As mentioned in my previous post, I used to work as an operating theatre nurse back in my Singapore days. This is my second post on strange paranormal incidents encountered during my first three night shifts.
For the first few weeks of orientation, we mainly worked office hours but soon after, we began to trial working night shifts. For a normal night shift, there are seven working staff at night running three theatres if they are busy. As I was still a junior and working my first night shift, I was the eighth staff member on that shift.
During the first night, I was attached to my discipline staff nurse, but she was not my mentor and it was her last night. My mentor started her night shift on my second and third nights.
It was pretty quiet on that first night as there were no emergency cases and so we were able to go to our own discipline theatres to set up items needed in the morning. So we went around to place instruments, machines and things needed for the first case on the list. Our theatre was right at the very end of the corridor. It was always very cold, eerie and dark there. As it was nighttime, they didn’t turn on much of the lighting around the areas. We only turned on the light inside the operating room.
Just a quick recap of the room layout of the working theatre: anaesthetic, scrub, prep, operating and utility. The patient will enter the anaesthetist room where the anaesthetist and the nurse will check the patient again. The scrub room is for washing hands. The prep room is where clean equipment, sutures, trolley, linen etc. are stored and also a room for the scrub nurse to prepare their trolleys for the operation. This room only had one door serving as both the entrance/exit. The operating room is where the operation takes place and it will also have an X-ray screen, clock and other essential equipment there. The utility room is where the dirty equipment and trolleys end up to be washed there.
We both pushed the trolley into the theatre and started placing items for the first case. Then within 5 minutes, a senior told us via intercom to get back as they needed us. My senior immediately tidied the place and we both went back to the main working area. When we arrived, my senior spoke to the in-charge sister, but she said she didn’t call us at all. My senior swore that it was the sister’s voice. But they both knew something was wrong and stopped arguing almost immediately.
We then went back and set up another two more theatres before taking a break. As it was quiet that night, we were able to have a rest past midnight. The staff room was on the same floor as the theatres and in the middle of the floor. Inside this massive staff room, at the far right corner, there was the doctor’s room. It was a cosy room for doctors to rest before or after the operations. There were three big comfy chairs that could be reclined. As it was nighttime, doctors normally don’t come to theatres to rest as they had their own rooms.
When I went into the staff room, everyone was resting/spreading on uncomfortable staff sofas whilst no one was inside the doctor’s room. So the junior anaesthetist nurse and I went inside the doctor’s room to rest. I took the far corner whilst she took the chair near the exit.
I don’t fall asleep immediately, especially in a new place. Hence, it took me at least 15 minutes before I started to feel drowsy. Then I woke up feeling super cold and I saw my blanket creep up my body, leaving my feet exposed. I was so afraid and tried to sit up, but at this point, I felt like ‘someone’ was sitting on top of me. I could not move at all. I even tried to move my fingers but it felt like I was frozen dead. I then remembered I had my Fu talisman inside my wallet, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t move. So I shut my eyes and chanted 南无阿弥陀佛. Then after a few minutes, I was able to move. I was so delighted and took out my Fu talisman from my wallet. I then placed it on top of my chest and fell asleep. It wasn’t long after that my shift was over.
On my second night, the routine was much the same. I was paired up with my mentor but there weren’t any cases. She was already resting when I went inside the staff room. This time around, I decided to push the chair out and not sleep inside the room after the previous encounter. As I pushed it out and almost made it out of the doctor’s room, my mentor screamed so loud and ran out of the room.
I was shocked and didn’t know what to do. So I placed the chair back and rested on the sofa instead. I didn’t bother to check on my mentor that night. I am not a nosy person nor wanted to ask, hence I didn’t go down until almost 7am to brush my teeth. It was then that I saw her sitting in the kitchen. She then came over and started hitting me. She then said I pulled the ‘ghost’ out from the room when I was pushing the chair. The ‘ghost’ went over to her and sat on her. She was so scared and start to scream. At this point, I was dumbstruck. So on my third night, did I dare to sleep again? That was an emphatic no.
This story was broadcast on Mr Zhou’s Ghost Stories podcasts – on 1st April 2022. Do check it out if you want to listen to it in Mandarin. Also, check out the don’t dos during this festival and Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival.