graces them with her presence on occasion! Thanks for your comments!
Thanks so much, Linda!
That's dang creepy! Both of my grandmothers worked at Chatahoochee mental hospital and the would never talk about it....other than some veiled comments about weird happenings.
Bellweather, I can only imagine how it was working at a mental hospital years ago! Thanks for your comments!
Wow! Great story. Rated.
- a fellow RN, Teresa
Teresa PhD, I always say nurses have the best stories-thanks for your comments!

Snarky, I still get goose bumps just thinking about this! Thanks for your comments!
The picture was enough for me to go EEK!!! **Runs off into the darkness** :D

I do believe in ghosts...I do believe in ghosts...I...think I'll pray for a bit...
morgue body shifting sounds hysterically funny. giggling fits. bring cokes from home straight to the upstairs fridge, eh?
Tink, I thought the picture wasn't so bad, but having just seen her in the flesh-oops I mean ectoplasm, I was very scared. Thanks for commenting!

C Berg, yes I felt the same way-me the great nonbeliever in the unexplainable! Thanks!

dianaani, after that there were no more late night trips to the vending machine-I was no longer fearless! Thanks for your comments!
Whoa. I don't think I would have ever gone back for a Coke. Great story.~r
A great scary story! So many ghosts--apparently the founder is still watching over her institution.
Joan, after that I never did venture around to the ground floor during the night! Thanks!

sophieh, the building where this took place had been part of her home, so I guess she was just hanging around to keep a eye on things, like you said! Thanks for your comments!
Scary. Well told, chills here.
This really gave me the shivers. Congrats on a well deserved EP.
Sarah, thanks! I kind of thought it ironic how I never thought twice about traversing the halls in the dark until this happened!
At least she seems to be a friendly ghost...
bluesurly, I admit I was too chicken to find out! Thanks for your comment!
I love it! Keep 'em coming...

Alan, thanks so much! I was such a skeptic until this happened to me-the very practical, level headed person!
Oh, Nurse Ratched,
Here's some gallows humor for you~~~

XJS ANMD ME-that was hilarious! God forbid I ever acted like Nurse Ratched! Thanks!
I could quality as Ratched's favorite patient.lol
Gulp! Well, she has a kindly looking face, anyway. Great story!
Wow, what a story! Obviously, there's more going on than we know about on this earthly plane!
Sweet Universe.... you scared the crap out of me... I don´t know if I can take this kind of experience.......ghosts.... creepy
Great post
Sweet Universe.... you scared the crap out of me... I don´t know if I can take this kind of experience.......ghosts.... creepy
Great post
I would have been more creeped out if the dead patient with the feet hanging over the gurney had suddenly sat up.
Matt, I wasn't thinking she looked too kindly that night! Thanks for your comments!

Amy, I would have never believed this until it happened to me! Thanks!

Mauricio, I always was just shocked that this happened. I am the great doubter, but when this happened, I became a believer!

cartouche, the odd humor of that patient on the gurney kind of sums up many nurses' experiences. Many of us see more death than we would care to, so I wasn't creeped out by that-but if he had sat up, I am not sure I could have recovered from that! Thanks for your comments!
Well told. Gave me a shiver. Is the woman in the picture the woman you saw? If so, it makes it all the more creepy.
The picture is creeeeeeepy. The story just makes it worse!!!
"It helps to have gallows humor when you are in the medical field!" I guess. And I might add -- fierce courage to walk those halls!

I', sorry I didn't get to this earlier. This well-written tale scared the be-jeezus out of me. I actually considered stopping reading but it was too good to put down.
Lisa, yes that is the woman who founded the hospital! I get goose bumps every time I think about this! Thanks!

nolalibrarian, yes, I am creeped out by the picture, too! Thanks for your comments!

Scarlett, thanks for commenting! This is so ironic for me, the great non-believer of ghosts before this happened to me!
I have never seen a ghost, but I have heard one sing. I wonder what causes these apparitions and sonitions(sp).
geezerchick, I think I might have been more frightened hearing one rather than seeing one! Thanks for your comments!
Closing comments for the night because I have already deleted 20 of mary lin and co. comments! Will open comments back up tomorrow!