Home Encounters The Door Slammed on Me

Photo by Frank Grace
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Witness: [Name Withheld Upon Request]
Location: Northeast Ohio
Date of Encounter: September 1, 1985

In 1985, I was working in an old psychiatric hospital in northeast Ohio. I was working the 3-11 shift.

I was passing my last round of meds at about 9PM. I had one patient left whose room was at the end of the hall. It was a 4-bedroom unit (they did that back then). I went down the hall with the meds and a glass of water and knocked on the door. No answer. So I slowly opened the door and announced “Med time.” The room was dark and the door was open about a foot when it slammed shut. It knocked the meds out of my hand and I yelled as it hit my hand pretty hard. The other nurse was at the far end of the other hall and came flying down. She asked “What happened?” I said the patient slammed the door on my hand. She asked who the patient was and I told her. She said, “Oh, she’s sitting in the patient’s lounge, I just passed her.” I knew no other patients were assigned to that room. I said, “Let’s go in and check this out.” We turned all the lights on, looked in the closets, under beds, and the windows were closed and had wire screens over them, and the windows were locked. You needed a key to unlock them. There was no heat or air-conditioning on as it was early Fall and not needed. The force of the slamming was so loud the other nurse heard it at the other end of the hall… and my hand was sore for two days. There was no one in there (of the living variety). So that remains a mystery, and I’ve remembered it all these years. A disgruntled patient from years ago perhaps?

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