Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

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Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#1  Postby Kenaz » Nov 25, 2010 12:24 am

Hello RatSkept,

Having worked in a nursing home and having many friends at different nursing homes, I've heard an alarming number of stories about care workers telling me about their patients speaking to "someone" behind them and tell them about a person in the room also have heard stories about the workers seeing, routinely before a resident passes, either blackish or whitish orbs or 'things' going to that resident's room. Like clockwork. Yet another off the top of my head is a black cat that they have for the residents there always sits next to resident's who pass within the week when the cat begins to do so.

The latest story, and one that prompted me to decide and share and get others thoughts, is that recently my good friend has been going into rooms of her residents and many of them have been talking randomly and when asked, they mention a tall man whistling behind her in the room and asking that she make him leave. This is multiple residents, same description. One resident asked another care taker to come and get rid of the man in her bathroom, same description; tall.

Now I am pretty damn skeptical about ghosts, but I am also open to things we do not understand. What do you think explains this? Either way, it is certainly interesting and baffling to me at this time.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#2  Postby Peter Brown » Nov 25, 2010 12:32 am

You are aware a huge number of elderly people end up in care homes because of senile dementure? My mother sees all sorts of odd things, including strange men who aren’t there.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#3  Postby Kenaz » Nov 25, 2010 12:37 am

Peter Brown wrote:You are aware a huge number of elderly people end up in care homes because of senile dementure? My mother sees all sorts of odd things, including strange men who aren’t there.


Yes, yes. But do you not find it odd and hard to explain that multiple, not just one, residents saw something and were speaking to 'it', and described it the same, as a tall man whistling? The nursing home in question has a (unofficial, I think) procedure when one of the resident's pass. That is to open the windows. For both practical (death is not a good smell) and what I consider superstitious (let them 'pass on'). Apparently one of them forgot to open the windows, and that resident happens to fit the description of what the residents were describing as that "tall man" who was whistling in their room. Apparently the man whistled often when he was alive that they suspect it is.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#4  Postby Think Floyd » Nov 25, 2010 12:42 am

JWG wrote:Yes, yes. But do you not find it odd and hard to explain that multiple, not just one, residents saw something and were speaking to 'it', and described it the same, as a tall man whistling? The nursing home in question has a (unofficial, I think) procedure when one of the resident's pass. That is to open the windows. For both practical (death is not a good smell) and what I consider superstitious (let them 'pass on'). Apparently one of them forgot to open the windows, and that resident happens to fit the description of what the residents were describing as that "tall man" who was whistling in their room. Apparently the man whistled often when he was alive that they suspect it is.

1. The tall whistler dies.
2. The nurse forgets to open the window.
3. Other residents mull it over, believing the whistler's ghost is now trapped within the building (ghosts must be composed of UV light, since they can't pass through glass).
4. In their state of dementia, the other residents recall the whistling man, and hallucinate about him.
It's the same as any other 'paranormal' occurrence, just people being superstitious.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#5  Postby Peter Brown » Nov 25, 2010 3:57 pm

Yes, yes. But do you not find it odd and hard to explain that multiple, not just one, residents saw something and were speaking to 'it', and described it the same, as a tall man whistling?


No not really. The brain isn’t a big blob that randomly performs tasks anywhere anytime. It has areas which are quite defined that specialise, so if these parts start to fail your going to see like effects reported by the persons. Also some anti dementure drugs cause the very problems of hallucinations whilst combating aggression. The hallucination is there, the ability to know exactly what it is isn’t, so the brain converts it to the most like object from memory. A black line and noise the mind knows couldn’t be there becomes the whistling man which could be.

The gossip of the care assistants becomes self fulfilling prophecy.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#6  Postby Paul G » Nov 25, 2010 4:08 pm

A vast majority of people who experience sleep paralysis feel a female presence, this isn't because there is a lady ghost there.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#7  Postby jerome » Nov 26, 2010 1:21 pm

GWG, I have some hard data, I'll have a looka nd report back this evening.

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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#8  Postby ramseyoptom » Nov 26, 2010 8:17 pm

Some of this could be due to Charles Bonnett Syndrome. Visual hallucinations that can seem quite real to the sufferer, allied with early dementia and there is the answer for elderly people in a nursing home speaking to a non-existent person
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#9  Postby The_Metatron » Nov 26, 2010 8:29 pm

We can't even bring ourselves to say "die"? We are stuck using the word "passes"? What passes" Where does this thing of questionable existence pass to?

My mom has worked in nursing homes most of her adult life. She's seen no shit like this. Why not?

The parsimonious answer? There's nothing to see. People die. Typically, this is not a quick process in nursing homes. Typically, a dying person is not lucid and alert one moment, and dead the next. There's usually plenty of time for hallucinations.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#10  Postby Think Floyd » Nov 28, 2010 4:26 pm

The_Metatron wrote:We can't even bring ourselves to say "die"? We are stuck using the word "passes"? What passes" Where does this thing of questionable existence pass to?

