Hospital Horror Stories: 30 Workers Share Their Creepiest Real-Life Tales


“I used to do home care for an elderly lady with learning disabilities and no eyes (they were removed due to a congenital condition). She was lovely but prone to wandering around her flat at night in total silence, which led to several horrifying situations where I left my room at 2am only to encounter her standing silent in the hallway, turning her eyeless face towards me.”



“Worked security through college at a local hospital. The only ‘creepy’ thing I remember is when a dead man moaned. One of my duties was to help wheel patients who had expired down to the in-house morgue. Once we were wheeling an older man from the ER down and halfway down the hallway he let out this low moan. I started to panic, thinking that he was coming back to life but the RN explained to me (newbie) that sometimes the air in the lungs doesn’t come out until sometime later or is delayed for a bit.”



“I used to work in St Barts hospital in London, which in parts is over 1,000 years old. One of the buildings had 2 floors (with massively high ceilings), and so the floors were taken out and rearranged to make into 5 floors. The nurses working night shift would often tell us of the ghost of a night nurse who wandered silently doing her ’rounds’ at night—but due to the new floors, only her head would be visible drifting down the ward.”


4. I saw how eyes change at the moment of death

“I have quite a few stories, most of them are hilarious and then there are those you never want to think about. What fucked me up the most was when I saw how eyes change at the moment of death. Imagine you are looking at clear water but that clear water changes to foggy in an instant. In my 8 years here I’ve only seen this once, and I’ve personally saw well over 250 dead or dying people.”



“One of my more creepy experiences was when I had a lady in my hall that was actively dying. I found that a lot of time when the dementia folks are in the process of actively dying, they babble. It’s weird at first but you get used to it. This lady didn’t babble, she was completely silent and still and it creeped me the fuck out. Other than that, I went along with my usual system of checking on her every half hour to make sure she was clean and somewhat comfortable.

On my last check of her before leaving for the night, I had just cleaned her up and I had my back turned as I was emptying up her garage when a hand reached out and grabbed my wrist. I turned around to see this tiny old lady sitting straight up on bed, staring at me, with a death grip on my wrist. She didn’t say a word and just laid back down and went to sleep.”


6. she started bleeding out of every orifice—eyes, nose, mouth, and ears

“One of the aides I work with said she was doing postmortem care on a patient who had been on many, many anticoagulants before death. She said when they turned her on her side she started bleeding out of every orifice—eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. She said her and the nurse when home and had nightmares for a week.”



“I work as an ICU nurse. A mid-20s female came in with some serious cardiac abnormalities and then went into respiratory distress. Never had any medical history at all. We had to put her on the ventilator, but she was on just enough sedation to keep her lucid. She could nod/shake her head yes & no appropriately to questions. One night, the patient in the room next to hers died, but the body was still in the room about to be taken to the morgue. The female patient’s door was closed with curtains drawn, so she couldn’t have seen what was going on next door. When I went in to check on her, she had a look of sheer panic on her face, trembling. I asked her a series of questions to see if she was cold/hot/in pain/etc. and she denied all. I asked her if she saw something—she started to aggressively nod her head YES. She wasn’t on any drugs that would make her hallucinate. I went on to get details on what this thing looked like. After playing 20 questions I got this: a man, pale white, left arm missing, heavy, bald, standing still, behind me. This was the man who had just died next door. I spent the rest of the night consoling her.”



“CNA in a nursing home. I swear I heard a walker going down the hallway for a full few minutes. Hallways were empty, no doors opened or closed and we did rounds 15 minutes after hearing that and every single person was in bed.”



“I used to work as an STNA in a nursing home. Worked third shift throughout university. During the night we turned half the lights off so it was darker for the evening and didn’t get a lot of light in the residents’ rooms. We had one resident who was younger (70s) and was mostly in for mental reasons. She had long, dark hair and was very thin.

I was sitting at the nurse’s station at the top of the hall and heard a call light go off. I stood up, looked down the dark hall, and on all fours—straight out of The Ring—this resident was crawling up the hall toward me. The other STNA had forgotten to put the bed rail up and the resident was VERY good at climbing out of bed.

Needless to say, I needed some new britches and my heart was racing a mile a minute.”



“I work in palliative. Most deaths I’ve seen have been more or less peaceful, though the ones that are not stick with you. One guy was silently screaming through his last few hours of life. Another guy (who up until this point had been unresponsive) reached up and grabbed me when we attempted to lower his bed to turn him.

