With its cool steel interior and uncannily silent atmosphere, the morgue isn’t exactly one of the most idealistic places where you’d want to spend your free time—holding rows and rows of the recently deceased waiting to be identified and laid to rest, it’s usually limited to a dead man’s party of one. Cadavers aside, since the morgue doesn’t exactly scream fun times, you can imagine how many chilling encounters abound in this intersection between the living and the dead. Here are the 10+ most terrifying things that have ever happened in a morgue.
1. Door Slams Repeatedly On Its Own in a Former Brazilian Morgue
This chilling video was reportedly recorded inside of a former morgue that now houses a children’s center, because everyone knows that kids love playing with ghosts (Casper, anyone?) This doesn’t seem to be the makings of a very friendly ghost, however, because in the video, you can see one of two security guards walking slowly down a hallway towards a heavy metal door opening and slamming shut all on its own while the overhead lights continuously flicker. The hallway is completely empty except for the guard using the worst flashlight ever and his colleague right behind him shooting the shaky video on his phone (keep your day job, er…night job, guys). As the two men creep down the hallway and get closer to the door, all goes dark for several moments before the lights turn back on, and the door…well, the door just stops slamming in the most silent and eerie way possible.
2. Frozen Chamber Nightmare
Imagine yourself waking up, ready to enjoy the scent of freshly brewed coffee in the morning, but found yourself trapped inside of a cold metal coffin instead. Sadly, this tragedy occurred in July 2010, when Maria de Jesús Arroyo, 80, was declared dead after suffering a heart attack at White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights, CA. After her family said their last good-byes, she was placed inside of a body bag in a freezer compartment face-up in the hospital’s morgue. According to court documents, once morticians received her body several days later, she was found face down with a broken nose and numerous lacerations and bruises to her face, with half of the body bag unzipped. She was so badly disfigured that the morticians were not able to properly mask her injuries. Arroyo’s family initially sued the hospital for negligence due to mishandling of her body, since they had seen Arroyo after her death and she did not have any injuries to her face at that time. Once the case went to court, however, pathologist William Louis Manion gave his shocking expert opinion as to what really happened, and it turned out to be most everyone’s worst nightmare: Maria de Jesús Arroyo had been frozen alive and actually died of hypothermia and asphyxiation. Manion stated that Arroyo “was alive in the hospital’s freezer [and] eventually woke up due to extreme cold and suffered the injuries herself attempting to escape her frozen tomb.” The negligence lawsuit was eventually dropped, with the family then filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital. According to court documents, the hospital reportedly had inconsistent records of Arroyo’s EKG that would have helped determine if her heart had indeed stopped beating.
3. The Morgue Keeper
Sometimes it’s not the dead bodies in the morgue that are creepy—the people running it can prove to be the most terrifying. Taken originally from a Reddit post, this video is narrated by Dr. Horror, and it’s a tale that will truly terrify anyone thinking of taking on a custodian job during late nights… especially one involving a creepy morgue keeper!
4. Cadaver Abuse Crimes
Former BBC Top of the Pops host Jimmy Savile’s appearance is frightening in and of itself (I mean…that hair!). But besides a nauseating slew of child molestation and sexual abuse accusations brought to light after his death in 2011, there were also numerous accounts that he abused dead bodies whilst volunteering at both the Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary mortuary in England. In the 1960s and 70s, Savile was given unrestricted access to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, including the morgue, despite his reputation as a “sex pest.” According to The Mirror, a former therapist at the hospital stated that he was told Savile had been seen “trying to have sexual intercourse with dead bodies in the hospital mortuary” and a former nurse told investigators how she was warned not to go down to the morgue if the “pink-haired man is there.” There were also claims that the entertainer reportedly ”interfered with the bodies of deceased patients” and a patient at another hospital overheard nurses discussing that they had seen Savile have sex with a dead body at another hospital. Dr. Sue Proctor, who led the main investigation into Savile’s abuse, told a press conference last year that Savile claimed that large rings he wore were ”made from the glass eyes of dead bodies at the mortuary.” So in addition to hosting a TV show with the biggest up-and-coming musical acts, he had several side gigs as a pedophile, necrophiliac, and sick pervert who stole from the dead to make himself pretty little glass eyeball bracelets. That’s not groovy, man! Ultimately, he was one terrifying and depraved dude that, thankfully, the world will never have in its midst again.
Source: The Mirror
5. Abandoned and Vandalized
This video of men excavating the dilapidated remnants of a former morgue isn’t exactly scary (aww, boo!! No ghosts appear! Heh. See what I did there?). Anyways, what is truly bone-chilling is seeing the deterioration of what was once the semi-last resting place of the recently deceased turned into mounds of chaos and vandalism. Watching this video will make you to hold your breath the entire time, causing your heart to pound and make you feel the heebie-jeebies, if only because the abandoned morgue itself is unsettling and could easily be the perfect set for a found-video footage horror movie.
