Mack. It sounded like something you called a person that you didn’t know, but that was his name. Not that I ever used it. He was in the nursing home that I use to volunteer in. I was rarely in his room and he was never out of it that I knew of.
His room was the same as all the others, but it just felt different. Dark and menacing, the air felt thick even when the windows were open and the breeze came through the doorway.
Mack was a violent man. The story was that he had an accident and his brain was damaged leaving him in a constant angry state. The only way to take care of his needs was to sedate him first even though he was tied down all the time.
I don’t know the why’s or how’s, all I did know was he couldn’t be trusted not to hurt you if you got too close. The only reason I was ever in his room at all was that the Home’s policy stated that no one went into his room alone. The last person who had, left with a broken arm. He would grab holed of you in a tight crushing grip and not let go. Even with his restraints he was dangerous. So when the staff had to take care of his daily needs sometimes they would ask for me to stand by the door to call for help if it was needed.
Now there are all different types of people in the world and if you live long enough at one time or another you’re going to need help taking care of yourself. So, knowing that I might someday need nursing home care, I was paying it forward and volunteering.
I would go around and talk to the different people who lived there or read to them in the day room. I’d even play cards with the ones that could. You know, I’d just let them know that they were not forgotten.
But like I said, I stayed clear of Mack’s room most of the time. I did have my favorites of course. Though I tried not to play favorites when there was such need for companionship all around. One day a week, that was where you could find me, in the only nursing home in town. I didn’t know everyone there, but I did know a few of them from before they came here to stay.
Anyway, after I had been volunteering at the place for about a year strange things started to happen about once a week or so. Things were moved that couldn’t be moved without help. Full heavy dressers were found away from the wall and up against beds. Maintenance was called in to bolt them to the walls before anyone got hurt. After that it was other heavy things in the kitchen, housekeeping or maintenance. But before it got too out of hand it all stopped and the only thing that had changed was that Mack had died.
His room was cleaned out and made ready for the next person needing care and about a month later the room was filled again.
But every person that was put into that room was harmed in some way when no one was there to do it. Bloody scratches raked down someone’s face. Cuts and bruises were found on others. Surveillance cameras were installed to find the one who was doing it. No one was seen in the room at the time of the incidents, yet the assaults kept on happening to anyone that was given the room that Mack had once lived in.
It didn’t take long for the room to be changed into a storage area. The home was libel for any injury to their residents and if they didn’t want to be shut down, there was nothing else that they could do. From then on that room held only broken wheelchairs, bed frames and things left for parts.
I retired and moved away around the same time the nursing home was bought by a larger company who didn’t see the need to waste the space of a room that could be turned into revenue. But I saw on the news the other day that an elderly resident was mysteriously killed in their room in that nursing home I used to volunteer in. Crushed by the bed and impaled through the heart by a wheel chair spoke. I knew how and where it must have happened. It was the ghost of Mack or the evil that lived in his room with him and had never left that did it.