Quick, pass! Pass!
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#11  Postby The_Piper » Nov 28, 2010 4:47 pm

The answers given already are good enough, but to add more possible explanations to the mix -
Changing senses, especially vision and hearing. Perhaps an employee or resident has a whistling habit unknown to them.
The curtains move, a shadow is drawn across the room. Looks like a tall figure. Maybe it's a new device placed in their rooms or hallways that's doing the whistling.
There are some possible explanations that would be more likely than ghosts.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#12  Postby jerome » Nov 28, 2010 5:03 pm

Hi JWG - sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.

Care Home staff do often have odd stories to tell - one of my friends, a MSc in Cognitive Psych, had a bizarre experience I once tried to fathom out working in such an environment. I checked my files, running an analysis using NVIVO,and have not found "care home" as a search string providing much actualy, which rather surprises me. The last such case I was asked to look at had a rather prosaic explanation - rats! :(

Rationally, the following charcteristics come in to play. Firstly there are a number of medical conditions in the elderly which can be the cause for apparitonal experiences - some have been mentioned in this thread, and the best article i have seen on the subject was published by Dr James McHarg in the 80's or 90's in the JSPR - annoying I can not locate it just now. I will try. The whistling you mention is however unusual - not a common attribute of ghost stories - excpet in Willam Hope Hodgson's supernatural fiction, and I doubt that is relevant here. Secondly, staff work long hours, often with little company, and at night, so are more likely to be susceptible to sleep deprivation effects?

However, until recently I looked after an elderly neighbour, who had a medic alert system witth a loud speaker which certainly did whistle, as has already bee mentioned by The Piper. What I find curious about this is tht the lderly patients hear it, and the staff whose rnge of hearing frequencies will be greater do not. I therefore suspect it si an internally generated sound, and that leads to the question - have the clients not just been talking to each other, creating a story which is spreading round the nursing home?


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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#13  Postby debus » Nov 30, 2010 12:17 am

Hearing aids also have a high pitched whistle at times.

The cat mentioned in the OP walks into the patient's room and sits on their bed. The person usually dies within a few hours according to the article I read a fair while ago. I don't believe or disbelieve this. However, there are dogs that smell cancers which are currently being trained in the U.S. (60 minutes show). I have smelled patients who are nearly dead. It is not a decomp smell. I can't describe it. I once walked into a patient's room and could tell at the door that the patient was dying, yet I knew nothing about him and had been on days off when he was admitted. (He died a few hours later). My guess is this is what the cat smells. :ask:

Either that or I'm pis-chyc myself! :lol:
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#14  Postby Varangian » Nov 30, 2010 12:39 am

When I was a kid, there was an old woman (80+) living in the neighbourhood. She was a bit demented, as she was convinced that an infamous bankrobber was hiding on the second floor of her house, and that he was gassing her in the night in order to steal her money.

Visual problems, like metamorphopsia caused by age-related macular disorder, cannot be discounted. While I'm no expert, I think that the brain is playing tricks when the sensory input is reduced due to age.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#15  Postby Kuia » Dec 07, 2010 9:54 pm

JWG wrote:

. For both practical (death is not a good smell)

A nursing home which leaves bodies in rooms until they begin to decompose is already suspect. The rest of the stories are just that: stories. Nothing to explain.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#16  Postby Kenaz » Dec 07, 2010 11:28 pm

Kuia wrote:
JWG wrote:

. For both practical (death is not a good smell)

A nursing home which leaves bodies in rooms until they begin to decompose is already suspect. The rest of the stories are just that: stories. Nothing to explain.


Please do not make it seem I am saying the nursing home in question leaves bodies in their rooms to decompose. There are plenty of unpleasant smells that accompany soon after death. The nursing home is made up of a great community of caretakers.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#17  Postby Kuia » Dec 07, 2010 11:45 pm

JWG wrote:
Please do not make it seem I am saying the nursing home in question leaves bodies in their rooms to decompose. There are plenty of unpleasant smells that accompany soon after death.

I was being facetious because your claim was ludicrous, along with the stories of whistling men.The only unpleasant smell after death ('accompany after death'?) is decomposition. All other smells are there before death.
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Re: Nursing Homes and Odd Occurences

#18  Postby jerome » Dec 09, 2010 5:01 pm

Curiously enough while running a search for another query for inkaStepa's thread I did find a case I had missed from a care home. The narrative is pretty bare - this is from the 2009 study, unlike Becky's more rich 2010 one, so I'lll just quote it in full.

"I have seen a black mist shoot out of a door at my old place of work, this was after the toilet door was locked and we could hear someone moving around in there so thought a resident had locked themselves in when we got the door open this is what shot out over my shoulder and no one was in there."

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