Source: YouTube/Jrizzy Jeremy
6. Even Morgue Hauntings
Wrestler, punkero, and self-proclaimed specialist of the occult, El Vampiro (The Vampire), visits a morgue in Guadalara, Jalisco, Mexico, and decides to channel his inner vampire by sucking in all the energy from the morgue. Naturally, the most effective way to do this is to lie down inside one of the cold chambers and lock yourself inside it with just a handheld camera…duh! El Vampiro lasts almost an hour inside the chamber, and talking to the camera, he says that it reeks of a horrid smell and is experiencing both hot and cold sensations sweeping over him. Suddenly, at about the 3:00 minute mark, you can hear what sounds like a child’s moan from another chamber. After about 70 minutes in, El Vampiro begins to panic and demands that the crew get him out of the chamber immediately. Once outside, he says he feels disoriented, lost, and confused, and is eager to leave the morgue. Once he reviewed the other video footage set up inside the morgue, he found something that would send shivers up anyone’s spine. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fluent Spanish speaker or not—you can check out the video starting at the 5:03 mark and watch some chilling footage appear before your eyes, which apparently occurred at the exact same time as the child’s moan.
Source: Extranormal/Canal Oficial
7. Post Mortem Movement
Guess what? Dead people can move and moan. A cadaver can moan and groan due to trapped air escaping from their lungs or stomach. Ugh! Sometimes after death, if there is any lingering brain activity or electrochemical reaction in the nerves, a cadaver can even spasm and twitch, causing jerk-like movements which can be positively terrifying, especially to those new in the mortuary science world. Even the most experienced mortician is apt to get their share of frights when working the morgue, or you can also get your fair share of frights from your immature asshole colleagues as noted in the video here:
8. Back from the Dead
A man in South Africa awoke inside of a morgue chamber almost 24 hours after his family thought he had died. After the family called the undertaker to pick up his body and take it to the morgue, he spent nearly a whole day in freezing temperatures before he began yelling from within the chamber for help. Morgue workers were initially frightened, as they thought the screams were coming from an ill-tempered ghost. “I couldn’t believe it!” Ayanda Maqolo, the morgue owner, said. “I was also scared. But they are my employees and I had to show them I wasn’t scared, so I called the police.” Because Ghostbusters’ proto packs are in low supply in South Africa, the police came armed with firearms instead, ready to shoot whatever came out of the chamber, be it man or mist. The man emerged and was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation, then later discharged. He later reported that he still suffers from nightmares due to the traumatic experience. The South African health department spokesperson, Sizwe Kupelo, urged South Africans to call their health officials to confirm whether their loved ones are truly dead. The man’s family, however, was thrilled to discover that instead of making funeral arrangements, they’d be planning a welcome back party instead.
9. Venezuelan Exploding Carcasses
You might not want to eat any arepas, or basically any food in general, before reading this. Okay? Ready? All right, you’ve been warned! In a Venezuelan hospital just east of Caracas, a lack of formaldehyde and freezer chambers, in addition to warm temperatures, can cause bodies to essentially explode inside the Emergency Room of the Hospital Universitario Antonio Patricio de Alcalá—and that is exactly what happened in October 2016. The hospital has only one morgue with six refrigerated chambers, and running water is so scarce that any bodies brought in after the chambers have been filled are given the perfect breeding grounds for putrefication. Without adequate treatment, corpses fill with gas and internal organs enflame to the point that they can, indeed, explode. The unfortunate doctors and staff must work in subhuman conditions, with the stench of decomposing bodies filling several hospital floors, causing staff and patients to inhale nauseating odors. There is no dignity for the dead here, as bodies are usually left in hallways or stacked on top of each other, causing them to rot and decompose, and eventually end up as sewage juice. Oh, did I forget to add that you shouldn’t be drinking anything when reading this either? Oops, sorry—my bad.
Source: Fox News
10. Baby Found Alive After Spending 12 Hours in Morgue
Of all the terrifying things on this list, there is absolutely nothing more horrific and tragic for new parents than to have their baby die in their arms. Such was the case for Analia Bouter and her husband, Fabian Veron, of Argentina. Their baby, Lucia Abigail, was born three months prematurely, and as there seemed to be no signs of life, she was declared dead and sent immediately to the morgue. After 12 hours inside the chamber, Lucia’s mother insisted on saying a final good-bye to her daughter. Once she convinced the hospital staff to open the sealed metal coffin that held her baby, she was shocked when she heard a small cry from the newborn—the baby had survived the cold temperatures and showed signs of life! It was a true miracle! Her overjoyed parents renamed her Luz Milagros, which means “Miracle of Light,” and were ecstatic to have their beautiful daughter back. Unfortunately, the happiness didn’t last too long, as little Luz Milagros suffered from developmental problems, including microcephaly, and tragically passed away due to health complications just after her first birthday.
11. A Haunted Morgue-Ghost Stories, Paranormal & Supernatural Radio
You can listen to the Real Ghost Stories podcast by clicking on the link to hear short ghost story tales submitted by listeners. During this episode, they discuss, amongst other creepy things, whether the undead haunt the places they are kept before they reach their final resting place.