A little creepiness for your summer musing. Many years ago I was a practicing respiratory therapist. I worked at a local hospital, sucking the mucus out of people’s lungs and administering breathing treatments to those breathless patients who needed a little relief. I worked the midnight shift when I first started, as this was the only work available for the rookie therapist in search of a job. The hospital I worked for was an ancient institution run by the Catholic Nuns and had seen many sick and dying people come through its doors. It was haunted.
Or at least people said it was. I had heard lots of stories about lights turning on and off on their own, charts disappearing and then mysteriously reappearing, cold spots, and mysterious odors. All of these things could be attributed to the normal everyday chaos that goes on in a large hospital, but it was fun to tell ghost stories late at night to keep us on our toes. Coffee and fear kept us awake.
There was one thing, though, that always bothered me, and later on when I worked a normal schedule, it never showed itself like it did on the graveyard shift. It was the elevator.
Shortly after I started, I would do things to keep myself awake during the slow times in the wee hours of the night. Like wander the halls to keep from falling asleep standing up. The second or third night on the job, I was walking past a little traveled area of the hospital where a bank of elevators stood for use by the staff. As I walked past, the elevator on the right chimed and then the doors opened. No one was inside.
I didn’t think much of it at the time, but as my routines formed during those first few months, I began to notice that every time I walked past that particular bank of elevators, the one on the right would always chime and then the doors would open. Nobody was ever inside. It also never happened if I was with someone else.
My imagination began to run wild in the dark of the night, and I would think I heard things talking to me as the doors opened or closed. Just a whisper hidden in the mechanical sounds of the elevator. A voice low and stealthy asking me to get in. Needless to say, I never did. It was only my imagination, I know, but there was no way in hell I was getting on that elevator. I even started jogging and running past it when it opened. Creepy.
Later, when I worked a normal daytime shift, the elevator failed to live up to its creepiness. I would walk past at, say, 11:00 a.m. and nothing would happen. 2:30 p.m. Nothing. But if I worked a graveyard shift. ‘Ding!’ and the doors would open, beckoning me inside for a ride to who knows where.
Years later, I had to pay a visit to the hospital I used to work for and as I wandered the halls in search of my friend’s room, I noticed some new construction had taken place. The old section of the hospital did not exist. In its place was a new maternity wing all pink and flowery, the sounds of new babies and happy parents making their way to my ears. The creepy elevator no longer existed. I smiled and turned to go, but as I left the area, I swear I heard a chime and the swish of elevator doors opening. I high-tailed it out of there without looking back. Just thought I’d share.
Yours in creepiness,