The Elevator Ghost


Many Filipinos believe in ghosts, and hospitals, being the place where there's always death, of course, they will think that a single hospital is home for hundreds of ghosts.

There was this text message which could be an example of ghost in hospitals. No one knows if it actually happened or not but, for sure, it was just for the sake of enjoyment. Yet, it created goosebumps to the readers.

It was my classmate who first told me this story. I can't forget the way she tells the legend. It really freaked me out.

I'm not sure if this urban legend only circulated here in the Philippines. The oldest version can be traced in 1990's. This story was told in many dialects but the Visayan made another version of this. In Metro Manila, the most known versions used the University of Sto. Tomas and the Makati Medical Center as the setting of it.


[Taken from a text message:]

Once there was this nurse rushing faster going to the elevator. A child was running after her, that's why. Inside the elevator, a middle-aged man was standing, noticed the nurse looked frightened.

Why do you look so pale and scared? He asked.

Haven't you seen the little boy after me? The nurse replied. He is wearing a red tag bracelet on his right hand. If he is wearing a blue tag then he is alive, but he's wearing red, thus he is definitely dead. She continued.

After she explains everything happened to her, the man raises his hands showing something, and suddenly says . . .

Like this?

The nurse because of horror, became insane.

[Taken from Internet:[1] ]

A UST doctor decided to ride the elevator down to the hospital morgue. There was only one other passenger inside. Noticing a patient trying to catch the lift, the doctor immediately shut the door. The other passenger asked her why she refused to wait for the patient. She explained that the “patient” was wearing a red band on his wrist and she'd been warned that only corpses wore such bands. The passenger approached him and lifted his arm. “Tulad nito?” (Like this?) he asked, showing the crimson tag dangling from his wrist. [Click Here]

[Taken from Internet:[2] ]

I found this Visayan Version of the same story as the others posted here.
Naay usa ka-doctor na musakay unta sa elevator, kilid lang sa ER ... Anway, pag-abli sa elevator naay duha ka-tawo sa sulod. Ang usa nag-tindog ug nag-sul-ob ug laboratory gown. Ang usa naa sa sawog, kay nakuyapan. Gidagan ni Doc ang taw na nakuyapan sa ER na naa ra kilid. Kadtong na-uli-an na ang tawo, iyang gipangutana na-unsa to siya, nisulti siya na naa siyang nakit-an nga patay na pero naglakawlakaw pa, ug nag-sul-ob ug orange tag. (this orange tag means you're dead and your body is now in the morgue waiting for disposal). Nagkatawa ang doctor kay basin nag-binuang ra. Mibalik siya sa may elevator ug misakay pag-abli. Naa tong tawo na kuyog adtong nakuyapan. Nagstorya sila bahin adtong nakuyapan ug nakakita daw ug ungo tong tawhana. Pagsulti ni doc na nag-sul-ob daw ug orange tag ang iyang nakit-an, gisaka sa tawo sulod sa elevator ang iyang kamot ug misulti, "parehas niini?" Namugnaw siya kay mao tong tawhana na iyang gi-declare na Dead on arrival pipila ka oras na nilabay. Ug siya, nakuyapan.

There was a doctor who decided to take a ride in the elevator near the ER (he was waiting for the elevator to open that time). When the elevator opened, he saw two men inside. One of them was standing, wearing a laboratory gown. The other one was lying in the floor unconscious. He brought the unconscious man to ER which was near the elevator. When the man woke up he asked him what happened, then he answered that he saw a dead person still walking wearing an orange tag in the wrist. (This orange tag means you're dead and your body is now in the morgue waiting for disposal.) The doctor just laughed at what he heard from the person. Then he went back in front of the elevator and took a ride when it opened. There again the person who was with the one who fainted. He told that person the reason why the man lost consciousness - that he saw a dead man. As the doctor speaks about the person wearing an orange tag, the person raised his hand and said, Like this?. The doctor felt cold because that person he was with was the same one he declared dead on arrival some time ago. And he fainted.

[Another version uses a woman instead of a man as the gender of the unconscious, and even tells the place when this ghost story occured - the Cebu Doctor's Hospital.]

[Taken from Internet:[3] ]

The Elevator

Gem is working as a nurse in a big hospital. during that time, gem was on a night shift, where hours would seem like eternity. To keep herself from falling asleep, she and her nurse friends would talk about a lot of things-especially ghost stories-to perk them up while doing their charting.

Then one night, the nurses got too busy to chat-someone died in the emergency room,a group of people were admitted due to a vehicular accident, another patient is in a critical condition. The nurses were prepared for such emergencies and were able to attend all those needing medical attention.

Gem had to go to the pharmacy downstairs to get some medicine for her patient. She hurried to the nearby elevator to the ground floor. She was on the fourth floor. Gem saw that there was already a man inside the elevator when she got in. She didn't know the guy, but she was happy that she had someone to ride the elevator with. As the elevator reached the second floor,the doors opened. They saw a little boy, about five years old, waiting to get inside the elevator. But before the boy could get in, Gem hurriedly closed the elevator doors and pressed again the ground floor button, leaving the boy behind.

