A sneaky peek inside Phantasms in the InfirmaryVolume II....
"The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts’. author"Italo Calvino
I feel the quote above is a good introduction to this sequel. It is from Italo Calvino, the journalist and writer of short stories and novels. It is appropriate in two ways, firstly it directly mentions an enlightened building and it is attributable to hospitals, centers of medicine, science and knowledge. Secondly is the fact that these buildings walls will ooze with a plethora of paranormal phenomena and apparitions aplenty.
A ghost can be describes as a disembodied human being who is "lost" and bound to their earthly surroundings for a myriad of differing reasons. Due to the nature of hospitals, medical facilities may be the last place a departed soul remembers, and a place where their last state of mind was not so good. It is therefore not uncommon for a hospital to be haunted by the presence of the departed.
Hospitals are an ideal environment where a gravely ill or infirm mortal departs to a different plain. Granted, this can occur in any place but the frequency that they arise in these built environs is a near certainty that these will result in a haunting. Mind warping drugs may be administered, added to this, the strong physical and emotional suffering by the deceased, is it any wonder the hospital settings are rife with ghosts. Could this be the reason so many nurses have ghost stories from within the hospital walls?
Phantasms in the Infirmary, was our first collection of some of the many spectral phenomena that have been reported over the many years. This was the tip of this spectral iceberg but there are plenty more where they came from.
They are stories that have been adapted for the enjoyment of the reader but they are none the less, true representations of ghostly encounters in hospitals from around the world. As disturbing as they some of them may be, the next batch of tales has been requested and this is why Volume II needed to be written.
The following assembly of ghoulish accounts attempts to provide an account of the disembodied spirits that roam the extensive corridors and wards of many a healthcare establishment that have witnessed the end of many a life.
The fictitious St Augustus Hospital is again, representative of the myriad of hospitals worldwide which harbour the many apparitions within them. St Augustus Hospital may be a made-up institution but it is where these off-kilter beings continue their search for help and direction. Within the medium of fiction, it is hoped that these ghosts that manifest themselves as moving shadows, see-through apparitions, cold spots and disembodied voices have their story told.
Following the publication of the first volume, we have had numerous emails and suggestions of what to include in this one. These include dark, human-like figures standing at the foot of hospital beds, bright orbs that appear and follow a pre-ordained and non-random path and apparitions aplenty.
We again hope that these stories are enjoyed and do not cause any alarm or distress to the reader. After all they are intended to be tales that have been articulated and re-told for the enjoyment of the lover of the horror genre with an original slant to it.
They are not full of gore and bloodshed and try to extract the human aspect of the stories behind the legends of the inhuman facades that ghosts and spectres represent.
In many ways, we haunt ourselves with the belief that they, ghosts exist. However can we be sure they don’t exist?