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Royal Derby Hospital

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 19

Opened in 2009, the newly built Royal Derby Hospital was immediately beset with reports of shadowy figures prowling the halls and wards. Inquiries found these figures were not half conscious junior doctors or exhausted staff found to be skulking in the halls, but ghosts.

Staff members reported a figure, wearing a long, dark cloak and black clothing walking through the corridors and wards, most often near the morgue. At times, the figure was seen to move in an agitated manner as it walked through the right hand side wall of the corridor, crossed the hallway, and then vanished through the wall on the left.

An interoffice memo leaked to the press confirmed not only had staff the witnessed a ghost about the building, but reports of the ghost had become so commonplace hospital administrators felt the need to reassure staff they were aware of the problem. The administrators’ solution: Contact the Trust’s chaplain.

The Chaplain’s solution: Contact Derby Cathedral to request an exorcism.

While in later media reports Royal Derby Hospital’s spokespeople would deny an official exorcism was scheduled to take place, the Bishop of Derby’s spokeswoman confirmed Royal Derby’s chaplain had, in fact, made contact with the diocese’s Paranormal Advisor (or “exorcist”, to the rest of us). The result of these discussions? The Paranormal Advisor would investigate the haunting and take any appropriate action.

Exorcism or no, there was a decidedly mixed reaction amongst the staff of the hospital. Several staff members stated they were “aware of” and “a bit nervous” about the dozens of reported ghost sightings since the hospital’s opening; however, would not give an official statement. A domestic on staff at the hospital who asked not to be identified stated: “Why be put off? Could be interesting to see a ghost. He might be a good worker. I could do with an extra pair of hands when we’re short staffed.”

But by 2011, new reports were made by patients who witnessed seeing two nurses in “period” nursing costumes standing at the foot of their beds, ghosts which have since been seen by other witnesses. Sightings of original dark figure near the morgue, believed by some to be a Roman soldier, continue to this day.

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