This story comes from a friend of mine who works in a nursing home. I’ve been friends with her for a very long time and had worked in this place for a while myself. Believe me when I say that nursing homes are the modern day equivalents of insane asylums of the 1900’s. People are scared of hospitals because people die in them. People should be terrified of nursing homes, where piece by piece your mind and body degrade to nothing and you’re still alive.
I could tell you countless stories about residents talking to people who aren’t there, things moving on their own, noises you hear when no one is there, or writing found from residents you know passed away long ago. However sometimes in a place that is probably crawling with the supernatural, it’s not always to blame. If I had still been working there when this happened, I’d have quit all over again.
I was on my medication round, when we go to each of the resident’s rooms with their different meds and check in on how they are doing. It is usually pretty boring and I just walk around for about 3 hours from floor to floor. The CNAs are doing much more running and you’ll usually see them going around and about. This night was particularly slow though and we all mostly kept to ourselves doing our own thing.
Now you have to have a little bit of back story for this all to make sense. The facility had just recently switched the way the staff communicated with each other. We previously had walkie talkies of sorts that were numbered 001 to 015. So when you called someone from 001 that would show up on the other persons walkie talkie. We just made the switch to carrying phones with us and these used a different numbering system. So, I was making my rounds I got a call. I didn’t think anything of it and picked up the phone. There wasn’t anyone on the other end of the line and I said ‘hello’ a few times just to make sure, then I hung up thinking it was probably a wrong number or a telemarketer.
About 20 minutes later I got another phone call and again I picked up the phone. I could hear paper rustling on the other end of the line though so I knew someone was there. I said ‘hello’ a few times but didn’t get an answer. I looked down at the screen to see the number and was shocked to see 002.
Now, I didn’t know what had been done with the other walkie talkies that we used before, but to my knowledge they were still in the building. I thought it was weird, but figured that one of the other staff must just have been using one. Perhaps a phone broke or something I thought to myself. In hind sight, I went to a lot of lengths to rationalize all of this.
Later that night when I was done with all of my rounds I went down to the nurse’s station. At around 9pm most of the residents are in bed and all of the staff will gather on the 1st floor nurses station to go over how the night went. We were all there and again the phone rang, but this time I didn’t pick it up, my coworker got to it first. She kept saying hello so I knew it must be a dead line again.
Before she went to hang up I stopped her and with a big lump in my throat quickly said ‘no don’t hang up, see what the number is’. She looked down at the number and said weirdly ‘001’. We were all kinds weirded out and shocked because we all made the same connection at once. ‘Isn’t that the old phones?’ one of the other girls said.
I explained to them all that I had been getting calls from that number all night but figured one of them was using it. They all shook their heads and exclaimed that they didn’t know those were even still here. One of them quickly pointed out though that it had to be coming from somewhere and if it’s that number it must be in the building. We were all freaked out and pretty scared. The halls are really quiet and dark at this time of night, noises are coming from everywhere, and if we’re being honest these places are very unsafe. They’re unlocked almost all day with people coming and going that you have no clue about. You see someone come in and just assume they belong there.
Well, we were freaked out enough that for the remaining hour of the shift we all took up the buddy system and didn’t go anywhere alone. We were determined to say that it was just a fluke in the phone system and that nothing was actually going on. The old walkie talkies used to behave weirdly all the time, why should these new phones be any different.
When 3rd shift came in at 10 we didn’t want to freak them out for the entire shift so we all made an agreement not to say anything to them about the phone calls. Me and another nurse walked out to our cars together and I drove home feeling all the better for being out of the building. When I woke up the next day it was only about an hour before my shift was about to start and I was in such a hurry I didn’t even check my phone. When I got to work my boss was waiting for me and asked if I had been contacted by the police yet. I looked at my phone and seen a few missed calls from an unknown number so that must have been them.
She told me that one of the third shift girls noticed a man in the room with one of our very far gone dementia residents and walked out without him knowing she had seen him. She and the rest of 3rd shift locked themselves in another resident’s room and called the police and waited until they arrived. They don’t know how long he was in the building, but he had the 001 walkie talkie on him. What made it even worse was the room he was in I had been in several times the night before. He was probably hiding somewhere I couldn’t see him and I didn’t even know it.
It goes to show you that sometimes the weird and scary isn’t always supernatural. That doesn’t mean it’s not just as bad or worse though.
Credit: Sinister Intentions