In some professions you go crazy more than in others. As a writer, I can safely say that in general we are a pretty crazy profession. But nurses are a different type of selfity, and their entire career begins with serious scientific research. As both the daughter of a nurse and the former roommate of many nursing students, I know how much study it takes to get into the profession. Nursing is no joke.
Nurses should walk around with medical knowledge such as the symptoms of aortic coarctation, how often medications listed as “q8h” are administered, and what to do with a patient’s relative who becomes aggressive. I can absolutely understand why a writer like me with a penchant for fantasy and theory would believe in ghosts. What makes less sense to me is that every nurse I know seems to have a story about a ghost or some sort of paranormal event that they went through in their careers. If you ever want to hear a good ghost story, ask a nurse. Why is it so ubiquitous for every nurse to have a brush with everything behind the veil?
The first part of the answer is obvious: It’s because nurses deal with death on a daily basis.
It makes sense that the places where many people die are also the places that we think are the most haunted. Hospitals have long been considered one of the most haunted buildings. Here is a list of hospitals that regularly top the list of ‘most haunted locations’ in the US only:
- Jesse Lee Home for Children in Alaska
- Camp Bothin in California
- Norwich State Hospital in Connecticut
- Manteno State Hospital in Illinois
- Peoria State Hospital in Illinois
- Independence State Hospital in Iowa
- Eloise Psychiatric Hospital in Michigan
- Essex County Hospital Center in New Jersey
- St Anne’s Guest Home in North Dakota
- Pennsylvania Hospital in Pennsylvania
- Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is widely regarded as one of the most haunted locations in America. It has been featured on Ghost Stories, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal Lockdown, Portals To Hell and Destination anxietyIt was a regularly operating hospital (they changed its name from “Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum” to “Weston State Hospital” when they started admitting non-psychiatric patients) until 1994. Most of the hospitals on this list are still serving customers. And these are just the hospitals that are considered the most chased. I’ve never heard of a hospital that didn’t have ghost stories.
If you were chasing a hospital, wouldn’t nurses be your target audience?
Nurses spend long hours on the floor, especially nurses who work the night shift. When everything else in the hospital is quiet, nurses are still at work. They are closest to the rooms where patients spend the most time, and they are the best-known staff member for most who spend time in a hospital.
Not everyone who works in a hospital needs to bond with their patients to do their job properly. Nurses do this and as a result they develop empathy for patients. If anyone in a hospital is going to be sensitive to an afterlife sign, it will be the nurses. Nurses will remember the small details about a patient’s deceased relative or their little habits or malapropisms that can be recognized as a ‘hello’ from behind the grave or just plain. stuck energy repeats in a process we don’t yet understand.
Unlike doctors and other medical professionals who have less contact with patients, part of a nursing job is literally over care about their patients. They pay attention. Nurses notice things.
Nurses are naturally skilled communicators. They need to speak to ‘doctor’ and ‘patient’ and can translate between the two. They must also have the social skills to make patients feel comfortable asking for help at their most vulnerable times, while maintaining boundaries with manipulative patients seeking recreational painkillers. This makes them ideal for receiving messages from the other side. When nurses see something inexplicable, even the stories they tell about it are particularly compelling because they understand that not everyone communicates their needs in a straightforward way.
Does this ring apply to you? Have you ever had a paranormal experience in a hospital setting? I’ve read many examples of people’s real experiences with ghosts and the paranormal, and the ghost stories told by nurses always turn out to be the best.