Hell’s End Nursing Home evokes many sensations, from goosebumps skittering over my skin, to the need to constantly look over my shoulder, certain someone watches me. Named after the mining village, the home was converted from a semi-derelict building that had stood empty for decades. There’s only a handful of residents – perhaps they pick up on the same negativity as I.

I’m the new night matron. For the first few weeks not much happens, other than items going missing and turning up in random places. Eventually the night shifts get more… interesting. Doors bang, pictures fall, cups slide across level tabletops.

But tonight…

All the overhead lights in the building suddenly go out. I reach into my pocket for my pen torch, just as every emergency buzzer sounds from the unoccupied west wing of the building, red lights flashing wildly.

We all hate the west wing, with its shadowy corners and icy cold spots. It gives us all the creeps. Dotty, one of my auxiliary nurses, describes it as ‘black as the Devil’s back passage’.

She isn’t wrong; it feels… demonic. Anyway, we go through the rooms turning off all the buzzers, until we reach room 12a. The door refuses to budge. None of the doors lock from the outside and the room is supposed to be unoccupied. I push down on the handle and Dotty and I push against the door with all our might until it gives enough to squeeze through. I reach for the buzzer and swivel my torch around the empty room, shadows dancing in the beam of light. My torch alights onto a heavy oak wardrobe that had been pushed up against the back of the door. We are mystified.

Suddenly, a voice roars “Get out!” The floor shivers and rolls beneath my feet, windows rattle in their panes. Dotty grabs hold of my hand and pulls me back through the door. We run together through the west wing, as the building shudders, collapsing behind us.

Above the cacophony of falling masonry, I hear fiendish laughter in the darkness… followed by the sound of silence.

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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
1 month ago

We absolutely could not resist this title. Bravo, Carrie! Simon & Garfunkle are smiling.

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
1 month ago

Well done, Carrie. You set the scene perfectly and I’m sure I heard a noise coming from somewhere at the other end of my house! I remember sitting through the night at a nursing home with my Mum when my Nan passed away. Lots of interesting sounds!

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
1 month ago

Before even having started to read your story, I loved the title. An excellent play on words and reminder of the old song. I’m glad, however, that you mentioned that the last line was equally an echo of the same song. I should have seen it, but didn’t. Reading your comments is almost as chilling as the story itself. It must have been a different experience to work night shifts there. Did it really happen the way you describe it? Even the wardrobe blocking the door and the voice roaring when you entered?

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
1 month ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

Thanks for taking time to elaborate on your story, Carrie. There certainly are some fascinating details in it. I’m glad that you shared your experiences with us and created this impressive story.

Heather C
Heather C (@heather-c)
1 month ago

Nooooo, these happenings were based on actual events!?! Love it. Oh man. Creepy x 10! I loved the sentences, “We all hate the west wing, with its shadowy corners and icy cold spots. It gives us all the creeps. Dotty, one of my auxiliary nurses describes it as ‘black as the Devil’s back passage.’” This paragraph was really standout. I almost feel like you could start the story with it and then follow with your descriptions of the home. It’s such a descriptive, atmospheric scene. Great story!

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Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills (@greene-m-wills-2)
1 month ago

I loved your new take on a haunted hospital/nursing home! I noticed the references to the song immediately but what I really enjoyed was the touch of humour coming through Dotty’s comments about the “the Devil’s back passage” 😂  😉  I just wonder if the scary voice telling the nurses to get out was really malevolent, since by warning them it saved their life, allowing them to escape the building before it fell…

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 month ago

Carrie, there is a build up of spine-chilling horror in the story. Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes!

Orlando Sanchez
Orlando Sanchez (@orlando-sanchez)
1 month ago

Super scary…awesome!

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
1 month ago

Carrie, this story is beyond scary! I am unsure whether the story or your comments on the story are more scary! I also immediately picked up on your reference to Simon and Garfunkle’s song. It is a great song, indeed 🙂 Just like Greene, I was wondering too if the voice yelling to get out was malevolent, or actually helping them. Brilliant story!

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
1 month ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

Either way it was scary!  😄 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

Hello, Carrie. Oh, Carrie, the title was catchy. It was a super scary tale and perfectly crafted. Nicely done. I love it.

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Trista HerringBaughman
Trista HerringBaughman (@trista-herringbaughman)
1 month ago

Spine-tingling! I love the Simon & Garfunkle references! I had to listen to the song right away. I love the history and the village name. The underlying element of truth makes it more compelling. Your opening line is good, although I agree with another comment that you could open with: We all hate the west wing, with its shadowy corners and icy cold spots. It gives us all the creeps. Dotty, one of my auxiliary nurses, describes it as ‘black as the Devil’s back passage’.
She isn’t wrong; it feels… demonic. 
But I don’t know; I really like it as is. There are a few minor grammatical issues, nothing that takes away from your story. You set the creepy mood nicely. The ending does not disappoint. You could make this into a longer story, but it would also be an excellent addition to a book of short stories. Great story. 

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