Tag Archives: angels

Angels at the Nursing Home

It was surreal when my mother told me about the ‘angels’ frequenting her new nursing home. She had been a die-hard atheist all her life and, even as I don’t mind believers, seeing such a drastic change in personality shattered the last of my illusions about her condition.

I visited the nursing home once a week, every Tuesday night as long as I got out of work early enough. But in her room, with my mother sitting in her armchair and looking at me with glassy eyes, I felt uncomfortable. Visiting became a chore, a responsibility, a duty to pay back all that she had done for me.

For the first weeks in the new home she still recognized me, but her condition worsened quickly. First she confused my name with that of old friends and colleagues of hers, then she stopped using names altogether. Like strangers at a party we talked about the weather, clothing, and items in the room. The staff told me she read the news every morning – but in our conversations she never knew about the events of the day. If anything, her memory slowly seemed to recede, as if the later parts of her life were slowly deleted out of her mind.

The only consistent things were the angels. My mother always said how grateful she was for their visits. She liked their white clothing and their bright smiles. She said they always took the pain away.

At first I thought the nightly visitors were staff members – but when I challenged the staff on why they were waking my mother up during the night they said they would never do such a thing. Hallucinations or illusions – that seemed to be the only option.

When I overheard my mother’s room neighbor talking about angels I still didn’t get nervous or worried. I thought it might be a myth, a story going around the nursing home and repeated so often that it stuck with even those patients that didn’t seem to remember whether or not they had eaten lunch.

A few months ago, while entering my mother’s room, I heard her speaking to a nurse about the angels. She said that they were coming every night, massaged her, and helped her fall asleep.

I took the nurse aside and asked her about the ‘angels.’ The nurse seemed as clueless as me, but she said that my mother wasn’t the only patient talking about angels. Most of the patients in the dementia wing of the nursing home had begun talking about the angels. The nurse said that the night guards were advised to regularly patrol the corridor and that they had watched nightly security tape recordings – but nobody entered or left the corridor.

The nurse tried to convince me that it was all just a matter of imagination. She said not to believe in those things and that the stories about angels would end as quickly as they had begun.

I believed the nurse. I felt uneasy, but the staff members seemed competent and were obviously doing their best to make sure that their patients were safe. In any case, all the patients were clearly saying only positive things about the angels – they helped to fall asleep, they took pain away, and they made the patients feel lighter and sleep better.

Whenever my mother talked about the angels I just ignored it. I shook it off; just like I shook off that she obviously didn’t know who I was or that our conversations were repetitive and exhausting. There are things you want to do for your parents, but the last I wanted to do was to try to re-convert her to atheism just because it made me feel more comfortable to see her as she had always been.

The dreams of angels were clearly good for her and helped her feel at ease in the unfamiliar surroundings.

Then my mother began to talk of death. I had many conversations with her about death, but none where she explicitly claimed to know who in the home would die next. She even named the dates. She said the angels told her about it.

Three patients died that week, and for each my mother predicted the correct day. An older man walked out of the home, stayed too long in the cold, and died from a lung infection on Thursday night. Saturday night two older women died from heart failure.

The next week my mother predicted another death for the night. I told the nurses about it and they said they were sure that the patient was stable. Still they promised to observe him closely.

The next day the nurses gave me a call. They said I had to come in, it was urgent.

A nurse of the night shift had found the patient at 3am, dead, with his shirt ripped apart and his mouth wide open.

They asked me how I had known. I told them that it wasn’t me; that my mother had told me about it.

The doctor said that maybe my mother was just a very receptive person. He said that she must have picked up on signals of heart failure that the nurses hadn’t noticed during the day.

Right after the conversation with the doctor I went out to buy a camera. I charged the batteries and at night placed it on a shelf in my mother’s room and turned it on. I felt guilty for it – as if I was betraying my mother’s trust – but I also felt I needed to make sure that she was alright.

In the morning I drove by to pick the camera up. My mother said that the angels had told her another patient would die, but they hadn’t told her – or maybe she didn’t remember – who it would be.

