The FlyNovember 15, 2011
I work in both hospitals and care homes and have come across many strange things.
One Boxing Day morning a resident died in a care home where I was later doing the late shift. This was a modern purpose-built home with long, bright corridors.
The lady died peacefully in her room at the far end of an upstairs corridor. She had liked all the various lights in her room and little bathroom left on at bedtime, and the bedroom and bathroom doors and windows left open, with the corridor lights outside her room on too. The staff would pop in after she fell asleep and turn out the lights and close the doors.
Because she’d died, the room was left undisturbed all day. I saw these lights and doors left like that on my shift, right up until I left at 8pm or so. When the night staff arrived, one eventually decided to close the room up and put out the lights.
She did all this and strolled back to the nurses’ station. When she reached it, the corridor lights were all on again and the late resident’s bedroom door was open.
She had hysterics and was only prevented from walking out forever by some strong persuasion by the staff nurse!
The staff nurse went down to the room to investigate and found that the windows and bathroom door were open, and all the lights were on as usual. She chose not to disclose that to the hysterical girl that night!
In the same care home, I personally saw something very creepy.
A lady was dying in her room, with her two middle-aged daughters either side of her. As I walked past the room, I glanced in through the oen door and noticed that one of the daughters seemed to be beckoning me.
I went in and asked what I could do for them. However, the daughter had not been beckoning. She said she had actually been waving away an enormous black fly which was buzzing around her mother’s face.
She and her sister both flapped their hands around a bit as we spoke. I suggested that we open the window and half-close the curtains so that it would fly out.
‘Oh no!’ said one, ‘Mother doesn’t want us to! She says it’s her pet!’
I looked at the mother’s face and saw that she was smiling, not at us but straight ahead.
Another thing I noticed was that THERE WAS NO FLY. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t see or hear it, even though the women insisted that it was circling their mother’s face as we spoke and continued flapping at it.
I looked again at their faces – the smiling, dying mother, the two solicitous daughters – and decided to back out of the room, with an assurance that I’d be back if they needed me.
How could they all see a fly that wasn’t there?
I’ve since read that in some cultures, it is believed that the devil sends a fly to collect the souls that he has won on earth.
I’m not a superstitious person, and those three women were regular English ladies, but something strange was going on.