The stranger was puzzled and asked gem why she did what she did. "why didn't you let the poor boy ride with us?" the man asked.

"He looks like the boy who died here the other day. We tried to save him, but we couldn't. The second floor houses the pediatric ward and that's where the boy died," explained gem who was a bit winded.

"How can you be so sure that it was the same boy? Is it because he's wearing the same tag as mine?" the stranger asked as he raised his arm to show gem the hospital tag attached to his wrist.

Gem was taken aback. She thought she was going to faint.

She stared at the man this time, finally noticing that he was in a hospital gown. She suddenly recognized who the man was- he was the one who was in a critical condition an hour earlier, but died on the operating table.

The elevator doors opened as it reached the ground floor. Gem ran blindly away from the lift and never looked back. She got the medicines she needed and hurriedly went back to her patient. but this time, she didn't take the elevator. Instead, she took the stairs. Never again did she ride the elevator during night shifts.

[Taken from Book:[4] ]

Makati Ghost Stories

This one has been going around for some time. An elderly doctor at the Makati Medical Center was riding the elevator going down to the lobby. Next to him is another patient. A bell sounds and the car door swings open. In front of the pair stands a young boy. The little boy asks: Down? The doctor looks up and down the young man and, with a slight crackling in his voice, answers: No, this is going up. He then presses the button to close the elevator door and sends the car on its way.

The patient, confused, asks: Why didn't you let him ride with us. This car is going down anyway. The doctor looks to the patient and says, He was my patient a week ago. He died of Leukemia.

There is a short silence. The patient then asks: How do you know he died? The doctor glances back and says, Well, he has a blue band on his ankle. That means he's dead.

The patient sticks out her foot and asks the doctor: Oh, you mean like the one I have?

[Taken from Book:[4] ]

The Elevator I
By: Jherry Barrinuevo

Bad things happen to bad people.

A friend told me a spooky story about an unscrupulous doctor who worked in a private hospital in Metro Manila.

The doctor charged his patients depending on their social status. But no matter what the status, he always overcharged. He didn't discriminate whether his patients were rich or poor. He preyed on the rich and famous the same as he did the poor and less fortunate patients.

He would have gotten old and continued doing this, but for an encounter with the supernatural that changed him for life.

The doctor was a practicing physician for almost 15 years. He graduated from a famous medical school here in the Philippines and became one of the topnotchers when he took the board exam. His intelligence and expertise made him famous in the local medical scene and earned him recognition as one of the best doctors in the country.

As a result of his fame and achievements, patients flocked to his clinics. Members of high society, politicians and celebrities went to him for treatment.

At the same time, some desperate patients sought his medical attention - patients who would spend all they had just to be treated or given a cure.

At the start of the doctor's career, he was fair to his patients and used all his talents to help his patients who were in dire need. He charged his patients honestly and sometimes gave discounts to the poor. But, this noble character changed when he realized he could earn much more money and live a king's life if he overcharged his patients.

He started overcharging his rich patients, who didn't care as long as the doctor treated them. His greed became atrocious when he started doing it even to the poor.

If they can't afford my services they ought to suffer and die, as for me, money is what I need and I am gonna be rich.

As a result of his greed, many of those who couldn't afford his services died without undergoing treatment. Although he may have felt a twinge of guilt every so often, whenever he heard that a patient of his died, he remained unmoved and continued to feed his greed, sucking his patients' resources up to the last drop. But, one day, a weird thing happened.

The doctor was on one of his rounds. He rode the hospital's elevator to go up to his clinic. It was late in the afternoon and there were few people left in the hospital, so the doctor had the elevator all to himself.

He pushed the button for the sixth floor, where his clinic is located.

When it reached the second floor, the door opened, but to his surprise no one entered the elevator. He peered outside the elevator to check if anyone outside had pushed the second floor button, but no one was around.

When the elevator reached the third floor the same thing happened. This was likewise repeated when it reached the fourth.

By the time it reached the fifth level, the doctor was totally mystified.

The elevator door opened and still no one joined him in the elevator. Just as it was about to close however, the overloaded warning sounded.

The doctor nearly jumped from the shrill buzz of the warning button.

That's funny, he thought to himself. How can that buzzer sound when I'm the only one here?

All of the sudden he remembered long-forgotten ghost stories about the hospital that he didn't pay attention to. He could feel pinpricks of fear crawling up his spine.

When the elevator reached the sixth floor he nearly stumbled in his hurry to get out of it. He ran toward his clinic and tried to forget what happened.

Later, as he was examining one patient, his secretary told him that the father of one of his patients who had just died was outside. The family could not afford to pay the doctor's fees and so could no longer continue treatment.

The secretary said the father blamed the doctor for the death of his son.

Pabayaan mo siya, wala akong pakialam. Alam naman nila na malala na ang sakit ng anak nila 'di sila nag-ipon ng pera (Let him rant and shout, I don't care. They knew very well their son was seriously ill, why didn't they save money for it?), the doctor told his secretary.

As his secretary was about to inform the father that the doctor was busy with another patient and send him away, another parent, a father, barged in the clinic shouting that the doctor killed his teenage daughter.

