I was hired by Moose factory general hospital around mid-June 1983 for as a combined technologist X-ray / Ultrasound technologist, as the previous technologist took a maternity leave. The hospital now is called WeeneebayKo general hospital.
I packed my belonging and sold some items and let my landlord knows about my job 2 months ahead so I was renting month to month. I shipped a few boxes by mail to moose factory and took 2 suitcases with me.
The hospital HR sent me the tickets and I said my goodbyes to my friends and there I went Flying from London Ontario to Toronto then to Thunder Bay then to Timmins Ontario while the planes Were getting smaller and smaller and I was heading way north. From Timmins went to Moosonee Ontario a small town just across the river from moose factory reserve. The airport service sent my cases in a boat while they sent me flying with a small helicopter crossed the river to the hospital.
When I arrived and finished all the paperwork they gave me a nice meal at the hospital restaurant and they gave me free food tickets for the next few days. They also gave me the key to my room at the hospital compound with all the personal items and they gave me a quick tour to the place, followed by a tout to the hospital and the radiology department.
When the night sets in I was so tired and slept very well. It was a weekend so I had 2 days free time to check the moose factory town, the stores, and the historical places.
The hospital was designed like a double cross shape one Vertical line in the middle and 2 horizontal sections face each other. It was designed as a TB hospital in the old days. I never thought I will meet a ghost face to face beside the black flies and the sand flies.
Two weeks after passed and I was learning a great deal from the doctors and the radiologist who visit the hospital and take rounds. On weekends there was nothing much to do no bars or movies as it was a dry reserve no alcohol sale . People make their own wine and they can cross the river out of the reserve to be able to go to the bars etc. There were lots of house parties to kill the time and meet people.I used to enjoy walking and discovering the place the old churches and cemeteries.
One Saturday night I was walking closes to the hospital in the summer night of August 1983 AND I looked up at the hospital window I saw a native Indian lady watching from the hospital window in one of the wards. She looked around 27 to 30 years old with long dark hair.
I didn’t think much of it as there were so many patients who go to the windows and watch. But her dark back eyes were piercing and hard to forget. Sometimes I see her on different nights when I used to get a callback. I waved to her but she just kept watching me.
I was so intrigued and asked one of my nursing friends and she told me that there was no one fit her description beside the old women who usually go to sleep very early. We thought maybe she was one of the visitors who used to visit family members. But I used to see her early morning when I used to get a call back very early AM and when I walk to that area beside the hospital her she is standing by the window, when I take turn and go back to the hospital at the 2nd floor and count the rooms then look inside and I didn’t see anyone standing at all . and I went to the 3rd top floor and no one fit her description either. This blue and white hospital served so many patients for so many years many people were borne and die at the hospital. The hospital also served as a training place for so many nursing graduates from many places in Canada.
My friend let’s call her (Lori), she was a beautiful 24 years old red hair nurse from Nova Scotia. Lori and I were very good friends we do things together and go to stores together, she used to cry on my shoulder while walking in moose factory exploring the place, as she misses her family so much it was her first trip outside her hometown.
It was a chilly night of late September when I had a call to the emergency to do an X-ray on Saturday As usual, I did the x-ray and I took the cassette to the dark rooms to be processed as in those days we used to use a dark room and we don’t have digital imaging yet. In the darkroom, I used to feel that have been watched it used to give me the creep and I always brush it as an anxiety or been tired at night in the darkroom until one day I heard a female voice calling me and telling me I am here, I am here.
She doesn’t call my name just she saying the same word over and over again. Scratching the darkroom sometimes. I couldn’t turn on the light in the darkroom otherwise all the films will be burned, so I used to look around under the darkroom red light with fear and telling myself it must be one of my friend playing trick on me, maybe it was Lori, maybe the old man who used to work as a darkroom technician during the morning I said to my self, but not at night!
The voice was of a female voice and there was something different about it, it was like a whispering voice. That happened a few times in my night shift and I asked Lori if she was at the dark room she always mentioned that she was at her compound watching TV with other nurses.
The last weekend of September 1983 was the 24th I was walking back from the hospital to my room at the hospital compound when I heard same voice calling me (I am here). Not again I said to my self
Turned my face fast behind me to see who was that joker and didn’t see anyone and I kept walking toward the hospital compound opened the door and walked to my room in the first floor said my greeting to those who were watching TV at the common launch at the front of the compound door.
When I walked to my room on the right side of the first floor and sat on my bed relaxing and watching my small TV I heard the same sound I am here small stones were hitting my window. I opened the curtain and saw the same Native girl who I saw before at the hospital window.
Who are you? And why are you here? I am not allowed to date a patient or let you in the compound, I told her.
Follow me; she said in a whisper like sound, it was a very chanting voice. I put my thick jacket and went to the front door to go out and follow that lady. Do you have a call back again? A nurse asked me from the launch it was Lori.
Yes, I said and I harried out didn’t know that Lori will follow me.
I turned to the right and kept walking looking at the dark long hair lady until I found her at the end of the compound and she said follow me. I was afraid what happened if someone knows here from the hospital saw me with her, what if her native family saw me and asked me why I am flowing her? So many questions came to my head but it was statuary night and most of the people in their house parties, sleeping, or watching TV, I kept following the lady she was wearing beautiful Indian attire.
What’s your name please slow down? – I asked.
Where are you taken me, just stop and let’s talk, where are you going? I kept asking. She didn’t answer at all.
Then I asked loudly, by heaven sake what your name is?
Savannah was her answer .and kept moving fast to the hospital drive street, and then to the Front Street all the way beside the Anglican Church close to the cemetery of the church
And I kept asking where you are going will you please stop I don’t want to do anything around the sacred ground or the cemetery ok. Follow me was always the answer.
I was really worried because if she wants to talk to me she should be done by now, why she is taking me far away I was worried if this would be a good idea for a date.
She started to pass the edge of the cemetery of the Anglican Church I said I am leaving ok I am tired and I am going back to my place. When I said that she turned and as soon as she turned that beautiful face I saw before turned to an old, very old native lady with no eyes at all deep dark eyes was just a hallow black white hair and long nails.
It was the scariest moment in my life , it sent a shiver to my spine , I started running backward and praying to God, and saying leave me alone and turn and run very fast out of the grave when I heard a voice calling me from the street , Steve – Steve what are you doing here why are running .
It was Lori, my friend, she followed me for curiosity. I told her we better leave this place at once I was shaken. Did you see her, did you see her face? I asked while we were walking so fast back to our compound.
Yes I saw you the following someone from far away, I thought she is your girlfriend, she said.
No, she is not, I will tell you the story later. I told Lori.
I wanted to go back to my place as soon as possible.
When I reached my place Lori went upstairs to her room where the female nurses lived and went back downstairs to my room where all male workers lived.
I was so scared her face and eyes were so dark hollow black. Her nails were so long and sharp.
I knew I had met ghost or something. I changed my room I took the second empty room beside my room and made sure that the windows are closed shut and covered the window glass with aluminum foil, locked my door and kept praying until I slept.
I never went back to that area and if I go to the Anglican Church I used to go on Sunday morning.
Didn’t tell anyone so they don’t think I am dating a patient or a local girl.T he past history of the island was full with strange stories, fights, abused local women, rape and killing from the era of the Hudson Bay Company and the fur traders at that time. But later in life the name Savannah came to be a very important name in Lori’s life. I left the Island in early April 2014 to work in Windsor –Ontario.
Steve Ramsey; Okotoks – Alberta