Oct. 29, 2017

Pink Night at the Civil War Hospital

I worked in a nursing home that was once an old Civil War hospital. I’ve written before, that for me, it holds the number one spot for the most haunted places in South Carolina. There is so much I could say about this place even though I only worked there for about six months.

One of the more disturbing things was the elevator. Because there were two floors, sometimes the staff was required to use the elevator, especially the kitchen when taking or picking up meal trays from floor to floor.

The elevator would mysteriously “breakdown” on occasion trapping whomever inside for an undetermined amount of time. It could be for two minutes or for two hours. As a rule, no one was allowed to use it once maintenance was gone for the night as no one would be there to “work” on the elevator to get it running again should it breakdown.

In fact, there was an incident where one of the maintenance men used it to bring his cart down from the second floor and he was trapped for about two hours. Just as suddenly as it stopped, the elevator started up again and released him.

“Aren’t you afraid to use it?” I asked one of the kitchen workers one morning as she prepared to load the elevator with a cart full of breakfast trays.

“Naw, I’ve been stuck before,” she answered. “I just said out loud that I needed to get the food upstairs to the patients before it got cold and next thing I know, it started working again.”

While maintenance insisted the problem was something electrical, she was of the belief it were the ghostly wanderers that caused the mysterious breakdowns.

The last night I worked there was graveyard shift. I was walking to a patient’s room when I saw a man standing in the doorway of a room. He was looking right at me and followed me with his eyes the whole way past him. He was just standing there with his crutches watching me with a lot of curiosity, so I greeted him.

I felt something was out of place with this man when I stopped briefly and asked him, “Are you having a hard time sleeping?” He didn’t answer. Knowing that most of our patients have sleeping pills ordered, I offered, “Would you like me to bring you something for sleep?”

He was about three feet away from me, but he continued to stare at me and not answer. I promised I’d check in on him on my way back to the desk, however, while I was in the other room, it occurred to me what was out of place. The patient had no legs and not through amputation, either. There were no legs there only his upper torso from about the knees up! I shuddered when I went past his room back to the desk.

I asked the CNA. about it when she came up front. She laughed and said, “You must be talking about the soldier. Several have seen him standing in his doorway just watching everyone. He had crutches?”

“Yes, he was on crutches,” I answered numbly.

“That was him.”

I called the nurse, Hettie, from the nurse’s station down the hall. I guess I was visibly shaken because she came right away.

“Oh it happens all the time,” Hettie said. “You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve seen in this place, especially that second floor. It’s the worst floor in the place for ghosts and haunts.”

I agreed: the second floor was so terrible that I almost clocked out and went home one night because they tried to assign that floor to me and I refused. I reminded her of that night, as Hettie was the one who saved me and agreed to work the floor for me. Yeah, I knew.

She asked if I knew about “Pink Night” at the nursing home. Hettie explained that it happens whenever it rains. She chuckled when I said I had not heard of it before. That was about to change, though. Several minutes later, we heard the first indication of a thunderstorm coming and shortly after, we heard the rain as it poured down from the heavens.

Hettie, who was leaned at the desk-counter with her hand on her hip, stood straight and walked to where she could see the hallway in full view. With another light chuckle she said, “Michelle, come here. I want you to see Pink Night.”

I stood and walked to my co-worker who turned me around and pointed down the hallway. There had to have been twelve to fourteen different specters roaming around in the hall from that back stairwell all the way up to about five feet from where we stood.

Some were full-bodied apparitions, most were partial or just a head and neck. I don’t think any of them left the hallway other than to go in and out of the rooms. The most uncanny thing about them was the fact, they were all a transparent pink, hence the name “Pink Night.”