Monday, October 30, 2006

Hospital Hauntings

Shortly after we came to Canada, Grandma paid for Sandland Brother and me to go to a two week day camp, Camp Rich-al-daka. We did crafts, rode horses, went swimming, and for a grand finale, had an overnight camp out. After dark we roasted marshmallows and listened to ghost stories around a fire. Suddenly, we heard a crashing through the meadow and the “headless horseman” rode by on his galloping steed. I remember screaming in terror, the fun kind of terror you feel when you are truly startled and are surrounded by other screaming children. The camp counsellors must have enjoyed the reaction to their prank.

Most of us enjoy the thrill of a good mystery and the allure of the unknown. The nine and ten year old girls in my Sunday School class once asked me if I believed in ghosts. Going right to scripture, I reminded them of the witch of Endor who called up Samuel’s ghost (1 Samuel 28:7). And the gospels record that spirits of the deceased were seen in Jerusalem after Jesus died. (Matthew 27:52)
Superstitious fear should not be encouraged, especially when sound scientific knowledge is ignored. But most of us acknowledge a spiritual sphere of some kind or another.

The hospital where I work has two ghosts, reportedly seen by many people over the years. Long ago, when the building was a TB Sanatorium, a young boy under the care of a nurse named Francine died. Francine was grieved by his death and died a short time later herself. Now and then, Francine and the little boy appear at bedsides of the dying, and are jointly responsible for any number of unexplained activities around the building. They only seem to move around at night, so I have never seen them. As the photos show, there are several old, deteriorating houses on the hospital grounds that once served as residences for nurses and doctors, now making perfect habitations for restless spirits.
I think Francine is a creation of over active imaginations, but then, I have never worked a lonely night shift with the dying. Her story is re-told often and always captures our attention, quite a diversion from the objective, analytical medical perspective that usually prevails in a hospital.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind…2 Timothy 1:7


  1. I remember that story of the "appearance" of the Headless Horseman. That's an awesome prank to pull on kids!

  2. Yes, we never forget a really good fright!

  3. Anonymous1:11 pm GMT-5

    "Superstitious fear should not be encouraged, especially when sound scientific knowledge is ignored."

    To debate that thought briefly science is constantly finding ways to explain what was formerly supersistion and acknowledging that they are indeed fact. (I only must say that because many people view the "magic" my faith is founded on as supersistion ;).)

    Speaking of sightings though someone just came through the parking garage I work at who looked exactly like Philip... :)

  4. Sometimes it is fun to ignore the facts and believe in magic...for example, santa or the tooth fairy. There is no fear in that.
    And, the British actor, David Rintoul, looks like Philip too (or vice versa!)


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