I watched the recording at work. I saw parts of my mother’s body that I never wanted to see, saw her go to bed; saw the nurse check on her and the light go off. At about 2:30am there was a sudden flash of light, then movement in the bed. My mother got up, walked towards the camera and turned it off.

That night I went back to the nursing home. This time I hid the camera under a stack of clothes while my mother was in the bathroom. I hugged her goodbye. She looked sad when I left, but didn’t say a word.

In the morning the nursing home called me. They said they had found my mother dead. They said it looked like a heart attack.

They didn’t allow me to see the body.

“It’s a medical thing,” said the nurse. “And believe me, you really don’t want to. Remember her as you last saw her.”

I felt a strange sensation in my chest when I went to her room. The white bed sheets were pushed to the side of the mattress and many of her items on the bedside tables were pushed over. The camera was still in place.

I remember every detail of that film.

I watched how my mother went to bed for the last time. I watched how the nurse checked on her; how my mother fell asleep.

Then, at around 2:30am the camera recorded a flash of light. My mother sat up in her bed. The window opened and two young men in white climbed into the room. My mother welcomed them.

They placed something in my mother’s hand. She placed the small object in her own mouth and seemed to swallow it; then she lay back on her bed while the men placed an object around her arm.

A tube from the object on her arm led to a long, thin object. The object filled with dark liquid. My mother smiled at the men.

The men packed the long object in a white bag; then they also pulled the first object off my mother’s arm. My mother stroked her own arm.

“That’s all, right?” She whispered.

“That’s all,” replied one of the men. “Here is your reward.”

They placed another object in her hand.

“It will look natural?” My mother asked.

One of the men nodded.

“Thank you,” my mother whispered.

The two men climbed back out of the window.

For a few minutes my mother lay on the bed with her eyes to the ceiling; then she placed the object in her mouth. She smiled, then swallowed.

Her body convulsed; her arms slapped against the mattress; her mouth opened wide. A sound of bones cracking; then her movement stopped.

Her body sank slowly back onto the blanket. Her mouth stayed wide open.

I went to the police the same day. I handed them the tape and my testimony. They called the director and staff in for an interrogation.

I expected them to call me too. When they hadn’t called me at all three days later I went to the station again. One of the officers led me to a separate room.

“Look,” he said. “Your testimony is not enough.”

“I gave you the tape.”

“What tape?” asked the officer.

We discussed for more than thirty minutes; I demanded to speak to his superior, who also claimed there was no tape. I demanded to speak to the next superior who claimed not to know anything about the case and that his officers would never lie.

I copied the tape of the first night as evidence that I wasn’t lying, that it was all true what I said.

Now, instead, they claim that I handed a tape in when I filed my report. They claim that I’m crazy and that the tape I handed in shows nothing but my mother sleeping, then getting up and turning the camera off.

By now I’ve been banned from the grounds of the nursing home. I could go to prison if I go back. But the last time when I was there; when I shouted at the director about a conspiracy and ‘angels,’ a lot of patient faces turned to me. And they all smiled.


This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.

The Angel’s Lunatic

“Shoot me!”

“No.”

“Give me some poison. A knife. Anything!”

“Adrian, you won’t die here. We can cure you.” I said.

“There is nothing to be cured.” Adrian said. “I shot my wife and I failed to shoot myself. I have to die. Kill me. Please kill me. I can’t live with that! And I don’t want to see them again!”

“See whom, Adrian?”

“The Angels. They are after me.”

“Adrian, your file says you left priesthood because you lost your faith. Is that why you believe that ‘angels’ are after you?”

“I don’t know.” Adrian said. “Maybe because I lost my faith; or because I married. I don’t know why, but those things are after me. I’m not sure if they are real angels. They’ve been watching us for months. My wife saw them too!”

“Your wife saw them too?”

“Yes. She even saw them first. She is – “ A look of horror hushed over Adrian’s face. “She was a light sleeper.”

