Did you see the ghost or hear spooky footsteps on children's ward at Chesterfield's old hospital?

Spooky tales surround Chesterfield’s old hospital which former staff members believe was haunted.

By Gay Bolton
Thursday, 5th August 2021, 3:21 pm
The old Chesterfield Royal Hospital on Holywell Street  which closed in 1984.
The old Chesterfield Royal Hospital on Holywell Street which closed in 1984.

Nurses on the night shift reported ghostly footsteps in the Nightingale children’s ward and the sound of taps being turned on in the sluice room, even though no-one had entered it.

Kate Redfern, who was a student nurse on the ward for three months in the late Seventies, said: “It was reputedly haunted by a former nurse who turned oxygen cylinders down. Was definitely spooky when you had to work night duty there.”

Gray Wilson commented on the Old Chesterfield Facebook site: “I saw her at least five times when I was a student nurse on there.”

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Theresa Yates, pictured right, was a student nurse on the Nightingale ward in the early Seventies. She is pictured with fellow student nurse Barbara Woolley. Theresa and Barbara grew up together, went to Tibshelf School and became nurses at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Several stories have sprung up about the haunting of the hospital on Holywell Street. One belief was that it was a former nurse who took her own life after the death of a child in her care and her spirit would turn off the oxygen supply.

Another was that it was a matron who jumped to her death every night. And another claims the hospital was haunted by the ghosts of children.

Dave Walsh rekindled tales of the haunting when he posted a photo of the hospital which closed in 1984 after 125 years.

He also posed a question to Facebook followers about what was special about the upper rooms with the balconies and railings.

Mary Bullas said: “When I worked on there as a student nurse the balcony rooms were usually used for children who were really poorly or needed barrier nursing.”

Several former patients recalled their time on the Nightingale ward where they had their tonsils, appendix or adenoids removed or were treated for broken arms or legs.

Stuart Beresford and his twin sister had their tonsils removed in the late Fifties. He posted: “if the weather was good the nurses would let you go out on the balcony for some fresh air.”

Ann Cooper wrote: “I was in the children’s ward. I had pneumonia, it was just as I was starting school.”