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15 people who have worked around death and burial share their best 'ghost' story.

15 people who have worked around death and burial share their best 'ghost' story.


Working around death gives you a radically different set of work stories compared to the average person.

Experiences that sound scary or morbid to others become commonplace, and what counts as a ghost story to many functions as a work story for you.

For those of us working outside that industry, it can be fascinating to peek in and hear the tales - both mundanely morbid and cosmically creepy.

In a popular Ask Reddit thread, people who work around death and burial shared their creepiest and wildest 'ghost stories' from the job.

1. From demoneyesturbo:

A colleague found a dead person in a dark smoke-filled burned out building during the mop-up of firefighting operations. As unfortunately happens sometimes, you find them by stepping on them. If they're still intact you kinda bounce off them.

If they're fried, you can often crunch them up pretty bad under your heavy boot. Well, this guy stood right on a badly burned corpse's sternum. Crunch, right into the chest cavity.

When he tried to pull his foot out it got stuck on the ribs and the body came up at him. Burned up arms flailing about. Took him a few tried with what looked like a zombie stuck on his leg. He needed quite a bit of counseling, poor dude.

2. From SpartanM00:

I have a million that are more grotesque and gory than this one, but it stands out to me. I was once working at a mortuary and had to go pick up a man from the medical examiner’s office.

When you do that (at least where I’m from) you get a receipt when they release the body to you. The receipt has all of the personal belongings that are with the deceased.

When I brought the man back to the office I opened up the body bag to make sure all the belongings were there and double-checking the receipt. When I opened up the bag I was stunned to find this dude looked almost exactly like me.

He was my age, had similar tattoos In similar spots, had the same long hair I do, even had the same style of jewelry I was wearing.

It took me so off guard that I stood there in an existential crisis until the embalmer came in and was like “hey SpartanM00 how’s it goin—ahhh holy s**t that guy looks like you!” It’s the only case I’ve had nightmares about.

I’ll be the one in the body bag with the deceased man opening me up.

3. From rocharox:

Corpses move when you cremate em.

People who don't know this get spooked a lot.

4. From Citrine_Bee:

Honestly, the only creepy thing that happened when I worked in the morgue is that one of the staff killed himself in there and I just can’t imagine wanting to die in this cold, grey place surrounded by corpses.

5. From _bobbykelso:

During my apprenticeship, I worked at a funeral home said to be 'haunted' by an old funeral director assistant who had a heart attack in the building and died.

All he ever did was mess with the chapel lights and if you called him out, something like 'John the family is coming, please don't' they would return to normal.

Not really sure if I believe it was really haunted, but saying something always fixed the issue so I kept doing it my entire time there.

6. From pm-me-egg-noods:

I worked at one of the last Booth homes for pregnant girls in the early 2000s. Lots of dead babies and some dead moms in the history of that campus.

We had any number of creepy things happen, to the point that I brought it up in a staff meeting and the social workers just said 'oh, must be time to have the building blessed again.'

But what stuck with me was the baby swing. I came into the living room and found it swinging by itself hours after all the teenagers were in bed. Now, this was an ancient mechanical 'wind up' swing. You had to turn a crank to start it.

There was no electricity involved. There was no way it just 'started' on its own. And there it was, swinging full force.

I was completely terrified but I just said 'If you want to swing, I will be happy to wind up the swing for you, but when you do it on your own it frightens people.' Every night for the rest of the year or so I worked there, I wound that swing up and let it go.

I told other staff members and I believe they did the same. I like to think it was a sweet baby ghost who just wanted attention, and we gave it attention.

Later they closed the program for parenting teens and made the whole place a homeless shelter. Now I am sitting here worrying about 'my' ghost baby. Is it lonely? I hope not.

7. From Lillilsssss:

A lot of my extended family lives in their own houses on the same property and visit each other a lot. My great aunt's house is said to be the place where their ghost lives regularly.