“Is that why you shot your wife, Adrian? Because she saw angels? Did that make you feel guilty or upset?”

“What? No!” Adrian replied. “She didn’t make me feel guilty. I shot her to end it, to end all of it. Why else do you think I shot myself?”

I stayed quiet.

“She suffered even more than me. I would have managed, but Rose couldn’t. She was crying every day; every single day!”

“Why was she crying?” I asked.

“Because of the Angels! Because of the Angels and their mind games. They kept appearing at our windows with these long mouthless faces. They did that for weeks and weeks, every night. They were outside our bedroom window; even when we closed the blinds we could hear them flapping their wings or clinging to the wall.”

“Are you sure you didn’t see some sort of animal?”

“Animal!” Adrian blew air through his nose. “We saw them every single night and you think we just saw some owls?”

“Sorry,” I said. “I just want to make sure that I get it right. What do these ‘angels’ look like, Adrian?”

“It’s hard to describe.” Adrian said. “They are a bit like humans, but completely different. Their eyes are round and black, and they don’t have a mouth, but they do have a flat nose. And they don’t really have a neck. Their heads are right on the torso, and really long.”

“And they have wings?”

“Yes! Yes, they have wings. That’s why Rose called them Angels. When they were outside we always saw their wings. But not like birds; not with feathers. Those wings looked more like leathery skin, a bit like bats, but not black. They are gray, like the rest of their body.”

“Okay, Adrian, I think I have a picture. You said your wife heard those angels first?”

“Yes,” Adrian said. “Rose saw them first. A few months ago she woke me up in the middle of the night. She was shaking and babbling something about angels and prayers. I first thought she had a nightmare and when she explained to me what she saw I didn’t believe her; I just couldn’t believe her. I thought she was delusional; she always felt guilty that I gave the church up for her.”

“Do you regret giving up your priesthood?”

“No. But why would that even matter?”

“It might.” I said.

“Look,” Adrian said. “I’m telling you, I’m not insane. I saw those beasts outside our window, and my wife saw them too.”

Adrian placed his fist on the table.

“I saw them for the first time two nights after Rose saw them; she woke me up again and at first I was angry, but then I saw this thing clawing against our window. I called the police that night. I’m sure there’s a recording somewhere, you can check it. We both talked to the operator, both Rose and I. I’m not insane; it wasn’t just me that saw them.”

“What did you tell the police?”

“I told them what I saw, this gray thing in our window, with these small, black and round eyes focused at us. The police told us they’d send someone out straight away. But a minute later the thing was just gone; when the officer arrived he didn’t see anything.”

“The next night the thing was there again and I called the police again. They sent another car, but it was exactly the same – first the thing was wildly flapping outside our window, and the moment we had called the police it was gone. And since then the police refused our requests; they said we could be fined or imprisoned for ‘prank calling’.”

Adrian laughed.

“At that point Rose and I actually thought we were insane, or that it was a food poisoning or something. But it wasn’t. Those things came back nearly every night since then.”

“Adrian, what did the ‘angel’ want from you?”

“I don’t know! It’s not like they spoke to us or anything. They just stared, and sometimes they were flying and flapping their wings, and sometimes they only had their claws hooked in the wall and were scratching or tapping against the window.”

“So you never interacted with these ‘angels’?”

“Of course we did. We tried to shoo it away by running towards the window. Once I even tried to throw a shoe at it from our other bedroom window, but the Angels are fast – the moment I turned the window handle of the right window it flew away from the left window and flew for a moment in front of the window where I was standing. It was as if it was waiting for me to open the window, as if it was waiting for a moment to dart forward and push inside the bedroom. In the end I just stood there and it flew on the other side. I didn’t open the window, and when I sat back down the Angel came back closer to the window.”

“And you only saw this ‘angel’ only during the night?”

“Yes.” Adrian nodded. “Only in the middle of the night; and only in front of our bedroom window. A few nights we slept in my office, but then one of the angels appeared there too and so we moved back to our bedroom.”

“What else did you try to get rid of this ‘angel’?”