One time while doing post-mortem care I walked into the room and thought ‘that’s weird, how come nobody has closed his eyes yet?’ He had that movie-perfect dead look, with pale blue staring eyes and slack jaw and greyish, waxy skin. I closed his eyes and started the care, and when I looked again those eyes, still staring at me, were slowly opening, one slightly slower than the other. He groaned when we turned him to wash his back and his hand managed to clamp onto the bed rail and we had to pry it off. When we finally got him onto his back again, there was a foul-smelling, oily black, viscous liquid on the pillowcase. I cleaned his mouth again thinking it must have come from there, but his mouth and nose were clean. The best I could figure the stuff had come from his eye. I couldn’t wait to get that bag zipped up.”


11. monsters whispered to him and told him to hurt people and do awful things.

“I was still a nursing student at the time, but this was from when I had my psychiatric clinical placement in my 3rd year.

I was assigned to a young male patient with schizophrenia. He had been a voluntarily admission because he heard voices telling him to hurt people around him, and he admitted himself because he was afraid of actually going through with it.

Anyway, I went into the room alone, as usual, and did the usual introduction and asking how he was doing. He was at a desk drawing creepy, hideous monsters—each monster had its own page, and there had to be at least half a dozen of these pages scattered around him. I asked him what they were. He answered that those were the monsters he saw. They were the monsters that whispered to him and told him to hurt people and do awful things. Guarded, I asked him, ‘Are they telling you to hurt me?’

He answered, ‘Yes.’

I didn’t stay very long in that room.”



“I got the opportunity to shadow nurses and surgeons for two of my class periods in high school. I never really experienced being in the ICU before. What was creepy for me was seeing how many unconscious people were fighting for their lives. I followed a nurse to a major heart attack patient. This guy was put under an induced coma but his eyes stayed open. The nurse had me help put gel over his eyes. It’s been three years and I still have his ‘dead’ gaze stuck in my head. I also had to help reposition the guy and it was like trying to move an extremely stiff mannequin. Seeing a human in a not-so-human state is extremely uncomfortable and creepy.”



“Patient comes up to the unit from the ED. ED nurse warns me this is a bad elder abuse case and the local PD is involved as well as adult protective services. She was found on a mattress covered in urine and stool. The poor woman was horribly demented and her arms and legs were contracted in the fetal position. Her eyes were bloodshot and she was covered in wounds and open sores. Even though she couldn’t move those bloodshot eyes would follow me while I was in her room. She kept trying to talk but her mouth was swollen and full of sores. She ended up dying shortly after we changed her code status. Her eyes were open and looking through the doorway when I walked in after the monitor showed asystole. I will never forget her face and those eyes will stay with me forever. Creepy as fuck.”



“I worked in a nursing home as an RNA. While I worked there 7 residents called me into their rooms to tell me thank you and goodbye on different nights over the 3 years I was there. All of them died during the night after they told me. They all knew, I don’t know how but there is no other way to explain it. One would be a coincidence, maybe even 2 but 7?”



“A 9-year-old girl came in once. Her parents had been finding her dolls hanging around the house with belts or strings tied around their necks. She went into a rage and held a knife to her own throat. They brought her to the hospital and during her psych evaluation she said she heard voices in her head telling her she was stupid and telling her to kill herself. She said she didn’t want to but she had to listen to the voices. I couldn’t sleep for weeks…”



“I’m a nurse in an emergency medical unit and when somebody comes in under section awaiting a mental health bed, if they have acute psychosis 99% of the time they talk about Jesus, 666 and the devil as if they are actually possessed.”



“4th year nursing student here. My story is more sad than creepy.

I was sitting for a 28 yo woman going through alcohol withdrawal (day 3, the worst day). Sitting is when you sit at the patient bedside because the patient is a danger to themselves/others. She was in full restraints (hands/feet bound to the bed) so she couldn’t physically hurt me, but she kept calling me an ugly ni***r and spitting all over the room. After awhile, she started hallucinating. She thought she was in the car and I was sitting in the front seat, her two kids in the back. She talked about her kids for a while and then started screaming and telling me to take the wheel. This scene went on for about 10 minutes of her explaining in vivid detail the car crash that had happened, and how she had killed her son. When the story was over, she kept crying and apologizing to me and asking me to pick up her son’s dead body and give it to her. She was given IV sedatives but when those wore off she had the same hallucination again. It replayed about 7-8 times over the duration of my 12-hour shift. It was extremely unsettling because after hearing the story a few times, I could tell that this was something that actually happened and that she was replaying the horrifying memory in her head over and over and over again in her delirious state. Poor woman must have suffered so much. I’m glad she finally checked into a rehab program to detox, but it’s sad to think of the long journey she has in front of her, living with the fact that she killed her 7-year old son.”



