I hang my head in shame, names have been changed to protect the innocent..
One dark and stormy night – NO, NO, REALLY, it was dark and stormy, it was the night of the famous hurricane here in southern England. Michael Fish, the Walter Cronkite of weatherman on BBC1, chuckled about it at 6pm on TV and said it wasn’t going to happen, he said “some lady phoned in to the Met Office to say there was a great storm approaching, well everyone, I can assure you that there is no storm approaching, there’s going to be some rain but no storm…the really bad weather is going to miss us!”
Four hours after telling us that The Great Storm did indeed pitch up on our doorsteps, some houses lost their roofs, many buildings suffered structural damage and tree’s were uprooted, Seven Oaks, a village in Kent was dramatically transformed into Two Oaks and many books were written about the Great Hurricane..
So ‘one dark and stormy night’, October 16th, 1987, I was asked to accompany my then girlfriend Jen and her friend Diane, to Springfield Psychiatric hospital so they could copy down their off duty rota as they were due to work there on their Student Nurse rotation.
So we went across the fields to Springfield loony bin, now I don’t know about American nut houses but most Brit ones were built in the Victorian era out in the countryside and for some bizarre reason they all look like a film set from an old Hammer House horror movie.. which was hilariously lampooned in Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein..
Anyway, the three of us traipsed across the institution grounds, we were already a bit spooked, it was pitch black, the distant street lights kept flickering out, gale force winds, lightning, wolves in the distance howling at the full moon, Jen thought they were just foxes but I wasn’t convinced.. I kept thinking of An American Werewolf in London.. “keep to the path stranger, dinna stray from the path…” as we walked across the fields….
We found the unit the girls were going to be working on and we pressed the buzzer to be let in.. First shock was that there where patients lying on the ward floor…just lying there blocking the way like a scene from One Fly Past The Cuckoo Nest, I scanned round surreptitiously looking for Jack Nicholson… and a large Native American carrying a pillow and looking suspicious…the ward seemed to be full of people in their stripped pyjamas.. and it was only 7pm… and that was just the staff…
We found the nurses station and the staff were all sitting there smoking like chimneys and chatting/joking away, the girls introduced themselves and asked about their coming stint on the ward and if they could copy down their off-duty. So after a while Diane asked where the loo’s where as she needed to have a quick pee, the Head Nurse pointed her down the corridor and around the corner and up the stairs… Diane wasn’t too keen to head off down the dimly lit corridors with the wind (Werewolves) howling, the windows rattling, sheet lightening flashing everywhere and the cast from The Rocky Horror Picture Show standing around in their pyjamas.. However, a full bladder won’t be denied so off she went…looking very scared….
OK I’m kind’a ashamed about this ..a bit… but some of you will have noticed that my handle here is MrMischievous and not without reason.. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be a fun jape to sneak up to the loos after Diane and spook her ..just a little bit..?
So I snook along the corridor, round the corner and up the stairs to the staff loos.. The lights were on so I knew she was in one of the cubicles and deciding to be gentle on her (initially), I stood by the door and started to flick the lights off and on.. a lot… and a startled voice called out “WHO’S THERE!!” teeheeheee…and then I thought wouldn’t it be funny to howl a little…so I switched off the lights and let out this long low HOWL and Diane SCREAMED big time..really screamed and kept screaming… I thought HOLY CRAP! and ran out and around a corner.. and immediately all the staff came running up the stairs and burst into the cubicle..
Apparently when they burst open the cubicle door Diane was sitting ‘on top’ the loo seat ..with her pants still down and still screaming..
I know I’m going to hell but I couldn’t being myself to confess to her afterwards, to this day she is convinced that she was stalked by a Werewolf that night…
I told Jen years later and she kicked me.. and then laughed outrageously..
I hang my head in shame.. surprisingly I still have a few friends left…….