“Well,” Adrian said. “As I said, the first thing we tried was to shoo it away. But it never went away; no matter what we did, it just stayed and stared, and then, in the morning, it was gone.”

“Did you ever try to get other witnesses?”

“What do you think we would do? Tell our friends or my dement mother that some monster is lurking outside our bedroom window? Not even the police believed us. We didn’t want to look like lunatics. These things were ruining our nights and we didn’t want them to ruin our friendships too.”

“What about cameras?” I asked.

“We tried that.” Adrian said. “But it only worked once; it only worked the first time I tried it. I had my digital camera next to our bed and when the angel appeared I quickly took a photo. And I’m sure it was on the photo; only when I took the second one it quickly darted out of sight. But I wanted to share the photo as soon as possible. I left the camera on my drawer, next to Rose, and went to my office to get my laptop – but when I came back into the room Rose was asleep and the camera was gone.”

“Were you out of the room for a long time?”

“No, just two minutes or so; and Rose said she didn’t remember falling asleep or seeing the photo, although I definitely showed it to her.”

“You think this ‘angel’ came into your room and took your camera?”

“That’s the only explanation I can think of. I barely slept that night. I kept searching the room – under the bed, in the wardrobe, anywhere – to make sure that I hadn’t misplaced it somewhere. And in the morning I searched the other rooms. But the camera was gone and this thing was still outside our window. And afterwards, when I tried to take pictures with my mobile phone and my webcam it always flew away before the photo was shot.”

“So it knew what you were doing?”

“Yes. It was as if it knew, as if it was reading my mind or something.”

“That’s all you tried, that one night?”

“No! I tried it several times. I even bought a new camera for it, but this thing always flew out of view. And then I tried the video thing and I think that made it all worse. I think it made them angry or something.”

“How so?”

“Well, I bought a new camera and set it up to shoot a video. That was actually the first night I slept well, because I felt safe. And I think Rose had given up at that point. She just wanted to keep the blinds shut; I think she was hoping they would go away by themselves if we didn’t pay attention anymore. But I didn’t want to just sit by and let these things ruin our lives.”

“What happened to your video, Adrian?”

“I had it set up to film and I was sure that it would work all night; I thought it would keep that thing away from our window because it obviously didn’t want to be filmed. But in the middle of the night I woke up from loud scratches outside. I was actually excited; I thought I finally had proof. I sat up and looked towards the camera – and one of those things was standing right there, at the foot of our bed. It was staring at us and one of its clawed arm-like things was resting on the camera, as if it wanted to say ‘Don’t do that again.’”

“I just sat there, frozen in bed and watched this thing while it was staring at me. And the other one was still flapping outside our window, more vigorous and louder than usual. It was like that for at least five minutes, me frozen in place and this thing standing in the shadow at the end of our bed, with this smooth skin hanging from its body. It had its wings somehow retracted back into its body. I didn’t see them without their wings, but the one in our room looked as if it didn’t have any. It looked nearly human, just with the mouth and neck missing and wrong eyes instead.”

“I’m not sure how exactly it went off. I think Rose woke up and she saw that thing in our room and screamed. I turned to her and in the corner of my vision I see the thing jump upwards – and the next thing I remember is my alarm clock ringing and a slight headache. Rose said the same; she remembered seeing the thing in our room – and then nothing except a weak pressure at the top of her skull. I actually checked for any wounds, as if this thing somehow stole part of our brains – but there was no wound or scar on Rose’s head, it looked completely normal.”

“Adrian –“

“Let me talk.” Adrian said. “The thing is that that’s the first night I realized that those things were in our house; that they weren’t just watching. I mean, I should have noticed it earlier, that we always somehow fell asleep and didn’t remember falling asleep. But that night I remembered this thing standing inside our room. We knew then that the Angels weren’t just outside. Or at least I knew; I never talked with Rose about it because I didn’t want to worry her more. But that’s the first time I made the connection.”