“I work at a nursing home. I’m not actively involved in the direct care of the residents, but I still interact with them on a daily basis.

There was one woman on my unit who had a son who visited her every day. She was on hospice, so he wanted to be around as much as possible for his mom. She passed away during one of the rare times he wasn’t in the building. We called him to let him know, and he got in his car immediately to come be there when the funeral home came.

The aides had finished preparing her body to be taken out, and we were all just waiting on the son to get there to call the funeral home. Her room was empty.

The moment he rounded the corner to the hallway her room was in, her call light went on. The nurse on duty and I looked at it, then at each other, as if confirming that we both saw it. As soon as he went into the room, it went off again.

That’s the strangest experience I’ve had so far.”


19. She sat up, hugged one of them, and said goodbye

“I worked for a rural hospital and we had a patient that came in with a heart attack. We worked on her fruitlessly for 30-40 mins. The doctor declared her dead and invited the family in. Her body laid in front of the grieving family for almost another half hour.

Her family members begged her to come back and say goodbye, she promptly obliged. She sat up, hugged one of them, and said goodbye. The entire staff rushed in and ran a full code for the second time. She was pulseless and cold when we started the first time, and worse when we ran the second. She never made it. But she was back to say goodbye. It was one of the most unsettling things I ever saw there.”


20. We helped heal someone that just basically murdered someone.

“Used to work on the burn unit and got a call saying we had to do the burn wound treatment on a guy who just doused his girlfriend in gasoline and lit her on fire. Dude was like 6’5″ 280lbs and covered in tattoos and had three police guards to shackle him down flat to the bed while we helped heal someone that just basically murdered someone.”



“One night my shift was almost over, and a patient in the next unit passed. That unit only had one aide, so I went over to help her. She’d been there for years, so we get to work without really talking (cleaning the body, removing tubes, changing soiled linens). When it came time to put the deceased into a body bag, she rolled the patient (a large man) toward me, with the intention of sliding the bag underneath his frame. However, she rolled him and a large groan escaped his lips, and we both jumped and nearly dropped him.

It was just air or gas escaping his lungs, but it sounded exactly like a moan someone makes in their sleep. We double checked for a pulse, found none, and by now he was mottling on his underside (a color change when blood pools beneath the skin due to lack of flow from a heartbeat) and hadn’t had vitals for a few hours, so we knew he was definitely dead. Still it creeped me the fuck out and gave me the heebie-jeebies.”


22. the picture on the wall lifted off the backing wire and fell to the floor

“We have a room on my floor that is known by staff to jokingly be haunted. I have had numerous patients in that room see things come from the ceiling and materialize in the room with them, sometimes our staff attributes these to the hallucinations but I was taking with a guy who was totally with it and he saw the same shit. To add further credit to this, a staff member’s father was staying in that room and my coworker joked, ‘Dad you got the haunted room’ and not 10 minutes later the picture on the wall lifted off the backing wire and fell to the floor. My personal experience in there is that the pulse oxygen monitor and EKG start reading when no one is hooked up in room. The room always gives me goose bumps.”



“I was an X-ray tech for years. At one point, I worked the night shift and I worked alone. One night I had to X-ray a homeless man who had hurt his shoulder or something. Anyway, I had rolled him into the room and parked him against the door opposite where the control panel was. I got some film and was walking back into the room towards the man and he looked at me and said, ‘It’s like watching an aquarium. You’re surrounded.’ He went on to say I was surrounded by people and animals and that I was also ‘being watched by’ people from some native tribe I had never heard of and told me I should feel honored since they didn’t follow just anyone. It was like 5am and this freaked me the fuck out. For the only time in my life I actually had that cold icy feeling going down my spine. I know he was probably suffering from some mental issue but isn’t that just the type of person who does this?

Weirdly, a year or so later when I was visiting San Francisco, I had a fortune teller stop me on the street and ask to do my reading. She said the same thing, that I was ‘surrounded.’”



“I had a 29-year-old woman come in for drug overdose and was on life support for few days while being brain dead during the same time. Mother eventually chose to withdraw care and the woman died in 30 minutes. The color of her skin had gone an extra tone of white that no movies can match. With her sunken eyes open.”


25. you can see a figure standing in the window, then vanisH

“Security here. In the cancer institute for one of my hospital plazas you can always feel someone watching you, or if you’re standing in the parking lot you can watch TVs go on and off, or if you’re extremely unlucky you can see a figure standing in the window, then vanish.”