He's a guy from the early 1900s with one of those older hats, and he likes to make footstep sounds, appear at the end of the hallway, and open doors a crack.

My great aunt is very strictly against smoking in her home so when she does smell it, she's pretty sure it's him so she will shout at him to knock it off and the smell goes away. She's the only one he will listen to about this.

Once in a while he will follow another family member to a different house on the property when they're leaving the main house and he'll stay there for a couple days.

He keeps on with opening doors and stuff, my aunt hates it though because she can tell when he's around and looking at her while she's in the shower.

I don't 100% believe in ghosts but I like to believe in this one because there are a lot of accounts of this guy and it would explain some incidents I've seen before at the main house.

Plus just about every grandchild who was raised on that property and has been in that house while growing up has seen him.

8. From Chemistry-Least:

I used to be a driver for a funeral home corporation. Like, drive the hearse and pick up the bodies. Never had anything creepy happen, a few funny things, a few traumatic things. In general it was a chill job.

However. I did get incredibly uncomfortable one night picking up a man who died at home, he still had the defibrillator leads on his chest and his eyes were closed, which is unusual because the eyes are always open.

He just looked like he was asleep or unconscious. Not rigid or pale or anything. I just had this sinking feeling for about half an hour in traffic that he was going to suddenly gasp and wake up in the body bag. Then it hit me.

That would be the coolest thing ever. I’d take him home and he’d be back with his family. So I just kind of drove slowly and turned up some music and sang along and talked to him.

When I got him to the funeral home I left him out of the cooler for about an hour while I did paperwork and played on my phone. When I got another call I checked on him and his limbs had started to stiffen.

I was kind of bummed. I put him in the cooler and went on my next call.

9. From witchgytha:

I used to work on an Oncology ward as a nurse. Our side rooms were kept for end-of-life patients on palliative care and one patient that we had been nursing for a good few weeks died early one morning.

Last offices had already been done by the night staff and the patient moved to the hospital morgue so all that remained was to clear the room of personal belongings and tidy up.

I sent a student nurse that I was mentoring at the time to do this whilst I got on with the drug round. The student had known the patient fairly well and was comfortable with this job.

About ten minutes after a colleague came to me and told me that my student had come flying out of the side room white as a sheet and was sobbing in the staff room.

I went to find out what the problem was and the student told me she had been clearing out sink area in the bathroom, had glanced up and seen the deceased patient reflected in the mirror looking at her over her shoulder.

My student was a sensible girl, not given to hysterics but for the remainder of her placement on that ward she would not go near that side room.

10. From LeftandLeaving9006:

I worked within hospice and long term care. The spookiest phenomenon was the man in the corner. It happens all the time for people actively dying. They see a shadowy man in the corner of their room.

11. From mycatiscalledFrodo:

I used to work in a nursing home. The residents in certain rooms would complain about a man in their room at night but hallucinations are common in the elderly so it wasn't really noticed.

One night I was mopping the dining room which had huge windows overlooking the garden, it was around 1am so pitch black outside and low lighting inside.

I had this horrible feeling of being watched so looked up and reflected in the window was a man behind me. He had a brown suit on, a bowler hat, and the cruelest look on his face, he grinned and his mouth was too big.

This happened in seconds and when I turned around there was obviously no one there but I'll never forget that look of evil on his face. I paid more attention to the residents after that and they'd all seen the same man.

He just enjoyed terrorizing people.

12. From McFeely_Smackup:

When I was in the army, I served on a few honor guard duties for transporting soldiers remains. One time we were taking Korean war era remains that had been uncovered in Korea and transported to the USA for identification.

For most of the remains, the transfer cases (industrial aluminum caskets) were very light, like you'd expect with 40-year-old remains. A couple of the cases were heavy, like a couple hundred pounds.

I've never stopped wondering what was in those cases. It wasn't 40-year-old bones.

