Stories From A Retirement HomeThis Ghost story is from www.bloidnews.com
MALCOLM, FLORIDA--Far too long we’ve dismissed the older generation. We ignore the wisdom they can pass on and are often far too busy to share in a good old story with them. But if you take the time to sit down with some of them, you will most likely be pleasantly surprised to find out they can entertain you for hours with their experiences.
The Bloid always enjoys a good love story or a tale of how a man or woman triumphed over the great depression but our sights are often set on the strange and abnormal. To fulfill our criteria, we had to go no further than a retirement home sitting just outside Malcolm, Florida. The facility is called the Hoover Nursing Center and it is home to 104 of our most experienced citizens.
The first story comes from one Candice Bentley, an 87 year old widow that has been living in the retirement community for 10 years. Mrs. Bentley has had a stigma around her for years now. She is constantly talking to herself. She routinely ignores her roommates in favor of her invisible friend. One day, a nursing assistant asked Mrs. Bentley if she would like to join in on a friendly game of bingo. That’s when things got strange. Mrs. Bentley told the nurse that she couldn’t, her and her husband had a date that night and she had to get ready. The nurse, realizing that Candice had lost her husband 15 years ago, notified the social worker of the dilemma. When the social worker then brought this comment up to Mrs. Bentley, she quickly confessed that she had been talking to her husband ever since the day he passed away. She claims that her husband comes to her everyday and they spend endless hours talking with one another. The concerned social worker then explained to Bentley that it was not healthy to act this way and she had to accept her husband’s death to move on with her life. Then Bentley came up with something unique for the social worker. She told her that her dead husband was in the room right at that moment and she could test him if she wished to. Mrs. Bentley told her to write anything on her pad of paper and her husband would stand behind her and tell his wife what she wrote. The social worker, not wanting to let this game go on too much longer agreed and wrote the word cope on her pad. Just seconds after the word was put down, Mrs. Bentley spoke them aloud. The social worker, amazed, tested the couple again. She wrote the word, ghost. And with that Bentley spoke the word ghost. Thinking the old lady was putting her on, the social worker, asked what game she was playing. Bentley then told her that she can leave the room and say anything she wanted to and her husband would follow then come back and tell her what she had said. Curious, the worker went out into the hallway and asked quietly if this was for real? When she returned to the room. Mrs. Bentley told the frightened worker that it was for real and not to worry about it. Well, the social worker did worry about it and left that day, never to return.
Another resident of the home is one Joyce Keller. Keller is 92 years young and has lived at the home for 13 years. The unique thing about Mrs. Keller is that she can tell any resident that wants to know, when they are going to pass on. Mrs. Keller claims that each time a resident is about to expire, one of their loved ones comes to seek them out and she can communicate with them. This one was pretty hard to believe. It’s one thing having a bond with a loved one that not even the afterlife can conquer, but to see all ghosts is very uncommon. This however was very easy to test. We asked Mrs. Keller which resident would die next. She told us that Margaret Spicer’s father had come and seen her just days prior and he was hanging out at the home waiting for his daughter to join him. She indicated that Margaret’s father said his daughter would join him that Wednesday. To our amazement, that Wednesday, Mrs. Spicer joined her father for her final journey.
Going down the list, the stories varied but they all shocked us. Nearly half of the residents had claims of ghostly encounters and staff swears that activity goes on, on a regular basis. There are even some staff members that refuse to go into the halls at night. They say you can hear conversations going on between people you can’t see. Some staff, on the other hand, embrace the ghosts. Activities director, Jen Simpson, says she’s glad to see that the afterlife greets you with friendly faces. She claims that these experiences have all but voided her fear of death.
At most nursing homes you will hear about the great wars and how the good old days were better than the world we have created but if you wonder too close to the Hoover Home, you may get a story worthy of a campfire.
ricknaub 36-40 0 May 14, 2012