Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween At The Hospital

When I was director of public relations for Doctors Hospital, I decided to hold a Halloween decorating contest among the departments. I thought the patients and visitors would enjoy a festive atmosphere and the employees loved getting into the spirit. They were always up for a competition. Every department participated from pharmacy to human resources to physical therapy. The entire hospital was adorned with witches, ghosts, and pumpkins. I remember radiology used actual skeletal x-rays and hung them around the department. They won the pizza contest. I also asked every employee to dress up on Halloween and we opened our doors to the north-side kids. Fremont Elementary was one of our Partners in Education, so we invited them to our hospital-wide Halloween party. Our chief of surgery dressed like a vampire, stood on a table, and chose the top three winners of our costume contest. A few hundred little trick or treaters walked throughout the hospital, collecting candy from all the caregivers. We were also the only hospital in town to x-ray candy and received great coverage. It was very memorable and a great deal of fun in a place that is usually viewed warily, especially by children. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

More Spooky Stories...

'Tis the scary season, so I'll share a few more spooky stories. When my sister, cousins, friends and I were in middle and high school, we were intrigued with otherworldly things. Maybe all kids are at that age. Below were our top three choices to make contact with spirits. Ouija board As you probably know, this is a board containing the alphabet, "yes and no," and various symbols. Participants ask a question, lightly place their fingers on the pointer, and let it slide (be guided) to the correct answer. Of course, we asked things like, "Will so and so kiss me?" "Does he think I'm cute?" Of course, the pointer would miraculously land on the appropriate answer. Levitation was another method we used. To this day, I don't know how it worked because we were all barely 100 pounds (maybe 115) and would somehow lift a body. A person would lie flat on the ground with two girls on each side, one at the head, and another at the feet. We'd say some mystic thing and then be able to lift the body into the air using only two fingers each. I'm still puzzled by how young girls could do this, but it worked every time. Chills. Seances were, by far, the scariest practice we used. Once, on the gounds of my cousin's very old home, we built a bonfire and sat in a circle. A woman who supposedly knew how to contact spirits did her thing. She kept staring at me and finally said she saw her grandmother over my head. I ran screaming as did everyone else. When I got to the house, I had a mark on my forehead. It looked like two fingernail scratches and was bloody. I tried to tell myself I had run into a tree limb. BUT the next day my mother had the exact same mark on her forehead! She didn't tell me for weeks but that ended my seance, levitation and Ouija board activities. Have you tried these methods? Did they work?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Haunted Hotels & Ghosts

In the spirit of Halloween (and since I just returned from a supposed haunted hotel in San Diego), this week's post is about ghosts. Last week, my daughter and I stayed at the Del Coronado Hotel (affectionately called "The Del") in San Diego, California. Built in 1888, The Del has hosted many major celebrities including Madonna, Brad Pitt, Barbara Streisand, Marilyn Monroe and many other celebs. The movie "Some Like It Hot" was shot there. Also, ten U.S. presidents have stayed at The Del. But their most famous guest is Kate Morgan. The story goes that Kate went to The Del decades ago to meet her estranged husband. We saw pictures of her checking in and walking alone along the beach. One problem: her husband never showed. She waited and waited and finally, allegedly took her own life on the stairs near the salon. A bellman who has worked at the hotel for 27 years said she was murdered and that's why she can't rest. She wants everyone to know and has appeared in many rooms, turned on ceiling fans, televisions, opened closet doors or appeared as a shadow. Eeek! Every person we spoke with (front desk, bellman, elevator guy, and servers assurred us Kate is still very much around). I specifically requested a non-haunted room, and we were placed in a newer addition which looked just like a Holiday Inn. At the high room prices, I requested a change of rooms (Madonna apparently requested five changes) and we were placed in the old Victorian section. Oh, my. AND...our room number used to be her room! Since they remodeled, it was a different room but the same room number. I was terrified she'd get confused and visit our room! For that reason, I slept with my eyes tightly shut, took sleeping pills, and hated to get up in the night to go to the restroom. Luckily, we didn't see her. Apparently, Kate most often visits the rooms of couples because she's jealous. As I mentioned, I was with my daughter. The hotel is very unique, has great restaurants where you can eat along the beach, and an old-time elevator operated by scary old guys. There's also a unique wine/cheese/chocolate bar. Yum. The beach was gorgeous, there's a pool and a spa/salon. I'd highly recommend this hotel if you aren't afraid of Kate. Have you ever stayed in a haunted hotel or encountered a ghost? Please tell us about it. BOO!!!