Had you treated my daughter and didn't ask for a high fee, she would be still be alive right now, the father said accusingly.

The doctor tried to elude the angry parents by telling his secretary he got an emergency call from another hospital.

So off the doctor went down the corridor. But as he neared the elevator, he remembered the earlier incident and vowed never to go into the elevator alone. So he waited till another passenger, a teenage girl, came along before boarding the elevator.

Sure enough the elevator began acting strange again. He pushed the button for 1st but visibly upset when it went straight to the basement - where the morgue is located.

The door opened and the doctor saw a boy running towards the elevator. Recognizing the boy as one of his patients who just died - the same boy whose father was ranting in his clinic upstairs - he immediately pushed the button shutting the door.

The teenage girl saw what he did and asked the doctor why he didn't let the boy in.

He answered: That boy is dead.

How can you tell?? the girl persisted.

Can't you see he has a red tag around his wrist? That's a sure sign that he's dead and marked for the morgue, the doctor exclaimed.

Oh you mean something like this? the girl asked as she raised her wrist.

The doctor turned in time to see the girl shove her wrist in front of his face. The doctor turned deathly white as blood drained from his face.

The girl was his other dead patient!

That was the last thing that he remembered. He slumped down in a dead faint.

He was found by the hospital security guards lying alone inside the elevator.

The doctor realized that his sins were fast catching up with him. The overloaded elevator must have been filled with the spirits of all his patients who died from his neglect, just because they couldn't afford his fees!

Since then the doctor changed his ways and started treating his patients fairly.

[Taken from Book:[5] ]

By: Leonileda L. Leong

Julie Marangga was a nurse at the general hospital. She had heard many stories about the hospital she worked in - some were scary, most were sad, but she never paid them any mind. Had she at least heeded their warnings, she might have been better prepared for what happened later. Now she's in a coma.

Julie, it's almost 10 o'clock. Leave that to the night shift, the head nurse told her that fateful evening. Why don't you go home early? You'll be celebrating your first paycheck with your mother tomorrow.

It's okay, manang, I'll just finish this, she responded. She seemed to love her work.

Don't take the elevator at night, Julie's co-workers had advised her. Besides, the stairs are healthier for you.

It was past 10 o'clock that night when Julie, together with another nurse from a different station, boarded the elevator on the top floor. She had clocked out and was on her way home. The hospital halls were quiet; visitor hours had ended more than an hour ago, and the night shift had long settled in. Before the elevator doors closed, a doctor called out to them.

Hold the elevator, he said.

Julie stopped the door from closing. The doctor nodded his thanks and pressed the 'G' button upon entering. As the doors closed, Julie saw a child making his way to the elevator.

Dok, sandali, may bata pang sasakay (Doc, wait, a child wants to get in), Julie said.

The doctor hurriedly pressed the 'Door Close' button. Huwag mong pansinin and batang iyan, patay na siya. Nakita mo ba ang wristband na suot niya? Iyan ang kulay na suot ng mga bangkay sa morgue (Don't mind that kid, he was already dead. Did you see the wristband he was wearing? That's the color the bodies wear in the morgue), said the doctor.

Julie suddenly could not speak.

The nurse beside her calmly extended her hand and asked, Like this one?

Julie saw that the week before, another nurse had been rushed to the hospital, heavily bleeding after an accident. The nurse didn't make it.

Hospitals have more than enough death stories, but that doesn't help Mrs. Marangga, who doesn't know whether she should be grateful that her daughter was alive but in a coma.

The doctor accompanied her to Julie's hospital room. He was used to there things already but what was he going to tell Julie's mother?


Actually there are many variations on how the story was delivered in text message.
  • Some tells, that the man saw the child running after the nurse then she abruptly closed the elevator's door before the child can enter, then asked: Why didn't you let the child to enter?. While others, the child got in the elevator but went out again for some reason.

    Other version didn't mention anything about the child running towards the elevator. Instead, the doctor was unsuspectingly waiting for the elevator door to open. As it open, he saw two people - the other one was standing, while the other was unconscious.

  • Some it was a little girl instead of a boy.

  • Another was instead of a female nurse, it was a male; or instead a nurse, it was doctor.

  • The setting of the legend is unknown but others use University of Sto. Tomas and Makati Medical Center. The Visayan version, some of them, mentions the Cebu Doctor's Hospital.

  • Again others didn't mention if the man inside the elevator was of middle age.

  • As I found this article in a website, that this story was once featured in a Philippine ghost story book, I wonder if this actually came from a real experience of the girl named Gem. The first time I heard this story was from my friend, then I received a text message from another friend with the same story. However, I started to become doubtful because of the versions I found. The only way to answer my question concerning this, I need to know the original version, but I think, it is impossible nowadays to have it.

    Last Updated: May 15, 2015

    [3] - - [True Philippine Ghost Stories - Haunted Hospitals. PSICOM Publishing Inc.]
    [4] True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 2. PSICOM Publishing Inc. 2003. Quezon City, Philippines. ISBN 971-8995-90-0
    [5] The Best of True Philippine Ghost Stories. PSICOM Publishing Inc. 2008. Quezon City, Philippines. ISBN 978-971-0372-85-0