Monday, December 03, 2018

Spooky hospitals

Assuming this is reliable, it's interesting due to the strain it puts on naturalism. It's much easier for a Christian worldview to account for paranormal phenomena, including paranormal phenomena in and around death, than the standard naturalist paradigm–with its commitment to physicalism and a closed-system universe. Nowadays, because so many people die in a hospice, hospital, or nursing home, that's an expected setting for such phenomena to occur if that kind of thing happens at all. 

Existing reports of Anomalous/Paranormal Experiences (APE) by nurses (Barbato, Blunden, Reid, Irwin, & Rodriguez 1999, Fenwick, Lovelace, & Brayne 2007, O’Connor 2003) and doctors (see Osis & Haraldsson 1977, 1997) consist of apparitions, “coincidences,” deathbed visions, and other anomalous phenomena, sometimes in relation to patients. Visions involve the appearance of dead relatives who have come to help patients and residents through the dying process, providing comfort to them and their relatives. Coincidences are experienced by someone emotionally close to the dying person but physically distant, who is somehow aware of their moment of death, or says the person “visited” them at that time to say goodbye, again providing comfort. Others describe seeing a light, associated with a feeling of compassion and love. Other phenomena include a change of room temperature; clocks stopping synchronistically; accounts of vapors, mists, and shapes around the body at death… Alejandro Parra & Paola Gimenez Amarilla, “Anomalous/Paranormal Experiences Reported by Nurses in Relation to Their Patients in Hospitals,” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 31/1 (2027), 11–28.

I have not experienced such oddities as paranormal events within hospital settings personally, but I have been made aware of quite a few reports that were experienced within the hospital setting. Oddly, this relatively increased activity does seem to be commonplace within this environment. Perhaps due to the very evident link that the environment has to mortality. A few of my friends that work in elderly care, for example, have passed on some of their own experiences whilst on the night shift.

He started by mentioning the accounts from nurses where they had witnessed actual apparitions. An example of which was a nurse who possibly witnessed the ghost of the mother of a baby she was tending to. Next up were a few examples where staff moving stretchers had heard voices, some of which called out their names. There were also reports of many doors apparently opening and closing by themselves. There were also a few reports of various electrical disturbances.

Parra then continued to provide information that, for me, suggests the possible emotional tie that nurses may develop when they care for patients. One example described how a particular nurse perceived the smell that she related directly to a patient she cared for, whilst she was taking a nap at home. It is believed that, at the point this experience occurred, the patient passed away, which could be argued to be a probable crisis apparition. There were also some examples of psi dreams, which touched on links to elderly patients who had passed away and their burial locations. This also went on to draw connections between nurses and carers who attended patients until their death; which spoke of patients who would identify family and friends in close proximity to them as they approached death. Oddly, this is one of the types of events that my own friends have mentioned whilst working in the elderly care environment.

Parra then covered an area which, once again, I had heard a few reports about. Often carers and nurses had responded to buzzers only to discover that it had originated in a room where either patients were immobilised or there was no patient present. The reports my friends had told me about fell exactly into these scenarios, too, which I find quite interesting as it places what I had seen as arguably isolated incidents into the realm of documented research that spans various hospitals and also countries. Parra expanded on one anecdote where a carer had experienced responding to a buzzer only to discover that the patient’s arms were immobilised and there was no explanation as to how the buzzer could have been activated. The next day, the same patient passed away and, even though the room was now empty, the buzzer continued to ring. These are very real and common occurrences that require further study in my opinion. Especially given what seems to be an increased frequency of events in these environments, which has been observed by professionals in many cases. In addition to this, clouds, vapour, temperature changes, light anomalies were also briefly mentioned and discussed. “Ashley Knibb reports on Dr Alejandro Parra’s recent lecture for the SPR on ‘Paranormal Events in a Hospital Setting’”. Paranormal Review, 87 (Summer 2018).

1 comment:

  1. When my dad was in ICU, I talked with a nurse who shared her experience in the room next to my dad's. She said a man was dying, family was at the bedside, when she saw a ghostly apparition of a "hand" reach down through the ceiling, descend into the dying man's chest, then the hand withdrew and disappeared into the ceiling.

    What struck me was that this was a highly trained professional, in a public area in a large urban hospital, not a small farm in Kansas.

    I don't claim to know what she did or didn't see, but I believe strongly that she believed with all her heart what she saw.