Staff and patients pray to exorcise haunted hospital

2011-03-19 18:19

“Ghosts” at an Eastern Cape hospital are scaring staff so much that they no longer want to work there at night.

Even the provincial health department has reacted to events at St Barnabas District Hospital in Libode, between Mthatha and Port Alfred.

Patients, nurses and even the head of the hospital are claiming that the hospital is haunted.

The crisis reached a high point last weekend when 10 Roman Catholic priests, nursing staff and all the patients strong enough to stand up held a religious service to drive the ghosts out.

More than 100 people prayed and begged the ghosts to leave.

Apparently complicated pieces of equipment that no one has switched on – such as ventilators – start working by themselves at night. Other pieces of equipment even give readings, as if they are attached to a person.

Nurses who see this happening initially run away, but once they have mustered up the courage to pull out the plugs the machines ­apparently switch to battery power and start working again.

Numerous patients allege that the ghosts pull their bandages off or pull blankets from their beds.

Hospital staff say they have seen the hazy outline of a woman in a hospital uniform outside the hospital after midnight.

She disappears after telling them that she is “on her way to work”.

Even critically ill patients don’t want to be in the wards at night.

According to Sizwe Kupelo, the spokesperson for the health department, there is “panic” in the hospital.

He said: “This thing (the ghost) is invisible and because of that there is nothing we can do.”

But he said that “if patients or nursing staff who have seen the ghosts need counselling, it can be organised”.

Hospital staff suspect that one of the ghosts is a dead nurse who cannot rest as her work is not finished.

Nodali Mgwilli, the hospital manager, said the ghosts suddenly began to make trouble in the hospital this year.

Mgwilli said there were evil ­spirits in the hospital and the haunting had nothing to do with a dead nurse.

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