13. From Tornado_Messiah:

For many years, I was in the US Navy based in Japan. After the tsunami hit Fukushima, we spent a few months off the coast resupplying helicopters that were ferrying supplies and searching for bodies of people who were washed out to sea.

When we did find a body, we were instructed to put them in a body bag and store those bags in an area called the starboard castle-way (sheltered area outside the pressurized interior) until a Japanese Coast Guard could come by to retrieve them.

For awhile after we were finished with that mission, some of my shipmates reportedly saw ghosts in that area of the ship. I didn't see any ghosts, but it was not uncommon for me to feel some unnatural chills there.

14. From Confident_Guard6798:

My grandfather died a while back. One day me and a bunch of my cousins were playing in the front yard ( rural area) since on weekends all the family likes to hang out together.

So we’re out having fun and see Lolo (grandfather ) walking towards the house we all greet him and he smiles at us he walks up the porch into the house and hangs his hat by the door.

We continue playing until we hear crying from the inside of the house and my uncle driving fast up the driveway.

We all rush in to see what’s going on and see everybody bunched up in the kitchen crying telling us that Lolo died early that morning and they just found out ( he lives a few towns away).

We looked at each other and told the grownups naw we just saw him come into the house they didn’t believe us and we told them that he really did not that long ago and he even hung up his hat by the door.

So everybody rushes to the door and his hat was hanging right where we said it was (he doesn’t ever go anywhere without that hat).

So me and my cousins are running all over the house calling for him while our parents are so quiet and freaking out. He actually did die earlier that morning and my grandmother couldn’t find his hat anywhere in their house.

We left the hat where it was and nobody ever touched it.

15. From master0jack:

I'm a palliative care RN who didn't believe in this stuff until I became a nurse. I have three to share at the moment:

Before my time in palliative care, I worked on a medicine unit at the hospital. One night I was returning from my 2nd break around 3am or so and saw a man standing in the door of my patient's room.

He was white, late forties to mid fifties, dark hair which was graying, relatively fit, wearing a hospital gown. He was standing at the door with his arms crossed and as I walked closer he turned and went inside the room.

I followed because I knew it wasn't his room; our unit was big (36 beds) so it was entirely possibly he was a patient I had not met yet. Anyway, you can guess the rest...went inside the room and he was nowhere to be found.

I looked under the beds (ridiculous bc someone couldn't hide there), in the lockers, washroom, behind the curtains. He was nowhere to be found.

Later that night my coworker said she felt like someone was touching her feet when she tried to nap on her break. The break room was right next door to my patient's room, and she was in there at the time that I saw this 'patient'.

Not a specific ghost story, but I just want to say 2 things about working in palliative care: (1) patient's often 'introduce' me to deceased relatives around them or talk about people 'waiting' or being in the room with them.

This is a common experience and I see it happen more often than not. (2) a lot of people know they are going to die imminently/choose when to go/wait for loved ones and I believe much is seen/heard that folks don't talk about during this time.

I believe this because in our younger patients who aren't ready to go, there is often a high degree of anxiety and many times I have been asked by a younger patient to 'help me, I'm going to die today'or similar.

Like they have held on as long as they possibly could and then something happens internally, or they see something around them which gives them a sense of knowing.

Once upon a time, I was doing home hospice and a younger guy in his 50s was dying of occupation-related lung cancer.

I knew it was coming and asked his family if they wanted to invite anybody to say goodbye, so patient's 90-year-old father, brother, extended family and friends came over at about 1 am and I left them and sat in the kitchen to give them privacy.

As I'm in there I hear this MASSIVE burst of wind chimes which was kind of supernatural (as in did not stop, just a massive burst that went on and on instead of trickling here and there with the wind).

A moment later his daughter came in to tell me he had passed away. I don't usually share my supernatural beliefs about death/dying with families, but I couldn't help but comment on the wind chimes later on.

His wife said 'yeah, he collected wind chimes, that doesn't surprise me at all' and turns on the light on the back patio, showing me literally hundreds of chimes which had been silent all night until he passed.

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