“You have to understand,” Adrian said. “I think the Angels came inside every night. Every single night they came inside our room. I tried everything to stay awake, from games to caffeine to poking myself with a needle every few minutes. But nothing worked. I always woke up without any memory of falling asleep; and the day I tried the thing with the needle – when I woke up it was pierced straight through my hand. I don’t know how I could have fallen asleep with that.”

“Rose gave up. She just cried herself to sleep while I sat up and tried to think of ways to keep them out. I tried barricading the door and windows; but still I heard them flapping outside – and then woke up without memory of falling asleep. We tried sleeping in hotels; we didn’t hear them flying outside, but we still woke up without remembering going to bed. We even thought about staying with Rose’s sister, but she had small children.”

“Nothing I tried worked. Do you understand that? Nothing!”

“So you are trying to tell me that you killed your wife and tried to kill yourself, only to escape those ‘angels’?” I asked.

“What do you mean ‘only’?” Adrian sounded angry. “Can you imagine what that’s like? Those things were in our room every night and we had no idea what they were doing with us. The love of my life was sinking into a depression and began to spend even her days hiding under the blanket; and I felt every day more scared and more helpless. They were destroying us. I don’t know why or how they did any of these things, or even what they were – I mean, I tried finding anything about them, but I found nothing about anything like those angels, nothing at all. The angels were destroying us, and with every night it went on I had the feeling that they were enjoying it, that they were doing it on purpose.”

“Don’t you understand,” Adrian said. “There just weren’t any options left. I’m not crazy and I don’t want to die. But there was no other option. Nothing I tried helped and everyone I told about the Angels thought I was crazy. I even wrote on some online forums and the people laughed me out of there and insulted me. I just didn’t know what else to do.”

“I thought about it for weeks, how I would do it. I even bought the gun. I tried shooting them too, but the two nights I tried it I just woke up with the gun in my hand, with the ammunition gone. And then this weird dream happened and I panicked and I shot Rose and myself and woke up in the hospital.”

“What weird dream?” I asked.

“It’s hard to describe,” Adrian said. “It was just this really bright light in front of my face, and two of those things leaning over me and there was an intense pain in my chest. I remember screaming, but then I just woke up normally in the morning; it wasn’t like a nightmare where you wake up. It was more like a memory of something that happened during the night. I didn’t even remember any of the details, and my chest looked normal in the morning – but I remember this intense pain, as if something was being pulled out of my body.”

“Adrian, you were in the hospital and now here for a night. Do you still see these creatures?”

“In the hospital I didn’t see anything. It might have been just the drugs they gave me there, but for those two week in the hospital I don’t remember falling asleep at all. And last night I don’t remember falling asleep either; but I heard some sounds that sounded like their wings flapping.”

“Adrian, I can assure you that nothing can get in your room.”

Adrian snorted. “That’s what I thought about my house too. And besides. I will die. I have to die. I killed my wife and I’m not going to go to prison or stay locked up here for the rest of my life. And I don’t think I can live with that memory, with the image of the hole in Rose’s forehead. I will die. I need to die. I want to die. And besides, if I don’t do it myself they will probably kill me.”

“You will be fine,” I said. “I’ll assign you a psychiatrist for tomorrow.”

“Fine,” Adrian said. “I will wait till tomorrow.”

But Adrian didn’t wait. The same night, at shortly past 5 in the morning a room neighbor alarmed the nurse about loud noises, similar to a fight, from Adrian’s room. By the time the nurse opened his room Adrian was dead.

His hands and lower arms were covered in blood. The coroner concluded that Adrian had ripped his own abdomen open with his bare hands. His intestine, stomach and several other organs were whole or partially ripped out of his body and spread out on the floor.

In the morning, when I was questioned about his death, I didn’t shed a tear. I figured it was good that he had died; that his suffering had finally ended. Even if he could have been cured of his hallucinations – nobody could have cured him of the knowledge that he killed his wife, the woman he called “the love of my life.”

Adrian was the first that mentioned the Angels. But back then I didn’t know that he wouldn’t be the last.


This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.