Posted by: medicblog999 | September 4, 2009

No, I insist, after you!

psychoREX0105_468x461“Hello, is there anybody there?”

No answer……

I look to my partner and ask him to contact control to request an ETA for the police.

We had been dispatched to an address for a ‘concern for occupent’ , which in about 80% of cases ends up with the police forcing entry and us finding a deceased person in the house who had passed away sometime in the last 12-36 hours. This job had all the makings of the same. I was only new in my career, maybe six months, and was a trainee advanced technician at the time.

It was 20:35 on a winters night, dark and freezing cold. The neighbours had called 999 as they had noticed that ‘Jims’ curtains had been closed all day and they hadn’t seen him go out to the club for his usual 2 pints that afternoon.

We arrived to find the house secure, no lights on, curtains closed and no response to our knocking on the door or repeated shouts through the letter box. What we could see through the gaps in the curtains gave us no clue as to the where abouts of Jim, a previously healthy 57 year old man, with no real medical problems (according to his neighbour).

After about 10 minutes, the local police arrived with there ‘special key’, to break in through the front door. A couple of loud bangs later and the door shoots inwards on its hinges and gives us our first glimpse into the house.

Without thinking about it, I take a deep breath in through my nose, waiting for the rapidly becoming familiar smell of decomposition to assault my nasal passages, but thankfully in this case, all I can smell is the normal musty smell of a house which probably doesnt get cleaned as often as one would like.

The police officer steps back and motions for me to go in…..Errr… thanks mate, after you !!

As we walk in, I flick on the light switch in the hallway……nothing! Great, we are going to have to do this by torch light.

I had seen enough horror films and enough dead bodies in various stages of decomposition to start to get the old imagination flowing. The police officer starts to look downstairs, whilst I and my mate Joe, start to move upstairs. Our torches cast an eerie shadow on the walls as we climb the stairs. I try the light switch on the upstairs landing……Nothing!

I stop for a second and try to stop my imagination from being silly. I’m sure that he has probably gone out to the club and maybe just gone back to a friends house for a couple more drinks, only to come home to find his front door boarded up and a police officer standing outside to explain what has happened. But then there is the other side of my brain telling me that my torch light is about to be cast over a body hanging from the loft hatch!

I enter the first room, holding my breath a little, then exhale when I see no corpse on the bed……but what if he has rolled off and fallen down the other side of the bed and is on the floor??

A couple of slow steps around the bed, torch light creeping around the corner of the bed, then……..nothing!!!!!

Joe thinks this is a great time to pinch me in the sides and go BOO!!!!

No so my friend!!…I turn round and dig him hard in the arm

“You stupid GIT!!…..Right your turn!”

I hand the torch to him and he goes ahead into the second bedroom with me behind him casting my vision from left to right and again, finding nothing.

Well that just leaves the bathroom.

“You found anything down there yet?” , I shout to the police officer

“No, nothing down here mate!”

This really is starting to feel like a movie now. Joe and I stand next to each other in front of the bathroom door.

Joe : “Is your heart going as quick as mine?”

M999: “Just a bit mate…Go on then, in you go!”

Joe: “Hey, you are the trainee…In you go!”

M999: “Cheers matey! I`ll remember this one”

My heart is in my throat as I open the door. Images are flashing in my brain of Jim lying in the bath with his wrists cut or collapsed on the toilet, bloated after being dead for 4 days or even hanging from the shower head.



Nothing again!! Jesus!!!……deep breath…..I look at Joe and we exchange a nervous giggle.

Joe ” Now don’t be to hasty, you haven’t checked behind the shower curtain….you never know”

M999: “Yeah right!!”

I walk the two steps over and pull the curtain back whilst shininy the torch into the bath…..


I shout, whilst stumbling backwards into Joe. I hear the police officer hurtling up the stairs as I regain my composure.

M999: “What are you doing Jim???”

Jim is sitting perfectly still, fully dressed, obviously NOT dead, at the tap end of the bath. He slowly turns his head towards me and gives a little smile.


Once we all calm down I manage to find out the Jim has been having some trouble recently and is finding it hard to cope. There is some possibility of schizophrenia, but he just felt that he would be safe in the bath. We helped him out and persuaded him to come with us to the hospital.

As we left the house, he smiled and chatted with his neighbours, thanking them for their concerns and obviously putting a very brave face on a troubled mind. I have never been called back to that house, and have never seen him again. Hopefully he got the help he needed, but if not, I know to be very wary when I go into his bathroom next time!


  1. I bet you didnt let out a shout, i’m sure it was more of a girlie scream…LOL “Joe we need to get back to HQ stat for some new underwear”. At least your primal instincts didnt kick in and you clobber the poor guy with your flashlight.

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