GLYNIS AMY ALLEN: GHOSTS OF THE NHS
It was as though ‘someone’ was guiding me at the Job Centre. The first post I saw advertised was for a Nursing Auxiliary at Oakwood Hall Hospital; I went straight there for an interview and I got the job. But when I walked onto the ward on my first day, I was scared: it had a feeling of sorrow and a distinct scent of white lilies. I had only ever seen one dead person, my Grandad, and I was dreading seeing someone die and then having to do the last offices for them. Still, my colleagues were amazing and taught me so much, even if they did play pranks on me. One day the Ward Sister said, “Glynis, would you go to cubicle three for a long stand, please?” Of course, I couldn’t find a stand when I went there… but I took it all in good humour and soon fitted in happily.
After a while, they guided me through doing the last offices for a lady. It was a privilege to do this but, for me, it was sometimes scary because the deceased person would actually speak to me! Usually this was to request that they be buried in somethIng special, such as their wedding dress or a uniform; but I couldn’t very well tell the relatives that.
It was only my second deceased patient that brought my first encounter with the ghostly Grey Lady. The Staff Nurse said she was just going to fetch some towels and asked me to carry on washing the patient. I was concentrating on cleaning the fingernails when I smelled white lilies… but not only that, I could feel a presence nearby. When I lifted my head up I saw, on the other side of the bed, a nurse standing there with a large Red Cross on her pinafore; she seemed real and solid and radiant, not a ghostly apparition, as though I could reach out and touch her. My hands started to tingle with pins and needles (I came to learn that this is one of the signs to notice in these moments.) No-one had come into the cubicle so who was this nurse? The Staff Nurse came back and said casually, “Oh, she has been here, then. It’s the Grey Lady – she often comes when patients are moribund and ready to pass over. Yes, she leaves the scent of white lilies.” I had been standing there with a ghost, just one of many such encounters I would have….
.......... My psychic senses saved me again one night when I
was driving home after my last shift in my beloved grey Ford Escort car; it was
ten o’clock and very cold and foggy. I usually gave someone a lift home but on
this particular night I was alone, driving very slowly because the visibility
was so bad and with the radio switched off so I could concentrate on the road.
As I came to a dip in the road, the back seat started to squeak as though
someone was jumping up and down on it; the noise got louder and I was worried
that the car was going to break down miles from home. Then I looked in the
mirror and saw a man’s face looking back at me! No-one could have got into my
car because the keys had been locked away at work.
“Who are you?” I asked, as calmly as I could and heard a voice whisper, “Danger!” in reply.
Well, I got home but didn’t say anything because no-one would have believed me. On instinct, though, I took the car to a local garage the following day for testing. Later, the garage owner phoned me to say that the car was really dangerous: it was actually two different cars welded together. He remembered the car, or rather half of it – a man had crashed it and died, and this garage owner had towed it in himself. I was totally shocked. Had I not decided to check the car, or had taken it to a different garage, I would never have known. But the spirit on the back seat had warned me and I often wonder just who that was – perhaps the man who had crashed the car?