26. I looked down…it was the same old lady I met in the corridor

“Fresh intern in a massive university hospital. As with a lot of hospitals in the UK half of it is space-aged while the other half hasn’t had a lick of paint since the 70s. A lot of the old section of the hospital has been out of use for years but late at night interns would navigate these closed wards and corridors for shortcuts when under pressure.

My cardiac arrest bleep (Yanks call this a code) went off about 3am. I was on the ground floor of the old section of the hospital and the call was to the far end of the top floor of the same section. I ran up 5 flights of stairs to bring me to the right floor but the wrong side. I had to pass through a massive abandoned ward that was completely pitch black to get to the ward I wanted. I sprinted down a long dark corridor, huffing and puffing I nearly smashed into an elderly lady. She grabbed my arm, I’ll never forget how ice cold her grip was—‘how do I get out?’ she said. I pointed toward where I had just come from and told her to get into the elevators. I continued my sprint.

I was the first doctor to make it to the bedside, a nurse was performing CPR and another was drawing up adrenaline. I went to the top of the bed to manage the airway. I looked down…it was the same old lady I met in the corridor.”



“Maybe more disturbing than creepy, but…I get called into work late one night. I am an RN working in surgery, and late-night calls are always a roll of the dice as to what you might get. The hospital operator calling had very little detail as to what we were coming in for, just the surgeon and patient name. I get there and the doctor had booked a transmetatarsal amputation on a diabetic patient, which is not unusual. When I go to talk to the patient, it turns out that due to his diabetic neuropathy, and therefore lack of sensation in his feet, he had a sore on his toes that had gone untreated (again, not unusual).

Well, in this case, he had awoken to crunching noises in the middle of the night…he wakes up and turns on the light to find that underneath the covers, his beloved chihuahua had eaten all 4 of his smaller toes and was working on the great toe. The wound was a pretty ghastly site, and the site of those tiny teeth marks is something I’ll never forget.”



“• Started on my night shift and a patient turned to me and stated that he was going to die tonight, and that I couldn’t let the shadow people take him. He ended up dying that night with the light on, and you could see shadows dancing around his bed, when no one else could walk in that bay.

• Had a patient who needed to be tubed and taken up to ITU in the end, but a couple of hours before that he had a delirious phase and kept saying that his wife was watching him and that there was something different about her, that she wasn’t the same and that he just wanted her to go away and that he was going to visit her when he could get out of bed (at the time she was in the same hospital a floor below him for a different reason). Turns out she had died about two days before that, while he was in surgery.

• I nursed a patient who had come back from surgery with a very distinct leg ulcer (they had tried to wash it out and do a skin graft but it was too necrotic and they were going to take his leg off the next day). He was very confused overnight, but the next morning his wife came in and he was a lot more with it. He told everyone that he just wanted to die and that he didn’t want any more treatment. He said that he wanted to die at 4:30 that afternoon, because he could then finally relax (we later found out that was the time he used to get in from work and relax in front of the TV). He died at 4:33 that afternoon, cue me crying with his family. A couple days later, I had to go down to the bowels of the hospital to collect some equipment from the gastro ward, when I saw that patient with the leg ulcer walking around. He turned to me and smiled before walking through a locked door.

• First time I saw a dead body, no one told me that when you close a person’s eyes, they don’t stay shut like in the movies, they can spring back open. Cue me washing this person’s chest after having closed the eyes, to turn around to see him staring at me because his eyes have reopened, I screamed like a little girl, and everyone came rushing in.

• Got called out overnight to a patient’s house, when we arrived we found a paramedic crew there, because the patient was vomiting fresh blood. they ended up leaving because he was dying, and there was a DNAR in place so they legally couldn’t do anything. We stayed and washed him and comforted the brother, and watched him as he died, vomiting more blood and pooing himself constantly. All in all it took him about an hour and a half to die from liver cancer due to alcoholism, and it was a very uncomfortable and undignified death. But as no one had informed his brother about funeral arrangements and body pickup, he had no one to call to collect his dead brother, and we had to leave a grieving brother with his last relative’s lifeless body in the next room until a funeral parlor opened three hours later to sort it out.

I have loads more.”



“Well, a lot comes to mind…

• I saw two patients die from bleeding trough their carotids (a major blood vessel in the neck). Both had a recent tracheostomy and an infection slowly ‘ate’ the blood vessel lining until it burst open.

• I didn’t see this one, but heard about it multiple times. A suicidal patient managed to commit suicide by carefully observing the staff schedules, and did it right after the evening shift went home so only the night staff was there. He used the TV power cord and put himself on his knees until he died. But that’s not the worst. To make sure the staff would be delayed as much as possible, he spread shit ALL over the room, and especially around himself. All I can say is that in the end, he succeeded.

