Hospitals often see some of the most horrific moments of people's lives, including the end of their lives. When there is so much trauma and death in one place, you begin to see some unusual things.

Sometimes it's creepy things that bump in the night, sometimes it's just a marvel of the human body. Either case, it's quite scary to witness the often unexplainable.

We went to Ask Reddit to hear first hand accounts from the people who work in hospitals.

Redditor BlockWide said:

"Hospital workers of Reddit, what's the creepiest thing you've ever seen?"

Beware, some of these stories are gruesome. This is not for those with a light stomach.


"I'm on an on call victim support team, so I often end up at the hospital at odd hours. This was around 4:00am. I'd just finished doing my thing, and I was sitting in my car in the parking lot collecting myself and writing notes for my report when I see someone out of the corner of my eye. I clearly saw the blue of a hospital gown, but when I looked over, no one was there. I figure I'm just tired and riding out the adrenaline of the call, so I go back to doing my thing. After a few minutes, I once again spot something out of the corner of my eye. This time when I look up, someone is there."

"Standing on the curb in front of the hospital, I see a man in his mid to late 50s, thin hair up top, no facial hair. He's wearing a hospital gown and holding on to something metal, but from my angle, I couldn't tell if it was an IV pole or a crutch. He wasn't leaning on it. He had this expression on his face of wide-eyed shock with his mouth slightly open, like he was trying to think of something to say and had totally stalled out."

"At this point I start glancing around for staff or something, because this man doesn't look like he should be outside alone. His skin is a messed up pale color, and he's barefoot. I can't see his feet well with the shadows, but his hand and fingers look bruised. As I'm looking around for staff, our eyes meet, and I know he sees me. I start thinking, okay, this guy can't wander around alone, half-naked and unmasked. I have huge chills, but I turn to grab my mask and get out of my car to help guide him back inside. When I look up again, he's gone."

"I looked all over the parking lot for him, but he was gone. There's no way he could have vanished like that in the split second it took me to grab my mask."

"I don't know how to explain this without sounding dramatic, but my skin crawled when he looked at me. He looked like a guy who was slowly realizing he'd died and didn't know what to do now. I still think about it."

- BlockWide

The body knows.

"After working as an RN for a few years, I learned to always trust a patient that expresses fears or a belief that they 'are going to die.' That feeling of doom usually precedes some sort of life-threatening emergency. Sudden cardiac arrest or a pulmonary embolism are usually the fatal culprits behind an ominous feeling of imminent death."

- AriaGalaxy

"Yup, like your body knows there's something bad and is trying to tell your brain but your brain can't interpret 'heart says it's not working right.'"

- Utter_c*ckwomble

"Yeah, I experienced this when giving birth without pain meds (not by choice). The medical staff didn't believe that things proceeded as fast as they did, but after I told them that I feel like I'm going to die, I was taken seriously. I pushed my first-born out 15 mins later."

"Later, I talked to an older midwife who told me that those exact words are usually the sign that the baby is coming right now."

- universexperiencing

Cats predicting end of life.

"Also, when they are talking to or see someone in the corner that has previously passed away. They usually die soon after. It's really weird."

- sandNseaRN

"My aunt worked in a small care home for the very elderly and disabled adults. They had this big grey cat that had the run of the place and would visit different residents to get scritches and treats."

"When the cat spent an entire day staying very near one person the resident frequently died that night or the following day."

- SpookyYurt

"My MIL died in a home that had a cat like that in Alabama. My MIL had already had a stroke that left her brain-dead and this was hospice for her. If the cat stayed in someone's room, the staff notified relatives to come visit and got ready for the end. Weird."

- banshee1313

Infected foot.

"I worked in the kitchen, so I was the lowly peon delivering food trays. Delivered to one guy who had a horrendously infected foot. Most of the toes were necrotic and black and the rest of the foot wasn't doing much better. I wouldn't be surprised if he was waiting on amputation. His dietary requirements were Diabetic, so it was likely. The room smelled AWFUL."

"Anyway, these rooms are small, with typically two beds in them. Because of the smell from his infection, the other bed is empty. I still have to squeeze by the foot of his bed, and as I'm paying attention to the tray so I don't knock it into equipment, I accidentally brush my leg against his infected foot that he has sticking out of the covers and hanging off the bed. His big toenail comes off onto my leg. It's just, stuck to my leg. We look at each other in horror. I clear my throat, ask my usual questions, clear and adjust his table, give him his tray and wish him a good day. I leave calmly, and then run to the nurse's station and ask for help getting this dude's entire necrotic toenail (with bonus flesh) off my f*cking leg."

"The nurse who got it off soaked that portion of my pantleg in some disinfectant liquid that smelled like it could take the paint off a car."

- RiotHyena

"As an RN who has seen the exact kind of toes you are talking about I audibly GASPED. New worst fear acquired."

- EquivalentTall3566

"As a type one diabetic I hate hearing about this stuff now excuse me as I further reduce my carb intake."

- punkerster101

"[sips awful tasting zero sweetener drink]"

- kaenneth

Suicide survivors.

"I don't know why but seeing patients at the ER who have just committed/attempted suicide by hanging always give me a frightening sensation."

"I can't answer why I feel that way of hanging specifically. It makes me think about the dark thoughts the patient had that might have led to this. I'm a resident doctor in ENT so I basically only get in contact with this kind of suicide/suicide attempt so that's maybe why."

- Bacgangster

"I got called in one night to operate on a patient who tried to slit her own throat. I mean, it was a dramatic slash but she managed to miss her vital organs."

"I've operated on unsuccessful self inflicted gun shot wounds to the face."

"I didn't operate on him, but met a guy who tried to commit suicide by eviscerating himself with a samurai sword."

"A partner I work with got called in for a very mentally ill patient who cut one arm off with a chainsaw and 90% of the second arm."

"I've seen some sh*t."

- pro_nosepicker

Too calm in moments of severe trauma.

"I don't have a single event. But from working nights in the operating room of a level one trauma center you run into many awful things. Including the worst of society."

"But something that sticks with you is seeing a severely injured person in complete shock. Not like WOW my arm is off, but like body shock."

"They're barely aware of the world around them. Eerily calm. Pale, sluggish. Not at all bothered by the bustling room around them."

"I remember one person who had a ruptured aortic aneurysm, and due to a communication breakdown we had incised before the patient was asleep (surgeons get tunnel vision in moments like that) and the patient was like "hey that hurts" very chill, almost bored. It was wild."

- mrdewtles

How do you respect a patients wishes when something could be done?

"My grandmother went in to the hospital because she was feeling strange like something was wrong and they discovered an aortic aneurysm which hadn't ruptured yet (or was slowly leaking). Hospital staff started prepping for surgery and grandma got very angry at them because she was 87 and wanted to die. She already had high blood pressure and supposedly screamed at them wildly until it ruptured and she died."

"I wasn't present, but that's what my aunts say happened. Grandma was a very hot tempered person."

- schweineloeffel

"I've seen similar things. It's a weird thing to experience, because you want to do what you can, and if you think there's a chance worth taking you should always take it right?"

"But at the same time how do you proceed while respecting a patients wishes. It's a tough one because a patient making it or not sometimes is a matter of moments, and isn't always a clear cut issue."

- mrdewtles

These creepy experiences are fairly common among hospital workers. It's hard to imagine seeing it so regularly that it becomes commonplace.

It gives a new perspective on what it means to be an "essential worker" in 2021.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

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