The Crying Child is a scary ghost story about a nurse who works the night shift in an old hospital on the outskirts of the city.
I went to nursing school and when I graduated, I got a job in an old hospital on the edge of the city. It was an old building with 3 floors. When they told me I had the job, they asked if I could start immediately because some of the nurses had recently handed in their notice.
I had been working there for about a week when something strange happened. It was the night shift and all the patients were asleep. There were three of us on duty: Me, another nurse named Svetlana and the security guard who was called Max.
We had a cup of tea in the office and chatted for a while. Then it was time for me to do my rounds. I went around the first floor, going from room to room, checking that everything was in order. Then, I climbed the stairs to the second floor.
Everything was silent and suddenly I heard the sound of a child crying. It sounded like it was coming from the floor above me. I stopped in my tracks and stood there listening. It was definitely the sound of a child crying.
The hair on the back of my neck stood on end, because I knew that something was very wrong. There weren’t supposed to be any children in the hospital and the third floor was supposed to be empty.
Cautiously, I climbed the last flight of stairs and came to the tird floor. I looked around, but the lights were off and in the darkened corridors, I couldn’t see anything. I followed the sound of the crying and it led me to one room in particular.
When I opened the door, I noticed that on one of the beds, the covers were raised. There was someone in the bed, hiding under the covers. The figure was rocking slowly from side to side and crying hysterically.
“Hey,” I said, stepping closer to the bed. “What’s wrong?”
The rocking figure suddenly stopped. So did the crying.
I reached out and pulled the blanket off the bed. To my horror, there was no one underneath. The bed was empty.
With my mouth wide open in shock, I started to back away from the bed. All of a sudden, there was a clatter behind me and the door slammed shut. I let out a cry of surprise and ran to the door.
Out in the corridor, I heard quick little footsteps as if someone with bare feet was running away. Quickly, I opened the door and ran into the corridor, but it was empty.
Then, from the room behind me, there came soft laughter. It was the laughter of a child.
Terrified, I ran down the corridor and when I came to the stairs, I heard the sound of laughter and crying coming from all around me. I glanced behind me and what I saw filled me with fear.
There were little children coming down the corridor towards me. They were big and small… all ages… Some of them were running and some of them were crawling on all fours… They were crawling on the walls and the ceiling and they screaming and crying and coming directly at me.
I stumbled and fell down the stairs, scrambling to get away from them. I ran down the stairs and when I got to the first floor, I ran straight into Max, the security guard. I let out a scream and he grabbed me in his arms and helped me to stand.
“What happened?” he said.
“The children!” I cried. That’s all I could say. “The children!”
He helped me back to the office where Svetlana was sitting and put me on a chair. After giving me a cup of tea, they began to tell me the history of the hospital.
It turned out that, many years ago, there had been a fire in the hospital. The children’s ward was located on the third floor. The fire was not very bad, but there was a lot of smoke and many of the children died of suffocation.
Since then, the hospital had been completely renovated, but they never used the third floor. That was because everyone knew that on the third floor, strange things would happen. Staff and patients would hear the sound of children’s footsteps running down the corridors at night. They would also hear the sound of children laughing and crying. Sometimes, at night, the nurses would see the silhouettes of little running figures in the darkness.
After a few weeks, I moved to a different hospital. I couldn’t stay there. I was too afraid. Sometimes, late at night, I think about that hospital on the outskirts of the city and I know that, somewhere in the dark corners of the third floor, the terrible, anguished cries of the dead children can still be heard…