• Confused patients can be really creepy, too. Saying things like ‘Please don’t let them take me!’ or ‘Who’s that behind you’ while only you and the patient are in the room. You get used to it, though, and even manage to comfort the patients after a while.

• Also like a lot of you said, often patients ‘feel’ their incoming death. I’ve stopped counting how many patient told me things like ‘I most likely won’t be there tomorrow so thanks a lot for your care, I really appreciate it’ or ‘I’m going to die tonight I know it’ only to die later on. Often when they say it nothing’s out of the ordinary with them but they just know.

• Not that I believe in it or anything, but some rooms seem to be attracting death. And this happens in most units I can think of. It can be sometimes explained as these rooms have more facilities to accommodate the ‘heaviest’ cases (both figuratively and literally speaking). But for the other ‘normal’ rooms, I can find no rational explanation. This phenomenon seems to be able to ‘move’ also from a room to another. (For example a few patients died in room 10, then a patient is transferred from this room to room 20, and the phenomenon ‘follows’ the patient) Yes I know it’s hard to believe, but after seeing it myself multiple times, I know something we don’t understand is at work here, Sorry I just can’t find a better way to explain it.

• I recall in a hospital I used to work in, there was a department where the employee’s break room was right next to the elevators. Often during the night shift, nurses would go in during their break to sleep. One night a nurse went to rest a bit but forgot to lock the door. The security guards then arrived, during their rounds to check, opened the door to see the nurse sleeping, and a homeless dude sleeping on the floor next to her. They managed to get the guy out without waking the nurse, but told her afterwards. They eventually locked those elevators with a code during the night.

• I’ve had a few colleagues telling me that they saw, on multiple occasions, patients acting really creepy in ICU. Often those were hypoactive delirium patients (Like the patients are really slow in most of what they do, or don’t move at all). But they had their eyes wide open and fixed their gaze on whoever was in the room without blinking, sometimes grunting at them. Some were even saying they looked like they were possessed (I believe that in one or two cases families brought priests for exorcisms, yes it is not a joke even doctors confirmed this. I don’t remember if it worked though). I believe most of them eventually healed and were acting normally upon discharge.

Elevators stopping by themselves at random floors, or opening randomly on your floor without a soul to be seen.”


30. ‘You know what I should do, I should die on him’

“I’ve got a few stories:

• While I was still a student nurse I was working in a VERY old hospital. They were renovating one of the wards so the staff were advised they can sleep on that ward in the completed rooms until it was opened up again. One night I was sleeping in one of the rooms with a fellow nurse when suddenly I hear a scream from the bathroom. I fly out of bed to find my co-nurse huddled in the corner farthest from the mirror. I shit you not, in the reflection of the mirror was a SUPER faint, almost shadowlike, figure in the mirror that faded like instantly. I knew it wasn’t one of our shadows because there was a light directly above the sink & mirror. Fucking never slept in that ward ever again.

• While I was working night shift at a hospital one time, we had a patient that was living with dementia and had some serious expressions. We had her in a chair at the nursing station and she was talking with my coworkers and I. We had called one of the residents to the ward so we could get a sleeping pill for this woman and he was in the middle of writing the order when the woman looks at us and says ‘I really don’t like this man.’ So my coworker asked, ‘oh why not?’ She responded with ‘I don’t know, he just gives me the weird vibes. You know what I should do, I should die on him.’ She then lays back in the fucking chair, closes her eyes, and fucking dies. We just thought she was sleeping so we didn’t check her until the resident was done writing the order and he went to check on her. Said she was dead and kinda laughed stating, ‘fuck, I guess she showed me.’

• I had a patient in the hospital that had stage 4 liver cancer and as a result wound up with hepatic encephalopathy and required an ostomy. This poor guy was as yellow as can be. He was super aggressive and paranoid. We called at least 15 code whites/week on just the one dude. Security got to know his room number and name by the end of his 4-month stay. One day shift he was being really happy and super nice with all the nurses and then suddenly he just lost his shit, like literally lost his shit. He barricaded the door with furniture from the room. It took 6 security guards to bust open the door and restrain the patient. I come into the room with the large ass needle and inject it into the patient. As I’m holding pressure on the site I look at the wall near the foot of the bed and spelt across it is ‘FUCK THE NU.’ I say it out loud and the patient yells, ‘FUCK THE NURSES BUT I RAN OUT OF SHIT!’ He died a month later. The worst part is that the stool stained the paint and washing it didn’t make it come out. So the next patient that went into the room simply sat in his bed and kept saying ‘fuck the nu?’”

terran_immortal Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog