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Many long-standing questions appear to have been answered upon this page - but not before a whole heap of new ones crop up. And it's all courtesy of one person: The Security Guard. In much the same vein as our friend and former patient Mr X, we shall call her Mrs Y - and once again, we'll present this correspondence in the form of an interview for purposes of clarity.

Damon: Welcome to The Shrine. Tell us about your CRCMH connection...

Mrs Y: I worked as a night security guard at the hospital after it had closed.

Damon: It's good to actually encounter one of the very few people to have been inside the building legitimately at night since it closed. Though it is something of a revelation - because as we've mentioned on this website in several places, there's been no security at the hospital site in the living memory of anyone we've ever spoken to. But I often thought - although I've made light of the "Group 4" signs - that initially there perhaps might have been patrols of some sort. Security patrols that the National Trust may have decided to stop funding after it became clear that nothing was going to happen to the site for a very long time.

Mrs Y: It was about two and a half years after the hospital closed that it reverted back to the National Trust, and during this time there was full-time security based at the site. This only ceased when the Trust took it over.

Damon: Which would have been towards the end of 1988 then. But 24 hour security? Wow! I'd have just expected the occasional drive-by. You weren't protecting anything other than a disused building were you? Hoardes of National Trust treasure perhaps?

Mrs Y: Well, for sometime after the main hospital closed, the nurse's home was still in use. The nurses there were picked up daily by hospital transport.

Damon: Interesting. It's always been the least decrepit part of the site, so it's fairly logical. But where was the security based then? And did you have dogs? It used to say "dogs" on the gates.

Mrs Y: At first we used the doctor's room in the main building as an office, but when the building got dilapidated we moved into the nurse's home. We worked twelve-hour shifts. I only worked there part-time (Saturday and Sunday nights) but no, I didn't have a dog - although some of the others did.

Damon: Was there ever any trouble with intruders / vandals etc?

Mrs Y: Fortunately I didn't have any, although a couple of the other guards had a few minor incidents. I believe the real explorers did not appear until later when security had been withdrawn. But when a friend of mine and myself heard some of our local boys daring each other to spend a night up there we were very tempted to go and arrange a few surprises for them. We didn't get round to it in the end though.

Damon: How did you handle being inside the hospital at night?

Mrs Y: I found that although the atmosphere was spooky, it also had a friendly feel. I found the building and grounds to be a very peaceful and welcoming place at night, and I used to sit outside quite often and watch the wildlife.

Damon: Indeed, it can be an incredibly soothing place to be. But did you ever feel that perhaps something mysterious was in the air?

Mrs Y: I think that most of us who worked there sensed something at one time or another. There were some guards employed by the company who would not work at the hospital site at all. I can't think why, because I really enjoyed my time there... apart from Taplow Lodge that is.

Damon: Aha! You've said the magic words - Taplow Lodge. Not many people mention Taplow Lodge, so it's good when someone actually does. What was so bad about it?

Mrs Y: Taplow Lodge was quite different. A totally different matter. I really felt I could sense something quite evil about the place - it had an evil feel about it. Although we were supposed to be looking after it, some nights it was impossible to walk up to. It was like there was an invisible wall across the grounds. We were supposed to go up the steps in the hedge opposite the main hospital entrance and walk around the outside of the Lodge three or four times a night. But as I said before - on several occasions it was like there was an invisible barrier across the lawn preventing me from approaching the house. On one occasion when I had managed to do my walk around, it would not let me back - and I had to walk all the way down the drive and back along the main road. I don't think my boss would have been too impressed with me that night. But anyway, he had some staff who would not work there at all. Even a friend's dog refused go anywhere near it.

Damon: Dogs don't refuse to go somewhere without good reason. The hospital, as you say, somehow managed to ooze a strange kind of tranquility at night. I only ever had the one unpleasant night there - all other times were quite relaxing, but there was always a strange feeling that something wasn't quite right when we were in or around Taplow Lodge - something that I never felt inside the hospital grounds. Almost like someone or something was watching us - and I only ever went there during the day - so you're braver than I am. We were informed recently that the Lodge was once used as nurse accomodation. That is, until one day when they all refused to live there anymore and just walked out - allegedly due to the general state of the place, but who knows? Perhaps they weren't all that keen on the place at night either. Strange things were afoot. And speaking of which, I understand that you have one final thing about the hospital itself to share with us.

Mrs Y: I did see a ghost.

Damon: You can't just casually say "I did see a ghost" without me jumping up and down going "Tell me more! Tell me more!" Was it near the maternity area where The Flincher was?

Mrs Y: I will try and answer your questions as best as I can remember, although it was a long time ago. The ghost I saw was in the doorway of Ward 13, which was at the opposite end of the long corridor to maternity. But yes, I did sense something not quite right near maternity - and some of my colleagues did also. One girl said she thought she saw a nurse pushing a pram down there.

Damon: Eeek. Though it sounds a bit nicer than what we found down there. And what did you encounter?

Mrs Y: There were several spots in the hospital where it felt colder than others, and this was in one of them. I was walking along the corridor and saw a man. He was fairly short and dressed in a soldier's uniform - on crutches, and with a bandage round his head. I must have frozen in amazement, and after a few minutes he disappeared. But I did not feel at all frightened - just amazed. If I didn't believe in ghosts before, I certainly did then.

Damon: It's absolutely fascinating, not to mention rather comforting to know that we're not the only ones who've encountered something eerie in the vicinity. We can now add the Soldier from Ward 13 to our list of CRCMH mysteries. Throw in the spectral nurse and pram along with a couple of other reports we're presently investigating (watch this space), and the hospital is getting curiouser and curiouser by the minute. Have you ever been back there since it ceased to be your workplace?

Mrs Y: Although I still live in the area, I have been nowhere near there for some years but I am very interested to know if there is anything left.

Damon: Thanks ever so much for sharing your recollections with us - and on behalf of everyone out there who enjoys The Shrine, we'd like to wish you all the best.

Mrs Y: Cheers.

The Soldier of Ward 13 under torchlight

NOTE: This artist's impression was not authorized by "Mrs Y"and therefore in no way should be taken as an accurate or fair depiction of the circumstances of the actual sighting.

...and Mrs Y adds: The picture is very good, although the soldier was standing upright, looking straight at me, and had two crutches. He was also standing a bit further back in the doorway.

Taken from correspondence conducted in July 2002


Or maybe...

Or perhaps even...

Or perhaps you have some ideas and explanations, or might like to contribute a new artist's impression? You may even have your own unrelated tale of CRCMH hauntings which you'd like to share.

If so, please do not hesitate to contact us.



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